If you wanna play AOE3 with controller/handset

Heard the news that Microsoft has a plan to bring 2 AOE to xbox console, can’t wait to share my excitement with friends. Playing this loved game with controller, ha that’s what I’ve already doing through the past year over 1000 hours in total.

I used to be a off-line single player with AI on the original AOE3 many years ago, using arrow keys to control game view, almost never use default hotkeys in qwer-asdf area, yeah you can imagine how noob I was by that, but which does not damage my fun being a enthralled civ planner & architecture observer. One year after DE release and caught by PVP’s amazement, I try to manage the qwer/asdf hotkey, but finding it dum neither 2 inbuilt sets. Plus I love using xbox one controller play PES and other 3A, so I start to creat I my own mapping solution for AOE3DE.

The main work flow is grab minimal keys you need in game, and mapping them to controller using “controller companion”, you can find latter in Steam.


  • use one key(press L3) to locate TC and homecity(press R3)
  • L3 for game view, R3 for mouse move; R1=lift click, R2=right click
  • Y for Explorer; L1+Y for free military units, BACK+Y for all military, as they all are all Offensive Units, easy to remember. All thing offensive attached with Y, so I also set L2+Y=attack move
  • A for farmer, L1+A= free farmers, BACK+A=dock, BACK+B=Trading Post
  • onekey(B) for market, if you built church&factory&Parliament near it, then you can find any of those Economic Improvement Buildings just by B+slightly move R3
  • D-Pad plus start and X form the alternative for qwerty/asdfgh(with L2), so L1+◀︎▼►▲=shift+QWER, if you play Russia you will know how smooth it will surpass keyboard.
  • other highlights include up to 3 teams formation and fast search(L2+R2=make teamX, L2+R1=switch to teamX)

    I mainly play 3v3 tr30 EmpireWar(save woods time), this set works fine with me for most time.
    One point that benefits is you have to have a build&develop strategy up front every battle, observe the map, what units the opponent will boom and your counters, leave rooms for markets and other ecnomic buildings saying above, all these will help avoiding jamming when the battle begins.
    At the end, even though being a controller lover, I still doubt xbox console player can make it the same precise and fast as keyboard&mouse, since news report says there will be console players and PC gamer in one match ?

Happy if this is helpful or inspiring. Suggestions and advices welcome reply or E-mail hormos@live.com




1 Like

Red color is me

Looking really good, while i don’t intend on playing with a controller its still nice to see it can be done, even if only to a limited degree

Playing aoe3 with a controller is like playing with my hands tied

Interesting. I wonder if this is a plan to enable the game on consoles in the future as well?

yeah welcome Microsoft to buy my solution XD

1 Like

since the industry has made FPS with controller, so…

That could be a speedrun challenge, if someone can play starcraft blindfolded they can play aoe 3 with their hands tied


Dave in aoe2 is famous for playing with controller and he could reach 1400 elo with controller. So i believe aoe3 can be played with controller too no doubt.