The artificial intelligence or AI, is the computer orders on how the enemy and ally computer player and some units react in the environments of a game.
- 1 Age of Empires
- 2 Age of Empires II
- 3 Age of Mythology
- 4 Age of Empires III
Age of Empires
- AI will rarely, if ever, build walls. If AI does build walls, it will only be a short segment. This is common at the Scenario Editor under the default personality.
- AI will often send their villagers to scout the map early in the game and will continue to do so late in the game even after more capable military units suited for the task are available. Scouting villagers will continue their job indefinitely until their death if they are able to effectively dodge range attacks.
- With the exception of Campaigns and custom scenarios, AI will continue to build villagers/fishing vessels until they have about 30 or so.
- AI will almost always construct most of their buildings at a certain distance away from their first Town Center. The space occupied by all of their buildings will often be a rectangular ring surrounding their Town Center if there are no natural obstructions.
- AI will keep sending their villagers to repair damaged buildings/towers/walls until the building is either fully repaired or destroyed, even if it would be foolish to do so.
- AI will often reconstruct a recently destroyed building near its previous location, even if the area is controlled by the enemy.
- If the building being constructed has been destroyed before completion, that specific building type will no longer be attempted to be built by the AI. However, if the AI builds that specific building type in multiple numbers, and gets destroyed before completion, the AI will have a reduced number of that specific building type (e.g., the AI has four Siege Workshops, then the player destroys one and then destroys the foundation of the Siege Workshop with which to replace the one destroyed, the AI will only have three Siege Workshops). Despite this, the player can exploit this weakness by repeating the same process to destroy other buildings of the same type, while preventing the AI from completely building a new one, until the AI stops to build that specific building type throughout the game.
- Later in a game AI will not build storage pits/granaries next to resource sites, but will instead gather resources as far away as they can.
- AI do not hunt elephants and will not gather food from predators such as lions and alligators even if they have been hunted down. The only time they will hunt predators I when their villagers are being attacked by wild animals, however, they will still not attempt to gather food from them.
- Once AI military units are attacking a target (such as a building), they will never stop attacking it for any reason unless directly threatened.
- AI will sometimes use military units that are outdated if resources are becoming scarce, for instance, they may use clubmen in the Iron Age.
- AI will generally train a few specific types of units corresponding to its civilization bonuses and tech tree, and will rarely have a diverse army.
- AI will strictly build their army based on their civilization's strengths, for example, an AI who is the Choson civilization may train only swordsmen.
- If AI has multiple Priests, AI will attempt to convert an enemy unit with as many priests as possible within its range.
- If an elephant is within the range of the priest or near the unit that are trying to convert, the Priest will sometimes attempt to convert the elephant instead of the attacking unit.
- The AI tends to target the unit with the lowest hit points in an enemy army.
- In the Rise of Rome expansion, the AI seem to like training slingers regardless of their civilization and age, perhaps because of their ability to inflict full damage against buildings and towers.
- AI will never attack with their villagers unless one or more of the following circumstances occurs:
- They are attacked early in the game, such as in the Stone or early Tool Age.
- Towers are built near their Town Center.
- Their civilization is being crushed and defeat seems imminent.
- If an enemy starts building a tower in AI's base, sometimes AI will send everything including villagers to attack the tower.
Under these circumstances, the AI will send all of their villagers to attack the threat.
There is a special circumstance in the campaign, where the AI has a minimal script. in which it uses a dialog to communicate to the player. It will demand tribute from the player, and this will affect the AI's diplomatic stance with the player. This is seen in two campaign scenarios, namely in Oppression and Coming of the Huns :
"Tribute 400 gold to me or you will be destroyed!"
If the player complies, AI will remain as an Ally (no Allied victory checked) meaning if that AI player wins by Wonder, Artifact, or Ruins countdowns, the player will still lose. AI then delivers the following script:
"A wise choice. Together we shall rule the world!"
Otherwise, if the player refuses to pay tribute within a certain amount of time, the AI will change diplomatic stance towards the player to Enemy, and will deliver the following script:
"You dare defy me? Prepare to die!"
