Welcome to the club. We all suck at Age of Empires, or did at one point.


The good news is you can get pretty decent pretty quick. Age of Empires is a game filled with a ton of little things that make a big difference.

This guide is not meant to be comprehensive, but aims to act as a foundation to get you started.

Improving Your Play

Improving Your Play

  1. Build more villagers. You aren’t building enough villagers. Your Town Center should always be doing something. If it isn’t advancing to the next age, it should be making more villagers. As a rule of thumb, your end goal is to have about half of your total population limit to be villagers. More villagers means you can build more military units and can keep building them longer.
  2. Scouting. Your scout should always be working. Like your Town Center, your scout should always be doing something. Hotkey him. Scout in expanding circles around your base until you’ve found your resources. After that, your scout should gather information on the map and the actions of your enemy.
  3. Boars. Learn to lure boars. Boars are 340 of the fastest gathering food in the game. Once you learn how to lure boar, you’ll be miles ahead of where you used to be.
  4. Hotkeys. Learn and use hotkeys.
  5. Build Orders. Learn build orders. Build orders are the foundation of this game. Age of Empires really only has one resource. Time. The player who makes the best use of time will win the match. Nerds have been playing this game for like 20 years now. That means that people have had a long time to figure out the most efficient way to do things. Basic Build Orders to Start:
    1. Fast Castle
    2. Scout Rush
    3. Archer Flush

These will give you a good place to start. They aren’t the only ones you need to know, but they’ll get you on the right track.

  1. Recorded Games. Watch replays of your games to see what you did wrong. Recorded games are a great way to learn. The option to record games is on by default. There is basically no reason to switch it off. The files are small and it has no impact on the game. You’ll be busy during the game but after you can sit back and go at your own pace.
  2. Spectating. Professional players stream their games and post them to YouTube. Hop in their stream and see what they’re doing. If you have questions, ask in the chat. There should be someone who is friendly and helpful. You can find a list of professional streams and YouTube channels in the resources section below.

This game is about having fun. Improving your skills can be fun and satisfying. Just like my mom.



(Order is kinda arbitrary)


The largest and most active community site for the game. If it is going on in Age of Empires, you’ll read about it here. Get your info, drama, recorded games, tournament info, etc. all in one handy spot.

Build Orders & Tutorials


Age of Empires II Casted Games

  • VooblyOfficial — Twitch + YouTube — A community channel with tons of content and a variety of personalities.
  • T90Official — Twitch + YouTube — Professional & community games.
  • Memb — Twitch + YouTube — Professional & community games. Pretty much everything.
  • BBQ Turkman — YouTube — Professional games and rockstar.
  • ZeroEmpires/EscapeGaming — Twitch + YouTube — Professional and  community games. Recently started organizing events like gangbusters.
  • Resonance22 — Twitch + YouTube — Professional and community games.
  • NobodyAoE — Twitch + YouTube — Professional & community games

Top Player Streams and PoVs

(There are a bunch of these. Look on Twitch to see who is streaming AoC and AoE:HD  I probably can’t list them all and there are lots of good people out there. Check the channels tab on other Age of Empires channels to find related people)