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Warelephant prev aoe2de.png
The Persians are an economy and cavalry oriented civilization.


They have access to all cavalry techs. Their unique unit, War Elephant, is a unit that is slow and expensive but with a large area of attack and massive amount of hit points.

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 obviously allows for an all-round economy in matches where the Imperial Age is played extensively.

The Persians also excel in naval combat due to their nearly full Dock technology and increased Dock work rate, although they need to spend more wood due to lacking Shipwright.

Since the Definitive Edition, they have much cheaper Archers, as the Kamandaran unique technology changes their cost to only 60 wood, giving them a nice asset in trash wars.


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 Persian player attempts to reconvert an elephant lost to a civilization with Heresy, then the elephant is lost forever.

Even though building Cavalry Archers is viable for the Persians thanks to them accessing Parthian Tactics, the Persians lack Bracer.

Persian Monks are also extremely weak, lacking access to several important upgrades. Because Atonement is missing, they are not a counter to enemy Monks that could easily convert the player's War Elephants, and the absence of Sanctity means they aren't durable in combat. Thus, they aren't useful for much, aside from healing War Elephants from a safe distance.


Persians have a different start up than other civilizations, +50 Food and +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. This start-up bonuses allows to the Persians to perform well Feudal rush techniques, or go for a fast castle since aging up is also sped up. Persian Town centers also have more hit points, this bonus allows the Persians to defend better in early game. Unlike other civilizations Persians can perform a really strange rush commonly known as The Douche Persian Rush which consist on creating several villagers, gather wood and stone in order to delete their town center in the Dark Age and rebuild it near to the opponent base, Persian town centers have more hit points so it will stand for long time and the villagers should then build towers and steal enemy resources.

Normally a Persian player will focus on the cavalry, Persian Knights have attack bonus against archers, and they have also full blacksmith upgrades for cavalry, this make their cavalry excellent for countering ranged units. Their expensive unique unit, the War Elephant, is a slow melee unit with a lot of hit points. Such characteristics make them considerably versatile: they are excellent against buildings and suited for even the most pitched battles. In fact, thanks to their trampling damage, they can damage multiple units simultaneously. Although very powerful, this unit is not invincible and can be countered with masses of Halberdiers, Camels, Archers and monks, so the player must always remember to support their elephants: the high cost per unit makes losing War Elephants even more painful. If dealing with enemy Halberdiers, War Elephants must be paired with Hand Cannoneers plus Scorpions if the resources allow it; if dealing against monks, which pose an enormous threat to War Elephants, the player must create some scout cavalry.

In water maps the Persians must take over since early game, their work rate bonus for their Docks gives them an edge in this area, allowing for large fleet to be created quickly.

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 Persian War Elephants, despite lacking the Arbalest and Bracer upgrades, since food and gold can be spent on the Elephants and the wood on the Crossbowmen. They can provide cover-fire to the War Elephants 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 raised from 200 food and 200 gold to 400 food and 300 gold in update 35584.

Update 36906 removed the workrate 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 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 and 75 gold to 170 food and 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 abrupt amounts of food to be used.


Persians are valuable allies for other Knight-oriented civilizations such as Huns, Franks, Berbers, Magyars, Burmese, Bulgarians, Cumans, Lithuanians, Burgundians, Sicilians and Spanish, as their team bonus helps knights of these civs take down archers more quickly.

Persians being reliant on cavalry of course benefits from Team bonuses that furthers their uses such as the Frank team bonus (More line of sight for Knights) and the Hun Team Bonus (more work rate for the Stable).

Allying with Italians lets Persians train the Condottiero, which can take the place of the weak Persian infantry. Their speed make Condottieri ideal for repealing enemy Halberdiers and Camels. An allied Hun player is also good for Persians because of the faster stable bonus. Britons can be of great use if the Persian player wants to fields a lot of cavalry archers. As they lack proper defense against monks, the Teutonic conversion resistance bonus is helpful if the enemy counters War Elephants with monks. Considering the high cost of the War Elephant and the heavy cavalry overall, Byzantine team Bonus is also helpful as it furthers the monks ability to heal increasing the lifespan of both paladins and War Elephants. As a gold hungry civilization Persians should also consider to have Aztecs as allies as their team bonus increase the relic gold generation, along with Burmese in order to favorably get at least a relic thanks to the revelation of these items, Spanish trade cart team bonus should also being considered, and last but not least having a Portuguese ally since they can generate gold through the Feitoria and send them to their allies through tribute.

