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Aoe2 herdables prev

A cow, pig and sheep. Three herdable animals in Age of Empires II.

Herdable animals are a food source in Age of Empires II, Age of Mythology, and Age of Empires III. Unlike huntable animals, a player gains control of a herdable animal if one of their units moves close to it. If more than one civilization has units near an animal, the animal will be owned by the player who has the most units nearby (In Age of Empires II, the Celts have a bonus that circumvents this rule).

Control makes herdables a useful early food source, as they can always be gathered from close to a drop-off point, reducing decay and minimizing Villager walking time. Usually, herdable animals appear on the map in small groups.

In Age of Mythology and Age of Empires III, herdable animals fatten over time, increasing the amount of food they provide when slaughtered. Starting from the moment they are first discovered by a player, the amount of food a herdable animal yields will slowly increase until it reaches a maximum amount, which varies between different animals and game versions. Some upgrades can increase the rate at which animals fatten.

AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires II[]

Sheepfind anim aoe2de

A Scout Cavalry finding sheep.

On most maps, four herdables are found right next to each player's starting location, with another four (in two groups of two) available nearby. Cows are the exception, as they spawn in a group of three initially, but they make up for their reduced numbers with more food per animal.

In addition to being a free and easy source of food, herdables can be used to scout. Cows, sheep, and turkeys have 2 line of sight, while the rest have 3, making the former group worse scouts. Herdables not immediately being killed and harvested can help the player scout out the surrounding area at the beginning of the game. Using them for long distance scouting is risky, however, as they can be converted and stolen by other players' scouts.

It is best to gather herdables one at a time, rather than killing multiple herdables at once. This minimizes decay and maximizes total food gathered. The more villagers herding, the less food is wasted.

The following herdable animals appear in Age of Empires II, and decay at a rate of 0.25 food per second:

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Aztecs AoE2 Aztecs: Shepherds carry +3 food.
  • Britons AoE2 Britons: Shepherds work 25% faster.
  • Celts AoE2 Celts: Enemy herdables can be converted regardless of enemy units next to them.
  • Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras: Herdable animals can be garrisoned in Mills to produce food.
  • Mayans AoE2 Mayans: Herdables last 15% longer.
  • Romans AoE2 Romans: Shepherds work 5% faster.
  • Tatars AoE2 Tatars: Herdables contain +50% food. New Town Centers spawn two sheep starting in the Castle Age.

Team bonuses[]

  • Incas AoE2 Incas: Start with a free Llama.

Aom original icon Age of Mythology[]

The following herdable animals appear in Age of Mythology:

At the start of the game, herding provides food at a slightly slower rate than hunting. In addition, as herdables yield only a little food early on, it is often worthwhile to leave them to fatten up. Researching Husbandry increases both the gather and fattening rates. Note that Herdables in Age of Mythology are slow and have a negligible Line of Sight, making them of very limited use for early scouting.

3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

Herd animal. Fattens over time. Fattens faster if tasked on a Livestock Pen, Farm, or Village.
—In-game description
Herd animal. Generates experience points. Increased Experience Points generation when tasked to a Sacred Field.
—Indian in-game description
Herd animal. Enhances resources generated by Shrines when tasked to them.
—Japanese in-game description

The following herdable animals appear in Age of Empires III, and decay at a rate of 0.76 per second (like Huntables):

Some units — like Pets and converted Treasure guardians, whether animals or humans — are unable to take or keep control over herdables.

Introduced in The African Royals, there is a new resource known as influence that is exclusive to the Ethiopians and Hausa. One of the methods in generating influence is the amount of living herdable animals in the player's control. Each animal has a different amount generated per second.

GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV[]

The following herdable animals appear in Age of Empires IV:

They serve much the same purpose as in the other games, and every player begins with four Sheep at their Town Center. As with Deer, dead Sheep can be carried by Scouts once the Professional Scouts technology is researched. Neutral Sheep will automatically begin following a Scout once converted, matching its speed, but otherwise move very slowly. For the Mongols, production of Sheep at Pastures replaces the use of Farms by other civilizations. The Malians can create Cattle, which can be garrisoned in a Cattle Ranch to generate infinite food at a rate of 25/min. Unlike in previous games, dead animals in Age of Empires IV do not decay, so inefficiency in harvesting from herdables does not necessarily mean that less food is obtained.


