Age of Empires Series Wiki

The Alligator is an animal that appears in Age of Empires and Age of Empires III.

Age of Empires[]

Alligators can be used as a food source, however due to their generally being located in small numbers and away from optimal Storage Pit sites, it may not be worth the effort to hunt them. Alligators are aggressive and will attack nearby units (within around 4 cells) even without being provoked. However, as the Alligator is quite slow, Villagers can easily escape or kite the Alligator by staying out of its attack range. Although the Alligator can be lured toward a Storage Pit using Villagers or other units, due to its very slow speed and the need to constantly pay attention to the task (unlike an Elephant the player can't spear-and-lure an Alligator for long without killing it), this may not be worth the effort. In many cases, it may be better just to use military units to eliminate the nuisance that Alligators pose rather than utilizing them for food. Lastly, the food value of an Alligator's carcass deteriorates considerably faster than other animals, so the player may want to use a large number of villagers to harvest an appreciable amount of food before most of it spoils away.

In Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, the animals are known as Crocodiles rather than Alligators. Other than that, the two animals are identical in stats and food provided.


  • The presence of alligators in the game (originally set in the eastern Mediterranean only) is a mistake, as these were based on the species Alligator mississippiensis which is only found in the southern United States. However, a second species, A. sinensis, lives in eastern China and is believed to have inspired ancient Chinese myths about dragons.

Age of Empires III[]

Alligators guarding a Treasure

Alligators are non-huntable animals and are usually Treasure Guardians, though they can also be found resting in the wild as well. Alligators are usually found in tropical maps like South America, the lower parts of North America and the Caribbean. Alligators are mainly found near a water source such as a river or swamp.

They are somewhat weak and not very dangerous except in groups, due to their lack of any resistances and low damage even settlers can effectively clear them from Treasures.


Scientific Name: Alligator mississippiensis
Approx. Size: 9 ft. long; 200 lb.
Diet: Fish, frogs, snails, mammals

Alligators are distinguished from crocodiles by a number of features. An alligator's eyes do not face forward as much as a crocodiles'. Both the upper and lower teeth are visible when a crocodile shuts its mouth; an alligator's closed mouth reveals only upper teeth. The easiest and most reliable method to distinguish between the two is the alligator's broad snout. Alligators range throughout the southeastern portion of North America. Female alligators lay dozens of eggs and cover them with vegetation to keep them warm. The temperature of the eggs as they incubate determines the gender of the babies that hatch.

Adult alligators dig holes by thrashing their bodies and digging with claws and snout. The purpose of these holes is to ensure that the alligator has a place to shelter during the hottest part of summer and droughts. It can also provide water for other animals during especially dry seasons, which, not coincidentally provides food for the enterprising alligator. The word alligator comes from a corruption of the Spanish word for the animal they encountered in the Florida wetlands, "el lagarto" - the lizard.


  • Despite appearing in all American tropical maps, the American alligator is only found in the southern U.S. in reality, from Texas to the Carolinas. It is presumably used as a stand in for other crocodilians like caimans and crocodiles. However, it is absent from southern Asian maps, where saltwater crocodiles should be found.