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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires. For other uses, see Centurion.

Upgrade of Phalanx. The Centurion is the ultimate elite infantry unit. It has more hit points, attack strength, and armor than the Phalanx.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The Centurion is a heavy infantry unit in Age of Empires that can be trained at the Academy as the final form of the Hoplite.

Availability chart[]

Aoede centurion available Available Aoede centurion unavailable Unavailable
x indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Centurions' combat statistics, i.e. gets Metallurgy, Chain Mail Infantry and Tower Shield.
- indicates that the civilization does not get Conscription.
+ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization bonus that benefits the combat strength of their Centurions.
indicates Centurions were previously available for this civilization.


The Centurion is the final and most powerful Academy unit, upgrading from the Phalangite. It is one of the game's elite upgrades, so costs an extremely expensive 1,800 food, 700 gold to research. Before Return of Rome, it also needed Aristocracy to be researched at the Government Center, which should still be researched, as it increases Academy units' low base speed, making them faster than any other foot units (with the exception of Villagers with Wheel researched).

The Centurion is the most lethal melee combatant in the game, and vies with the Fire Galley and Helepolis as the most damaging unit of any type against individual troops. In addition to its extreme damage output, it shrugs off extraordinary amounts of melee damage (including Stone Thrower-line projectiles) with its thick armor and high hit points. It is usually able to defeat the far more expensive Armored Elephant and Cataphract unless there is a significant disparity in damage/armor upgrades.

In addition to melee supremacy, Centurions are also useful for tearing down enemy fortifications. Only War Elephants and Fire Galleys do more damage to towers, plus Stone Throwers and Catapult Triremes against other building types.

Note that the Centurion's thick armor doesn't apply to the piercing damage of arrow or Ballista bolt attacks; resisting these will require shield upgrades or the Macedonians' civilization bonus.

Like all heavy infantry, the Centurion is vulnerable to ranged units, especially the Priest (which can convert them to the opposite side before the Centurion reaches combat range), the Helepolis (which inflicts massive piercing damage from a long distance), and the Horse Archer (which is agile enough to outmaneuver them between shots). However, the Centurion does have far higher hit points than its predecessors, making it more capable of surviving long enough to close the gap to melee range.

Of the civilizations able to train the Phalangite, only the Palmyrans and (since Return of Rome) Hittites are unable to further upgrade it to the Centurion. Centurions add +10 melee attack, +40 hit points, and +1 melee armor over the Phalangite, or +13 melee attack, +40 hit points and +3 melee armor over the Hoplite.

Comparison among civilizations[]

Civilization Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians Sumerians AoE Sumerians Minoans AoE Minoans Macedonians AoE Macedonians Yamato AoE Yamato Romans AoE Romans Greeks AoE Greeks
Cost 60 food, 40 gold 48 food, 32 gold
Hit Points 200 160
Attack 30+4 30+7 30+4
Armor 8+4/0+3 8+6/0+1 8+6/0+3 8+6/0+5 8+6/0+2 8+6/0+3
Movement Speed 1.095 1.365
Training Time 28.8 36
Extras +2 Line of Sight
4x conversion resistance

Further statistics[]

Strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Cavalry, infantry, buildings
Weak vs. Archers, Priests, siege weapons
Attack Toolworking Toolworking (+2)
Metalworkingicon Metalworking (+2)
Metallurgyicon Metallurgy (+3)
Armor Leatherarmorinfantryicon Leather Armor Infantry (+2/0)
Scalearmorinfantryicon Scale Armor Infantry (+2/0)
Chainmailinfantryicon Chain Mail Infantry (+2/0)
Bronzeshieldicon Bronze Shield (0/+1)
Ironshieldicon Iron Shield (0/+1)
Towershieldicon Tower Shield (0/+1)
Movement speed Aristocracy Aristocracy (+25%)
Creation speed RoR Conscription Conscription (+25%)
Civilization bonuses
Hit points Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians (+25%)
Armor Macedonians AoE Macedonians (0/+2)
Conversion resistance Macedonians AoE Macedonians (4x)
Line of Sight Macedonians AoE Macedonians (+2)
Movement speed Greeks AoE Greeks (+30%)
Resource cost Greeks AoE Greeks (-20%)
Team bonuses
Creation speed Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians (+20%)

Team bonuses[]

  • Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians: Researching Aristocracy and upgrading to Centurion is 20% faster.
  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans: Researching technologies that benefit Centurions are 30% faster.


ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

  • Phalanxes can be upgraded to Centurions only if Aristocracy is researched.
  • Centurions have 1.5 reload time.
  • Greeks: Centurions have +33% speed.
  • Centurions are visually identical to Phalanxes.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Greeks: Centurions have +30% speed and cost -20%.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Researching Aristocracy is no longer required to upgrade Phalangites to Centurions.
  • Centurions receive a unique model to visually differentiate them from Phalangites.
  • Upon release, Centurions had 2.0 reload time. With update 87863, they have 1.5 reload time again.
  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans (team bonus): Technologies benefiting Centurions are researched 30% faster.


There is one hero in the game with the appearance of a Centurion:


The smallest tactical unit in the Roman army trusted with independent maneuver was the century, standing 100 man strong (later 80 with the remaining 20 comprising administrative staff and hangers-on). Each century was commanded by a Centurion, a veteran promoted from the ranks after demonstrating bravery, skill, discipline, and leadership. The century was roughly equivalent to the modern infantry platoon and the Centurion was a combination of modern infantry platoon commander (usually a Lieutenant) and top sergeant. Centuries were further organised into cohorts - six centuries per cohort (480 men total) - with the most senior centurion taking overall command of the cohort, akin to a modern infantry company and infantry company commander (usually a Captain or Major). Centurions were the backbone of the legions that built and defended the Roman Empire.
—The Age of Empires manual


  • The Centurion has the highest attack of all units outside of siege weapons, 30-37 depending on upgrades. Average damage per second is just behind the Fire Galley at 20-24.7 versus 24-30.
  • With 8-14 melee armor, the Centurion has the highest melee armor of all units in the game.
  • The Greek Centurion is the fastest foot soldier in the game, with 1.365 speed.
  • All of the Mediterranean-styled civilizations have access to the Centurion while none of the Mesopotamian-styled ones had access to them. With Return of Rome, Sumerians and Hittites switched architecture sets, resulting in the Egyptian-styled civilizations completely lacking Centurions.


Tech tree[]

Aoede greek academy available
AOEDE Stable icon Stable
Stone Age Icon (DE)
Tool Age Icon (DE)
Bronze Age Icon (DE)
Iron Age Icon (DE)
Aoede phalanx available

Units in Age of Empires
CivilianReturnofrome female villager icon Villager · Returnofrome trade cart icon Trade Cart
OtherAoE2 DE priest icon Priest · Slinger-0 Slinger · Returnofrome artifact icon Artifact
Civilian ship1 Fishing Boat Fishing Boat · 2 Fishing Ship Fishing Ship
3 Trade Boat Trade Boat · 4 Merchant Ship Merchant Ship
InfantryClubman Clubman · AxemanAoEDE Axeman
Short Swordsman Short Swordsman · Broad Swordsman Broad Swordsman · AoE nuRoR Long Swordsman icon Long Swordsmen · Returnofrome legionary icon Legionary
HopliteDE Hoplite · AoE nuRoR Phalangite icon Phalangite · Returnofrome centurion icon Centurion
ArcherBowman aoe1de Bowman
Improved Bowman22 Improved Bowman · Composite Bowman Composite Bowman
Chariot Archer111 Chariot Archer
Horse Archer Horse Archer · Returnofrome heavy horse archer icon Heavy Horse Archer
EAICON DE Elephant Archer
CavalryScout-0 Scout
ChariotDE Chariot · ScytheDE Scythe Chariot
Cavalry111 Cavalry · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon Heavy Cavalry · Returnofrome cataphract icon Cataphract
War ElephantDE War Elephant · Returnofrome armored elephant icon Armored Elephant
Camel RiderDE Camel Rider
SiegeStone ThrowerDE Stone Thrower · CatapultDE Catapult · Returnofrome heavy catapult icon Heavy Catapult
BallistaDE Ballista · Returnofrome helepolis icon Helepolis
War Ship7 Scout Ship Scout Ship · 8 War Galley War Galley · 9 Trireme Trireme
Catapult Trireme Catapult Trireme · Returnofrome juggernaut icon Juggernaut
10 Fire Galley Fire Galley
5 Light Transport Light Transport · 6 Heavy Transport Heavy Transport
Scenario Editor-only units
Short Swordsman Chieftain · Donkey caravan aoe2DE Donkey · Clubman Explorer · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon General · AoE2 DE priest icon High Priest · Returnofrome horse icon Horse · HeavyCavalryDE Mercenary (removed) · Penguin aoe2DE Penguin · AoE2 DE priest icon Pharaoh · 5 Light Transport Raft · Returnofrome artifact icon War Chest