List of the strongest Trade-Civs

Abbasid has the strongest traders, second to Ottoman. Malians actually is just nr 3.

The list of strongest traders are currently:

1: Abbasid
2: Ottomans
3: Malian
4: Mongols
5: French
6: everyone else.

1: Abbasid is strongest because they get following:
Traders cost 40 wood 40 gold. (You can spam more traders faster)
Tradewing upgrade grants following:
25% additional secondary resource (food or wood)
+5 Melee and Range armor. (Fully upgraded imperial age, you require 11 Mangudai to 1 hit kill a abba trader, compared to only 8 Mangudai against normal trader with no armor)
30% More gold return.

Meaning a Abbasid Trader in a 4v4 map, say french pass, is able to trade 570 gold and 143 food.

Additionally, if you place 1 or 2 castles with Medical Centers, they will heal any traders passing by that might have been bitten by wolves and rabid raiders.

2: Ottoman has the second strongest trader because they get following:
You start with 2 traders from Sultani landmark.
Sultani landmark produces gold from garrisoned traders (good for early game when u dont have map controll)
40% more gold return from traders with Vizier upgrade.
And with the Sea Gate Castle landmark (which makes them the strongest)
40% increased movement speed and +10 armor.
This landmark buff itself is insane for trade. Why?
with 40% more gold return + 40% faster movement speed. You are essentially DOUBLING your trade income!
+10 Armor, remember with the abbasid you need 11 Mangudai to 1 hit KO a Trader? Well Against Ottoman traders, you need a whopping 22 Mangudai to 1 hit kill a Ottoman trader! DOUBLE the amount of investment needed to effectivly raid ottoman traders, this isn’t even considering the faster movement speed, meaning knights have a harder time hitting traders more frequently, and the fact that the traderoute is lined up with castles to provide this buff.

While Ottoman Trade dosn’t provide secondary resource, It does grant you far more gold.
In return it is also far more pop efficient.
With 40% more gold and 40% more speed.
Trade bags make traders %40 carry more, sea gate makes tham %40 faster. If you were to use both of those you would have:

In essence, you need far less traders than any other Civ to earn the same amount of gold. Meaning you save on Pop-cap.

3: Malians has the third strongest trader because they get following:
Passing Traders and Trade Ships are taxed, generating 10% of their carried gold immediately as bonus resources. Each Trader or Trade Ship can only be taxed 5 times on each trip, and 7.5 seconds have to have passed before a specific unit can be taxed again.
The outposts + landmark also provides additonal early defense.
This is actually pretty good for early trade.
However Malians do not get increased trade value bonus. Meaning they only trade in base-value. They also don’t get movement speed nor additional protection.
meaning the same traderoute the Abbasid mentioned earlier, the Malains would earn 381 Gold.
From that 381 Gold value, the toll outpost if you go for Saharan Trade Network landmark will grant you 190 Gold extra and 95 Food.
So In total, each trader would essentially produce 571 Gold and 91 Food.
Compared to Abbasid Trader that produces 1 less gold but 52 more food. a total of 51 more resources.
Compared to Ottoman Traders producing a whopping 747 gold over the same amount of time period. Which is 81 more total resources than the Malians.

While Ottoman traders provide more total amount of resources. I rank Abbasid above ottomans simply because of the Secondary resource is far more usefull.
You loose the bonus gold gained from resource-trade, Abbasid can avoid this resource trade all togheter. and the fact they can also go over to providing Wood and Gold, as Wood is a finite resource, and abbasid already have a very strong food economy.
This gives abbasid hands down the best traders in game.

4: Mongol trade has a strong trade, but it takes times to kick in.

With the Silver Tree landmark, they get the cheapest traders in game. However, this discount ONLY applied from traders buildt from the Silver Tree. Double producing traders is also very strong, however it does drain your stone econ that you will need for other things, and set you back militarily or upgrade wise. Especially in the early game where Stone is limited.

It also needs a X amount of traders for the Trade bonus to take effect.
The Yam Network, much like the sea gate castle, provides a speed buff for your traders, increasing the income rate from the traderoute.

However it is just a 15% speed increase, and requires quite a bit of time and investment to set up, as you have to build towers along the entire way and the effect dosn’t linger.

But because of the stone commerce and imp stone commerce especially, it does make it increadible strong in the late game, especially for mongols.

Big question is after the patch if the Mongols can still trade that stone generated to teammates. This might potentially throw Mongols into 1st or 2nd place. As nobody else can trade for stone after the patch hits, making the Mongols only one able to produce infinite stone. but based on the fact that the devs intention for stone not to be trade-able. Then the stone benefits only benefits the mongol player to a certain extent.

I hope this post was Insightfull in trade.
Trading is my favourite ECON thing to do in age of empires.
I even made a Abbasid build for a Feudal Tradewing that allows you to hit Imperial Age as abbasid in around 14 minutes, On certain map (french pass) I can even hit 11 Min imperial as abbasid with the Feudal Tradewing build. infact, my build is based on the old cost of abbasid traders (50w 50g), with the reduced cost, you should be able to easily hit imperial in 13 minutes.


You have some inaccurate info, in terms of who can make traders cheap and fast.

