Age of Empires Series Wiki
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This article is about the economic feature. For the scenario in Age of Empires, see Trade (scenario).

Trade is a means to generate gold in Age of Empires, Age of Empires II, Age of Mythology, and Age of Empires IV.



A Market infobox in Age of Empires II, indicating the gold generated per trip

In order to trade and generate gold, caravan/trade-type units must traverse between two Docks, two Markets, or a Market and a Town Center. The greater the distance between the two structures, the greater the amount of gold provided.

Due to its importance, especially in later stages of the game where other gold sources are used up, trade routes are a primary target for attacks. Therefore, it is recommended to guard them against attacks.

Age of Empires[]

In Age of Empires, trade is only possible between Docks, with Trade Boats or Merchant Ships. Note that, unlike in later games, trade costs resources, and Docks take 20 seconds to resupply traded resources.

In the Age of Empires mode of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Return of Rome, the resource cost for trading and resupply time are removed, and land trade is added via the addition of Trade Carts.

Age of Empires II[]


A busy trade route

In Age of Empires II, trade is possible between Markets with Trade Carts, or between Docks with a Trade Cogs. Players can also trade with enemies' or neutral players' structures, but they risk sacrificing their trade units to an attack, thus emulating the real life practice of smuggling. Note that unfriendly structures can still be used for trading even if the owner of said structure has resigned. Therefore, in games without teams or with no teammates left, it is wise to not raze Markets or Docks of resigned players.


Age of Mythology[]

Trade aom 1

An Atlantean trade route


An Egyptian trade route

In Age of Mythology, trade is conducted between a Market and a Town Center, with Caravans.

In beta versions of the game, naval trade could be conducted through the use of utility ships (which were merged Fishing and Transport Ships) and the Fishing Dock (original Dock that trained economic ships) and Naval Shipyards (military Dock).

Age of Empires III[]

Main article: Trade Route

In Age of Empires III, the concept of trading has changed dramatically. The game adopts Trade Routes which are very different from the trade known in former games of the series.

Age of Empires IV[]

Main article: Trade (Age of Empires IV)
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.