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This article is about the expansion of Age of Empires II: HD Edition. For the expansion of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, see The African Royals.

The African Kingdoms is the second expansion to Age of Empires II: HD Edition, and the third expansion for Age of Empires II. It focuses on the continent of Africa, and 3 of the 4 featured civilizations are from this continent.[1]

It was released on November 5, 2015[2] along with patch 4.4.


The African Kingdoms adds four civilizations, instead of five like the previous two. This expansion also adds a new African Architecture set, used by two of the new civilizations.

Architectural style Civilizations
African (new) Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians
Malians AoE2 Malians
Middle Eastern Berbers AoE2 Berbers
Mediterranean Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese
  • Berbers: Unite the tribes of Northern Africa and prepare your naval vessels to escape the scorching heat of the Maghreb. Set sail to war-torn Iberia to conquer new riches. Can you hold your ground against the scrambled kingdoms of Iberia who are slowly uniting against you?
  • Malians: Follow in the footsteps of the great Mansa Musa and become the greatest king of Western Africa. Conquer surrounding kingdoms to expand your wealth and hold a firm grip on the trade routes that zigzag through the region. Will you be able to keep the once hostile provinces united under your crown?
  • Ethiopians: Relive the glory of the once mighty Aksumite empire and rule over the Red Sea. Launch military expeditions into the Arabian peninsula and far beyond to hold a firm grip on your trading partners. Will your dynasty stand strong against internal conflicts or will your successor already be preparing your funeral. Only the strongest dynasty will survive…
  • Portuguese: Set sail for the new world, discover new routes to unknown lands and expand your trade routes to the mighty African empires. Use your newly acquired riches to advance your army with upgrades not mastered elsewhere in Europe and build incredible cities that will inspire generations for centuries to come.


Unique units[]

  • OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun: Castle unique unit of the Portuguese, gunpowder siege unit.
  • GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto: Castle unique unit of the Malians, ranged infantry unit.
  • CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer: Castle unique unit of the Berbers, anti cavalry-archer ranged cavalry unit.
  • Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior: Castle unique unit of the Ethiopians, infantry unit.
  • CaravelIcon-DE Caravel: Second unique unit of the Portuguese, available at the Dock. It can be upgraded to Elite Caravel.
  • GenitourIcon-DE Genitour: Team bonus of the Berbers, available at the Archery Range, for Berbers and their allies. It can be upgraded to Elite Genitour.

Common units[]


  • Feitoria aoe2DE Feitoria (250 gold, 250 stone, 20 population): New building unique to the Portuguese, generates 1 of each resource every few seconds but is slower overall than 20 villagers. Available in the Imperial Age.


General technologies[]

Unique technologies[]


Upon release, some of the unique technologies did not work as intended.

  • Kasbah: The technology applied to the player and the team, the latter of which also affected the player. Hence, Kasbah applied twice on the player researching it, for a total of 56% faster.
  • Maghrebi Camels: The technology applied to every player, even enemies.
  • Torsion Engines: The effect on Scorpions was not easily noticeable.



There are four new campaigns in The African Kingdoms, one for each of the new civilizations:

  • CampaignIcon-TariqIbnZiyadDE Tariq ibn Ziyad (Berbers): In the early 8th century, Tariq ibn Ziyad prepares to lead an army of Berbers and Arabs across the sea to Iberia, enthralling his troops with promises of wealth and glory. Will their might be enough to defeat the fearsome infantry of the Visigoths and bring the banners of war to the powerful Merovingian kingdom lying beyond the Pyrenees? Their success–or failure–lies in your hands.
  • CampaignIcon-SundjataDE Sundjata (Malians): The once great Ghana empire has fallen and West Africa is in turmoil. Sumanguru, King of the Sosso, is poised to forge a new empire. Said to possess a magical instrument that guarantees victory, he has led his Sosso warriors to conquer old Ghana and a small Mandinkan kingdom called Mali. Can Sundjata, the crippled prince of Mali, defy the odds, defeat Sumanguru, and become the most powerful ruler of West Africa?
  • CampaignIcon-FranciscoDE Francisco de Almeida (Portuguese): On the fringes of Europe, the Portuguese manage a meager and unsure existence, hardened by centuries of war against the Moors and rival Christian kingdoms. Now, daring explorers have returned from India and given Portugal hope of glories and wealth unachievable in the Old World. Can you lead a Portuguese armada to the East and forge an empire that spans three continents and two oceans? A new world awaits!
  • CampaignIcon-YoditDE Yodit (Ethiopians): The beautiful princess Yodit has a promising future at the Aksumite court. But when her jealous nephew accuses her of theft, Yodit is forced to flee her home country. Witness how exile shaped this fallen princess into a mighty queen. For centuries the story of Yodit's vengeance would invoke fear in the hearts of all Ethiopians.


Standard maps[]

Special maps[]

Real World maps[]

Game mode[]



  • This was the last expansion to introduce civilizations with all Blacksmith technologies available: the Berbers and Portuguese.
  • It was planned that buildings would be affected by certain terrains they were built on,[3] but in the end this was implemented only for cracked terrain.
  • The character on the left of the artwork represents Balcha Safo, an Ethiopian military commander who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries, long after the Middle Ages. The reason for this anachronistic choice is unknown.
  • The expansion icon is in the form of west African bird-faced masks made out of wood, typically in Ghana and Benin.



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