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Used to research technologies that improve buildings and military units. Required to build additional Town Centers.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The Government Center is a research building in Age of Empires where many technologies can be obtained. Building it also allows players to build more than one Town Center.

Its counterpart in Age of Empires II and Age of Empires IV is the University.


Upon reaching the Bronze Age, a Government Center should be built as quickly as possible, as it unlocks the ability for Villagers to construct additional Town Centers. This allows the player to train multiple new Villagers simultaneously, or to continue training Villagers while researching the Iron Age, or to establish new bases in other parts of the map.

The Government Center is a research building, and its technologies have a wide range of uses, primarily military. Some provide stat improvements, others add new capabilities. Several technologies are also prerequisites for unlocking elite units, especially in the original and Definitive Edition versions of Age of Empires.

To build the Government Center, a Market must be built beforehand, which itself requires a Granary. This requirement is waived if the match starts from the Bronze Age or later, and additional Town Centers can be built without a Government Center if the match starts in the Iron Age.


Age Technology Cost Effect
Bronze Age Icon (DE) NobilityIcon Nobility 175 food
120 gold
Mounted units (except elephants) have +15% hit points
Enables the Scythe Chariot upgrade (before Return of Rome)
Writing Writing 200 food
75 gold
Allies share exploration
(Unavailable if Shared Exploration is enabled in match settings)
Architecture aoe Architecture 150 food
175 wood
Builders work 50% faster
Buildings have +20% hit points
Logistics Logistics 180 food
100 gold
Barracks units take up half population space
RoR Urbanization Urbanization* 300 wood
100 stone
Houses provide +4 population each
Iron Age Icon (DE) Aristocracy Aristocracy 175 food
150 gold
Academy units move +0.225 tiles/sec faster[note 1]
Enables the Centurion upgrade (before Return of Rome)
Ballistics Ballistics 200 food
50 gold
Projectiles are aimed to anticipate target movement
Enables the Ballista Tower upgrade
Alchemy Alchemy 250 food
200 gold
+1 attack for all ranged units
+6 attack for Fire Galley
Engineering Engineering 200 food
100 wood
Units from the Stone Thrower, Ballista, and Catapult Trireme lines have +2 range and Line of Sight[note 2]
Enables the Juggernaught upgrade (before Return of Rome)[note 3]
RoR Conscription Conscription* 450 food
250 gold
-20% training time (+25% faster creation) for units from the Barracks, Archery Range, Stable, Academy, and Siege Workshop

Technology availability[]

Writing and Ballistics are not included in this list, as they are available to all civilizations.

= Available
= Unavailable
= Researched for free
Civilization NobilityIcon Architecture aoe Logistics Aristocracy Alchemy Engineering RoR Conscription RoR Urbanization All
Assyrians AoE Assyrians
Babylonians AoE Babylonians X
Carthaginians AoE Carthaginians X
Choson AoE Choson
Egyptians AoE Egyptians
Greeks AoE Greeks
Hittites AoE Hittites
Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet
Macedonians AoE Macedonians
Minoans AoE Minoans
Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans
Persians AoE Persians
Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians
Romans AoE Romans
Shang AoE Shang
Sumerians AoE Sumerians X
Yamato AoE Yamato
Civilization NobilityIcon Architecture aoe Logistics Aristocracy Alchemy Engineering RoR Conscription RoR Urbanization All


Hit points Architecture aoe Architecture (+20%)
Line of Sight RoR City Watch City Watch (+3)
Writing Writing (share Line of Sight with allies)
Construction time Architecture aoe Architecture (-33%)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

  • Government Centers have 6 Line of Sight.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Government Centers have 5 Line of Sight.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Team bonuses added:
    • Babylonians AoE Babylonians: Government Center are built 10% faster.
    • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans: Government Center technologies are researched 30% faster.
  • The technologies City Watch, Conscription, and Urbanization can be researched at the Government Center.
  • With update 93001, City Watch is researched at the Town Center.
  • Choson AoE Choson (team bonus): With update 93001, Government Centers have +2 Line of Sight.


The government center was the administrative center of the town, village, city, kingdom, or empire. It was often the palace of the strongman or king. It was here that justice was dispersed, records kept, taxes collected and stored, diplomacy conducted, and plans made. The development of the government center spurred technology such as architecture through the commission of public works and writing for the keeping of records. The expansion of kingdoms led to a hierarchy of elites, often a nobility, that were needed as middle managers when the expanse of lands exceeded the ruler's ability to control directly. The provinces of the Persian Empire, for example, were ruled like independent stores by satraps who owed tribute and allegiance to the king in Susa.
Age of Empires manual

Tech tree[]

