Are aoe2 players becoming more toxic these days?

Firstly the background, i have spent thousands of hours in aoe2 before, but haven’t played for over a year (i mostly played aoe3 instead). I have always thought aoe2 player base is more friendly and welcoming. Today i opened aoe2 de again, and played 4 lobby games, this is my experience:

1st game, i won. Black forest 4v4. Instead of saying GG, opponent said “I will rehost this lobby, kick him whenever you see him again”. (Talking about me). I didn’t say a single word the whole game…but ok, he lost and he is afraid of meeting me again. Nothing special…

2nd game, Black forest. Supposed to be a balanced game. Two of our teammates start pinging the map non stop from beginning, i thought it’s just BF walling, ok. Then they start to call each other “0 IQ, dumb, low”, etc…I had to mute that two players, and then mid game two opponent cav entered our base, with petard, and my remaining teammate says “nub team, it’s over” and quit…

3rd game, arena. The lobby says 1200 to 1500 elo lobby, and a 800 elo player joined. The host said he is a bit low, and they started calling each other names…and finally we started, without that player, and one of our flank was tower rushed, and he started panicking and ping the map excessively, like really really excessively, and calling us noobs, and quit. The 3rd game ended.

4th game, arena, Supposed to be balanced lobby again, but 6 out of the 8 players had score about 4-5k, only my two pockets had 1.5-2k score, and still in feudal age. This is from pure booming, no fighting had occurred yet. I said this game might be unbalanced because our pockets score are quite low. That’s all I said, and nothing aggressive or abusive, it is just a fact, and suddenly, my pocket player came to me and stone walled me in, outside my arena walls. He didn’t talk at all, just walling teammate in. The game ended like this.

So I decided to give up my attempt to return to aoe2…guys how do you think about my online experience in the first 4 games? Are players so commonly this toxic in aoe2 nowadays?


Go play ranked instead so you will meet nice people eventually if you want to get good.


I know I have over 1000 ranked games on my account. Played long time ago. But I am talking about general toxicity in the atmosphere, during games, you know. The game just feels different now, than before, with those heated moments every game.

So are lobby players generally more toxic than ranked players?

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Exactly , I quit lobby long time ago because I don’t like getting kicked without a word


Players in lobbies are much more toxic than in rank… Before starting the game they are already kicking those with 50 elo higher than host.

Kicking those who played rank even if they are low elo (the simple fact of having play rank can disqualify you).

Kicking those with a chinese nick

kicking those who don’t want to play random civ (when not writing before that it’s a random civ lobby).

Having fun with noob bashing making teams 4V4 with all the best players in the same team.

So of course after this, the game will be 100% toxic if the toxicity started before the game launch.

Players in lobbies are playing always the same map (Arena or Arabia).

In rank it’s much better, you match with players of your level and usually players are chill. The only problem these last weeks is lag in rank.


Playing in lobbies depends heavily on the community, finding people you eventually ‘know’ matters a lot because you will then know who is toxic and who isn’t. Unfortunately, that often means having to join communities outside of game on Discord (or Steam Groups) and whatnot.

Playing ‘solo’ so to speak is really volatile. I’d imagine on Black Forest this toxicity often comes from lower level players who simply expect their Pocket to come and save them immediately. Low level games are also really questionable to judge who is better than someone else because unranked games don’t get logged. A player at 1000 rating (with few ranked games) might ironically play better than someone else at 1000 rating with 1000 games, because the first player only plays unranked Black Forest.

My advice would be to try and raise your actual ranked rating and then try to join the lobbies for a higher bracket. Of course, that usually means there’ll be different types of toxicity now, map specific mistakes might get chewed out harder by higher rated players. Ranked game also has the goal of everyone playing to achieve a better rank, so everyone usually wants to win and won’t try to troll their teammates… (of course, reality is that some players intentionally troll to lose their rating so as to noobstomp later on, or high rated players just use smurf accounts now and then.)

Do try to find a community as well. It’s hard on AoE2 where social features are severely lacking, but if you like to play Arena or BF there are communities for those maps, at least for BF. Those communities can be toxic in their own way as well, but the toxicity might at least be more understandable and people who are known to intentionally troll or play abusively (e.g. mangoneling your TC) get shunned from the communities. You might also find out that what you perceived as toxic might’ve been actual constructive criticism, simply said in a blunt manner because you don’t have time to explain during a game.

Overall though, my experience has recently also soured on many fronts, to the point where I cannot really agree to ‘aoe2 player base is friendly and welcoming’ statement any more. Sure, the community might be better than some other game’s communities… but I wouldn’t really say friendly, or non-toxic. However, the things mentioned in OP and this post likely aren’t new problems either, people usually have always been like this.

If anything, pointing a spotlight on these types of behaviours and calling them out, and community managers also taking action against abusive players in my opinion does have a positive effect where players might not feel free to be toxic without fear of repercussion any more. Abusive players can’t feel emboldened to continue their ways as that’ll just let more and more players feel secure in spewing their toxicity around. It’s important to make a statement and say this is unacceptable.


Well said. But I am not a new player. I have 1000+ ranked games and at 1361 1v1 elo and 1410 team elo. I just,took a break from aoe2 for a year, the old impression of aoe2 community being friendly doesn’t seem to hold anymore. Players now seem to be so much more toxic than before. That really surprised me.

