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Treadmill Crane is a technology in Age of Empires II that can be researched at the University. Once researched, the construction speed for all buildings is increased by +20%. In practice, it reduces the construction time required for buildings by 16.67%, i.e. a building which would otherwise require 100 seconds to construct is constructed in 83.33 seconds with this technology researched.

Treadmill Crane helps players to establish forward bases more quickly or build structures close to enemy territory, especially Castles or Town Centers, which can otherwise take a while to complete. It is an especially important technology to have in Deathmatch (where it is researched for free if available), as it allows the player to place down their building faster in a game mode where starting resources are plentiful.

Despite not having access to Treadmill Crane, the Spanish have the fastest builders in the game due to their civilization bonus that gives them +30% working speed. However, this effect is reduced on Wonders, becoming only 20%, so that Spanish Wonders are built at the same speed as the Wonders of any civilization with access to Treadmill Crane. Another exception is fortifications and Town Centers, as the Sicilians can construct them 50% and 100% faster, respectively, thanks to their civilization bonus, which makes the fastest construction speed in the game (partly compensating the fact that they cannot research the technology).

This technology also effects farm reseeding time, decreasing it from 15 seconds to 12.5 seconds, and as a result increasing overall food gathering rate by a minuscule amount.

Availability chart[]

Treadmillcraneavailable AvailableTreadmillcraneunavailable Unavailable
means that the civilization had access to Treadmill Crane in the past, but does not currently.

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Italians AoE2 Italians: Researching Treadmill Crane is 33% cheaper.

Team bonuses[]

  • Malians AoE2 Malians: Researching Treadmill Crane is 80% faster.
  • Portuguese AoE2 Portuguese: Researching Treadmill Crane is 25% faster.


AoE2-DLCicon-0 The Age of Kings[]

  • Treadmill Crane costs 200 wood, 300 stone.
  • Britons AoE2 Britons: Cannot research Treadmill Crane.
  • Byzantines AoE2 Byzantines: Cannot research Treadmill Crane.
  • Franks AoE2 Franks: Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Goths AoE2 Goths: Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Japanese AoE2 Japanese: Cannot research Treadmill Crane.
  • Vikings AoE2 Vikings: Cannot research Treadmill Crane.
  • Teutons AoE2 Teutons: Can research Treadmill Crane.

AoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors[]

AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten[]

  • Goths AoE2 Goths: Treadmill Crane removed from their technology tree.
  • Huns AoE2 Huns: Treadmill Crane removed from their technology tree.
  • Slavs AoE2 Slavs: Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Vikings AoE2 Vikings: Treadmill Crane added to their technology tree.

AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms[]

AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas[]

  • Khmer AoE2 Khmer: Can research Treadmill Crane.
  • Malay AoE2 Malay: Cannot research Treadmill Crane.

AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West[]

AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India[]


The construction of castles, cathedrals, and other major building projects required the invention of new techniques, as well as the re-discovery of ancient technologies. A critical tool known to the ancients but lost to the Europeans of the Dark Ages was the crane. The simple crane was a long pole with block and tackle gear that was used to pull loads to a height. The treadmill crane was an improvement over the simple version. It used a large circular treadmill upon which men walked. Gears converted the horizontal circular motion into vertical turning, providing power to wind ropes around a drum and pull up heavy loads. A variation of the treadmill crane employed a capstan that men could push against, like those used on sailing ships to raise anchors.
—In-game section


  • The treadmill crane depicted in-game is also a counterweight crane. It uses the same counterweight model from the Trebuchet albeit smaller.
  • The Western European, Central European, Mediterranean, and East Asian Lumber Camps have a Treadmill Crane. The Eastern European and Native American ones also have one but without the treadmill. However, a European style treadmill crane would have been unknown to the Mesoamericans and East Asians in reality.
  • Serjeants are not affected by Treadmill Crane.
Technologies in Age of Empires II
Economic technologies
MaleVillDEFEMALEVILLDE VillagerWheelbarrowDE Wheelbarrow · HandcartDE Hand Cart
Aoe2de food FoodHorseCollarDE Horse Collar · HeavyPlowDE Heavy Plow · CropRotationDE Crop Rotation
GillnetsDE Gillnets
Aoe2de wood WoodDoubleBitAxe aoe2DE Double-Bit Axe · BowSawDE Bow Saw · TwoManSawDE Two-Man Saw
Aoe2de gold GoldGoldMiningDE Gold Mining · GoldShaftMiningDE Gold Shaft Mining
CaravanDE Caravan
Aoe2de stone StoneStoneMiningDE Stone Mining · StoneShaftMiningDE Stone Shaft Mining
Civilian shipsDryDockDE Dry Dock · ShipwrightDE Shipwright
Market aoe2DE MarketCoinageDE Coinage · BankingDE Banking
GuildsDE Guilds
Military technologies
GeneralConscriptionDE Conscription
HeresyDE Heresy · Devotion icon AoE2DE Devotion · FaithDE Faith
Melee unitsForging aoe2de Forging · IronCastingDE Iron Casting · BlastFurnaceDE Blast Furnace
CavalryBloodlinesDE Bloodlines · HusbandryDE Husbandry
ScaleBardingArmorDE Scale Barding Armor · ChainBardingDE Chain Barding Armor · PlateBardingArmorDE Plate Barding Armor
InfantrySuplliesicon Supplies · AoE2 Gambesons Gambesons · SquiresDE Squires · ArsonDE Arson
ScaleMailArmorDE Scale Mail Armor · ChainMailArmorDE Chain Mail Armor · PlateMailArmorDE Plate Mail Armor
Ranged unitsBallisticsDE Ballistics · ChemistryDE Chemistry
FletchingDE Fletching · BodkinArrowDE Bodkin Arrow · BracerDE Bracer
ArchersPaddedArcherArmorDE Padded Archer Armor · LeatherArcherArmorDE Leather Archer Armor · RingArcherArmorDE Ring Archer Armor
ThumbRingDE Thumb Ring · ParthianTacticsDE Parthian Tactics
SiegeSiegeEngineersDE Siege Engineers
ShipCareeningDE Careening · DryDockDE Dry Dock
ShipwrightDE Shipwright
WarGalleyDE War Galley
BuildingTownWatchDE Town Watch · TownPatrolDE Town Patrol
Masonry aoe2de Masonry · ArchitectureDE Architecture
HeatedShotDE Heated Shot · ArrowSlitsDE Arrowslits · MurderHolesDE Murder Holes · TreadmillCraneDE Treadmill Crane · HoardingsDE Hoardings · BombardTower aoe2DE Bombard Tower
HerbalDE Herbal Medicine
MonkRedemptionDE Redemption · AtonementDE Atonement · SanctityDE Sanctity · FervorDE Fervor · IlluminationDE Illumination · BlockPrintingDE Block Printing · TheocracyDE Theocracy
MaleVillDEFEMALEVILLDE VillagerLoomDE Loom · SapperDE Sappers
Miscellaneous technologies
SpiesDE Spies · SpiesDE Treason · UniqueTechCastle-DEUniqueTechImperialDE Unique technologies
Removed/cut generic technologies
Bombardcannonresearch Bombard Cannon · CannongalleonresearchDE Cannon Galleon · Cartography aoe2de Cartography · Handcannon Hand Cannon · Huntingdogs Hunting Dogs · Revetments · TrackingDE Tracking