How economical is fishing compared to farming?

Hi. I’m curious whether fishing is economical for naval maps compared to farming.
It’s not for common random maps, maybe. It’s more like campaign conditions.

So, I suggest some conditions:

  1. Lands are not that large that you can’t expand a lot easily.
  2. If you want to expand, you have to migrate onto another island which is also not that large.
  3. So, lands are in many cases vulnerable to attacks from enemy naval forces.
  4. Most battles are naval.
  5. Fish are abundant in the sea.

Under these conditions, then, would fishing or fishing traps be better than farming? There’re also some things to consider:

  1. Farming requires woods to build farms and also needs large areas.
  2. Fishing Traps don’t need large areas unlike Farms.
  3. A Fishing Ship requires 75 wood, but a Farm requires 60 wood.
  4. The more you fish, the farther the distance from your Dock to fish gets.
  5. A Fishing Trap needs 100 wood but it contains much more food than a Farm.
  6. If you lose your Fishing Ships, you need to spare extra hundreds of wood for lost Fishing Ships.
  7. We also have to consider these things with wood for making warships.

Then, would fishing natural fish and Fishing Traps be economical compared to farming?

Consuming wood for Farms and warships vs. consuming wood for Fishing Traps, lost Fishing Ships, and warships on a naval map with not that vast lands.


If you have an abundance of Fish, then fishing is one of the cheapest and fastest food sources, especially in the early game.

You can build docks in the Dark Age and produce fishing ships and villagers simultaneously, you’d have to wait until castle age to be able to build more town centers to grow your economy with just villagers, this fact alone makes fishing incredibly worth it in a normal game, whether it be a hybrid map or a full water map.

Fishing traps are usually worth it only if you have enough water control to guarantee their safety, and only after all nearby fish tiles have been consumed.


If there is a large body of water with fish - you should always take advantage!

The great thing about fishing ships, is they act like mini-TCs before the castle age! The most important part of the Castle-Age is being able to build multiple TCs and mass produce villagers. While you can’t do that before the Castle-Age, building a dock is the next best thing.

While producing villagers and sending them to needed resources, you can be producing an equal number of fishing ships which can be a superior substitute for farms. Additionally while you are going up to the next age, you can still be making fishing ships which can greatly increase your food production. This is tremendously important for any food heavy civ (such as elephants, knights, etc.)

That being said, you should always go for fish first before going for fishing traps. Deep water fishing, as Fano0517 stated, “is one of the cheapest and fastest food sources.” Once you finish going for deep fish and the shore fish (while slower are definitely still worth getting), then it is worth it to go for fishing traps (especially if you are Japanese or Malay).
Some helpful stats:

Building Overall food provided Food generated per wood
Farm 175 2.92
Farm + Horse Collar 250 4.17
Farm + Heavy Plow 375 6.25
Farm + Crop Rotation 550 9.17
Fish Trap 715 7.15

As you can see, even up through Castle-Age, it is still worth it to use fishing traps (if you have already made the investment into fishing ships). This didn’t use to be the case, back in the original AoC, it was better to delete your fishing ships than use fishing traps haha.


The Age of Kings

  • Fish Traps take 15 seconds to build.

The Conquerors

  • Fish Traps now take 53 seconds to build.

The Forgotten

  • Gillnets introduced.

The African Kingdoms

  • Fish Traps now take 40 seconds to build.

The Last Khans

  • Fish Traps can now be queued and have the automatic rebuild option at the Dock.

Oh how times have changed :stuck_out_tongue:


Wow! Very helpful! There’re many civs that don’t have Crop Rotation. So, then, if those civs are on a map with a lot of fish but small lands overall, then Fishing and Fishing Traps later must definitely be worth going!

Thanks a lot!

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Farming will be always superior than fish boom, but you can use both, fishing is really strong during the first 25 mins of the game, after that it becomes less efficient, you have to make the transition after that to farming.

Play four lakes and try khmer fc boom on land to make a comparison vs fishing, the difference is brutal but fishing has their advantages like relatively more secure from land units and in case of malay infinite food income.

Guilnets were a great tec to boost fishing it is a must in maps with plenty fish.

I like this part. A dock functions like a second TC to create fishing ships instead of villagers. This way you can get more villagers / fishing ships to work for you quickly. Therefore this will speed up the early game. You will get a good eco boost from fishing in the early ages.

I like to play four lakes with khmer with fish boom into FC + all in. You can get castle age around 15 minutes with 32 pop. Might be even higher. So while your enemy thinks you eco will sucks because of the all-in, it is probably better then the enemy. I succeeded with this strat. Even enemies agreed it was strong and they really had no answer at all.


sounds interesting do you go all-in boats with just 6 vills on food or something different?

I am not the guy with build orders. So dont expect a strict BO from me. I am also not the most efficient. If you want a good example with some good players:

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