Most common game; you choose the settings and victory conditions.
—Age of Empires II description
Random map is the primary game mode throughout the games of the Age of Empires series. In the mode, the player starts out with a map randomly generated for each game. The overall topography of the map remains the same on each map type, with different landscapes and landforms on every corner of the map. The size of the map and the number of players affect the generated terrain of the map.
The Age of Kings features 15 random maps. All maps are square, and can be generated in one of several different sizes. The Forgotten introduces a new LudiKRIS size that is not available in the original game.
The Conquerors introduces 8 new random maps to the game. Additionally, a new category of maps based on real locations around the world is introduced. The geography of these maps are of fixed size and the layout will always resemble its real-world counterpart. However, resources are randomly distributed around the map every time they are generated.
Ensemble Studios also created additional custom maps for The Conquerors that were originally available for download on the official website. They were later included with Patch 1.0c, Gold Edition and HD Edition. The filenames for all of maps are prefixed with "ES@" to help players find them during multiplayer.
Texas Relive the classic Mayan and Korean skirmish in the Lone Star State.
Canals A network of canals creates a spider web effect as they try to connect every player’s starting town.
Capricious Starting food, gold and stone might be at normal levels, in short supply, or in abundance. Starting trees will always be the same.
Dingoes Villagers shepherd their flocks while avoiding rampaging wild animals. Lots of sheep, lots of wolves, no Scout.
Graveyards Control weed-choked graveyards packed with scary trees and abandoned buildings that conceal resources and ancient relics.
Metropolis Control three Town Centers, three sets of villagers, three Scouts and three sets of resources!
Moats Each player’s town is surrounded by a narrow body of water with several land bridges for access and moats narrow enough for ranged units to fire across.
Paradise Island Start on a tropical island with your enemies. The map is loaded with fish, boars, and berries. Find the three relics at the base of the volcano in the center, but beware of the guardians!
Pilgrims Your starting island may be small, but there is a whole new world to discover! Hop in your Transport and race your enemies to the new world!
Prairie Food is often scarce and there aren’t a lot of natural defenses, but your two Scouts can cover a lot of ground.
Seasons Based on the 4 seasons in a year, with a 25% chance of loading up a Winter map, Spring map, Summer map, or Autumn map.
Sherwood Forest Multiplayer only. Your town is surrounded by forests, yet you can walk freely through them. Use your hunting wolf to scout the terrain or for sneak attacks on your enemy’s villagers.
Sherwood Heroes Single player version of Sherwood Forest. Start out with some familiar heroes.
Shipwreck A few bruised villagers and their waterlogged sheep stranded on a desert island.
Team Glaciers In the frozen north, each team must defend its own hunk of ice and snow against frequent enemy raids. Bad weather makes ships and walls rare, though strangely, this has led to a bumper crop of deer.
The Unknown Everything is random. Everything. From the moment the game starts, you have to scout (with a random number of Scouts, of course) to figure out whether you are on an island, a mainland, or inside a clearing of trees.
The Forgotten introduces 12 standard random maps, with many featuring a unique variation on standard gameplay. Three additional maps are also available only for Capture the Relic mode, as well as an option to randomly select between these maps.
Acropolis Battle on the barren slopes of your base as you defend your hill and conquer the enemy's.
Budapest Two towns and a plethora of wildlife offer unconventionally intense battles.
Cenotes An open land studded with sinkholes but only a few clusters of trees.
City of Lakes An endless maze of lakes and rivers winding through a sparsely forested desert.
Golden Pit A ravine filled with gold beckons but its depths loom treacherously as enemies lie in wait on the other side.
Hideout A palisade wall provides only false comfort over the palpable feeling of enemy lurking just around the corner.
Hill Fort A fortified stronghold perched on a mountain top may be virtually impregnable but scarce resources and lack of space drive players to expand their empires into the lowlands around.
Lombardia A handful of cities on opposite ends of a wintry landscape must share, trade and coordinate in their efforts to defeat the enemy.
Steppe Dare you leave the safe shelter of the trees to hunt the graceful deer roaming the open ground?
Valley A dried up river stands between enemy towns but also poses an opportunity as animals gather there to gulp down the last drops.
MegaRandom Ever dreamed of an endlessly unpredictable map where anything is possible and nothing is guaranteed? Multiply it by ten and you have... MegaRandom
Hamburger The ultimate Easter Egg map. Located on either side of the tasty burger, will you eat through it, or sail around the bun and surprise the enemy?
CtR Monsoon One of the three most challenging Capture the Relic maps. There is only limited space to build on as most of the map is covered in endless marshes, which in the coldest seasons turn to ice. The relic stands in the centre, enclosed in a sacred grove of trees.
CtR Pyramid Descent One of the three most challenging Capture the Relic maps. Players appear huddled up around the relic atop a vast pyramid but their monasteries lie all the way on the bottom stair.
CtR Spiral One of the three most challenging Capture the Relic maps. The center of the map has been engulfed in a spiral of deep waters and the only way to reach the relic is to follow the current in long and treacherous circles.
