Although appearing stronger than regular Wolves at the first glance (especially in-game, where the attack is not shown), Dire Wolves are actually weak compared to their regular counterparts, holding no attack and taking every attack bonus there is. Still, despite having no attack, the Dire Wolf deals one damage per strike due to the damage mechanics of Age of Empires II.
- The Dire Wolf (Canis dirus, lit. "Terrible Dog") is an extinct relative of the Wolf that lived in the Americas during the Pleistocene. Although commonly portrayed as much larger and stronger than the wolf in Medieval Fantasy (e.g. Dungeons and Dragons, Game of Thrones), real dire wolves were similar in size to living wolves. However, they had more robust jaws and were better adapted at crushing bone and killing megafauna, which reduced competition with wolves and made dire wolves the American ecological equivalent of Old World hyenas.
- Since Dire Wolves have all armor classes, the Spearman-line is quite effective against them. Spearmen can kill Dire Wolves in two hits, while Pikemen can kill them in one hit.
|Animals in Age of Empires II|
|Huntables||Deer · Ostrich · Zebra · Ibex|
|Aggressive huntables||Wild Boar · Javelina · Iron Boar · Elephant · Rhinoceros|
|Herdables||Sheep · Turkey · Cow · Llama · Goat · Pig · Water Buffalo · Goose|
|Wild animals||Wolf · Dire Wolf · Rabid Wolf · Jaguar · Bear · Lion · Crocodile · Tiger · Komodo Dragon · Snow Leopard|
|Marine creatures||Shore Fish · Snapper · Tuna · Perch · Salmon · Marlin · Dorado · Dolphin · Box Turtles|
|Other||Horse · Wild Horse · Camel · Wild Camel · Bactrian Camel · Wild Bactrian Camel · Donkey · Stormy Dog|
|Military||Furious the Monkey Boy · Alfred the Alpaca · Penguin|
|Heroes||Ornlu the Wolf · Hunting Wolf|