A Trading Post, next to a Trade Route

A Trade Route is a predetermined path in Age of Empires III that goes across the map, with Trading Post sites next to it where players can build to gather experience (or, if the Trade Route is upgraded, other resources).

Two upgrades are available for the Trade Route: Trade Cart, and Iron Horse, both of which upgrade the speed at which you gather resources. They also allows you to choose Food, Wood or Coin from the Trading Posts, rather than Experience.


A fully upgraded Trade Route.

Note that upgrading the Trade Route will increase the gather rate for ALL players for that Trade Route, not just the player or their allies.

Try to avoid upgrading the Trade Route at more than one of the Trading Posts at a time, or upgrading while your ally does the same - the resources will be wasted.

Trade Cart

Trade Cart - costs 200 Food and 200 Wood, replaces the Trade Route travois with a Stagecoach, increasing gather rate and lets the player receive other resources instead of experience.

Iron Horse

Iron Horse - costs 300 Food and 400 Coin, replaces the Trade Route stagecoach with a train, increasing gather rate.

Trading in other Games Edit

Trade route

Camel Caravans delivering Gold to a Town Center

A Trade Route is the route units follow from a trade building to another. Players should establish fortified structures and train military units around these routes to protect their caravans from enemy rushes. Trade Routes are an infinite source of Gold.

In Age of Empires, trade is only possible between Docks, with Trade Boats or Merchant Ships. Note that, unlike in later games, trade actually costs you resources.

In Age of Empires II, trade is possible between Markets with a Trade Cart, or between Docks with a Trade Cog.

In Age of Mythology, trade is conducted between a Market and a Town Center, with one of the following units, depending on the player's civilization:

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