Age of Mythology features 23 different random maps, and all can be generated in normal or large sizes. For the first time, maps can differ in shape and dimensions, such as being rectangular instead of square. Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon introduces a new giant map size that is not available in the original game.
Two of the maps, Black Sea, and River Styx, were released as preorder bonuses for the game, and are included with Age of Mythology: Extended Edition.
Acropolis Players start with high resources on plateaus with resources in the valleys and around the edges.
Alfheim Forgotten Relics and terrible beasts hide between the craggy hills.
Anatolia The cold desert beyond the Mediterranean is carved by cliffs and gorges that protect Gold Mines.
Archipelago This sun-swept island chain may isolate players at random.
Black Sea The dark waters of the inland sea divide team lands into two islands.
Erebus Face shades, serpents and rivers of molten earth in Hades' underworld realm.
Ghost Lake The sinister, frozen lake in the center of this map may never thaw, but still cannot be built upon.
Jotunheim Mountain passes are the only connections among valleys owned by different teams.
King of the Hill In the center, on water, ice or cliffs, is a Plenty Vault. Whoever controls it starts a countdown to victory.
Mediterranean The pastoral countryside surrounding the middle sea supports many herd animals.
Midgard This frozen land is short on food, but the waters surrounding the continent are abundant with life.
Nomad our Villagers start scattered with no Town Center. You'll need to find a Settlement to occupy during the time that combat is prevented.
Oasis Most of the wood lies in 1 to 4 oases in the center. Build walls to the center to stop enemy incursions.
River Nile A broad river separates the desert lands of different teams.
River Styx The dead waters of the Underworld surround your island and restrict access to enemy islands or the bonus island in the center.
Savannah The grasslands of Africa provide plenty of food to hunt, but little water.
Sea of Worms A mysterious ocean covers half the map with the player fortresses huddled to one side.
Sudden Death Everyone starts with a Citadel and no free Settlements exist. If your Citadel is lost, you will lose the game.
Team Migration How long can you stay on the island shared by your team before you need to move to the central island that protects extra resources?
The Unknown Only the Gods know what this unpredictable map will be. Land or water? Ice or desert? You must explore to find out.
Valley of Kings Players on the same team share a city while all the Gold is protected by bandit Migdols.
Vinlandsaga When the resources on your small island start to run out, the only choice is to set sail for the New World. But watch out for Skraelings.
Watering Hole The migratory herds stop at these rivers and ponds to drink, but there is no other food available.
The Titans introduces 6 new random maps, two of which feature new and unique terrain not found on any other map in the game.
Highland Grassy hills separated by rivers with defensive narrow crossings.
Islands 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.
Land Unknown The Gods have decreed that water will be scarce on these lands, but beyond that, you'll have to see for yourself.
Marsh A dangerous swamp surrounded by grassy hills. The center is full of huntable animals and relics.
Megalopolis Allies start close to each other and share a large defensible position.
Tundra A cold, wind-swept land with little wood and herds of arctic animals.
Tale of the Dragon
Tale of the Dragon introduces 7 new random maps, three of which feature a new terrain type. The Regicide game mode from Age of Kings returns as a map, rather than a game mode.
Basin Small lakes on either side of the map provide players with a safe fishing location.
Deep Jungle Grassy clearings in a sea of trees. Follow the paths through the forest to find your allies and enemies.
Old Atlantis Players start on islands that are connected by shallows. Overgrown temples are present on the map that can be used once they are repaired by players.
Open Fields The outer forests give way to large open expanses perfect for farming. Periodic rain is an integral part of this land.
Regicide Kill your opponent’s regent before yours meets his fate! All players start with a Fortress.
Silk Road A long map where players can capture trading posts that generate resources similar to Plenty Vaults.
Age of Empires III has 17 random maps, with two maps being added to the game through patches. All maps are available in a standard size that scales automatically depending on the number of players, with five specific maps available in a separate large size variant. The Asian Dynasties adds another four maps with a large version.
The WarChiefs introduces 8 new random maps. Ozarks was introduced with patch 1.03. Plymouth was released as an online download by Ensemble to celebrate Thanksgiving, and is only included with Age of Empires III: Complete Collection.
Andes The Inca can prove a powerful ally, but watch out for the warlike Huari.
Araucania Fight along the western coast of South America.
California A wide variety of terrain, from beaches to mountains.
Northwest Territory A land of cool, lush rainforests, magnificent mountain ranges, high desert plains, rocky coastlines, and rivers teeming with salmon.
Ensemble Studios held a random map contest in 2007 for Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs, of which the prize was to have the winning map officially included into the game. The winning map would also feature a special building in the centre that would be named after the contest winner:
RF_Gandalf won the contest with the map Dakota Badlands. The contest ended too close to the then-upcoming patch's release for the map to be included with it. But despite Ensemble's assurances that Dakota Badlands would come with a later patch, the map was ultimately never included for unknown reasons. The map file contains disabled code for spawning the special building in the center, but enabling it does nothing as the building itself was never patched into the game.