Age of Empires 4: Which Civilisation Should You Pick

A town inhabited by the Chinese civilisation in Age of Empires 4.

Age of Empires 4 is the latest instalment in the series after 16 years. The title features multiple game modes, improved graphics, and varied civilisations. There are eight civilisations to begin with that players can take the role of or come up against, with each of them having individual perks and capabilities.

In this guide, we've explained what the eight civilisations and their various capabilities are in Age of Empires 4.

Read More: Age of Empires 4: How to Play Multiplayer

A small village inhabited by the Holy Roman Empire civilisation being attacked by the Abbasid Dynasty in Age of Empires 4.
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English

The English are best known for their strong defensive systems, with a network of various castles at their aid when it comes to battle. In Age of Empires 4, players will experience English civilisation in the following four eras: Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Norman, English Gothic, and Tudor.

The benefits of playing as the English are:

  • Villagers are stronger and can use short bows.
  • Vanguard Man-at-Arms (heavy melee infantry) can be accessed during Age 1.
  • Farms can be built using 50% less wood, and farms by mills gather resources 15% faster.
  • The Network of Castles provides a bonus to Town Centres, Outposts, Towers and Keeps. This provides affected units with 25% additional attack speed.
  • Town Centre's will fire twice the normal amount of arrows when under attack.
  • Military Ships range is increased by +1.
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Difficulty: 1/3

Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Empire is reputable for having a particularly strong infantry unit, with grand support from their religious unit. This means that they're strongest when attacking. In Age of Empires 4, players will experience the Holy Roman Empire as they attempt to capture Rome between 936CE and 1517CE.

The benefits of playing as the Holy Roman Empire are:

  • Their religious unit, the Prelate, is available in Age 1.
  • Early Man-at-Arms is available in Age 2.
  • Outposts, Keeps, and Towers garrison Relics with improved range of sight, weaponry, armour and damage dealt.
  • Docks also garrison Relics which increase ships attack speed by 5% per Relic.
  • The cost of building Outposts, Towers and Keeps are 25% cheaper.
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Difficulty: 2/3

Abbasid Dynasty

The Abbasid Dynasty rely upon their knowledge and research to conquer a battle. Players will be able to learn various upgrades that can alter the mechanics of gameplay in Age of Empires 4, and ultimately give the Abbasid Dynasty advantage in battle. Players will see the civilisation from 750CE to 1517CE, experiencing the 'Golden Age of Islam' and its technological advances.

The benefits of playing as the Abbasid Dynasty are:

  • Can't gather food from Boar, but Berry gathering is 25% faster.
  • Infantry can construct Battering Rams and Siege Towers without having to study Siege Engineering first.
  • By building wings from the House of Wisdom, players can advance in Ages and all nearby buildings get +5 fire armour.
  • Docks cost 50% less.
  • When in a Golden Age, resource gathering, research time and production speed is increased.
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Difficulty: 2/3

Mongols

The Mongols are the ancient version of what players may know as 'run and gun'. Incredibly active, their military specialises in being able to attack rapidly when structured well. Players will witness the Mongols in Age of Empires 4 between 1000CE and 1500CE, where they can be recognised for having connected Eastern and Western civilisations.

The benefits of playing as the Mongols are:

  • When igniting enemy buildings, Mongols gain 50 food and gold.
  • Buildings can be packed up and moved.
  • Mongols begin with their maximum population limit and do not need to build houses.
  • Early Horsemen are available in Age 1, and Early Lancers are available in Age 2.
  • Using stone, Mongols can double units of produce or research advanced technology.
  • Transport ships have 50% additional health and move 15% faster.
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Difficulty: 3/3

A small village inhabited by the Mongols civilisation in Age of Empires 4.
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Chinese

The Chinese civilisation is one of great strength, with their innovative constructions and use of gunpowder. Not only are they great defenders, but their attacks are deadly too. In Age of Empires 4, players will witness the Chinese between 907CE and 1644CE as they grow their empire across the whole of Eurasia.

The benefits of playing as the Chinese are:

  • Villagers construct defensive architecture 50% faster and all other buildings 100% faster.
  • Building both landmarks from an Age will enter the Chinese into a dynasty, giving them added bonuses.
  • When advancing to Age 4, chemistry technology is free.
  • Docks function 20% faster.
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Difficulty: 3/3

French

The French are known for their outstanding Horsemen and Knights, so building Stables when playing as them is a must. Their time in Age of Empires 4 is between 840CE and 1559CE, meaning players will experience Jeanne d'Arc and the discovery of cannons.

The benefits of playing as the French are:

  • Scouts and Villagers can be produced faster as Age advances. Production is 10% faster in Age 1, 15% in Age 2, and 20% in Age 3 and 4.
  • Economic technology is 30% cheaper.
  • Resource drop off buildings - such as Mills and Lumber Camps - are 25 wood cheaper.
  • Trade Posts are revealed on the minimap at the start of each game.
  • Traders can return any resources to the Market.
  • Melee damage technology can be researched for free.
  • Trade Ships will return 20% more gold.
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Difficulty: 1/3

Rus

The Rus civilisation is simply built to survive. Through harsh temperaments and failed battles, the Rus learnt to be unruly. In Age of Empires 4, the Rus can be experienced between 882CE to 1552CE as they encounter influences from Norman, Norse and Byzantine eras, experiencing the fall of Mongol influence.

The benefits of playing as the Rus are:

  • When killing animals, the bounty is increased and gold is earned.
  • Higher bounty from all food sources.
  • Early Knight's are available from Age 2.
  • Palisades are stronger, with double the amount of health.
  • Hunting Cabins can be constructed, which produce Scouts and generate Gold from any nearby forests.
  • Wooden Fortresses can be constructed, with improved Outposts with additional health and garrison slots.
  • Fishing Ships do not need to drop off food by returning to a dock.
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Difficulty: 2/3

Delhi Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate's primary goal is to seek knowledge and advance technologically. With this, they are strong researchers and defenders. Players of Age of Empires 4 will experience the Delhi Sultanate between 879CE and 1526CE as they shape the Indo-Islamic religion and expand their technology massively.

The benefits of playing as the Delhi Sultanate are:

  • Can't gather food from Boar, but Berry gathering is 25% faster.
  • The Scholar is available from Age 1.
  • All technology is free but is researched at a much slower rate; acquiring Scholars will improve the speed.
  • Infantry units cannot construct defences.
  • Fishing Ships are equipped with an Archer.
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Difficulty: 3/3

With this wealth of information at your fingertips, judging which civilisation to take into battle is a tricky one. Luckily, when playing Campaign Mode, Age of Empires 4 picks for you; you will start out playing through The Normans as the English, which we have some tips on here. If you want to try out different civilisations before deciding which ones are best for you, then we recommend trying Skirmish or Multiplayer modes.