Age of Empires Series Wiki

Arena is a random map in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. It is featured in Age of Empires: Return of Rome as Citadel, and in Age of Empires III as Black Forest - Arena. In Age of Mythology, it was originally a cut game mode (like the campaign "game mode"); it was officially added with the release of Age of Mythology: Retold.

Age of Empires II[]



Arena selection

The walls aroud your forest clearing are your only protection from the carnage in the middle.
—In-game description

Arena surrounds all players with Stone Walls and has a huge open space in the middle with resources ringed around the outside. The entire map is surrounded by a huge ring of trees. Sometimes (see map) small pocket open spaces are formed at the back of players' bases containing resources (stone or gold). This feature was later removed, and now the backspaces when present never generate piles of gold or stone.

Aside from the Stone Walls, the start-up for every player is the standard with 6 Berry Bushes, 8 small herdables (or six Cows), half of which in this case may or may not be inside player's walls (found in pairs), 2 aggressive huntables (Boars), a herd of 3-4 passive huntables (Deer), and normal amounts of gold and stone piles. In later patches, all herdables are generated inside the walls.

Regarding Relics, they can be found in regular numbers (5 in 1 vs 1 maps) and are always generated scattered in the central open space, Wild beasts can be found scattered, sometimes alone and sometimes in pairs, and in regular numbers. Sometimes larger maps contain extra Berry Bushes in the central open space

Viable tactics[]

Arena is a map that favors boom strategies, due to the fact that walls are already in place and a rush early would take a long time to penetrate the Stone Walls, especially if defending players place towers. Since players starts walled and sometimes some of the herdables are generated outside the walls, it is advisable that the scout unit goes immediately to explore outside the immediate vicinity of the wall in order to find and take them while putting at least two of the other herdables (the initial 4 nearest to the Town Center) to scout the insides of the player's settlement. Herdables outside the wall are often lost because some players forget to do this. However, the Herdable issue was adressed in a later patch, and now they are always generated inside a player's walls.

For a boom strategy, players should go and take the nearest Gold and Stone Mines outside the wall and leave the mines inside the wall for later. This way, the player can secure a bit more of those resources. If the player luckily enough has an open space at the back with stone or gold, these mines also will be counted as a secured resource. This was rectified in later patches, and backspaces no longer generate stone or gold mines. Despite the number of Relics being normal, they can be a key item on Arena, as they can be found much more easily than on other maps. As the distance between them and the players' bases is closer than in most maps due to walls, those must be taken as soon as the player can create Monks.

Naturally, the only route to attack other camps is through the middle, forcing most of the fighting to be done there. The resources (gold and stone) outside an enemy's base should be a player's first target, as the player should try to limit the other as much as possible. Controlling the center of the map is key in every Arena match.

For an aggressive playstyle, players may perform a Fast Castle strategy followed by a sieging attack with infantry and siege units or by a Castle drop outside opponent player's walls, as those tactics are a very effective ways to pressure a player and forcing them out their walls. Archer and Tower rushes in the Feudal Age may work only as a way to pressure the opponent and the focus on this map for those is to deny the opponent to get outside their walls. In the Cumans' case, they can also perform a Feudal Age ram rush in order to breach an opponent wall very early in the match.


  • Civilizations with good defensive bonuses, especially if they have good walls and Castles: Byzantines, Teutons, Spanish, Chinese, Mayans, Franks, Bulgarians, etc.
  • Civilizations with good late-game bonuses: Turks, Byzantines, Teutons, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, etc.
  • Civilizations with good siege weapons (especially rams, Trebuchets and Bombard Cannons, as those are needed for destroying walls and Castles): Tatars, Ethiopians, Celts, Khmer, Koreans, Chinese, Slavs, etc.
  • Infantry-based civilizations (as most infantry units have bonus attack vs buildings): Aztecs, Goths, Burmese, Japanese, etc.
  • Civilizations with bonuses regarding wood collection: Celts, Burmese, for example.
  • Civilizations with strong economic bonuses: Cumans, Aztecs, Mayans, etc.
  • Civilizations with Bonuses regarding Monks and Relics: Lithuanians, Aztecs, Indians etc.
    • With this in mind, both civilizations introduced in Lords of the West are extremely powerful in Arena, especially the Burgundians. They nearly accord with all the advantages the Arena should have, and are now the most powerful civilization in this map. Sicilians also do a great job thanks to their faster Castle Drop and excellent infantry and siege weapons.

Civilizations that may struggle in Arena:

  • Civilizations reliant on early aggression that lack good infantry or siege: Huns, Magyars, etc.

Similar maps[]

Game mode[]


Image of the cut Arena mode, shown here is the Fall of the Trident campaign (loaded on the campaign menu beforehand) showing cutscene names and descriptions

Arena was a mode that was cut before release, before the Main Menu UI was changed.

Information on it is unknown, however it is NOT a form of the Arena map. It is possible to suggest it was a wave based mode set on unique maps, a sandbox version of the campaign, or similar to the Battles of the Conquerors campaign from Age of Empires II, set in mythicalized historical battles, and mythical adventures of heroes. It is also possible it was a harder version of the campaign, with killable heroes, less resources, and even tougher enemies before the Titan mode was added.


To access Arena, do the following:

  • Download BARExplorer, or AoMED, either preferably from AoMH.
  • Using BARExplorer enter the data/ (For Vanilla, and Titans respectively) and extract uipregame.xmb and uipregamenew.xmb.
  • Rename uipregame.xmb to uipregamenew.xmb and then paste it in the /data folder.
  • Start AoM and navigate through the changed menu (from the Alpha) and find "Arena".
Note: Due to both the cut main menu and Arena mode being cut from the shipped game, the textures for both are not present in the files, so the player must extract these from the Multiplayer Alpha.

Whilst it is possible to do the same process with the Extended Edition, it is not suggested to do so, due to Steam Support and a new menu layout.


  • Due to a bug, the last played campaign will appear in the arena menu. If the player now loads Fall of the Trident prior, cutscenes will appear, and with unique names, this however does not work with The New Atlantis or other official campaigns due to being made after cutscenes could no longer be accessed through the campaign menu.
  • Arena is not a cut differentially-named Campaign menu, as it exists alongside each other in the cut campaign menu.

Age of Mythology: Retold[]

Calender icon This article documents upcoming content.
Article may contain inaccuracies or values that are subject to change as information is updated. Please remove this template when the content has gone live. Adding speculation and leaks is prohibited, hence only information publicly revealed can be added.
Release date: September 4, 2024
AoMR Arena map icon

Arena icon as seen from map selection menu

Players begin in close proximity to each other, but separated by a tall mountain.
—Map description

Arena is a random map introduced in Age of Mythology: Retold. It is a closed land map with an open middle, player bases protected by Stone Walls, and a forest all around the map edge.


AoMR Arena map load screen
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.


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