Age of Empires Series Wiki

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals is the first expansion for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. The expansion adds two civilizations, the Ethiopians and the Hausa, as well as three Historical Battles.

The expansion's launch coincided with the release of update 38254 that introduced new features, bug fixes and balance changes.


  • Two new African civilizations:
    • Hausa: Build a flourishing Hausa Kingdom with inspiring Griots, lucrative Livestock trades and influential Universities, then guard your possessions with Maigadi Guards and Imported Cannons. Or, get ahead of your adversary early by razing their empire with a mix of resourceful Fulani Archers, fast Raiders, and imposing Lifidi Knights.
    • Ethiopians: Make the “Roof of Africa” your home with Palaces and Mountain Monasteries, while Shotel Warriors break the enemy lines and your mortars rain explosive shots on enemy units and buildings alike. Train the mighty Oromo Warriors to cut down enemy cavalry charges, Neftenyas to take potshots at opposing infantry, or use any of the Alliances at your disposal to orchestrate the perfect strategy for your playstyle.
  • A new African continent:
    • 15 new maps, with new biomes, flora and fauna.
      • Atlas: Teams are divided by a mountain range with only one or two passes – perfect for the Treaty game mode.
      • Darfur: Arid open sands where players may contest the trade route in the southwest, or gold mines in the northeast.
      • Gold Coast: A mineral-rich coastal region with large gold mines as the only source of coin.
      • Great Rift: Battle in an expansive, bountiful valley featuring a winding river and short trade route.
      • Highlands: Battle atop a mountain with many narrow paths.
      • Horn: Home of the Somalis, this peninsular region features several trade routes and settlements.
      • Lake Chad: Players overlook a bountiful lake that changes features depending on the season.
      • Niger Delta: Teams begin near each other, separated by a delta with limited narrow crossings.
      • Niger River: Players each begin with an extra Town Center wagon and must expand across the river where there are resources aplenty.
      • Nile Valley: Teams begin on an easily defendable plateau, but must control the floodplains below to gather resources.
      • Pepper Coast: Begin with extra resource crates in an exceptionally bountiful region. Beware: your opponents are always near.
      • Savanna: Battle over two watering holes on the great plains of Africa.
      • Sudd: Wetlands bisected by a short trade route.
      • Tassili: Fight for map control around central oases deep in the Sahara.
      • Tripolitania: Teams begin on a defendable plateau, but must control the trade route and Mediterranean Sea to get the upper hand.
    • With update 43871, 4 new maps were added:
      • Sahel: Players fight over scattered resources in open grasslands.
      • Dunes: Open desert where animals are scarce. Though, sand and Mines are plentiful!
      • Ivory Coast: A tropical coastal region named for it’s export of ivory.
      • Swahili Coast: One player from each team will always begin on the coastal islands.
    • With update 47581, 3 new maps were added:
      • Bahia: Extend toward the coast to access an abundance of resources but beware, your enemies are always close by.
      • Minas Gerais: Play aggressively and control the hunts in the grassy plain, or head to the mountains in search of Gold Mines!
      • Siwa Oasis: Players fight in narrow corridors in the Siwa Oasis. Ideal for the Treaty game mode.
    • With update 50830, 3 new maps were added:
      • Guianas: Control the central resources and settlements in this large valley, or extend to the perimeter of the map to establish a foothold on a trade route.
      • Panama: Control the seas for an economic advantage, but beware, the settlements in this region offer powerful upgrades for early aggression on land.
      • Saharan Routes: Gather the unique treasures found here and wrest control of trade posts from bandits for resources in this barren region.
    • With update 61213, a new map was added:
    • With update 13.690, 2 new maps were added:
      • Arabia: An open map with sparse resources and a circular trade route.
      • Congo Basin: Navigate the narrow pathways deep in the Congo Rainforest!
    • 5 African minor native civilizations:
      • Akan: The Akan (meaning “enlightened”) are indigenous people of West Africa. Inhabiting a region fruitful in both produce and gold, they enjoyed immense wealth throughout the late medieval and early modern periods. For all its benefits, this opulence attracted the avarice of European explorers and adventurers, particularly the Portuguese, British, and Dutch.
      • Berbers: The Berbers, or Amazigh (meaning “free people”) are among the indigenous inhabitants of much of North and Northwest Africa. These diverse regions gave rise to several ways of life: some Amazigh were sedentary agriculturalists or urban residents, while many others were pastoralists. All enjoyed the benefits of living near or on the vibrant trade routes spanning the northern part of the African continent.
      • Somalis: The Somalis (etymology uncertain) are among the indigenous inhabitants of the Horn of East Africa, which juts out between the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. During the early modern period, the region was ruled by a series of sultanates, all of which derived their power from two principal usages of water: land irrigation and maritime trade. While the arid climate on the mainland made a consistent water supply crucial for agriculture and sustenance, the nearby seas played host to some of the most lively trade networks in world history. The port of Berbera, for example, was a crucial conduit of supplies to and from the mainland.
      • Sudanese: The Sudanese are a large collection of people-groups – the most numerous of which are Sudanese Arabs – indigenous to modern-day Sudan. During the early modern period, this region was ruled primarily by two sultanates: Darfur (17th-20th centuries) and Sennar (16th-19th centuries). Both of these profited immensely off the bustling trade networks running along the Nile and its tributaries as well as – infamously – the slave trade running along them.
      • Yoruba: The Yoruba are a people-group indigenous to West Africa, especially modern-day Nigeria. Their homeland combines vast coasts, powerful rivers, fertile lands, thick jungles, and vast savannahs. As such, the Yoruba developed several means of subsistence, but by the early modern period, they were primarily sedentary. Remarkably large and bustling urban centers developed and served as foci of local and royal power.
    • New treasures and guardians, outlaws and mercenaries
  • 3 new Historical Battles:
    • The Battle of the Three Kings (1578): Sebastian of Portugal, a young and jealous king, has launched an invasion into Morocco under the pretense of a crusade. The Saadis, however, are not impressed and gather their army to meet the invaders. The Iberians may have superior technology, mercenaries, and the help of a local puppet sultan, but the sultan’s forces are fighting to protect their homes.
    • Fall of the Hausa (1804); Exiled from the Hausa city-state of Gobir for criticizing the greed and immorality of the city’s elites, the scholar, writer, and military leader Usman dan Fodio united Fulani nomads, Hausa peasants, and escaped slaves to spark a revolution on West Africa’s Sahel.
    • The Era of the Princes (1855): For over a century, Ethiopia struggled as local warlords vied for power in the declining old empire. There seemed to be no way out of the conflict until a man named Kassa Hailu stepped in. Kassa, a veteran of the Ethiopian-Egyptian wars, could no longer bear to watch as his country was torn asunder. He would fight the warlords and gift the loot to the impoverished Ethiopian peasants.
  • 11 new achievements
  • New gameplay elements:


  • Different attack based on distance was introduced in the release of the Definitive Edition, but limited to Peruvian Legion Revolutionaries and Swedish artillery with the Home City Card "Case Shot". It was a feature previously used in the Napoleonic Era mod with artillery through the change of stance (like the Sebastopol Mortar).