Age of Empires Series Wiki
Civilization Technology tree Strategy
Berserk prev aoe2de.png
The Vikings are primarily an offensive civilization with strong infantry and an effective navy.


Their infantry have increased hit points which aids in pitched battles. Their unique unit is the Berserk, a powerful infantry unit with a high attack and hit point with the ability to regenerate lost hit points, slowly, over time. Berserks are good at destroying buildings and can combat other melee units effectively. Since they regenerate, they can survive prolonged combat without the need of Monks supporting them. However, even with this regeneration, Berserks are still vulnerable to ranged units and other units that possess a large attack. The Vikings also have a strong navy, having a naval unique unit, the Longboat. Longboats fire volleys of arrows and are capable of defeating almost any naval unit. In addition, their Docks are cheaper to build and their ships are cheaper to create. The Vikings also get Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart for free, boosting their mid-game economy for different strategies. One last thing to note is that the Vikings' defense is surprisingly good with Fortified Wall, Architecture, Hoardings, and Heated Shot.


The Vikings lack many important Monastery technologies like Sanctity, have limited light and heavy cavalry (they lack Hussars, Paladins, Heavy Cavalry Archers, and lots of cavalry upgrades such as Bloodlines, Husbandry, and Plate Barding Armor), have no Halberdiers (though the extra hit points for Pikemen cover this to some extent), no gunpowder units or Towers (except Cannon Galleon and Elite Cannon Galleon), no Siege Onagers, and no Fire Ships (but the Longboat can more than make up for this).

Their Berserks are not always reliable in terms of melee combat. While they can slowly regenerate their extremely high hit points, other unique units that are not weak to melee can eventually overrun them.

Despite being depicted as a naval civilization, Vikings are surprisingly vulnerable in the Feudal Age water combat because they have no access to the Fire Galley-line. This in turn puts Vikings at a disadvantage when confronting a naval army consisting mainly of Fire Galleys. Although the Demolition Raft can counter Fire Galley in theory, the Demolition Raft needs a lot of micromanagement to be used effectively, and cannot be used repeatedly. So unless they can mass their warships early by taking advantage of their cheaper cost, Vikings player ideally should not stay in the Feudal Age for too long.


Viking are one of the most, if not the most, powerful civilization on water maps. Their Dock bonus and the discount for all their warships allows for them to take control of the sea earlier than other civilizations. Vikings are perfectly capable to perform sea rushes in maps like archipelago and islands with their cheaper galleys from the Feudal Age. Despite the fact that their discount bonus was modified in "The Forgotten", they can still do this. Their longboats are perfectly capable to take down almost all kinds of ships in a unit vs unit combat, but they perform better if massed since these unique vessels can be created very quickly and each one shoots multiple arrows.

On land Viking players must focus on their infantry, and are able to perform infantry rushes from the Feudal Age. Normally a Viking player will go for an Infantry Flush (feudal rush) on maps that have no seas or water. The extra hit points for their infantry improves this tactic but other than that, it will be a standard rush. Sadly, Vikings are a lot less versatile on land than on water but if managed well they can thrive in non water maps, and should always try a rushing tactic in the early game. They get Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart for free, slightly boosting their middle game economy. While the Vikings have one of the worst cavalry in game due to lacking key important technologies (Bloodlines, Husbandry, Paladin, Hussars, and Plate Barding Armor), the Vikings can still pull off a viable (but suboptimal when compared to Huns, Berbers, and Mongols) Knight rush in the game thanks to their strong economic bonuses, meaning the Vikings can pump out Knights much sooner and in higher numbers thanks to the Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart free upgrades.

Vikings are probably at their strongest in the Castle Age once they get Berserks and longboats. Berserks can heal themselves slowly, allowing a Viking player to not create supporting monks in battle. Berserks must be paired with other infantry units at this point, and also have some range support from siege units and archers. Gathering Infantry units in rams for a siege is also a viable tactic for the Vikings. Viking infantry units are also able to become cannon fodder as they can take a lot of damage before dying.

Strategy changes in The Forgotten[]

Berserks are more useful in this expansion. Chieftains gives an attack bonus against cavalry, making them a powerful counter-unit, Berserkergang now costs 850 food and 400 gold (from 500 food and 850 gold), making this improvement cheaper than in The Conquerors. Their base hit points and their training time are also improved.

Their naval bonuses (cheaper ships and cheaper Dock) was changed too, but in this case reduced those bonuses; the cost bonus for their ships is now staggered and the team bonus for the Dock was reduced to 15%. However the cost for the Longboat was reduced to 90 wood 40 gold (from 100 wood 50 gold).

