Age of Empires 3 DE United States strategies

The United States is a civilization that heavily relies on gunpowder, and is named after the DLC "United States Civilization". This civilization possesses unique abilities related to its "age up" process, which allows the player to select two cards named after different states in the US. These cards can add versatility to the player's strategy, as the United States differs from its European counterparts in that it has 21 slots for metropolitan cards, rather than the standard 25. These slots can be increased in each age, up to a maximum of 29, and are determined by the state chosen during each age up.

The American explorer has 100 more hitpoints than their European counterparts and can plant flags that increase the attack of nearby units. However, this ability cannot be used near enemy or friendly urban centers. Additionally, in the third age, the Age of Fortresses, the explorer can build forts.

Another notable feature of the American civilization is the ability to "levy" special militia units. Unlike the regular militia units of other civilizations, which are generated by urban centers, these special militia units can be called upon in age 2 and lose up to 100 hitpoints. Once this threshold is reached, their hitpoints remain constant, making them an extremely powerful emergency unit. As "levy" has a cooldown, this ability can be used multiple times once it is available again at the urban center.


United States in AOE3 Strengths

The United States civilization in Age of Empires III has several strengths that make it a versatile and formidable option in the game. Here are some of its main advantages:

  • Versatility through federal cards: The United States has access to a wide range of metropolitan and federal cards, which offer a huge variety of strategic options. This gives the player a lot of flexibility to choose the cards that suit their playstyle or that are most convenient for the situation.

  • Strong defensive capabilities: The American explorer's ability to plant flags that increase the attack of nearby units, and to build forts in the third age, make the United States a powerful defensive force. Additionally, the "levy" ability of the urban center provides emergency militia units that can quickly bolster a defense.

  • Powerful gunpowder infantry: The United States specializes in gunpowder-based units, which can benefit greatly from arsenal technologies. This gives them a significant advantage in battles where they can make the most of their ranged firepower.

  • Advantages of the State Capitol: The State Capitol building provides several advantages over other civilizations, such as cheaper defensive and economic buildings, higher hitpoints for these buildings, and a faster age up than other civilizations. This makes the United States a strong economic and defensive force that can quickly advance through the ages.


United States in AOE3 Cons

Despite its strengths, the United States civilization in Age of Empires III also has some notable weaknesses that players should be aware of:

  • Poor artillery: The United States' artillery is generally weak compared to other civilizations in the game, especially in the third age. While the cheap and versatile Gatling Gun units can be useful, they are easily countered by European field cannons and other civilizations' artillery units. It's not until the fourth age that the United States' artillery becomes more competitive.

  • Weak cavalry: The American cavalry is generally average but can be quite weak in the third age. The carbine cavalry unit, in particular, has high attack but low defense, making it vulnerable to enemy infantry. Additionally, the lack of heavy cavalry units and the vulnerability of the American cavalry to heavy infantry make the United States a less effective cavalry civilization overall. In Age IV, the Kovat's Legion shipment can provide stronger Hungarian Hussars

  • Slow economic growth: The United States' economy takes longer to develop and become strong compared to other civilizations. This can make it more difficult for American players to reach the late game, especially in the industrial and imperial ages, where their more expensive units become a greater strain on their resources.

  • Lack of strong melee infantry: The United States has no melee infantry units except for the Spanish Immigrants card, which may not be sufficient in some situations. This leaves them vulnerable to heavy cavalry units like the French Cuirassier or the Ottoman Spahi, which can deal area damage. Additionally, the lack of strong melee infantry means that the United States can struggle against a combination of heavy cavalry and light infantry units.


USA AOE3 Deck strategies

The main deck strategies for USA AOE3 are "All in Age2", which focuses on quickly advancing to age 2, using unique cards and technologies to create a strong economy and military, including highlander mercenaries and state militia; and the Fast Fortress (FF) strategy, which involves using French Immigrants, sending villagers to gather wood and then food, using the Capitalism card, advancing to Age II with the Virginia state, sending resources from the home city, and rushing the enemy with Marines and Gatling Guns while vulnerable to early game rushes.


