Age of Empires Series Wiki
Diplomacy prev

Diplomacy or diplomatic stance is the relationship of every player with every other player in a game. The three main diplomatic stances are:

  • Ally
  • Neutral
  • Enemy

Detailed descriptions of each diplomatic stance are provided on the respective sections of each game, as all games in the Age of Empires series feature different design approaches to the diplomacy mechanic.

Diplomatic stances are an important feature of free-for-all and campaign games, but are unused in standard games (because teams are locked).

Note: It is possible that the other player has a different diplomatic stance other than the stance the player is set to another player. For example, player 1 is set to ally towards player 2, however, player 2's stance is enemy towards player 1.

ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

In the original Age of Empires, the three diplomatic stances are available. They can be changed anytime.

  • Ally - The player cannot attack any unit or building that belongs to a player to whom they are allied with. Allied players are usually under a same team.
  • Neutral - The player's military units automatically attack other player's military units to whom they are set to neutral with. Buildings and Villagers that belong to another player to whom the player is neutral are not automatically attacked by the player's military units, and must be manually tasked to do so.
  • Enemy - The player's military units will automatically attack any units that belongs to a player they are enemy with.

Allied victory: Allied victory is a function that is applicable for allied players in a game. This makes the player share the same victory condition with an allied player. For example, if player 1 wins by defending a Wonder until the countdown expires, and is allied with player 2, and has checked the "Allied Victory" box, both players would win the game. However, if there is no check on the Allied Victory box, even though the two players are allied to each other, only the player who constructed the Wonder would win the game. This is best shown in the campaign scenario Coming of the Huns.

There are two official campaign scenarios wherein the AI will adjust their diplomatic stance accordingly to the player's actions, namely Oppression and Coming of the Huns; if the player does not tribute to AI player asking for tribute, it will adjust its diplomatic stance towards the player to enemy, otherwise it would set it to ally, albeit without Allied Victory condition checked.

In the Definitive Edition, a new feature called "Locked Teams" was introduced to random map games. It prevents players from changing diplomatic stances throughout the game. This feature can be enabled or disabled prior to starting a new game.

AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires II[]

Diplomacy settings in Age of Empires II are almost the same as in its predecessor. The three main diplomatic settings are still available, as well as the "Allied Victory" box. A notable new feature on the diplomacy tab is that the player can view other players' stance towards them.

In The Conquerors, a new feature called "Locked Teams" was introduced to random map games. It prevents players from changing diplomatic stances throughout the game. This feature can be enabled or disabled prior to starting a new game. The new game type Wonder Race has the feature "Locked Teams" automatically enabled and it cannot be disabled, since the nature of the game type is not to destroy other players, but rather to focus on empire building and economical booming which will result in the fastest player building a Wonder to win the game.

In the campaigns, part of the AI's triggers is switching its diplomatic stance towards the player for an enriched historical experience to represent betrayals or switch of allegiance between civilizations. One example is the second scenario of the Montezuma campaign, where the former allies of the player, namely Tlacopan and Texcoco, would switch their diplomatic stance towards the player to enemy to represent their revolt. Another example is the first scenario of the Attila the Hun campaign, where the Scythians may switch their diplomatic stance to ally towards the player, which emphasizes that the Huns have earned the trust of the Scythians.

Unlike in Age of Empires, where a diplomacy stance change against an ally will be changed as soon as they are attacked, many times in the campaigns, they will not declare war on the player automatically. This is not always the case, however, as is the case in such scenarios as The Exile of the Cid, where changing stances with Motamid the Moor will cause him to declare the player an enemy. Other times, like in Crucible, if the player changes stance with an ally to neutral (in order to kill one of the two players required to in order to win the scenario), they will not change diplomacy stance, but if the player changes it to enemy, they will do likewise. In death matches or random maps, the ally will continually try and argue with the player to change back, but, if ignored long enough, will state that it will be war to the knife and change stance with the player to enemy.

Also, unlike in Age of Empires, friendly fire (even deliberate and repeated) will not cause the ally to declare war on the player, which can be useful in campaigns like Henry the Lion, The Lombard League, and The Emperor Sleeping in The Age of Kings and the Triple Alliance in The Conquerors, where allies will declare war on the player later in the scenario and want to weaken them without changing diplomacy stance, which, in some of the above cases, will be met by the allies doing the same.

Aom original icon Age of Mythology[]

Age of Mythology has a slightly different approach regarding diplomacy settings. Although the three main diplomatic stances are available, the neutral diplomatic stance has somewhat a different approach. The "Allied Victory" option is no longer available. Also, god powers available (or have been used) can be seen by the player upon selecting the diplomacy tab. On the lower user interface, a small icon between the player name and chosen major god is present, indicating which stance the player is set towards the player who owns the selected unit, as indicated below:

Aom ally

Ally: Friendly player.
Players who are set to ally cannot attack each other.

They also automatically share the same victory condition.

Aom neutral

Neutral: Neutral player.
Players who are set neutral cannot attack each other.

However, this player does not share the Line of Sight with another neutral player and vice versa. This is somewhat comparable to being an ally with another player without the "Allied Victory" option checked in the previous installments.

This diplomatic stance is commonly used in the official campaign scenarios, where the player is set to neutral to other players who serve as a decoration, probably to prevent the player from attacking decorative elements in a city, which may ruin the game's plot, or distract the player's units during battle.

Aom enemy

Enemy: Enemy player.
Players who are set to enemy can attack each other.

This is also the diplomatic stance of the player (as well as other players of the game) towards Mother Nature and vice versa. It is displayed with wild animals in the game or other miscellaneous units such as the Skraeling on the Vinlandsaga map. Also, hostile units such as the Tartarian Spawn and those affected by the god power Chaos will belong to the Mother Nature player, so they will be hostile to all players. However, despite the fact that Mother Nature is hostile to all players, it still uses the Neutral icon (as shown above).

