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The mere mention of the Goths struck terror into the inhabitants of the Roman Empire. Migrate across thousands of miles and overwhelm your enemies with floods of infantry numerous as the grains of sand on a beach. Drive a once-great empire into anarchy, distribute plunder to your warbands, and establish your own kingdom where others once stood. Your Huskarls, pride of any chieftain or king, fear neither barbed arrow nor spear.

The Goths' civilization music theme in the Definitive Edition

The Goths are a Central European civilization in Age of Empires II. They focus on infantry.

The Goths were a collection of Eastern Germanic tribes that constantly warred with the Roman Empire during its later years, known for bringing Rome to its knees and traveling all over Europe, bringing devastation with them. Following the fall of the Empire, the Goths divided into the Ostrogoths (East Goths) who settled in Italy, and the Visigoths (West Goths[note 1]) who settled in the region that would later become Portugal and Spain.

In-game, the Goths are an aggressive civilization with a reputation for their Dark Age and Feudal Age infantry rushes, while having the ability to rapidly produce infantry in large numbers in post-Imperial Age, making the Goths one of the hardest civilization to fight in the late game for civilizations who aren't able to diversify their army or unable to close out games before and during the Castle Age. Despite their ability to produce infantry cheaply and quickly in the late game, the Goths other unit options are mediocre or average at best, and do not have long term economic bonuses apart from increased food carry for their hunters (which only helps with their Dark Age and Feudal Age infantry rushes). The Goths are one of the two civilizations without access to Stone Walls.

Their unique unit, the Huskarl, is a highly mobile high-pierce armor anti-archer infantry unit with low base melee armor, reversing the traditional rock-papers-scissors concept with it's relation between archers and infantry. The concept of an anti-archer infantry unit is seen in other installments of Age of Empires games (such as the Norse Huskarl in Age of Mythology, Shock Infantry in Age of Empires III, and the Man-at-Arms unit in Age of Empires IV).


The Goths are an infantry civilization. As a result, infantry is the way to go since the Goths' advantages predominantly lay there. The main advantages there are the fast creation speed and low cost which offset lacking Plate Mail Armor by far. The Goths have weak archers, but they can fully upgrade their Skirmishers and Hand Cannoneers. The cavalry branch is not very prominent with the Goths albeit being overall acceptable, featuring Hussars with Bloodlines, but lacking Paladins and Plate Barding Armor. The Siege Workshop is also average without Siege Rams and Siege Onagers. Siege Engineers are also not available, but the Goths primary raiding units are Huskarls, anyway, so this is not that much of a drawback. Their navy is fairly useable, but Dry Dock is missing, so their ships lack speed. The Gothic Monks are way below average, missing four out of ten technologies, and their defenses are downright abysmal. Their economy is good, however.

Summing it all up the Goths may seem a civilization below average, but their infantry rushing capabilities make up for their overall lacking tech tree and are feared for a reason.

Campaign appearances[]

The Goths have a campaign devoted to their civilization: Alaric. Furthermore, they feature in various campaigns representing different peoples. Notable appearances include:

Genghis Khan (pre-Definitive Edition)[]


Attila the Hun[]

Battles of the Conquerors[]

  • Hastings
    • Harold's Raiders - Enemy
    • Harold the Saxon - Enemy
    • Saxon Navy - Enemy


This campaign is played as the Goths.


Battles of the Forgotten[]

Tariq ibn Ziyad[]


Unique unit[]

HuskarlIcon-DE.png Huskarl: Infantry unit that is virtually immune to archer fire

Unique technologies[]

CastleAgeUnique.png Anarchy: Allows the creation of Huskarls at the Barracks.
Unique-tech-imperial.jpg Perfusion: Increases the working speed of Barracks by +100%.

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonus[]

Barracks work 20% faster.


The Age of Kings[]

  • Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Infantry are 10%/15%/25% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
  • Infantry have +1 bonus attack against standard buildings.
  • Non-Elite Huskarls train in 26 seconds.
  • Huskarls have 4 pierce armor, Elite Huskarls 6.
  • Huskarls have a +3 attack bonus against archers, Elite Huskarls +4.
  • Huskarls move at a speed of 0.9.

