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The Berbers are a cavalry-oriented civilization with well-rounded mounted units. They benefit from 15% cheaper Stable units starting in the Castle Age and 20% cheaper in the Imperial Age and their Villagers and ships have a 10% movement bonus.

The Genitour and Camel Archer are the Berber unique units and are mounted anti-archer and anti-cavalry archer units, respectively. The Kasbah tech makes allied Castles work 25% faster, and the Maghrebi Camels tech grants minor health regeneration to Berber Camel Riders.

As a team bonus, any player allied with a Berber player can produce Genitours at their Archery Range.


Having faster Fishing Ships and Villagers means a better economy to support a larger, more advanced army. When necessary, the faster Villagers can also be used to scout for boars and surrounding resources with less gathering downtime.

The Berbers have one of the most powerful Castle Age Knight rushes in the game due to their 15% reduced cost. Their Camel Riders and Light Cavalry are also affected by this bonus and are backed up by full upgrades, giving a powerful advantage against other cavalry civilizations. Notably, the Berber Scout Cavalry line is cheaper than the Magyar one in the Imperial Age, allowing the Berbers to go toe-to-toe effectively in "trash unit" wars. This Stable discount eclipses those of other civs while also affecting more units, and is not to be underestimated. Genitours are also a great asset in Trash Wars.

The Berber Camelry is one of the best of the game as they also have the Camel Archer as a unique unit that can counter Cavalry Archers and the unique technology Maghrebi Camels that grants both Camel Riders and Camel Archers regeneration ability. Aside from lacking the Arbalester and Parthian Tactics upgrades, the Berbers have a fully-upgraded Archery Range.

Faster ships also allow the Berbers to respond to naval attacks quickly, and they posses a solid naval tech tree, despite lacking Shipwright.


The Berbers are comparatively vulnerable on defense, lacking the Keep and Architecture upgrades. They lack Halberdiers, making Camel Riders essential. Siege Onager and Siege Rams are absent from their siege lines, meaning Bombard Cannons and Heavy Scorpions will be the main siege units of choice. Cavalry Archers will be less useful in the Imperial Age, as they lack Parthian Tactics, and are generally made obsolete by the better Camel Archer counterpart (This assumes that wood is not an issue, as both the unit itself and its elite upgrade will be more wood-intensive). Without Shipwright, Ships will be more expensive and thus harder to mass.

Berbers miss out on Arbalest, but do get access to Hand Cannoneers, making this perhaps the Berber's best anti-infantry counter.


The Berbers are a versatile civilization in many strategies and on all kinds of maps and are able to boom and rush effectively. Early in the game, their villager speed bonus gives them a small economic edge as they can save time when retrieving resources or when moving between resources. It also gives them an edge at farming as villagers walk around the farm. This bonus also helps heavily when performing a Feudal Age or Tower rush as the Villagers will reach the enemy towns earlier in order to create forward military structures like the Barracks or Watch Towers.Their Villager bonus also helps defensively, as they have a better chance to escape from enemy military units or catch enemy villagers that are trying to create forward towers and military buildings in the player's base.

The first unique unit of the Berbers is the Genitour, which is built at the Archery Range. The Genitour is a mounted Skirmisher with slightly less range, but more health, speed, and attack. Just like the skirmisher, it only costs food and wood. Since the Genitour is mounted, it receives +20 hit points from Bloodlines, giving it a considerably larger health pool than its cousin, the Elite Skirmisher. Genitours are well suited for hit-and-run tactics as they are cheap, fast and have ranged attack, but perform less effectively in equal numbers than regular Cavalry Archers as they have the same basic weaknesses of a Skirmisher (minimum range and lower accuracy than the bow units) so is advisable to mix them with Camel Archers and/or regular Cavalry Archers for this purpose, pairing them with Camel Riders also work as well, as Camel Riders can protect Genitours from melee cavalry (who can catch them and exploit their minimum range weakness).

The Camel Archer is the unique unit of the Berbers from the Castle and is a Cavalry Archer that has a bonus against other Cavalry Archers. This includes the War Wagon, the Elephant Archer and the Mangudai, making it a formidable counter unit. Its stats compare well to the standard Cavalry Archer, meaning it can be fielded more readily without knowing what an opponent is making. At the same time, it is an excellent harassment unit, and can be used for raids like any other Cavalry Archer.

