Attack move does not focus enemy units, but attacks buildings instead

I noticed when playing the campaign that attack moving my army into an enemy city made my units focus the buildings instead of enemy troops. This makes controlling your army very difficult and requires a lot of micro management.

I think the attack move command should be improved, and units should prioritize enemy units over buildings. You can even go further and prioritize defensive buildings after enemy units. I do not remember experiencing this behavior in AoE3, but I would have to double check.


Yep, I noticed that too and reported it as well.


Yeah I’ve found the pathing/target prioritization of attack move to be pretty janky.

Im pretty sure right clicking into an enemy formation gives you better results than attack moving into it.


Hey @sergiomatiz + all!

I appreciate all your input here. I believe there is still tuning to Attack Move’s priority happening, but I’d love to see some more discussion about how you’d like it to behave before filing this as a bug.

I’ll pose a couple of questions below, though these questions shouldn’t construed as a statement on how Attack Move currently does/does not move. I’m not educated on the details here, I just want to be able to take proper feedback to those in charge,

What would you like to see happen if you Attack Move to a building that causes your troops to move through an enemy army? Should behavior change depending on the type of building? What about the type of troop that they have to trudge through?

How about the opposite? What would you like to see happen if you Attack Move to a troop (or group of troops) that causes your troops to move through an enemy town? Should behavior change depending on the type of troop? What about the buildings they pass? What if the building is attacking?



I don’t think of Attack Move as to a building or to an army. Not sure it should behave differently based on a targeted destination.

I do think though that it should prioritize enemy units over arbitrary buildings, then attack any remaining buildings once the threat has been neutralized.


I also think attack move should NOT take into consideration what you click at. That’s what the right click is for. If I’m not mistaken sometimes when I attack moved at some unit in the back and my army couldnt get to that unit they were just trying to get there not dealing any damage to the other units in front. I don’t think it should work this way.


Personally, I think attack-move should always prioritize units over buildings in most cases. Even if they are being attacked by a TC, Keep, or outpost. If there are even villagers next to a building attack move should prioritize them first.

In it’s current state, it especially frustrating when using ranged units like archers because they do an irrelevant amount of damage to buildings anyway and are better utilized against units. I shouldn’t be losing half my DPS because my archers decided to agro a house instead of the army in front of them.

I think Attack-move is most often used in engagements where multiple units will have to be dealt with. Whereas I think people just right click specific structures if they want them to be attacked most of the time.


I don’t know if it’s possible, but it would be neat if Attack Move worked differently based on the type of unit, rather than location. For example, as mentioned above, there is never really an instance of when you would want archers to prioritize buildings over units. Generally speaking, I would say this applies to any infantry or cavalry unit. You always want them to prioritize units.

Battering Ram, Trebs, and bombard cannons, however, I WOULD want to prioritize buildings over units. While other sieze like culverins and springalds I would want to prioritize other sieze over units or buldings.

Hi, in my mind you always Attack Move to a place not to a building or a unit, for that there’s right click.
My military units (except siege) should engage any enemy units (military first, trade second, then villagers) they encounter on the way to the destination.
Only once the destination has been reached by all my surviving units, and there are no more enemy units around (in the line of sight of any of my units now regrouped) they should start to attack buildings. Prioritizing attacking building that they could actually hope to destroy, at least in theory, like outpost and town centers (not towers and keeps), than production buildings and landmarks and lastly houses.
What we especially want to avoid is to have archers start attacking the first house in sight while there are enemy units at the place we Attack Moved towards.

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Hi @SavageEmpire566

Thank you for your reply. As several people mentioned above, I would prefer if attack move always prioritizes units over buildings. A nice additional touch as, @LocTalon mentioned, would be to slightly change this behavior for siege weapons so that they prioritize DEFENSIVE buildings over units. This would be nice for siege weapons that, by design, have bonuses and are meant to be used against defensive buildings.

Dear Savage,

I would say that the attacking priority should look like this:

  1. military units
  2. defensive buildings/defensive structures (only if there are really no other enemies in dangerous range - otherwise, attack these first)
  3. villagers
  4. non-defensive buildings

Maybe it would help to include different behavior modes? Something like “Defensive”, “Aggressive”?
But I don’t know if that would be implementable at all in the current state of development.

