Maybe it’s just me but I’ve always found AoE II rather difficult and stressful and rarely have I ever felt happy playing this game. It’s just incredibly stressful having to remember making certain buildings or research certain upgrades. And I find any difficulty level apart from easiest a challenge, the AI over easiest just makes counter units based on exactly what rush I am going for. I used to be addicted to this game but I have never ever found it particularly fun. So my question is how do I have fun playing this game? Because so far I haven’t.
Fun is different for everyone.
If losing isn’t fun, get better.
Watch streams, learn meta and strategy, get your apm higher.
Some people have fun playing campaigns, others against bots, third like 1v1s, some like TGs and others like FFAs.
Just experiment with the game modes and find something you like. After that getting better is natural because you actually enjoy playing and come back tomorrow to play more. And the more you play the more you learn.
t. played exclusively ffa and learned to play that way
Just a suggestion, but you might consider playing ranked 1v1 online, and then play in a relaxed way. It will take about 10-15 lost games for your ranking/ELO settle down to a level where you are playing against other casual players vs making yourself into a stressed out “try hard”. Once you are at your level, you will win about 50%, but you’ll be able to try and also witness interesting strategies vs always playing against the same predictable AI strategies. I did this and it really improved my enjoyment. I pick new civs, I try out strategies, I even chat with my opponents. Good luck.
Watch “Spirit of the Law” on youtube. I’ve been playing aoe since day 1 but only in the last year have I been able to start increasing the AI difficulty.
Also find a map the suits your playing style. I like black forest and island games as they are easier to defend against
My advice: don’t play it competitively. There are just as good games or even with higher skill gaps for tryharding but without the micro sweat aspect.
Something I agree with you on. Honestly I prefer campaigns over multiplayer
Well after some time you’ll get used to and you won’t feel too much stressed anymore. At least it’s what happened to me, my first MP games I was super nervous and scared to queue up, now after 1200 games I barely care if I win or lose. I think it may be the same for SP play.
Don’t play it, spectate 11
Start playing on Moderate or try some custom scenarios
I would like to advise you to add an AI player in your team and then play again 2 or 3 other teams on maps from 6 players and above. Then you could also check the AI commands which you can find as tab in the chat screen. On moderate against 2/3 teams it should give a nice game for around one (and a half) hour. From hard on you really need to keep up and boom the heck out of the AI. At least for me that’s difficult these days as I’m not the typical keyboard player as I used to be anymore. Yeah, on a piano.
And if all else fails,
Cheats are fun too
Practice a skirmish with no AI on the map. So you’re just learning how you build your town and armies.
Learn the hotkeys.
I don’t want to sound negative, but if you seriously cannot find fun in this game - it’s perfectly fine for you to give up and try other games. There are a lot of wonderful games and if this particular game is too frustrating, then maybe some other games (RPGs) works as well.
That’s right, I just played a game and had fun because I used cheats. Thanks, @Morgathor.
I think he should practice and not to fear losing. You do not need to play perfectly, you need to get pace and confidence. That’s how I deal
Agreed. Every time you lose, learn something from it. Laugh. Congratulate the opponent.
Don’t feel bad about losing Elo. Repeat to yourself “I don’t care about fake internet points.”
That’s how I first learnt to play AOE because the AI was too scary. I especially loved the stone cheat so I could build fortifications and turtle up and defend from the AI’s attacks.
I don’t play like that anymore now but man those were good times
There’s a trick that you can switch which player you are in a skirmish game. Maybe someone can remember exactly but I think it’s shift control F2 for player 2, f3 player 3 etc. If you’re being beaten by the AI you can either switch to what they’re doing and enjoy being in the more powerful position, or delete all their army or economy, or even just use it to see what they’re up to.
Remember on the lower AI difficulties, the AI won’t age up until you do. So make use of that, e.g. don’t go feudal until you have 60 militia, go feudal research Man at arms and then just sweep their town before they even can get an archery range up.
Also I’ve found if I’m losing to take my hands off the keyboard watch for a moment what’s happening, say it out loud, sometimes it becomes really clear what you need to focus on.
That is fantastic advice.
- Do I have enough villagers?
- Are they are the right resources?
- Do I have enough production buildings?
- Should I be training my best units or the most effective counters?
- Is the battle happening in my base or theirs?
- Should I age up or use all of my resources fighting now?
- Do I have a numerical advantage, counter advantage, or mobility advantage on the field right now?
My advice, start recording games. After game watch replays and watch what AI was doing. Try this on moderate or higher difficulty so that you can learn from AI.
Next few generic tips, some mistakes even I had made initially:
- You cannot make too few villagers. TC should continuously produce villagers till you have reached at least 50% of full population. TC should never be idle. This is easier with hotkey to select all TCs and hotkey to create villagers, this way you can ensure you don’t switch your focus or attention from something more important like a fight or defence.
- Use hotkey to select your military building and produce unit. Again it is simpler with hotkeys. The moment you have spare resources produce military units. First priority should be vils next military.
- Don’t worry too much about military upgrades as they are effective only if you have large numbers
- Trash units are also good if you cannot afford costlier units. Just don’t sit on a pile of resources while enemy army destroys you. I have been defeated likewise when I started as I wanted produce only one type of unit which was costly and I did not have enough resources. I waited too long. As newbie I wanted to make Teutonic Knights full on while playing as Teutons. With that time & resources I could have had 15 pikes and 15 skirms I had only 5 Teutonic Knights. When 15 knights from enemy flood my base which army is better?
- Do not over stretch to get upgrades. Remember upgrades are effective only when you have numbers.
Another important thing I missed was if you notice some resource is in excess and other is low, don’t shy away from pulling vils away from what you have and divert to what you need. Sometimes we try to send new vils to that resource which is required but that is slow.
You have fair amount of food accumulated but wood is low and you have to put down archery range - don’t wait. Just pull farmers and send them to wood. Newly created ones you can assign to farms. Make that archery range.