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This article is about the major civilization in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. For other appearances of the faction in the series, see Aztecs.
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The Aztecs (Mexica) were a powerful central American nation that was well known for its conquest of neighbors. Their power was centered in Tenochtitlan, present day Mexico city.

The Aztecs' civilization music theme in the Definitive Edition

The updated Aztecs' civilization music theme in the Definitive Edition

The Aztecs are one of the three playable Native American civilizations featured in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs.

Home City[]


The majority of Aztec military units are unique to the civilization, with the exception of Canoes and War Canoes. The entire Aztec army is composed of infantry. They can build the Nobles' Hut and War Hut which are their counterpart to the European Blockhouse. They have identical range unless using the Stone Towers card which allow Aztec defensive buildings (0-24>0-30 and 0-40>0-46) to have greater range than all European structures (including European Forts lacking the Revetment upgrade). This extra range is enough to outrange many artillery pieces as well and most enemy ships (with exception to long-range special attacks).

Almost all of the Aztec units are melee units (including their War Chief), with the exception of Otontin Slingers, Eagle Runner Knights, and the longest ranged archer, the Arrow Knight.

Like the Aztecs of Age of Empires II: The Conquerors, the Aztecs lack cavalry and artillery units that other native civilizations have access to. To compensate for this, the Aztecs also have specialized infantry units that fulfill similar roles. The Coyote Runner makes up for their lack of cavalry. Their ranged cavalry unit is represented by the Eagle Runner Knight. The Arrow Knight, whose range is the best of all archers, is specially designed to tear down buildings and fulfills the role as a weak Mortar and anti-artillery Culverin to protect their vulnerable all-infantry armies from artillery fire.

Instead of Healers, the Aztecs have Warrior Priests who can heal just as well as the Healer, but also have a high attack, and dance at the Community Plaza, counting as two Villagers.

At the beginning of each match, the locations of all Trading Posts will be revealed to Aztec players.


Unique units[]

Aztec war chief.png Aztec War Chief: The leader of your Tribe. Possesses many powerful bonuses and abilities. Explores, fights, builds Town Centers and Trading Posts.
Eagle scout aoe3de.png Eagle Scout: Aztec scout that flings javelins from an atlatl. Helps the War Chief explore the map and defeat Treasure Guardians.*
Native american villager.png Villager: Villager that gathers resources.
Warrior portrait.png Warrior: Quick-training Native defender who quickly loses hitpoints, becoming less effective over time.
Warrior priest.png Warrior Priest: Heals injured units and are also effective in combat. Warrior Priests are extremely effective when dancing at the Community Plaza.
Coyote runner.png Coyote Runner: Fast armored warrior. Good against skirmishers and artillery.
Macehualtin.png Otontin Slinger: Slinger. Good against heavy infantry.
Puma spearman.png Puma Spearman: Warrior armed with a deadly spear. Good against cavalry and buildings.
Arrow knight.png Arrow Knight: Long-ranged noble that fires flaming arrows. Good against artillery and buildings.
Eagle runner knight.png Eagle Runner Knight: Nobleman that flings javelins from an atlatl. Good against cavalry and Coyote Runners.
Jaguar prowl knight.png Jaguar Prowl Knight: Stealthy noble armed with an obsidian sword. Good against cavalry and heavy infantry.
Skull knight.png Skull Knight: Aztec elite berserker.
Aoe3 canoe.png Canoe: Native boat that can attack or transport units.
War canoe.png War Canoe: Strong in naval combat when built in number.
Tlaloc canoe.png Tlaloc Canoe: Strong in naval combat when built in number.

Unique buildings[]

FarmIII icon.png Farm: Slow, infinite source of Food. Limited to 10 gatherers.
Community plaza aoe3de.png Community Plaza: Task Villagers on the Community Plaza to perform powerful ceremonies.
Warhut icon.png War Hut: Trains and upgrades infantry units as well as defends an area with a ranged attack.
Nobles Hut Portrait.png Nobles' Hut: A powerful temple that provides an excellent defense and trains elite Aztec units.

Unique ceremonies[]

Healing dance.png Healing Ceremony: Units regenerate hit points while idle
Garland war dance.png Garland War Ceremony: Spawns Skull Knights

Home City Cards[]

Main article: Aztec Home City Cards


Definitive Edition[]

  • With update 14825, the Aztecs' civilization music theme was updated.

The African Royals[]

In-game dialogue[]

Main article: Aztecs' dialogue lines

Aztec units speak an unknown variant of Nahuatl, since the in-game dialogues are neither classical nor modern Nahuatl or possibly a mix of Yucatec, Kaqchikel, Kʼicheʼ, Mam and other languages. For example, lumberjacks say ajsi, which means "wood worker" in some Mayan languages like Yucatec (si means "wood", aj- is a prefix denoting profession). Builders say ajtsaq, which means "bricklayer" in several Mayan languages including Kaqchikel.
The spoken lines themselves are also used by Aztecs in Age of Empires II.
Note: Spelling speculative


  • Oc? - Yes?
  • Bant' ney
  • Comantsi
  • Cuh - I'm going(?)
  • Oc - Yes
  • Ic com
  • Zebiok! - Attack!
  • Zhunqey! - Attack!
  • Oc! - Yes!


  • Build Ajtsaq - Bricklayer
  • Farm Tsag onan
  • Gather Coin Tsag onan
  • Gather Fruit
  • Female Gather Meat Asku/ageku - Hunter
  • Male Gather Meat Asku/ageku - Hunter
  • Gather Wood Ajsi - Wood worker


  • The Aztecs and the later Mexicans are the only civilizations in Age of Empires III who share the same location, but in different time periods.


The most densely populated region of the New World in 1492 was Mesoamerica, where North and Central America meet in modern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula. The people living here were called the Aztecs (also Mexica or Tenochca); they built an amazing civilization centered on their great capital city of Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City). This was one of the largest cities in the world (with an estimated population of 200,000), and arguably more beautiful and cleaner than any contemporary capital in Europe.

The Aztecs were just one of several tribes in the area, but had risen to prominence due to their ferocity in battle and adept diplomacy. Their soldiers wielded weapons of wood and stone, and they often sought prisoners to be sacrificed in religious ceremonies. Their society depended on sophisticated agricultural techniques; from them the world learned of foodstuffs including tomatoes, corn, cocoa, and chili peppers. They were handicapped by the lack of large domesticated animals (they had no horse or ox), and the use of the wheel only in toys. Everything to be moved was carried by human porters.

Despite their large population and fighting prowess, the Aztecs fell relatively quickly to the determined Spanish conquistadores under Cortez. This was due in large part to the epidemics the Europeans brought ashore. By some estimates the Aztec population of 12 million people in 1520 had fallen to one million by 1600. The Spanish also allied with the Aztecs' enemies to increase the size of their armies, and had the advantages of steel and gunpowder weapons.