Burgundian and Bengali allies also provide their teammates extra food from Relics and trade units respectively, allowing Persian players to include more Paladins or War Elephants in their armies.

Berber allies also offer fast, gold-free Genitours (who fare better than skirmishers when paired with cavalry), and Kasbah, allowing Persian players to spam their War Elephants quicker than before (Considering War Elephants creations speed is slow), in exchange for melee support from Persian Paladins and Halberdiers. While Gurjaras do not get anything out of the Persian team bonus, since they lack the Knight line, the Gurjara team bonus enables War Elephants and Camel Riders to be created faster, and this can be stacked with Kasbah (at least for the War Elephant) if their team also includes Berbers.

In Water maps, there are three civilizations that should be in high consideration as allies: Malay, Vikings and Dravidians. Malay allies grant Persian players far-sighted Docks for fast-response garrison fleet and coastal defense, as Malay have several boosts to the Infantry (free gold militia line and Karambit Warriors) they can also cover that weakness the Persians have. Vikings on the other hand offers their cheaper Docks as a team bonus, this of course benefits to a great extent the Persian Docks who already have a better work rate, similarly to Malay, Vikings also can cover the infantry poor line the Persians have with their resilient infantry units. Alternatively, Dravidian allies allow Persian players to expand population capacity quickly by building Docks.

Since the Definitive Edition, as they now have Kamandaran as their Castle Age unique technology (Archer line gold cost converted to wood), they can make much better synergies with civilizations with team bonuses that boost the archer line, like Britons (Archery Ranges work faster), Magyars (+2 LOS for Foot Archers), and Saracens (+3 attack bonus against buildings), or with civilizations with powerful " trash units", as their archers now add more power in that regard.

Compared advantages and disadvantages[]

Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • The War Elephant, being a well rounded unit that has trample damage and a high amount of HP, counters almost all types of infantry (except Samurai, Halberdiers, Viking infantry with Chieftains, and Kamayuks; see in disadvantages), even the infantry from prominent infantry civilizations like, Teutons, Burmese, Malay, Japanese, Goths, Malians, Slavs and Celts. They also counter practically all kinds of melee cavalry (except Camels and Saracen Mameluke), even the cavalry of prominent cavalry civilizations, like Huns, Franks and Burmese, they are statistically superior on combat to the four versions of the Battle Elephant (which is only available for Khmer, Burmese, Malay and Vietnamese). They can even be used against buildings as a siege replacement, even civilizations like Byzantines, Incas and Koreans should take their precautions against them. It can also take a lot of arrow-fire so Persian War Elephants (especially if they are boosted by the Mahouts upgrade) can also punish civilizations reliant on foot archers, such as Vietnamese, Britons, and Mayans.
  • Being a civilization with good mid and late game and able to boom their economy they can defeat civilizations that fare otherwise in closed maps like Black Forest (regular or bad late game, regular mid game, but good early game) like the Aztecs, the Huns and the Malians, especially if starting at Castle Age onwards.
  • As their Knights have more attack vs Archers, they can punish civilizations reliant on them like Mayans, Chinese and Britons. In addition, Persians have complete upgrades to their Hussars and Camels so they can counter effectively 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 Rush so in open maps they have an advantage over civilizations with poor early game such as Portuguese, Spanish, Indians and Turks.
  • Regarding the naval Warfare they are in advantage in the early game against civilizations that rely on their late game navy such as Portuguese, Spanish, and Koreans as they can spam their ships faster than these civilizations.
  • Before the Definitive Edition, defensively speaking, their Castles were better defended against Rams in the Castle Age, thanks to the Boiling Oil technology (Rams are probably the best counter to Castles in the Castle Age). In addition, Town Centers and Docks have better HP.
  • 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 (like Teutons, Celts, or Aztecs), civilizations that lack proper counters against archers, or civilizations with poor trash units (such as Turks).

