Age of Empires 4

The Chinese in Age of Empires 4

The Chinese are one of the most complex civilizations in Age of Empires 4, able to build excellent fortifications that allow them time to develop complex strategies through their dynasties. We tell you everything you need to know about the Chinese in Age of Empires 4 in our guide.

Difficulty estimated by the developers :

In AOE 4, Chinese civilization spans from 907 to 1644 AD. Thanks to the Chinese, you will have the opportunity to discover the influence of the 4 great dynasties that marked the period: Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming. For a long time, this civilisation surpassed other nations in terms of technology. Moreover, it was able to protect itself from aggression by building impregnable ramparts!


Civilization bonuses

  • Defences are built 50% faster than other civilisations. For other buildings, the speed increases by 100%,
  • Special bonuses of each dynasty, with the possibility to build the two buildings of each age,
  • The ports work 20% faster,
  • Chemistry" technology is free at age IV.

Specific units and their characteristics

The Chinese civilization has the most unique units. It has 6 in total, which are unlocked in order:

From age I - Theimperial officer (Category: Worker). It is an economic support unit. It automatically collects gold from buildings. The officer can also improve the efficiency of a building. However, their number at the same time is limited.

From age II - The Chu ko nu (Category: Light Infantry Ranged). This crossbowman can fire repeatedly with a high rate of fire. It is effective against light units, but not against armoured ones. To access this unit, you must either play the Song Dynasty or unlock 'Alley of Spirits' and have unlocked the Song Dynasty beforehand.

From age III - The palace guard (Category: Heavy Infantry in Close Combat). This unit is resistant and requires several units to counter it. It can inflict great damage. The guard is faster than the men-at-arms but has less armour.

From age III - The fire thrower (Category: Light cavalry in close combat). This warrior, with its explosive spear tip, is particularly effective against buildings and siege engines thanks to its charge; however, it is not very effective against hand-to-hand units and has no armour. To access this unit, you must either play the Yuan Dynasty or unlock "Alley of Spirits" and have unlocked the Yuan Dynasty beforehand.

From age III - The honeycomb (Category: Seat tools). This siege engine can perform rocket barrage fire that inflicts effective area damage against most units. On the other hand, the unit is slow and less effective if surrounded.

From age IV - The grenadier (Category: Light Infantry Ranged). The grenadier inflicts area damage at a reduced range. It is a slow unit. To access this unit, you must either play the Ming Dynasty or unlock "Alley of Spirits" and have unlocked the Ming Dynasty beforehand.

Single unit - The Chu Ko Nu
Single unit - The Palace Guards
Specific building - The Alley of Spirits is useful for obtaining certain unique units

The Dynasty System

The Chinese are probably one of the most complex civilizations to take in hand, partly because of the unique system of dynasties. Throughout the game, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in 4 dynasties, offering different bonuses:

  • Tang Dynasty. Scouts get a range bonus of 30%. You start with this dynasty.
  • Song Dynasty. The production time of a villager is reduced by 35%. Access the Chu Ko Nu and the Villages. Requires the construction of the "Imperial Academy" and the "Barbican of the Sun".
  • Yuan Dynasty. The speed of villagers, military and official units increases by 15%. Access to Fire Lancers and Grain Elevators. Requires the construction of the "Astronomical Clock" and the "Imperial Palace".
  • Ming Dynasty. Military units gain an additional 10% of life. Access the Grenadiers and Pagoda. Requires the construction of the "Great Wall Gateway" and the "Spirit Alley".

Where other civilisations move from one age to another simply by building one of the two buildings offered, the Chinese can build both to change dynasties. It is impossible to accumulate dynasties, and therefore their bonuses and special buildings, so be sure to make the changes at the appropriate time.

To keep access to the unique units of the previous dynasties, you must have unlocked these dynasties and built " the Alley of the Spirits "(see photo above). However, it is by no means necessary to go through all the dynasties, either to move to the next age or the next dynasty. You will have to judge whether it is worthwhile to change dynasties, depending on the situation of the match.

The strategic bases of the Chinese

The Chinese civilisation will offer you a gameplay that is as much defensive as offensive. Because of the dynasty system, your strategy will depend on your choices, even more than for other civilizations.

Your early game will mainly consist of building your economy and your first defences. Consider creating an Imperial Officer to maximise tax collection. Also with this in mind, you can turn to the "Imperial Academy" at the first age change. If you fear a quick enemy rush, go for the 'Sun Barbican'.

Take advantage of the transition to age III. You have the means to spy on your opponent thanks to the effects of the "Royal Palace". Use them. For the defence, you must maximise the stone walls.

If your army is already well advanced, you can try to raid the enemy camp. This is the time to deal a heavy blow to the enemy economy. Also, try to take possession of the land, your ability to produce buildings quickly can help you strengthen your army at the gates of the enemy camp.

An interesting but very complex civilisation


  • Possibility to cumulate age buildings
  • Very interesting bonuses thanks to dynasties
  • Speed of fortification
  • Many unique and strong units
  • Variety of possible gameplays
  • Free chemistry at age IV


  • Dynasty system is difficult to handle
  • Non-cumulative dynasty bonuses
  • Civilization rather slow at the beginning of the game
  • Access to the grenadiers is very difficult
  • Strategy a little unclear

If you like a challengeThis civilisation is for you, but is not recommended for beginners.

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