Strategy changes in The African Kingdoms[]

As there were introduced 2 new ships, Vikings get a distinctive advantage from these new introductions as they can spam the Demolition raft for a lower cost than other Civilizations since Feudal Age (they lack the Fire Galley). The cost of their longboats in the other hand is restored to their original cost but no longer requires a castle to access them.

Chieftains Technology cost was reduced significantly, additionally the bonus against cavalry has been raised from +4 to +5.

Strategy changes in Rise of the Rajas[]

Chieftains now applies to all infantry units, meaning that the Militia line also possesses some utility against cavalry. Also, Pikemen now become stronger versus cavalry as well, especially against Cataphracts.

Strategy changes in the Definitive Edition[]

Supplies was added to every civilization except the Goths. As this reduces the cost of the Militia-line infantry, it makes a Feudal Age rush with Men-at-Arms more appealing, especially for a civilization like the Vikings which has infantry with more hit points. Also, their Champions will be more easily massed in the later stages of the game.

Strategy changes in Dawn of the Dukes []

The Vikings lose access to Thumb Ring, making their Arbalesters weaker in the Imperial Age. To compensate for the nerf, the Vikings bonus hit points for their infantry is changed to +20% starting from the Feudal Ages instead of scaling proportionally by age (+10%/+15%/+20%). Combined with the increase cost of Palisade Walls and reduced melee armor of Houses, this shifts the Vikings powerspike from the Castle Age to the Feudal Age with their infantry rushes while giving Vikings a clear weakness in the Castle Age.

The Berserk also has its base attack and melee armor increased, while having its upgrade cost reduced, making Berserks a more appealing option for the Vikings.


Vikings make perfect allies on water maps. Their cheaper Dock bonus helps them and their allies control the waterways sooner than the enemy team early in the game. Their Longboats and other cheaper ships are invaluable on any water map. Their tougher infantry also is a great for keeping control on land.

Vikings should be paired with other strong navy civilizations on water maps, such as Koreans, Japanese, Persians and Saracens. From among strong naval civilizations, the Malay are probably the best pick as allies for the Vikings; the far-sighted Docks can be used to build up vigilant, fast-response garrison fleets, and in return, Malay players can build up their own coastal defense network for a bargain price. The Japanese team bonus (+2 line of sight for Galleys) also helps the Viking early game water rush and scouting. The Berbers may not seem as an obvious option for an alliance, as Viking Genitours will not be any special, but as they have a good navy they can also benefit from the Viking team Bonus, while at the same time enabling their Viking ally to faster spam their Berserks, Trebuchets, and Petards through the implementation of the Kasbah technology, plus their own Genitours to support infantry. The Malians do not have any direct bonus to their navy (and has a pretty lacking late-game navy), but they do have overall cheaper buildings, as they have a wood discount on them, so when allied with Vikings, the Malian Docks cost drops even more (15% + 15% for a total 30% discount). Also, Vikings have almost all University upgrades (only lacking Keep and Bombard Tower), and the Malian team bonus boost their research speed, so a Malian-Viking alliance works pretty well, especially in water maps. In exchange for bargain-price Docks, Sicilian allies provide their Viking teammates a free Transport Ship once the first Viking Dock is built, and this particular synergy may allow for early landings for both teammates.

Portuguese allies are also fantastic teammates for the Vikings: they grant free Cartography upgrade for their Viking allies in order to conduct effective early joint-rushes, either on land or water maps, solid economy powered by their Feitorias, in exchange for bargain price Docks to produce extra warships with the Carrack upgrade, especially Caravels with piercing attack. Alternatively, not only grant extra population capacity to already cheaper Viking Docks, Dravidian allies can also screen Viking Longboats with their more heavy-duty Thirisadais, and their team bonus lets Docks support +5 population, enabling more wood savings.

Being a civilization with bad cavalry and lacking gunpowder, giving the Vikings a gunpowder civilization (such as Spanish) or a cavalry/elephant civilization (such as Franks for the former and Burmese for the latter) as allies may aid them, especially in the late-game. Vikings also benefit greatly from infantry-focused team bonuses. In that regard, Goths are a perfect teammate, as they provide +20% faster Barracks. Italian Condottieri have more hit points for the Viking player. They can take care of enemy gunpowder units, which are dangerous to Viking infantry and ships. The strong Italian navy and archers make a good synergy with the Viking army.