United States AOE3 DE: All in Age 2 strategy


  • Begin the game with an outpost and send one villager to gather food and the rest to gather wood.
  • Use the wood to build a house and once you reach 100 food, send all your villagers to gather food and advance to Age 2.
  • Continue to create villagers until you have 12 and then advance to Age 2.
  • Use the Chinese Immigrants card to obtain a free Trading Post and increase Trading Post resistance.
  • Use the Capitalism card for a trickle of 1.65 coins per second to boost your economy.
  • Use the Advanced Saloon card to have three saloons, which can also act as housing for up to 20 population.
  • Use the Pennsylvania state card to advance to Age 2 and obtain two cards, including the Philadelphia Convention which provides a meeting house wagon, and access to unique Federal technologies.
  • After advancing to Age 2, use the Arkansas Post card to build and use your three saloons.
  • Use the Philadelphia Convention card to obtain a Meeting House and unique technologies, and consider building a second Meeting House for more experience generation.
  • Research the Pennsylvania Pound technology to obtain a trickle of 2.5 gold per second, but with a 10% reduction in gold gathering efficiency.
  • Use the Scottish Immigrants card to obtain eight Highlanders, who are powerful musketeer mercenaries.
  • Build an army with State Militia and Regulars, and use your powerful Highlanders and Minutemen to defend.
  • Use market upgrades and the Dutch Immigrants card to obtain passive gold from the bank and boost your economy.


Overall, this strategy provides a strong economy, plenty of experience, and a powerful army in a short period of time, to continue with  the strategy then you have the following options:


Semi FF (Semi Fast Fortress)

I like to start the semi FF with "French Immigrants" as my first Home-city card, so use your villagers to build a house and get the 225 wood needed for the card. Once you have these resources, focus on getting food. We will advance to age II with the Virginia federal state since we will need the "Virginia Plan" card, which will help us in rushing to the Fortress Age.


By the time you reach age II, you should have a shipment from the Home-city. I highly recommend using the "Spanish Immigrants" card since it will give you a detachment that you can use to your advantage. I suggest using this detachment near a trading post so that you can use the "levy" ability to recruit Tercio Pikemen, which have excellent siege damage and can quickly destroy buildings.

Once you advance to age II, use the "8 State Militia" card. With the Tercio Pikemen by your side, there is no combination that can harm you in the early game, except for Swedes with their Leather Cannons, but that's an exception. I recommend rushing quickly to weaken your opponent by killing some of their villagers to slow down their economy.

Use the 700 coin shipment and make your villagers get only 300 coins, then proceed with the remaining 1200 food to advance to the next age.

Use the Govern State shipment, which gives you a governor and a free technology.

Then do the following:

  • Research Statehood, which will advance your age up and provide more experience crates for future shipments.
  • Use the Virginia Plan card to gain two shipments, and save them for when you advance to the next age.
  • Choose any convenient state, but Kentucky is recommended to obtain the Kentucky Hunters card.
  • Use your extra shipments from Virginia Plan to upgrade your regulars to veterans and your state militia as well.
  • Choose between using your sharpshooters from Kentucky Hunters or sending 3 artillery shipments for anti-cavalry and anti-heavy infantry.


The Semi FF strategy concludes here, and your next moves depend on your gameplay. Remember, this strategy works best if you can destroy enemy villagers and outposts quickly upon reaching age II.


United States AOE3 DE: Fast Fortress strategy


The Fast Fortress strategy involves using the Capitalism card instead of French Immigrants, building a market to gather gold, and advancing to Age II with the Delaware federal cards. Once there, players should leave a few villagers on gold and the rest on food, while saving the "levy" and 8 State Militia cards for defense. The strategy aims to quickly advance to Age III and obtain the advantages of its cards.


  • Replace French Immigrants with Capitalism card
  • Use extra wood to build a market and send villagers to gather at least 50 gold
  • Develop Hunting Dogs and build a house

Delaware federal cards:

  • Age up with Delaware federal card which gives you 700 food and a reward of 300 food, saving 400 food
  • While aging up, send villagers to mine 300 coins and use Dutch Immigrants card for a good trickle of 2.65 gold

Leave 3-4 villagers on gold and the rest on food

  • Save "Levy" and 8 State Militia cards for defense
  • If rushed, use timing to call both Levy and 8 State Militia for a satisfying combination of Minutemen absorption and militia damage
  • If not rushed, use Govern State card for a State Capitol wagon and research Statehood to expedite aging up

Recommend having Metropoli card deck with 1000 wood shipments and a fort for creating urban centers and defense against future rushes, while also using Levy to repel enemies. This strategy ensures the advantages of Age III cards are obtained quickly, so bring many Age III cards from the Metropoli and leave few in Age II if possible.


