|This article is about the building in Age of Empires II. For the similar building in other games of the series, see Town Center.|
|“||Used to create villagers, deposit resources (food, wood, stone, gold), advance to next age, and improve buildings, villagers. Units can garrison inside for protection.||”|
|—Age of Empires II description|
The Town Center is a key economic building in Age of Empires II that becomes available for construction once the Castle Age is reached. It trains and improves Villagers, advances through Ages, and serves as a drop off point for all resources. Each Town Center also provides five population.
In regular random map games, every player starts the game with a Town Center. Until the Castle Age is reached, no more Town Centers can be built unless the only Town Center is destroyed, in which case the player may build one new Town Center. If the player has no starting Town Center (e.g. on Nomad), one Town Center can be built (and rebuild if destroyed) before the Castle Age.
Up to 15 Villagers can garrison in Town Centers for shelter from attacks. By doing so, they give the Town Center an attack (arrow fire). This way, players can survive and fend off early attacks. Archers can also garrison in Town Centers to give it an attack. Any non-mounted unit can heal its HP if garrisoned. This is especially useful before the Castle Age when there are no Monasteries and Monks.
Town Centers cannot be converted.
Tactics and placement
The Town Center is the most frequently used building in the game (it even has a unique hotkey: pressing the H key cycles between all of a player's Town Centers), and it starts as the nucleus of every player's settlement and the only way to produce Villagers that will become the backbone of every player's empire. The Town Center is also a strong defensive building and through garrisoning, it also serves as a way to protect a player from some enemy attacks. Losing Town Centers hinder the economy of the player, even in the late-game, so they are often the target of attacks.
Unlike all other buildings that can fire arrows, Town Centers can fire at units right next to them without the need to research Murder Holes.
Once the Castle Age is reached, building more Town Centers is critical. These allow the player to increase Villager production and accelerate their entire economy. With the 200 stone from the default starting resources and no expenditure of Stone up to that point, two extra Town Centers can be built before having to mine more. Town Centers should be built close to freely available resources to allow Villagers to be quickly garrisoned. Preferable locations would be near gold or stone, because these resources are scarce and Miners are often target of harassment attacks. Town Centers have a lot of building armor, but it is not impossible to destroy one with a large mass of strong units such as Knights. Town Centers benefit a lot from University technologies, especially Treadmill Crane, as well as the increased damage per arrow from the Fletching line of upgrades at the Blacksmith.
There is a game mode called Sudden Death in which the players are limited to their starting Town Center. If the player loses it they are automatically defeated, so when playing Sudden Death, players must defend their Town Center at all cost.
Town Center rush
The Town Center rush strategy was very popular in the earliest times of Age of Empires II, before The Conquerors made it nearly unviable due to balance changes. It revolves itself around deleting the own Town Center at the game start and rebuilding it close to the enemy's. That way, it could function as a tower and drastically hamper the targeted player's economy early on. To successfully employ that tactic, the Teutons were the only civilization in question, because their Town Centers got +5 range and +2 attack (changed to LOS in The Conquerors). With that bonus, the Town Center could be placed so that it could attack the enemy's Town Center without being in their range to be attacked itself. That led to many hosts adding 'No Teutons' in the lobby description, and kicking players choosing the Teutons. That was very unfortunate for those favoring the Teutons for other of their qualities. Persian players can still employ a similar tactic, as their Town Centers have double hit points, but at the risk of losing Villagers in the process. Teutons can still use this tactic, as with the HD expansions, their Town Center can garrison 25 units and have more firepower than others. Byzantines can also use this, because of their HP bonus to buildings, but in the Dark Age, the bonus is relatively small and the player has to be very careful. The Cumans can perform a double Town Center rush, since they can build an additional one in the Feudal Age, but it takes time, and also has the risk of losing Villagers in the process.
Repairing a Town Center does not cost any stone but twice the wood building a new one requires. So repairing an almost destroyed Town Center costs almost 550 wood compared to 275 wood and 100 stone for building a new one. That is very different from usual repairing cost which is simply half the building cost.
