Best Civilizations Tier List AoE 2 Definitive Edition Guide – GamerDiscovery (2023)

Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition brings new content such as new civilizations and Ultra textures not seen in the previous HD version of the game. At the moment, AoE2 DE offers 35 unique civilizations (races) for you to play and conquer. Each of these civilizations has different units, bonuses, technologies, and a focus on a range of unit upgrades to make them even more powerful. Since one race can excel in cavalry units, the other race may not have a population cap, meaning you don't need to build houses to reach the 200 population cap. Some civilizations are more powerful than others, especially for beginners and those just starting out start in AoE 2 DE. In this Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition Civilizations Ranking we go through all the races available in the game and determine the strongest AoE2 DE civilizations based on many pro player games and Arabic 1v1 matches in the latest patch. .

Be sure to check out oursList of Age of Empires IV civilization levelsif you play this together with AoE2 too!

Civilization tier list descriptors

Nivel S- Mastered. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition Civilizations awesome in the latest patch and mostly locked during pro player matches due to their strength. Any of these civilizations are good choices if you want to win the majority of your games.

a level- Powerful. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition Civilizations that are very popular and will give you an advantage over other opponents, especially in ranked matches. These civs are strong and are very good for beginners as AoE2 DE can be difficult for new players early on.

Nivel B- Balanced. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition Civilizations that are balanced. These races are good for a casual game where you enjoy playing and not focusing on rushing and beating your opponent. In good hands, however, any one of these is more than enough to give you a win.

Level C- Low current. Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition Civilizations that are difficult to play and not worth it if you want to win. These civilizations will be overwhelmed by all other tier A and B races.

List of civilization levels

This AOE 2 DE Civ Tier List isupdated for the latest patch54480 (5. October 2021).

Best Civilizations Tier List AoE 2 Definitive Edition Guide – GamerDiscovery (1)


LithuaniansThey're incredibly strong on hybrid maps, and their extra starting fodder makes them a great beginner civ. Playing against Lithuanians guarantees you an additional 150 food to start with, which helps this civ win most early-midgame encounters. Large cavalry units combined with strong late game power from very fast Halberdiers and Skirmishers make it a popular civ for ranked and pro play. The main focus of the Lithuanian is on cavalry and monk units.

The ChineseAlways start with six villagers who can snow your civilization on certain maps where food can be found near the town center. Their focus is on the archers, with Chu Ko Nu being the only unit here. The Great Wall and Rocket Science are the unique technology upgrades and overall the Chinese are a very versatile civilization that can be extremely powerful on some maps.

AztecsThey're great in the early game, but their power dwindles in the late game as they lack transition options to counter certain enemy types. This means that Aztec players prefer to finish their games relatively quickly or slow down their opponents to the point where they can't recover. His primary focus is infantry and monks, with the Jaguar Warrior being his unique unit.Even if their power wanes later, they're still one of the strongest civilizations you can choose right now..

vikinghave the unique Berserker and Longboat units as they focus on infantry and naval units. Viking ships are heavily discounted, making their naval composition even better, and the fact that infantry gain extra health also makes them a good choice for ground combat. In general, Vikings are awesome on maps like Arabia as they offer a lot of variety when it comes to opposing other civilizations.

mayansThey are the best tournament civilization in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition because they have unit compositions and transitions to react to every map and situation. The Feathered Archers are your most valuable units and are accompanied by a strong group of infantry units. Their cavalry isn't great, but the fact that the feathered archers are so fast makes up for it.


JapaneseThey have cheaper collectible buildings, giving them a huge economic advantage during gameplay. In addition, they are also very versatile, meaning they can switch between water and ground construction jobs fairly quickly. The Japanese focus on infantry units, with samurai being their specialty. Yasama and Katapurato are the unique technologies that allow the Japanese race to besiege enemies easily.

KoreanGet free armor upgrades, cheaper wooden units, and your wagon units are extremely difficult to manage. They have a strong focus on towers and naval units: War Wagon and Turtle Ship. The Koreans are primarily a defensive civilization that should be played slowly as most of their units are fairly limited in terms of enemy harassment and siege.

FrankenThey are a great civilization for new players. They focus on cavalry and the throwing ax is their unique unit. Chivalry and Bearded Ax are the special technologies and excel in the Knight department. Their cavalry is easy to build and their infantry is awesome. However, the archers are very weak and the siege weapons are mediocre at best. The Franks have a 25% cheaper castle, their farming upgrades are free, and the gatherers also work 25% faster. Last but not least, your cavalry gain +20% health.