Aom player

Player: Player.
Selecting the player's own units also has an icon.

In addition to the above changes, when using the Scenario Editor, the player has the option to make other players "Visible" or "Not Visible". Visible means that the other player(s) can be viewed on the diplomacy tab during normal gameplay, while not visible means the other player is hidden from the player's view. This can be seen in the official campaign scenarios where developers prefer to set all players other than the player to be not visible, so they would not be able to adjust their diplomatic stance and potentially ruin the campaign's plot.


3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

Unlike Age of Empires and Age of Empires II, it is not possible to change the diplomatic stance with a player or AI and as such, there is no option to change teams or alliances in-game. In general, diplomacy is simplified compared to previous games.

Diplomacy is restricted only to two opposing teams plus any non-affiliated players/AI, without any further diplomatic options besides two-sided prearranged teams. That is not to say however that the role of diplomacy is completely marginalized.

In free-for-all games, every player has "Enemy" as diplomatic stance towards each other.

The Asian Dynasties introduced the Treaty game mode to the series; during Treaty, all players start as allies and are unable to construct structures far away from their Town Centers.

Also, diplomacy becomes important when a player intends to invest in certain Home City Cards that provide bonuses for the entire team; these are known as TEAM cards. An example is the TEAM 2 Mongol Scouts card. As soon as it comes to effect, two Mongol Scouts arrive to each player's shipment drop point.

The release of Knights of the Mediterranean for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition introduced an optional Diplomacy mode for free-for-all games, which allows changing diplomatic stance towards other players, both human and AI, at the Player Summary screen. Diplomatic stance settings (Allied, Neutral and Enemy) work in the same way as they used to in Age of Mythology. However, changing diplomacy towards other players does not affect the behavior of TEAM cards, which will only affect the current player, as they would in normal free-for-all matches. Besides that, Trade Monopoly victory and Blockade are always disabled when playing under Diplomacy mode.


GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV[]

Similar to Age of Empires III, diplomacy in Age of Empires IV is simplified, and it is not possible to change player teams during standard games or in a campaign scenario. Players on the same team always share their Line of Sight and allied victory is likewise always enabled. Players can be assigned to up to eight different teams before starting a game, and can also alternatively be assigned to no team. Tributing resources is only possible to players on the same team.

Player teams can impact different victory conditions. For example, for a Landmarks victory, all of a given team's landmarks must be destroyed before any player is eliminated, meaning a player can remain in the game even if all of their landmarks are destroyed, so long as at least one team member has any landmarks left standing. In Dominion mode, however, killing a player's Monarch results in that player being eliminated, even if their team mates are still in the game.

When a player is eliminated, their remaining units and structures become Neutral, which means that other players' units will not attack them unless they are ordered to do so. Additionally, if a religious unit performing a conversion with a Relic is killed at the moment the conversion countdown is about to finish, all enemy units within its conversion radius become Neutral instead.

There is no starting Neutral stance in standard games, though Neutral players appear in a few campaign scenarios. Similar to previous games, players in Neutral stance in campaign scenarios will only attack each other's military units and defensive structures when they enter into their Line of Sight, and will ignore civilian units and most buildings by default, only attacking if ordered to do so. Trade Posts appear as Neutral structures in standard games, but cannot be attacked by any player.



  • Tooltips in both Age of Empires and Age of Empires II claim that the player's military units will automatically attack neutral players' buildings in their Line of Sight. This is not true, and they only attack neutral military units.
Gameplay elements in the Age of Empires series
Age · Ability (II · M · III · IV) · Architecture set (II · III) · Area of Effect (Trample damage) · Armor/Resists (hack/melee · pierce/ranged · crush/siege)  · Armor class/Tag (I - original · I - Return of Rome · II · IV) · Artificial intelligence · Attack (Attack bonus/Multiplier) · Attack delay · Attack ground · Aura (IV) · Auto Scout · Building (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization bonus · Cheat code (I · II · M · III · IV) · Conversion · Counter · Diplomacy · Gaia/Mother Nature · Game modes · Garrison · Gather Point · Healing · Hit points · Hotkey · Line of Sight · Mini map · Player · Population · Range · Rate of Fire · Regeneration · Relic (II · M · IV) · Repairing · Resource (Renewable resources) · Scenario Editor (I · II · M · III · IV) · Score · Signal Allies/Flare · Soundtrack (I · II · M · III · IV) · Speed · Stealth mode · Taunt · Technology (I · II · M · III · IV) · Technology tree (I · II · IV) · Town Bell · Trade (IV) · Tribute · Unit (I · II · M · III · IV) · Unit formation · Unit stance (III) · Upgrade (I · II · III · IV) · User interface · Victory · Villager Priority
Genie Engine
Frame delay · Full Tech Tree · Team bonus
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of EmpiresRuins · Discovery
AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires IIPass-through damage · Projectile duplication
Bang Engine
Autoqueue · Snare
Aom original icon Age of MythologyGod (Major · Minor) · God power · Settlement
3Icon48px Age of Empires IIIAge-up methods (Politician/Tribal Council/Wonder/Federal State/Alliance· Banner army · Consulate · Damage Cap · Home City · Home City Card · Inspiring Flag · Minor civilization · Nuggets · Promotion · Revolution · Target Lock · Trade Monopoly · Trade Route · Treasure
Essence Engine
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IVBounty · Dynasty · Fire armor · Imperial Council (Vizier Point) · Influence · Landmark · Religion · Sacred Site · Variant civilization
If a gameplay element has different pages across games, like civilization, the individual pages are linked in brackets.