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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires. For villager units in other games of the series, see Villager.

Engages in combat or has not been assigned a task.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The Villager is an economic unit in Age of Empires that can be trained at the Town Center. Villagers are the backbone of every civilization, being able to gather every resource, and the only unit capable of building construction and repairing damaged ships and buildings.

As indispensable as Villagers are, their fighting skills are negligible. A pair of Villagers can defeat a lone Clubman, and a trio can eliminate an un-upgraded Scout without taking casualties, but they are easy prey for most units, and should be protected behind a screen of walls and military. In Return of Rome, they can be garrisoned within a Town Center or tower for temporary protection, but in earlier versions of the game, they are near-helpless against enemy combatants.

They are even somewhat vulnerable to animals: Lions and Crocodiles cause heavy damage to Villagers which stray too close. Villagers use thrown spears against animals instead of their usual melee weapons; groups of Villagers can turn the tables on predators for a minor source of food. Elephants charge Villagers when attacked, and will easily kill a lone Villager if allowed to get close, but their aggression can be turned against them to lure them close to a Town Center or Storage Pit for faster food gathering when a group of Villagers finally brings them down.

Villagers' meager combat abilities can be mildly improved through research. Siegecraft gives them a +10 damage bonus (buildings resist 80% of all damage, so the damage actually inflicted is +2) against walls and towers, and Zealotry provides more general upgrades at the cost of resource carrying capacity, but sending Villagers into combat is typically a last resort.


Villagers can be assigned with different tasks which also changes their name to the corresponding job they are doing.

Title Task
Villager Attacks enemies; also the default term.
Builder Builds buildings.
Farmer Gathers food from Farms.
Fisherman Gathers food from fish near the shore.
Forager Gathers food from Berry Bushes.
Woodcutter Gathers wood from trees.
Miner Gathers gold and stone from their corresponding mines.
Shepherd (since Return of Rome) Gathers food from herdable animals.
Hunter Gathers food from huntable animals.
Repairer Repairs buildings and boats.

Gathered resources can be deposited in these buildings:

  • Returnofrome greek town center icon Town Center: All resource types.
  • AOEDE Granary icon Granary: Food from Berry Bushes and Farms.
  • Storage Pit icon Storage Pit: Wood, stone, gold, and food from hunting or fishing (also herding in Return of Rome, although Shepherds direct livestock to the Granary instead).
  • AOEDE Dock icon Dock: Since Return of Rome, Villagers can deposit food from fishing (previously, only ships could use the Dock to deposit resources).

Villagers lose any carried resources when they switch to gathering a different resource type. In the original game, this happens the instant that the order is given. From the Definitive Edition onwards, Villagers can switch between different sources of food without losing what they're carrying. In Return of Rome, the resources are only lost when the Villager begins gathering the different resource type, not when the order is given.

When attacked, Hunters and Villagers have an increased attack strength if Zealotry is researched. But as a consequence, their gathering capacity is decreased by 8 (6 for male Foragers, Farmers, and Hunters).

Gathering rates[]

Villagers gather resources from different sources at a different speed. The table below shows all gathering rates.

Villager type Resource Gathering rate (resources/second) Upgradable to
Forager Food 0.45
0.5175 with Lac Viet bonus
0.5625 with Palmyran bonus
Hunter Food 0.4725
0.59062 with Palmyran bonus
0.61425 with Persian bonus
Fisherman Food 0.6
0.75 with Palmyran bonus
Farmer Food 0.45
0.495 with Minoan bonus
0.5625 with Palmyran bonus
Woodcutter Wood 0.55
0.6875 with Palmyran bonus
0.6325 with Phoenician bonus
0.99 with Palmyran bonus
1.09296 with Phoenician bonus
Stone Miner Stone 0.5175
0.621 with Babylonian bonus
0.646875 with Palmyran bonus
1.04949 with Babylonian bonus
1.09322 with Palmyran bonus
Gold Miner Gold 0.5175
0.621 with Egyptian bonus
0.646875 with Palmyran bonus
1.00912 with Egyptian bonus
1.05117 with Palmyran bonus


