How to Play as the French in Age of Empires 4

Image credit: Relic Entertainment, World's Edge

The French have a strong cavalry with competent armored knights that can lead your units by effectively charging into the enemy’s frontline and breaking their defensive lines.

In Age of Empires 4, the French civilization is based on the Medieval France that overcame plagues, revolts, and invasions.

The French can count on much more than their army of knights. They also have gunpowder siege weapons and trade advantages that can help them make up for any lack of resources that they might encounter during their advancements throughout the Eras.

This civilization can adopt many effective tactics, from rushes to constant harassment and even turtling to a certain degree. They are pretty effective at sieging the enemy as well.

The French civilization also counts with their unique Influence system, which allows them to queue up units at a lower cost as long as they are around the Keep.

If you are interested in this civilization and want to master its ways, stick around to learn how to play as the French in Age of Empires 4.

Advantages of the French

The French do have some characteristics that make them feel quite different from others, even from the beginning of the game. For instance — just like the English — their villagers are different from standard villagers of the game.

The French are a 1 Star Difficulty civilization, and their traits are Aggression, Cavalry, and Economy.

They have a pretty straightforward game plan. Learning the French is not as hard as learning how to play as the Mongols in Age of Empires 4, making the French perfect for beginners.

Let’s go through their bonuses, unique units, and unique buildings to understand what the French are all about.

Mounted Combat

The French have some of the best-mounted armies in the game due to their unique technologies and unique units, such as their mounted knights.

Mainland Economy

This civilization has several bonuses to boost its Economy early on and also to perform better throughout the game.

Some of the advantages associated with the French Economy include cheaper technologies and more versatile traders.

Productive Front

The French have many bonuses that help them produce units faster. For instance, their Keeps reduce the cost of units that come from Archery Ranges and Stables — as long as those structures are within the influence area of the Keep.

Combine that with cheaper costs for technology and an early boost, and you can start understanding what makes the French so practical.

Civilization Bonuses

You’ve seen all about their economic advantages, but where are the specifics? Here is how the bonuses work mechanically:

  • Faster Villager and Scout production per Age (10%, 15%, 20%, 20%)
  • Economic technology 30% cheaper
  • Resource drop-off building 25 Wood cheaper
  • Trade Posts are revealed on the minimap at the start of the game
  • Traders can return any resource to the market
  • Melee damage techs are researched for free
  • Trade Ships return 20% more gold

Unique Units

Here are the unique units that the French civilization has access to and what makes them special:

  • Royal Knight: Gains bonus damage for 3 seconds after completing a charge
  • Arbalétrier: Deploy a defensive pavise that provides 5 ranged armor for 30 seconds
  • Galleass: Large war galley that has a long-range forward-mounted bombard

French Tactics

The fact that the French are an easy-to-play civilization does not mean that they are not competitive. In fact, being easy makes them much easier to handle and manage, making them a threat already.

However, it doesn’t stop at being easy to play. The French might not have a really early aggressive build, such as the English Longbowmen Rush, but they have many advantages that can help the player snowball the game.

Having an early boom in their Economy certainly makes up for their weak scouts and villagers, but it might not be enough to deal with harassment until you have a proper army.

Make sure your structures are easy to defend and that your villagers are close enough to your Town Center in case of an early rush.

Use your scout to locate the enemy as soon as possible since knowing what is coming might save you from early harassment. You want to take advantage of the early economic bonuses that the French have access to, so you want to make sure you have a way to protect your villagers — like having early military units and outposts.

From there, the game plan of the French is straightforward, use their superior Economy to improve technology and expand.

Suppose, for some reason, you manage to harass the enemy early with your knights and delay their Economy. In that case, you will be able to quickly snowball the game and show up at their Town Center with much superior technology.

Also, since the French civilization has unique units that make them powerful against turtling strategies, you don’t have to worry too much if the enemy starts closing their borders.

Do not waste time, though. Advance through the eras, make yourself resourceful, and get your cannons ready to blast their stone walls.

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