Bug: units moving without being commanded to do so

Game Version:

  • Build (unknown - latest Steam version on 21/02/2020)
  • Platform (Steam)


I’ve had numerous games where units move around by themselves without being commanded to do so. This particularly occurs when I have a lot of units in a relatively small space (though still plenty of space) and other units are trying to move nearby.

For example, during a recent multiplayer game, while I was away from my computer my co-player observed a group of 40ish Magyar Hussars running around a section of our base, breaking up into smaller groups in a way which only a computer would think is logical. Presumably this was because the nearby gate was locked and other units were jostling for space (possibly co-player trying to move units), but the units shouldn’t move unless commanded to do so. This has also occurred without a locked gate and has led to games being ruined, e.g. where a gate was meant to be kept closed, but the units then moved in a way to keep open a nearby gate and let the enemy in, leading to them sending a stream of units into the base and ruining everything.

This always happened to some extent in older versions of the game, but it is much more pronounced in Definitive Edition - there is much more movement and the computer appears to do this much more frequently. Similarly, in crowded fights between units, units will almost ignore commands to move and continue their fights; it seems very much like the computer overrides the player’s commands to avoid unwanted situations related to blocking, though this causes these other anomalies instead.

Reproduction steps

Lots of units (40+) in several groups altogether, possibly in a relatively confined space. Move other units nearby. Occurred in numerous multiplayer games.


Its not a bug its a feature, maybe a bad implementation in your case? hard to say

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In my view it is a clear gameplay bug - one that didn’t exist in previous versions (at least not to this extent). There should be checks to ensure the movements are only incremental (rather than splitting 40 hussars into about 5 groups moving around in different places at large distances) and that any such required movements avoid dynamic buildings, such as gates.


I protested this as loudly as I could in the beta, and it still enrages me. It’s definitely time for the community to get a second say and a veto opportunity having put up with it for long enough.


This new “Movement”, or ninnies running away (that’s what I call it) should be allowed to be turned off and on like how you can toggle it off when you make a scenario map.


I have this happen regularly with monks. If I have one monk or twenty it’s the same… I will go to the town centre to check the queue and when I get back the monks have moved out from behind the archers/knights to move into no-mans-land and get mowed down by enemy fire. It is driving me crazy!!! these units cost too much gold to have them mowed down for no reason.


It’s the absolute worst with monks, and monks had a problem with wondering around too much even before! They have no stand ground option, which they desperately need, to get around the scattering behavior like other units can. And furthermore I usually keep them in box formation, but every time they scatter they forget this and revert to line formation.


It used to be I could get to the end of the game eventually… now all I spend my time doing is watching out for my monks. They move off without being asked and all wind up dead. it is like herding cats.Someone at DE has obviously decided to nerf my game style because they don’t consider set-piece battles to be the "proper way to play. You can keep your shortcut key click fest… This game is getting me down. I’m gone.

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This never happens to me in campaigns, but in standard games it happens as soon as there is an AI on my side.

It happens everywhere: in my base, on empty open fields, on the battlefield…and my ai ally doesn’t even have to have units nearby.

It is quite annoying.

Has there been any update on this? The bug still persists and is still annoying.

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You probably only need a difference then aggressive stance or your units, or do you think there is some other bug beyond that? I am not sure i understand what seems to be the problem, let me know.:slight_smile:

I’m mostly using units in defensive stance, but that shouldn’t be the issue as the bug happens without enemy units in the vicinity.

The bug only occurs in singleplayer maps with ai allies, never in campaigns or multiplayer. What happens is that I have units in a formation stationed in my town and suddenly groups of units keep breaking off, marching (in formation) somewhere else.
It seems to occur more often in tightly built cities, but also on open fields if they are standing in a direct line to the enemy.

Just as the opening poster I assume that my ai ally is moving my units so that it doesn’t get blocked in by my units although it never really has any units nearby.

Hi @Sorsael ,
do you have a recorded game where this happens please?

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The older one is from the first time I noticed it. In that game it happened quite often, but I can’t give you the time stamps as I have no way to watch outdated records.

SP Replay v101.101.36202.0 @2020.04.02 050612.aoe2record (4.9 MB)

This one I played right now and tried to force it to happen. Around 39 minutes I move my army to my blue allie’s base. Now there is of course the demo effect with violets cavalry archer interfering, but you can still see the difference in movement. 5 of my longbowmen and the 5 monks (the last row of the formation) start marching off in formation to the north without me giving them any orders while the 5 other longbowmen (second row) start attacking the cavalry archer. Only after the longbowmen-monk group stops do the longbowmen start to attack.

SP Replay v101.101.54684.0 @2021.10.27 123335.aoe2record (3.3 MB)

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Hi guys!

Thank you for your detailed information and the replays, those have been really usefull :star:

We are now tracking this issue!


I understand your pain, I also use square formation often - one other reason monks ghost walk outside the formation is to reach injured ally units outside of their reach no matter how condensed the formation is regardless of if it completely blocks physical travel by or for enemy or ally units monks will ghost walk through it.

@IkoKnight8151 this is a sore spot for me, hoping for a quick fix