Animals in Age of Empires II
Herdable animalsCowDE Cow · Goat aoe2DE Goat · AoE2DE ingame goose icon Goose · PR4-009 Llama · Iconpig Pig · Sheep aoe2DE Sheep · PR4-006 Turkey · Yak aoe2DE Water Buffalo
Timid huntablesAoE2DE Deer icon Deer · Return of rome gazelle Gazelle · AoE2DE ingame ibex icon Ibex · Ostrich icon aoe2de Ostrich · Zebra aoe2DE Zebra
Aggressive huntablesElephant aoe2DE Elephant · Boar aoe2DE Iron Boar · Boar aoe2DE Javelina · PR4-010 Rhinoceros · Boar aoe2DE Wild Boar
Wild animalsAoE2DE ingame bear icon Bear · Gator aoe2DE Crocodile · PR2-002 Dire Wolf · PR4-004 Jaguar · AoE2 DE komodo Komodo Dragon · Lion aoe2DE Lion · PR2-002 Rabid Wolf · AoE2DE ingame snow leopard icon Snow Leopard · PR4-016 Tiger · PR2-002 Wolf
Marine animalsAoE2 DE box turtles icon Box Turtles · AoE2 DE dolphin icon Dolphin · AoE2 DE dorado icon Dorado · AoE2 DE marlin icon Marlin · AoE2 DE perch icon Perch · AoE2 DE salmon icon Salmon · AoE2 DE shore fish icon Shore Fish · AoE2 DE snapper icon Snapper · AoE2 DE tuna icon Tuna
Civilian animalsBactrian camel icon Bactrian Camel · AoE2DE ingame camel icon Camel · Donkey caravan aoe2DE Donkey · Horse aoe2DE Horse
Military animalsAoE2 DE alfred icon Alfred the Alpaca · Monkey aoe2DE Furious the Monkey Boy · Penguin aoe2DE Penguin
Hero animalsHunting wolf aoe2DE Hunting Wolf · Ornluthewolf aoe2DE Ornlu the Wolf
Decorative animalsAoE2 DE hawk icon Bird · AoE2 DE stormy dog Stormy Dog · Bactrian camel icon Wild Bactrian Camel · AoE2DE ingame camel icon Wild Camel · Horse aoe2DE Wild Horse
Animals (non-myth units) in Age of Mythology
Herdable animalsCowAOM Cow · GoatAOM Goat · Pig icon Pig · YakiconAoM Yak
Timid huntablesBaboon icon Baboon · Caribou Caribou · ChickenIcon Chicken · Crane icon Crowned Crane · Deer icon Deer · DuckAoM icon Duck · Elk icon Elk · GazelleAOMicon Gazelle · Giraffe icon Giraffe · Monkey icon Monkey · Zebra icon Zebra
Aggressive huntablesAurochs icon Aurochs · Boar icon Boar · ElephantAOMicon Elephant · Hippo icon Hippopotamus · RamAoM icon Ram · Rhinoceros icon Rhinoceros · Walrus icon Walrus · WaterBuffalo Water Buffalo
Wild animalsWolf icon Arctic Wolf · Crocodile icon Crocodile · BrownBear icon Bear · Hyena icon Hyena · LionAOMicon Lion · LizardAoM icon Lizard · PandaAoM icon Panda Bear · PolarBearIcon Polar Bear · TigerAoM icon Tiger · Wolf icon Wolf
Military animalsLionAOMicon Golden Lion · Monkey icon Relic Monkey
FishAoM Fish Icon Herring · AoM Fish Icon Mahi-mahi · AoM Fish Icon Perch · AoM Fish Icon Salmon
Decorative animalsBird (AoM Hawk Icon Eagle · Harpy icon Harpy · AoM Hawk Icon Hawk · AoM Hawk Icon Parrot · AoM Vulture Icon Vulture) · Hawksbill Turtle · Orca · Shark · Whale
Scenario Editor-exclusive animalsHour of Alpacas Alfred · Wolf icon Dog · Giant Duck-Billed Platypus · GoatAOM Golden Fleece (also herdable) · Elk icon Reindeer
Cheat animalsChickenIcon Methane Chicken
Cut animalsAnchovies · Camel icon AoM Camel · Horse · Musk Ox · Nubian Goat · Shore Fish · Unicorn
Animals in Age of Empires IV
Herdable animalsAoE4 Sheep Herdable Sheep · AoE4 Cattle Cattle (Malians only)
Timid huntablesAoE4 Deer Huntable Deer
Aggressive huntablesAoE4 Boar Huntable Boar
Wild animalsAoE4 Wolf Wolf
FishAoE4 Fish Fish · AoE4 Fish Shoreline Fish
Cut animalsBear · Crocodile · Fox · Zebra