The Conquerors[]

  • With patch 1.0b, infantry are 35% cheaper starting in the Feudal Age.
  • Anarchy introduced.
  • Perfusion introduced.
  • Non-Elite Huskarls now train in 16 seconds.
  • Huskarls now have 6 pierce armor, Elite Huskarls 8.
  • Huskarls now have a +6 attack bonus against archers, Elite Huskarls +10.
  • Huskarls now move at a speed of 1.05.

The Forgotten[]

  • Treadmill Crane removed from the technology tree.

The African Kingdoms[]

  • Initially can research Arrowslits. With patch 4.8, it was removed from the technology tree.
  • Arson introduced.

Definitive Edition[]

  • With update 35584, Infantry are 35% cheaper in all ages.
  • With update 36202, the civilization bonus affecting the cost of infantry units has now been staggered per Age: 20% cheaper → 25% cheaper → 30% cheaper → 35% cheaper.
  • With update 36202, they no longer have access to the Arson technology.
  • With update 36202, the civilization bonus boosting infantry attack vs. buildings now increments by +1 attack per Age (starting in the Feudal Age).
  • With update 36906, they get free Loom as a civilization bonus.
  • With update 42848, Loom is no longer free, but it can be researched instantly.

In-game dialogue language[]

In-game, Gothic units speak classical Old or Middle High German, which is also spoken by the Teutons. Historically, however, they spoke their very own Gothic language, which was related to Old Norse as much as to Old High German, and became extinct in the 8th or 9th century. A closely related language called Crimean Gothic possibly survived until the 18th century.

  • Select 1 Ja? - Yes?
  • Select 2 He, ja - Why, yes
  • Select 3 Bereyte - Ready
  • Select 4 Heisse? - Order?
  • Task 1 Des ware - Truly
  • Task 2 Ja - Yes
  • Task 3 Reyte - Right
  • Task 4 Das ich soll - That I shall
  • Build Buuwere - To build
  • Chop 'Holza/Holzer - To cut wood
  • Farm Gebuure - To go farming
  • Fish Fischere - To fish
  • Forage Suocha - To seek, gather
  • Hunt Jägere - To hunt
  • Mine Houwa - To quarry, cut
  • Repair Flickmann - Tinkerer, repairer (of small objects)
  • Attack Striitet! - Fight! (not used)
  • Select 1 Ja? - Yes?
  • Select 2 Bereyte - Ready
  • Select 3 Heisse? - Order?
  • Move 1 Ja - Yes
  • Move 2 Das ich soll - That I shall
  • Move 3 Des ware - Truly
  • Attack 1 Striitet! - Fight!
  • Attack 2 Se stöörme! - Storm them!
  • Attack 3 Ja! - Yes!
  • Attack 4 Sassa! - To battle!
  • Select 1 Heisse? - Order?
  • Select 2 He, ja - Why, yes
  • Select 3 Bereyte - Ready
  • Select 4 Ja? - Yes?
  • Move 1 Des ware - Truly
  • Move 2 Ja - Yes
  • Move 3 Reyte - Right
  • Move 4 Das ich soll - That I shall
  • Select 1 Ja? - Yes?
  • Select 2 He, ja - Why, yes
  • Select 3 Bereyte - Ready
  • Select 4 Heisse? - Order?
  • Move 1 Des ware - Truly
  • Move 2 Ja - Yes
  • Move 3 Reyte - Right

AI player names[]