With a Heavy Camel Rider/Camel Archer combo they arguably can counter the typical Hussar/Cavalry Archer tactic employed by civilizations such as the Turks, Mongols, Huns, and Magyars. This combination, however, performs less effectively in a regular raid than those civilizations. Their two unique technologies benefit the Heavy Camel Rider/Camel Archer combo, as Kasbah will improve the Camel Archer creation speed while Maghrebi Camels will give both units slight health regeneration, thus prolonging the lifespan of the Berbers' camelry. Kasbah also enables to the Berbers to create Petards and Trebuchets faster, enabling the petard-spamming tactic and making Castle drops more effective.

On water maps, the Berbers have an advantage early-game but may struggle a little in the late game. Proper scouting and prevention of other civilizations' naval buildups are crucial in early to mid-game to maximize the Berbers' naval presence and protect their excellent naval economy. Since the Ship speed bonus applies to all naval units, fishing ships and trade cogs will move more quickly between resources and the Berbers enjoy having a tactical speed advantage over opposing navies. Hit-and-run tactics work particularly well. As an added bonus, their transport ships will reach the land faster to unload troops.

Strategy changes in the Definitive Edition[]

The Berber speed bonus for ships no longer reduces the gold per trip for their Trade Cogs, which naturally means they can get a better gold boost when playing on a team. Also, it should be noted that the artificial intelligence of the Trade Cogs now makes them to go to the farthest Dock the player has, instead of the nearest. Genitours now receive +2 bonus attack vs the spear line, making them better able to hit-and-run them.

Dynasties of India[]

The Genitour is cheaper, as they cost now 40 food, making them more affordable in the Castle Age. This also makes them appealing for Berbers.


The Berbers are formidable allies in most kinds of maps and in a wide variety of situations, thanks to their unique technology Kasbah and their team bonus that allows Genitour to be built at all allied Archery Ranges.

Kasbah enables allied players to produce their unique units faster along with their petards and trebuchets, so it is advisable for a team that includes Berbers to make the Berber player their spring in order to research this technology early. It stacks with the Ethiopian technology Royal Heirs, making the Shotel Warrior the unique unit with the fastest creation speed in the game. Kasbah has a natural synergy with the Turkish team bonus, faster gunpowder unit creation. Considering that the Spanish Conquistador, the Turkish Janissary, and the Portuguese Organ Gun are gunpowder units created at the Castle, a team including Turks, Berbers, and Spanish/Portuguese is a dangerous combination as the Turk team bonus stacks with Kasbah. The effect of Kasbah also stacks with the Gurjara team bonus (camel and elephant units are created 25% faster), which of course applies to the Camel Archer. If the team also has Persians, Saracens, or Khmer allies, both effects will apply to the War Elephant, Mameluke, and Ballista Elephant, respectively.

The Berbers' Genitour is a great addition for many allied civilizations, especially the ones with civilization bonuses and technologies that benefit the unit:

  • Aztecs: Genitours are created 15% faster and benefit from the Atlatl upgrade (+1 range and attack). They are the only mounted unit naturally available to the Aztecs without conversion.
  • Gurjaras: Genitours have more bonus attack to archer units and Spearmen, meaning they can kill them more effectively than Skirmishers, despite lacking Ring Archer Armor.
  • Huns: Genitours are 10% cheaper in the Castle Age and 20% cheaper in the Imperial Age. They work better in conjunction with the Hun cavalry than the slower skirmishers.
  • Incas: The Andean Sling technology eliminates the minimum range of Genitours, thus enhancing their effectiveness against melee units.
  • Mongols: Genitours fire 20% faster and benefit from the almost full mounted archer tech tree (only lacking Ring Archer Armor). They work better in conjunction with the fast Mongol cavalry than the slower skirmishers.
  • Turks: A fully upgraded Turkish Elite Genitour will receive +20 hit points when compared to that of the Berbers. As a trash unit it ties in very well with the heavily gold-reliant Turkish army, since the Turks crucially lack access to the Pikeman and Elite Skirmisher upgrades. Hence, the Turkish Genitour is one of the best trash units in the game.
  • Vietnamese: Genitours receive extra hit-points for each age researched, can amass quickly with free Conscription, and benefit from the full mounted archer tech tree.
  • Cumans: Though lacking Bracer, their Genitours move faster than anyone else, making it easier to chase down enemy archers. In return, they allow their allies to train 5 Elite Kipchaks for free at each Castle when they research Cuman Mercenaries, which of course will be created faster thanks to Kasbah.
  • Tatars: Their Team Bonus (+2 LOS for Cavalry Archers) benefits both the Genitour and the Camel Archer. Also, a Tatar Genitour will receive +1 Pierce and Melee armor from Silk Armor.
  • Sicilians: Their Genitours can absorb 50% of all incoming bonus damage, just like other land military units.

