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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires II. For the unit in Age of Empires, see Trade Cart (Age of Empires).

Trade unit used for generating gold at another player's Market.
Age of Empires II description

The Trade Cart is an economic unit in Age of Empires II that can be trained at the Market.

Since update 56005, the icon and sprite of the unit is dependent on the civilization. Originally, only the American civilizations had a unique sprite (but not icon). The acronymns in the infobox represent the following civilizations:

  • EU (European) - European civilizations and Cumans; also used by all civilizations prior to update 56005
  • NA (Native American) - Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans
  • African - Ethiopians and Malians
  • EA (East Asian) - Mongols, Chinese, Burmese, Vietnamese, Khmer, Malay, Bengalis, Dravidians
  • ME (Middle Eastern) - Hindustanis, Gurjaras, Tatars, Turks, Persians, Saracens, Berbers


Tradecart anim aoe2

Trade Carts are used to trade and generate gold by traveling between two Markets. Trade Carts do not actually engage in the exchanging of resources between two civilizations. Empty Trade Carts travel to another player's Market empty-handed and return with gold. They receive their gold from the Markets of other players/allies, and deposit them at the Markets of their owners. The amount of gold gained depends on the distance from one Market to another. The farther away the Market is, the more gold the Trade Carts generate, the amount is almost quadratically proportional to the distance.

Trade Carts may engage in trade with allied, neutral, and enemy civilizations. However, trading with enemy civilizations is ill-advised unless the enemy has resigned, since the Trade Carts are likely to be slaughtered upon reaching the enemy Market.

In order to generate at least one gold, the two Markets used for trade need to be at least 5 tiles away. However, trade does work in fractional gold too, so even if the UI does not show gold, given some time, gold can be seen accumulating. The maximum amount gained per trip is 517 gold, if both Markets are placed in the very edges of a ludicrous (formerly called LudiKRIS) sized map.

Trade is an extremely important element in late games due to the limited amount of gold available from mines and Relics on most maps. Therefore, trade routes are a primary target for attacks and should be guarded accordingly.

Comparison to the Trade Cog[]

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Trade is also possible on the water between Docks with Trade Cogs. The Trade Cog is faster (1.32 to 1) and benefits from Careening, Shipwright, and Dry Dock (which, prior to the Definitive Edition, did not improve the gold gathering rate, as Trade Cogs got less gold per trip to compensate for the speed increase. This is no longer true in the Definitive Edition and there is an increase in overall gold gathering rate with Dry Dock). However, Docks at the same distance generate about -25% gold than Markets, so that the gold gathering rate for a single Trade Cart is comparable to that of a single Trade Cog. However, as Trade Cogs are more prone to bump into each other and usually move along the shoreline, they quickly become less efficient than Trade Carts when more of them share a trade route. Because of this, Trade Carts are almost always preferable if a landmass of sufficient length exists.

In The African Kingdoms, the amount of gold earned per trip has been increased to offset this, making Trade Cogs more viable. It depends on the map and available water and land trade lines whether they should be preferred to Trade Carts. They are more efficient if single units are considered, but are also more affected by a congested trade route. The fact that they will always return to a particular Dock (closest to 100 tiles distance) means that additional Docks placed for warship production can disrupt a trade route, while there is no such reason to place extra Markets. Also, the Trade Cart is usually safer, as its routes can be accordingly protected by defensive structures or even the player's bases, while the water is more open, making the routes vulnerable to enemy warships.

Further statistics[]

Conversion resistance Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion (+1 min, +1 max)
FaithDE Faith (+4 min, +4 max)
HeresyDE Heresy (die upon getting converted)
UniqueTechCastle-DE First Crusade (+4 min, +4 max, Sicilians only)
Movement speed CaravanDE Caravan (+50%)
Resource cost UniqueTechImperialDE Silk Road (-50%, Italians only)
Ability UniqueTechCastle-DE Grand Trunk Road (generate +10% gold, Hindustanis only)
Aura enhancements
Regeneration Ao2de caravanserai icon Caravanserai (+1 HP/min, when allied with Hindustanis or Persians only)
Movement speed Ao2de caravanserai icon Caravanserai (+20%, when allied with Hindustanis or Persians only)
Civilization bonuses
Damage resistance Georgians AoE2 Georgians (-20% damage {-40% instead of -25%} when on higher elevation)
Resource cost Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese (-20% gold)
Team bonuses
Conversion resistance Teutons AoE2 Teutons (+3 min, +1 max)
Creation speed Bohemians AoE2 Bohemians (+80%)
Ability Bengalis AoE2 Bengalis (yield 10% food in addition to gold)
Spanish AoE2 Spanish (generate +25% gold)