ItalianLike the Malays, they are primarily a water card civilization focused on the navy and archers. Their fishing boats are much cheaper, trade units are cheaper, and fishing dock upgrades are also less expensive. Genoese Crossbowman is the unique unit for the Italian race, and the Italians are incredibly flexible on hybrid maps. The Italians have power spikes at every stage of the game, easily making them a Tier A civilization if used correctly.

moltingThey retained their S-Tier position for a while due to the homeless requirements and the sheer versatility that allows them to transition into any unit build they desire. The Huns are cavalry focused and Tarkan is their specialty unit. Marauders and Atheims are the special upgrades and have access to a fully upgraded Paladin making them very powerful with a solid economy.

BritishThey're not a very versatile civ, but they do get the cheapest city centers. His primary focus is Archers as Longbowman is his best unit and generally long range units are much better in AoE 2 DE than any melee. The British are easy to counter, but if your enemy doesn't control their units very well, you'll have a huge advantage by going for the British.

MaliansThey offer plenty of transition opportunities and a lumber benefit as their buildings cost less lumber. The Malians are very focused on infantry units, Gbetos as their special forces. You grant research speed to your entire team, and the Malians themselves get gold mines for free. Cavalry and infantry are the ultimate carriers in this particular civilization and must have a strategy to win the battles before the end of the game.

VietnameseThey're a very underrated civilization considering they have really smooth transitions from feudal to castle eras. Their attention turns to the Rattan Archers and they manage to unlock a free unit for their entire team. Their archers are really good and overall they are an above average civ on most maps.

PortugueseThey are usually the least played race in competitive games unless it's a water card, as they largely dominate the water cards. They focus on naval units and gunpowder, which means they're not that good on ground maps. Organ Gun and Caravel are his unique units. Caravels can hit multiple units at once, making them an exceptional aquatic unit, but other than that, the Portuguese have nothing special to offer.

to moanThey have a strong Imperial Age, but high gold costs that are unsustainable at some points in the game. They focus on siege weapons and battle elephants and ballistae. Khmer shines with elephant units and siege weapons and that's about it. Their infantry and cavalry are mediocre at best, but they're way better than any B or C tier civ. It's worth noting that the January 2020 patch allowed Khmer farmers to drop food instantly rather than to a TC or a to go mill, which improved your ranking quite a bit.

mongoliansThey take a long time to develop properly. However, once they do, they are one of the civilizations with the strongest skill cap in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition. They focus on cavalry archers, with the Mangudai being the only unit for them. Nomads and Drill are the special techs and possibly the best civ overall, especially in the hands of a skilled player.


BerberThey are a strong cavalry and naval focused civilization. The Camel Archers are your unique units and Kasbah and Maghrabi camels are the main technologies in this race. The cheapest stables in Castle Age offer an immense advantage over other players. As a Berber, you can transition into camel archers with relative ease, making it a great beginner civilization.

SlavsGet a % speed bonus from the farmer along with free tracking and supplies. Slavs are an infantry civilization with an emphasis on the Boyars unique unit and Orthodoxy and Druzhina upgrades. Its cavalry, monks and infantry are incredibly powerful, although they are sorely lacking in the archery and naval departments. Archers are balanced with cheaper siege weapons that suit ground combat. They're a bad civilization on water maps, but who plays water maps anyway?

incasThey don't get any major economic bonuses other than the bonus of 10 resident houses. The Incas flourished during the feudal era, but after that their power declined immensely, which is why they are mainly a civilization famous for the hasty strategies of the villagers. Infantry is his focus unit category and Kamayuk & Slingers are Inca's unique units.

the persianswith faster production cities, knight bonus against crossbows and a good tech tree. Their focus is on cavalry units and war elephants. Kamandaran and Mahouts are his special technologies available in the game's AoE2 Definitive Edition. It's worth noting that the Persians are the only civilization in the game that has a full cavalry tech tree, including blacksmith upgrades. Persians are an option for most hybrid cards, but there are usually much better options.

CeltsThey are a Western European civilization focused on infantry and siege weapons. The unique Celtic units are the Woad Raiders, with Stronghold and Furor Celtica being their special technologies. The Celtic civilization has powerful infantry due to their increased movement speed, but their archers and cavalry lack upgrades. Also, the navy is incredibly weak and the monks are even weaker, although this civilization remains B tier due to the strong siege weapons.