I played a few more today. One game a player who is indicated to be 1000 elo 1v1 a d 850 elo in team, did bohemian monk rush on me followed by a fast imp, made me defeated (arena). I am 1350 elo btw. He is obviously playing lobbies with a fake elo account. From his game play and mass monk micro I estimate him to be at least 1700 elo. I’ve never been defeated so fast. Yet he plays on an account with 850 team elo, 50% win rate :rofl::rofl: and 1050 elo 1v1, also 50% winrate with a lot of games :grin::grin: maybe he wants to use this account to be allowed into easier lobbies?

Second game, BF4v4, the other side backfired, our far flank player accused his pocket to be noob, and then said “I will kill you. I will kill all of you”. Then he started using onager to destroy us :joy::joy:

What a fantastic gaming experience in aoe2 nowadays :sweat_smile: i guess i won’t touch it for another year at least :sweat_smile:

Yeah lobbies are always more toxic. And team games are more toxic than 1v1 in my experience. So if you only play 1v1 ranked like I do, you can avoid 90% of the toxicity. You still get salty players now and again, but it’s mostly fine. The higher you climb in ELO, the less and less toxicity you get.

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Yeah probably
He might get constantly kicked out from lobbies if he is really 1.7k as you assumed.

He could be a player who only play arena, and what was your strategy ? You boom you die.
Anything can happen on arena because you can’t see what your opponent is doing. This is why we always try to attack early.

I play AoK since it came out.
There have always been toxic players in my opinion. Be it Gamespyarcade or the Zone. Now with microsoft server.
There’s always been toxic players.
But honestly recently i’ve started playing ranked again. And sometimes people get very verbal in a bad way. I do notice people are very prone to calling you a noob whatever the situation. I think we have a lot of new players.
Back in the day we used to talk a lot more casual during games, there was interaction and you made friends.
Okay i still do. But there is a lot more toxicity going around. Especially because there is so much competition, people are really intense about that. I guess that is what the tournaments and the popularity bring, it’s still the internet where people hide their identity and can be weak to talk shit to everyone because there is no consequences. The only consequence is murder them in the game for their toxicity.

Based on how you behave in the forums here, I’m not surprised. In fact, I’m surprised it was just one person.

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Could be just arena game he played, but still, 1050 elo arena player won’t completely defeat me so fast. It is impossible he is 1050 elo, not remotely close. But anyway, there are a variety of weird smurfs online. Aoe3 also has smurfs but not even close to the level of aoe2

You do realize you have been committing political persecution on every single other thread in this forum, right?

Like, actively threatening other people for their political beliefs and celebrating repression in your own country?

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It wouldn’t surprise me if they were, but I don’t have a Toxometer or really any way to give an objective answer to this. But more importantly, I don’t think this is the most constructive way to approach the problem. Like if the answer is: “Yes, the playerbase is 7.5% more toxic than this time last year,” is that even helpful information? I think the important thing to focus on is how to curate your experience so you get the outcomes you want, rather than fixating on online negativity which will always exist to some degree.

Who is doing the “supposing” here. Did the host check ratings beforehand and balance the team, or did everyone just go in blind and assume everything would be perfect? Never expect a balanced lobby game unless you/the host have done the work to make it balanced (yes, it can be annoying). Including dividing teams more or less evenly by elo (including unranked elo) and vetting for toxic players. Every once in a while you’ll get a balanced match/team if you go in blind, but this is not to be expected. Honestly I think most of the hate lobby games get is due to people failing to put in the work to curate a good experience but still expecting all the cards to spontaneously fall into place. Whenever I host a lobby game, I either play with people I mostly known and/or vet players on an external site like or play modes in which balance isn’t expected to be good (2v2v2v2, FFA, KotH)

Yep, with the exception of a few wild cards, lobby games are what you make them. I like them because you have a ton more freedom than in ranked. But like all freedoms that implies increased responsibility on your part. And yes, some people will inevitably use that freedom to be more toxic, but that’s what Mute/Ban/Report buttons are for.

Lol what. Nah. Literally the opposite, especially if you’re comparing it to ranked, which can only ever see the maps within a given pool and between bans/favorites you’ll see even fewer of them in practice. I mostly play lobby games these days because for how much people rave about ranked, not being able to customize the settings at all (or even choose the map) is just such a massive L for QoL.

This is a list of the active lobby games from a few minutes ago:

Literally 3 Arabia lobbies. Several Arenas. Tons of Black Forest, Coastal, and a good variety of other map types: Nomad, Real World, Custom Scenarios, etc.

tl;dr if you’re willing to put in the work to vet/meet people, you can have a lot of great lobby games. I’m not even part of a discord like @Nerathion because going by memory/banning toxic people usually works fine for me, but that’s just another tool to help you find the people you may want to play with. If you don’t want to have to worry about any of that and want the game to do matchmaking for you (but also are okay with very limited map/setting choices), ranked is there as well.

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Yes the host checked elo and everyone has a rank between 1100 and 1400 and split the highs and lows

That’s strange then. Sure, it can happen, but I’d say it’s not normal for a well curated lobby above 1200 or so. IDK if host checked unranked winrates as well (you have to do this externally) as well, but that’s sometimes more relevant than just the ranked elo - I’ve played with people that were “1100s” based off a handful of ranked games but had thousands of unranked games with absurd winrates.

I did have to ban pretty aggressively when I first started playing lobby games, but I just see that as paying one’s dues, like the placement games in ranked. A lot of the toxic behavior seems to come from a relatively small group of habitual offenders, so after I banned the usual suspects initially, its uncommon that I have to do it anymore.

It looks like you never play rank… Lot of different map in ranks and pool is changing.