Villagers can construct the following buildings:


Carry capacity Jihad Zealotry (-8; -6 for male Foragers, Farmers, and Hunters only)
Hit points Jihad Zealotry (+40)
Attack Siegecraft Siegecraft (+10 vs. Defensive structures)
Jihad Zealotry (+7)
Speed Tool Age Icon (DE) Tool Age (+10%)
Wheelicon Wheel (+0.55)
Jihad Zealotry (+0.11)
Other Architecture aoe Architecture (+50% construction speed)
Work rate Woodworking Woodworking (+20%, bonus is multiplied)
Artisanship Artisanship (+20%, bonus is multiplied)
Craftsmanship Craftsmanship (+20%, bonus is multiplied)
Carry capacity Woodworking Woodworking (+2)
Artisanship Artisanship (+2)
Craftsmanship Craftsmanship (+2)
Work rate Gold Mining Gold Mining (+30%, bonus is multiplied)
Coinage Coinage (+25%, bonus is multiplied)
Carry capacity Gold Mining Gold Mining (+3)
Coinage Coinage (+3)
Work rate Stone Mining Stone Mining (+30%, bonus is multiplied)
Siegecraft Siegecraft (+30%, bonus is multiplied)
Carry capacity Stone Mining Stone Mining (+3)
Siegecraft Siegecraft (+3)

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Assyrians AoE Assyrians: Villagers have +10% speed.
  • Babylonians AoE Babylonians: Stone miners have +20% work rate and carry +2 stone.
  • Egyptians AoE Egyptians: Gold miners have +20% work rate and carry +2 gold.
  • Greeks AoE Greeks: Villagers are created 10% faster from the Tool Age onward.
  • Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet: Foragers work 15% faster.
  • Macedonians AoE Macedonians: Villagers have +2 Line of Sight and are four times more resistant to conversion.
  • Minoans AoE Minoans: Farmers have +10% work rate.
  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans: Villagers cost +50% (75 food), have +1/+1 armor and +25% work rate.
  • Persians AoE Persians: Hunters have +30% work rate and carry +3 food.
  • Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians: Woodcutters have +15% work rate and carry +2 wood.
  • Shang AoE Shang: Villagers cost -20% (40 food).
  • Sumerians AoE Sumerians: Villagers have +15 hit points.

Team bonuses[]


ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

  • Villagers have 1.1 base speed and Wheel increases their speed by +0.7 (64%).
  • Hunter projectiles have 6 speed.
  • Villagers lose all carried resources when ordered to work a different resource type, including different sources of food.
  • Jihad: In addition to other effects, increases speed by 0.3 (+27%).

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

  • Hunters work 5% faster than before (previously they were as slow as Foragers), and have 100% accuracy.
  • Villagers retain carried food when ordered to work a different food type.
  • Gold and stone miners work 15% faster (to compensate bug fixes to technologies).
  • Zealotry (formerly named Jihad): Villager carry capacity penalty more consistent for different villager types; Villager speed bonus to +0.11 (+10%).
  • Siegecraft: Villager bonus attack vs walls and towers slightly reduced.
  • Wheel researched slower (+15 seconds); Villager speed bonus +0.55 (+50%).
  • Assyrian and Yamato Villagers now move 10% faster (down from 18%).
  • Palmyran Villagers work 25% faster for all tasks (previously 20% for some tasks, 0% for others).
  • With update 38862, Villagers move 10% faster in the Tool Age. The Wheel technology now grants a +50% speed boost (instead of +64%) to maintain the same maximum speed (the bonuses are additive and not multiplicative).

