We need more Terrains

AoE2 currently has only 5 types of terrains in terms of functionality. Normal, Unbuildable, Cliff, Cracked and amphibious. It also has hills as a terrain property, which can increase/decrease damage. I believe that this is a huge factor in why arabia and arena are so popular. There is only so much you can do with just 2 types of terrain (normal and unbuildable) for most land maps. So, I brainstormed a bit and came up with several new viable terrain types. I’ve also described why they might be useful, and how you can use them in new maps.

  1. Fertile Terrain: Increases farming rate by 20% on all farms on the terrain. Most civilizations throughout history grew around fertile areas, near large water bodies. This terrain would be present near water areas, incentivizing players to farm near water. However, that leaves them vulnerable to opponent’s galleys. It could also be present in general maps, making map control more important, while not concentrating around just gold and stone.
  2. Swamp terrain: Slows down all horse, camel and siege units to 3/4th of their base speed. All buildings are constructed 50% slower. This terrain makes travel difficult, and is great for ambushes. You will often need to go through it, or go around it while making sure that your enemy is not sneaking through. Slower building and slower siege means you’ll be able to hold the area strongly if you get to it and set up your base first. But that will be a slow and difficult process.
  3. Paved Terrain: All units will move 20% faster. Units with wheels move 30% faster. This is the highway. Allows you to be aggressive far more quickly, as long as you have control over the area. However, you will need at least decent micro (or shift-queue) to make units stay on track, and it will make you predictable.
  4. Dense Forest/Tall cliff: Cannot see past 2 tiles of the forest/Cliff with units. However, castles and outpost will reveal the hidden area. In case of tall cliff, this only applies to the bottom side.
  5. Holy Ground: Make a monastery here to claim it. No unit in the holy ground can be converted by opponent’s monks, and your monks will convert your opponent’s units faster.

I think that terrains will be a great way to spice up the game without touching the civs repeatedly for balance. Also, geography played a huge role in wars, historically speaking. So, this does not feel out of place. Please feel free to drop your own terrain ideas below, or critique mine.


Those are brilliant ideas! Hopefully the devs incorporates into AoMR or future instalments.


My concept for an Age of Empires game taking place in the modern day includes roads as buildable terrain, like farms. In the Depression Age, roads will look like dirt roads, but in subsequent ages, they will look like normal paved roads (the Depression Age is meant to have a lot of poor farm aesthetics). Roads would be necessary to build for most vehicles to travel, and most buildings would need to be built next to them. I bring this up because it’s almost like a more extreme version of what you’re suggesting.

I actually love all these ideas exceot the Holy Ground… kinda feels like its in fantasy realm. But all the others would be fantastic.


That would add a lot more possibilities to random map and scenario creators which would be pretty amazing.

Camels should not be slowed down on swamps, they have bigger feet to not sink into sand.
Having a swamp or sand terrain could be nice.
Sand could be cool to make Camels stronger in desert scenarios then Cavalry because they don’t sink into the sand.

The main issue with this idea is what do with existing maps.
It would be strange when existing roads in random maps and scenarios don’t give a speed bonus but other ones do.


Relics in a Monastery built in this area could even give more gold


I’d love to see mud having a similar effect, just as at Agincourt


As a mirror to the fertile terrain, maybe also decrease the farm yield on desertic, arid and frozen terrain.

As for paved terrain, micro may not be necessary if units calculate the fastest path instead of the shortest path. But it would mainly be relevant for campaigns unless we can build roads (in Empire Earth it’s possible).


It could be very relevant for random maps.
Right now there are a few maps that generate a road between players of a team, if that road gave a speed boost to trade carts that would have some significant impact on trading.
Also moving armies between allies would be faster.


This is such an interesting and amazing unique idea. I would love to see this happen, maybe as a seperate game mode first to have it as an optional feature. FE, are you reading this thread?


Great idea! Hope the devs consider this.


This is great. Curious to see how to make each one of them recognizable.

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I love your terrain ideas! They would indeed add more depth and strategy to the game, as well as increase map variety. Fertile Terrain and Swamp Terrain particularly stand out, as they create unique incentives and challenges for players. Holy Ground also introduces an interesting dynamic for religious units. These terrains would bring historical accuracy and fresh gameplay to AoE2 without the need for constant civ rebalancing. Great job brainstorming, and I hope the devs consider your suggestions for future updates. Looking forward to seeing more ideas from the community!


