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Archipelago is a random map in Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings, Age of Mythology, Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - Knights of the Mediterranean, and Age of Empires IV.

AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires II[]

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A group of large islands. You might not be the only inhabitant of yours.

The map consists of a series of islands surrounded by a large ocean. Most of the resources are limited, due to the fact that the islands are smaller than regular landmasses. Some players start the game on an isolated island, others share an island with another player that could be allied or enemy or an island that extend to the corner with some wood, gold, stone, berries, and Deer. The majority of a player's food should come from the water to preserve wood stockpiles. A very important note would be the resource islands. Typically, Archipelago contains four extra, smaller islands. Two are mostly barren, but the other two contain very large amounts of gold, wood, food, and stone. Locating these islands and exploiting their benefits should be a top priority for all players.

The initial food natural resources around initial Town Centers are the standard ones (8 sheep or 6 cows, half near, half hidden at a distance, 2 aggressive huntables, 4 passive huntables, 6 Berry Bushes), but considering this is an island setting, sometimes the coast will also be relatively near the initial positions, allowing for getting shore fish early on. Initial Stone and Gold mines are standard.

Lone wild predators are usually present in the outer coast of the islands and not on the coast that leads to the center of the map. the bonus islands in the center of the map are free from wild predators. The number of Relics is standard and varies depending the size of the map.

It has the in-game map tag of "Water".

Viable strategies[]

Early standard land rushes (such as infantry, cavalry, or archer rushes) are sometimes viable (depending if the initial island leads to an opponent's settlement). Also, Galley rushes and Landing-to-rush strategies are very possible. An early rush can displace an enemy player and secure a friendly base in the island, allowing the rushing player to use the resources from the other island, effectively adding to their resource stockpiles.

Defending and turtling on Archipelago is also very viable, especially for civilizations with good towers. Booming is also possible, but it may require the player to first perform a turtle and place buildings near the shoreline for getting sight and preventing unexpected enemy landings.

Trash wars are common in long games on this map, as island maps have less resources available (aside from food), and they can be depleted more easily than on a land setting

Controlling the water is very important in Archipelago. Also, the player or team that gains control of the islands in the center can get an economic edge over their opponents, so finding those and taking them may be a priority, especially in the middle game when players can make secondary Town Centers.


Civilizations with advantages here include:

Civilizations that may struggle

  • Civilizations with poor navy: the Aztecs or the Cumans for example

Aom original icon Age of Mythology[]

Archipelago icon

Archipelago game icon in Age of Mythology

This sun-swept island chain may isolate players at random.
—Map description.

Much like the Age of Empires II version, Archipelago features a highly unpredictable map, where players may start alone or share with their teammates the same island, or in separate islands, but slightly connected by a land bridge. Control of the waterways is highly important, as the islands have limited animals, forcing players to focus on fishing and rushing, with both naval and land units.

Some of the uninhabited islands and islets on the map may or may not have Gold Mines, so it is imperative to scout well the seas for potential resource pools. The fauna in this map is common to the Mediterranean region, including Wild Boars Deer and Mahi-mahi in the waters (as well as non-interactable Orcas). The forests in the region are composed of palms.

The best major gods for this map are ones who offer naval or scouting bonuses as well as the right minor gods, who provide in turn naval myth units and/or naval Myth Technologies.

Odin in particular is one of the best choices, as he spawns Raven scouts on the Temple, excellent for searching resources on uninhabited islands, and provides multiple Minor Gods who boost the Norse navy: Heimdall, Njord, Tyr, and Baldr.

3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

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Eu archipelago mini

Minimap of Archipelago

The islands in the Aegean Sea provide a beautiful setting. The Archipelago contains many small islands and requires players to migrate to the surrounding islands to expand their territory. Two trade routes cross the map and several palaces of local and foreign royal houses can be found on the islands around the map's edge.
—In-game description

Archipelago is a random map in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - Knights of the Mediterranean. It features a number of small- to medium-sized islands, which requires the player to move away from their starting island to get resources. It is based on the islands of the Aegean Sea, situated between Greece and Anatolia.

