|This article is about the ships in Age of Empires II. For ships in other games of the series, see Ship.|
Ships are the only units in Age of Empires II that can move across water. They can also pass shallow water, but can never move on land. As water is a natural and impenetrable barrier for all units but ships, they are of crucial importance on maps with a lot of water, e.g. Islands, Coastal, or Baltic.
All ships move quite fast, possess high pierce armor, and high HP. Hence, almost all military ships are quite capable of battling land units on the shoreline for they can hit-and-run melee units and kill ranged units with their ranged attack and good resistance against arrow fire. They fare worse against siege weapons and Monks. All ships have an attack bonus against buildings, which makes them good raiding units to clear shorelines, but defensive structures deal bonus damage against ships as well, so they should only be attacked if they can be outranged.
List of ships
Marked with yellow background are unique units.
|Fast Fire Ship||140||0||8||2.49||0.25||5||1.43||75||45||60||25|
|Heavy Demolition Ship||70||140||0||5||0||N/A||6||1.6||70||50||45||25|
|Elite Cannon Galleon||150||45||0||8||15||10||17||1.1||200||150||46||18|
|Elite Turtle Ship||300||50||8||6||6||6||8||0.9||180||180||50||1|
|Caravan||Market||III||All||Trade Cogs move 50% faster|
|Careening||Dock||III||All||Increases pierce armor by +1 and Transport Ship capacity by +5|
|Gillnets||Dock||III||All||Fishing Ships gather food +25% faster|
|Dry Dock||Dock||IV||31||Increases speed by +15% and Transport Ship capacity by +10|
|Shipwright||Dock||IV||18||Lowers wood cost by -20% and increases creation speed by +35%|
|Fletching||Blacksmith||II||All||Increases range and attack of Galleys, Longboats, and Caravels by +1|
|Bodkin Arrow||Blacksmith||III||All||Increases range and attack of Galleys, Longboats, and Caravels by +1|
|Bracer||Blacksmith||IV||30||Increases range and attack of Galleys, Longboats, and Caravels by +1|
|Ballistics||University||III||All||Improves accuracy at moving targets|
|Chemistry||University||IV||All||Increases attack of Galleys, Longboats, and Caravels by +1; enables the creation of Cannon Galleon|
|Heresy||Monastery||III||22||Converted units die instead of changing color|
|Faith||Monastery||IV||34||Increases conversion resistance|
|Greek Fire||Castle||III||Byzantines||Increases range of Fire Ships by +1|
|Sultans||Castle||III||Indians||Makes Trade Cogs +10% more efficient|
|Silk Road||Castle||IV||Italians||Halves train cost of Trade Cogs|
|Panokseon||Castle||III||Koreans||Increases speed of Turtle Ships by +15%|
|Carrack||Castle||III||Portuguese||Increases armor by +1/+1|
|Arquebus||Castle||IV||Portuguese||Improves accuracy of Cannon Galleons at moving targets|
|Scutage||Castle||IV||Sicilians||Pays 15 Gold to every team member for every warship owned by the player|
|Artillery||Castle||IV||Turks||Increases range of Cannon Galleons by +2|
The best naval civilizations are probably the Berbers, Byzantines, Italians, Koreans, Malay, Portuguese, Saracens, Spanish, and Vikings. The Chinese, Japanese and Persians have also strong naval bonuses, but less stronger than the before-mentioned civilizations.
The Cumans have the worst navy in the game, as they lack all late-game important technologies that affect ships, and they do not have Bracer or even Cannon Gallons. The Malians, Slavs, Bulgarians, Teutons, Franks, and Huns also have lackluster navies. The Aztecs and Malians are the only two civilizations that do not have access to Galleons.
The following civilizations have bonuses that benefit naval units:
- Aztecs: Warships created 11% faster.
- Berbers: Ships move 10% faster.
- Bulgarians: Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer cost -50% food.
- Burgundians: Cannon Galleons have +25% attack. Caravan and Gillnets can be researched in the Feudal Age, and cost 50% less Food.
- Burmese: Faith is 50% cheaper.
- Byzantines: Fire Ships attack 25% faster.
- Chinese: Demolition Ships have +50% HP, and technologies that benefit ships are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Italians: Dock and University technologies are 33% cheaper. Fishing Ships are 15% cheaper. Cannon Galleons are 20% cheaper.
- Japanese: Fishing Ships have double HP, +2 pierce armor, and work 5%/10%/15%/20% faster in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Koreans: Warships cost -20% wood.
- Persians: Docks have double HP and work 10%/15%/20% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Portuguese: Ships have +10% HP and cost -20% gold. Technologies that benefit ships are researched 30% faster.
- Saracens: Transport Ships have double HP and +5 transport capacity. Galleys attack 25% faster.
- Spanish: Cannon Galleons fire 18% faster, and have Ballistics-like accuracy and faster missiles. Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer cost no gold.
- Tatars: Ships deal +25% damage from elevations.
- Turks: Chemistry is free. Cannon Galleons have +25% HP. Elite Cannon Galleon upgrade is 50% cheaper.
- Vietnamese: Gillnets costs no wood.
- Vikings: Warships are 15%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
The following civilizations have team bonuses that benefit naval units:
- Bulgarians: Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer are researched 80% faster.
- Japanese: Galleys have +50% LOS.
- Lithuanians: Faith and Heresy are researched 20% faster.
- Malians: Ballistics and Chemistry are researched 80% faster.
- Sicilians: Transport Ships have +5 carry capacity and +10 armor versus anti-ship bonus damage.
- Spanish: Trade Cogs generate +25% more gold.
- Teutons: Ships are more resistant to conversion.
- Turks: Cannon Galleons are created 25% faster.
- Before the Definitive Edition, the Cannon Galleon and the Elite Cannon Galleon were the only two non-unique ships that shared sprites.
- Ships (except Fishing Ships) are one of the few units with varying models that show their origin. Every architecture style has a corresponding sail for their ships (see gallery):
- African ships: Reed lug rig with solar disk and crescent
- American: Crab claw sail with double-headed serpent
- Central Asian: Lateen rig with Wind Horse
- Central European: Square rig with Arrow Cross
- Longboats use banded square sails
- East Asian: Junk rig with Vermilion Bird
- Turtle Ships don't have sails, but they have flags with the same symbol
- Eastern European: Square rig with Patriarchal Cross
- Mediterranean: Square rig with Maltese Cross
- Middle Eastern and South Asian: Lateen rig with crossed scimitars
- Southeast Asian: Junk rig with elephant head
- Western European: Square rig with lion rampant