A Vietnamese ally grants the Vikings extra bag of tricks: gold subsidy from Paper Money provides them decent bankroll for extra Berserks and longboats; Imperial Skirmisher upgrade gifts them another wise choice against enemy archers and cavalry archers alike, as well as they can address the locations of the opponents for early aggression.

Compared advantages and disadvantages[]

Advantages vs other civilizations[]

  • The Berserk being an infantry with good hit points, reasonably good movement speed and regenerating ability, is able to handle most other infantry units (with several exceptions; see in disadvantages) like Goth Huskarls, Celtic Woad Raiders, Incan Kamayuks, Italian Condottieri, Malay Karambit Warriors (in 1 vs 1 unit basis), Ethiopian Shotel Warriors, Eagle Warriors, Champions (except the Champions of certain civilizations; see in disadvantages), and Halberdiers. As they have similar cost to the champion (only costing 5 more food and gold), but with better statistics, they can fill the role of the Trash Buster at late game, so they can punish civilizations like Magyars, Vietnamese, Malay, Byzantines, and Berbers when they make use of their trash lines. They also get bonus damage against cavalry, thanks to Chieftains, so they may be a good response against camels and cavalry if deployed in larger numbers than them, so cavalry-based civilizations like Burmese, Franks, Huns, Magyars, Mongols, and Berbers may have a hard time against a Berserk horde. They also have bonus damage against buildings, so civilizations with mediocre defense (such as Goths, Magyars, Mongols, and Huns) will have a harder time against an army of Berserks. Massed Berserks are also able to defeat both versions of the Bulgarian Konnik, as the mounted version is vulnerable due to Chieftains.
  • The Longboat, being a ship that fires multiple arrows while also moving fast and being created quite fast, are a good counter to Galleons, Cannon Galleons, Portuguese Caravels and non-siege units near the shore or in a shallow, especially in large numbers. So even civilizations with good navy, such as Saracens, Berbers, Malay and Persians, will have trouble against massed Viking Longboats. Their speed and range enables them to hit-and-run Korean Turtle Ships.
  • Being a civilization with good infantry and good early and mid game, able to perform a good infantry rush (as their infantry are bulkier), they can defeat civilizations that otherwise fare well in open maps like Arabia. Civilizations like Portuguese, Turks and Khmer will struggle against a Feudal Age Viking raid. As Chieftains grants all Viking infantry a +5 damage bonus against cavalry and +4 bonus damage to camels, they can give a hard time to cavalry-based civilizations such as Franks, Persians, Huns, Malians, Berbers, Burmese, Magyars, and all the four new civilizations in the Definitive Edition, despite the fact they lack the Halberdier upgrade.
  • Aside from the Longboat and regarding the naval warfare they are in advantage against civilizations that have poor early-game navy as their Docks, Galleys and Demolition Ships are cheaper and can effectively raid enemy fishing ships since the Feudal Age. Even the navy of civilizations like Malays, Koreans and Vikings may have trouble against an early Viking galley raid, as their counters to that only comes until Castle Age for most of these civilizations.
  • Regarding their archery, as they have complete foot archer upgrades, they have an advantage against other infantry civilizations, as their infantry can shield their archers that should attack from behind them.
  • Late-game, despite the fact they lack the Halberdier upgrade, their buffed and bulkier Pikemen with Chieftains suffice in trash wars effectively, while also having an Elite Skirmisher with all upgrades except Thumb Ring and having two good trash buster units (the Champion and the Berserk).

Disadvantages vs other civilizations[]

