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Food is a primary resource players must collect in all titles of the Age of Empires series, including Age of Mythology.

Players must constantly be gathering food for creating units, researching technologies, sending shipments, and advancing their empire through all the Ages.

Obtaining Food


Other than gathering berries, hunting Animals and Wild Game is the first way that a player can go about gathering food. During the early parts of the game, hunting is by far the best way to acquire food for one's settlement as the gather rates are faster than any other source of food. Animals can be found in groups all through the maps, when one is shot, the others will run in the opposite direction. This can be useful, because with enough patience, one can use his/her units to herd them closer to the Storage pit or Town Center in Age of Empires or the Mill in Age of Empires II. The major downside of Animals is that they are non-sustainable and players will do a lot of traveling to get to find them. There are animals in the game that can not be hunted such as Birds or Turtles as well as animals such as Wolves who can be killed but do not provide Food. It is important to note that in all Age of Empires games, the Food content of an animal deteriorates over time; thus, ideally animals should be collected by either a large amount of villagers, (extract all the food at once) or by three or four villagers spaced out so at least one is gathering, one is dropping food off at a Food drop off point, and another is returning from dropping off Food. For Age of Empires III, this is not necessary however because villagers do not need to drop off resources. There is still a deterioration factor.


Forage bushes are typically scattered throughout the map in clumps at the start of the game. These are used early on since they produce food at a high rate and are relatively accessible, allowing a boost for budding civilizations. The advantages of Forage Bushes over hunting is that they are fixed in one location throughout the game and the Food does not deplete over time, making gathering Food more efficient. These food sources usually do not last very long because they are not very common and do not replenish once each bush is consumed.


In Age of Empires, Farms can be built by villagers only after the player builds a Market starting from the Tool Age. They contain a limited quantity of food. They can be farmed by multiple villagers, but they deteriorate more quickly.

Farms in Age of Empires II are similar to those in Age of Empires, except that the player must first build a Mill, and that they can be replanted by right clicking, (or through the use of queue in the Conquerors Expansion) and that they no longer obstruct unit movement nor that multiple villagers can farm a single farm.

Farms in Age of Mythology are different from the Age of Empires and Age of Empires II Farms because they have infinite food.

Farms in Age of Empires III are replaced by Mills (only for the European civilisations) which is different than other Food related buildings in the Age of Empires series. Instead of producing only a limited supply of food, they produce infinite Food at a rate determined by the number of gatherers, with as many as ten working on one Mill. In the WarChiefs Expansion, the native American tribes can build Farms, which are inexhaustible and function as both a Mill and Livestock Pen. For the Asian Dynasties, Rice Paddies are available which can be tasked to generate food or coin.

Farms are critical to a player, especially in long games, since many initial sources of food are exhausted before the end of the game. They take up space, though, and require wood to build, so other sources of food tend to be more effective while they last.


Gold can be traded for Food. Food can be obtained this way in all versions except for Age of Empires. This is because Age of Empires Markets do not support a resource exchange.


Fishing boats, caravels, Villagers can usually gather fish if there is a significant amount of water on the map. Fishing is the best form of food collection, along with farms, because boats are cheap, cost only wood, and they don't waste villagers. Task your food-collecting villagers to trees instead.

Fishing is most effective in Age of Mythology because fishing spots contain an infinite amount of Food.

Herding (Age of Empires II onwards)

Age of Empires II introduced Sheep as a domestic animal with more types on later games. They could be found anywhere on the map as Gaia/"Mother Nature" units and when come to contact with a playable unit, their collars turns into the colour of the player's chosen colour and could be controlled, but if they get contacted with enemy unit, they immediately turn into enemy player's control but can be taken back by the same means. When tasking a Villager on a domestic animal, he will herd them to the Town Center or the nearest Food drop site and slaughter them one by one and starts gathering meat of them similar to a hunted animal.

List of the domesticable animals:

Fish Traps (Age of Empires II only)

Similar to farms, they are built by only fishing boats. Each Fish Trap contains 715 food and are built by using 100 Wood. They will eventually run out of Food over time and must be rebuilt again in order to continue to provide more Food. They are superior to farms in that fishing boats can gather from them (freeing villagers to gather other resources); however, farms with many high-end upgrades can exceed their Food production rate.

Factory (Age of Empires III only)

Factories can be set to produce an infinite supply of Food, as well as Wood and Coin. They also have the ability to produce various types of canons until the pop cap it reached. It is available once the player obtains a "Factory" card from their Home City. Factories are available for construction only during or after the Industrial Age.

Other methods

Building Trading Posts (Age of Empires III) is another way to obtain Food, and produce around 100 units in a selected resource for free each time a Travois, Carriage or Train makes a full loop around a trade route. Age of Empires III also offers the option of Home City shipment cards as a means to get extra Food. Once selected, Food arrives in the form of Crates to the Shipment Point which by default is Town Center. Villagers must work on them to unpack them to the food supply.
Every Civilization can send 300 Food infinitely at Discovery Age.
Every Civilization may send 600 Food to 700 Food at Colonial Age.
Every Civilization except the Ottomans may send 1000 Food at Fortress Age.
The Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and Russians may send 1600 Food at Industrial Age.
The Ottomans may send and share TEAM Silk Road which increases all food, wood and coin containers from 100 to 130.

Icon Name Effect Home City Level Age

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300 Food

Ships 300 Food
-Can be sent Infinite times


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600 Food

Ships 600 Food
-Germans also ship 2 Uhlans


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700 Food

Ships 700 Food
-Germans also ship 2 Uhlans


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1000 Food

Ships 1000 Food
-Germans also ship 3 Uhlans
-Not available for Ottomans.


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1600 Food

Ships 1600 Food
-Not available for Germans,
-Ottomans, British and French.


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TEAM Silk Road

Crates will contain 30 more food from now on.
-Ottomans only
-Also affects Food shipments of allies


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Cheats to obtain Food

  • Age of Empires: Pepperoni Pizza + 1000 Food
  • Age of Empires II: Cheese Steak Jimmy's + 1000 Food
  • Age of Empires III: Medium Rare Please + 10000 Food
  • Age of Mythology: JUNK FOOD NIGHT + 1000 Food

See also