|This article is about the scout units in general. For the unit in Age of Empires, see Scout (Age of Empires).|
Scouts are typically fast-moving units with a high Line of Sight in the Age of Empires series. They are generally poor at fighting or even non-combatant. Scouts are essential in the early game; they uncover nearby areas of the map, finding resources, items, and enemies. There are other units that can fulfill this role or can complement scouting, but the units listed here excel at scouting activities and are most frequently used in this regard.
Age of Empires
In Age of Empires, the Scout is the earliest and weakest cavalry unit. There is also a ship called Scout Ship; this is the weakest of all warships in the game. Neither of these units are available until the Tool Age. Therefore, in the Stone Age, players often use a Villager or Clubman to explore the land and a Fishing Ship to explore the water instead.
Age of Empires II
In Age of Empires II, there are two main scouting units:
In every standard game, every player starts with a Scout Cavalry, except for the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans, who start with an Eagle Scout. Since update 36202, scouting units created at the beginning of the game have the Auto Scout feature, which makes the AI take control of the unit scouting the area. This feature is only available to the one scouting unit that spawned at the very start of the game, and is not available to scouting units trained at buildings.
Many players also use their herdables to complement scouting near their Town Center. This requires heavy micromanagement as the player runs the risk to lose some of their herdables, but has the advantage of letting the Scout unit explore other parts of the map as it will not be required to explore the surroundings of the Town Center.
Age of Mythology
In Age of Mythology each culture has one designated scout unit, and some civilizations have additional scout units. There are some god powers that can be used to explore the map, such as Loki's Spy, and Set's Vision.
The designated Greek scout is the Kataskopos, which is a starting unit; more cannot be trained. All Greek civilizations can train the Pegasus once they have a Temple, and Poseidon players also have the Hippocampus, which appears for free at the Dock.
The designated Egyptian scout is the Priest, though Spearmen and other units are more suitable from the Classical Age. Set, however, has animal units that greatly help with exploration. The Norse have the Ulfsark as their scout, and Odin also has Ravens that help with scouting from the Classical Age.
Originally all civilizations were to have Scout Cavalry, which also functioned as Trash Cavalry, however this was changed to make them more unique.
Age of Empires III
In Age of Empires III and its expansions, the starting explorer units play an important role in scouting. European civilizations start with a special unit called the Explorer, Asian civilizations start with a Monk and American civilizations start with a War Chief (who can convert Treasure Guardians for scouting purposes). These three unit types can build Trading Posts and Town Centers, in addition to having special abilities for combat that allow them to take treasures in the early game.
Native Scouts may be found randomly at a map guarded by Treasure Guardians, Native American civilizations can also train them after receiving a specific shipment, and the French start with one. In the Plymouth map, all players start with an Intrepid Turkey Scout that can assist in scouting and if killed by an opponent, gives food.
Furthermore, some civilizations feature additional unit types dedicated to scouting:
- European civilizations (excluding the Spanish) can ship an Explorer Dog.
- European civilizations can also ship Home City Cards that a grant temporary Hot Air Balloon (trained by Explorer) and a permanent Advanced Hot Air Balloon.
- The Dutch start with an Envoy, and civilizations allied with a Dutch player receive three once the TEAM 3 Envoy shipment is sent.
- Civilizations playing on the map Mongolia start with a Mongol Scout, and civilizations allied with a Chinese player receive two once the TEAM 2 Mongol Scouts shipment is sent.