Great ideas. Simple, logical, and adds to the tactics and enjoyment.


Some fun ideas here.
The swamp and paved/road terrain are both things I’ve simulated in scenarios with the Caravanserai mechanic, so they’d be pretty easy to implement. I like the idea of fertile terrain, although I’d prefer something like 10+% faster and longer lasting. The visibility reduction would be a cool mechanic to simulate night, storms, or other low visibility conditions, so it would be cool if it wasn’t necessarily tied to a terrain. By the same token, visibility could be added to the existing elevation mechanics (e.g. units and buildings gain +1 LOS for every 2 elevation).

I’m mostly looking at this from a scenario design perspective, but the road, swamp, and fertile terrain are reasonably strong contenders for appearing in some multiplayer maps. The caveat with roads is that they often don’t generate in ideal ways (and it’s not worth the APM to micro your trade carts to stay on the road), but it would still provide some advantages as often as you crossed it, and could provide some interesting tradeoffs (pun intended) of using either the roads for trade, or a potentially safer and longer (but slower) route closer to the edge of the map.

Here are some of my suggestions for other possible terrains or terrain effects. Some, probably most of these deviate enough from the game’s simplicity that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them for any multiplayer maps, but they’d be fun for Scenarios/Campaigns at least.

-Trade Winds/Currents: Like the paved terrain, but for water. Ships move 20% faster.

-Steep Rock: Slows all units movement speed by 50%. When combined with elevation, is impassable to mounted and siege units (or reduces their speed by 80% or something).

-Desert (Cold or Hot). Both gradually lower the HP of units passing through them. Possible civ/unit resistance to this.

-Intertidal Zone (mainly for the aesthetics): Terrain that fluctuates between high and low tide. Passable by land units at low tide, water units at high tide.

Other active features like whirlpools, volcanoes, and would also be cool, but I’m really getting ahead of myself here. But also going to briefly plug some of my previously mentioned ideas of new resource objects - using the existing 4 res types but visually different and with different res amounts, gather rates, or other benefits - for example, fruit trees that provide food, then wood (or perhaps the fruit regrows eventually if you don’t chop it), or gem mines that gather more slowly but store more “gold,” or provide both stone and gold.


I’d expand currents on boosting speed in one direction and lowering it in others, as real currents would do (wind coming from the west = travelling east is faster, travelling west is harder). Possibly changing with time (predictible like the tide, or not like the wind). Negligible in shallow waters, strong on deep ocean tiles. This could lead to interesting results such as making fire ships and demo ships more or less effective depending on how long it takes to rush the enemy fleet, as opposed to staying at long range.

Some new port tech could allow predicting tides and the wind for say 1 minute in the future.

Tariq’s 4th mission


When thinking about an Oceania expansion, I thought of a volcanic rock terrain type, which cannot be built on. When units are standing on top of it, they gradually take damage.

Your idea was so good that even the ancient aoe2 guardians aren’t angry, good job!

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Admittedly the extreme temperature damage mechanic isn’t that necessary since you can already use the damage object trigger, and even exclude certain units that have a “resistance.” Would be a nice convenience to have it as a terrain option though.

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Indeed; having terrain would just make it more convenient for random maps. Also indicating clearly which area is dangerous.

Talking about dangerous terrain… how about breakable ice ? If you saw the soviet movie Alexander Nevsky (might also be used in the 6th book of Game of Thrones, if the writer finishes it…), it’s self explainatory.

Land units can cross this ice. But if too many stay for too long or they get bombed with artillery, the ice might break, sinking any poor soul traversing it at the time. An ice tile breaking will also damage nearby ice tiles, potentially causing a chain reaction. Ice regenerates over time.

  • Tile hp : 100. Breaks at 0; if broken, becomes solid when back at 100. As ice takes damage, it starts visibly cracking.
  • Constant repair : +1/s
  • Infantry crossing : -2/s per unit
  • Cavalry crossing : -4/s per unit
  • Takes full damage from heavy ranged weapons (scorpion & war galley, and up)
  • Neighbouring tile broken : -25

TL;DR : the crossing is possible but EXTREMELY dangerous if opposed by the enemy.