- In Oppression, the AI will only demand 300 gold, however it will change its diplomatic stance towards the player to enemy faster compared to the AI in Coming of the Huns, if the player does not comply. In the latter, the AI will demand 400 gold, as shown in the example dialog.
Age of Empires II
The Age of Kings
The AI in Age of Empires II is much more advanced than the AI in the previous installment. The Computer Player Strategy Builder Guide lists what each difficulty of the AI will do and what not:
|Advances through the Ages||After any human player that has advanced to that age||Slowly as a novice player, or as Easiest does||As an experienced player||As fast as possible||As fast as possible; computer players cooperate to slingshot through the ages|
|Builds a Castle||Rarely||Seldom||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Builds a Wonder||Never||Seldom||If possible||If possible||Seldom|
|Expansion and resource gathering||Slowly selects resources; abandons contested resources||Slowly||Fast||Aggressively defends resources||Aggressively defends resources, destroys enemy resources|
|Monks used to convert buildings||Never||Rarely||Seldom||Yes||Yes|
|Monks used to convert units||Rarely with very few Monks||Seldom or slowly||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Walls and towers||Never||Sometimes defensive towers||Yes||Yes||Yes, may build offensive towers|
|Starting diplomatic stance||Neutral||Neutral||Mix of Neutral and Enemy||Enemy||Enemy|
|Will ally with human players||Yes (unless game would end)||Yes (unless game would end)||With one human only (unless game would end)||Never||Never|
|Will ally with humans||Depends on personality||Depends on personality||Sometimes||Never||Never|
|Will ally with other computer AIs||No||Yes||Yes||Preferred||Preferred|
|Cooperates against human player||No||Sometimes||Sometimes||Yes; coordinated attacks, optimized building strategies etc.||Yes|
|Given additional resources at start?||No||No||No||No||Yes|
Note that the hardest AI does not only get resources at the start, but upon reaching any Age, including the Dark Age. They get 500 of each resource every time for a total of 2,000 each when they reach the Imperial Age.
In The Conquerors, the AI has been improved slightly, being more aggressive. The AI tends to build walls around its main base.
In The Forgotten, the AI has made a huge step forward, being a challenging opponent in higher grades of difficulty. Some aspects of the Computer Player Strategy Builder Guide do not apply anymore. The resource bonus, for instance, was removed. Also, the AI uses the trade heavily now, thus generating more gold. But the aggressiveness they play with is the biggest difference, though. The AI either rushes or booms with heavy attacks in the early Feudal Age or late Castle Age, respectively. If an army is outnumbered, sometimes it even retreats. When being besieged and mostly destroyed, unlike in the previous version, they can still rebuild their base.The AI tends to use about 60% of the population limit or more to create Villagers, which causes its economy to boom rapidly from mid to late game, thus making its army nearly unstoppable as it would just quickly replace its defeated army due to the fact it has gathered high amounts of resources. This AI tends to stop attacking and prefers defending their base if it is running low on resources
This AI advances to the Castle Age a bit slower compared to the previous AI however once it does, it will have a stable economy by then. Also, since this AI focuses on booming together often complemented with rushing, it tends to collect Relics slower than the previous AI
The difficulty of the campaigns is much higher than it was in the previous versions.
The African Kingdoms
The AI has received significant overhauls in the Definitive Edition. In addition to the new "Extreme" difficulty setting, the AI will now actively try to counter the units that the human players use against it and understands more complex strategies like how to use rams to destroy other siege units. It is also able to understand more complex commands as an ally (such as a request to attack an area with a specific unit type) and will attempt to coordinate with human players by relaying information about enemy bases and resources that it discovers.
Random map quotes
- AI requests neutrality
- I am Neutral to thee. Set thy diplomacy to Neutral to me.
- Player ignores neutrality request for two minutes
- Set thy diplomacy to Neutral to me. Now!
- Thou ignorest my invitation? In mercy, I give you a second chance.
- Player ignores neutrality request for four minutes
- This is thy last opportunity.
- How unwise. Thou art still hostile to me. Set to Neutral at once versus me!
- Player ignores neutrality request for six minutes
- It shall be war to the knife!
- So! Thou has chosen to defy me.
- AI offers alliance
- Send me 200 each of wood, food, gold, and stone!
- If thou dost this thing, I shall join thy side.
- 'Odsblood! I accidentally resigned by mistake.
- My townsfolk began too close to mine kingdom's Town Center.
- Far too many birds flew over mine kingdom.
- A mere a single scout was present to serve in the beginning.
- My sheep perished when my folk sought to use it as food.
- Forsooth, I couldst not tame any wolves.
- All my beginning citizenry were male.
- Thy heraldic color was superior to mine own.
- My ignorant folk couldst not replant the berries!
- Thou art human, with soul and wit. I am naught but clockwork!
- My throne was most uncomfortable.
- Forsooth, the nearby boars grunted too loudly and frequently.
- 'Zounds! I couldst not build a Wonder in the Dark Age!
- I couldst not comprehend mine folks' speech!
- My peasants wert puling wretches (a puny 25 hit points)!
- The shore fish near mine villager appeared all too sleepy.
- A graceless hillock rose too near my Town Center.
- My peasants' huts all faced different directions!
- The deer fled when mine hunters sought to slay them.
- When I commanded a peasant to hunt fierce boar, it slew him.
- My peasants foolishly walk on foot instead of astride ponies.
- Alas, I could find naught but fools gold.
- No wonder thou wert victorious! I shalt abdicate.
- Regardless of difficulty, the AI often dodges projectiles of ranged units. Also, it uses hit-and-run tactics with ranged units itself, making it hard especially for infantry using players.
- Interestingly, the AI will sometimes cancel the construction of a building if it is only built by a single Villager and that Villager is attacked.
- Some of the verbs in the AI’s quotes are incorrectly conjugated, and the use of mine before a consonant is grammatically incorrect.
Age of Mythology
Random map AI personalities
- Standard: the most balanced AI, balances economy and military pressure. Usually attacks starting from the Classical Age, but only sends two waves per Age. Rarely walls.
- Attacker: attacks early and raids frequently. Spends a lot of time in the Classical Age but will advance to the Heroic Age if their military pressure fails. Does not spend resources on Walls or Towers.
- Conqueror: begins training a massive army in the Classical Age but does not attack until the Heroic in order to upgrade its forces. Is vulnerable to rush strategies.
- Builder: focuses entirely on its economy in the early game, building and training the bare minimum. Will advance to the Heroic Age as quickly as possible and will follow up with heavy attacks.
- Protector: will attempt to secure a large section of the map by first walling themselves and will then build many towers in the Heroic Age over a wide area. Will make a modest army in the Classical Age but will not attack until later in the Heroic Age.
- Defender: will focus on defending the area closest to its immediate area with walls and towers. May attack in the Classical Age as resources permit and will advance to the Heroic Age at a much later time.
- No AI: does absolutely nothing
- Random: selects randomly from the above
Here is a table showing a detailed Standard AI behavior on different difficulty settings:
|Advances through the Ages||Very slowly||Slowly||Fast||Very fast|
|Upgrades their units||Never||Yes but not that fast||Yes, faster than Normal||Yes, as their resources permit|
|Will build on settlements||Limited to only one settlement||Limited to three settlements||Will claim all possible settlements||Will claim all possible settlements|
|Army size||Small||Medium||Large||Very large|
|Number of gatherers||Few||Medium||Many||Medium|
|Will pick up Relics||Rarely||Sometimes||Often||Often|
|Trains myth units||Rarely||Rarely||Often||As long as there is enough favor (Greek AI rarely train myth units)|
Titan difficulty AI
Based on the table, you'll notice that Hard and Titan do not have much differences, except the fact that Titan has a handicap bonus of +100%. In terms of the numbers of gatherers, Hard has more villagers compared to Titan to keep its economy booming, while Titan only needs lesser villagers due to the said handicap. Since Titan has fewer Villagers compared to Hard, they have more population room for their army.
