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This article is about the Koreans in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors. For the civilization in Age of Empires, see Choson.
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On the periphery of Chinese imperium lay a mountainous peninsula known for, among other things, its ingenious technological craftsmanship and pottery. Defend your mountain fortresses against fearsome invaders, obliterate your enemies with deadly siege weaponry, and construct armored Turtle Ships that can send any vessel to the depths of the ocean. The tactical genius of Wang Geon and Yi Sun Shin beckon!

The Koreans are an East Asian civilization introduced in Age of Empires II: The Conquerors based on various medieval kingdoms in the Korean peninsula (i.e. United Silla, Goryeo, and Joseon). They focus on towers and navy.

The Koreans are compared to their predecessor civilization, the Choson, from Age of Empires, as they both have bonuses for their towers. The only significant difference is that the Choson civilization bonuses put more emphasis on their infantry units, while the Koreans put more emphasis on their ranged units.


Unique units[]

Unique technologies[]

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonus[]

The Mangonel line minimum range is reduced to 1.


The Koreans focus on ships and towers. As such, their navy is very good with a 20% wood discount and full upgrades on their Galleons and Fast Fire Ships. The Turtle Ship can also be useful, as it has a lot of power and durability, comparable to three Galleons. Their foot archers are great, as they get all possible upgrades with Archer Armor upgrades being free, along with receiving a 50% wood discount. This discount also applies to their Halberdiers, making them especially useful for acting as a buffer. Their unique unit, the War Wagon, is very powerful and bulky unit. They also get Siege Onagers and Bombard Cannons, the former of which receives +1 range with Shinkichon.

The defensive structures are a selling point for the Koreans despite the missing Hoardings. The towers get all upgrades, upgrade themselves for free (though Bombard Tower still requires Chemistry), and the unique technology Eupseong gives the standard tower-line +2 range, bringing the range to a total of 13 - enough to retaliate against Bombard Cannons (bar Turkish ones). The Koreans are notable to be the only civilization to have access to all University upgrades (and they even get tower upgrades for free). In addition, as previously mentioned, their Skirmishers and Halberdiers have a 50% wood discount, making them both better at defending, especially as the former also receives free armor upgrades.

However, as strong as the Koreans' ranged units are, their non-ranged units are not very prominent. The lack of Blast Furnace hinders infantry and cavalry alike, and while the former can still function well as a buffer, the latter is further limited in its capabilities by the lack of Bloodlines and Plate Barding Armor and should generally be ignored. This is especially notable with out Siege Ram. Furthermore, despite their great ranged prowess, the lack of Parthian Tactics and Bloodlines hinders their cavalry archers significantly.

On water, the Koreans lack Demolition Ships completely which is a big hindrance when facing against a navy that is of a greater size (especially those that consist of Fire Ships). Their Monks are below average, and the combination of a lack of Heresy and weak Light Cavalry can make enemy Monks a threat. Lastly, their economy is slow, with their only bonus being a +20% stone gather rate, and the Koreans will usually have to rely of their defenses or discounted ranged units to compensate.

Altogether, the Koreans are a great civilization in closed maps such as Arena and Black Forest and water maps due to their formidable late-game army composition and great offensive bonuses. However, their lack of economic bonuses and a limited technology tree can hurt them when they are forced to play aggressively.


AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

  • With patch 1.0b:
    • Shinkichon extra range decreased (+2 → +1).
    • The War Wagons wood cost increased (80 wood → 120 wood).
    • (Elite) War Wagons have -1 range (5 (non-Elite)/6 (Elite) → 4/5).
    • Villagers' extra Line of Sight increased (+2 → +3).
    • Turtle Ship graphics updated.

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • New civilization bonus: Fortifications are built 33% faster.
  • Panokseon introduced.
  • Turtle Ships cost decreased (200 wood, 200 gold → 180 wood, 180 gold).
  • War Wagons train time reduced (25 → 21 seconds).
  • War Wagons wood cost decreased (120 wood → 110 wood).
  • Team bonus: The Mangonel line has the minimum range reduced by 1, instead of +1 range.

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

  • Panokseon cost decreased (400 food, 400 wood → 300 food, 300 wood).
  • Turtle Ships no longer require a Castle.
  • Cavalry archer armor class added to War Wagons.
  • With patch 4.8, the faster-built fortification bonus properly affects Fortified Walls.

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • With patch 5.8, towers are built 5% faster instead of 33% faster (all other fortifications unchanged).

