|This article is about the building in Age of Empires II. For the building in other games in the series, see Castle.|
|“||Used to create your unique unit, build Trebuchets, and improve villagers and buildings.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Castle is a defensive structure and military building in Age of Empires II that becomes available once the Castle Age is reached. It is an important building in later stages of the game, being a powerful fortification and providing unique technologies and units as well as Trebuchets.
Castles also support 20 population and cannot be converted.
Tactics and placement
Castles are often built inside minor fortifications outside the player's settlement. Surrounding the entire base with walls along with towers provides additional protection. If a river separates their base from the enemy's, walling up the river's shallows and building a Castle at the shoreline helps to protect from Transport Ships or ambushes. Castles are also of great use at major choke points, especially if Murder Holes is researched. Garrisoning a few melee units to fend off Battering Ram attacks is helpful.
Alternatively, players may build Castles inside their bases, which protects the economy against enemy raiding effectively, while making the Castles less vulnerable against long ranged siege units like Trebuchets.
For Teuton players, researching Crenellations adds +3 range to Castles. This allows them to match the range of Bombard Cannons and (non-Elite) Cannon Galleons, making their Castles more well-rounded, especially on naval maps. Still, long-ranged siege units remain a heavy threat, also because Castles always fire at the closest unit and not the most dangerous or expensive. Consequently, a Castle under attack needs constant attention of the player in order to fulfill its roles effectively.
If running for a Relic or Wonder victory, Castles can become very useful to build up the defense of the Wonder or the Monasteries holding Relics, but the support of other structures such as Walls and Towers is also required. Also, the player must have sufficient numbers of troops (especially cavalry) for countering enemy siege units. In Regicide games, the Castle is a safe (yet obvious) place for the King if properly supported by other defensive structures.
Some civilizations are able to effectively perform a Castle drop, which involves using Castles offensively by placing them near an enemy settlement and then spamming unique units, Petards, and Trebuchets from the Castle.
Attack and range damage
An empty Castle is able to fire five arrows at a time, with a base damage of 11 each. Garrisoning either Villagers or archers adds additional arrows to the Castle's fire, up to maximum of 21. One base arrow and 20 additional arrows are fired. The Castle inherently already has 4 "power" which is listed in the attack with parenthesis. Not all garrisoned units add the same number of arrows, their value is generally dependent on two factors: attack and Rate of Fire. The more damage output the garrisoned units have the higher the number of arrows fired.
The following table shows the maximum number of arrows a Castle can fire, when it is garrisoned with units of the same type:
|Unit type||Number of units required||Number of arrows fired|
|Villager||20||14 (9 extra)|
|Archer||20||12 (7 extra)|
|Crossbowman||20||14 (9 extra)|
|Arbalester / Cavalry Archer||20||15 (10 extra)|
|Hand Cannoneer||20||21 (16 extra)|
Trainable units and technologies
Clicking on the icon links to the corresponding page.
|Building strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Ships, archers, Monks, frail melee units|
|Weak vs.||Rams, Trebuchets, Bombard Cannons, Tarkans, Huskarls, War Elephants, Cannon Galleons|
|Hit points|| Masonry (+10%)|
Hoardings ( )
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Heated Shot (+4 attack against ships)
Boiling Oil (+9 attack against rams, Persians only, before the Definitive Edition)
|Range|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Murder Holes (eliminates minimum range)
Crenellations (+3, Teutons only)
|Firing rate||Stronghold (+25%, Celts only)|
|Accuracy||Ballistics (hit moving targets)|
|Armor|| Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)|
Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
|Line of Sight|| Town Watch (+4)|
Town Patrol (+4)
|Construction speed||Treadmill Crane (+20%)|
|Work rate|| Conscription (+33%)|
Kasbah (+25%, Berbers only)
|Other|| Herbal Medicine (garrisoned units heal faster)|
Crenellations (enables garrisoned infantry to shoot arrows, Teutons only)
Cuman Mercenaries (grants to each ally the possibility to train 10 Elite Kipchaks for free, Cumans only)
- Aztecs: Castle units are created 11% faster.
- Bulgarians: Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer cost -50% food.
- Burmese: Researching Herbal Medicine is 50% cheaper.
- Byzantines: Castles have +30%/+40% HP in the Castle/Imperial Age. Town Watch and Town Patrol are free.
- Chinese: Technologies that benefit Castles and Castle technologies are 15%/20% cheaper in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Franks: Castles are 25% cheaper.
- Incas: Castles are 15% cheaper.
- Italians: University technologies that benefit Castles are 33% cheaper.
- Persians: Researching Town Watch and Town Patrol is 15%/20% faster in the Castle/Imperial Age.
- Portuguese: All Castle units cost -20% gold. Castle technologies and technologies that benefit Castles are researched 30% faster.
- Sicilians: Castles are built 100% faster.
- Spanish: Castles are built 30% faster. Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer cost no gold.
- Teutons: Murder Holes and Herbal Medicine are free.
- Turks: Chemistry is free.
- Vietnamese: Conscription is free.
- A team containing Berbers: With Kasbah researched, Castles work 25% faster.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer are researched faster.
- A team containing Cumans: With Cuman Mercenaries researched, each player on the team can train 10 Elite Kipchaks for free.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Herbal Medicine is 20% faster.
- A team containing Malians: University technologies that benefit Castles are researched 80% faster.
The Age of Kings
- Castles have 10 Line of Sight.
