Age of Empires Series Wiki
Stealth Mode

Stealth mode is a special ability introduced in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs and later in Age of Empires IV.

3Icon48px Age of Empires III[]

Available to a limited range of units, activating this mode renders the unit invisible to enemy Line of Sight (LOS). While in this mode, units move at half their normal speed and no longer engage enemy units automatically. They will abandon stealth mode if ordered to attack by the player.

Units cannot switch to stealth mode if enemy units or buildings are nearby.

Some units and buildings have the AbstractCanSeeStealth tag and will uncloak stealthy enemy units within their LOS. Not all stealth units are also anti-stealth. Notable anti-stealth units include virtually all skirmish Heroes, Forts, Outposts, War Huts and Town Centers.

When Spies is researched, the player can see other players' stealth units whether they're in stealth mode or not.

List of stealth-capable buildings[]

List of stealth-capable units[]

List of buildings that can uncloak stealthed enemies[]

List of units that can uncloak stealthed enemies[]


Stealth tactics[]

Stealth is a useful tactic against a human opponent. In proper use, it can end a game, or bring a game close to completion.

The most useful units for using stealth on are the Prowlers of the Native American civilizations. They are not only capable of stealth and surveillance, but combat as well. For example, a squad of Tashunke Prowlers can stealth into a large grove of trees, and when Villagers appear, can use their area-of-effect attack to quickly destroy them, then stealth back to avoid enemy retaliation. This can pay off by wasting the enemy's resources, as they would have to purchase the Villagers, and removing their potential to collect resources. A Haudenosaunee Forest Prowler, with Home City Cards, can stealth behind the enemy base and create a forward base, which forces the enemy to divert their troops, which can hurt civilizations with more population-intensive units (like Cuirassiers), as they are less effective when split up. Also, an Aztec Jaguar Prowl Knight can stealth into an an enemy base and wreak havoc with the superior sieging ability.

However, this does not mean that Native American civilizations are the only ones capable of using stealth effectively. A pair of Japanese Monks with a few Monastery upgrades can stealth into an enemy base, sabotage some buildings - notably economic buildings or Houses (Anything else is likely to require multiple sabotages), and use Smoke Screen to escape when in danger. A European civilization can use a Spy to ambush a lone Explorer, War Chief, or Monk on their way to capture a Trading Post.

GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IV[]

Enter Stealth for 30 seconds. When in Stealth, units are invisible until they are revealed by enemy Scouts, Outposts, or they engage in combat.
Age of Empires IV description for the Musofadi Stealth ability

Stealth mode in Age of Empires IV is only available to the following Malian units:

With Local Knowledge researched, Musofadi units in stealth also regenerate by 2 hit points per second. The Fort of the Huntress landmark also applies stealth to all friendly infantry units within an eight tile radius. This lingers for 30 seconds after leaving the vicinity of the landmark.

The Japanese Shinobi also has a stealth ability which works in a slightly different way. The Shinobi can target an enemy unit or structure to disguise themselves as a Villager of that player. In both cases, Scouts, Outposts, and Town Centers automatically reveal any hidden units that enter their Line of Sight.


See also[]

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.