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This article is about the expansion civilization. For other uses, see United States (disambiguation).
Civilization Technology tree Strategy

The “land of opportunity” provided a new world for people from many nations, creating the famous melting pot of cultures. Expanding from militia forces skilled in skirmishing tactics and marksmanship to a professional army, the United States of America ensured its independence and impressive road to prosperity.

The United States civilization's music theme in the Definitive Edition

The United States of America, simply known as the United States (U.S.), is a civilization introduced in the first expansion content to Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. Access to the United States can be purchased on Steam or the Microsoft Store, and could previously be unlocked for free through a limited-time challenge based on the present-day fifty American states.

Home City[]

Homecity US DE.png


Although it does not have the economic prowess of some of its European counterparts, the United States is a powerful civilization with heavy emphasis on combat. A major asset of the United States is that the civilization makes use of a wide variety of ranged gunpowder units (as well as the Hussar) that can inflict greater damage and even outrange other units with the proper upgrades. However, a downside of the United States' infantry is the emphasis of attack damage over health, such as the State Militia or the Sharpshooter, which can be problematic if swarmed by fast melee or artillery units.

One of the advantages of the United States is their ability to utilize Federal Cards. Rather than using the the Politician system like its European counterparts, United States players will instead pick a Federal state that grants not just resources, units or technologies, but two unique Federal cards, reflective of the particular Federal state. The cards will be added to the Home City deck, and cannot be found when building the Home City deck prior to the game. Because of the Federal Cards system, the United States has a notably smaller deck compared to other civilizations, as players can only pick up to 20 cards as opposed to the usual 25.

The United States also have access to Immigrant cards, which grant bonuses and economic units/resources reflective of the civilizations the cards "borrow" from, as well as Legion cards which ship powerful military units and make them trainable at Forts. These cards function similar to the Consulate units and bonuses gained by the Asian civilizations.

Unlike other civilizations, the United States has the General unit, a powerful and heartier Explorer that can be used to create Trading Posts and Forts, with the drawback of being denied the capability of constructing Town Centers. It has a unique ability to plant an Inspiring Flag that makes military units perform better in combat, and makes buildings construct and train units faster.

The United States cannot revolt like European civlizations, but can access something similar to it by aging with the California federal state to the Industrial Age and shipping the Bear Flag Revolt federal card. Otherwise, it will only be given the opportunity to advance to the Imperial Age.


  • Starts with 6 Settlers, 300 food, 200 wood, 100 XP.
  • Has the General as the hero unit, which can plant Inspiring Flags to augment nearby units and buildings, and build Forts instead of Town Centers.
  • Minutemen are levied at regular intervals instead of one-time.
  • Have access to Immigrant and Legion Home City Cards.
  • Choose Federal States to advance in Age and add new Home City cards to the Deck, starting with fewer cards (20) than other civilizations.
  • Some Home City Cards can be sent twice.
  • Grants the Robber Barons and Industrial Revolution Home City Cards when reaching the Industrial Age.
  • Royal Guard unit: State Militia (Volunteer)

Unique units[]

Us general aoe3de.png General: Instead of an Explorer like European civilizations, the United States has the General. The General can build Forts and plant Inspiring Flags which makes nearby military units and buildings inflict more damage and are also trained/constructed faster.
Us minuteman aoe3de.png Minuteman: United States Minutemen can be recruited from Town Centers and Outposts repeatedly over several minutes. They only lose up to half of their hitpoints, allowing the player to also use them to attack the enemy. With a certain card from the Home City, they can be upgraded into United States Marines, which are stronger.
State militia aoe3de.png State Militia: A short ranged Skirmisher unit that has more hitpoints and less attack, which is available in the Commerce Age. The State Militia gains additional hit points in greater numbers.
Regular aoe3de.png Regular: A Musketeer unit with sightly higher damage and higher range.
Sharpshooter icon aoe3.png Sharpshooter: A Skirmisher with a long-ranged attack, but low hit points. Gains extra range per upgrade.
Carbine cavalry aoe3de.png Carbine Cavalry: The Carbine Cavalry can fire multiple shots using the carbine repeater to inflict more damage, it replaces the Dragoon.
Gatlin de.png Gatling Gun: The Gatling Gun is an automatic-fire artillery, it replaces the Falconet.
Quaker gun icon.png Quaker Gun: The Quaker Gun is a decoy unit that deals no damage, but can appear as any common artillery unit.
Gunslinger aoe3de.png Gunslinger: The Gunslinger, which can be trained at the Saloon, is an upgrade to the Pistolero and has a charged ability called Quickdraw.
Cowboy aoe3de.png Cowboy: The Cowboy, which can be trained at the Saloon, is an upgrade to the Comanchero and has a charged ability called Bull’s Eye.
Owlhoot aoe3de.png Owlhoot: The Owlhoot, which can be trained at the Saloon, is an upgrade to the Renegado and has a charged ability called Buckshot.
Sloop aoe3de.png Sloop: A ship that is good at exploring and fishing which has a Broadside charged ability. It replaces the Caravel.
Steamer aoe3de.png Steamer: The Steamer is a steam-powered ship that can fish, train soldiers, and build Docks at nearby coasts. It can also gain a speed boost of 40% with an ability, Full Steam, for 8 seconds. It replaces the Galleon.
Ironclad aoe3de.png Ironclad: The Ironclad is a ship that is a powerful replacement to the Frigate and Monitor (takes both roles).

