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This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals. For other uses, see Ethiopians.

Placed on the "Roof of Africa", Ethiopia was able to assert its influence over the surrounding lowlands, thriving in the safety of its mountains. A high ground badly needed against hostile attempts to take the empire down. Ethiopia and its King of kings defied not just its African neighbors but also European imperialism attempts rendering it as one of the few African regions that eluded the talons of European imperialism.

The Ethiopian civilization's music theme

The Ethiopians are a civilization introduced in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals.

Home City[]

Home City Ethiopians aoe3de.png


They are an infantry-focused civilization that can access the powerful Sebastopol Mortar, a unique artillery unit that annihilates most land units. However, Sebastapol Mortars struggle against enemy artillery units.

The Ethiopians generate influence through the Mountain Monastery, a unique building that can be placed on top of mines and toggle between coin and influence generation. They can also generate influence through livestock, mainly through Zebu Cattle, which generate 0.15 influence per second while semi-fattened and 0.65 influence per second when fully fattened, and can be trained at the Livestock Market.

Most of an Ethiopian player's military units are trained at the War Camp: the Javelin Rider, the Gascenya, the Shotel Warrior, the Neftenya, and the Oromo Warrior.

The second military building used by the Ethiopians is the Palace. At the Palace, special units earned through Age-up Alliances and expensive mercenaries can be trained. The player can also train Falconets, Culverins, and Mortars after the technology Imported Cannons is researched. All units trained at the Palace cost influence, and many of them have a high population cost. Special units trained at the Palace are not upgraded the same way that War Camp units are upgraded. Instead, they have shadow upgrades like units trained from the Asian Consulate, becoming stronger with each Age-up. The Sebastopol Mortar is trained at the Palace.


Shared African units[]

  • Levied spearman portrait aoe3de.png Levied Spearman: Quick-training, Spearman who quickly loses hitpoints, becoming less effective over time.
  • Levied bowman portrait aoe3de.png Levied Bowman: Quick-training foot archer who loses hitpoints over time, but gains attack speed at lower health.
  • Levied gunner portrait aoe3de.png Levied Gunner: Musketeer who loses hitpoints, becoming less effective over time.
  • Desert warrior portrait aoe3de.png Desert Warrior: Hardy javelin warrior equipped with a large shield. The shield grants different armor types when switching combat stances. Good against cavalry.
  • Desert archer portrait aoe3de.png Desert Archer: Secretive, skilled archer that can hit distant targets as well as shoot fast at short range. Good against infantry.
  • Desert raider portrait aoe3de.png Desert Raider: Plundering Desert Raider. Good against buildings.
  • Javelin rider aoe3de.png Javelin Rider: Ranged cavalry. Good against hand cavalry, particularly in melee.
  • Ethiopian fishing canoe portrait aoe3de.png Fishing Canoe: Gathers Food from Fish or Coin from Whales.
  • Battle canoe portrait aoe3de.png Battle Canoe: Battle Canoe. Powerful, agile warship that can also train units.
  • Cannon boat portrait aoe3de.png Cannon Boat: Cannon Boat. Somewhat expensive, but powerful boat good at blasting ships and builders from a distance.

Unique units[]

  • Ras portrait aoe3de.png Ras: Royal Ethiopian hero with a fealty aura. Explores, fights, builds Palaces, Mountain Monasteries, and Trading Posts. Good against infantry.
  • African villager aoe3de.png Villager: Villager that constructs buildings and gathers resources.
  • Abun portrait aoe3de.png Abun: Heals injured units from range and during battle. May be tasked to gather at a Mountain Monastery.
  • Gascenya portrait aoe3de.png Gascenya: Heavy ranged infantry. Good against cavalry in melee.
  • Neftenya portrait aoe3de.png Neftenya: Skirmisher with high hitpoints. Good against heavy infantry and light ranged cavalry.
  • Shotel warrior aoe3de.png Shotel Warrior: Fast moving shock infantry that attacks quickly with two curved swords. Good against light infantry.
  • Oromo warrior portrait aoe3de.png Oromo Warrior: Powerful heavy hand cavalry with strong ranged and melee attacks. Attacks faster when closer to the enemy. Good against light infantry.
  • Sebastopol mortar portrait aoe3de.png Sebastopol Mortar: Gargantuan mortar which annihilates units and buildings. Slow and expensive.
  • War dhow portrait aoe3de.png War Dhow: Powerful, heavy Mercenary Warship with very high hitpoints.

