Video Game Guides

How to Select Idle Villagers in Age of Empires 2

This article provides information about how to select idle villagers in Age of Empires 2. Villagers are essential to any civilization’s economy in Age of Empires 2. They work to gather resources and in building construction. 

The key to growing any civilization is having villagers assigned to different tasks. Selecting idle villagers in Age of Empires 2 allows players to readily assign villagers to tasks that guarantee a stronger civilization with faster growth rates.

An idle villager will be standing inactive at a spot in the game. Players can find idle villagers by clicking on the Idle Villager button beside resources. It is designed as a yellow circle with a villager standing by a tree.


Selecting Villagers Using Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcut to select an idle villager is a full stop (.). Holding down the Shift key + (.) will mark all idle villagers. However, players can modify hotkey combinations according to their preferences by choosing keys without overlapping commands. To modify the hotkey:

  1. Click the “Scroll” at the top right corner to go to the menu.
  2. Select Options from the menu window.
  3. An Options window will pop up. Click the HotKeys button towards the bottom left corner.
  4. The Hotkeys window has the HotKeys Group and HotKeys section on the left and right side, respectively. 
  5. Select game Commands from the HotKeys Group and scroll down the HotKeys section till you find the Go to Next Idle Villager option.
  6. The default hotkey will be (.). You can change it to the key of your choice and exit the window.

…if a player wishes to select multiple villagers, the keyboard shortcuts to use are the Shift + left mouse button. 

Selecting Villagers Using the Mouse

If a player prefers to select villagers using the mouse, they can select an idle villager by clicking on the mouse scroll wheel/left-click button. To select multiple villagers using the mouse, players can use a combination of the shift key or control key + mouse wheel down/left-click button to select all idle villagers with the mouse. 

In the DE version of AOE2, holding ALT + running the left-click button over the villagers selects only villager units. If players are not careful, they may select the wrong unit instead of idle villagers. To avoid accidentally selecting the wrong unit:

  1. An idle villager will have a colored exclamation mark on their heads when you hit the period (.) button.
  2. An idle villager may hold resources from a previous task.
  3. Players will need to pay attention to static villagers to be certain they are idle.

…the best way to avoid deselecting idle villagers is to give them new commands immediately.

Tips and Tricks

Managing idle villagers effectively can influence players’ success while playing Age of Empires 2. These are some of the points to note for managing idle villagers:

  1. Players should have a good grasp of their civilizations’ economic and military views before appointing villagers. This will help maintain a balance and ensure villagers remain optimally productive.
  2. Don’t create more villagers until all idle villagers are assigned tasks.
  3. Appoint villagers to tasks suitable to their units.
  4. Players can use idle villagers to prevent food rot and kill idle time.
  5. Players may also automatically assign idle villagers to a task. 

Samuel Agwah

Samuel Agwah is a freelance game writer with over 5 years of experience in the industry. He has written for various gaming publications and websites, and has a passion for all things gaming, from console to PC and mobile. He specializes in game reviews, news, and feature articles. Samuel is also an avid gamer, and spends his free time playing and testing the latest games.