The Teutons are characterized by the slow but powerful army, having final upgrades of units but lacking speed upgrades. They are well-rounded with potent offensive and defensive capabilities on land.
The Teutons can produce all siege weapons other than the Siege Ram, and all naval units except the Elite Cannon Galleon. They also have a potent defense, as they can garrison extra units in towers and obtain Murder Holes for free.
Defensively, the Teutons also have some of the strongest castles in game thanks to their unique Crenellations technology, boosting their range to a max of 13 and adding arrows with garrisoned infantry (which protect castles against rams). This allows Teuton castles to match all non-Turkish bombard cannons and cannon galleons, leaving them vulnerable to only the trebuchet and elite cannon galleon. The Teutons lack Bracer but even with this drawback teuton towers can support castles as they can garrison 10 units and if they are full they can fire as many arrows as a regular castle giving them devastating firepower. Teutonic Bombard Towers, when fully garrisoned with 10 Hand Cannoneers, fire two cannons simultaneously, making them the second deadliest in the game (behind Turkish Bombard Towers fully garrisoned with Elite Janissaries).
Their economy is also strong; they can research all economic technologies except for Gold Shaft Mining. Furthermore, the economy is boosted by a decent cost reduction for farms. The Teutonic unique unit, the Teutonic Knight, is the strongest infantry unit in the game. It has a high attack and is almost invulnerable in melee combat due to its huge armor rating. The only way to counter them in hand-to-hand combat is with Aztec Jaguar Warriors, Japanese Samurai and Byzantine Cataphracts, all of these units possess an attack bonus against Teutonic Knights. A large group of archers is also a viable method of taking down Teutonic Knights as they are quite slow.
The Teutons do however have weaknesses. In contrast to their powerful infantry, their archers and cavalry have shortcomings. They cannot research Bracer or Thumb Ring, or train the Arbalest or Heavy Cavalry Archer, and have to rely solely on the Paladin for their cavalry in the late game. The lack of Bracer will hurt the Teuton's defensive capacity lategame, but some of their other bonuses (such as double the garrison for their towers, free Murder Holes, and Crenellations) help compensate for it. Their Paladins are slower than the cavalry of most other civilizations since they do not have Husbandry, and their Teutonic Knights are so slow that ranged units can pick them off at a distance. This makes civilizations with strong gunpowder units (such as the Turks, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italians) and civilizations with strong cavalry archer or cavalry archer type units (such as Mongols' Mangudai, Huns, and Spanish's Conquistadors) a threat to the Teutons lategame since the former have strong anti-infantry damage bonus against the Teutonic Knights while the later can use hit-and-run tactics with down the Teutonic Knights and even their slow moving Paladin.
Japanese players have an advantage over Teutons, due to their unique tech (Trebuchets pack/unpack faster), the Samurais, and the fact that their bonus (+33% attack speed for infantry) makes Halberdiers very dangerous against Paladins. Conversely, the Teutons are a formidable opponent to the Celts, Goths, Vikings, Malians, and the Ethiopians since their infantry is far superior in quality and the natural tankiness of the Teutonic Knight can shrug off the attacks of their infantry and a siege line that can equally match or is far superior to their siege, thanks to Ironclad technology.
In The Conquerors and Age of Kings, Teutons have a different start up than other civilizations. This is because their Town Center's +5 line of sight allows them to find herdables faster. This bonus was removed in the Forgotten for a more defensive bonus that allows to the Town Center to garrison more units inside.
Teutons are capable of turtling, rushing, and booming. Their infantry rush is mediocre, with no Dark/Feudal Age bonuses but infantry upgrades will scale well into the late game. Their Trush (Feudal Age Tower Rush) however is one of the best due to free Murder Holes and more garrison capacity, especially when supported by Skirmishers as these can join the forward villagers in towers for even more arrows. They also have a powerful Castle Age Knight Rush, despite the lack of Husbandry, due to their civilization's team bonus of conversion resistance (as monks are the ideal counter to knight rushes).