Kind regards



I agree with what people have mentioned above - attack move is to ensure your dps is not wasted by ‘move commanding’ your army into the enemy, then while the fight is happening you can right-click individual units to have more efficient engagements using counters (i.e microing).
Take sc2 for example - attack move always prioritizes damage-dealing units FIRST (no eco), then damage-dealing buildings (static defense), then general buildings + workers (I think they have equal priority).
This has worked perfectly for the e-sports scene and I haven’t heard a single complaint about AM in the 10 years I’ve been following the game.

I’m fairly certain that’s close to the way it prioritizes in AoE2, as well. I believe the only difference is that it prioritizes ALL units over non-aggressive buildings. So, Army > Towers > Villagers > Eco/Tech Buildings/House. UNLESS there are units garrisoned inside the TC, in which case it recognizes that as an “aggressive” building, since it’s firing on the army, and it will prioritize that over villagers, until it stops firing. I may be misremembering that last bit and it may prioritize the TC no matter what, but the model is close to if not exact to what it is in SC2.

I would also like to see an attack move command prioritize units over buildings when both targets are available inside the attacking units target acquisition radius. unlike other replies, i would prefer to keep the logic simple and only differentiate between units vs buildings.

the other change i would like to see is units to occasionally re-prioritize their target when given an attack move command if a Unit target becomes available while they are attacking a building. such that if you attack move into a base with no defenders and your army attacks buildings, then when the enemy defenders appear in the attackers target acquisition radius the attackers will change target to the defending unit. i think the target re-prioritization doesn’t have to be a continuous check but something like once every 1-0.5s seems reasonable

Granted, what some players might intuitively want but may be unreasonable is the attack move to prioritize units that are visible on screen but not in the attackers target acquisition radius, i can’t comment on whether a change of that sort is desirable or not

if more complexity is tolerable/feasible, i would suggest adding a unit attack stance option to units that can prioritize Units > buildings as well as buildings > units if the player chooses to (or even military units > villagers and vice versa), certain siege units for example might default to buildings > units

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Thanks, all! I really appreciate your willingness to engage. I’ll synthesize what was discussed here and make sure it goes where the team can see it.

Thanks, again!


I thought the community managers were silent and totally absent! /s

Attack move should focus units within trebuchet range if they are within vision. If there are no units within trebuchet range it should attack buildings. But not walls unless it blocks the path.

Also another issue I have noticed, units will stop following the units they are attacking. For example if im getting raided and I send cav to stop them, I amove on them. But they will only follow a short range when they run away. After this they will not only stop, but return back to where i originally amoved. So when I focus on the front again and then move back to my base Ill see my knights just standing still while my villagers are getting murdered a few metres away. When I amove towards a unit, it should keep following that unit further, and as long as these enemy units are within a certain range of my other units or buildings

I also noticed this error. Military units prioritize attacking non-military buildings rather than enemy military units or villagers. This has never happened in AOE2 and AOE3. Please confirm whether you want to correct it.

Haha…indeed! I know it can seem that way to some sometimes. There are a lot of different spaces and channels that the Community Managers have their hands in. No matter the game, they all deserve a bit more love. I really appreciate all of the hats they wear and work they (we) do.

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I would almost always prioritize units above buildings. If it comes down to it, have an attack move option and a siege option.You could have different hotkeys that prioritize different thing, ie if I need my bombards to prioritize units, I could use the “attack move command” but if they need to kill buildings “siege move” command. This alone would be pretty great for army control.

Secondly, there are other solutions. In planetary annihilation, there was an “attack area” option. You could basically click and drag an area, and the attackers would try to move to that location and attack anything in there. It’s easier in that game, because almost everything in PA moves and fires simultaneously, so even when they encounter random units, they can keep moving to their destination and firing. But I feel like you could also bring this concept into AOE. Again, it’s a different game, so I am not sure if the solution can work in AOE, but it would help control flanks way better.