United States AOE3 DE: Fast Fortress strategy

This FF strategy is similar to the previous one but with the addition of using the Delaware federal cards to save food and gain gold, and leaving some villagers on gold while the rest gather food. The use of Levy and 8 State Militia cards for defense is also emphasized.

  • Use French Immigrants for 225 wood
  • Have villagers gather wood to build a house, then gather food
  • Use "Capitalism" card and age up to II with Virginia federal card
  • Send some villagers to mine 300 coins and the rest to gather food
  • Once at Age II, send 700 gold from Metropoli to quickly advance to Age III
  • Use "Govern State" card to get cheaper urban centers and research "Statehood"
  • Use "Levy" ability when possible and send villagers to gain experience for Virginia Plan
  • Use United States Marines card for versatile Musketeers and Culpeper Minutemen card to get 6 Marines per urban center
  • Call 3 Gatling Guns with Rolling Artillery card and rush enemy with Marines and artillery, avoiding damage from cavalry and light infantry. Vulnerable to early rushes.

This strategy uses Marines that have a high ranged damage and bonus against artillery, making them effective against cavalry and infantry. However, it is vulnerable to early game rushes due to a standard Age II advancement compared to the first FF strategy with faster Age II advancement using hunting dogs and 700 food "age up".


USA AOE3 Strategies FAQ


How to rush as USA in AOE3?

USA has two types of rushes that can be done in age 2 and age 3 respectively. The age 2 rushes are the semi FF or the scothish immigrants type of build that we talked about in this article. In age 3, the FF strategies consist of cards that focus a rush in said age, it is a more powerful rush than semi FF, but it makes you vulnerable in the transition from age 2 to 3, so you have to play carefully.

What are some popular fast fortress strategies for the USA in Age of Empires III?

The most popular fast fortress strategies for the USA involve using the Capitalism card instead of French Immigrants, building a market to gather gold, and advancing to Age II with the Delaware federal cards.


How do I defend against rushes when using a fast fortress strategy with the USA?

When using a fast fortress strategy with the USA, it is important to save "Levy" and 8 State Militia cards for defense. If you are rushed, use timing to call both Levy and 8 State Militia for a satisfying combination of Minutemen absorption and militia damage.


What is the Meta card for the USA in Age of Empires III?

The "Oro de California" card is considered the Meta card for the USA in Age of Empires III, as it provides free villagers and a Home City Wagon, allowing you to obtain up to four Home Centers and exponentially increase your scaling capability.


How can I effectively use United States Marines and Culpeper Minutemen cards in Age of Empires III with the USA?

Once you reach Age III, you can activate Virginia Plan and use your villagers to gather 750 wood to obtain your urban centers. Then use the United States Marines card to convert Minutemen into Marines, and the Culpeper Minutemen card to obtain six Minutemen per urban center, which will become Marines with the United States Marines card.


Are there any disadvantages to using a fast fortress strategy with the USA in Age of Empires III?

While the fast fortress strategy can be very effective for the USA in Age of Empires III, it does leave you vulnerable to early-game rushes from opponents, as the sub-age up to Age II is relatively standard compared to other strategies.


Final thoughts

When aiming to reach Age IV, the Industrial Age, it's important to use the California federal state, as the "California Gold" card is a ridiculously powerful meta for the United States civilization. This card allows you to get villagers for free and sends you a homecenter wagon, enabling you to have up to 4 homecenters, which exponentially increases your ability to scale in the game. This advantage lasts forever, so if your villagers get destroyed by a rush, you don't have to worry about your resources.

When in the Imperial Age, feel free to use any federal state according to your preference. However, I recommend using the federal state of [state name] and [state name].

Best of luck on the battlefields of Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition!