Tips you wish you had known when you started

I’ll start:

Shift and click trains five units at a time.

Any other helpful tricks for noobs?


Learn on Arabia, not Black Forest or Arena.

A closed map is chill, avoids early pressure, and allows ‘creativity’ in build orders. All of these characteristics teach you there is no significant harm in sloppy and slow play.

On the hand, open maps force you to:

  • Learn tight build orders
  • Build military early
  • Optimize technology purchases
  • Play shorter games, to iterate learning. That is, if you can play 3 Arabia games in the same time as 1 Black Forest game, you have 3 times the opportunities to learn

I was raised in Black Forest. I am still working hard to unlearn bad habits.

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  1. study BO is the most important thing. In every ages. I think everyone agrees
    I think in Arena you should aim at doing 28mins imp with 3 TCs. Keep pratice it.

  2. keep modify the hotkeys and try to utilize it.

  3. Play flank in TG instead of pocket so as to improve you skills quicker

  4. Dont build too many unnecessaary house.

  5. usually TC should never stop doing things.

Below is the little tricky skills, not sure if this is still valid.

a. When you see opponents full wall and check if there’s a gap, control the SC to the area directly inside the wall to double check it, he will search the way if there’s gap.

Hunt boars on Dark age
(I didn’t before DE)


Scouting, and watching replays from your opponent’s point of view as well as your own (especially of games that you lose in).
A lot of casual players poo poo the idea of practicing build orders, but they can be a good resource for learning how to manage early resources. If you don’t do that, at least understand some basic rules: in dark age, build a house 2 pop before your cap, 6 farms per production building that creates food units, spend your wood as soon as you can.
Most newbies struggle in the beginning with fundamental things that a lot of people have memorized: building costs, where to make certain units (let alone counters), and what civs’ strengths and weaknesses are.
There is advice for every level. The first one is relevant for all levels. Watch your replays. Download CaptureAge if you don’t like the default replay system (which, tbh, is lacking compared to other RTSes).

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Your goal is not to be good at the game. Your goal is to have fun.

That means playing whatever map you want, whatever civ you want.

the ‘getting good’ is a side effect.

  • Villager
    CTRL + Right Click → force drop-waste resources by clicking on another resource (e.g. to chop a tree quickly without lumbercamp)

  • Villager
    you can drop your resources and gain them when constructing an economic building.

  • Selection box modifiers
    ALT → select only villagers
    CTRL → select only military

  • Control group appending mechanics exists

  • The “kill the farmer not the farm” modifier: Holding ALT and right-clicking with a selected unit will prioritize attacks on enemy units. ALT + right-clicking a building or resource will result in a move command instead of another action

  • Units can be de-queued from the Global Queue. Holding CTRL and clicking removes 1 unit; holding CTRL + SHIFT and clicking removes 5 units


Don’t focus too much on build orders and stuff like that. Just play the game in a manner you like and enjoy. Improving is something for when you are ready.

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I disagree with the advice to learn on open maps. Whether you should learn on open maps or not depends a lot on your personality. If you aren’t resilient type of person and give up easily, open maps will get you to quit the game within a few days.

What I learnt is that you never have enough farms.

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-You should never stop doing vils until at least 2/3 of max pop is vils. If you overboomed too much you can still delete vils.

  • If you want to focus enemy vils on buildings(if ur opponent tries to rush up a castle for example) you can click more easily on the vils with alt.