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

  • The "Fortifications built faster" bonus is replaced with a new bonus giving all non-siege military units a 15% wood discount.
    • As a result, War Wagon and Turtle Ship wood costs decreased (110 wood (War Wagon)/180 wood (Turtle Ship) → 94 wood/153 wood)
  • Team Bonus minimum range reduction increased (1 → 2).
  • With update 39284, military unit cost reduction increased (–15% wood → –20% wood). War Wagon and Turtle Ship cost adjusted to become 92 wood and 152 wood, respectively, after the discount.
  • With update 42848:
    • Panokseon is removed from tech tree and replaced by Eupseong.
    • Towers no longer have +1/+2 range in the Castle/Imperial Age.
    • Elite Turtle Ship's speed is increased (0.9 → 1.035).
    • New civilization bonus: Archer Armor upgrades are free.

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

Campaign appearances[]

The Koreans have a scenario from the Battles of the Conquerors campaign devoted to their civilization - Noryang Point. The player controls the hero unit Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (represented by a Turtle Ship) and has to defeat the Japanese. They are also playable in the Defending Against A Rush scenario of the The Art of War challenges.

They also appear as protagonists of Kaesong, a campaign scenario that was set to be included in Battles of the Forgotten, but did not come with the release due to time constraints.

Battles of the Conquerors Icon Battles of the Conquerors[]

Noryang Point is played as the Koreans.

VictorsAndVanquished Campaign Icon Victors and Vanquished[]

CampaignIcon-TheArtOfWar The Art of War[]

Defending Against A Rush is played as the Koreans.

In-game dialogue language[]

In-game, Korean units anachronistically speak modern Korean, not medieval Korean, except somewhat archaic forms used by Monk and King units. It is written using the Hangul script, invented in the 15th century exclusively for Korean. Previously, Korean had been written using Chinese characters.


AI player names[]

When playing a random map game against the computer, the player may encounter any of the following Korean AI characters:

  • Admiral Jang Bogo (張保皐 - 장보고; 787-846): A famous admiral from the Later Silla period known as a maritime figure who effectively controlled the Yellow Sea and dominated the trade with Heian Japan, and Tang China for decades.
  • Admiral Yi Sun-Shin (李舜臣 - 이순신; 1545-1598): A Korean admiral and military general famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon period. Regarded as one of the greatest naval commanders in history, he is praised as a national hero in Korea.
  • Choi Museon (崔茂宣 - 최무선; 1325-1395): A Korean scientist/inventor and military commander during the late Goryeo Dynasty and early Joseon Dynasty, best known for allowing Korea to produce gunpowder of their own.
  • Dae Joyeong (大祚榮 - 대조영; Da Zuorong; ?-719): Gowang (Gaowang or Duke of Zhen) of Balhae (Bohai), was the first son of general Dae Jung-sang (Da Zhongxiang). He established the state of Balhae (Bohai) which includes the modern-day southeastern parts of Russia and northeastern parts of China. He was the first monarch of the Balhae (Bohai) dynasty.
  • Gang Gam-chan (姜邯贊 - 강감찬; 948-1031): A military commander during the early days of Goryeo dynasty. He is known and recognized for his victories during the Third Goryeo-Khitan War.
  • General Choi Young (崔瑩 - 최영; 1316-1388): A Korean general who became a national hero after he put down a rebellion. Also participated in the Red Turban Rebellions and later allied with the Ming dynasty to overthrow the Mongol Yuan dynasty. In his final years, he was betrayed and executed by his subordinate Yi Seong-gye.
  • General Eulji Mundeok (乙支文德 - 을지문덕; ?-?): A Korean military leader from the kingdom of Goguryeo best known for defending Korea from Sui Chinese invasion, and remembered as one of Korea's greatest military heroes.
  • General Gim Yu-sin (金庾信 - 김유신; 595-673): A Korean military general and politician in the 7th-century Silla who led the he unification of the Korean Peninsula by Silla.
  • General Gwon Ryul (權慄 - 권율; 1537-1599): A Korean general and commander-in-chief who led the Korean forces during the Japanese invasion, best known for his victory at the Battle of Haengju.
  • General Gyebaek (階伯 - 계백; ?-660): A Korean general from the kingdom of Baekje known for his last stand on the Battle of Hwangsaebol; died 660.
  • Sejong the Great (世宗大王 - 세종대왕; 1397-1450): Fourth monarch of the Joseon dynasty of Korea, he is regarded as one of the greatest rulers in Korean history and is remembered as the inventor of Hangul, the native alphabet of the Korean language, and the promotion of Confucianism in Korea during his reign. He also led military campaigns to the north against the Jurchens and helped subjugate the Japanese pirates to the South through the Ōei Invasion.
  • Gwanggaeto the Great (廣開土大王 - 광개토태왕; 374-413): The nineteenth monarch of the kingdom of Goguryeo best known for bringing the kingdom into a golden age as one of the great powers on East Asia.
  • Wang Geon (王建 - 왕건; 877-943): Personal name of Taejo of Goryeo, the founder and the first king of the Goryeo dynasty.
  • Yi Seong-gye (李成桂 - 이성계; 1335-1408): Personal name of Taejo of Joseon, the founder and the first king of the Joseon dynasty, succeeding to the Goryeo period.


