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The Persians are an economy and cavalry oriented civilization.


The Persians have access to every cavalry technology, the Hussar, the Heavy Camel Rider and the Paladin-replacement Savar. Additionally, their team bonus grants their Knight-line units +2 attack against archers, an especially important buff in the Castle Age. Their unique unit, the War Elephant, is a unit that is expensive and slow in both movement and production speed but has a high attack with trample damage and massive durability.

Aiding their cavalry are their Kamandaran Crossbowmen, who cost no gold, making them very useful despite the lack of Bracer and Arbalester. Their Cavalry Archers also get access to Parthian Tactics in the Castle Age, making them very potent in the mid-stages of the game.

They are one of the only three civilizations in the game to possess all the final gathering-rate technologies, the other two being the Byzantines and the Burgundians. This allows for a strong all-around economy in matches where the Imperial Age is played extensively. Adding to this is their faster-working Docks and Town Centers with double hit points, the latter of which allows for their infamous Town Center drop.


Despite their strong economy, the Persians can get overshadowed in the later stages of the game by more well-rounded civilizations. Persian military units have few bonuses to work with, and the lack of Bracer means that their navy, Cavalry Archers, and defenses are all noticeably weaker later on.

The Persians are the only civilization in the game unable to produce Two-Handed Swordsmen, meaning they must rely on their cavalry for heavy melee attack in the Imperial Age, although they do have access to fully-upgradable Halberdiers. In addition, War Elephants are slow and very vulnerable to conversion by enemy Monks. Since the Persians cannot research Heresy, the enemy could amass an army of War Elephants of their own if the player is not careful.

Persian Monks are extremely weak, lacking access to several important upgrades, notably Redemption, Sanctity, Illumination, and Atonement.


Persians have a different start-up than other civilizations, with an extra 50 food, 50 wood. This means that they can build an additional House at the beginning or just gather another 50 wood for their Lumber Camp or their Mill, saving gathering time. The same goes for the extra food that is just enough for an extra Villager. Persian Town Centers also have a better work rate than other civilizations, so a Persian player can spawn their Villagers a little faster, giving them an economic edge. Persian Town Centers also have more hit points, which helps the Persians resist early Castle Age offenses. The Persians can perform a unique Town Center drop, commonly known as "The Persian Douche", which consists of deleting the starting Town Center and placing it next to the opponents. Persian Town Centers have more hit points, so they can stand up against the enemy's Town Center. This can be used to massively cripple the opponent's economy at the cost of the player undergoing a similar fate.

Normally a Persian player will focus on cavalry, as Persian Knights have an attack bonus against archers. When combined with all of their technologies, this makes their cavalry excellent against archers. The Persians also have access to the Savar, a powerful Persian substitute for the Paladin. Their expensive unique unit, the War Elephant, is a slow melee unit with a lot of hit points and high attack, amplified by their trample damage. Although very powerful, this unit is not invincible and can be countered with masses of Halberdiers and Monks, so the player must always remember to support their elephants. It also has a very slow creation time of 25 seconds, and require Castles to be trained.

The Savar is a durable heavy cavalry unit that is cheaper to upgrade than the Paladin, and can be used as the backbone of the Persian army. As supporting units, the Persians have a rather flexible array to choose from, excluding their abysmal Militia-line. Against cavalry-heavy armies, they have fully upgraded Heavy Camel Riders and Halberdiers, whereas against infantry, they can train Hand Cannoneers. Savars and Hussars are a good counter to enemy archers, while in siege, they can opt to go for Bombard Cannons, Trebuchets, or even War Elephants, which come with a +30 attack against buildings. Gold-free Kamandaran Crossbowmen are highly useful in almost any situation and should be mixed in for extra ranged support.

In water maps the Persians must take over the water in the early game, as their work rate bonus for their Docks gives them an edge in this area, allowing for a large fleet to be created quickly. Later on, the lack of Shipwright and Bracer means they will usually fall off, especially against more standard water civilizations.

Strategy changes in The Forgotten[]

Persians' new unique tech, Boiling Oil, gives Castles an attack bonus vs rams, slightly improving their defense.

