How to Play as the Chinese in Age of Empires 4

Image credit: Relic Entertainment, World's Edge

The Chinese are a civilization that feels quite different from the others in Age of Empires 4.

Their structures, units, and overall AoE4 Chinese build order have a distinct look, and they even count on unique systems such as the Dynasty System that makes them have their own unique gameplay aspects.

They are a 3 Stars difficulty civilization, and their traits are: Dynasties, Gunpowder, and Expansion.

Their versatility allows them to change their focus throughout the ages if they so desire, building up their empire and deploying unique units quickly as they advance their economy and reach.

Having those unique systems and units make the Chinese a hard civilization to master, but it is rewarding to do so. They are fun to play, powerful, and their complexity might be an advantage to you if the adversary doesn’t know how to predict what the Chinese Civilization is doing.

So for those of you who are interested in building up a Dynasty to crush your enemies, here’s how to play as the Chinese in Age of Empires 4.

This guide will walk you through their unique systems, units, and most basic strategies so you can know what to do next when playing as the Chinese.

Unique Characteristics of the Chinese

Playing as the Chinese is not as straightforward as learning how to play the French or the English.

The Chinese can build more than one Landmark within an Age. They count on Imperial Officials to collect gold from structures and speed up their building constructions. A significant advantage of the Chinese is how they can quickly change their tactics — throwing the adversary off as a consequence of it.

Great Dynasties

By constructing both Landmarks within an Age instead of one, the Chinese Civilization starts a Dynasty.

When that happens, they gain unique bonuses, units, and buildings.

Fire Medicine

Once the Chinese advance to the Imperial Age — the fourth Age — they immediately gain the Chemistry technology for no cost at all.

Unique Units

Just like all other civilizations, the Chinese have access to some signature units that make them more distinct.

  • Imperial Official: This unit collects gold from buildings and speeds up their construction
  • Zhuge Nu: They are repeater crossbowmen that are effective against light units
  • Fire Lancer: Light Cavalry unit that is highly effective against buildings
  • Grenadier: This unit throws fire grenades that inflict damage in an area of effect
  • Nest of Bees: Fire a barrage of rockets that does damage on an area of effect.

Civilization Bonuses

Now you’ve seen the Chinese traits, unique units, and other extras that are related to this Civilization. Here’s the summary of their bonuses:

  • Villagers construct defenses 50% faster and all other buildings 100% faster
  • Enter a dynasty by building both Landmarks from an Age, providing access to special bonuses
  • Chemistry technology is granted for free when advancing to the Imperial Age (IV)
  • Docks work 20% faster

Chinese Dynasties

When you build a second Landmark, you also start a dynasty. Each Dynasty provides an extra feature to this Civilization.

It can be a bonus, a unique unit, a unique building, or a combination of those. Here is what you gain in each Dynasty:

  • Tang Dynasty – +30% line of sight to all your scouts
  • Song Dynasty – Villagers become faster to produce, being finished 35% faster than usual. You also gain access to the Zhuge Nu unit — the repeating crossbowmen — and the Village Building.
    • Village – It works like a house, but it increases your maximum population by 40 instead of 10.
  • Yuan Dynasty – Your Imperial Officials, Villagers, and Military Units receive a +15% speed bonus. You also gain access to the Fire Lancer unit and the and Granary building.
    • Granary – This building increases the farm gather rate of nearby villagers by 15%, and it also works as a Food deposit. Every time a resource is dropped, it generates taxes for your Imperial Officials to collect.
  • Ming Dynasty – All your Military units receive a +10% extra health as a bonus. You also gain access to the Grenadier unit and Pagoda structure.
    • Pagoda – Pagodas as structures where you can place a Relic to make it generate extra Food, Wood, Gold, and Stone.

Chinese Tactics

With the bonus their Villagers have, the Chinese can be effective expansionists that can quickly take advantage of resources spread out on the map, placing several outposts, new Landmarks, and Town Center throughout the map.

The Chinese villagers can help you go for weird turtle tactics that allow players to build walls and protect larger territories than usual due to their faster building speed.

Please note that it might not want to build all Landmarks when playing the Chinese. Depending on the context, some dynasties might not offer anything that you need, which can lead you to waste your resources on them.

Instead, make sure to play enough to understand when you need the unique units and buildings that are related to each Dynasty so you can make the most out of this Civilization.

Also, if you know how to win a game of Age of Empires 4, you know that winning a game doesn’t always mean entering in direct conflict with the adversary, so play smart, evolve your economy, and build a great wall to keep invaders outside while you go for the last Landmark.

Also, make sure that you are going for gunpower since the game starts. It is the most powerful thing that the Chinese have when it comes to military performance, and you should always keep that in mind.

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