Unique buildings[]

Meeting house aoe3de icon.png Meeting House: The Meeting House is a unique Church that trains Surgeons instead of Priests. The United States can train more Surgeons than other civilizations. It also has three unique improvements.
Saloon aoe3de.png Saloon: The Saloon trains three unique Wild West units, along with three Outlaw units specific to the map.
State capitol aoe3de icon.png State Capitol: The State Capitol replaces the Capitol and is available from the Fortress Age. It can train Wagons that become Buildings and also contains unique United States upgrades along with common Capitol upgrades.

Home City cards[]

Main article: United States Home City Cards

In-game dialogue[]

American units all speak contemporary North American English, with some units having different accents and mannerism of speaking.


  • Yes?
  • Hello!
  • What is your command?
  • Orders?
  • What are my targets?
  • Yes sir
  • Yes
  • On my way
  • I'll do it
  • I'm going now
  • Right
  • Attack!
  • I'll attack!
  • To battle!
  • Fire!
  • Ho!


  • Lumberjack
  • Miner
  • Hunter
  • Carpenter
  • Builder
  • Gatherer
  • Farmer


  • Select 1 Yes?
  • Select 2 Orders?
  • Select 3 At attention.
  • Move 1 Make ready.
  • Move 2 Advance.
  • Move 3 Forward march!
  • Attack 1 Attack!
  • Attack 2 To battle!
  • Attack 3 For America!
  • Disabled I’m wounded! Fetch a medic!
  • Ransomed Thank you for paying my ransom!
  • Revived It’s going to take a lot more than that to keep me down!


  • The United States flag is the 15-star, 15-stripe Star Spangled Banner Flag. This version of the flag was adopted by the United States in 1795 to symbolize the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the union, and during the War of 1812 its presence over Fort McHenry inspired the poem that would later become the United States' national anthem.
  • The architectural style of the United States post-Exploration Age is mainly timber framing. This is historically inaccurate as this style was used predominantly in Europe. British colonies in North America, and subsequently the early United States, used Georgian architecture instead.
  • Several of the units speak using recycled or modified voice clips originally used for campaign characters and units:
    • The Minuteman's, Regular's, Revolutionary's and Spy's voice clips were first used for John Black.
    • The State Militia's, Sharpshooter's, and Culverin's voice clips were first used for Major Cooper.
    • The Hussar's voice clips were first used for George Armstrong Custer's newer voice clips provided by Jason Spisak in the Definitive Edition of Act II: Shadow.
    • The Carbine Cavalry's, Grenadier's and Petard's voice clips were first used for Miners.
  • Most American units have separate Guard and Imperial skins, whereas other civilizations share the same visual appearances across both those upgrades. The Imperial skins have a Civil War-era aesthetic.
  • The use of Washington, D.C. as the Home City is moderately anachronistic for the tenure of President Washington:
    • The city did not become the capital of the United States until 1800, three years after Washington left office and one year after his death. During his time in office, the capital of the United States was Philadelphia.
    • The Home City features the White House, which was also not completed until 1800, and was not occupied by any President until 1801, when Thomas Jefferson moved in.


The history of the United States begins millennia ago with the indigenous peoples who migrated into the North American continent and settled throughout, creating culturally and linguistically distinct societies. The majority of these were founded on hunter-gatherer subsistence, but some also practiced agriculture and engaged in activities such as metallurgy, nautical navigation, and long-distance trade. By the time that the first European explorers reached the continent, these societies had been living in harmony with their surroundings for roughly 10,000 years. In contrast, Europeans such as the Icelanders under Leifr Eiriksson who sailed to modern-day Newfoundland c. 1000 CE failed to adapt to the local climate and thus left or disappeared.

