How to win in Age of Empires 1 and Age of Empires 2

Here are some quick tips on how to win in Age of Empires and improve your ELO ranking.

  1. Learn the basic build orders. Those are common strategies used to understand how to behave based on the map and the situation. Some examples are the Fast Bronze (AoE1) and the Fast Castle (AoE2).
    • About Age of Empires 1 i would recommend you to watch some videos from my channel: Fast Bronze Hittites Inland, Fast Bronze Continental, Fast Bronze Highlands.
    • With Age of Empires 2 I suggest the mod "interactive build order guide" which will help you to practice and improve. Also the basic in-game tutorials (the Learn to Play section) are very useful for beginners. Finally, you can find many videos on Youtube.
  2. Change and learn the keybindings and keyboard shortcuts. Customize them following your needs and practice with them.
    • Personally I use the Tab key to group my Town Centers and I use the numbers 1, 2 and 3 to group units. Numbers 4, 5 and 6 are for my military buildings. Moreover, my number 6 is configured to be activated by pressing the "`" (backtick) key.
    • Remember to use the "," and "." buttons (comma and dot) to quickly cycle idle military units and idle villagers respectively. These two buttons also get activated for me when I press the side buttons on my mouse.
  3. Train with different civilizations and try to learn their bonuses and unique or special technologies. This is very important in order to predict the strategy your opponent will be following.
    • On Age of Empires 1 a player with Yamato will probably go for scout rush, or might go cavalry in Bronze Age and Horse Archers in Iron Age.
    • On Age of Empires 2 the pocket player (the one in the safest position in his team) using Franks will probably go for a Fastle Castle into Knights.
  4. Get used to explore the map effectively at the beginning of the match, at least to discover the most important resources and, if you are in a flank position expecially (the most exposed position of the team, at the sides) try to locate quickly the position of your opponent. Usually, enemy team's spawn positions are mirroring your team's positions.
  5. Try to reduce idle times of Town Centers and Villagers to zero. It is hard at the beginning, but you will get used to it with time.
  6. Remember the economic upgrades and try to optimize times. Sometimes, researching an upgrade too early can be deadly (woodcutting on Age of Empires 1) and could get you into a situation where you don't have resources to make units to defend your base. On the other hand, waiting too much could mean you will get behind compared to enemy team (researching the Wheel too late on Age of Empires 1).
  7. Keep playing. The best way is to play hundreds of games to increase your experience. Even if you lose, keep playing. You can see from my Youtube Channel that I started playing with a normal ELO like everyone, but I currently reached 3k ELO on AoE1:DE and 2.3k ELO on AoE2:DE (team games).
  8. Try to understand if your playstyle is mostly about booming or rushing. If you like to boom, you should play in the pocket position, like myself. If you prefer rushing, try playing as a flank.
  9. Learn how to take control of the map effectively. Taking the control over the resources if often one of the best strategies. Pay attention to not expose yourself too much though.
  10. If you, like me, are not the best at playing 1v1, focus yourself on team games instead. 1v1 games require different strategies and you need to have a perfect self control ability and cold blood to manage difficult situations. You could find an opponent that rushes you early (before 10 minutes game time) and keeps you under constant pressure. You need to react properly.
    • In order to prevent an early rush, I would recommend to scout what your opponent is doing to understand if he might attack you soon.
    • To counter an early rush in a defensive way, try making military buildings in your base and keep creating units. The advantage to this is that your opponent will need more time to send reinforcements, but he will probably build his military buildings close to your base to shorten times. The disadvantage is that you might lose control over the map.
    • To counter an early rush in an aggressive way you can move some villagers to enemy's base and build your military buildings there. The advantage is that you might catch him by surprise, the disadvantage is that you will need to pay attention to not get your base and economy destroyed.

These are just some quick basic tips. Keep playing and you will see the improvements soon!

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