The Trade Route is a predetermined path across a map in Age of Empires III to which a gaia-controlled (and completely non-interactable) Travois or Rickshaw (in Asian maps) is traveling. Control over the bulk of the route can mean the difference between victory or defeat.

Overview Edit


A Trading Post, next to a Trade Route

To secure the route, Trading Posts must be built on the trading stops along it, and walls can not be built over them. While the train does not count as a true unit in terms of interaction or collision with other units, or for line of sight improvements, it will cause gates to open and close if built close enough. This occurs regardless of who owns the entire route, or the gates themselves.

Controlling most of the Trading Posts on the map (both on the Trade Route and other Trading Post sites at Minor civilization settlements) enables the Trade monopoly countdown to achieve victory without fully destroying the enemy.

Rates and improvements Edit


A fully upgraded Trade Route

The length of the Trade Route determines the total resources acquired per pass, and is randomly generated; however, larger maps are guaranteed to have longer routes, while some medium-sized maps have a large number of individual trading posts (e.g. Araucania). The following lists the average rates; results may vary in some situations. Resources are not delivered per second, but in lump sums equivalent to a trickle of that amount over the time taken to travel the route.

Resources will be wasted if player and ally (or enemy) upgrade the Trade Route from their own Trading Posts at the same time.

AI players will not research the trade route improvement technologies.

Note: Upgrading the Trade Route will increase the gather rate for ALL players using that Trade Route, not just the player or their allies.
Method Rate
Travois 1.2 experience per second
Stagecoach/Trade Cart 2.0 resources per second
Train 2.4 resources per second
Age Improvement Cost Effect
Ages colonial
Stagecoach icon
Trade cart icon Stagecoach/Trade Cart
200 food,
200 wood
Upgrades the Trade Route where the Trading Post is built to use a stagecoach (trade cart in The Asian Dynasties maps) which can deliver resources, moves faster and has greater LOS
Ages industrial
Iron Horse Iron Horse 300 wood,
400 coin
Upgrades the Trade Route where the Trading Post is built to use a train which moves faster and has greater LOS; requires Stagecoach/Trade Cart
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