By the 15th century, Europe was undergoing a process of social and economic revolutions marked by, among other things, massive population booms and vibrant trade economies. An allure for luxury resources brought on by the taste that they had through trade partners in the Middle East spurred a desire to explore and establish settlements so as to have direct access to these resources. After Christopher Columbus stumbled upon the Caribbean islands while seeking an alternative western route to East Asia, European settlers began to flock to the so-called “New World” seeking land, wealth, and religious freedom, among other things.

While a select few instances of peaceful coexistence did transpire, their interactions with the local indigenous populations were on the whole fraught with discord and friction. European settlers often treated the natives callously and seized land by force, a theme that would continue throughout the majority of the continent’s history. Exposure to new and devastating diseases wiped out entire native populations and the shifting balance of power spelled the end of the lives of the indigenous peoples as they knew it. Some integrated with the expanding European settlements, but most were driven away from their ancestral homelands or died off, not least due to certain European settlers’ nefarious practice of using manipulative diplomacy to spark conflict between nearby tribes before capitalizing on the weakened remnants.

By the 18th century, the main European powers in North America were the British, the French, and the Spanish. The Seven Years’ War (1754-1763) resulted in the British establishing dominance over the eastern seaboard, whose disgruntled inhabitants became restless under the yoke of foreign domination, exorbitant taxes, and intrusive legal measures. In the early 1770s, this tension erupted into the American Revolution when, after some minor skirmishes, the Continental Congress convened in the city of Philadelphia and signed and then ratified the Declaration of Independence -- a document composed primarily by Thomas Jefferson -- on July 4, 1776.

Under the steadfast leadership of George Washington -- who would later be elected the nation’s first president -- and the intervention of France, whose Marquis de La Fayette was instrumental in improving the discipline of the American armed forces, the revolution succeeded and the Americans set about establishing a democratic system of government. In 1803, the nation’s territory vastly expanded when it acquired the so-called Louisiana Purchase from France, but could not immediately focus on settling it; war with Britain broke out once more in 1812 and, while largely a stalemate, lasted until 1814-1815. At this time, several former European imperial possessions in Central and South America were likewise attaining their independence, and the United States moved to assist these new states by threatening military involvement should their former rulers attempt to retake them.

Throughout the first half of the 19th century, American settlers thrust into the central and western regions of the continent, often showing blatant disregard for the native populations inhabiting those regions, who were wiped out, evicted, or forced onto reservations. Pioneering homesteads gradually evolved into forts and towns thriving on agricultural prosperity, trade, and rich natural resources. However, the nation was rife with division between its northern and southern halves. Policy in nearly all spheres of life diverged: the northern regions were more urban and industrial, while the southern regions were dominated by agriculturalism, particularly the growth of cotton, which was central to the developing textile economy in the Western Hemisphere.

The most frictious issue, however, was that of slavery. Since the initial European arrival in the Americas a few centuries prior, Europeans had capitalized on the trading of African slaves, which they brought to their settlements in the Americas and put to backbreaking labor under abhorrent conditions. Over time, the northern regions of the United States had phased out slavery and in several states it was completely abolished, but the southern states clung to it dearly; slave labor drove the cotton plantations and allowed the continued influx of wealth that enabled decadent southern magnates to live ostentatious and extravagant lifestyles. The tragic legacy of slavery still lives on in the United States to this day.

In 1861, shortly after Abraham Lincoln was elected president, the southern states announced a secession movement, formed their own government as the Confederate States of America, and opened hostilities by attacking Union (northern) military possessions. The resulting conflict lasted until 1865 and was the bloodiest in American history, claiming around 700,000 lives and destroying much of the infrastructure in the American South. Sordid battles on both land and sea showcased the dreadful power of a fully-industrialized war machine -- a grim foreshadowing of the events to come during the 20th century. The Union was victorious and the practice of slavery was forcibly abolished, but the damage was long-lasting and healed slowly. While free, African-Americans struggled to improve their livelihoods in a system where the odds remained stacked against them, an issue compounded by the rampant xenophobia directed towards foreign immigrants who entered the United States in droves during the 19th and 20th centuries.

As the reunited American nation approached the turn of the 20th century, it entered a globalized world as one of the most powerful economic entities in existence. Massive population booms, urbanization, and the advent of new technology allowed unprecedented levels of growth and the harnessing of new natural resources on a grander scale. While many other nation-states adapted slowly, the United States sprung forward into a position of great prominence and, as the 20th century wore on, grew into a dominant power on the global stage.