Beginner Skills

Hello community,

In today’s stream chat, there were some beginners who wanted to know about how to progress as players. As such, I want to open up a discussion and ask some preliminary questions to help me guide my thought process, particularly if the Microsoft team is willing to partner with me to develop some videos for your benefit. What do you guys see as your shortfalls and what kind of issues in terms of gameplay or game theory do you want us to address?


There are already pretty good beginner Guides out there. I always recommend the Zero to Hero Videos by @ZeroEmpires .

Playing games vs humans is the best way to get better. You will lose a lot starting out, and your Elo will drop but you will be matched with players of equal skill level, and as you improve you will be matched with better players.

Top Tips in AoE:

  • Never stop producing villagers.
  • Improve your APM(Actions Per Minute)
  • Learn Build Orders
  • Scout the enemy early to learn what unit production buildings they are producing, then counter that.
  • Learn about micro and macro. Micromanagement is focusing on the small things. Like if you have an army of 50 archers vs an enemy army of 50 spearmen, you don’t need all of your archers firing on one guy since this is inefficient. If it only takes 5 arrows to kill 1 spearmen, micromanagement is manually selecting ~5 archers and targeting a single enemy spearmen, then repeat this process in quick succession. As stated before, APM is how you improve here.
    Macromanagement is focusing on the “big picture”, like how you are going to win the game. This involves planning your moves several minutes ahead of time.
  • RTS games are very reliant on game knowledge. The more you play, the better you get. Learn Unit counters, unit costs, scout resource locations and prevent your enemy from gathering etc.

Long post hahaha, I’m sorry if I was not much help.

TLDR: Practice makes better.

Well joshua4missions said pretty everything, althought I won’t recommend getting into multiplayer until you beat the AI on Hardest.
Take your time to improve your skills versus the AI. Fast castles, rush and stuff ! Like Desanderes suggested, ZeroEmpires, SpiritOfTheLaw are good people to learn how to play, and TheViper and T90 are my preferred streamers : TheViper for his micro and skill (top mondial player I think ?) and T90 for his streams and analysis.

Age of Empires 2 HD Multiplayer made me quit the game as I was a beginner, now I’m pretty cool playing it again as I can beat ResonanceBot on Hardest.
There’s a lot of guide out there, you will find your way and your preferred strategy !

Also, keep your first civilization for a moment. Then you could switch more easily.

That is how I personnaly feel with Age of Empires 2, and I surely may be wrong, but that’s what helped me.

gonna copy what i wrote to a guy on reddit:

Always have your town center working, either producing villagers, advancing to the next age or researching a tech like wheelbarrow or loom. If your TC(Town center) isn’t working, you are playing the game wrong. If you reduce the amount of idle time on your town center, naturally you should be able to reach the next age faster, and maybe even completely stop the enemy from attacking you so early. In dark age, lure boars to your town center with 1 villager by hitting it twice and running to TC to kill it with the rest of ur vills.
Learn build orders and common uptimes for certain types of maps. Generally on open maps (arabia, ghost lake, anything thats hard to wall), you aim for a feudal rush (archers, skirms, scouts, man at arms…) or a dark age rush with militia which you should skip for now cos its a hard build for beginners.
On closed maps like Black Forest or Arena, since you are protected by walls or big forests, there is no point in going feudal rush and u should try to do a Fast Castle age strategy. When u reach castle age make multiple town centers and try to produce as many vills as possible. Generally you want atleast half of your population limit as villagers by the time u are in imperial age.
If you want a feudal rush, up to feudal age with 21-24 population. If fast castle, usually 25-28 population dark age. A 22 pop feudal with minimal idle time, should get you in feudal age by 10:10-10:30 ingame time. If you wondering how to see the game time, hit F11 and it will appear in the top left corner.
Hit the idle villager button all the time, and never have a villager stand idle, always have them gathering, building or moving. The idea of winning this game is to destroy your opponent’s economy while maintaining yours.
Learn the unit upgrades and counters and which units are good against a certain type of unit. AOE2 is like an advanced rock paper scissors in terms of this.
Play on Normal speed, most noobs tend to use Fast speed since they think its so slow to get your eco and game going. But the thing is the game has so much aspects of macromanagment that even on normal speed you cant catch up with all the things you need to do.