Greek AI's rarely spam powerful myth units such as the Colossus, since most of the time they only prefer to train Pegasus. They also rely on heroes most of the time, who cost them Favor, instead of using them to summon lots of myth units.
*Handicap bonus - it is a bonus which gives a particular player speed and gather rate advantage. For example, when fighting against a Titan AI, the player can notice a +100% beside the AI's personality name, which indicates they gain twice speed and gather rate as a regular payer without the handicap bonus. The bonus affects build time, unit's creation speed, research time and the resource gather rate. The said effect on the AI's performance is determined by the total handicap percentage before and after the handicap bonus. Each of the players (including AI's) already has a base handicap speed of 100%.
To explain this further, since every player has a base 100% handicap, if a single player game is played under Titan difficulty settings, it will give the AI +100%, which is like (100% base) + 100% handicap bonus = 200%, hence it is where the times 2 increase comes from.
When the player with a +100% handicap bonus gathers resources, the amount they deposit to the drop off sites are doubled. For example, a Greek Titan AI villager gathers 15 Food from a Deer then proceeds to deposit it to the Granary. In this example, 30 Food will be added to the AI's stockpile because of the 100% handicap bonus. (15 x 2 = 30)
Using the cheat code MR. MONDAY gives the AI +1000% handicap, meaning their production rate is multiplied 11 times compared to a player without handicap bonus. It affects all AI's in the game. It also affects the AI despite which difficulty level the player is playing, and greatly affects the AI's performance. Getting back on the scenario earlier, if a Greek AI's Villager (with MR. MONDAY cheat) deposits 15 Food to the Granary, 165 Food would be added to its stockpile. (15 x 11 = 165)
To explain this further, since every player has a base 100% handicap, if MR. MONDAY is activated, it will give the AI +1000%, which is like (100% base) + 1000% handicap bonus = 1100%, hence it is where the times 11 increase comes from.
On Easy: AI will spam armies at a very fast rate. The AI may also reach Mythic Age quickly, however it will still not upgrade its units (not even to the Medium level) and will rarely attack Still, it will not attempt to capture even unoccupied Settlements.
On Hard and Titan: Since it is mentioned earlier that Hard and Titan AI's only main difference is the Handicap bonus, the cheat code MR. MONDAY will affect them the same way. They will build their armies extremely fast, will advance to the Mythic Age quickly, and upgrade their units to the Champion level. Because of the cheat's great handicap bonus, Hard AI with MR. MONDAY activated will adjust its Villager production accordingly so they can now have more population room to create a larger army.
Other notable traits
- The AI never builds a forward base against other players.
- Will always use a maximum trio of units in an attempt to build a Town Center on an unoccupied Settlement (except Atlanteans).
- If the player destroys their Docks several times in the game, then proceed to destroy the Fishing Ships, the AI will not rebuild the latter. The AI, however, may still rebuild the Dock if being repeatedly destroyed.
- The AI will automatically offer to resign if all their Town Centers are destroyed, even if they are otherwise far ahead of the player.
- The AI rarely trains Ballistae.
- Does not use Hersirs to build any buildings (despite the fact they are counted as Norse infantry and can build military buildings).
- The AI, even worshiping Helios to advance to the Mythic Age, never builds Mirror Towers.
- Upon worshiping Oceanus to advance to the Classical Age, the AI does not use (or even move) the free Caladria nor mass-produce it.
- Upon worshiping Theia to advance to the Heroic Age, the AI will use the free Stymphalian Bird on one of its attacks, but will not mass-produce it.
- Will only use a single Citizen at a time to occupy an unclaimed Settlement.
- Never uses Citizen (Hero) to build any buildings that it can normally build.
- Never trains Mercenary and Mercenary Cavalry.
Random map quotes
- Just keep your armies in your own lands, and we will get along just fine.