Although lacking early game economy bonuses, the Teutons have an excellent mid-game boom due to their cheap farms. This is especially important during the late Feudal or early Castle Age when natural food sources run out but wood remains a premium. Combined with their civilization's defensive advantages, this makes the Teutons a very good candidate for the Fast Castle or Fast Imperial strategies.
Just at the start of the game Teutons have already good defense (in Age of Kings and The Conquerors town centers have more attack, in The Forgotten they have more garrison space) so the other way a player normally uses the Teutons is turtling. For this they must create several buildings in the Dark and Feudal ages, like houses for walling and then a few towers. Once they reach the castle age they must create 1-3 castles, build stone walls and research all the necessary technologies at the university and blacksmith (Fletching and bodkin arrow, the Teutons do not have bracer at imperial age) for improving the buildings, it will be necessary to create infantry, especially Teutonic knights, monks, and ranged siege units. Once in the Imperial age the player must research crenelations in order to allow their infantry to shoot arrows when garrisoned in a building. Also, the Imperial age is good for turtling strategies, as the Teutons can create several bombard towers.
Offensively in the Castle and Imperial age, the Teutons can use their unique unit the Teutonic Knight as the base of its army. Despite the fact that they have no access to siege rams, it is useful to create rams since Teutonic Knights have a very slow movement so garrisoning in rams can improve their mobility. Teutons have access to all gunpowder units except the elite cannon galleon, so they normally use the Bombard Cannon as their main siege weapon. They must also use a lot their villagers to create forward towers and castles in order to provide support for the troops which in the siege of an enemy town allows units to retreat to the buildings and shoot arrows once inside. Teutons have also good monks that have a large healing range. This means that their monks can support the front lines of infantry and cavalry at a safe distance. In terms of cavalry, Teutons must use their paladins for raid enemy towns.
In maps with water, Teutons do not have many advantages over other civilizations, but their tower bonus gives them a little edge on defending the shoreline, so they must try to keep dry.
In team games Teutons should take the frontline position as they can defend their allies in the pocket position.
Strategy changes in The ForgottenEdit
Their new unique technology Ironclad improves the melee armor for siege units, making them more resistant to cavalry and infantry attacks (siege units normally are very weak vs. melee units due to their minimum range), this is specially helpful in mid and late game. The Town Center LOS bonus was changed in favor of a garrison bonus (+10 units) and can fire +5 arrows; this new bonus synergizes better with the other Teutonic bonuses and their unique tech Crenellations. Their Monks' healing range bonus is now fixed so monks now can effectively heal units from a farther distance giving to them a supporting bonus that is useful in battles, maintaining the monks at a safe distance.
Strategy Changes in The African KingdomsEdit
Ironclad now costs 100 less wood than previously and is still a good improvement for the siege units, also considering that African Kingdoms introduced a new type of siege unit: the Siege Tower. Siege towers also have more room for foot troops and are faster than the rams so the Teutons now should use them to improve the mobility of the Teutonic Knight.
Of the new civilizations, the Portuguese are a threat to the Teutonic Knights lategame due to their strong gunpowder bonuses with the Arquebus and Organ Gun (Age of Empires II) will make quick work on the Teuton Knights. Conversely, the Teutons have no problems facing against the Malians and the Ethiopians since their infantry and cavalry is far superior than the said two civilizations (the Malians do not get Blast Furnace and the Paladin upgrade, while the Ethiopians do not get the Champion upgrade and lack many other cavalry upgrades such as Bloodlines, Paladin, and Plate Barding Armor).
The Teutons conversion resistance team bonus is valuable whenever the enemy team is making heavy use of monks. Especially the Persian War Elephant is susceptible to conversion, so a team of Teutons and Persians is a good match.
There are a number of team bonuses that are especially useful for the Teutons.