The Ottomans are a powerful AoE4 civilization. They are among the first DLC civilizations in Age of Empires 4 and, much like their AoE2 version, focus on gunpowder units and light cavalry.

Since it came later, the Ottoman are a bit more special than its counterparts. They show a level of uniqueness not usually seen in the standard civilizations of the game.

The Ottomans are a versatile and formidable force on the battlefield, with a focus on siege warfare and cavalry.

In this article, we are going to explore some tips and strategies for effectively playing as the Ottomans in Age of Empires 4.

Unique Features and Bonuses

The Ottomans have access to gunpowder one Age earlier than other civilizations and a unique Military School system.

Military Schools

This unique structure of the Ottomans allows this civilization to produce units for free. However, the production happens at a slower rate than usual.

Once the Military School is available, you can select the unit type you want, and the structure will keep producing them over time.

The unit can be any type of unit that would come out of Archery Ranges, Barracks, or Stables.
This unique system allows you to have an impressive army.

However, losing a fight would cause the Ottomans to be in a much more vulnerable situation. Since the unit production is slower, so is the recovery from a combat encounter.

Unique Units

The Ottomans have an impressive total of 5 unique units. These units, and the fact that they have earlier access to gunpowder, make the Ottoman a constant threat.

When facing off this civilization, you must try to shut them down before the Ottomans can grow into the dominant Military Superpower that they are.

  • Sipahi: This light cavalry substitutes the usual horseman. The Sipahi is weaker against melee attacks but have a Fortitude ability that makes them deal extra damage for a short period of time. They are great for ambushing and extinguishing the enemy’s archers.
  •  Mehter: Mehter are mounted war drummers. They are there to provide motivation, and therefore bonuses, to nearby allied units. Their special ability can grant increased attack speed, melee armor, or ranged armor.
  •  Janissary: Not only are they powerful hand cannoneers, but they can also repair siege engines. On top of that, the Janissary deal extra damage to cavalry units.
  •  Grand Galley: Not only is this unit a war galley, but it can also become a floating Military School, producing units for no cost, just like the structure itself.
  •  Great Bombard: This is the largest and most dominant siege weapon available across the available civilizations of Age of Empires 4 that can melt enemy walls. However, its durability isn’t the greatest, and losing one of these could be a huge economic problem for the Ottomans.

Civilization Bonuses

  • Gain experience towards Vizier Points by training units and advancing ages. The more expensive the action, the more experience earned. Spend up to five Vizier Points to unlock powerful Ottoman bonuses.
  • Blacksmiths and Universities increase military unit production speed by 20/30/40% after each age up.
  • Trade Ships and Transport Ships move 10% faster.
  • Ottomans cannot harvest Boar.
  • Core military and technology buildings cost 33% less.
  • Start with +50 wood and +50 stone.
  • Training units and advancing through Ages will earn Vizier Points, which are necessary to unlock unique Imperial Council technologies.

Ottoman Landmarks

Selecting a Landmark when playing as the Ottomans are crucial. In fact, this decision is important to all civilizations.

You must weigh the options between addressing the civilization’s weaknesses or pursuing a different advantage.

For instance, Mehmed Imperial Armory will increase your siege power, while the Istanbul Imperial Palace will increase your Vizier Points.

Adapting to each match and choosing the right Landmark will certainly make a huge difference in the outcome of each match.

Feudal Age

The Twin Minaret Medrese is an economic Landmark that acts as a Mill. It offers technologies to improve food gathering and serves as a drop-off point for food. Additionally, it spawns 4 Berry Bushes on its boundaries, providing a renewable source of food. Villagers gather +50% faster from these Berry Bushes, and they replenish themselves after 120 seconds once depleted.

The Sultanhani Trade Network is another economic Landmark that acts as a Market. It can train Traders and garrison up to 6 of them, with each garrisoned Trader generating +28 gold/min.

Castle Age

The Istanbul Imperial Palace is a military Landmark that doubles the amount of Imperial Council experience earned for training units and advancing in Age near the Landmark. It also increases the maximum amount of Vizier Points that can be earned by 2.

The Mehmed Imperial Armory is another military Landmark that produces siege engines for free, but with a longer training time, similar to the Military School.

Imperial Age

The Istanbul Observatory is a technology Landmark that acts as a University. It improves the training time reduction influence effect provided by Universities and Blacksmiths to 60%.

The Sea Gate Castle is a defensive Landmark that acts as a Keep. It grants itself, and other Keeps an Aura that increases nearby Trader and Trade Ship movement speed by 30% and armor by +8.

Are the Ottomans the Best Civ for You?

Playing as the Ottomans requires a mix of patience, strategy, and adaptability to become a dominant Military Superpower.

That said, they do reward patience and strategy with an overwhelming army that can take down any walled civ.

They are definitely good for players who like civs that are unusual but not too unusual. If you are looking for something a little more traditional, you might want to try out the Holy Roman Empire or stick with the English.