  • Athaulf (𐌰𐌸𐌰𐌿𐌻𐍆; c. 360-415): King of the Visigoths from 411-415. Led his people from Italy to Southern Iberia, building the Visigothic state into a major political power. Successor and brother-in-law of Alaric I.
  • Athanaric or Atanaric (𐌰𐍄𐌰𐌽𐌰𐍂𐌹𐌺; Latin: Athanaricus; died 381): was king of several branches of the Thervingian Goths for at least two decades in the 4th century.
  • Alaric II (𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃; c. 458/466-507): King of the Visigoths from 484-507. Defeated by Franks under Clovis at the Battle of Vouillé, killed in the fighting allegedly by Clovis himself. Son of Euric the Visigoth.
  • Alaric the Visigoth (𐌰𐌻𐌰𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌺𐍃; c. 370-410): Alaric I, was the first king of the Visigoths. He invaded Moesia and he is responsible for the Sack of Rome, contributing to the fall of the Romans.
  • Ermanaric the Amal (𐌴𐍂𐌼𐌰𐌽𐌰𐍂𐌹𐌺): is identified as a Greuthungian king who ruled territories in modern Ukraine.
  • Fritigern (𐍆𐍂𐌹𐍄𐌹𐌲𐌴𐍂𐌽; fl. 370s): was a Thervingian Gothic chieftain whose decisive victory at Adrianople during the Gothic War (376–382) led to favourable terms for the Goths when peace was made with Gratian and Theodosius I in 382.
  • General Theodemir (𐌸𐌴𐍉𐌳𐌴𐌼𐌹𐍂; died 743): Prominent count and general in the Visigothic kingdom. Attempted to halt the Moorish conquest of Iberia, however his forces were defeated by emir Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa in 713.
  • King Euric the Visigoth (𐌴𐌿𐍂𐌹c𐌷; c. 440-484): King of the Visigoths from 466-484. Defeated other factions of Visigoths to become the first ruler of a unified kingdom of Visigoths. Father of Alaric II.
  • King Leovigild (𐌻𐌴𐍉𐍈𐌹𐌲𐌹𐌻𐌳; c. 519-586): Visigothic King of Hispania and Gallia from 568-586. Known for expanding his Visigothic kingdom through successful military campaigns, as well as for his introduction of the Code of Leovigild, which guaranteed equal rights for Goths and Hispano-Romans within his territories.
  • King Wallia (𐍅𐌰𐌻𐌻𐌹𐌰; c. 385-418): King of the Visigoths from 415-418. Formed an alliance with the Roman Emperor Honorius, mounted a successful campaign against the Siling Vandals.
  • Radagaisus (𐍂𐌰𐌳𐌰𐌲𐌰𐌹𐍃𐌿𐍃; died 23 August 406): was a Gothic king who led an invasion of Roman Italy in late 405 and the first half of 406.
  • Teias the Goth (𐍄𐌴𐌹𐌰𐍃; died c. 552): Last Ostrogothic king in Italy. Led Ostrogoths in the Gothic War against the Byzantine Empire, defeated at the Battle of Mons Lactarius in Southern Italy, where he was killed.
  • Theodoric the Goth (𐌸𐌴𐍉𐌳𐍉𐍂𐌹𐌺; c. 390/393-451): King of the Visigoths from 418 until his death in June of 451. Allied with General Flavius Aetius of the Western Roman Empire against Attila and the Huns following their invasion of Gaul. Lead a coalition of men alongside Aetius against the Huns at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains where he died in battle.
  • Totila the Ostrogoth (𐍄𐍉𐍄𐌹𐌻𐌰; died July 1 of 552): was the penultimate King of the Ostrogoths, reigning from 541 to 552 AD. A skilled military and political leader, Totila reversed the tide of the Gothic War, recovering by 543 almost all the territories in Italy that the Eastern Roman Empire had captured from his kingdom in 540.
  • Sarus the Goth (𐍃𐌰𐍂𐌿𐍃; d. 413 AD): was a Gothic chieftain and commander for the emperor Honorius. He was known for his hostility to the prominent Gothic brothers-in-law Alaric I and Ataulf, and was the brother of Sigeric, who ruled the Goths briefly in 415.


The Goths were a Germanic tribe on the Danube River frontier known to the Romans from the first century AD. Pressured and then displaced when the Huns moved west out of Central Asia, the Goths moved west into Europe and over the Danube River to escape the oncoming hordes. After taking part in the fall of Rome, they vied with other barbarians for the leavings of the Western Roman Empire during the Early Middle Ages.

The Goths originated on the island of Gotland in the Baltic, to the best of our knowledge, and split into two groups as they migrated south across Central Europe. The Visigoths, or West Goths, settled in modern Romania during the second century. The Ostrogoths, or East Goths, settled farther to the east on the northwest coast of the Black Sea. In 376 AD the Visigoths were driven from modern Romania by the Huns and moved south across the Danube. Their strength was estimated at 60,000 men, women, and children. They defeated a Roman army from Constantinople, settled briefly south of the Danube, and then pushed into Italy. In 409 they sacked Rome under their king Alaric and then moved north into Gaul. The Romans gave them southwestern Gaul. From there they eventually extended their rule into all of modern Spain and Portugal.

