Age of Empires Series Wiki
Age of Empires Series Wiki

The Merchant Ship is a Bronze Age economic ship in Age of Empires, and an upgrade to the Trade Boat.


The Merchant Ship allows players to trade other resources for gold at another player’s Dock in exchange for any of the other three resources.

Boats are more resistant to conversions than regular units. Minoan naval units cost less wood per unit and Yamato get more HP while Palmyran trade vessels get more gold per ship. The upgrade requires 200 food and 75 wood. This will increase the HP by 50 and the speed as well.

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Yamato: Merchant Ships have +20% hit points.
  • Palmyrans: Merchant Ships provide twice as much gold per trip.
  • Minoans: Merchant Ships costs 30% less wood.
  • Macedonians: Merchant Ships are four times more resistant against conversion.


As civilization spread around the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and China Sea, larger trading ships came into use to carry bulk cargos such as olive oil from Greece, cedar wood from Lebanon, grain from Egypt, and rice from China. Typical ancient Merchant Ships had keels and were built of planks, but did not have interior framing. They carried a single mast for a mainsail and were steered with a large paddle. Their broad beam allowed for cargos far beyond those of dugout canoes. Recent underwater discoveries of ancient merchant ships indicate they had good sailing qualities and required only a small crew.
—the Age of Empires manual