Strategy changes in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition[]

Persian Docks' and Town Centers' work rate in the Dark Age is improved by 5%, which means that they will have a better early-game economy, which will of course impact the mid- and late-game. Also, Boiling oil is now replaced by Kamandaran, so the "trade-off" there is that their Castle defense will be like in The Conquerors while having now a new trash unit, as Kamandaran turns the cost of their archers to 50 wood. Crossbowmen with Kamandaran researched are a great pairing for Savars and War Elephants despite lacking the Arbalest and Bracer upgrades since food and gold can be spent on the cavalry and the wood on the Crossbowmen. They can provide cover fire to the cavalry on the front line, who in return will act as a meat shield for the Crossbowmen. Crossbowmen with Kamandaran can also be considered a trash unit that counters Halberdiers and other infantry (of course good against the typical "trash buster", the Champion), and is weak to Skirmishers, Genitours, Magyar Huszars, and Hussars in the "trash wars".

The Kamandaran technology effect was extremely powerful to the point that the cost change of the archer line was raised from 50 wood to 60 wood in update 34699, and the technology cost was raised from 200 food, 200 gold to 400 food, 300 gold in update 35584.

Update 36906 removed the extra work rate of Town Centers and Docks in the Dark Age, which was meant to make them less flexible in hybrid maps, since they already have extra wood and food at the start of the game, and to level their booming capabilities. Still, the Kamandaran technology makes them much stronger and more versatile than they were in the HD Edition.

Strategy changes in Lords of the West[]

With update 50292, the cost of the War Elephant was changed, from 200 food, 75 gold to 170 food, 85 gold, and the training time was reduced from 30 seconds to 25 seconds (in fact, it now trains faster than Mangudai), making the unit less food-intensive and faster to mass, but with a higher gold cost. These changes didn't impact their usage for 1 vs 1 games, as the unit is still very expensive and slow, but in team games, especially on closed maps, where the gold problems are solved with trade, the War Elephant eventually became easier to use in prolonged battles in post-Imperial Age, as they are trained faster and no longer take extreme amounts of food to be used.

Strategy changes in The Mountain Royals[]

The Persians were overhauled. Their Town Center and Dock work-rate bonus now starts in the Dark Age again; they received the Savar, which replaces the Paladin; the movement speed of the War Elephant now is built into the unit instead of being granted by the Mahouts technology, which is replaced with Citadels; gained access to the Caravanserai; can now research Parthian Tactics in the Castle Age; and mounted units get 5 gold for each military unit killed (This last bonus was removed shortly after).

Most of their typical gameplay is still almost the same, but the new bonuses they received helps them in the later stages of the game, as well as in team games. The Savar is a heavy cavalry with +2 attack vs archers (+4 with the Persian team bonus). They have more armor and less Hit points than a Paladin, making them a more specialized unit against archers, whose armor can soak attacks better, but it is more vulnerable against units that can ignore armor (such as the Leitis or Dravidian infantry with Wootz Steel).

The Caravanserai makes the Persians a much better ally in team games, as it increases Trade Cart movement speed and heals them in an area.

The early Parthian Tactics makes a Cavalry Archer rush a viable strategy for the Persians.

Citadels address the Persian weak defenses by giving Castles better pierce attack, a bonus attack against rams and infantry, and making them receive less damage.


The Persians are primarily a pocket player in team games, focusing on Knights. They pair best with aggressive civilizations with strong archers (like the Britons). The War Elephant is also a great meat shield. They may also pair well with strong infantry civilizations, as the Persians lack good infantry. Allies like the Goths can cover that weakness. Their team bonus is very useful for any civilization with strong Knights. They benefit from team bonuses that improve cavalry or archers. Being one of the two civilizations with access to Caravanserais, they are also a good teammate for trading.