- Good luck! You're going to need it!
- Build many, many walls. You'll need them when I arrive.
- I look forward to conquering your lands in the name of my deity.
- To last, I grapple with thee!
- My empire expands slowly, so you'll have to give me plenty of time before you attack.
- Hail, stranger. If you keep to your lands, I might keep to mine.
- May the best commander win.
- It is a pleasure to meet you on the field of battle. I hope you put up a good fight!
- This land is too small for all of us. I suggest you surrender now.
- If it's a war you want, that is precisely what you will get.
- My people will be victorious.
- Anger me, and I will burn your cities and sow salt in the fields.
- Greetings, mortal.
- I have heard of this god you worship, but I am not impressed.
- May all your villagers be killed by wild animals.
- I hope you don't mind if I destroy each and every last one of your kind. Thanks.
- I have heard of your coming. This should be a challenge.
- Perhaps my people will build a monument to commemorate my defeating you.
- I shall pave my roads with possessions gathered from your shattered empire.
- Some empires were destined to rise. Yours, however, will fall.
- Casts god power
- My gods have a gift for you! I hope it hurts.
- The gods have given me great power.
- The gods favor my people.
- The gods have blessed my villagers.
- Take that!
- I could have chosen destruction, but I choose this instead.
- Let that be a lesson to you!
- That looked extremely painful.
- This is almost a waste of my power.
- AI Ages up first
- You cannot possibly expect to win with your limited technology.
- Your people have yet to discover fire or the wheel.
- Only a civilization as advanced as ours deserves to survive.
- You barbarians still fight with clubs and rocks.
- Someday I will rid the world of primitive cultures such as yours.
- Player Ages up first
- You may have technology, but we have numbers
- Even though you are more advanced, it will not save you from defeat.
- Your gods have showered you with blessings.
- Perhaps you would like to share some technology with me?
- Captured Relic
- If you want this Relic, you will have to pry it from my Temple.
- Look ma! I found a Relic!
- I shall present this Relic to the Temple of my Gods.
- I'm glad I found this relic before you did.
- It was foretold I would uncover this relic
- Another Relic to add to my collection.
- Ally captures Relic
Allies send signal flares from the spot where they picked up a Relic.
- Sweet this relic is mine.
- Prepares to attack
- It won't be long now. Soon you will see my banners in your lands.
- I toy with my prey.
- You are in my way. You shall be removed.
- Swords sharpened. Spears leveled. Prepare to attack!
- My god decrees that I must destroy you.
- Lock your doors and windows. The storm approaches.
- You are a stain on this and I shall rub you out.
- You have pushed us back into the fringes of civilization.
- Run Away! Run Away!
- I will withdraw. We shall resume our battle later.
- My victory over your empire will have to wait.
- Player caught building walls
- Walling yourself in? That won't help you.
- Fine. Build walls. I will make siege weapons and come get you.
- You waste more resources on defenses?
- Men fight with troops. Children fight with buildings.
- Player claims Town Center
- I will soon take from you what is mine.
- I know where you are expanding.
- You prey upon the weak.
- Do not think you can challenge me.
- Cease this expansion into neutral territory.
- That was a peaceful village. You did not have to invade it.
- A bold move, but I shall have the last.
- Ally being attacked
- Note: The ally will send a signal flare at their base where they are fighting off enemies.
- Can you come bail me out again?
- Please send aid, or I will be forced to resign
- They are getting the best of me at this location.
- Help me here, or I will be forced to resign.
- I am having some trouble at this spot.
- I am going to be crushed! Can't you do anything?
- Player or ally loses Town Center
- Note: The enemy may also quote these if the player casts the Citadel god power.
- Sniff. Do I smell something burning?
- Oh, did you need that town?
- Your empire collapses into anarchy.
- Enemy loses last Town Center
- You have removed all of my cities from the map.
- My empire has collapsed.
- I suppose you will not stop until you have destroyed all of my empire.
- Enemy loses Wonder/Titan Gate
- Hey! I needed that!