Trainable units and technologies
Clicking on the icon links to the corresponding page.
|Building strengths and weaknesses|
|Strong vs.||Short-ranged weak units (with garrison only)|
|Weak vs.||Long-ranged units, Tarkans, Huskarls, War Elephants, rams, Armored Elephants|
|Hit points|| Masonry (+10%)|
|Attack|| Fletching (+1)|
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
Chemistry ( )
Tigui (enables Town Centers to shoot arrows without garrison, Malians only)
|Range||Hill Forts (+3, Lithuanians only)|
|Accuracy||Ballistics (hit moving targets)|
|Armor|| Masonry (+1/+1, +3 building armor)|
Architecture (+1/+1, +3 building armor)
|Line of Sight|| Town Watch (+4)|
Town Patrol (+4)
Bodkin Arrow (+1)
|Construction speed||Treadmill Crane (+20%)|
|Other|| Herbal Medicine (garrisoned units heal faster)|
Crenellations (enables garrisoned infantry to shoot arrows, Teutons only)
Flemish Militia (allows creation of Flemish Militia, Burgundians only)
First Crusade (creates 7 Serjeants once at up to 5 Town Centers each, Sicilians only)
- Britons: Town Centers cost -50% wood from the Castle Age on.
- Bulgarians: Town Centers cost -50% stone. Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer cost -50% food.
- Burgundians: Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart are available in the Dark/Feudal Age, respectively, and cost -50% food.
- Burmese: Researching Herbal Medicine is 50% cheaper.
- Byzantines: Town Centers have +10%/+20%/+30%/+40% HP in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. Town Watch and Town Patrol are free. Advancing to the Imperial Age is 33% cheaper.
- Chinese: Town Center technologies (except Age advance) and technologies that benefit Town Centers are 10%/15%/20% cheaper in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. Town Centers support +5 population and have +5 Line of Sight.
- Cumans: A second Town Center is available in the Feudal Age.
- Incas: Town Centers cost 15% less stone.
- Italians: Advancing to the next Age is 15% cheaper. University technologies that benefit Town Centers are 33% cheaper.
- Malay: Advancing in Age is 66% faster.
- Malians: Town Centers cost 15% less wood.
- Persians: Town Centers have +100% HP and work 10%/15%/20% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Portuguese: Town Center technologies (except Age advance) and technologies that benefit Town Centers are researched 30% faster.
- Sicilians: Town Centers are built 100% faster.
- Spanish: Town Centers are built 30% faster. Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer cost no gold.
- Teutons: Town Centers can garrison 25 units and Herbal Medicine is free.
- Turks: Chemistry is free.
- Vietnamese: Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart cost .
- Vikings: Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart are free.
- A team containing Bulgarians: Fletching, Bodkin Arrow, and Bracer are researched faster.
- A team containing Malians: University technologies that benefit Town Centers are researched 80% faster.
- A team containing Lithuanians: Researching Herbal Medicine is 20% faster.
The Age of Kings
- Town Centers cost 275 wood.
- Persians: Town Centers work 10%/15%/20% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age.
- Teutons: Town Centers have +2 attack and +5 range.
- Town Centers cost 275 wood and 100 stone.
- Teutons: Town Centers have +2 attack and +5 Line of Sight (LOS).
- Town Centers now benefit from the Chemistry technology.
- Chinese: Town Centers have +5 LOS (moved from Teutons).
- Teutons: Town Centers can garrison 25 units instead of having +2 attack and +5 LOS.
The African Kingdoms
- Camels moved out of the ship armor class, and the Town Centers lose their attack bonus against them, only having +1 attack against them.
Rise of the Rajas
- Malay: Advancing in Age is +66% faster.
- Persians: Town Centers now work 5%/10%/15%/20% faster in the Dark/Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age. With update 36906, Dark Age workrate restored to normal.
- Portuguese: With update 42848, Town Centers technologies are researched 30% faster.
- Vietnamese: With update 35584, Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart cost no wood.
Lords of the West
Dynasties of India
- With update 61321, Town Centers can now be repaired even if the player owns exactly 0 stone.
|“||All villages and towns had an administrative center that was the seat of governmental power and leadership. During the Dark Ages this might have been the local leader's home. Later it might have been the town hall or local lord's manor house. The town center was often the place where important supplies were stored, especially food surpluses. The destruction of the town center usually meant the loss of the town's governmental infrastructure. If this could not be restored, the town or village ceased to function.||”|
- The background behind the male and female villagers in the new Town Center icon for the Definitive Edition is the famous Windows XP wallpaper photo Bliss.
- Despite being a port of The Age of Kings, Town Centers cost 275 Wood and 100 stone in the PS2 version.
|Constructable buildings in Age of Empires II|
|House · Monastery · Wonder|
|Economic||Town Center · Dock · Fish Trap · Mill · Farm · Market · Lumber Camp · Mining Camp · Feitoria · Folwark · Caravanserai|
|Research||Blacksmith · University|
|Barracks · Archery Range · Stable · Siege Workshop · Castle · Harbor · Krepost · Donjon|
|Tower||Outpost · Watch Tower · Guard Tower · Keep · Bombard Tower|
|Wall||Palisade Wall · Stone Wall · Fortified Wall · Palisade Gate · Gate|