Blue: Units
Red: Buildings
Green: Technologies
Aoede greek government center available
Market AOEDE icon Market
Unlocks additional Town Centers
Stone Age Icon (DE)
Tool Age Icon (DE)
Bronze Age Icon (DE)
Iron Age Icon (DE)
Aoede nobility available Aoede aristocracy available
Aoede writing available Ballistics
Architecture Aoede alchemy available
Aoede logistics available Aoede engineering available
Returnofrome urbanization available Conscription




  1. Equates to +27.78% speed in OG, +25% in DE, and +25.86% in current version as of 9/Oct/23. Percentage values would be easier to understand, but making it clear that it's an additive value, rather than a multiplier, shows that this bonus doesn't multiply the Greeks' 0.3 tile/sec bonus.
  2. Mentioning the units themselves instead of "siege weapons" to avoid ambiguity. Ballista Towers and Triremes fire ballista bolts, but aren't upgraded by this technology, and siege weapons do not include Catapult Triremes normally
  3. Using original name because it was only renamed in Return of Rome and does not need the technology
Buildings in Age of Empires
Stone Age Icon (DE)
Stone Age
Aoede greek barracks available
Aoede greek town center available
Aoede storage pit available
Aoede house available
Aoede granary available
Aoede dock available
Tool Age Icon (DE)
Tool Age
Aoede stable available
Aoede archery range available
Aoede watch tower available
Aoede market available
Aoede small wall availableReturnofrome small gate available
Aoede farm available
Bronze Age Icon (DE)
Bronze Age
Aoede greek academy available
Aoede siege workshop available
Aoede sentry tower available
Aoede greek government center available
Aoede temple available
Aoede greek medium wall availableReturnofrome medium gate available
Aoede greek town center available
Iron Age Icon (DE)
Iron Age
Aoede greek guard tower available
Aoede greek fortified wall availableFortified Gate
Aoede greek ballista tower available

Buildings in Age of Empires
Civilian buildings
GeneralReturnofrome stone age house icon House · AOEDE Temple icon Temple · Returnofrome greek iron age government center iconReturnofrome east asian iron age government center iconReturnofrome egyptian iron age government center iconReturnofrome mesopotamian iron age government center iconReturnofrome roman iron age government center icon Government Center · Returnofrome greek wonder iconReturnofrome east asian wonder iconReturnofrome egyptian wonder iconReturnofrome mesopotamian wonder iconReturnofrome roman wonder icon Wonder
EconomicReturnofrome greek town center iconReturnofrome east asian town center iconReturnofrome egyptian town center iconReturnofrome mesopotamian town center iconReturnofrome roman town center icon Town Center · AOEDE Dock icon Dock · Storage Pit icon Storage Pit · AOEDE Granary icon Granary · Market AOEDE icon Market · AOEDE Farm icon Farm
UnconstructableAqueduct aoe2DE Aqueduct · Army Tent icon nuRoR Army Tent · Barricade aoe2DE Barricade · Chain aoe2DE Chain · Amphitheatre aoe2DE Colosseum · 2de granary new icon Granary · Pyramid aoe2DE Great Pyramid · Hut small aoe2DE Hut · Returnofrome greek wonder icon Monument · Pyramid aoe2DE Pyramid · Returnofrome ruins icon Ruins · AOEDE Trade Workshop icon Trade Workshop · Yurt thatch small aoe2DE Yurt
Military buildings
ProductionReturnofrome greek barracks iconReturnofrome east asian barracks iconReturnofrome egyptian barracks iconReturnofrome mesopotamian barracks iconReturnofrome roman barracks icon Barracks · AOEDE Archery Range icon Archery Range · AOEDE Stable icon Stable · AOEDE Siege Workshop icon Siege Workshop · Returnofrome greek academy iconReturnofrome east asian academy iconReturnofrome egyptian academy iconReturnofrome mesopotamian academy iconReturnofrome roman academy icon Academy
TowerAOEDE Watch Tower icon Watch Tower · AOEDE Sentry Tower icon Sentry Tower · Returnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Guard Tower · Returnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Ballista Tower
WallReturnofrome small wall icon Small Wall · Returnofrome greek medium wall iconReturnofrome east asian medium wall iconReturnofrome egyptian medium wall iconReturnofrome mesopotamian medium wall iconReturnofrome roman medium wall icon Medium Wall · Returnofrome greek fortified wall iconReturnofrome east asian fortified wall iconReturnofrome egyptian fortified wall iconReturnofrome mesopotamian fortified wall iconReturnofrome roman fortified wall icon Fortified Wall · Small Gate (AOE RoR) icon Small Gate · Medium Gate (AOE RoR) icon Medium Gate · Fortified Gate (AOE RoR) icon Fortified Gate
UnconstructableReturnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Mirror Tower · Returnofrome greek guard tower iconReturnofrome east asian guard tower iconReturnofrome egyptian guard tower iconReturnofrome mesopotamian guard tower iconReturnofrome roman guard tower icon Zenobia's Tower