Definitive Map of the World

New World Map

Below is my compilation of maps that I believe should be added to the game. This fills out the missing regions of the map and presents them in an aesthetically pleasing way that could be easier to navigate than the selection menu in game. My aim was to fix the many inaccuracies of the current loading screen maps and strike a balance of being reasonably accurate but not perfect, and still having some unexplored regions that the “Unknown” maps can fit into. Regions that do not yet have maps could simply be covered by the unknown regions until they are ready to be added. This style would also lend itself well to a world conquest game mode as you could see the world as you conquer.

Reference Maps

Renamed Maps

Some name changes are to fix excessively generic names (Central Asia, Parallel Rivers, etc), some are to better reflect map locations (New England containing Plymouth), and some are to make the names more concise so they actually fit on the big map (the European have a lot of very long names for very small territories).

New England → Acadia (the New England region is already covered by Plymouth)
Arctic Territories → Septentrion
Orinoco → Llanos

Savanna → Volta (Savanna name reused in southern Africa)
Highlands → Ethiopian Highlands (to differentiate from Armenian Highlands)

Parallel Rivers → Burma
Fertile Crescent → Mesopotamia (the rest is split into Levant)
Central Asia → Khwarazm

Dnieper Basin → Wild Fields
Vistula Basin → Poland
Hungarian Plains → Pannonia
Eurasian Steppe → Steppe
Karelian Lakes → Karelia
Balkan Mountains → Balkans
Acropolis → Hellas
Wallachia → Danubia
Black Forest → Removed from Europe (a more densely forested area like the Amazon, Congo, or Taiga would be a better fit for a map like this)

New Maps

Below is the list of all I think I should be added. I tried to make everything fit nicely in this form, so I don’t think trying to cram any more into Europe is a good idea, but there are probably a few more that could be slotted in or renamed, especially with the mess that is the current maps of South America. I’ve already done a few mini-map designs, and I have some ideas for lots of these in the list so I might post them as I make them. Hopefully there’s still someone who can add new maps with Vividly gone from development.

North America
Northwest Passage


Great Basin
Mosquito Coast

South America
El Dorado
Fuegian Fjords


Nile Delta
Mountains of the Moon
Savanna (original map renamed to Volta)

Armenian Highlands
Yangtze River
Pearl Delta


Rapa Nui
Southern Alps

New Holland
Eyre Basin
Dividing Range
Blue Mountains


Really great job!

I imagine such a map as an addition to the physical collector’s edition of AoE 3 DE :smirk:


great map, especially the asian subdivision

1 Like

Parallel Rivers is funny. It actually refers to a specific location that’s a UNESCO Heritage site. It probably is intentionally named to work both ways: a most generic name at a glance, but turns out to be the opposite if you know what it means or looked it up.

Also, it’s one of a good number of community maps adopted by DE, and has retained this name from its creator Garja.


There’s also a good number of community maps that had their names changed. Dakah, Jebel Musa, That Desert, etc. I still think Burma sounds a lot nicer than Parallel Rivers, especially given the region it fits in on the map.

If the non-European regions with high population density in the AoE3 period - namely South Asia, China and Japan - are to get the same level of detail as Europe, then this map’s Asian parts still have a ways to go in both granularity and accuracy :hamburger:

population density doenst corelate with number of maps. its more important to have interesting geography, historic events (represented in treasures and neutral strucutres), natives etc. than just number of people. amazon and siberia are interesting but nobody lives there.

yes, this (interessting geography/history) also applies to asia and i’m full in support for even more asian maps - but i just wanted to respond to the population argument.


I’ll start with a declaration that from a gameplay perspective, I think AoE3 needs better maps more than more maps - in reality, it’s also not receiving any at this moment.

I’m writing these posts only to say there’s more to do in populous Asia if we play along with this thread’s imaginary premise, which is to flesh out the map repository, and make it more accurately based on early modern history & human geography.

And what do you think people did in densely populated Asia before 20th century - idly standing around photosynthesizing under the sun and spontaneously propagating, like seaweeds? :face_with_monocle:

Just going off general knowledge, anyone can imagine high human population has a direct correlation to complex statecraft, diverse social organizations, big wars and eventful histories.