TurksThey are a very gold hungry civilization that really struggles when plain gold isn't on the map. If an opponent cuts off your gold supply, you're pretty much screwed as a Turk. Janissary is the only Turkish unit and this particular race focuses on Gunpowder Units and they thrive on this as their Gunpowder Units have higher range, health points and recruitment than any other in the game.

the CumansThey were completely broken during the first few patches, and even after many nerfs, they stayed at the top of the tier charts. The nerfs continued, patch after patch, and now they're sitting in the B tier because their economy is still pretty strong. The Cumans are focused on cavalry, the very popular Kipchak units that have been reduced to the ground. They still have fully upgraded Steppe Hussars, Paladins, and Spearmen, as well as Steppe Breeding, making them a solid choice.

magicianGet an early advantage by having an attack bonus on your scout units. They are primarily a cavalry civilization and are centered on Magyar Hussar units. The Magyars have excellent mounted units, but their infantry, navy and siege weapons are struggling.

the EthiopiansEarn 100 free food and 100 gold every time you advance an era. This is an amazing "passive" ability that gives this civilization great benefits in the early stages of the game. The Ethiopians focus on archers and siege weapons. Royal Heirs and Torsion Engines are his unique technologies and Shotel Warrior is his special unit. The Ethiopians are an underutilized civilization because they can be difficult to play with.

Byzantinerfocus on defense with unique Cataphract units and upgrades to Greek fire and logistic technology. They have a huge tech tree that's just lacking in economic upgrades and herbal medicine. This civilization has an excellent army, monks and archers, but the cavalry lack improvements. Also, his Siege Detachment lacks many key units, making them average at best. Overall, the Byzantines are an amazing civilization only in the hands of an experienced player, and mediocre at best for a beginner.

Bulgarianshave a focus on infantry and cavalry. They have a stone cost reduction for cheap buildings, which is useful in the early game. This also allows for some incredibly fun early game runs for the Bulgarians, as a second city center costs 50% less stones. On top of that there is the Krepost, a miniature version of a castle.

SpanishThey suffer from unsafe wooden and stone paths, so they are not a favored race on certain maps, making them meta-dependent. Being a Monk and Gunpowder Civilization, their focus is on these areas and Conquistador & Missionary are their unique units. Overall, they're a solid civ for a casual round, but if you want to win, there are far better options.

native americanYou get a huge economic bonus as your fishermen work faster and villagers get cheaper over the centuries. They focus on camel and gunpowder units and their specialty units are the Bow Elephant and Imperial Camel. Unique technology for Indians are Sultans and Shatagni and their camels have great upgrades. What makes them B-Tier is the fact that everyone knows that as an Indian civilization you will go on camels, so it's easy to counter.

SarazenenThey are a naval and cavalry civilization centered around Mamluk units. They feature the unique tech upgrades of Madrasah and Zealotry, and overall their navy is very powerful, as is their cavalry. However, they are sorely lacking on the infantry and archery side.

TatarsThey can get 50% more food from grazers and their main focus is on cavalry units. They have an incredibly strong archer cavalry and get a free Parthian tactics buff, along with a 50% increased damage bonus when on high ground (yes, Anakin, you heard me). The Tatar's unique unit is the Keshik, a heavy cavalry unit that generates gold when fighting other units.

germanicthey are balanced and that is all. There is currently nothing good or bad about them. His focus is on the Teutonic Order and infantry in general. Overall, a very solid all-round civilization that can be fun even for beginners due to the garrison boosts to towers and city centers.

far awayThey are very well suited to maps with a lot of water as they focus on army and infantry units. Being primarily a naval civ, their naval tech tree is fully featured and that makes them a great civ. The main problem occurs when you are on a map without water - this civilization at this moment is on the verge of uselessness.

BurmeseThey offer free wood storage upgrades and cheaper monastic tech. Their main focus is on the elephants and the monks, with Arambai being the only unit. The Burmese have excellent cavalry, monks, and infantry, but their archers are useless without many of the key upgrades.

GotenProbably somewhere between tier B and C because your opponent will always know the build path and unit focus you will follow: infantry. This means it's an easy civilization to counter, so it's not a great run for competitive play, but it's more than enough for casual players and beginners... Huskari are the unique Gothic units, and Anarchy & Perfusion are unique technologies.


Sicilianthey are a new civilization and they are not really good. They are currently the least powerful civ because they are countered by a large number of matchups and also don't shine on any of the maps. The Sicilians have the unique unit Serjeant and the unique technologies First Crusade & Scutage as well as the unique Donjon building.

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