|“||[Player name] mocks your puny achievements. Relic and Wonder victories will take longer.||”|
|—Message when an enemy has researched Atheism|
Atheism is a technology in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors that is unique to the Huns and can be researched at the Castle once the Imperial Age is reached. Once researched, it makes Wonder and Relic victories take +100 years longer for all players (including the researching player), and reduces the gold generation of enemy Relics by 50%.
The effect regarding Wonders and Relic victories affects all civilizations, not just the player who researches it.
Choosing to research Atheism is entirely based on the situation of the game, and is less effective in games where players are opting to win through conquest. In games where players are attempting a Wonder or Relic victory or in the Defend the Wonder game mode, the extra hundred years combined with their special ability to quickly raze enemy structures makes it considerably easier for the Huns to spoil their opponents' attempts for a Wonder or Relic victory.
Secondly, the significant reduction in Relic gold generation for enemies of the Hunnic team can prove powerful in prolonged games where gold becomes scarce and teams rely heavily on Relic gold generation. In particular, it can significantly hamstring the Aztec team bonus of +33% bonus Relic gold generation, as well as other teams incentivized to collect Relics such as the Lithuanians and the Burmese. However, it does not affect the Burgundians' team Relic food income.
Lords of the West
- With update 44725, cost reduction effect of Atheism is removed; instead, enemy Relics generate 50% less gold.
- With update 50292, "a new threatening but familiar sound" (the former Hun civilization selection jingle) plays when enemy players research Atheism.
- Atheism is widely considered to be the least useful unique technology in the game since its usefulness only applies to the Wonder-related gameplay and the final scenario in Attila the Hun's campaign. However, the update to the unique technology in Update 44725 added the reduced enemy Relic gold production, making the technology situationally much more useful.
- In reality, the Huns did not lack a religion but likely practiced a form of animism and ancestor-worship called "Tengrism", a faith shared by a vast array of steppe peoples like the Mongols, Cumans, pre-Muslim Turks and Tatars, and pre-Christian Bulgars and Magyars.
|“||The paganism or outright lack of faith of the Huns offended the Romans who came to think of them as truly sub-human. The Huns, in turn, were unencumbered by the laws of structured religions. Laws of social and religious order were too restrictive for a civilization that was constantly on the move. The Huns put little faith in monuments and artifacts, therefore, focusing mainly on the here and now.||”|