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This article is about the Relic in Age of Empires II. For other uses, see Relic.
Relic sprite aoe2de

Relics are special objects in Age of Empires II, which can be picked up by Monks and Warrior Priests and stored in Monasteries or Fortified Church (the latter Armenians and Georgians only) to generate gold for the player that holds them.


Relics are depicted in-game as medium-sized, white, trophy-looking constructs. At the beginning of a random map game, Relics usually are scattered around the map. Relics can only be carried by Monks. When one is placed in a Monastery or a Fortified Church, the Relic slowly generates 0.5 gold/s, or 30 gold/min. This is equal to one fully upgraded Imperial Age Gold Miner that does not have to travel more than one tile. If more Relics are collected, more gold is generated. Relics placed in Fortified Church add additional arrows. Relics are much more important in 1v1 games since trade is not a viable option of getting gold.

If the player trains a Monk for the sole purpose of collecting a Relic, the cost will pay for itself very soon, 200 seconds (3 minutes and 20 seconds) after the Relic has been garrisoned in a Monastery.

On the Standard Victory condition, collecting all of the available Relics on a map in a standard game will additionally initiate a timer that counts down to the victory of the player holding them, or their team if "Allied Victory" was checked before the game started. Relics captured by the player's allies will contribute to the team's victory so long as every single Relic on the map is in possession of a team member.

The length of the timer varies depending on the size of the map.

Map size Miniature Tiny Small Medium Normal Large Huge Giant Massive Enormous Colossal Incredible Monstrous Ludicrous
Duration (years) 100 200 300 350 400 450 500
Duration (in-game time) 8:20 16:40 25:00 29:10 33:20 37:30 41:40
Duration (normal speed) 4:54 9:48 14:42 17:09 19:36 22:04 24:31
Note: all underlined map sizes are only available since update 107882 with the launch parameter "MORE_MAP_SIZES".

In a standard game, 5 Relics are generated in random locations on the map. Relics cannot be targeted by attacks and are impervious to damage/destruction, but custom scenarios can make them disappear using a "Remove Object" trigger effect.

Relic spawning[]

Before The Forgotten, a standard game always has five Relics scattered randomly across the map, while ever since then, the amount of Relics scales according to the chosen map size, with Ludicrous-sized maps containing as many as ten and tiny maps having three.


The following civilizations can research technologies or have bonuses related to Relics:

Unique technologies[]

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


Relics are very important to any long-duration games, particularly on maps with scarce gold. Thus, it is very important to attempt to gather many as soon as the Castle Age is reached. During the Dark and Feudal Ages, using Scout units to pinpoint Relic locations and building a few archers and infantry to deter enemy Monks from snatching free Relics can be useful. Monks are completely vulnerable while collecting Relics, so it is important to attach a patrol with them to make sure they don't get killed. Researching Fervor and Sanctity is useful in order to make Monks retrieve Relics successfully by improving their speed and health, respectively.

In the late game, Relics can be a pivotal point in deciding where battles are fought. The successful theft of a Relic is generally a very large victory considering both the usefulness and versatility of extra gold. Relics should be closely guarded and contained within Monasteries that are difficult to reach and easy to defend. Optimally, they should also be scattered across several Monasteries to avoid losing all of them should the Monastery that contained them fall.

Capture the Relic[]

Introduced in The Forgotten, this game mode has similarities to King of the Hill. At the start of the game, there is only one Relic in the center of the map. All the players start with an indestructible Monastery and cannot build any Monasteries. The player that manages to place the Relic inside their Monastery instantly wins the game. Capture the Relic games are usually very short.


