Call the civ Indians instead of Delhi Sultanate

I was extremely puzzled by the fact that Indians were called Delhi Sultanate, and I’m having trouble guessing at what the reason for this is. It’s not suitable for the following reasons:

  1. It does not follow precedent, in all other AoE titles that have had an Indian civilization, they were called Indians
  2. It is inconsistent with the names of other civilizations (English/Britons, Saxons, Franks, Chinese, Turks, Byzantines, Mongols, Persians etc.) which all use demonyms in AoE IV or older titles.
  3. Delhi Sultanate was one particular empire during the period of the game, and spanned multiple dynasties. They were Turkic peoples from the Afghanistan area that conquered and integrated with existing Indian kingdoms.
  4. India/Hindustan/South Asia has never been a monolith in terms of culture/rulers/empires/kingdoms. The large northern empires (like the Mauryans, Sultanate or Mughals) that did exist had multiple kingdoms within them. Using them individually like some sort of nation state is really strange.
  5. War Elephants were used in Hindustani and Dravidian empires and not by the Turkic nomads of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan… because there are no elephants there.


  1. Call them Indians. This is consistent with the other civs and previous AoE titles.
  2. If the issue is that modern south asia is split into different countries, well first of all that’s not much different to most of the other civilizations in the game. If it still bothers you, call the civilization “Hindustani” instead, since that was the historical name for most of the region.
  3. Optionally split the civ into North Indians and South Indians. That said i think you’re going to end up with only minor differences between the units, but at least the buildings can have separate visual style (Indo-Islamic and Dravidian architectural styles).

It’s hard to provide better suggestions without a knowing why Delhi Sultanate was chosen as a name to represent South Asia as a whole in the first place. Yes, the Sultanate was expansive during that time, but it was hardly a monolith and borders shifted a lot. There was only an extremely brief period when it covered most of the subcontinent (during the Tughlaq dynasty, for 30-40 years or so). Consider that modern day India has been around for longer than that.


There was no country called India in the Middle Ages.
The Idea of India as being a separate country form Pakistan is modern. Some British guy drew a line on a map.

The development team chose the Delhi Sultanate because it has definite borders and doesn’t include vastly different cultures and religions.
They also chose England instead of Britain because it more clearly defines the borders of this country. There is a crown of England that controlled most of England in most of the Middle Ages.
There is also a Chinese Emperor that for some periods of the Middle Ages controlled most of China.
The Mongols were also united during a period under the name Mongols.
India is a vague term for people that live in the Indus valley and beyond that originated form the Persian Language.
Choosing Delhi also allows them to later add more Civilisations in Southern Asia with different cultures and religions.

Please now umbrella civilisations that cover a lot of different civilisations, languages, religions and kingdoms anymore. No “Slavs”, “India” or “Celts”.


Considering it did more bad than good for AOE2, I definitely understand why they want to be more specific for AOE4.

If the rumours I’ve heard turn out to be true, we will be getting Rus instead of Slavs and Abbasids instead of Saracens too.


There was no country called India in the Middle Ages.

I am aware, this is not new information. The name India comes from the river Indus (Indois in Greek, Sindhu in Sanskrit, Hindu in Persian). I also don’t see how it’s relevant given what i wrote.

The Idea of India as being a separate country form Pakistan is modern. Some British guy drew a line on a map.

Yes, I am aware, I live here.

The development team chose the Delhi Sultanate because it has definite borders and doesn’t include vastly different cultures and religions.

This is incorrect. Its borders shifted significantly over time. As I wrote in my OP, which you seemed to have missed, the idea that the Sultanate covered most of the subcontinent is specific to a single 40 year period of expansion and then almost immediate shrinkage. The cultures and languages were reasonably different and definitely not what would be considered a single nation state in european terms. The idea that Sindh, Bengal, Maharashtra and Vijayanagara can be lumped under the same banner is laughable.

India is a vague term for people that live in the Indus valley and beyond that originated form the Persian Language.

As mentioned above, the name India comes from Greek and not Persian. The Persian name was Hindustan, Hind from Hindu, which comes from Sanskrit Sindhu. Stan/sthan being the Persian/Sanskrit word for place.

You can only really have vague terms for most mainland Asian civs because of the amount of heterogeneity that existed. Which is why terms like Indo-Greek and Indo-Islamic exist. Even the mongols were not a homogeneous empire nor a monolith, by the time they reached their widest expanse.

Choosing Delhi also allows them to later add more Civilisations in Southern Asia with different cultures and religions.

In that case they should use North Indian and South Indian, or Hindustani and Dravidian, etc. as already suggested in the OP. Break it down further but the point is use regions and not individual empires, because empires, kingdoms and borders in South Asia were extremely fluid, especially during this period.

Please now umbrella civilisations that cover a lot of different civilisations, languages, religions and kingdoms anymore. No “Slavs”, “India” or “Celts”.

I don’t see the problem, AoE is not Crusader Kings or EU. The series has always used wide buckets. If they want to be more specific then they need to use more appropriate and consistent names. Delhi Sultanate is neither of those things.


man i love how aoe2 fans were complaining about the civ being called indians and not named after other indians kingdom or an empire, but now here it’s people complaining about them being called after an indians empire and not just indians


There will be always somebody complaining on the internet, that’s nothing new. I’m complaining, you’re complaining, everybody’s complaining. We should actually either just enjoy the game, make suggestions or constructively critize. Complainining doesn’t help anybody.

I know that sometimes I do it myself way too much but that doesn’t help anybody XD


I agree.

The name of Delhi Sultanate lacks consistency and accuracy. It is a name of dynasties, not a name of civilization/people.