Unique buildings[]

  • Hut portrait aoe3de.png Hut: Supports 10 population.
  • Livestock market aoe3de.png Livestock Market: Combines Market and Livestock Pen. Can fatten and sell Livestock for wood or gold.
  • Field portrait aoe3de.png Field: Slow, infinite source of Food or Coin for up to two gatherers. Builds slowly, but is inexpensive.
  • Port portrait aoe3de.png Port: Builds and upgrades Fishing Boats and warships. Repairs nearby ships.
  • Watch tower aoe3de portrait.png Watch Tower: Watch Tower that can be used to defend the border.
  • Mountain monastery portrait aoe3de.png Mountain Monastery: Can be placed on a mine and toggle between Coin and Influence generation. Trains Abun and researches Alliance technologies.
  • War camp aoe3de portrait.png War Camp: Trains and upgrades African regular units.
  • Granary portrait aoe3de.png Granary: Improves nearby Food gather rates and lures hunt. Builds slowly but for free. Contains hunting and farming upgrades.
  • Palace portrait aoe3de.png Palace: Powerful, defensive building that can also train units.

Alliance units[]

Home City Cards[]

Main article: Ethiopian Home City Cards

In-game dialogue[]

Main article: Ethiopians' dialogue lines

Ethiopian units speak Amharic, a South Semitic language (related to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic languages) written with the Geʽez script descended from Egyptian hieroglyphs and ancient South Arabian script. The only exception is the Oromo Warrior, who speaks the Oromo language.


  • Āwo? (አዎ?) – Yes?
  • Əshi (እሺ) – All right
  • Wäga! (ወጋ!) – Attack!
  • Ənwagalän! (እንዋጋለን!) – Let us attack!


  • Female Build
  • Male Build
  • Female Farm
  • Male Farm
  • Female Gather Coin
  • Male Gather Coin
  • Female Gather Fruit
  • Male Gather Fruit
  • Female Gather Meat
  • Male Gather Meat
  • Female Gather Wood
  • Male Gather Wood


No "Claim" line.

  • Disabled
  • Ransomed
  • Revived

Oromo Warrior[]


  • The Ethiopian flag shown in the game is the Tricolor of Pennants that was used between 1881–1889 by the Ethiopian Empire.
    • However – as this design is non-rectangular, the Home City shipment icon, civilization selection screen, and post-game leaderboards all use a rectangular flag similar to the flag of Ethiopia used between 1897–1914, without the "ም" on the central stripe.
  • The Ethiopians were first introduced in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition as a civilization exclusive to the Christopher Da Gama's Expedition scenario of the Historical Battles. There, they had civilian and military units, architectural variation and buildings that later would be available to the playable civilization of The African Royals.


While the recorded history of Ethiopia goes back several millennia, the region's early modern history opens with a tumultuous conflict known to posterity as the Ethiopian-Adal War (1529-1543). The ruling Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia struggled initially against the Adal forces of the intrepid Ahmad Gragn, whose deft use of Ottoman artillery gained him the upper hand in several battles. The Adal occupation lasted over a decade, but the Solomonic dynasty, led by the tenacious Queen Sabla Wengel and the formerly exiled Emperor Gelawdewos, eventually threw off the foreign yoke and defeated Gragn. Instrumental in this victory were the tattered remnants of a Portuguese expeditionary force led by Cristovao da Gama, who perished in the process. Gelawdewos then sought to turn the tables and invade Adal, but suffered the same fate as the overconfident Gragn and was slain in turn in 1559.

Next to attempt to subjugate the resurgent Ethiopian state was the Ottoman Empire, which seized several key locations on the coast but was unable to push further inland. Further threats ensued from a new power: the Harar Sultanate, which had assumed control of the lands ruled by the crumbling Adal Sultanate. Although these were parried successfully, constant conflict and climatic conditions culminated in unstable conditions that caused a series of mass migrations of East African people-groups into the Ethiopian sphere of influence. Most notable among these were the Oromo, hardy pastoralists and fierce warriors who would attain immense power within the fragmenting Ethiopian state and retain it for centuries.

By the late 17th century, Ethiopia had devolved into a patchwork of loosely knit localist entities that could only barely be said to answer to the imperial mantle. This all changed during the reign of Iyasu the Great (r. 1682-1706), who inaugurated a long programme of reforms across various spheres from political centralization to infrastructure, cultural growth, and foreign diplomacy. His untimely death, however, sent the recovering state into a tailspin. The resulting power vacuum was filled by a series of competing clans and princes, who by five decades later had reduced a once-powerful state into little more than an anarchical patchwork of feudal demesnes where ruthless warlords ruled by force. This so-called Era of the Princes lasted nearly a century.

In 1855, Kassa Hailu, a shifta (brigand) turned magnate, triumphed over his rival warlords and was crowned Emperor Tewodros II. Desperate to modernize his fledgling nation, Tewodros resorted to the shocking decision to kidnap European officials and missionaries and barter them for help from European powers in industrializing Ethiopia. This scheme backfired violently, as the British responded with a full-scale invasion, annihilated Tewodros' armies with ease, and rescued the hostages, leaving Ethiopia once more in a volatile situation. Despite this setback, the Ethiopian state recovered quickly. After the so-called Scramble for Africa commenced during the following decades, Ethiopia was notable as one of the few regions on the African continent that eluded the talons of European imperial colonialism.