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

The French civilization music theme

The French are a playable European civilization in Age of Empires IV.

Civilization overview[]

Known for their cavalry, the French are a fearsome army whose armored knights and charges can tip the tides of battle.

The French civilization in
Age of Empires IV spans the years 840-1559 CE and is based on a medieval France that fought its way from adversity to prosperity. Overcoming invasions, plagues and revolt, France emerged as a powerful modern nation.

Playing the French civilization will take you through the age of chivalry and honorable combat, to the time of Jeanne d’Arc and France’s darkest hour, to the formation of a disciplined standing army capable of liberating the nation with the roar of cannon fire.


The French civilization’s strength lies in their formidable army of knights, gunpowder siege weapons, and advantages in trade. French Traders have the unique ability to bring back any resources needed, a valuable trait during a resource shortage.

French cavalry charges can break enemy lines and give bonus damage, useful for hit-and-run tactics. French units also have access to several upgrades, ranging from special health to defense bonuses available only for certain French units.

The French have a unique Influence system, where units cost less from Archery Ranges and Stables around the Keep. Their Town Center can produce units quicker with each Age, a key advantage in hastening their economy.

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Faster Villager and Scout production per Age (10%, 15%, 20%, 20%).
  • Economic technology 30% cheaper.
  • Resource drop-off buildings 25 Wood cheaper.
  • Trade Posts are revealed on the minimap at the start of the game.
  • Traders can return any resource to the market.
  • Melee damage techs are researched for free at the Blacksmith.
  • Trade Ships return 20% more gold.
  • Units produced from an Archery Range or Stable within the influence of a Keep are 20% cheaper.

Unique units[]

The Royal Knight is the French civilization’s heavily armored knight, with their fearsome charge ability.

The Arbalétrier is a powerful range unit, who gains a special ability called Pavise—a deployable shield for ranged defense.

The Cannon is a mobile gunpowder siege weapon unique to the French. Unlike the Bombard, the Cannon does not need to pack and unpack.


Dark Age[]

Feudal Age[]

Castle Age[]

Unique buildings[]

Unique technologies[]

Mastery Challenges[]

French Mastery[]

In the face of invasion, plague and revolt, medieval France paved a hard-won path from adversity to prosperity. Once a land of fragmented rule bound to a code of chivalry, a unified nation emerged, forged under the roar of cannon fire.

In-game dialogue[]

The French units speak Old French with modern diction. As the ages progress, the language drifts further away from Gallo-Romance towards Middle French.