  • Cumans AoE2 Cumans: The Persian team bonus will aid the faster Cuman Paladins in destroying archer armies. Palisades will be stronger for both players. Both players will benefit from Caravanserais along the trade route, and the Persians will appreciate free Elite Kipchaks as an option in their Citadel-improved Castles.
  • Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis: Unlike most alliances, the Bengalis are not an obvious one, as the Bengalis do not gain anything from the Persian team bonus, but is a very potent one in closed maps like Michi. There is a very peculiar strategy which is a "super sling" which can only be performed with the Bengalis and works much better with Bengalis and Persians: the Bengali player only makes Villagers, Trade Carts, and Town Centers before aging up to the Imperial Age, while sending resources to their ally, who will focus on making War Elephants and defending their Bengali partner. The Bengalis get 2 Villagers per Town Center when aging up, so the player may have to keep making only Town Centers, Trade Carts and Villagers in the Castle Age, being defended by their allies. When the player has a substantial amount of Town Centers, age up to the Imperial Age and get a lot of Villagers (the bonus ignores population limit) for gathering resources and tribute them en masse to their allies. The allies should start to replace their own Villagers with military units, only leaving some of them for creating military buildings. In addition to this peculiar strategy on closed maps, the Bengali team bonus synergizes with Caravanserais, enabling all allies to faster generate gold and food from Trade Carts.
  • Berbers AoE2 Berbers: Genitours pair well with the cavalry-focused Persians. They also benefit from the earlier Parthian Tactics technology. Both players will be able to amass their respective unique units faster with the Kasbah technology, and the Berber cheaper Knight line will benefit from the extra bonus attack against archers.
  • Bohemians AoE2 Bohemians: The Bohemian team bonus (Market work-rate 80% faster) is a great match for a civilization with access to Caravanserais like the Persians. The Bohemians do not gain much from the Persian team bonus, but they have good Halberdiers and good gunpowder, which may aid the Persian ally in situations they struggle with. Bohemian Hussite Wagons also aid Persian ranged units, like their trash Crossbowmen, in soaking damage.
  • Britons AoE2 Britons: Their Archery Range bonus will help the Persians spam their gold-free Crossbowmen faster. The Britons do not gain much from the Persian bonus for Knights, but they will appreciate Caravanserais along the trade route.
  • Bulgarians AoE2 Bulgarians: With a Bulgarian ally, the Persians will have a faster production speed on their Blacksmith, while the Bulgarians Knights will benefit from the Persian bonus. The Bulgarians also have strong Siege Onagers and Two-Handed Swordsmen, covering the Persians weaknesses.
  • Burgundians AoE2 Burgundians: The early Cavalier of the Burgundians can make good use of the Persian team bonus. The players will complement each other's economy, due to the Burgundian team bonus for Relics and the Caravanserais provided by the Persians.
  • Burmese AoE2 Burmese: Burmese Cavaliers with Manipur Cavalry have +4 attack against archers. With the Persian team bonus, this becomes +6 against archers.
  • Franks AoE2 Franks: Both the Franks and Persians have team bonuses that help Knights.
  • Georgians AoE2 Georgians: Georgian Cavaliers can regenerate hit points and occupy less population space after researching Aznauri Cavalry. The Persian team bonus allow Georgian Cavaliers to crush archer armies, soak some damage, and then retreat for healing. The Persians will save some resources when repairing buildings, which is something the Persian Castles with Citadel will appreciate.
  • Gurjaras AoE2 Gurjaras: Even though they don't gain anything from the Persian team bonus, they can make a good team with Persians, as the Gurjara team bonus reduces the training time of elephant and camel units, including the War Elephant.
  • Huns AoE2 Huns: The Huns' team bonus affects Persian Knights, and the Persian team bonus helps Hunnic Knights in return. The Huns also have great Heavy Cavalry Archers, which pair well with Persian Savars.
  • Italians AoE2 Italians: They provide the Persians with a viable infantry unit, the Condottiero, which may help the Persian player to correct their infantry weakness to a degree. The Italians are also a good archer civilization, and may appreciate War Elephants in front for their Genoese Crossbowmen and Arbalesters with Pavise. Italian Trade Carts with cost halved by the Silk Road technology will benefit from the protection and speed boost of the Caravanserai.
  • Lithuanians AoE2 Lithuanians: The Persian team bonus extends the usefulness of the Lithuanian Paladin against archers. Both players may use Monasteries for training Monks and make a quest for Relics, which should be given to the Lithuanian player. The Lithuanian good Monks, Halberdiers, and Skirmishers may cover up some of the Persian weaknesses.
  • Magyars AoE2 Magyars: Their team bonus reduces the training time of Cavalry Archers, which makes a Persian Cavalry Archer rush much more viable. The Persian team bonus will aid the Magyar Knight line against archers, which they can fully upgrade, and get the melee attack upgrades at the Blacksmith for free.
  • Malians AoE2 Malians: Their Cavaliers with Farimba will be better against archers with the Persian team bonus.
  • Poles AoE2 Poles: Both team bonuses give bonus attack to a cavalry unit. The Poles give +1 attack to Light Cavalry. Both are prominent cavalry civilizations.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: The Portuguese team bonus stacks with the Dock and Town Center work-rate bonus of the Persians applied to the technologies (except age ups). The gold discount on units of the Portuguese applies to the Cavalier. Despite lacking the Paladin upgrade, it will appreciate the extra attack vs archers from the Persian team bonus.
  • Saracens AoE2 Saracens: The expendable and easily replaceable Persian Crossbowmen with Kamandaran can become a tool against buildings with the Saracen team bonus. The Saracens only have Knights and not Cavaliers or Paladins but despite that, they are still a good ally for the Persians, as they can provide the team not only with their team bonus but also with Monks with Bimaristan, which enables monks to heal friendly units in an area around them, which may make them great for healing War Elephants. Both players will also benefit from better trade with the Persian Caravanserais.
  • Sicilians AoE2 Sicilians: Hauberk-improved Cavaliers with the Persian team bonus shine at defeating archers. The Persians already have a good navy, as their Docks work faster, and their reliance on transport ships will be reduced with the Sicilian team bonus.
  • Spanish AoE2 Spanish: They can fully upgrade their Paladins, so the Persian team bonus is welcome. Both players may amass insane amounts of gold from trade with the Spanish team bonus and Caravanserais along the trade route.
  • Tatars AoE2 Tatars: Persian Cavalry Archers will appreciate the extra Line of Sight from the Tatar team bonus, considering they may get Parthian tactics in Castle Age. The Tatars may also appreciate the additional bonus against archers for their Knight line, despite being unable to upgrade them to Paladins.
  • Teutons AoE2 Teutons: A Teutonic-Persian alliance benefits both civilizations' Knights with shared conversion resistance and anti-archer bonus damage. The combination of conversion-resistant War Elephants and Siege Onagers makes for a slow but near unstoppable deathball.