Mongols takes the cake for early trade potential b/c with Silvertree Mongols can produce traders for 50% less gold cost which puts it just 10 more resources than the CHEAP trade wing of Abbasid PLUS mongols can double produce traders with their stone PLUS once mongols in get 7+ traders they get 10% of each resources (except stone; effectively 130% of standard trade) PLUS when you add towers you gain 15% movement speed (which means 1.15x130% = 1.495% of standard).

The only civ you mention that can between that return AS SOON? is Mali with their towers where they can get effectively 150% of standard trade. Ottoman doesn’t come close enough in total trade value until IMPERIAL??? Trade is already non-viable on most open landmark 1 v 1; heck if you gonna sustain it long enough to make it to imperial to FINALLY gain a trade advantage above everyone.

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Are you sure about this? :slight_smile:

Lets look at china. Nothing particular right?

  1. Yuan dynasty which increases movement speed of everything by 15% which increases trader speed from 1 tile per second into 1.15 tiles. So if you travel 100 tiles in 100 seconds for China this would 86.95 seconds so 13 seconds faster.

  2. Is tax. This is the biggest thing. On 4v4 large map from corner to corner with neutral trading you get 403g tested on hill and dale. And tax income from this trade is 81g with imperial academy influence. So essentially each trader returns with 484g which is around 20% increase in income. Also creating trader from market returns 4g or 8g depending if its under influence of IA those makes traders slightly cheaper

So IO can collect gold every 20seconds per building those 240G per building which translates into 1200g per minute from 5 markets which is the maximum amount of markets in terms of max distance for IA to hold.

Now while it may not be the best trading civ with this trick im fairly certain it would not be put together with everything else, but its kind of hassle to try optimize chinese trade but its still quite effective


While that is indeed quite true. I myself favor going for the silver tree rather than Deer stones (because going for fast castle, deer stones quickly becomes obsolete when Yam network is researched, and silver tree just becomes much more usefull in the lategame for transitioning your econ over to traders if thats needed in team games).

Biggest weakness with the overall strenght of mongol trade is their lack of ability to secure it.
Lack of armor on traders.
While traders give great return, 10% is kinda meh, untill you got enough volume of traders up. (40+ traders it starts really having an impact). And you don’t wanna produce traders from anything but the silver tree as that would be a waste of resources.

So you’re kinda forced into double production for traders.

but double producing traders in the early game is a double-edge sword.
It can land you great early econ, but it severly gimps you playing aggresivly, which you kinda need to make sure you have that Map controll.
not to mention early defensive towers to secure that map controll.

I have it biting me more back going for double traders early than it rewards me overall in games.

However, when i have Ovoo secured on large stone cropping or especially once White stupa is up.
Then its definitely time to spam x2 traders. As by then you should have enough production and econ up to not needing to double produce military units for the time being. + that Imp Stone commerce just makes it so that you can really kick off the mongol warmachine in the late game when you set up all your buildings ready for 2x production and the upgrades.

But reason I still think Abbasid trade is still Alpha is simply because, they get to choose secondary resource, and the fact you can lay it into Wood is a massive benefit when things turns into heavy siege composition.
Wood is a limited resource in the end, and on some maps, even more limited.While food and gold can always be secured with trade.
Wood has a tendency to dry up in the imperial game, as well as slowing down over time due to walking distancing increasing over time for the villagers.

For late game abbasid, once i have 40 vills on food, and 50 traders.
Once the current wood patch runs dry and I already have all my production buildings up, I can delete all my wood workers / shift some of them into frontline castle building and stone mining.
and with just 90-100 eco units grants me a huge military advantage in the late game. And the econ is still strong enough to sustain constant production of camel riders and handcannoners, as well as a few culverins and bombards.

Contra going for 3 TC and having to maintain a 120 villagers to get the same income rate.

its 10% of each resources (except stone before a special upgrade); so effectively that’s 130% resources compared to standard trader gold.

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Yes, but its only active if you have reached the required amount of active traders.

So it dosn’t kick in immidietl, and it dissapears once you drop below required amount of traders due to raids. Even if the traders were to carry a full load with the bonus. (The bonus just magically disappears).

Not that this in reality is a major issue or have any significant impact, as recovering the requirement is easy to pull off.

30% total amount of resource is nice, but it is watered down, as it would be better to have 30% of just a single secondary resource instead (along with stone).
Because it dosnt really allow you to focus your econ as good.

So in the sence in direct comparison.

large 4v4 map.
A standard trader trades 381 Gold from the route.
A Mongol trader trades 419 gold, 38 wood, 38 food and 76 stone (with imp stone commerce)
A Abbasid trader trades 495 gold, 124 secondary.

So in total resources.
Standard: 381
Mongol: 571
Abbasid: 619

Now Mongols with 15% movement speed, will increase their gains to be on par with abbasid, if not slightly above. But it comes with a Heavy investment in both time and resources to build around the 8~10 Outposts to cover the lenght of the traderoute, To grant them the effect needed.
I miss the old lingering effect of the Yam network. really dont understand why Traders couldn’t keep it.
That would have significantly decreased the investment of time and resources to make it, which overall would put the mongols up a notch.

but in the end, the trade value Mongols get from it is much higher value for the mongol themselves. As the Stone does allow you to double produce, saving you quite abit of econ otherwise.

but I see this as the total econ-str of the mongols, not the eco str solely based on their trade.