Calling Indian Delhi Sultanate is like calling English Angevin, French Carolingian or Chinese Tang/Song, etc. A dynasty’s name can’t represent a civilization.

I don’t think there should be North/South India or more Indian civilizations in future DLCs. In fact, they have already included south India into it by adding war elephants as Dehli Sultanate units.

AOE4 shall keep fewer civilizations with more uniqueness for game play and balance. AOE2 did really bad on this aspect with too many similar and meaningless civilizations. If AOE4 wants to be a good and balanced esport game, quality is always more important than quantity.

Moreover, although India was not a unified nation, India/Indian is a much more well known and influential name than Delhi Sultanate. And it is objectively better for the game’s marketing and user friendliness. It is just painful to watch that some streamers/reviewers can’t even correctly pronounce “Delhi Sultanate”.

Just call it Indian. Simple and famous.


Generalizing the entire subcontinent as a single civ Indian is like making the entire subcontinent of Europe (one might say West Eurasia) into a single civ called Europeans. I don’t think that’s fair, and the name of Delhi Sultanate should represent only the empire of Delhi Sultanate, with other Indian civs representing other empires of india, just like the English and the Frank in Europe.

I mean, even in AoE II the region of Italy gets to have both Italians and Sicilians, and Italy was nowhere near the Indian subcontinent in importance or diversity. It’s only fair they get more than one. Chinese also probably can get multiples, but the devs went with the dynasty system which I guess fits the perspective more. The Chinese did succeed in being united multiple times after all.


Elephants are a generic unit in south and east asia not something related to the darvidians.


The Deli Sandwich Sultan

i dont think Rus in initial release will be good considering it is capped at 8

more appealing to add in a ‘Slavs’ dlc

I cant accept Delhi Sultanate as the First and DEFINITELY not the ONLY civ from India.

Devs didn’t do a good work on their sensibility.

1.The devs usually NEVER dwell deep into India

  1. The Track record of Dev for Indian Civs is tooo bad to ignore. (Especially as India was a Forgotten empire, then in aoe3 de, etc)
  2. Their first impression is not good at all. They already Started with the Delhi sultanate, the most odd selection of civ, out of all possible ones! And as its already rumored that aoe4 will have lesser civs! I simply have no confidence in devs that they have even understood the issue
  • Im a former aoe, aoe2, and current aoe3 player, And there had been many incidents in terms of gameplay and civ changes:
    That my trust on Microsoft team and Relic Dev team is already running low.

dude seriously??? after all the complains they decided to drop the name “india” and now you want them to return that? … I really hope devs dont listen to all of commumity requests as some are pointless

and yes delhi sultans did use elephant

Delhi sultanate doesnt represent whole india… it represents the part that interected with mongols… they will appear in mongol campaign

more indian civs will appear later


No, that will be a disaster.

AOE4 civs need uniqueness. quality > quantity.

No more meaningless similar civilizations like AOE2 DE.

Keeping AOE4 civ quantity < 20.

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Considering how AoE 4 will have more than one European civs, it is only fair that there be more than one Indian civs. Both are subcontinents of Eurasia with similar population after all (india was a bit bigger during the period in this respect though). I would expect there to be similar amount of diversity in India and in Europe, although perhaps the Delhi Sultanate with the customs and religion of Islam might make the India subcontinent even more diverse than the Europe subcontinent. We must note that the influence of Islam and its associated cultures on Europe has been rather weak compared to India. Arguing about diversity is going to be such a pointless thing though, since no single person knows both of the sides really well.

You mean like, Franks and Brits? Exceedingly similar, with the British barely amounting to anything except at the very, very, late period. Who did they even interact with outside backwaters (at the time) Europe?. Was the period that they start to become significant even in the game?

They are added because of customers though. That’s just unavoidable, and we cannot argue when it’s such a necessary thing, can we?


I vote for “Indians” myself. If they’re going to represent India with a singular civilization, they might as well name it after the entire subcontinent instead of picking only one of the many kingdoms which, at any point in time, would have only covered part of its territory.


Just to be clear, when I said “uniqueness”, “similar”, etc, I was referring to play style in game, not in real history.

In AOE2, there are Britons, Franks, Celts, etc. they are indeed all western European. But they have very defined strength and weakness in game: Briton archer, Frank cavalry, Celts infantry. I would say Vikings, Teutons and Spanish also had some unique style.

But when Italians, Slavs, Magyars, Lithuanians, Bulgarians, Sicilians, Burgundians, etc were added in the game, the civilizations started to be meaningless. There are simply too many European civilizations and there are not enough difference or defined roles/niche for each civ anymore. It is bad for game depth and balance.

Yes, I agree that Indian civilization is definitely diverse in real history. If the developer can make multiple Indian civilizations with totally different play style in game, I am totally fine to add them.

But I still prefer to consolidate/merge the small ones like Europeans/SE Asians than dividing the big ones like India/China. Instead of over 40 similar civilizations, it is better to have less than 20 very unique civilizations for game play.

I prefer putting all Indian diversity from different regions and dynasties into 1 “Indian civilization”, just like Chinese in AOE4. The name “China”, “India” are simply more famous, influential and better, for gameplay and marketing.

And please don’t add excess amount of small European, African, American civilizations just for the sake of quantity.

Quality > Quantity

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You are right that the name India is just simply superior marketing. Still, I would prefer India to have Delhi as one playstyle, then some others that I’ve seen suggested like Cholas or Tamils or Sri Lankans or etc. as other playstyles.

Chinese got away with being one civ through the dynasty system. I don’t think South Asia can be dealt with the same way. Just treat it like Europe, that would be easier and more logical.

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Indians are too big of an umbrella


That is probably what they had in mind already. Otherwise they would have already called it “Indians” instead of “Delhi Sultanate”.