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The Zapotec is a Native American tribe in Age of Empires III that replaces the Aztecs in The WarChiefs expansion. Like all natives, they can be allied with by building a Trading Post at their Trading Post site.


Zapotec lightning warrior portrait aoe3de updated Zapotec Lightning Warrior: Zapotec warrior armed with a shield and a sword.


Zapotec technologies focus on increasing an ally's economy and bolstering their hand infantry.

Age Technology Cost Effect
Age I tech tree aoe3
Zapotec Cloud People Zapotec Cloud People 225 food
225 coin
Ships 100 wood for every 2 minutes the game has passed, up to 30 minutes
Zapotec Cult of the Dead Zapotec Cult of the Dead 200 wood
200 coin
Hand infantry get +20% attack
Zapotec Food of the Gods Zapotec Food of the Gods 175 wood
175 coin
Settlers, Coureurs des Bois, Settler Wagons, and Villagers gather food 10% faster from Berry Bushes, Mills, Farms, Plantations, Cherry Orchards, and Rice Paddies


The Zapotecs help in boom strategies and the attack of hand infantry units. Zapotec Food of the Gods and Zapotec Cloud People improve the food gathering of Berry Bushes, Mills, Farms, Plantations, Cherry Orchards, and Rice Paddies by 10%, and gives additional wood, respectively. Zapotec Cult of the Dead increases the damage of hand infantry units by 20%. This is especially useful for civilizations with strong hand infantry (like the Aztecs, Inca, Japanese, and Spanish), and also improves the Zapotec Lightning Warrior, a strong infantry unit that is effective against heavy cavalry and shock infantry, and also strong against heavy infantry, being a support unit for other hand infantry and heavy cavalry, and serving as a shield for ranged units.

In-game dialogue[]

Zapotec units speaks the Diidxazá (also known as the Isthmus/Juchitán Zapotec) language.


The Zapotec, a Mesoamerican people who developed an advanced civilization, inhabited cities as well as towns, their homes built from stones and mortar. They had an early written language system, which perhaps influenced other Mesoamerican writing systems developed by the Aztec, Maya, and Mixtec.

The Zapotec lived in the Oaxaca region of modern Mexico, with a marvelous capital city of Monte Alban. They were advanced both socially and militarily - indeed, they managed to maintain their autonomy from the larger Aztec empire. They held out from the Spanish invaders until the mid sixteenth century.

The name "Zapotec" was given them by their rivals to the north, the Aztec. However, their creation tales spoke of their origins from supernatural beings from above, hence their native name Be'ena Za'a, or "people of the clouds."


  • Although they appear in multiple maps, including South American ones, they only lived in Oaxaca in real life.


Civilizations in Age of Empires III
AfricanFlag Ethiopian aoe3de Ethiopians · Flag Hausa Hausa
AmericanFederal American: Flag MexicanDE Mexicans · Flag American act3 aoe3de United States
Native American: Flag AztecDE Aztecs · Flag IroquoisDE Haudenosaunee (formerly Iroquois) · Flag IncanDE Inca · Flag SiouxDE Lakota (formerly Sioux)
AsianFlag ChineseDE Chinese · Flag IndianDE Indians · Flag JapaneseDE Japanese
EuropeanFlag BritishDE British · Flag DutchDE Dutch · Flag FrenchDE French · Flag GermanDE Germans · Flag ItalianDE Italians · Flag MalteseDE Maltese · Flag OttomanDE Ottomans · Flag PortugueseDE Portuguese · Flag RussianDE Russians · Flag SpanishDE Spanish · Flag SwedishDE Swedes · Polish · Danes
AfricanAkan Settlement Icon Akan · Berber Settlement Portrait Berbers · Somali Settlement Portrait Somalis · Sudanese settlement portrait Sudanese · Yoruba settlement portait Yoruba
AsianBhakti aoe3de Bhakti Temple · Jesuit aoe3de Jesuit Mission · Native shaolin site icon portrait Shaolin Temple · Sufi aoe3de Sufi Mosque · AOE3DE Tengri Tengri Shrine · Udasi aoe3de Udasi Temple · Zen aoe3de Zen Temple
EuropeanBourbon icon portrait-1 House of Bourbon · Habsburg icon portrait-1 House of Habsburg · Hanover icon portrait-1 House of Hanover · Jagiellon icon portrait-1 House of Jagiellon · Oldenburg icon portrait-1 House of Oldenburg · Phanar icon portrait-1 House of Phanar · Vasa icon portrait-1 House of Vasa · Wettin icon portrait-1 House of Wettin · Wittelsbach icon portrait-1 House of Wittelsbach
Native AmericanApache aoe3de Apache · Aztec native icon aoe3de Aztecs · Carib aoe3de Carib · Cherokee aoe3de Cherokee · Cheyenne aoe3de pre update Cheyenne · Comanche icon aoe3de Comanche · Cree aoe3de Cree · Iroquois aoe3de Haudenosaunee · Huron aoe3de Huron · Klamath settlement portrait Klamath · Sioux aoe3de Lakota · Lenape warrior portrait Lenape · Mapuche icon aoe3de Mapuche · Maya aoe3de Maya · Navajo aoe3de Navajo · Nootka aoe3de Nootka · Inca native icon aoe3de Quechua (formerly Incas) · Seminole aoe3de Seminole · Tupi aoe3de Tupi · Zapotec icon aoe3de Zapotec
CampaignUnited States flag revolt DE Black Family Estate · EIC Flag AoE3DE British · Circle of ossus Circle of Ossus · Flag John Black's Mercenaries DE John Black's Mercenaries · Flag Maltese Cross Knights of St. John · Flag American act3 aoe3de United States
Historical BattlesBarbary States flag revolt Barbary Pirates · Flag CanadianDE Canadians · Flag Ethiopian aoe3de Ethiopians · Flag Moroccan Moroccans · Flag Somali aoe3de Somalians · Flag Tatars aoe3de Tatars · Flag American act3 aoe3de United States