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Age of Empires 2 Best Civilization Tier List

best civilization tier list for age of empires 2
Image via Wicked Witch Software

Age of Empires 2 Best Civilization Tier List

How does your favorite civilization fare?

Age of Empires 2 has been going strong for nearly two and half decades and continues to be optimized for new players. The Definitive Edition is even packaged with new content, and supports 4K resolution. One thing that’s not made as obvious to new players, and even some established players, is what the best civilizations are overall. Worry not though, as we’re here to help with a tier list of the best civilizations in Age of Empires 2.

Age of Empires 2

S Tier

S Tier civilizations are incredibly powerful regardless of the situation due to their cohesive design and exceptionally strong tech trees. In fact, many would say these civilizations are overpowered considering they get banned pretty often in competitive play. We recommended this bracket after you get comfortable with Age of Empires 2 to make the most of them.

  • Chinese
  • Lithuanians
  • Vikings
  • Mayans

A Tier

If you’re new to Age of Empires 2, A Tier civilizations are a great place to start. Each one is a very strong pick in most scenarios, like Japan’s viability in water and ground combat. However, these civilizations tend to have an obvious weakness that opponents exploit. For example: The Aztecs are great on land, but flop pretty hard in the water. In this bracket, it’s important more than ever to play to the civilization’s strengths.

  • Aztecs
  • Britons
  • Japanese

B Tier

Another good place for new players to start in Age of Empires 2 is B Tier civilizations. These civilizations have a balanced spread of strong units and solid tech tree, but are still cohesive enough in their design that they can easily give A Tier and even S Tier civilizations a run for their money. However, just like A Tier, these cultures tend to have an easily exploited weakness.

  • Franks
  • Huns
  • Italians
  • Khmer
  • Koreans
  • Malay
  • Malians
  • Mongols
  • Portuguese
  • Vietnamese

C Tier

Now we enter the weeds of the C Tier civilizations. The problem with these civilizations is that they’re pretty weak, lack strong tactics, or are easy to counter. Their tech trees tend to be fairly inconsistent, too. The most fun you can have with C Tier civilizations is playing a few rounds with a group of buddies just to see who the master tactician is.

  • Berbers
  • Bulgarians
  • Burmese
  • Byzantines
  • Celts
  • Ethiopians
  • Incas
  • Indians
  • Persians
  • Saracens
  • Slavs
  • Tartars
  • Turks

D Tier

The last and final bracket is reserved for civilizations that are either too niche, have poor progression, or are just plain bad. Case in point: The Spanish boast their Monks and easily accessible gunpowder units which are arguably B Tier status benefits, but these perks alone aren’t enough to be a big game changer long-term. Another example are the Sicilians, a strong defensive civilization that’s only ever viable in team matches.

  • Burgundians
  • Cumans
  • Goths
  • Magyars
  • Sicilians
  • Spanish
  • Teutons

And there you have it, folks: the best civilizations tier list for Age of Empires 2. How well does your favorite culture fare? Did it fall into a bracket you expected? Let us know in the comments below, and check out more content on Twinfinite while you’re at it.

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