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This article is about the civilization in Age of Empires III. For other uses, see French.
Civilization Technology tree Strategy

Descendants of the Franks who inhabited regions in France. The French held large areas in the New World until the late 1700s. They famously supported the American revolution after the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.

The French civilization's music theme in the Definitive Edition

The French are a playable European civilization in Age of Empires III and its expansions The WarChiefs and The Asian Dynasties. They are the descendants of the Franks who inhabited regions in France.

The French held large areas in the New World until the late 1700s, but they still have small colonies in South America today. They famously supported the American Revolution after the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.

France underwent a violent revolution in the late 18th century, and by the early 19th century, Napoleon Bonaparte was France's Emperor and supreme commander. He proceeded to conquer almost all of Europe with his Grande Armée, barring Britain and Russia.

Home City[]


The French military possesses a troop roster similar to the Spanish; they have a diverse selection of units. The Lancer unit, however, is replaced by the powerful Cuirassier, which is typically a common sight in late-Age armies. They have one of the best economies in the game due to their fast-gathering Coureur des Bois. One of the French's main specialties is their stronger alliances with Native American settlements as their Home City provides many unique cards for it.


Unique units[]


Home City Cards[]

Main article: French Home City Cards

In-game dialogue[]

Main article: French dialogue lines

French units speak their namesake language.


  • Oui? - Yes?
  • Prêt (masculine)/Prête (feminine) - Ready
  • Votre ordre? - Your order?
  • Bonjour! - Hello!
  • Oui - Yes
  • Très bien - Very well
  • Je le ferai - I will do it
  • Correct - Right
  • À l'attaque! - Attack!
  • Chargez! - Charge!
  • Oui! - Yes!


  • Build Maçon - Bricklayer (masculine, female settler should have used the feminine form maçonne here)
  • Female Farm Fermière - Farmer (feminine)
  • Male Farm Fermier - Farmer (masculine)
  • Female Gather Coin Ramasseuse - Collector (feminine)
  • Male Gather Coin Ramasseur - Collector (masculine)
  • Female Gather Fruit Cueilleuse - Gatherer (feminine)
  • Male Gather Fruit Cueilleur - Gatherer (masculine)
  • Female Gather Meat Chasseuse - Huntress
  • Male Gather Meat Chasseur - Hunter
  • Female Gather Wood Bûcheronne - Lumberjack (feminine)
  • Male Gather Wood Bûcheron - Lumberjack (masculine)


  • Claim Au nom de la France, je revendique cette terre! - In name of France, I claim this land!
  • Disabled Je suis blessé, je ne peux pas bouger - I'm injured, I can't move
  • Ransomed Merci d'avoir payé ma rançon - Thank you for having paid my ransom
  • Revived J'ai repris des forces - I have regained strength


  • Despite the French being unable to create Settlers by standard means, female Settlers have their own voice clips. Males have the same voice clips as Coureurs des Bois.
    • The unused French Settlers have the same appearance as the British and Dutch Settlers.
  • The French flag shown in the game is the Flag of the Kingdom of France that was used between 1365–1794 by the Kingdom of France.
    • According to a unused textures in the game files (french.ddt) and a Napoleon Bonaparte quote, the French flag in the game would be the National flag (also know as the Tricolore) used by the First Republic and the First French Empire between 1794–1814.
  • The architecture style of the French post Exploration Age is mainly timber framing. This is historically inaccurate as this style was used predominantly in Europe and France while French colonies in North America used French colonial architecture instead.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, the French were highly criticized as the most powerful civilization for treaty games, mostly due to the very high statistics of a Post-Imperial Gendarme. In certain maps, like the Great Plains, they can get the Cheyenne Horse Trading technology at the Cheyenne native site. When combined with a few Home City Cards, they get cavalry trained almost insantly, leading to a critical mass of Gendarmes in a very short time to overrun the entire armies of most civilizations, leaving very few but expensive counters to certain civilizations, which were also taken down by the already strong French Skirmishers. This lead to the removal of the decreased training time effect of the Thoroughbreds card and the new calculation of Cuirassier statistics based on the Commerce Age in the Definitive Edition.
  • The French have similarities to the Franks in Age of Empires II and French in Age of Empires IV, where they are a cavalry-focused civilization with a very strong economy. The French also share the same characteristic of a beginner-friendly civilization with their straightforward bonuses and Home City cards.


France began the age of exploration as one of the more powerful nations in Europe economically, militarily, and geographically. Initially they trailed the Spanish and Portuguese in the quest for overseas trade and empire, but made significant progress in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They were exploring and attempting to settle North America before the British, attracted by the fishing off Newfoundland, fur trading, and their search for a northwest passage around the Americas to the Pacific Ocean and Asia.

A sixteenth century settlement in Florida was wiped out by the Spanish. Several attempts to settle in Nova Scotia and along the St. Lawrence River finally resulted in a permanent settlement in Quebec. From there intrepid explorers, including Champlain, Marquette, and many others, worked their way through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi to its mouth. They established better relations with the Native Americans than any other European nation, mainly because they encouraged fur trading and were less interested in permanent settlement. French trappers and traders came to America in relatively small numbers to make a fortune in furs, and then returned home. They eventually built a string of trading posts and forts along the interior trade route at New Orleans, St. Louis, Mackinac Island, Detroit, and Fort Duquesne (modern Pittsburgh).

French involvement in Europe, India, and the Caribbean meant that colonizing efforts in Canada were not strongly or systematically supported. The efforts of the smaller French population to keep the rapidly growing British bottled up along the Atlantic seaboard could not be sustained. When war came in the eighteenth century, Canada was lost in battle and traded at the negotiation table for some spice islands in Indonesia. The French retained their control of the Mississippi and Missouri River watersheds until the early nineteenth century, when Napoleon sold France's vast holdings to the fledgling United States to support his wars in Europe.