The influence of religion in daily life during the Middle Ages, especially in Europe, was exemplified by the attraction and trafficking of religious relics. The burial sites of saints became the focus of pilgrimages. A church or monastery that owned even a few bones from a saint or a small piece of the true cross drew pilgrims. In time a market for saintly bones developed and rich men competed to acquire such relics and endow them to local religious institutions. Attracting pilgrims and believers was good for the local economy. The most famous relic of the period is the Shroud of Turin, purported to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. This shroud was acquired in the Middle East and brought to Italy in the late Middle Ages.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings manual


  • Prior to Patch 5.1, it was possible for a Relic to be picked up by a Monk while not adjacent to it.[1]
  • If a Transport Ship loaded with a Monk carrying a Relic is sunk, the Relic will automatically teleport back to the Monk's position before it garrisoned into the Transport Ship. Should the Relic fail to be reset because of obstruction, it will perform a branching search for landable terrain, alternating between eastern and northern diagonals. If it again fails to find landable terrain, it will force itself as close to the position it was in before it was garrisoned as 'Monk with Relic'. This means a lost Relic will always be teleported to the north-east of its original location.
  • "Relic" is capitalized in all The Conquerors-only text, but never in any The Age of Kings text.
  • A unique darker coloured, icon-less Relic named "Piece of the True Cross" used to be available in the Scenario Editor (accessed in the "Others" tab after setting the Player to Gaia), but if a Monk tried to pick up it vanished. The unfinished object was likely intended to appear in the scenario The Horns of Hattin, where a regular Relic represents the Piece of the True Cross instead. In the Definitive Edition, the Piece of the True Cross lost its distinct appearance and was eventually removed from the Scenario Editor[When?], but remains in the game files.
  • In the Definitive Edition, it is possible for Relics to trickle wood and stone, though it is unused outside of custom scenarios.
  • Upon picking a Relic, the Monk's Line of Sight diminishes by 2.
  • Before update 107882, when a Relic was selected with Extended Unit Stats enabled, the information panel showed that it has 30 hit points and 10,000 of each armor. None of the values are actually relevant, as it does not receive damage and cannot be directly attacked by anything. Since then, the superfluous armor values are no longer displayed.
  • In Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition - The African Royals, the Home City of the Ethiopians features a "Medieval Relic" as one of the options for decorating the Monastery.



Gameplay elements in the Age of Empires series
Age · Ability (II · M · III · IV) · Architecture set (II · III) · Area of Effect (Trample damage) · Armor/Resists (hack/melee · pierce/ranged · crush/siege)  · Armor class/Tag (I - original · I - Return of Rome · II · IV) · Artificial intelligence · Attack (Attack bonus/Multiplier) · Attack delay · Attack ground · Aura (IV) · Auto Scout · Building (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization (I · II · M · III · IV) · Civilization bonus · Cheat code (I · II · M · III · IV) · Conversion · Counter · Diplomacy · Gaia/Mother Nature · Game modes · Garrison · Gather Point · Healing · Hit points · Hotkey · Line of Sight · Mini map · Player · Population · Range · Rate of Fire · Regeneration · Relic (II · M · IV) · Repairing · Resource (Renewable resources) · Scenario Editor (I · II · M · III · IV) · Score · Signal Allies/Flare · Soundtrack (I · II · M · III · IV) · Speed · Stealth mode · Taunt · Technology (I · II · M · III · IV) · Technology tree (I · II · IV) · Town Bell · Trade (IV) · Tribute · Unit (I · II · M · III · IV) · Unit formation · Unit stance (III) · Upgrade (I · II · III · IV) · User interface · Victory · Villager Priority
Genie Engine
Frame delay · Full Tech Tree · Team bonus
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of EmpiresRuins · Discovery
AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires IIPass-through damage · Projectile duplication
Bang Engine
Autoqueue · Snare
Aom original icon Age of MythologyGod (Major · Minor) · God power · Settlement
3Icon48px Age of Empires IIIAge-up methods (Politician/Tribal Council/Wonder/Federal State/Alliance· Banner army · Consulate · Damage Cap · Home City · Home City Card · Inspiring Flag · Minor civilization · Nuggets · Promotion · Revolution · Target Lock · Trade Monopoly · Trade Route · Treasure
Essence Engine
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IVBounty · Dynasty · Fire armor · Imperial Council (Vizier Point) · Influence · Landmark · Religion · Sacred Site · Variant civilization
If a gameplay element has different pages across games, like civilization, the individual pages are linked in brackets.