A team containing Berbers and Magyars will have arguably one of the best and more diverse trash unit army, as they will have Genitours from both players, cheaper regular Hussars, and Magyar Huszars. Having Poles as an ally will grant the already cheap Berber Light Cavalry +1 attack vs archers, Having Hindustanis as an ally also improves their Light Cavalry.

Having Britons and Berbers on the same team will help that team to spam Archers faster, including the Genitour. A Vietnamese teammate also grants Berbers Imperial Skirmishers and gold bankroll from Paper Money in exchange for hardier Genitours and Kasbah to mass-produce Rattan Archers at lightning speed, hence also a nightmarish pair of "trashers" for their opponents.

Berbers benefit greatly from team bonuses that improve their Cavalry and Camels. Having an Hindustanis ally (+2 Camel and Hussar attack versus standard buildings) will further the already cheaper and versatile Camel Riders and Camel Archers. Having a Hun ally (+20% faster Stables) will further the creation speed from Stable units that, in the Berbers case, are already cheaper.

On water maps, having a Viking ally (-15% Dock cost) can help with taking the water in early game. The Berbers also make a good synergy with the Japanese (+2 Galley line of sight), making the Berbers' Galleys excellent scouts with their faster speed. The Sicilian ally also provides Berber cheaper Transport Ships with better Line of Sight, making it the best "Transport Ship scout" of the game. The Spanish bonus (+33% Gold from trade) applies to the Trade Cog, so the faster Berber trade cogs will generate gold even faster. The Malay also grant Berber players far-sighted Docks for them to build up solid coastal defense, in exchange for Kasbah technology to spam Karambit Warriors at lightning speed and Genitours to back their infantry swarms with covering javelin fusillades, particularly after Forced Levy has been researched. In the case of the Dravidian allies, they grant Berber Docks extra population capacity (5 per dock). In return, their own Genitours will be a capable substitute of horse archers from other civilizations, should their Elephant Archers not be fast enough to support their infantry and Battle Elephants(besides, improved by the Kasbah technology, their Castles also need less time to research the Wootz Steel technology for their melee units). Being Skirmishers as well, they also fire faster.

Compared advantages and disadvantages[]

Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • The Camel Archer being a cavalry archer with attack bonus vs other cavalry archers can counter Mongol Mangudai, Cuman Kipchaks, Indian Elephant Archers, Korean War Wagons, Burmese Arambai, Spanish Conquistadors (since the Definitive Edition) and of course regular cavalry archers so civilizations like, Huns, Mongols, Burmese, Magyars, Tatars, Cumans and Turks that may rely on cavalry archers will have a hard time against Berbers. Also they can counter slow moving melee units by hit-and-running them, like the Champion, the Slavic Boyar, the Persian War Elephant, the South east Asian battle elephants, the Teutonic Knight, etc. so Infantry reliant civilizations such as Aztecs, Celts, Incas, Slavs and Japanese may have trouble against Berber Camel Archers as well.
  • The Genitour being a mounted skirmisher can counter very effectively archers, including Mayan Plumed Archer, Incan Slinger, British Longbowmen, Chinese Chu ko nu, etc. so Archer reliant Civilizations will have a hard time against a Berber army composed by Genitours. Genitours as well are effective against Cavalry archers so combined with the Camel archer they add more power against civilizations like Huns, Magyars, Turks, Tatars, Cumans and Mongols. Also they can counter slow moving melee units by hit-and-running them. Despite lacking the Halberdier upgrade, as the Genitour is a "trash unit", Berbers will excel at trash wars especially against civilizations that lacks good trash, good champions or lacks one or more of the following upgrades: the Halberdier, the Hussar and elite skirmisher upgrades. Turks and Persians will have a hard time against Berbers in trash wars (even Persian Crossbowmen with Kamandaran in the Definitive Edition). Arguably the Italian Genoese Crossbowmen are in tie against Genitours. The Scout Cavalry line cheapness also adds for the Trash Wars.
  • Being a civilization with good mid game and able to raid with the use of Scout Cavalry, Camel Riders, Knights, Cavalry Archers, and Camel Archers, they can defeat civilizations that have bad early game and regular mid game in open maps like Arabia, especially if starting in the Feudal Age. These civilizations include, Turks, Spanish, Portuguese and Khmer for example. As the Scout Cavalry line is significantly cheaper it is also a great counter against monks even the monks of civilizations like Aztecs, Slavs, Burmese and Saracens will have troubles against them.
  • Having not only cheaper Camel Riders but also Camel Riders with regenerating ability, they can effectively counter cavalry, so cavalry reliant civilizations such as Magyars, Franks, Persians, Lithuanians, and Huns will have a hard time.
  • Regarding Naval Warfare they have an advantage against civilizations with bad early game navy as they can perform effectively Galley and fire Galley raids. Also their fast moving ships have a better advantage against the slow Korean Turtle Ships.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • Despite Both of their unique units are a great asset against foot archers, Cavalry archers and to some extent Infantry and slow moving units, they can be countered by masses of Halberdiers and/or Skirmishers so civilizations like Byzantines which have cheaper Halberdiers and Skirmishers can counter them. Samurai are also a threat to both of them if massed. Some infantry civilizations with good Halberdiers or good anti-cavalry infantry such as Slavs, Burmese and Incas (this last with their Kamayuk and their skirmisher buffed with Andean Sling) can also counter their unique units. Civilizations with good skirmishers that can also counter the Berber Unique units are the Aztecs, the Vietnamese, and the Britons. As they both deal pierce damage they can also be countered by units with high pierce armor like the Malian infantry, the Goths Huskarl (which also deal bonus damage against archers) and the Vietnamese Rattan Archer. If the player ignore to micromanage them, then Onagers are also a threat so civilizations like Ethiopians, Celts and Koreans can counter both of these units with Onager volleys
  • Bulgarian Konniks can be a nasty surprise for Berber Camelry, as when they are killed, they turn into infantry, which are not affected by the Camel bonus damage vs cavalry.
  • Since they lack several siege upgrades, civilizations with good defenses can overturn them at the mid game, like Incas, Byzantines, Chinese, and Koreans.
  • Being heavily reliant on Cavalry, Civilizations with good anti-Cavalry units can counter them very effectively such as Italians (with their Genoese Crossbowmen) other camel based civilizations such as Saracens, Indians, and Malians, and civilizations like Incas (with their Kamayuk) Slavs and Burmese.
  • Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs have Eagle Warriors that can effectively counter Camel Riders, Camel Archers, and Genitours thanks to their speed and pierce armor, as well as having bonus damage against Cavalry.
  • Having mediocre defense, civilizations with good siege engines can destroy a Berber town, such as Celts, Ethiopians, Turks, Slavs, and Koreans.
  • Despite having a good early game navy, as they lack the Shipwright upgrade they may lose at late game against civilizations with either access to this technology or that have cheaper boats (like the Vikings), or civilizations with late game sustainable economy (like the Malay and Portuguese). As their naval power relies on speed boost but not on attack or more armor and HP they may also be overturned by civilizations like Saracens (whose galleys fire faster), Byzantines (whose Fire Galleys fire faster and have more range), Portuguese (whose navy overall have more HP and armor) and Spanish (whose Cannon Galleons have more accuracy and faster projectiles).

Situational advantages[]

  • In the Real World map Earth they have an early advantage as in this map players start with 3 villagers a scout and a transport ship (that in Berbers case move faster)
  • In nomad maps they get a great advantage considering their villagers move faster so they can explore better the map while also reuniting them earlier at the selected location for their first Town Center. In the " Water Nomad" map included in the "Rise of the Rajas" expansion they also get a second advantage as in that map every player starts also with fishing ships which in Berbers case move faster.
  • In the Capture the Relic Game mode as their light cavalry is significantly cheaper they have an advantage as this is the usual counter to monks.
  • In Regicide game mode as all players already start with a Castle they and their allies may take that as advantage thanks to the Kasbah technology enabling them to spam earlier their Castle units at a faster pace than their opponents.
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Strategies in Age of Empires II
AoE2-DLCicon-0.png The Age of KingsBritons · Byzantines · Celts · Chinese · Franks · Goths · Japanese · Mongols · Persians · Saracens · Teutons · Turks · Vikings
AoE2-DLCicon-1.png The ConquerorsAztecs · Huns · Koreans · Mayans · Spanish
AoE2-DLCicon-2.png The ForgottenIncas · Hindustanis · Italians · Magyars · Slavs
AoE2-DLCicon-3.png The African KingdomsBerbers · Ethiopians · Malians · Portuguese
AoE2-DLCicon-4.png Rise of the RajasBurmese · Khmer · Malay · Vietnamese
AoE2-DLCicon-5.png The Last KhansBulgarians · Cumans · Lithuanians · Tatars
AoE2Icon-LordsWest.png Lords of the WestBurgundians · Sicilians
Dawn of the Dukes icon.png Dawn of the DukesBohemians · Poles
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia.png Dynasties of IndiaBengalis · Dravidians · Gurjaras