- Castles take 150 seconds to build.
- Herbal Medicine introduced.
- Teutons: Crenellations introduced.
- With patch 1.0b, Castles take 200 seconds to build.
- Castles now have 11 Line of Sight.
- Chemistry now affects Castles.
- Celts: Stronghold introduced.
- Koreans: Castles are now built 33% faster.
- Persians: Boiling Oil introduced.
- Koreans no longer build Castles faster.
- Persians: Boiling Oil replaced by Kamandaran.
- Portuguese: with update 42848, Castle technologies are researched 30% faster.
- Teutons: Herbal Medicine is free.
Each building style has a unique design for the Castle.
- The Western European Castle resembles the front gate of Bodiam Castle in England.
- The Central European Castle has a blocky design with four tall towers and two shorter ones with a bridge in between, bearing a distinct (but unexpected) resemblance to Rochester Castle in England.
- The Eastern European Castle resembles the Malbork Castle in Poland.
- The Mediterranean Castle in the HD Edition seems based on Torrechiara Castle in Parma, Italy. In the Definitive Edition, the new design looks like Fenis Castle.
- The East Asian Castle is very similar to the main keep of Japan's Osaka Castle.
- The Native American Castle resembles the Mayan temples in Palenque, Mexico.
- The Middle Eastern Castle resembles a simplified version of the New Castle in Naples, Italy, but with decorative elements from the gates and round towers at Saladin's Citadel in Cairo, Egypt. The merlons are Moorish style, like those in the Almoravid Koubba.
- The Indian Castle appears to be based on the Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan.
- The African Castle resembles Almoravid adobe architecture like the Koubba and Aït Benhaddou in Morocco.
- The Southeast Asian Castle resembles the Khmer temples in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
- The Central Asian Castle has some architecture similarities to the Herat Citadel in Afghanistan, particularly with the round towers and wall elements.
- The Burgundian Castle is based on Flemish castles such as the Beersel Castle.
- The Sicilian Castle is based on the Ursino castle in Catania, Sicily.
- The Bohemian Castle is based on the Karlštejn Castle.
- The Polish Castle is based on the Będzin Castle.
- The Castle is the most expensive military building in the game.
- The East Asian Castle costs the same stone as other Castles, even though it seems to be made more of wood than stone.
- The Aztecs lack every HP and armor upgrade for their Castles (Hoardings, Masonry, and Architecture), arguably giving them the worst Castles out of all civilizations.
- Fortunately for Aztecs, they do not rely as much on their unique unit as other civilizations.
- The Teutons with Crenellations (+3 range and garrisoned infantry fire arrows) have the strongest Castles in-game.
- The Huns have the most useless Castle, since both their unique technologies are very situational. Additionally, their Tarkans are also not very useful in most cases. They also lack every HP upgrade except Masonry, making their Castle extremely weak. As a result, the main usage for them is researching Conscription and making Trebuchets.
- The Native American Castle resembles a sacrificial temple from the Palenque archaeological site, even though Palenque itself contains a fortified palace (thus the name Palenque, an old Spanish word for fortress). Tall pyramid temples like this were occasionally used as improvised strongholds (the most notable example being the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in the 1521 siege), but an entrance at the bottom of the stairs as depicted would defeat such purpose.
- Due to an oversight, the Indian Castle has the same snow and garrison flag locations as the Middle Eastern Castle, which the Indians had before Rise of the Rajas. This makes snow and flags look like they float on the air.
- The achievement "Castle of Doubt" can be unlocked if the player loses an unfinished Castle that is at least 95% complete. This one is based on a popular meme highly known among the competitive scene as "Daut Castles", originating from a unsuccessful attempt to nearly complete construction of a castle made by Darko "Daut" Dautovic, a popular Age of Empires II player. It can be found on YouTube.
- In the alpha version, the Castles were longer and cost more stone and wood.
- The Burgundians, Sicilians, Bohemians, and Poles are the only civilizations who have a unique Castle design despite sharing architecture with other civilizations. The Burgundians share the architecture set with Britons, Celts, and Franks; the Sicilians share the architecture set with Byzantines, Italians, Portuguese, and Spanish; and the Bohemians and the Poles share the same architecture set with the Slavs and Lithuanians.
|“||The first castles appeared in Europe in the ninth century as an improvement of the local lord’s stronghold. Castles were tactically defensive but strategically offensive. Because they were so difficult to capture if adequately defended, they provided a secure base from which a mobile force of warriors could extend political control. A local lord installed himself inside with a professional force of fighting men to serve him. Castles spread across Europe in the tenth and eleventh centuries in response to weak central authority and barbarian raids from the north and east. Kings spent the rest of the Middle Ages trying to take back control of castles raised by local lords. The development of dependable mobile heavy artillery in the fifteenth century finally made castles obsolete.||”|
|—Age of Empires II manual|
|Buildings in Age of Empires II|
|House · Monastery · Wonder|
|Economic||Town Center · Dock · Fish Trap · Mill · Farm · Market · Lumber Camp · Mining Camp · Feitoria · Folwark|
|Research||Blacksmith · University|
|Barracks · Archery Range · Stable · Siege Workshop · Castle · Harbor · Krepost · Donjon|
|Tower||Outpost · Watch Tower · Guard Tower · Keep · Bombard Tower|
|Wall||Palisade Wall · Stone Wall · Fortified Wall · Palisade Gate · Gate|