Age of Empires Series Wiki

Islands is a random map found in Age of Empires, Age of Empires II, and Age of Mythology: The Titans.

Age of Empires[]

Cut off from all others and with no shallow crossing in sight, players will experience the best naval warfare any day or night
—Large Islands description in Return of Rome
Stranded on separate isles, with few resources and little space, players must be quick to conquer their neighbors in this island-hopping race.
—Small Islands description in Return of Rome

Large Islands selection

There are two versions in the first game, one called Small Islands and another called Large Islands. In both varieties, players start on their own islands, with limited resources, and varying numbers of islets.

The exploitation of islets is much more necessary in Small Islands, due to the extremely limited space to build, but also due to the fact there are less islets in Large Islands.


Small Islands selection

Either way, make sure to embark landing parties with Light and Heavy Transports to the enemies' islands as often as possible. Also, focus food production on the sea, but always keep some Villagers farming in the mainland, just in case some Fishing Boats are sunk.

Naval civilizations, such as the Phoenicians have a considerable advantage on this map.

There are no islets in the Return of Rome version of this map. The only change is the size of the main islands.

Age of Empires II[]

Each player starts alone on an island; uninhabited islands may be rich with resources so be prepared to rule the sea.
—Map description

Islands selection


The map features an archipelago with large islands. Unlike the map Archipelago (in which sometimes the player's island is shared with another player that may be enemy or ally) or Team Islands (where all the team share the same island and opponent team are in another island), players in this map start on an island of their own, not sharing the island with other players. The starting island has the standard number of herdable and huntable animals, 6 Berry Bushes and normal piles of stone and gold

The map may appear in several different terrain sets which include: desert, grassland, and American jungle, each featuring their fitting forests. There are also lesser, uninhabited islets in the center of the map, where gold and stone deposits may be found.

Wild predator beasts are absent on the map and the number of Relics available is the standard one.

It has the in-game map tag "Water".

Viable tactics[]

In order to succeed on this map, the player must be highly aggressive and expansive, with control of the seas being important. Players should exploit as many islets as possible, while denying their access to the enemy, and embark rushing parties with Transport Ships as often as possible (Land-to-rush strategies).

Turtling strategies may also work, especially in the early game, but players that focus on defense must have in mind that the resources available on this map are much more limited than in other maps (indeed, running out of wood, apart from gold and stone, is a very possible scenario on this map), so sooner or later they must go out and attack an opponent and take resources from another island.

Unlike most maps, where players can generate gold with Trade Carts, when playing on a team game on Islands, players should use Trade Cogs largely for trade and getting extra gold.

Civilizations that have advantages in Islands:

Civilizations that may struggle

  • Civilizations with poor navy: the Aztecs or the Cumans for example

Age of Mythology: The Titans[]

Each player is on their own island and must transport to reach others. There are also bonus islands that contain resources and perhaps even more Settlements than normal.
—Map description.

Islands as it appears in Age of Mythology

Players start on their own private island, completely isolated from friend and foe. The starting island provides an additional settlement, two medium Gold Mines, two large gold mines, one Relic, and Pigs.

Wild animals, including Deer, Aurochs, and Lions are also present, but the most abundant food source is Fish (the species being Mahi-mahi). Control over the waters is crucial, both to gain control over the best fishing spots, but also to prevent enemies from transporting their armies across. Because water surrounds all sides of the island, Transport Ships can unload at several locations. The are additional smaller islands scattered across the map. These usually support a gold mine and trees but may also provide an additional settlement.

Forests present are composed of Palm Trees, and there is a rare chance for Water Buffaloes and Zebras to appear.

Similar maps[]


  • Islands was introduced in The Titans because Age of Mythology previously lacked a true island map where players were completely isolated.


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For maps used in high-level tournaments, see liquipedia.