- Curse you! I spent a lot of resources on that Wonder!
- I guess I have to win with the old fashioned way.
- Offers to surrender
The enemy AI will usually offer to leave the game whenever the player has done severe damage to them, such as destroying their Town Center or killed most of their worker units. The player can choose between Yes or No.
- May I offer my surrender?
- Perhaps you would allow me to leave with some dignity?
- Can we please stop this war before more lives are lost?
Age of Empires III
Multiple civilizations trick
It is possible to assign the same civilization to several AIs in single player skirmish with the following trick:
- First choose the number of players and pick the civilization of the last AI;
- Then decrease the number of players and pick the civilization of the last slot again;
- Repeat until there is only one player;
- Then put the number of players back to what it was originally; the slots will all contain the civilization that was chosen.
In Age of Empires III, the AI also have their own preferences, copying defenses in each game and upgrading Outposts to different levels. The group below presumes that the player is not playing on a post-industrial or imperial gameplay as the towers will already be on Fortified level.
- Queen Elizabeth, Napoleon, and Suleiman the Magnificent always upgrade Outposts to Frontier level.
- Maurice of Nassau always upgrades Outposts to the Fortified level.
- Queen Isabella does not make Outposts but does use the Outpost Wagon card, but replaces it as her level increases.
- Ivan the Terrible builds Blockhouses due to serving as both a defensive and infantry production building. He does not upgrade them at all.
- Prince Henry the Navigator and Frederick the Great never build Outposts.
- On higher difficulties, the European AI personalities will often attempt to construct a Fort near enemy territory provided there is a land connection. They will often notify the player of this (if the player is an ally and AI chat is enabled). The AI may do this prematurely, which can result in either their Fort Wagon or subsequent Fort being destroyed before the AI are able to adequately defend the site. If the Fort does survive, however, it provides a focal point for their attacks and they tend to mass units there.
Each AI personality also has a unique combination of biases towards specific strategies and units. The descriptions are mostly taken from the AI script comments, but may be edited for clarity.
- British: Infantry oriented boomer, favors natives
- French: Cavalry oriented, balanced, favors natives
- Spanish: Offensive rusher, disdains trading posts
- Russians: Infantry oriented turtler, slight boomer
- Germans: Cavalry oriented, offensive rusher, dislikes trading posts
- Dutch: Turtler, boomish, huge emphasis on trade
- Portuguese: Artillery oriented boomer, favors trade, slightly offensive
- Ottomans: Balanced (no biases)
- Sioux: Extreme rush, ignores trade routes
- Iroquois: Balanced, trade and native bias
- Aztecs: Chaotic (random), but usually light boom, defensive. 30% chance of rusher, trader
- Chinese: Infantry oriented, slight boomer
- Japanese: Extreme rush, ignores trade routes
- Indians: Cavalry oriented, slight rusher, trade bias
|Advances through the Ages||Very slow advancement rate||Slightly faster advancement rate||As an experienced player||As fast as possible||As fast as possible; computer players cooperate to slingshot through the Ages|
|Army size||Very small||Slightly larger||Moderate size||Larger||Extremely large|
|Attack rate||Extremely rare||Slightly faster||Normal rate||As fast as possible||As fast as possible|
|Attacks first||No||Upon reaching Industrial Age or when attacked first||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Resource handicap||-70% for all||-50% for scenarios, -60% for skirmish||-25% for scenarios, -35% for skirmish||0% for all||+50% for all|
Since the The WarChiefs expansion, European AI personalities have slightly changed:
- Suleiman upgrades his Outposts to the Fortified level
- All European AI's appear fond of creating units from the Saloon
- All European AI's build a Church and most of the time train Spies
- The European AI's new added units, namely Horse Artillery and/or Petards, often feature in their armies.
Fishing is also affected by the AI personality; rushers will tend to not fish at all, while boomers will create the most Fishing Boats. However, there is an exception; if the map is designated as a "good fishing map", such as Amazonia, Caribbean, and Ceylon, even rushers will fish.