Civilization bonuses[]

Team bonuses[]


AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]


There is one hero in the game with the appearance of a European Trade Cart:


The trade cart represents the wagon, pack horses, and other means of land transport used for the overland trade of goods during the Middle Ages. One important land trade route was the movement of wool from England across the Channel into France. The wool was manufactured into cloth and this cloth was carried into Italy to exchange for spices and silk from the East. The most famous land trade route of the age was the Silk Road, from China to Constantinople and the Levant. Camel and horse trains carried silks across forbidding desert terrain in exchange for Western gold and silver.
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings manual


  • The The Age of Kings booklet uses the alpha Trade Cart icon.
  • The Trade Cart is one of only four trainable land units to have more than one design, the others being the Monk, the Villager, and the Flemish Militia. Prior to update 56005, only the Native American civilizations had a unique design, since they have no access to horses of any kind, their variant is not drawn by a horse. Prior to the Definitive Edition, unlike the Native American Monk, the Native American Trade Cart did not have a unique icon. Since update 56005, new appearances of Trade Carts have been added for different architecture sets, as described in the Gallery below.
    • However, Native American civilizations did not use the wheel for anything larger than small toys, so their version of the Trade Cart (a wheeled cart pulled by a human) is still historically inaccurate. Furthermore, the cart design is the same used by the European unit, unlike the new unique cart designs given to other non-European civilizations.
  • The Trade Carts of the East Asian civilizations are drawn by African Water Buffaloes, which have never been domesticated.
  • The Cumans and Tatars, although sharing the same architecture set, have a different Trade Cart skin. The Cumans have the European horse-pulled one, while The Tatars have the one pulled by a camel.
  • The South Asian civilizations have a similar quirk: Gurjaras and Hindustanis have the camel cart, while Dravidians and Bengalis have the water buffalo cart.
  • The various models of the Trade Carts have appropriate selection sounds, i.e. the sound of the horse, camel, buffalo, or donkey. The Native American Trade Cart has the male Villager voice, and if converted, it changes to the new civilization's voice.
  • Since update 81058, idle Trade Carts receive a floating exclamation mark on top when Idle Pointers is enabled in the Game tab in the settings.


See also[]