Oh, I didn’t actually think that applied for traders, and I’m not overall to familiar with the chinese (They are my least played civ of 0 games lol!)
But yes, this definitely puts the Chinese up a notch from the “everyone else” category.
The movement speed and Tax bonus is very nice.
but the Tax bonus is a little more questionable how practical that would be.
Consider that the market doing the trade is in a far off corner. One would have to invest in building a TC next to it no?

Its very map dependable and spawn dependable.

For example french, mountain pass or danube river which lets china easily place IA close to their base while having neutral market in opposite corner.

There is only need to invest to TC next to markets if IA is not utilized. If IA is used it works as drop off also those TC is not needed.

Also if you can place IA close to your base while utilizing markets lets you place more infrastructure to fully utilize effects of IA those generating even more gold. If the IA needs to be placed far away from base it generally means production is harder to position there.

Ofc placing IA away from base always comes with downside. You’re generally sacrificing early gold generation from resources, but in TGs this is not necessary most important thing, but if player carefully plans things and map allows it, it can result massive “free” gold boom for china from early stages into late game.

How are you determining which is strongest from this? You’ve nicely summarized the bonuses but it’d be more meaningful to see a comparison of 50 traders each civ, how much resources does that cost, how much gold per minute, how long to get 50, etc. I think they pretty much average out. Sounds like Mongol may be better early, then Abba overwhelms in the mid game, and I’d think Otto has the best long-term stability n income.

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The simplest analysis is prolly just max res from trade; in that respect, Mongols do generate more via trade than Abbasids on any mapsize at any point in the game by a small amount. The caveat is Mongols have almost no way to defend their eco wheres abba can actully build stone walls.

I feel like there needs to be a some consideration for how useful that trade is for the civ - in addition to how vulnerable it is some pros also said they stopped trying early trade since all that gold was worse for macro reasons on most civs, even if you buy other res.That might not change most placements on the list, but it adds civs like Delhi and French into the contest.

Delhi has no bonus to trade, but it can prolly make the best use of the huge gold amounts via scholars and also secure it faster will wall making inf. Arguably, its a way to keep up with the multi tc meta since they cant compete directly and it fills an actual need.

Then French cant trade for stone anymore, but in age 2 the huge potential food income without any gatekeeps is pretty huge from a macro standpoint.

In comparion, mongols get more res/trader than even abba, but at some point they just dont need the stone all that much since they cant build real fortifications.

I don’t think it’s viable or profitable to invest a TC/IA next to a distant market and dedicate 1 IO to collect tax from it. The initial investment is too high, slow ROI, there is a long delay in collecting tax, can’t collect tax from other buildings and you’d lose 1 IO that could be supervising something else.

The tax mechanic is still pretty clunky. Late game there is not enough IO to collect tax and supervising, so some buildings could stack up thousands of tax gold that can’t be quickly collected due to cap, suboptimal IO pathing, IO freezes, distant tax nodes.

Tax gold early game is over collected, and in mid and late game under collected.

As the game progresses, you would get wheelbarrow which is effectively tax killer. Your base would also expand over time so the travel distance for IO would increase, and there are most likely be proxy tax nodes as you move villagers outwards, which we know those tax gold is wasted.

The only time when it’s super useful is between Dark age / early feudal. Overally this mechanic starts off alright but gets weirder and weirder the longer the game goes, and doesn’t scale very well in the end.

Thats why I said its very map dependable and more TG type of thing than 1v1. If you can get away of setting it, its actually really good thanks to Yuan and the potential income from taxes. It also depends how you use the IA influence. Having majority of production on it increases the gold income to another level too.

I usually use 2 IO’s to collect my taxes in late mid game or late game. I don’t need supervision on production on anymore due just having sufficient amount of production and supervising lumber is not actually going to give me better results because Im usually placing 2-3 lumber camps that workers use.

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I’ve found this thread after just comparing the resource potential of a few trading civs. I realise the highest resource rate isn’t the only thing which should determine which civ is the best for trading, I just wanted to know who could bring in the most.
I tested Abbasid, Malian and Ottoman.

I let 50 traders go at it for 15 minutes. I was taking advantage of all of the techs, abilities and landmarks which would influence trade.

After 15 minutes, this is what I found:
Malian brought in 60k gold and 12k food.
Ottoman brought in 78k gold.
Abbasid brought in 52k gold and 13 secondary.

For the purpose of this test, I don’t see any of the other civs matching these ones.

This was on a micro map. I built my markets to ensure the first trip would bring in gold.


Do test with China if its not too much of trouble.

Put IA into corner and place 5 markets to furthest point but still in influence of IA. Take IO there and go into Yuan Dynasty. See how much China can bring with these things

I have been experimenting with french trade lately, and not gonna lie, it actually seems decent now, its not the safest or quickest boom option for sure, but it has great advantages like no need to transition into farms because your traders can bring you food too.