Why exploits like Pull Trick are bad for the game

pull trick is an exploit of the games formation catchup system, granting units a large increase in movement speed. this manipulation of a units stats in a way that isn’t intended breaks balance and is similar to the machinegun exploit that let units like explorers drastically increase their attack speed. you are effectively adding move speed to a unit, gaining a substantial advantage over other players and ruining the integrity of ranked pvp.

its bad for the game because it breaks several fundamentals of RTS, that units behave according to their state page as well as the importance of spacing, distance and move speed. by using this exploit you can move your units at a far greater move speed then intended, trivializing the importance of distance. imagine if this exploit was available in age of empires 2, allowing your scouts to zoom across the map and the enemy base, always being able to escape enemy scouts and spears. or in StarCraft 2, where suddenly one players zealots can always escape the other players zealots even if one zealot was behind enemy lines. the games competitive integrity is directly harmed by allowing players to increase their units stats through exploiting bugs in the games mechanics.

it causes real harm to the game. it trivializes proper scouting around a treasure and ensuring you can kill a guardian before the enemy explorer arrives since they can zoom in from a much greater distance than they normally can. it reduces the importance and tension of being snared by the enemy explorer since you have access to a massive speed boost that you normally shouldn’t have, breaking the importance of spacing between explorers and trying to break snares through precise timing of counter melee or blocking with your scout. it reduces risks for making mistakes and mismanaging your explorer, while ensuring if the enemy explorer is ever close they can never escape. downing an enemy explorer or scout, saving your own or securing a treasure can be game deciding, and being able to manipulate these outcomes through exploiting bugs shouldn’t be tolerated.

it is hidden knowledge that benefits older players at the cost of new players. there is no way for a player without this knowledge to know why the enemy explorer broke their snare or is running them down, as the stat page shows that they both move at the same speed. meanwhile in game its clear the enemy explorer is moving faster than what their stat page is showing, breaking an expectation that units behave according to what their state page describes.

this is similar to seeing an explorer with low health and attempting to shoot them down, only for the enemy explorer to flick the auto setting on their rifle and shoot 5 times faster than their own explorer, despite being the same unit and the game showing they both have the same rof. while the player without this knowledge rightfully expects to win the shootout, the other explorer suddenly gains a drastic increase in damage output and wins the duel. without this hidden knowledge the player is at a massive disadvantage through no fault of their own, as the player with this knowledge can manipulate their units core stats through exploiting broken mechanics.

stuff like this drives newer players away from the game. its bad enough that their are so many bugs and crashes out there, why would new players be willing to stick around when older player exploit certain bugs? when the enemy explorer outperforms theirs with no way in game of knowing how?

the game would be better off if all such bugs where fixed.


Walls are really what you need to slow down the enemy’s early attacks and grow your base, not to make the game loose and to stack barricades on all map.

It could only be used as a means of defending your base in an opponent’s early rush or a surprise attack to destroy the economy in a late game, and to negate the removal of the pillars, I have a suggestion.

  • Grants destruction XP to walls. Instead, construction XP should not be granted.
  • Walls will instantly spawn with 1 HP as soon as a build order is given.

You make valid points…but at the end of the day NOT many new players are put off because of the pull trick…plain & simple. It’s more the bugs and crashes.

Also AOE3 is not for everybody because of the 16 unique civs and there unique units + HC cards. It’s a lot of time investment and required knowledge to feel comfortable in knowing what to do in every matchup.

Pull trick is not something the new players will even recognise.

Before you say…“BUT WHY CREATE MORE COMPLEXITY BY ALLOWING PULL TRICK”…well to change it, you basically need to change the unit formation mechanic of the 15 year old game and that my friend will open up a can if worms.

I rather have the devs spend time implement a better user guide or a new modes of art of war to get new players familiar with different civs and units


Tbh a problem with walls in aoe 3 isnt that its too strong or too weak. its that its a defensive option that doesn’t eat away at your ability to build up units or age up.

in other games in order to go for walls you really have to forgo your ability to mass up units since it cost stone(aoe 2) or gold (aom). since walls only cost wood in aoe 3, you can build up defenses while also building units(unless you go xbow pike). I think if walls cost both wood and gold, it would be more balanced


Already with the advent of Sweden and the Incas, the developers decided to change the existing design. Developers are telling people who don’t want to change “go back to the legacy” with multiple patches.

