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There are various maps (land maps, water maps, hybrid maps; all available in different sizes) that can be played in Age of Empires II. The smallerst map size is "tiny" for 2 players, the largest map size is "giant". In there Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition there is a map rotation happening every 2-4 weeks for the Ranked 1v1/Multiplayer Games.
- Cliffs: Cliffs are impassable objects that give players height advantage or disadvantage
- Hills: Hills are passable objects that give players height advantage or disadvantage
- Food (animals and forage bushes)
- Wood (forests as terrain and straggler trees)
Effects of Terrain
- Cracked terrain: Buildings take more damage
- Some terrains like quicksand and rock terrain are unbuildable
- Shallows (can be passed by ships and land units)
- Large water bodies
- Maps are usually put into one of the 3 categories:
- Land map: No water on the map or not enough water for water fights, e. g. only small ponds. E. g. Arabia, Arena, Black Forest.
- Water maps: Water control is usually very important and gives players a big economic advantage or prevents players from reaching each other with land units. E. g. Islands, Baltic, Rooster.
- Hybrid maps: Relatively balanced. Players can win the game with or without water control, but often early fishing economy is relevant. E. g. Coastal, Cross, Nomad.
- Further some maps fall into these categories:
- Nomad-start maps: Players start without a Town Center, which they must construct at a place of their choice before creating villagers. Most popular are: Nomad, Land Nomad and Bedouins
- Closed maps: Those maps either have very few passages between players like Black Forest or start with walls like Arena and Fortress.
- Gold Rush maps: Players have little gold around their starting town center, but the center of the map, or several locations have large amounts of maps which players have to fight over. E. g. Gold Rush, Golden Pit, Crater Lake.
The so-called Mini Map is a minimized and simplified version of the played map, displayed in the bottom right of the user interface. In the Definitive Edition the type of the Mini Map can be toggled.
- The most prominent map creator for AoE2's competitive scene since 2019 is Chrazini.
- Other notable map scripters:
- Before the Definitive Edition, popular competitive maps usually were compiled in aoe2map.net/maps. Now most are available through the in-game mod center.
- Many bigger tournaments host map scripting contests, where everyone can submit their random map scripts which receive prize money and/or are then played in the tournament
List of Competitively used Maps