The Artificial Intelligence or AI, is the computer orders on how the enemy and ally computer player and some units react in the environments of a game.

The AI in the Age of Empires series has improved greatly on many aspects since its implementation in Age of Empires.

Age of Empires Edit

The AI in Age of Empires and The Rise of Rome has several notable traits, including:

  • AI will rarely, if ever, build walls.
  • AI will often send their villagers to scout the map early in the game, even if doing so puts their villagers in jeopardy.
  • AI will continue to build villagers/fishing vessels until they have about 30 or so.
  • AI will send their villagers to repair damaged buildings/towers/walls, even if it would be foolish to do so .
  • Later in a game AI will not build storage pits/granaries next to resource sites, but will gather resources from miles away.
  • AI do not hunt elephants.
  • AI will generally train a few specific types of units, and rarely have a diverse army.
  • Once AI military units are attacking a target (such as a building), they will never stop attacking it for any reason unless directly threatened.
  • AI will sometimes use military units that are outdated, for instance, they may use clubmen in the Iron Age
  • AI will build their army based on their civilization's strengths, for example, an AI who is the Choson civilization may train only swordsmen.
  • In the Rise of Rome expansion, the AI seem to like training slingers regardless of their civilization and age, perhaps because of their ability to inflict full damage against buildings and towers. 
  • AI will never attack with their villagers unless one of the following circumstances occurs:
    • They are attacked early in the game, such as in the Stone or early Tool Age.
    • Their civilization is being crushed and defeat seems imminent.
  • If an enemy starts building a tower in AI's base, sometimes AI will send everything including villagers to attack the tower.

In these circumstances the AI will send all of their villagers to attack the threat.

Age of Empires II Edit

The Age of Kings Edit

The AI in Age of Empires II is much more advanced than the AI in the previous installment. The Computer Player Strategy Builder Guide lists what each difficulty of the AI will do and what not:

AI behaviors Easiest Easy Moderate Hard Hardest
Advances through the Ages After any human player that has advanced to that age Slowly as a novice player, or as Easiest does As an experienced player As fast as possible As fast as possible; computer players cooperate to slingshot through the ages
Attacks first Never Never Occasionally Yes Yes
Breaks alliances No Rarely Rarely Yes Yes
Builds a Castle Rarely Seldom Yes Yes Yes
Builds a Wonder Never Seldom If possible If possible Seldom
Expansion and resource gathering Slowly selects resources; abandons contested resources Slowly Fast Aggressively defends resources Aggressively defends resources, destroys enemy resources
Monks used to convert buildings Never Rarely Seldom Yes Yes
Monks used to convert units Rarely with very few Monks Seldom or slowly Yes Yes Yes
Walls and Towers Never  Sometimes defensive towers Yes Yes Yes, may build offensive towers
Town siege Never Seldom Yes Yes Yes
Starting diplomatic stance Neutral Neutral Mix of Neutral and Enemy Enemy Enemy
Will ally with human players Yes (unless game would end) Yes (unless game would end) With one human only (unless game would end) Never Never
Will ally with humans Depends on personality Depends on personality Sometimes Never Never
Will ally with other computer AIs No Yes Yes Preferred Preferred
Will trade Yes Yes Sometimes No No
Cooperates against human player No Sometimes Sometimes Yes; coordinated attacks, optimized building strategies etc. Yes
Given additional resources at start? No No No No Yes

Note that the hardest AI does not only get resources at the start, but upon reaching any Age, including the Dark Age. They get 500 of each resource every time for a total of 2,000 each when they reach the Imperial Age.

The Conquerors Edit

In The Conquerors, the AI has been improved slightly, being more aggressive.

The Forgotten Edit

In The Forgotten, the AI has made a huge step forward, being a challenging opponent in higher grades of difficulty. Some aspects of the Computer Player Strategy Builder Guide do not apply anymore. The resource bonus, for instance, was removed. Also, the AI uses the trade heavily now, thus generating more gold. But the aggressiveness they play with is the biggest difference, though. The AI either rushes or booms with heavy attacks in the early Feudal Age or late Castle Age, respectively. If an army is outnumbered, sometimes it even retreats. But still, when being besieged and mostly destroyed, they do not rebuild their base.

The difficulty of the campaigns is much higher than it was in the previous versions.

The African Kingdoms Edit

In The African Kingdoms, the AI was barely modified. The campaigns can be compared those in The Forgotten in terms of difficulty.

Trivia Edit

  • Regardless of difficulty, the AI often dodges projectiles of ranged units. Also, it uses hit-and-run tactics with ranged units itself, making it hard especially for infantry using players.
  • Interestingly, the AI will sometimes cancel the construction of a building if it is only built by a single Villager and that Villager is attacked.

Age of Empires III Edit

The AI also have their own preferences, copying defenses in each game. The group below presumes that the player is not playing on a post-industrial or imperial gameplay as the towers will already be on Fortified level.

AI behaviors Sandbox Easy Normal Hard Expert
Advances through the ages Very slow advancement rate Slightly faster advancement rate As an experienced player As fast as possible As fast as possible; computer players cooperate to slingshot through the ages
Army size Very small Slightly larger Moderate size Larger Extremely large
Attack rate Extremely rare Slightly faster Normal rate As fast as possible As fast as possible
Forts No No Yes Yes Yes
Will trade Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

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