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The Shaolin Temple is a native Asian religious settlement featured in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties. Like all natives, they can be allied with by building a Trading Post at their Trading Post site.


Ratten shield de Rattan Shield: Fast Chinese warrior armed with a shield and a sword. Heavily armored and good against archers, skirmishers, and artillery.


Age Technology Cost Effect
Age I tech tree aoe3
Clenched Fist Clenched Fist 200 wood
200 coin
Ranged infantry get +25% hand attack; Caroleans and hand skirmishers (except Urumi Swordsmen) get +10% hand attack instead
Wood Clearing Wood Clearing 200 food
200 coin
Villagers gather wood from trees and Mango Groves 20% faster
Dim Mak Dim Mak 300 wood
300 coin
Rattan Shields get +50% attack


Wood Clearing gives +20% wood gathering rate to villagers. This improvement is especially useful for the Indians, since their villagers cost wood.

Clenched Fist gives all ranged infantry +25% hand damage, with the exception of hand skirmishers and Caroleans, that only get +10% hand attack. This technology makes Musketeers more deadly against heavy cavalry units and shock infantry.

The Rattan Shield is a hand shock infantry unit with no multipliers (increased or reduced). They naturally counter artillery and light infantry, even without increased multipliers. They are also naturally good at raiding with a fast speed. Their main selling point is their high train limit of 16. Dim Mak gives Rattan Shields +50% attack, which is particularly helpful when they are raiding and sniping units like artillery.

Being hand shock infantry, Rattan Shields are better than their stats seem compared to heavy cavalry, as their counters have lower attack multipliers, they are affected by hand infantry upgrades, and they have a smaller size, which is especially useful for sniping light infantry and artillery as quickly as possible due to attacking units spending less time pathing.

Overall, the Shaolin Temple is the strongest when the game stalls out enough that players are about to start building Town Centers, as the wood-gathering boost from Wood Clearing matters more. Additionally, it excels at being valuable for grinding out value for the late game, as trees take much longer to run out, making Wood Clearing matter for a long time and the high train limit and versatility of the Rattan Shield can shine. It synergizes best with musket infantry, as they have a high hand attack while being ranged infantry to benefit from Clenched Fist.


  • The Shaolin Temple is part of the religion-themed minor civilizations of The Asian Dynasties, this one representing a branch of Buddhism.
  • Buddhism is the only religion which has multiple Holy Site settlements to represent different branches/regions of it.
  • Likely, all 3 of the Shaolin Temple's technologies reference martial arts. The connection to religion is because of the connection of martial arts to Buddhism, such as Kung Fu, by legend, being developed by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, who is said to have brought Buddhism from India to China in the 5th century CE.


This Holy Site is identical to a Native Trade Site. Allying with Natives allows a player to train special Native units, usually warriors, and also grants access to a group of improvements to that tribe. Native units do not cost any population spaces, but can only be built in limited numbers.

One of the most famous Buddhist monasteries is the Shaolin Monastery, located in the Henan province of China, founded in 495 CE. The edifice is associated specifically with Chan Buddhism and the martial art of Kung Fu. Monastery legend states that the Indian monk Bodhidharma visited the temple in 527 CE. During his time meditating on the mountain overlooking the monastery, Bodhidharma taught himself a form of martial arts to defend against wild animals and bandits. He stayed at the temple for nine years, and before his departure he taught his disciples the skills he had learned, creating the martial arts legend that surrounds the Shaolin monks to this day.


Civilizations in Age of Empires III
AfricanFlag Ethiopian aoe3de Ethiopians · Flag Hausa Hausa
AmericanFederal American: Flag MexicanDE Mexicans · Flag American act3 aoe3de United States
Native American: Flag AztecDE Aztecs · Flag IroquoisDE Haudenosaunee (formerly Iroquois) · Flag IncanDE Inca · Flag SiouxDE Lakota (formerly Sioux)
AsianFlag ChineseDE Chinese · Flag IndianDE Indians · Flag JapaneseDE Japanese
EuropeanFlag BritishDE British · Flag DutchDE Dutch · Flag FrenchDE French · Flag GermanDE Germans · Flag ItalianDE Italians · Flag MalteseDE Maltese · Flag OttomanDE Ottomans · Flag PortugueseDE Portuguese · Flag RussianDE Russians · Flag SpanishDE Spanish · Flag SwedishDE Swedes · Polish · Danes
AfricanAkan Settlement Icon Akan · Berber Settlement Portrait Berbers · Somali Settlement Portrait Somalis · Sudanese settlement portrait Sudanese · Yoruba settlement portait Yoruba
AsianBhakti aoe3de Bhakti Temple · Jesuit aoe3de Jesuit Mission · Native shaolin site icon portrait Shaolin Temple · Sufi aoe3de Sufi Mosque · AOE3DE Tengri Tengri Shrine · Udasi aoe3de Udasi Temple · Zen aoe3de Zen Temple
EuropeanBourbon icon portrait-1 House of Bourbon · Habsburg icon portrait-1 House of Habsburg · Hanover icon portrait-1 House of Hanover · Jagiellon icon portrait-1 House of Jagiellon · Oldenburg icon portrait-1 House of Oldenburg · Phanar icon portrait-1 House of Phanar · Vasa icon portrait-1 House of Vasa · Wettin icon portrait-1 House of Wettin · Wittelsbach icon portrait-1 House of Wittelsbach
Native AmericanApache aoe3de Apache · Aztec native icon aoe3de Aztecs · Carib aoe3de Carib · Cherokee aoe3de Cherokee · Cheyenne aoe3de pre update Cheyenne · Comanche icon aoe3de Comanche · Cree aoe3de Cree · Iroquois aoe3de Haudenosaunee · Huron aoe3de Huron · Klamath settlement portrait Klamath · Sioux aoe3de Lakota · Lenape warrior portrait Lenape · Mapuche icon aoe3de Mapuche · Maya aoe3de Maya · Navajo aoe3de Navajo · Nootka aoe3de Nootka · Inca native icon aoe3de Quechua (formerly Incas) · Seminole aoe3de Seminole · Tupi aoe3de Tupi · Zapotec icon aoe3de Zapotec
CampaignUnited States flag revolt DE Black Family Estate · EIC Flag AoE3DE British · Circle of ossus Circle of Ossus · Flag John Black's Mercenaries DE John Black's Mercenaries · Flag Maltese Cross Knights of St. John · Flag American act3 aoe3de United States
Historical BattlesBarbary States flag revolt Barbary Pirates · Flag CanadianDE Canadians · Flag Ethiopian aoe3de Ethiopians · Flag Moroccan Moroccans · Flag Somali aoe3de Somalians · Flag Tatars aoe3de Tatars · Flag American act3 aoe3de United States