Best Civs for Learning the Game

Hi Guys! We had a discussion on the forum recently about best tips for getting started learning AoE2 Online Multiplayer, and one of the points that was discussed was “what civs are the best for learning the (multiplayer, competitive) game?” Well, I got together with my buddy Hiram of Tyre to discuss that very question, and we came up with an awesome tierlist video! I thought you guys might enjoy it, so here it is! It’s a long one, so maybe have it going in the background while you’re doing yardwork or something. :stuck_out_tongue:

What do you think are the best civs for learning the game?

Part 1:

Part 2:

Byzantines imo (20 characters)


Lithuanians, Mayans, Franks, Ethiopians, Berbers, Britons. All are pretty high tier, and default into 1 of the “main meta units” and have straightforward BOs and strategies.

You could make a case for Khmer and Vikings also although these civs become weird to understand in Castle Age/Imperial age and here their strategy isn’t anymore “flood a lot of Knights or Crossbows with a few Trebs and win” like for the 6 I listed above.

Teutons probably are high tier also since in 800 elo or so there is basically no aggression until Imperial age.


You guys are hitting some of the highlights we came to, definitely, but you might be surprised by where we place one or two of the civs you guys have listed so far.

Imo best civ for llearning the game is magyars.
If you master magyars you can play basically everything aswell.


Eh I dont agree with that. Magyars archers are very mediocre

There isnt a best civ to learn the game. Or to phrase it differently: The best civ is a civ you like. Just pick a civ you like and go with that civ. It is much better to understand the basic of the game, then picking the right civ. I would recommend watching for example the following guide from Survivalist. Knowing these facts and being able to apply them to the game is much more important then the discussion about which civ to pick. The balance is great. As result you cant really pick a bad civ.

If you are so far into the learning and you wanna focus on a specific BO, then pick just a civ that can do that strategy well if you just start learning the BO.

In no particular order, Italians, Japanese, Lithuanians, Magyars, and Portuguese are my Top 5 learning civs for the ‘standard’ meta units, alongside Incas for Eagles, and Saracens for Camels. These are the most ‘generic’ civs in the game that can use any one strategy in the Castle Age. And while having economy bonuses that are small enough to enforce good early game habits, but still alleviate newbie inefficiencies.

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I thought about a different way to approach the thing.

possibly the best civ to begin learning the games is teutons cause of the farm bonus:
you can set your scout on outo scout and only care about constantly producing vills out of your TC, sending them to the right ressources and add defensive structures for protection

then you chose huns to learn how to use the scout cause whith the housing bonus you have one less thing to care about

then finally you can switch to magyars to learn all the buildorders and try to improve by playing against real opponents

after that you can possibly try one of the meso civs for eagles but in general you should be ready for random civ

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I like that approach. It’s more straightforward and focused.

IMO the best way to learn the game is using a generic and versatile civ, like Byzantines or Magyar.
This way, you can learn “clean” build orders, without eco bonuses. Meanwhile you can train yourself to be flexible and adapt to the situation, without having to rely on a unique kind of unit. And you can discover the strategy and the opening that best suits you.

When you manage to train properly with a generic civ, you can then use a civ that in proficent in the strategy you choose, and have an edge thanks to the eco or military bonus.

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Part 2! I think there’s at least one choice in here that might be controversial.

Burgundians: getting wheelbarrow in dark age is probably a great way to learn “time is money” or opportunity cost.

hindustani, its the best or second best civ

I fully agree. Magyars is really versatile and doesn’t have any major bonus which make their gameplay different than any other civ, so this civ is the ideal to me to learn the game, vietnamese is also an option.

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Wouldn’t the Vietnamese LoS bonus give bad scouting habits?

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Maybe, but i don’t think so, especially if you play some civs at the beginning not juste vietnamese.
I did learn the game with huns war arabia on voobly for many years and im pretty sure it doesn’t help to play a single civ everytime as i tend to get housed really often.
At the start you should avoid at all cost (in a optic to learn the game ofc) to play too-unique civs like meso, chinese, poles, huns, gurjaras etc in my opinion.
A beginner could for example mix between magyars, italians, viet, spanish, portuguese.
they are all both versatile and both classic in terms of eco / military bonus.

That’s a good possibility/point! In my own analysis, it’s sometimes a bit intuitive figuring out which bonuses are “good handicaps” for learning and which ones are “bad crutches” that’ll impact your long-term learning. I could see someone making the argument that the Vietnamese bonus actually will make your long-term scouting worse. Personally though, I think it’s a good bonus that trains new players well on intuiting where enemy TCs are. I think it’s more likely to help than hurt.