  • While the Berserk is a good counter for most other infantry, there are several infantry units that can overturn them. Aztec Jaguar Warriors and Japanese Samurai deal bonus damage against them, while Teutonic Knights have enough melee armor and attack to crush them. Also, the Champions of certain infantry civilizations are either tied or can defeat Viking Berserks. These include Burmese and Aztec Champions (as they get more attack, the former for their bonus and the latter for Garland Wars) and Japanese Champions (as they attack much faster than the Berserk). As infantry, they share the same weaknesses of regular Champions, so civilizations with good gunpowder (such as Turks and Portuguese) can counter them with Hand Cannoneers, while Byzantine Cataphracts, Mayan Plumed Archers, and Incan Slingers are also a threat to them. While they get +5 bonus damage against cavalry and +4 against camels from Chieftains, it is preferable to not engage against heavy cavalry with the Berserks in equal numbers, so civilizations with good Paladins, Battle Elephants or good heavy cavalry unique units (like Persians, Franks, Khmer, Burmese, Slavs and Malians) may stand a chance against them. Fast-moving ranged units (such as the Malian Gbeto, Saracen Mamelukes, and of course most Cavalry Archers, except the Indian Elephant Archer) can also hit-and-run them. Masses of Scorpions are also a threat, so Celts, Khmer and Chinese also have an answer to them.
  • Despite the fact that their Longboats are highly threatening, especially in large numbers, on the water they are regular regarding their HP, so if left unmicroed, Korean Turtle Ships can easily destroy them. Fire Ships are also a threat, so civilizations with good fire ships (like Byzantines) may overturn them, especially if they mass them. Towers, Castles, and Harbors can also counter an incoming Longboat raid on the shore, so civilizations with good coastal defenses (such as Koreans, Malay, Byzantines and Japanese) can counter them effectively. Despite the fact that they are overall good against Galleons, there is an exception to this rule, as the Saracen Galleons fires faster and can take down Longboats in equal numbers, also the Spanish Cannon Galleon has more accuracy and fast projectiles meaning that they are able to take down some of them.
  • Being highly reliant on infantry in land maps. civilizations with gunpowder and particularly civilizations with Hand Cannoneers (including Spanish, Portuguese and Turks) can be very unpleasant to Vikings. This is especially noticeable in closed maps like Black forest, as those opponents manage to wall up and survive until Imperial Age, when they get their gunpowder.
  • Aside of the previous analysis in the drawbacks Berserks have, Viking regular Barracks infantry is still vulnerable to contingents of Aztec Jaguar Warriors, Mayan Plumed Archers, Incan Slingers and Byzantine Cataphracts, all four of which have attack bonuses against infantry. Also, as their infantry rely on tankiness instead of better attack, cheapness, or numeric superiority, other infantry civilizations (like Japanese, Burmese, Malay, Aztecs and Goths) may overturn the Viking infantry.
  • Despite the fact that their Arbalesters and Elite skirmishers only lack Thumb Ring, they do not have any archer-specific bonuses, so their archery line can be easily overturned by civilizations with either better archers, good Skirmishers, good Onagers, or a specific anti-archer unit. These include Mayans, Britons, Goths (with their Huskarls), Vietnamese and Ethiopians (this for good Onagers and better archers), and Celts (for their Onagers).
  • Civilizations with good cavalry archers may be problematic for the Vikings, as they can also mow down Viking infantry overall by hit-and-running them. These include Mongols, Huns, Cumans, Tatars, and Magyars.
  • Their cavalry is very weak, as they lack key cavalry upgrades, such as Bloodlines, Husbandry, the Hussar and the Paladin upgrades, and the last armor upgrade for Cavalry, so any cavalry-focused civilization and civilizations with good Halberdiers or other anti-cavalry units can basically eat the Viking Cavalry.
  • Despite their cheaper Galleys, Demolition Ships, and Docks, the Vikings may be at disadvantage in mid and late game at naval encounters, as several other civilizations have bonuses that further improve their navy stat-wise, like the Portuguese, Malay (with their coastal defenses), Byzantines, Spanish and Berbers. Vikings completely lack Fire Ships, limiting their responses against enemy navies. They also lack Shipwright; while technically having Shipwright grants the same amount of discount to ships as the Viking bonus, it is better for late-game, as this technology also improves the creation times of those ships.
  • While the Vikings are incredibly strong in the early game, their late game army composition in the Imperial Age is very limited on land maps. As such, civilizations with well-rounded and diverse tech trees (such as the Chinese, Byzantines, and Malians) have a significant advantage over the Vikings in the late game.
  • Vikings have one of the weakest Monks and worst cavalry, while also no Bombard Cannon, meaning they cannot counter enemy's Bombard Cannon with ease. Combined with the lack of Halberdiers, even with the great buff for the Pikemen will still make the Vikings struggle against Elephant units.

Situational advantages[]

  • If starting from Feudal Age or Castle Age in Nomad maps, the free Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart gives them a nice advantage, as their Villagers will move faster, enabling the player to reunite them faster at the selected location for their first Town center, while also giving them an early edge on exploring this map. In any other map if starting from Feudal or Castle Age their free Wheel barrow and Hand Cart will still grant an early economic advantage.
  • In Fortress map, where players start with pre-deployed walls and towers and a Barracks, they may get an early offensive advantage since, they can start to deploy their infantry at the beginning of the game.
  • While the Vikings are mostly designed for Water maps such as Water Nomad or Islands, they can also do exceptionally well on land maps (especially on open maps like Arabia) thanks to their strong economic bonuses of Wheelbarrow and Hand Cart, encouraging the Vikings to do an early game rush. This makes the Vikings viable in 1v1 matches in both land and water maps.