Specifically for these regions:

Japan is highly mountainous, and human population is distributed in mountain valleys and along limited coastal plains, subdividing the country into regions with trade routes and strategic chokepoints. In the AoE3 period, Japan experienced the Sengoku era, a big brawl between hundreds of warring lords occupying every parcel of land, and the battles of Meiji Restoration.

At the AoE3 world map’s scale, a division of Japan may be improved by recognizing that the Honshu island is very long, naturally divided into multiple parts (officially 5 regions in modern Japan), and due to its northeast-to-southwest orientation, has noticeable temperature variation from north to south. If Britain can be divided into England, Scotland and Wales, then Honshu is also worth more than 1 map.

3 maps based on historical units and Sengoku-to-Edo history:

1.) Kanto or Tokkaido, for the eastern coastal plain where Edo is;
2.) Kansai, Kinki, Kinai or simply Kyoto, with a large lake (Lake Biwa) in the center;
3.) Tosando, Central Highland or Koshin-etsu, for the mountain valleys in Central to Northern Honshu.

4.) The existing Honshu Island may be better renamed Seto Inland Sea, representing the smaller Shikoku island, the Chūgoku region to its north, and other islands dotting the sea.

5.) A Kyushu map can be added, with an emphasis on trade and outlaws. In theory, it can even be made into a scripted Historical Map featuring the Shimabara Christian uprising.

The majority of China is divided by mountain ranges and rivers into large basins and flood plains connected by chokepoints, and the regions are large enough to have distinct variations in climate, language & architecture between them. In the AoE3 period, China experienced the conquest of the Qing dynasty, and a series of massive, extremely destructive civil wars.

1.) TAD’s Yellow River map is beautiful, but doesn’t look anywhere like the real thing - from medieval to modern periods, the middle-to-lower Yellow River suffered severe deforestation, and was not nearly as green and bamboo-filled as the map. It may as well be renamed Sichuan, which it resembles a lot more closely.

2.) DE’s Central Plain map is a featureless middle of nowhere ghost town.

(That’s the “reality” part of the problem we are ignoring in this thread - how much budget do you get to give maps interesting gameplay & visuals, so that they have personalities based on history & geography, and aren’t just fulfilling a checklist? How many new natives, treasures and map decorations do you need to make?)

At minimum, there can be a more faithful Yellow River map that depicts the Loess Plateau’s winding yellow cliffs that are dirt piled on over millennia. It can be called either names.

The Central Plain also can have divisions based on real regions, like:
3.) Guanzhong or Within Passes, a crescent basin south of the Loess Plateau.
4.) Shanxi, a parallelogram-shaped basin east of the Loess Plateau.
5.) Shandong, the northern peninsula of the eastern coast, with a lone mountain (Mount Tai) in the middle.
6.) There also needs to be Jiangnan, for the lower Yangtze Delta on the eastern coast, separate from the middle Yangtze and Fujian.
And so on.

South Asia:
You know this part of history: rise and fall of several contenders - the Mughals, the Durrani empire, the Maratha Confederacy, the Sikh empire - before the British rolled in. Culturally diverse and politically fractured, there’s a reason many posters on this forum advocate for splitting the Indian civ, which in TAD is 1/5 British Raj, 4/5 exotic Indian weapons.

—With that said, south of Afghanistan, South Asia is less defined by geographical chokepoints, allowing any newly arrived empire to rapidly expand and take over. From this angle, the OP’s division is fine, with an east-to-west divide of North India and Deccan + two coasts for Central & South India.

I’ll admit my ignorance of this part of history beyond outlines of wars between the above empires, which happened frequently in Central India and the north. If anyone has better suggestions, I’m very interested to hear.

So the 10-dollar question is: where’s Afghanistan?

Man, just read…

Not necessarily. There are (in general) many densly populated areas where we dont know much about their history (-> angkor wat) and there are also big cities/regions, that have remarkably boring history.
The mongol empire and sweden are great examples for giant impact on warfare, statecraft and social organisation despite (or maybe even because) of their low population.
But since the indigenious infrastructur is nearly never part of the actual map (except “italy”, “low countries”, “vistula”, “arctic territory”) your corelation between population and number of maps misses the most important factor anyway: natural geographical features.

