Like the Egyptians, the Chinese must construct a building in order to gather favor, in their case the Garden, with each one providing a continuous trickle. Peasants can construct up to ten Gardens, each new one increasing the generation of favor. The first two Gardens are cheaper to construct, but only the first time they are built, not if rebuilt.
Each of the five cultures in Age of Mythology has different starting conditions in a normal game. The Chinese start out with a Town Center, two Scout Cavalry, and four Peasants. Scout Cavalry act similarly to the Greek Kataskopos in the early game, scouting around the map, while also capturing nearby herdables.
Peasants, the Chinese workers, gather at the same rate as GreekVillagers. Their Storage Pit can be used to stockpile any resource, acting as a drop-off point for food, wood, and gold, not unlike the NorseOx Cart. In addition, the above-mentioned Gardens can be set to provide a trickle of any resource, though they cannot be set to provide a certain resource individually; all Gardens are coordinated to generate the same resource, similar to the JapaneseShrines in Age of Empires III.
The Chinese are mostly based on the Han Dynasty of China. However, the mass use of Cataphracts, Chu Ko Nu and Halberdiers (instead of the more accurate Qiang Spearman) are references to the later Jin, Liang and Tang Dynasties, also the Mounted Archer is a reference to the nomadic peoples like the Xiongnu, Rouran and Turkic Khaganates.
Some Chinese units have quirks not seen in normal gameplay before:
Some units turn the countering system upside down: Cavalry are strong against infantry (Although this was present with the Greek Cataphract in the Scenario Editor), and Mounted Archers are good against cavalry.
The history sections of the Chinese myth units do not use fictional scientific names, instead opting for their traditional Chinese names.
The Chinese re-use a few removed concepts from the development stages of Age of Mythology. Some of these concepts include the Inferno, Geyser, and Uproot (known originally as Bramble) god powers, Chariots, Cataphracts, and "Priests" being able to convert soldiers.
The Chinese are the only civilization to lack a myth unit with an instant kill special attack.
Counting the Shang in the original Age of Empires, the Chinese are the only culture to have made an appearance in all four titles of the Age of Empires series, including their respective expansion packs.
Prior to the release of Tales of the Dragon, the Chinese major god statues were colored white. This was changed to a brown color in the final release.