Learning AoE3 as an AoE2 Player

Hey guys! How’s it going today? I normally focus on AoE2, but I really enjoy Age of Empires 3, and I had a fun idea for a video/conversation I wanted to get started: learning Age of Empires 3 from the perspective of someone who already knows AoE2. I’ve put together a fun video, which I’m sharing below, but I want to ask you guys your opinion: what are the big tips you’d give to someone who knows AoE2, and is interested in getting into AoE3?


If somebody is at least half-decent in AoE II, then there’s not a lot to learn in terms of skills. But there’s a lot to get familiar with and adjust to in terms of pace and new mechanics. Especially now with all these expansions and all that free content added in normal updates, AoE 3DE might be very weak on the campaign side, but the content itself as in civilizations and their customizability (Home City shipments system), minor map factions, revolution etc- that would probably be initially overwhelming for somebody that is familiar with the firm and static civ design in 2DE.

I don’t think there’s anything super special to say besides not treating it like a direct continuation of Age of Kings, taking your time to explore the deck system and just simply practicing. It takes many games with a single civ to see all content it can offer.
Special units from mentioned minor factions are in great numbers, and that’s just inconsequential optional side thing:

Where in 2DE all campaign content can take like idk… 150-200hrs to do gold when playing for the first time, here campaigns and loose historical missions take a small fractions of that. There are worth checking out at least once.
And don’t forget to explore the options menu. There are some great things to do there. From scaling down GUI (a must for me), enabling mini-deck (same) or HUD layouts to fancy things like 100% customizable player colors.


Thanks! Yeah, I agree that a lot of the skills do transfer over from 2. “Keep your TC producing” is definitely familiar, for example. Most of the differences seem to be in jist understanding the “game behind the game.” I’ve been getting a lot of advice in that sphere.

Card system is probably the biggest difference because it’s crucial and decides who wins in most games.

Great video, AOE 3 DE is massively underrated. :slight_smile:

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@OriginalKnot717 Yeah, I think if you had to point to one feature that’s most radically different from AoE2, it has to be the card system. I’m looking forward to getting some friends into the game and spending time deep diving into the card system!

@Soldeo Thank you! That means a lot to hear. Yeah, I love AoE2, but I also really admire the innovations the devs have brought into 3. I’m looking forward to making some more videos for 3!


Yo creo que explicar a los nativos y la ruta comercial seria interesante por cierto me vi tu video y me gustaría señalar algo pequeñito, también existe la caballería pesada a distancia (pero esta es mas rara de ver, no pueden ser contra restados por guerrilleros debido a que son caballería pesada: El hakkapelita, el arcabucero, el Guerrero oromo entran en esta categoría) y también están los guerrilleros anti guerrilleros que solo hay 2 el Schiavone de los italianos y el panduro que es un mercenario la verdad hay un montón de cosas en el age 3 xD

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The counter system.

I think its necessary to know what unit class counters what other unit class, like light ranged cavalry countering heavy cavalry etc.

SotL in a video said that the AoE3 counter system is non-intuitive because musketeers (heavy ranged infantry) and skirmishers (light infantry, rifle infantry) don’t feel different. This is INCORRECT and biased. I can say the same about AoE2 units.

But I think it’s important to teach AoE2 players that it IS possible to recognize different unit classes just by looking.

You can tell musketeers and skirmishers apart by how they hold their weapons, how they stand etc.

One thing to note is that hand infantry like pikemen, rodelero, samurai, doppelsoldner, hospitaller are different from shock infantry such as coyote runner, chimu runner, shotel warrior, rattan shield warrior etc (these function as heavy cavalry and are countered by usual heavy cav counters). Shock infantry move fast and have special running animation (Exception is the rodelero, which feels like shock infantry but is not).

Most units in the game are unique to some civ. So learning names can be difficult. But learning to recognize unit types from looking at them on the battlefield is a good skill to have.


Yes, although with the Ottomans that does not apply…since they create settlers (European villagers) automatically…

Yes, if you manage to turn around the card system and minor civs, you will love aoe 3…past that obstacle of learning, that’s it, you get the gold…you feel Christopher Columbus xd…

Yes, you can tell that he threw that for throwing it or that he played the game 2 games and nothing else… I played more than 1000 hours of the game (only in the DE) and today pro players told me that what I knew was all wrong and they blew my mind…

For the player who comes from other AOE, the AOE-3 may seem easy in the first instance, because there is one less resource (there is no stone) and it is not necessary to deposit the resources, and the city of origin gives “free units”, however this does not mean that it is easier.

The animals most of the time move against your base and you have to be aware that the villagers shoot so that they “flee” to your urban center, because if you shoot them wrongly the animals will flee very far. I know that in other AOEs the animals also run, but here it is something that requires a little more micromanagement.

Trading posts (TP) replace relics and trade, which allow you to win by trade monopoly (if you control most of the TPs).

Native TPs have very interesting units and bonuses in many cases. Since they are local and specific to maps and regions, they make each map more special.

Wood becomes scarcer faster in this game, and although it can be produced by other means such as factories, shipping, etc., it is usually not enough. (although less is usually needed at endgame).

In this game, “gold” is renamed ‘currency’, and that allows the concept to be versatile. For example, you can build crops that generate income such as cotton plantations, you can obtain income from whale oil, copper mines, coal mines, salt mines, etc.

Treasures provide relevant bonuses in the very short term, but sometimes they can be decisive to take advantage over others.

Experience is an abstract, but important resource, and reflects the progress of your civilization beyond the economic and military. It is the resource that allows you to purchase shipments. Virtually all activities generate experience.Exactly what is experience?

Fishing is not infinite or renewable (hopefully this will change in the future), but there are whales and other similar sources of currency on maps with oceans. In addition, the villagers do not fish on the shores.

There are no dense, impassable forests like in the other AOEs, so walling against these forests is not recommended in most cases.

Hometown cards bring versatility and originality to every player’s playing style. There are many things that the default civilization could not achieve. Many times it unlocks units, buildings, bonuses and mechanics that you couldn’t get otherwise.

Mercenaries are generally stronger than average units, but they cost more population space and more coins.