AOE 2 AI difficulty

Hi, I’m new here. Is there any way to split the AI difficulty? The jump from Medium to Hard is very tough for me. I usually love to play with my friends and we like to play against the AI. However, because “HARD” is too difficult compared to “STANDARD” for Definitive Edition. I’m wondering if there’s a way 2 of my friends and I can fight 2 or 3 AI where 2 of them are STANDARD difficulty and 1 is HARD difficulty.

It would be so nice to be able to select each AI’s difficulty level individually.

No, this isnt possible.

You could always play games like 3 humans vs 5 standaard AI. So you have more AIs at a lower level to beat.
Or turn it around: Play 3 humans vs 2 hard AI. So you beat 1 hard AI and they together have to beat 1 hard AI as well.

Do you perhaps mean the jump from Moderate to Hard?
If so, you can choose Moderate difficulty, but go idle for the first minute or so of the match to artificially increase the difficulty. Unfortunately, this only makes it harder in the early game.

We have tried the 3v5 STANDARD it was not that tough because STANDARD is quite manageable for us but the jump in difficulty from STANDARD to HARD is quite rough. We can just manage to take on a Hard AI 2v1. I even tried 1 DE Hard and 1 HD Hard but it was still too much.

Yes the jump from MODERATE to HARD is quite significant. Sadly going idle doesn’t help us since we aren’t fast and will get attacked by archers without the ability to defend.

There is a way to sort of split them. It comes down to which AI pack you allocate to the AI players.

You have three choices if you haven’t installed any data packs.

CD AI, HD AI and DE AI. The DE AI option is the new AI that comes with the DE upgrade. CD AI is the original AI that came with the first expansion way back when, and HD AI is as it says, it’s the AI that came with the HD upgrade.

The easiest AI is the CD AI, even on HARD it is fairly easy to defeat if you are a relatively competent player and know some basic build orders. The HD AI is a little tougher, just keep in mind the jump from Standard to Medium is quiet big in difficulty.

The DE AI is the most consistent and balanced of the three, the moderate difficulty would be equivalent to a 600 Elo player or there about, the HARD level on the DE AI is a challenge if you are a novice player but if you know how the AI “thinks” then it is reasonably easy to beat. Hardest and up is fairly difficult for anyone other than regular players that have a good understanding of build orders, tactics and counters.

Hope this helps.


You could try changing the map size. Maybe 1v1 map for 2v2 against moderate AI, or 3v3 map for 2v2 against hard AI. In the first situation, you have less time to raise your defenses against AI’s attacks, in the second, you have more time to prepare until the AI arrives at your base

Best thing would be going with the higher difficulty and maybe just play on a defensive map like Blackforest or Arena since it sounds like you being abit slower means you get caught out in the to feudal transition and castle transition by the AIs early attacks. Gives you some more breathing room. Also there are certain civs that the AI is worse with and best with so you could give them one of their worse though you’d have to look that up because I only remember them being best with Vietnamese.

This video would be helpful in that respect.

I would suggest, to keep it on standard, but add an extra AI, and then another one. When you win this 3v5 easily, then go back to 3v3 but on Hard.

Another way to do it, is to go 3v3 on Hard, but put one of them HD AI or CD AI, the later one beeing the weakest.

Yea we can do 3v5 Moderate. but… we cannot do 3v2 Hard. The jump feels too much for us. We tried 1 DE A.I. and 1 HD A.I. and still lost.

Thanks mate I’ll look up which Civs its worse with and use those.

Have tried Giant for a 3v2 against Hard AI on Black Forest to have choke points. We still got wrecked. We are able to do a 3v4 however against Moderate AI at least.

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We have tried Giant for a 3v2 against Hard AI on Black Forest to have choke points. We still got wrecked. We can do 3v5 Moderate. but… we cannot do 3v2 Hard. The jump feels too much for us. We even tried 1 DE A.I. and 1 HD A.I. and still lost lol

I remember many, many years ago I did a 1v1 against Hard AI on BF. I can’t remember the map size, but it was big enough for me to be outside AI’s aggro area, so it only attacked me when I was marching nearby

The jump from moderate to hard IS pretty big, because the max number of villagers it makes jumps from 40 to 80, I believe. 40 isn’t enough for it to do much, so moderate is easy to beat, whereas 80 means you have to be able to match its pace deeper into the game because you don’t have the easy stronger eco at just 50-60 villagers that you have against moderate.

How are you going about trying to beat it? A mistake I used to make was being too focused on eventually getting to imperial age. I find it much easier to beat it with a strong castle age attack. If you play on arena and do an early strong castle age attack, e.g. with a 2 castle arambai build order (search on youtube), you’ll find the AI typically hasn’t made much military when you attack, and if you continuously produce more arambai, it can’t recover the situation. Get close to what you’re attacking with the arambai, as they have poor accuracy at distance.

Yea, my friends are kind of confused why the jump is so drastic. Would be better if they made the jump more linear.

My friends and I all have different play styles. One likes to build military early but he’s still newer to the game so has less knowledge overall other than the basics. Another one likes to hit Castle Age/ Imperial with a large economy so he can hit critical mass with an army and just run everything over.

I’m the only one in the group who watches T90, Spirit of the Law, Hera and The Viper… etc and trying my best to learn info and pick things up. I’ve been working on my Eco Boom build (27 vil Castle) using Britons as my primary Civ, learning from the mod. As well as Knight and Archer rush mod for early game. I’m just overall a very slow player regardless lol. I struggle to beat my friends as well. So far I’ve been clicking “advance into Feudal Age” at the 11:40 min (in-game time) mark. And clicking the castle age button, if things are smooth at the 17 minute mark. But with no army what-so-ever. So if an AI attacks me I’m practically defenceless.

In HD people were complaining moderate was too big of a jump, so they made that easier. Then people complained hard was too big a jump. So in DE they introduced a whole new level and spaced it out even further.

But the fact just is that aoe2 has fairly strong AI, so there’ll always be a big gradient from easiest to hardest. If they made hard easier I’m sure people would complain about the higher levels… even as is there’s quite a way from hard to extreme. Hard AI is capped at just 80 vills after all.

Try studying and learning a build order until you can execute it with a minimal amount of mistakes and idle time. You’ll see the Hard AI isn’t that difficult at all, and even’t the Extreme AI might not be too challenging once you know your build order and play at your civ’s strengths

Compared to the old the conquorers AI, the current AI is pretty good, but compared to the average multiplayer level, the AI is pretty trash.

A 900 elo player should beat the extreme AI pretty much most of the time. This is a just below average player. A 1100 player might even take on the extreme AI in a 1v2 setting. This is a slightly above average player.

I wont call that ‘fairly strong’.