How to Get Nice Identical Trees in Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition

Image credit: Age of Empires 2 / Microsoft

If you watch popular Age of Empires 2 players on Twitch or YouTube, you may have noticed the new identical tree meta.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s pretty simple: it’s possible to make every single tree look the same as one another, regardless of the map, so that everything looks consistent in-game. Every tree matches.

In a matter of just a few weeks, the vast majority of top-level players (and casual players as a result) have decided to ditch the previously popular ‘Small Trees’ mod in favor of a couple of new mods that give a nicer overall effect.

The Small Trees mod is an extremely helpful add-on that you can install into Age of Empires that, uhh, makes all of your trees smaller.

This makes it much easier to select units or the correct things without accidentally clicking on large trees. It also makes your base a little cleaner because the straggler trees around your Town Center don’t take up as much room.

However, it seems the latest strategy in Age of Empires 2 is to move away from the Small Trees mod and instead opt for one of the mods discussed in this post.

How to Install Mods in Age of Empires 2

If you’re unsure how to install mods within AoE 2: Definitive Edition then you’re in luck; it’s very simple and no technical know-how is needed.

From the game’s main menu, click onto the Options cog.

From there, click ‘Mods’.

Then once you’re within the Mods menu, click into ‘Browse Mods’ in the top menu.

We can then use the Search function to find the specific mod that we want here.

Click onto the mod that you wish to install and then click ‘Subscribe’. It will then automatically install and activate.

If for any reason the mod doesn’t work straight away, navigate back to the ‘Installed Mods’ tab and ensure the mod is enabled — it will have a checkmark next to it.

If it still isn’t working after enabling it, try restarting your game and it should fix the issue.

How to Get Identical Trees

There are two different popular mods to get identical trees in AoE 2:

The first of these is called ‘Anne_HK – Identical Pine Trees with Grid Shadow’.

If you want all of your trees to look exactly the same — like pine trees with a nice shadow — this is the mod you’ll want. This is the mod that we use in the feature image of this post and is currently used by some of the best Age of Empires 2 players in the world, including Hidden Cup 4 finalists Hera and JorDan.

The second option is called ‘Anne_HK – Selected Small Trees with Grid Shadow’.

This option gives some of the benefits of the Identical Pine Trees whilst also maintaining a little bit more of the game’s original feel. This is the tree mod that The Viper uses — arguably the greatest Age of Empires 2 player of all time.

Instead of all trees looking like pine trees, with this mod, the trees are still relative to different maps and map variations, but they still all look the same as each other.

Whether your map has palm trees, forest trees, bamboo, or any other kind of tree, they will all look identical to each other in-game, which looks a little cleaner than a jungle of various sizes and shapes.

The look of the trees isn’t just a visual element of the game, it can also affect your play in certain situations, so finding the best tree mod for Age of Empires 2 is an important thing to add to your gaming arsenal.