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Team bonuses added:
    • Babylonians AoE Babylonians: Builders work 10% faster.
    • Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet: Villagers build Houses and Farms 50% faster.
    • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans: Technologies benefiting Villagers are researched 30% faster.
  • Hunter projectiles have 7 speed.
  • Villagers have 0.92 base speed.
    • Relative effect of Wheel increased to 60%.
    • Relative effect of Zealotry increased to 12%.
  • Villagers carrying resources that are ordered to work a different resource type only lose the carried resources when they begin gathering the new resource.
  • Yamato Villagers no longer move 10% faster.
  • Female Villager model added.
  • Palmyrans: Upon release, the armor bonus only gave Villagers +1 melee armor. With hotfix 85208, it gives them +1 pierce armor again as well.


There are two heroes in the game with the appearance of a Villager:


Most people of ancient times lived out their lives working to make a living, primarily as hunters, gatherers, and fishermen originally, and later as farmers and herders. The agricultural revolution that began around 8000 BC freed more and more people from the daily pursuit of sustenance as food production became more dependable and efficient. New specialists included potters, metalworkers, builders, scribes, leather workers, woodworkers, traders, and professional soldiers. By the end of the ancient period, food production employed less than half the population within civilized culture.
—The Age of Empires manual

Cheat codes[]

Entering the cheat code medusa in the chat box turns Villagers into Medusas that turn into Black Riders when they are killed by enemy units.


  • Their weapon (when fighting enemy units) is a femur bone (of a large creature such as an Elephant) from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age (before the Definitive Edition). When the Iron Age (Bronze Age since the Definitive Edition) is researched, this is replaced by a trident, whose animation speed seems faster (despite the attacking speed being the same). In the Definitive Edition, the Villagers attack with tridents (resembling garden digging forks or prongs) from the Bronze Age onwards.
  • The hunters had 80% accuracy before the Definitive Edition. Sometimes they missed huntable animals.


Units in Age of Empires
CivilianReturnofrome female villager icon Villager · Returnofrome trade cart icon Trade Cart
OtherAoE2 DE priest icon Priest · Slinger-0 Slinger · Returnofrome artifact icon Artifact
Civilian ship1 Fishing Boat Fishing Boat · 2 Fishing Ship Fishing Ship
3 Trade Boat Trade Boat · 4 Merchant Ship Merchant Ship
InfantryClubman Clubman · AxemanAoEDE Axeman
Short Swordsman Short Swordsman · Broad Swordsman Broad Swordsman · AoE nuRoR Long Swordsman icon Long Swordsmen · Returnofrome legionary icon Legionary
HopliteDE Hoplite · AoE nuRoR Phalangite icon Phalangite · Returnofrome centurion icon Centurion
ArcherBowman aoe1de Bowman
Improved Bowman22 Improved Bowman · Composite Bowman Composite Bowman
Chariot Archer111 Chariot Archer
Horse Archer Horse Archer · Returnofrome heavy horse archer icon Heavy Horse Archer
EAICON DE Elephant Archer
CavalryScout-0 Scout
ChariotDE Chariot · ScytheDE Scythe Chariot
Cavalry111 Cavalry · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon Heavy Cavalry · Returnofrome cataphract icon Cataphract
War ElephantDE War Elephant · Returnofrome armored elephant icon Armored Elephant
Camel RiderDE Camel Rider
SiegeStone ThrowerDE Stone Thrower · CatapultDE Catapult · Returnofrome heavy catapult icon Heavy Catapult
BallistaDE Ballista · Returnofrome helepolis icon Helepolis
War Ship7 Scout Ship Scout Ship · 8 War Galley War Galley · 9 Trireme Trireme
Catapult Trireme Catapult Trireme · Returnofrome juggernaut icon Juggernaut
10 Fire Galley Fire Galley
5 Light Transport Light Transport · 6 Heavy Transport Heavy Transport
Scenario Editor-only units
Short Swordsman Chieftain · Donkey caravan aoe2DE Donkey · Clubman Explorer · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon General · AoE2 DE priest icon High Priest · Returnofrome horse icon Horse · HeavyCavalryDE Mercenary (removed) · Penguin aoe2DE Penguin · AoE2 DE priest icon Pharaoh · 5 Light Transport Raft · Returnofrome artifact icon War Chest