When Europe fell into its Dark Age, Korea had been divided into three competing kingdoms: Koguryo to the north, Paekche to the southwest, and Shilla to the southeast. In alliance with China, Shilla conquered the other two kingdoms in the 7th century and then expelled their erstwhile Chinese ally. The central authority of Shilla disintegrated in the 8th-9th centuries, however, under pressure from local lords. Korea was unified once again as Koryo in the 10th century and after that, recovered territory reaching up to the Amnok River border with China in 993. The civilian nobility was thrown out of power by a military coup in 1170 and military rule then lasted for sixty years.

The Mongols invaded in 1231, initiating a 30-year struggle. The Mongols were often distracted by their wars in China and elsewhere but eventually brought enough power to bear that Koryo made peace with the invaders in 1258. Under the Mongols the Koryo maintained their distinct culture and were inspired to demonstrate their superiority to their conquerors through a burst of artistic accomplishment.

Land reform, the rise of a new bureaucracy, the diminishment of Buddhism, and the rise of Confucianism around 1400 were part of the creation of a new kingdom, the Choson, that would rule Korea until the 20th century. China heavily influenced the Choson politically and culturally. Korea became an important center of learning, aided by the invention of movable type and the woodblock technique of publishing around 1234.

The greatest test of the Choson dynasty was invasion by samurai armies from Japan in 1592 that ostensibly planned to conquer China. Although seven years of fighting left much of the Korean peninsula devastated, the Japanese were forced to withdraw because their fleets could not keep open sea lines of supply and reinforcement back to Japan. The great Korean admiral Yi Sun-Shin defeated the Japanese at sea. One key to the Korean naval victories was their innovative turtle ships, the first cannon-bearing armored ships in history. The Japanese had no answer for these slow but powerful weapons.[1]


  • The Koreans' civilization icon is based on Taegeuk, the Korean version of the yin-yang (Eoom-Yang) symbol. It is also used by the Choson civilization of Return of Rome.
  • The user interface images in both the Definitive Edition and prior to it are tigers drawn in the Korean folk art style called Minhwa, specifically the Jakhodo genre which features a tiger and a magpie.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, the Koreans were the only East Asian civilization to get Bombard Cannons. Currently, the Vietnamese, which now have the East Asian architecture set, can also train Bombard Cannons.
    • Before the Definitive Edition, the Koreans were also the only East Asian civilization to have two unique units.
  • The Koreans are the only East Asian civilization that cannot research Bloodlines.
  • Since patch 4.8 (where Arrowslits was removed from the Portuguese tech tree), Koreans are the only civilization with access to all University technologies.
  • Admiral Yi Sun-Shin is the only hero available in the Scenario Editor who is themed on the Koreans.
  • The tower range bonus of the Eupseong technology is a callback to the Koreans' predecessor, the Choson.
  • Since patch 4.8, the Koreans are the only civilization that is unable to build any unit from the Demolition Ship line. Before the patch, the Aztecs were also unable to build the Demolition Raft.
  • During the development of The Conquerors, the Khmer - along with Tibetans and Koreans - were considered as one of the new factions to represent Asia. Eventually, the developers picked the Koreans because they were impressed with Turtle Ships and attracted by potential sales in South Korea.[2]
  • The new changes and modifications for the Koreans in update 42848 were implemented because the Koreans were very weak in land maps (in the competitive scene, their win-rate was 40% on Arabia) due to being very limited into a single strategy in the early game, which was tower rush, and with their loss of their former fast-building fortifications as well the HP reduction of Watch Towers in the Feudal Age, this strategy lost value for them. The Koreans also did poorly with other options. The new patch had the purpose of giving the Koreans a new identity as an archer civilization, being able to use archers very effectively on open land maps.
  • The Koreans' name are different in the Chinese translation, such as 高丽/高麗 (Goryeo/Koryo, Gaoli), 韩国/韓國 (Hanguk, Hanguo) and 朝鲜/朝鮮 (Joseon/Choson, Chaoxian).
  • As of Dawn of the Dukes, the Koreans are the civilization with the fewest appearances in the game's Campaigns and Historical Battles. Not including their playable appearance in one of the The Art of War challenges, they only appear in Noryang Point, both as the player's civilization and that of one of the player's allies in that scenario.
    • This dubious honor belonged to the Lithuanians prior to receiving a campaign and various appearances in Dawn of the Dukes.
  • The banners at the Korean Wonder read "세종" (sejong), referring to King Sejong, who was born several hundred years after the construction of the edifice. Also, being written in the Korean alphabet, Hangeul, they are somewhat ahistorical because Hanja (Chinese characters) was the official writing system during the Joseon dynasty.
  • The Koreans, alongside with Vietnamese and Portuguese, are one of the three civilizations that have a direct bonus that affects their cavalry archers without access to Parthian Tactics (in their case, their cavalry archers cost less wood). Their cavalry archers are the worst of the three, as they also lack Bloodlines.
    • The lack of Parthian Tactics for the Koreans may be seen as a historical inaccuracy, as the Koreans adopted mounted archery from the nearby Jurchens during the medieval period.