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I mean if people think the pull trick is the only hidden mechanic in this game there are lots more that even the pros have a hard time using or are not yet adopted.

apparently defense mode cav get a speed boost when attacking in melee and you can also speed up cav in a chase by changing from line to column movement.

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The game would be better off deleted from existence rather than if all such “bugs” were “fixed”.

Blockquote You make valid points…but at the end of the day NOT many new players are put off because of the pull trick…plain & simple. It’s more the bugs and crashes.

did you make an study to prove this?

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Science is also empiric and i know from my experience than most of the time you don’t complain about something you don’t know the existance :smiley:

Complaining about pull trick is a waste of time as it’s not a bad mech, need skill and apm, can allow some nice and enjoyable move etc… no reason to remove it from the game.


It’s an obvious bug, it’s a broken and must be fixed.

To be honest, developers will never be able to fix the bug. Those who create bugs that weren’t in the legacy are unlikely to be interested in this, and even if they get interesting, they won’t be able to fix it.

My question is: is it a bug if units have a specific running animation? If the unit only moved faster with the same walking motion, it would be more obvious. It may be some left over from a planned behaviour that was originally intended in the game, though.

That’s because it’s not a bug at all. Units are of course meant to catch up and form a formation.
The only point of contention is that some players feel this mechanic can be exploited for too big advantages.


I don’t really understand how you can pull trick with a single hero at the start of the game, maybe I don’t know what you are talking about ?

About the pulltrick I know :

The pull trick system to make some units running faster than normal is not a bug, it’s wanted in the game.
I mean, there is even a specific animation for it. It’s simply made for units to catch up the group. Units got normal speed and max speed in the original version.


When you start with a second unit (like dog spain), or when you found some tresure (toma/pet tresures) you can use the pull trick. It’s super fun and a very good feeling when you see your explo running after his dog :slight_smile:


Oh yeah definitly didn’t thought about that as it don’t seem to work with scoot right ?

So as said, it’s not an exploit at all, it’s intended in AOE3.

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It work with scout AND envoy as well :wink: . Also it work with vills as well but only with other “civilian” kind of units (you can pull trick your vills with others vill but not with units and vis versa), it’s a cool feature as it can help you too save some vills (like you can pop out 3/4 vills from your tc and pull trick one far, to save him from a very sad death!!)

Very cool feature tbh, lot of micro potential (🔥🔥🔥 Top 5 times AOE3 Pros had 9000 IQ 🔥🔥🔥 - YouTube 1 and 5 make pull trick very enjoyable)


Ofc I don’t…but what I do have is common sense.

There is even a separate thread from an op that said he didn’t know about this pull trick till he saw the drongo video…then goes on about how devs should delete it from the game when at his level it is rarely abused.

It’s not obvious and does not move the needle in determining the outcome of new player games that I don’t even know why players that admit they are new to the game complain about it.

It is rare for a new or low elo players to exploit this mechanic. Same thing with pillarless walls.

Instead of focusing on changing the game to remove these mechanics that are used at a higher level…focus on something else that might help new players determine what units counter what units or something that helps new players know BO or counter BO…tbh this has a way bigger factor that put off new players


People who want the pull trick to be “removed:” think about what you’re asking for. The pull trick is just a side-effect of units’ ability to speed up to enter formations. In order to remove the pull trick, you have to remove this capability, which means units could only slow down to enter formation (if every unit is moving the same exact speed, the formation will never be formed, so there must be a speed adjustment of some kind). That would mean that any time you issue a move command to any group of units who aren’t in perfect formation, the entire group of units would have reduced speed until every rogue unit catches up. All movement would become totally clunky, frustrating, and unenjoyable. Or formations would have to be tossed, and aoe3 would cease to be the aoe3. There is no way on earth that that is the game you want to play.

And think about this in terms of realism. If there’s an army marching in formation, and one guy is out of line, would they all stand and wait for the one guy to casually walk into place? or would the one guy sprint to catch up? the latter.

Pull trick is not a bug at all, and it is in fact a necessary component of the game.


lol, ive heard many peoplecomplaining about pull trick, even if they dont know it can be done

I have heard “many” peaple complaining about home shipment mech as well. If you complain about a deep part of the game, just don’t play the game.