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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires. For the unit in Age of Empires II, see War Galley (Age of Empires II).

Upgrade of the Scout Ship. The War Galley has more hit points, attack strength, and range. Required to build Fire Galley.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The War Galley is a warship featured in Age of Empires. It is available at the Dock once the Bronze Age is reached as an upgrade of the much lighter Scout Ship. The War Galley has more hit points, attack strength, and range than a Scout Ship. Once the Iron Age is reached, it can be upgraded to a more improved ship, the Trireme. Ships are two times more resistant to enemy conversions than regular units.

Upgrading Scout Ships to War Galleys is required to be able to train Fire Galleys in the Iron Age.


On water maps, it is a good idea to research War Galley as soon as the player advances to the Bronze Age, since the War Galley surpasses its predecessor, the Scout Ship, in all aspects.

Despite having a weaker attack value than its successor, it has a faster fire rate and its projectile travels faster. In naval maps, Hittite players can make War Galley production a priority, since their civilization bonus gives their War Galleys extra range. Due to their extra range, they can outrange even a fully upgraded Trireme and harass enemy land units near the shore, giving their own units great support.

Further statistics[]

Unit strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Infantry, Villagers, Priests
Weak vs. Elephant Archers, siege units, towers
Attack Alchemy Alchemy (+1)
Range Woodworking Woodworking (+1)
Artisanship Artisanship (+1)
Craftsmanship Craftsmanship (+1)
Accuracy Ballistics Ballistics (hit moving targets)
Upgrades 9 Trireme Trireme

Civilization bonuses[]

  • Greeks AoE Greeks: War Galleys have +20% speed.
  • Hittites AoE Hittites: War Galleys have +2/+3 range in the Bronze/Iron Age.
  • Lac Viet AoE Lac Viet: War Galleys are trained 25% faster.
  • Macedonians AoE Macedonians: War Galleys are four times more resistant to conversion.
  • Minoans AoE Minoans: War Galleys cost -25%/-30% in the Bronze/Iron Age.
  • Persians AoE Persians: War Galleys fire 25%/33% faster in the Bronze/Iron Age.
  • Yamato AoE Yamato: War Galleys have +20%/+25% hit points in the Bronze/Iron Age.

Team bonuses[]

  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans: Upgrading War Galleys to Triremes and researching technologies that benefit War Galleys are 30% faster.


ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

  • War Galleys take 60 seconds to train and 100 seconds to upgrade.
  • Minoans AoE Minoans: War Galleys cost -30%.
  • Yamato AoE Yamato: War Galleys have +30% hit points.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

  • War Galleys take 70 seconds to train and 200 seconds to upgrade.
  • Yamato AoE Yamato: Upon release, War Galleys have +25% hit points. With update 38862, they have +20% hit points.

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • Persians AoE Persians: War Galleys fire 25%/33% faster in the Bronze/Iron Age.
  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans (team bonus): Technologies benefiting War Galleys are researched 30% faster.
  • Minoans AoE Minoans: With update 99311, War Galleys cost -25%/-30% in the Bronze/Iron Age.
  • Yamato AoE Yamato: With update 99311, War Galleys have +20%/+25% hit points in the Bronze/Iron Age.


The appearance of the ram triggered an arms race in ship design.  Hulls were strengthened to support ever-heavier rams on the bow.  As hulls grew larger, more oarsmen were required to provide power.  A deck was added and a second group of oarsmen was placed there.  This increased power without increasing length, but the deck made the ship somewhat instable.  A ship with two levels of rowers was called a bireme.
Age of Empires manual

Unit line: War Galley

7 Scout Ship
Scout Ship
8 War Galley
War Galley
9 Trireme


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