Population density occurs, broadly speaking, on plain fertile fields alongside waterways or traderoutes. There are only so many maps you can design with “flat land” + “river/sea” + “trade route”. Peripheral areas like “Alps”, “Congo Basin” or “Orinoco” are far more interessting



1 Like

Let me just say that I could even pay for a pack of maps just for Japan - of course if it included Japanese Minor Civilizations (not only religious ones).

I’d argue that the density of European maps is too high, not that I’m proposing to leave Asia empty. Do we really need to have separate England/Wales, Finland/Karelia, Rhine/Black Forest, and Budapest/Hungarian Plains maps? Probably not, especially considering the simplicity and rushed feel of a lot of the European maps.

At most I’d say there’s room for splitting Yellow River, Honshu, and Deccan into two maps, but I wouldn’t go further than that.

You need trees for gameplay. Lots of the desert maps have an excess of trees too. Yellow River is one of the best maps in the game with its interesting flooded variant, so it would be a great loss to change it.

The modern concept of Afghanistan was basically created by Ahmad Shah Durrani. Historically, the Persian region of Khorasan covered most of Afghanistan.

Fewer but more detailed, more unique maps, in places that actually were storied battlefields. Since you are constructing a fantasy scenario in this thread, you can start deleting & replacing European maps to fit your personal criteria.

Sorry if I misled you with the word “deforestation”.

When suggesting the more accurate Yellow River/Loess Plateau map should not be “green and bamboo-filled” and have yellow cliffs, that’s what I literally meant - it should have bare yellow earth with limited grass coverage, and fewer bamboos. It can still have as many trees as needed.

And I didn’t suggest removing a good map. You set the rules for this thread’s game - map names can be changed. So I said the TAD map should be renamed “Sichuan”.

Vivid bro, this isn’t about you. We all know you worked hard to deliver the best maps you could, under the conditions and resources you were given.

This thread is mostly about how the present AoE3DE fits or doesn’t fit the posters’ often arbitrary fantasies about a globe-trotting RTS.

And a map like, say, Bohemia - part of the reason it’s that way is probably that winding rivers are bug-prone in this creaky old engine, but it remains that the perfectly straight cross rivers below don’t look very natural or feel particularly like Bohemia.


We on this forum should be allowed the fantasy to imagine a world where you are given better resources and have cooperative, effective teammates, like programmers who could actually fix the river engine for you.

Speaking of that, I think only Italy, Dnieper Basin, and Saxony have river trade routes that follow the curavture? The rest are all straight.

I think there’s room for improvement when it comes to Bohemia. The straight crossed rivers just look way too unnatural. All it would take is a slight alteration to make it look a lot better and fit some relevant symbolism into the map. Changing the straight cross to the shape of a chalice would look better and incorporate a Bohemian symbol into the map.


If you can fit a trade route into the winding river on Saxony, this looks doable. And if it’s too tricky you could stick a small lake at the center to give a bit more wiggle room to position a trade route. There’s a bit of a central bulb on the chalice of a lot of Hussite symbols.


You should read OP’s African Field idea. It’s got to be the funniest post in the whole AoE3 section, at least.

No need to be so snarky, 1-2 duds out of like 50 is a pretty good rate. Obviously a 10 minute doodle is easier to do than actually coding it, but clearly the creative process is part of the difficulty otherwise you wouldn’t have used any of my design suggestions.

Yes, every player needs to know all technical limitations of the game otherwise it’s just a funny joke. My point is Fields are a massive problem that needs to be fixed, how it gets fixed is another story. I suggested a more feasible alternative in the comments.

I’m aware of that, but it shouldn’t have to be that way, and that’s only a fraction of the issues with them.

Depends on what metric. They’re all fair and functional and that’s commendable. But in terms of theme and aesthetics there’s a range of quality. Budapest, England, and Low Countries are all really well done interesting concepts, but then there’s others like Bohemia and France that seem kinda forced. But I don’t know what requirements you had, so if you had unrealistic deadlines or were told make a map that looks like a + your hands are tied.

Are there any open positions working on AoE3 for remote work?