The Ostrogoths broke away from Hunnish rule and followed their cousins into Italy late in the fifth century. They were encouraged to invade by the Eastern emperor, who wanted deposed the barbarian then ruling as viceroy. Under Theodric, king of modern Switzerland and the Balkans already, the Goths entered Italy in 488, completing its conquest in 493.

Theodric’s kingdom did not last long following his death in 526. Using a struggle for succession as an excuse, the Byzantines sent an army to Italy in 536 led by their great general Belisarius. The Byzantines hoped to regain Italy and restore the old Roman Empire in the West. The war dragged on, devastating the countryside in conjunction with plague and famine. In 552 the Ostrogoths were finally defeated in Italy. They ceased to exist as a separate group by the late sixth century when northern Italy was invaded by a new group of barbarians called the Lombards.

The Visigoth kingdom lasted somewhat longer. In the late fifth century Clovis of the Franks pushed the Visigoths out of France and over the Pyrenees Mountains. Following the death of Clovis his kingdom fragmented and the Visigoths were temporarily left alone. In 711 a new threat appeared from the south. Islamic armies crossed over from North Africa and destroyed the last Gothic kingdom in four years.

The Goths are remembered for being the first to sack Rome and thereby beginning the final collapse of the ancient world order in Europe. Their admiration for Rome and attempts to preserve it, however, allowed much of the Roman culture to survive. For example, the modern languages of Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Romania are derived from Latin influenced by later settlers. They are not variations of German, as was the case in England.[1]


  • The Goths' civilization icon is based on Visigothic eagle-shaped fibulae.
  • Goths' portrayal as a heavy-infantry-rush civilization Age of Empires II is somewhat historically accurate; however, contemporary authors also recognized the supportive role of Gothic heavy, light, and missile cavalry.
  • The Goths have among the weakest defenses in the game; they lack the tower upgrades, and until the introduction of the Cumans in the Definitive Edition, they were the only civilization unable to build Stone Walls and Gates.
  • In The Conquerors, the Goths are the only civilization with two unique technologies.
  • In the The Conquerors instruction booklet, the Goths are represented by a Hussar, as opposed to the other civilizations, which are represented by their unique unit(s). This may be due to a possible misunderstanding, as "Huskarl" and "Hussar" sound similar.
  • In the Definitve Edition, the Goths are the only civilization that lack Arson and Supplies (Until update 37650), which is reasoned in the fact that they already have bonuses that make their infantry much cheaper and deal more damage against buildings.
  • Their free Loom bonus was originally possessed by the Aztecs in patch 1.0b for The Conquerors. Since the release of The Forgotten. however, the bonus was removed from the Aztecs and, instead, they received +50 gold at the start of the game.
  • The Goths had a fundamental role in the destiny of Europe in the first centuries of the Middle Ages. However, they had a discreet presence in the following centuries, keeping the Gothic culture alive until the 16th century in some parts of Mediterranean Europe, as is the case of the Crimean Goths, who lost their independence in 1475 to the Turks. That would explain the reason why the Gothic civilization has access to technologies such as gunpowder.
  • The Teutons and the Goths are the first civilizations with the same language lines.
  • The Goths are viewed as the most controversially handled civilization, possibly due to the several changes that they received through the updates of the Definitive edition, because of being very predictable and one-dimensional, thus being considered as a mediocre civilization in the competitive scene (with infantry as their only option to go). Their former big discount in the Dark Age made their Militia rush very annoying to all players, their modified bonus against builidngs and the lost of Arson only affected them in the Castle Age, and their Militia rush was severely weakened. Their new bonus of free Loom allowed them to gain an economic advantage, but also gained a reputation of various commentators and expert players as the "Laming civilization" (stealing or killing the enemy herdables, Deer, or Boars) due to the free protection of their Villagers in the Dark Age and the extra attack against Boars. In addition, it gave a very big advantage on Nomad maps for Villager fights early, eventually ending in the Loom technology researched instantly rather than free. This still gives an extra Villager before aging up, but certainly restricts their Drushing potential. However, Goths remain a very strong civilization for new players in post-Imperial matches. Goths maintain overall a high win-rate in most ELO ranges, but some high-level players still consider them a bad civilization.
  • The Goths have the fewest fully–upgraded units; only their Hand Cannoners can be fully upgraded.



  1. The exact meaning of prefix "Visi-" is still argued; some contemporary scholars believe it means "good" or "educated" (link: Etymology of Visigoths)

Video overview[]