  • Trade Cart in Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties
Units in Age of Empires II
CivilianMaleVillDE Villager · Tradecart aoe2DE Trade Cart · FishingShipDE Fishing Ship · Trade cog aoe2DE Trade Cog · King eu aoe2DE King
ReligiousMonk aoe2DE Monk
InfantryMilitiaDE Militia · Manatarms aoe2DE Man-at-Arms · Longswordsman aoe2DE Long Swordsman · Twohanded aoe2DE Two-Handed Swordsman · Champion aoe2DE Champion
Spearman aoe2DE Spearman · Aoe2-infantry-2-pikeman Pikeman · Halberdier aoe2DE Halberdier
Eaglescout aoe2DE Eagle Scout · Eaglewarrior aoe2DE Eagle Warrior · EliteEaglewarrior aoe2DE Elite Eagle Warrior
ArcherArcher aoe2DE Archer · Crossbowman aoe2DE Crossbowman · Arbalester aoe2DE Arbalester
Skirmisher aoe2DE Skirmisher · Elite skirmisher aoe2DE Elite Skirmisher
Hand cannoneer aoe2DE Hand Cannoneer
Cavalryarcher aoe2DE Cavalry Archer · Heavycavalryarcher aoe2de Heavy Cavalry Archer
Aoe2de DOI elephant archer icon Elephant Archer · ElephantArcherIcon-DE Elite Elephant Archer
CavalryScoutcavalry aoe2DE Scout Cavalry · Lightcavalry aoe2DE Light Cavalry · Hussar aoe2DE Hussar
Knight aoe2DE Knight · Cavalier aoe2DE Cavalier · Paladin aoe2DE Paladin
Camelrider aoe2DE Camel Rider · Aoe2 heavycamelriderDE Heavy Camel Rider
Battle elephant aoe2DE Battle Elephant · Elite battle elephant aoe2DE Elite Battle Elephant
Steppelancericon Steppe Lancer · Elitesteppelancericon Elite Steppe Lancer
Xolotlicon Xolotl Warrior
AoE2DE Armored Elephant icon Armored Elephant · AoE2DE Siege Elephant icon Siege Elephant
SiegeBattering ram aoe2DE Battering Ram · Capped ram aoe2DE Capped Ram · Siege ram aoe2DE Siege Ram
Mangonel aoe2DE Mangonel · Onager aoe2DE Onager · Siege onager aoe2DE Siege Onager
Scorpion aoe2DE Scorpion · Heavyscorpion aoe2DE Heavy Scorpion
Bombard cannon aoe2DE Bombard Cannon
Trebuchet aoe2DE Trebuchet
Petard aoe2DE Petard
Siegetower aoe2DE Siege Tower
War shipTransportship aoe2DE Transport Ship
Galley aoe2DE Galley · War galley aoe2DE War Galley · Galleon aoe2DE Galleon
Fire galley aoe2DE Fire Galley · Fireship aoe2DE Fire Ship · Fastfireship aoe2DE Fast Fire Ship
Demoraft aoe2DE Demolition Raft · Demoship aoe2DE Demolition Ship · Heavydemoship aoe2de Heavy Demolition Ship
Cannon galleon aoe2DE Cannon Galleon · Elite cannon galleon aoe2de Elite Cannon Galleon
AoE2 Dromon Dromon
ReligiousMissionaryIcon-DE Missionary · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest
InfantryBerserkIcon-DE Berserk · Aoe2de Chakram Chakram Thrower · CondottieroIcon-DE Condottiero · Aoe2-icon-flemish-militia Flemish Militia · GbetoIcon-DE Gbeto · Aoe2de Ghulam Ghulam · HuskarlIcon-DE Huskarl · JaguarWarriorIcon-DE Jaguar Warrior · KamayukIcon-DE Kamayuk · Karambitwarrioricon-DE Karambit Warrior · AoE2 DE Legionary new icon Legionary · Aoe2-icon--obuch Obuch · SamuraiIcon-DE Samurai · Aoe2-icon-serjeant Serjeant · Shotelwarrioricon-DE Shotel Warrior · TeutonicKnightIcon-DE Teutonic Knight · ThrowingAxemanIcon-DE Throwing Axeman · Aoe2de Urumi Urumi Swordsman · AoE2 WarriorPriest Warrior Priest · WoadRaiderIcon-DE Woad Raider
ArcherArambaiicon-DE Arambai · CamelArcherIcon-DE Camel Archer · ChukoNuIcon-DE Chu Ko Nu · AoE2 CompositeBowman Composite Bowman · ConquistadorIcon-DE Conquistador · GenitourIcon-DE Genitour · GenoeseCrossbowmanIcon-DE Genoese Crossbowman · Imperialskirmishericon-DE Imperial Skirmisher · JanissaryIcon-DE Janissary · Kipchakicon Kipchak · LongbowmanIcon-DE Longbowman · MangudaiIcon-DE Mangudai · PlumedArcherIcon-DE Plumed Archer · Aoe2de ratha ranged Ranged Ratha · Rattanarchericon-DE Rattan Archer · SlingerIcon-DE Slinger · WarWagonIcon-DE War Wagon
CavalryBallistaelephanticon-DE Ballista Elephant · BoyarIcon-DE Boyar · Aoe2de camel scout Camel Scout · CataphractIcon-DE Cataphract · Aoe2de roman unique centurion icon Centurion · Aoe2-icon-coustillier Coustillier · Flaming camel icon Flaming Camel · ImperialCamelRiderIcon-DE Imperial Camel Rider · Keshikicon Keshik · Konnikicon Konnik · Leitisicon Leitis · MagyarHuszarIcon-DE Magyar Huszar · MamelukeIcon-DE Mameluke · AoE2 Monaspa Monaspa · Aoe2de ratha melee Melee Ratha · AoE2 Savar Savar · Aoe2de shrivamsha rider Shrivamsha Rider · TarkanIcon-DE Tarkan · WarElephantIcon-DE War Elephant · Aoe2-icon-winged-hussar Winged Hussar
SiegeAoe2-icon--houfnice Houfnice · Aoe2-icon-hussite-wagon Hussite Wagon · OrganGunIcon-DE Organ Gun
War shipCaravelIcon-DE Caravel · LongboatIcon-DE Longboat · Aoe2de Thirisadai Thirisadai · TurtleShipIcon-DE Turtle Ship