How to build Age of Empires 2 barracks to expand your army

Age of Empires 2
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Age of Empires 2 barracks are the main way you’ll build up your armies for war, but you’ll need adequate space and materials to do so. Once you’ve started gathering resources and get your economy started with workers, your next priority should be to start forming your military forces with barracks. Constructing these will let you train infantry units that you can command to attack enemies or defend territory. However, Age of Empires 2 is pretty complicated, with lots of menus, sub-menus and UI elements, so knowing exactly what to do can be a bit tricky. With that in mind, here are the details on how to build barracks in Age of Empires 2.

How to turn build barracks in Age of Empires 2

To build barracks in Age of Empires 2 you need to select a villager and choose the barracks from the Military page of the villager’s Command menu. You’ll also need 175 wood, and a 3x3 area to place your barracks and start building your army.

Age of Empires 2 barracks construction command menu

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)
  1. Select a villager: Do this by manually finding and selecting a villager or by cycling through your villagers with up on the D-Pad.
  2. Open the Military page of the Villager’s Command menu and select Barracks: Hold RT to open the radial villager Command menu, then press Y to switch from the Economy page to the Military page. Use the left stick to highlight Barracks and then press A to start placing.
  3. Place and build your Barracks: Now you can move around your territory to find a spot for your Barracks. Press A to place the barracks and construction will automatically being. If you want to speed up the construction of your barracks, you can assign more villagers to the job.

Age of Empires 2 barracks training command menu

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)
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Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition

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With your Age of Empires 2 barracks built, you can now use them to train up infantry units and bolster your army. You’ll need to spend food and gold to both train and improve you soldiers, with upgrades costing far more than training. Train units by selecting your Barracks, holding RT to open the Command menu, then selecting the unit type you want to train.

Starting in the Dark Age, you’ll have access to only the humble Militia fighter, but you’ll be able to upgrade to the Man-at-Arms and other specialized units as soon as you reach the Feudal Age and beyond. With infantry units being your primary forces in Age of Empires 2, it’s essential that you have a good number of barracks, and the resources to support them, so that you can have a large army. Barracks are also essential for Archery Ranges and Stables, so you’ll need them to get other armed units too.

If you've been checking out Age of Empires 2 on Game Pass, why not take a look at these games like Age of Empires to see what else can scratch that strategy itch.

Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.