Compared advantages and disadvantages[]

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Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • The War Elephant, being a well-rounded unit that has trample damage and a high amount of hit points, counters almost every unit in the game (except Halberdiers and Monks) through its sheer power and bulk. Any civilization without a reliable counter can be completely overwhelmed if they are not careful.
  • Being a civilization with good mid and late game and able to boom their economy, they can defeat civilizations later on that do not have such, especially on maps that favor booming.
  • As their Knights have more attack vs Archers, they can punish civilizations reliant on them. In addition, Persians have complete upgrades to their Hussars and Camels so they can effectively counter Monks and Cavalry.
  • As they have a Town Center with more HP and better working rate, and more initial resources, they can perform a Town Center Drop, which is especially useful for mixed maps, as they can create Fishing Ships while reconstructing their Town Center.
  • Regarding their naval warfare, they are in advantage in the early game against civilizations that rely on their late game navy as they can spam their ships faster than these civilizations.
  • Since the Definitive Edition, their Archers and Crossbowmen now only cost wood because of the Kamandaran technology. This puts them at an advantage against civilizations reliant on infantry, civilizations that lack proper counters against archers, or civilizations with poor trash units.

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • Despite being a seemingly very versatile unit due to its impressive statistics, the War Elephant has several major disadvantages. As Persians lack Heresy, and the War Elephant itself is a huge and slow target, they are very weak vs Monks, and can even be used against the player who created them. War Elephants are also very expensive and slow to create, so amassing them can be punishing against an enemy who is going aggressive. Ranged units can also counter them by hit-and-running them, though unless the unit does bonus damage, it might require too much micro to be efficient. Lastly, their slow speed means that they often struggle to engage opponents and use their might.
  • Since they don't get access to Two-Handed Swordsmen, their Militia line falls fast against archers and infantry from other civilizations. Before the Definitive Edition, this also made them to fare poorly at trash wars, since they didn't have a proper counter against trash units (Kamandaran rectified this to a degree).
  • Despite being the only civilization with all upgrades to their Stable units and having Knights with increased damage against archers, their cavalry lack the bonuses that other notable cavalry civilizations possess, and without a strong early-game economy they can fall behind in terms of military pressure.
  • Despite having bulkier Docks and Town Centers, Persians lack several key defensive technologies, notably Bracer and Fortified Wall.
  • Despite having good start-up Bonuses and good economic bonuses they have a disadvantage in open maps like Arabia against civilizations with early aggression since most of the Persian bonuses start to kick out in the Castle Age onwards.
  • Despite their early game advantage on water maps thanks to the Dock work rate bonus, late game they may fall apart against civilizations with cheaper or stronger ships. In fact, without Bracer, they are arguably below average.

Situational advantages[]

  • As their Town Center has more HP, Persians may get a slight advantage in Nomad maps, if they luckily enough place their initial Town Center near the initial Town Center of an opponent, making their Town Center rush almost as the game starts.
  • In Budapest map, as every player have double start up (2 Town Centers, double villagers, and 2 scouts) they also get an advantage, considering their Town Center work rate. Of course in this map is a bad idea to make a "Town Center rush" if starting from Dark or Feudal Age, as for that the player must delete their Town Center and place it near an opponent, and in this case the player should delete both to perform that.
  • Town Centers have more HP and better workrate, so Persians have an advantage early in Sudden Death games, as the objective in this game mode is to destroy the opponent's single Town Center (in this game mode, players are limited to just one TC).
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