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • Despite being a very versatile unit due to their impressive statistics, the War Elephant have several disadvantages. As Persians lack Heresy, and the War Elephant itself is a huge and slow target they are very weak vs monks, so civilizations that make use of them like Aztecs, Spanish, Slavs and Burmese may convert them and use them against the Persian player even being able to amass their own War Elephant Army if the Persian player doesn't take their previsions against Monks. What is more unfortunate is when those civilizations with Heresy convert the elephants, and when the Persian player wants to convert the beasts back, the enemy elephant dies, thus losing the unit for good. War Elephants are also very expensive so civilizations with cheap units or civilizations that can amass Halberdiers such as Goths and Byzantines can also counter them. Incan Kamayuks, Japanese Samurai and Viking infantry after Chieftains are also a threat to War Elephants. Ranged and fast units like the Cavalry Archers, the Malian Gbeto, the Saracen Mameluke, the Spanish Conquistador, the Cuman Kipchak, and the Burmese Arambai can also counter them by hit-and-running them. Camel based civilizations such as Indians, Malians and Berbers can also counter War Elephants if they amass their Camels, Italian Genoese Crossbowmen can also counter War Elephants especially if massed. Steppe Lancers are also a threat.
  • Since they don't get access to Two-Handed Swordsmen their infantry 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), so civilizations with good trash such as Magyars, Berbers, Vietnamese, Malay, Byzantines and Aztecs overturned them in the late game when gold is scarce. Civilizations with anti-infantry units or with access to the Hand Cannoneer can eat through Persian Infantry. This includes Indians, Portuguese, Turks, Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, Byzantines and Spanish.
  • Despite being the only civilization with all upgrades to their stable units and having Knights with increased damage against archers, civilizations with prominent Pikemen and Halberdiers (Like Aztecs, Burmese, Celts, Japanese, Slavs and Vikings) or good Camels (Like Berbers, Saracens, Malians, Byzantines and Indians) still pose a dangerous threat to the Persian cavalry. Also, Persian Paladins can be dominated by Lithuanian Paladins if the Lithuanian player picks up all four Relics, granting their Paladins +4 attack.
  • Despite having castles improved with the Boiling Oil technology (this only in the HD expansions) and bulkier Docks and Town Centers, Persians fall apart against civilization with good siege engines especially civilizations with good late game siege engines as they lack several key defensive technologies, Civilizations like Turks, Celts Ethiopians, Huns and Mongols can deliver nightmarish armies of siege weapons and anti building units against Persians.
  • Despite having good start up Bonuses and good economic bonuses they have a disadvantage in open maps like Arabia against civilizations with early aggression such as Huns, Aztecs, Magyars, Mongols and Goths since most of the Persian bonuses start to kick out in the Castle Age onwards. Regarding the Town Center Rush, Persian players should also consider that there are other civilizations that boost either the HP or the Attack of their Town Centers while at the same time there are civilizations with other defensive bonuses that can counter their rush more easy than other civilizations, such as Teutons (their town Centers can garrison more villagers so it can fire more arrows than the Persian one), the Byzantines (who also have a bonus for their buildings making their town Center the second bulkier one after the Persian) The Cumans (who can make a second Town Center in the Feudal Age, which means they can deal more damage to the Persian one, as this means double arrows, or just simply run away and make the second Town Center in another region of the map) and the Incas (whose Blacksmith technologies benefit their villagers so they can attack the Persian villagers intending to create a Town Center next to them)
  • Despite they have an advantage in early game in water maps thanks to the Dock work rate bonus, late game they may fell apart against civilizations with cheaper ships (like the Vikings and all the civilizations with access to Shipwright) or either a sustainable late game economy (like Malay and Portuguese both of which have their respective unlimited resources bonuses).

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.
  • If playing Regicide as players start with a Castle, they slightly have an advantage until the opponents reach Imperial Age thanks to the Boiling Oil technology.
  • 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).