Royal Houses[]

Treasure Guardians[]

GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV[]

A group of small islands in the middle of a large ocean.
Age of Empires IV description

Archipelago is a random map in Age of Empires IV. It is a water map consisting of a main island for each player and neutral islands with extra resources and gameplay elements.


Archipelago is similar to the other entries in the series as the game's quintessential water map, featuring several islands surrounded by an expanse of water. The map spawns differently depending on the map size and number of players. In 1 vs 1, the layout will generally have each player starting out on their own island positioned along a map corner or edge, with at least 2 larger neutral islands, and possibly additional smaller islands. In 2 vs 2, each player will also typically start out on their own island, but it is much more likely for a player's island to be in the middle of the map completely surrounded by water, and rarely possible for two players to share an island. 3 vs 3 and 4 vs 4 generations are much more structured, with each player island equally spaced along the edge of the map, encircling usually a single large neutral island in the center of the map, and sometimes a second, smaller island. In all map sizes, each player's island will have one of the Relics on it, with the rest distributed among the neutral islands. However, on 2 vs 2 maps, the map generation seems especially inconsistent in not being able to spawn the targeted number of Relics (seven). The 2 Sacred Sites are seemingly always placed on separate neutral islands in 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2, while in 3 vs 3 and 4 vs 4, they will both typically share the single central neutral island (unless a secondary island spawns in which case one can spawn there as well), making it somewhat of a 'King of the Hill' scenario. Each neutral island will usually spawn with a Coastal Trade Post, meaning that there can be anywhere from 1 to 3 Trade Posts depending on the map size and generation.


On all map sizes, each player's starting island will start out with 5 Sheep, 1 large Berry Bush patch, 1 Boar, 1 large Deer pack, 2 large Gold Mines, 1 small Gold Mine, and 1 large Stone Mine. There will be 1 large circular woodline close to the starting Town Center while additional areas of the starting islands will be more randomly covered in forest. Neutral islands are typically quite heavily forested, such that the forests can even block off Relics or Sacred Sites. The neutral islands will have 1 to 2 additional large Gold Mines in 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2, and 4 to 6 large Gold Mines, as well as 1 or 2 large or small Stone Outcropppings in 3 vs 3 and 4 vs 4. As with Relics, the more inconsistent 2 vs 2 spawns can sometimes result in several Gold and/or Stone resources not spawning. As a water map, Archipelago contains essentially unlimited Deep Water fish everywhere across the water area, and Shoreline fish along every island shore.


  • The word Archipelago is of Greek origin (Ancient Greek: Ἀρχιπέλαγος/Archipelagos), and referred to the Aegean Sea (Ancient Greek: Ἀιγαίο Πέλαγος/Aigaio Pelagos). "Archi" is a prefix that denotes authority, leadership or superiority, whereas "pelagos" meant sea, so "archipelagos" meant sea of seas. It later referred to the Aegean Islands, and on later times, it was used as a noun concerning collections/chains of islands, such as the Malay Archipelago.


Random maps
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For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
Age of Empires II
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For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
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For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
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For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV
Launch Altai · Ancient Spires · Archipelago · Black Forest · Boulder Bay · Confluence · Danube River · Dry Arabia · French Pass · High View · Hill and Dale · King of the Hill · Lipany · Mongolian Heights · Mountain Pass · Nagari · Warring Islands
Season One MegaRandom
Season Two The Pit
Season Three Baltic (Mediterranean) · Forest Ponds · Hideout · Mountain Clearing · Oasis · Prairie · Waterholes · Wetlands
Season Four Continental · Four Lakes · Marshland
Season Five Golden Heights · Migration · Volcanic Island
Season Six Canal · Gorge · Rocky River
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Season Seven Land MegaRandom
Season Eight Socotra
Expansion maps are not available without buying the expansion. Maps are sorted according to their expansion (must be bought) and launch seasons.
For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.