Civilizations in Age of Empires II
Categorised by architecture sets
AfricanEthiopians AoE2 Ethiopians · Malians AoE2 Malians
Central AsianCumans AoE2 Cumans · Tatars AoE2 Tatars
Central EuropeanGoths AoE2 Goths · Huns AoE2 Huns · Teutons AoE2 Teutons · Vikings AoE2 Vikings
East AsianChinese AoE2 Chinese · Japanese AoE2 Japanese · Koreans AoE2 Koreans · Mongols AoE2 Mongols · Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
Eastern EuropeanBohemians AoE2 Bohemians · Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians · Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians · Magyars AoE2 Magyars · Poles AoE2 Poles · Slavs AoE2 Slavs
MediterraneanArmenians AoE2 Armenians · Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines · Georgians AoE2 Georgians · Italians AoE2 Italians · Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese · Romans AoE2 Romans · Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians · Spanish AoE2 Spanish
Middle EasternBerbers AoE2 Berbers · Persians AoE2 Persians · Saracens AoE2 Saracens · Turks AoE2 Turks
Native AmericanAztecs AoE2 Aztecs · Incas AoE2 Incas · Mayans AoE2 Mayans
South Asian/IndianBengalis AoE2 Bengalis · Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians · Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras · Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis · Indians AoE2 Indians (removed)
Southeast AsianBurmese AoE2 Burmese · Khmer AoE2 Khmer · Malay AoE2 Malay
Western EuropeanBritons AoE2 Britons · Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians · Celts AoE2 Celts · Franks AoE2 Franks
Categorised by expansions
AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of KingsBritons AoE2 Britons · Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines · Celts AoE2 Celts · Chinese AoE2 Chinese · Franks AoE2 Franks · Goths AoE2 Goths · Japanese AoE2 Japanese · Mongols AoE2 Mongols · Persians AoE2 Persians · Saracens AoE2 Saracens · Teutons AoE2 Teutons · Turks AoE2 Turks · Vikings AoE2 Vikings
AoE2-DLCicon-1 The ConquerorsAztecs AoE2 Aztecs · Huns AoE2 Huns · Koreans AoE2 Koreans · Mayans AoE2 Mayans · Spanish AoE2 Spanish
AoE2-DLCicon-2 The ForgottenIncas AoE2 Incas · Indians AoE2 Indians (removed) · Italians AoE2 Italians · Magyars AoE2 Magyars · Slavs AoE2 Slavs
AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African KingdomsBerbers AoE2 Berbers · Ethiopians AoE2 Ethiopians · Malians AoE2 Malians · Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese
AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the RajasBurmese AoE2 Burmese · Khmer AoE2 Khmer · Malay AoE2 Malay · Vietnamese AoE2 Vietnamese
AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last KhansBulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians · Cumans AoE2 Cumans · Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians · Tatars AoE2 Tatars
AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the WestBurgundians AoE2 Burgundians · Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians
Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the DukesBohemians AoE2 Bohemians · Poles AoE2 Poles
AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of IndiaBengalis AoE2 Bengalis · Dravidians AoE2 Dravidians · Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras · Hindustanis AoE2 Hindustanis
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of RomeRomans AoE2 Romans
AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain RoyalsArmenians AoE2 Armenians · Georgians AoE2 Georgians