|“||Viking unique unit. Infantry that slowly heals itself.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
Berserks can be upgraded to Elite Berserks in the Imperial Age.
The Berserk is a heavy infantry unit that is armed with an axe and shield, and has the ability to regenerate health over time (20 hit points per minute, can be doubled with Berserkergang). This allows them to last long in combat and makes them effective in pitched battles. As most infantry, Berserks gain a small attack bonus against enemy standard buildings and Eagle Warriors. The Vikings' civilization bonus gives them +20% HP, so a Berserk will have 65 HP, 14 attack, and 3/3 armor. An Elite Berserk will have 74 HP, 18 attack, and 5/5 armor when fully upgraded.
On land maps, a Viking player has to make a choice between training Elite Berserks or Champions. Due to the costs involved in upgrading both units, it is impractical to train both units. The Berserk's advantages over the Militia-line lies in their regeneration, superior armor (only Elite), attack, and speed. On the downside, they have less hit points, and cost an extra 5 food (an extra 20 food with Supplies) and 5 gold and are harder to mass. Note that Sword line has superior hit points compared to base Berserks, and both units are equally affected by the Viking HP bonus.
Berserk vs Long Swordsman
Berserks have much +3 attack, +0.165 speed and regenration rate, while the Long Swordsman has cheaper cost, +7 hit points and +1 attack vs buildings, +4 attack vs eagles. Hence they can be used as moderately effective raiders (speed and attack). Even though Chieftains gives both of them a fighting chance against Knights, Pikemen should be used for more cost effective trades. However the main bottleneck is number of Castles, as 3 Barracks Swordsmen production = 2 Castle Berserk production, which is difficult to get going.
Elite Berserk vs Champion
Elite Berserks have +1 attack, +1 armor, +0.165 speed, and the even better regeneration ability at the cost of 20 food and 5 gold each over Champions, while Champions have +9 HP, +1 attack vs buildings, +5 attack vs eagles. Overall, the Elite Berserk is the better unit, first of all because of its speed. In Imperial Age, player is expected to have more Castles, and Elite Berserks are even more difficult to kill.
Berserks share all the weaknesses of most infantry, but to a lesser extent. Berserks can catch up with foot archers, but they still should not be used against them, especially in mass battles. Hand Cannoneers and Slingers absolutely devastate Berserks. Massed Scorpions can also inflict massive losses against Berserks. Jaguar Warriors and Samurai (unlike Champions) are the melee units that threaten Berserks. Cataphracts counter Berserks as well. Like against almost all melee units, Teutonic Knights and Boyars are also effective against Berserks, though the former's slow speed is even starker compared to the Berserk's fast speed. Berserks should avoid battles against Leitis as their attack ignores melee armor, but their self regeneration can give them a slight advantage. However, the Leitis' attack can be very devastating with all 4 Relics collected, being able to deal 22 damage per hit. Despite the regeneration giving an advantage, prolonged combats against Obuchs may leave Berserks prone to the attacks of other units, especially against archers, because the Obuch's attacks remove armor. What's more, the Berserks can be defeated by Obuchs by equal numbers, while the latter is even cheaper.
As Berserks are unique to the Vikings, only technologies that are available to them are shown in the following table:
|Unit strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Skirmishers, Halberdiers, Camel Riders, Eagle Warriors, buildings, Light Cavalry|
|Weak vs.||Cataphracts, Jaguar Warriors, Boyars, Hand Cannoneers, Conquistadors, Slingers, Plumed Archers, Samurai, Teutonic Knights|
|Attack|| Forging (+1)|
Iron Casting (+1)
Blast Furnace (+2)
Arson (+2 attack against standard buildings)
Chieftains ( attack against cavalry and against camels)
|Armor|| Scale Mail Armor (+1/+1)|
Chain Mail Armor (+1/+1)
Plate Mail Armor (+1/+2)
|Conversion defense|| Faith|
|Creation speed||Conscription (+33%)|
|Other||Berserkergang (increases regeneration speed)|
- Vikings: Berserks have +20% HP.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Blacksmith upgrades are researched faster.
- A team containing Goths: Researching Squires and Arson is 20% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Faith and Heresy are researched 20% faster.
- A team containing Teutons: Berserks are more resistant to conversion.
The Age of Kings
- Berserks have 48 HP (60 for Elite).
- (Elite) Berserks train in 16 seconds.
- (Elite) Berserks move at a speed of 0.9.
- Berserks have 0/0 armor.
- Berserks have 9 attack.
- The Elite Berserk upgrade costs 1,300 food, 550 gold.
- The Viking civilization bonus gives (Elite) Berserks +15%/+20% HP in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- With patch 1.0b, Berserks move at a speed of 1.05.
- Berserks have 1 pierce armor.
- Heresy introduced.
- Berserkergang introduced. It costs 500 food, 850 gold.
- Berserks have 54 (62 for Elite) HP.
- (Elite) Berserks train in 14 seconds.
- Berserkergang costs 850 food, 400 gold.
- Chieftains introduced. It costs 700 food, 400 gold and gives Berserks +4 attack bonus against cavalry.
The African Kingdoms
- Arson introduced.
- Chieftains cost 400 food, 300 gold and gives Berserks +5 attack bonus against cavalry.
- With patch 4.8, Chieftains gives Berserks +2 attack bonus against camels on top of the attack bonus against cavalry.
Rise of the Rajas
- With patch 5.7, Chieftains gives Berserks +4 attack bonus against camels on top of the attack bonus against cavalry.
Dawn of the Dukes
- With update 56005, Berserks have 12 attack and 1 melee armor, Elite Berserks train in 12 seconds, and the Elite Berserk upgrade costs 1,075 food, 475 gold.
- The Viking civilization bonus gives Berserks +20% HP.
- Despite the fact that Viking warriors never had horned helmets, Berserks are depicted with horned helmets, most likely because they'd be most recognizable that way. Horned helms were only used by Vikings during certain religious rituals.
- In reality, Viking berserkers wore little or no armor or clothing, going into battle clad only in bear or wolf pelts.
- Berserks were the first units to be given a regeneration ability (in The Age of Kings). Later on, other units joined them, such as heroes, Berber camel units and Polish Villagers.
|“||Late in the eighth century Viking sea raiders from Scandinavia appeared suddenly in Northern Europe. They raided and plundered coastal communities for the next 150 years. Most of the progress made by Charlemagne in uniting Northern Europe and beginning a rebirth of civilization was erased by the turmoil they caused. The Vikings were known for their great seamanship and ferocity in battle. Witnesses claimed that Viking warriors would occasionally go "berserk" and attack with nearly inhuman zeal, oblivious to all danger. Such behavior was terrifying to behold and very difficult to withstand. The ability to go mad with battle lust was a powerful attribute during a period of widespread superstition.||”|