In today’s stream chat, there were some beginners who wanted to know about how to progress as players.

Plenty of resources already exist (I will link some of the free guides I am aware of at the end of this post in case any completely new community member actually comes here and not on aoe2 reddit, Steam Forums or Aoczone), due the community playing this game competitively for a decade without Microsoft’s support, and still continuing to do so in fact.

As such, I want to open up a discussion and ask some preliminary questions to help me guide my thought process, particularly if the Microsoft team is willing to partner with me to develop some videos for your benefit. What do you guys see as your shortfalls and what kind of issues in terms of gameplay or game theory do you want us to address?

I would advise you not to bother diving into game-theory at all, since anything MS employees that haven’t played this game for a few thousand hours competitively cannot begin to hope make content that’d rival the average MP-player’s advice and the plethora of in-depth guides available, some of which are on Steam also. Only thing that new players might be interested in is perhaps some aspects of the new civs, since specific guides do not yet exist.

Now, some guides for starters (for you also to read @PK_Clown so you have any idea on what the community is for age2)

Since economy usually wins the game, you should be constantly working on it so that you have around 120 villagers and at least 3-4 TCs when you are in Imperial Age. With economy like that you can produce an army quickly and easily and are much stronger than someone who fights with 1 TC and 30 villagers, even if his army is larger.

Its a game of relative efficiency.

Step 1. Create villagers to optimal efficiency (next point)
Step 2. Use villagers to optimal efficiency (next point)
Step 3. Create military to optimal efficiency (scouting at the same time from Step 1)
Step 4. Use military to optimal efficiency

Create the units as priority one, use them as priority two, whether they are military or economic units, you’ve got to have it created to give it a chance to be used at least. This raises the glass ceiling at the least. Use it to the creation of more of such if you’re unsure (create eco to create more eco, create military for advantage to sustain the creation of more military).

I remember using the ladder approach for starcraft but modified it a bit. The idea was that you just do a normal game and max your villager/SCV production. Next step, do the same but max marines/military production WITHOUT losing any villager/SCV production, move the military around a bit while you’re doing this. Then add different units/compositions of units, research, etc. So you build your micro skills but also learn the correct ratios to always spend your resources properly. Always having your economy working is good, but getting the right balance is important too. A build order only gets you so far into a game before you have to adjust to what is happening.

Making sure you always spend your resources is just as important as having the things that make them.

The idea was that you master a simple task, then add another task on top and master that, and keep building upwards. There wasn’t a “I’ve mastered everything” because it’s not really possible, but definitely something you should try to get as close to.

I have LOTS of questions lol…I have watched some video but they were mainly trying to beat speed to castle age…that is not my goal yet. Do not worry about insulting me lol…I just want some help…thanks in advance.

#1 Why when a scout enters my village…when I go to look for enemy camp they are not on the map…anywhere? I am not only watching the mini map…I have scanned over the whole map also…can you only see them if you use a scout? I have played with all visible…and in the discovery mode.

#2 When building docks and ships…what is the ship that shoots fire called? So far I have only built War Galleys (which is better)…and AI targets my ships and docks immediately…yet I can’t find any enemy docks or village to do the same (as said above) I can be watching my ships and the enemy ships will just appear on the water out of thin air and start attacking…what am I missing or doing wrong?

#3 When playing single player vs AI…how do they build so much faster and amass such large size armies?

#4 Why build more than one castle? Is it just to produce more troops?

lol I have more questions…but no time to list right now…will check back.

Thank you also for the video links above from a few of you…they are on my list :slight_smile: