In Age of Empires 4, players should choose a civilization wisely before starting a match. As one of eight possible civilizations, the Rus represent an intriguing challenge. The Rus draw their strength by living off the land while allowing nothing to go to waste. If given ample time to grow, the Rus are difficult people to keep down.

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Understanding the nuances of the Rus faction is essential for achieving victory in a match. Fans who can capitalize on the Russian strengths in the early game will be in a fine position to dominate the late game. With this guide, fans will possess all the key information they need before playing as the Rus.


Updated October 3, 2022 by Mark Hospodar: Few strategy games remain exactly the same as they did on the day of their release. Age of Empires 4 is no exception. Several rebalancing updates have been implemented for the game’s civilizations.

The Rus, like the other factions, have undergone a few changes. This guide has been updated to include a new chart regarding the Mastery challenges available to the Rus. Some stats have also been updated to accurately reflect the current state of the game.

An Overview Of The Rus Civilization

The Rus possess a lot of early-game advantages that make them formidable opponents at the start of a match. They can erect strong defenses in the form of durable palisade walls and Wooden Fortresses. Access to Knights in the Feudal Age also comes in handy for repelling enemy attacks and initiating early raids.

The core of the Russian economy stems from the bounty of the land itself, specifically through hunting. The Rus gain Gold as well as Food through their Hunting Cabins. Unique Russian units, such as the Warrior Monks, give the faction an edge when trying to achieve a Sacred Victory in a match.

Rus Civilization Bonuses

The Rus can call upon a score of civilization bonuses unique to their faction. Players must leverage these advantages to the fullest extent possible, considering the Rus are a bit tricky to master. The Civilization Bonuses of the Rus are as follows:

  • Generate Gold and increase bounty when killing animals
  • Higher bounty provides additional Food income from all sources
  • Early Knights are available in the Feudal Age
  • Stronger Palisades with twice as much health
  • Construct the Hunting Cabin – An improved Mill that can produce Scouts and generates Gold from nearby forests
  • Construct Wooden Fortresses which have additional health and garrison slots
  • Lumber Camps and Town Centers within the Influence of a Wooden Fortress return 20% more Wood

As fans can see, hunting plays a significant role in the Russian economy. The more animals players hunt, the higher the bounty. In turn, a higher bounty means more Food and Gold overall in the player’s coffers. With early Knights and strong fortifications, the Rus can skillfully stave off invasion while expanding their own forces.

Unique Rus Units

The Rus possess two wholly unique units that can help turn the tide of a battle. Warrior Monks retain all the standard abilities of generic religious units. They can heal friendly forces, convert enemies to the player’s side, and capture relics and Sacred Sites. They are mounted, however, which affords them greater mobility.

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The Warrior Monk’s greatest strength lies in their Saint’s Blessing ability. When a Warrior Monk strikes an enemy, all nearby friendly units receive a buff to their armor and damage ratings, which significantly increases their effectiveness on the battlefield. Thus, bringing along a few Warrior Monks to a battle is worth it.

The Streltsy is a unique Russian gunpowder unit. Unlike standard Hand Cannoneers, Streltsy can make use of increased firepower while remaining stationary. While not entirely unique in a strict sense, the Rus can also recruit Horse Archers, which are relatively cheap to produce.

Unique Rus Technologies & Abilities

  • Double Time
  • Mounted Precision
  • Blessing Duration
  • Boyar’s Fortitude
  • Knight Sabers
  • Castle Turret
  • Castle Watch
  • Banded Arms
  • Wandering Town
  • Siege Crew Training
  • Fine Tuned Guns

Double Time increases the movement speed of Streltsy by +30% for 10 seconds. Mounted Precision increases the weapon range of Horse Archers by +1. Blessing Duration increases the duration of Saint’s Blessing by +10 seconds. Boyar’s Fortitude increases the health of Rus cavalry by +20.

Knight Sabers increases the melee damage of Knights by +4. Castle Turret increases the damage of arrows fired from a Wooden Fortress by +2. Castle Watch increases the sight range of a Wooden Fortress by +6 tiles.

Banded Arms increases the range of Springalds by +0.5 tiles. Wandering Town increases Ram damage by +100%. With Siege Crew Training, the setup and teardown speed of Trebuchets and Mangonels is instant. Fine Tuned Guns reduces the reload time of Bombards by -20%.

Rus Naval Advantages

  • Lodya Ships
  • Clinker Construction
  • Cedar Hulls

Russian naval vessels are flexible. Fishing Ships don’t require a return trip to the Docks to drop off their payloads. Lodya ships are dynamic in that they can be converted into any other type of ship. Clinker Construction increases the health of all Lodya Attack Ships by +200. Cedar Hulls increases the health of all Lodya Attack Ships by +200 and their ranged armor by +1.

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The Bounty System

The Rus can receive a boost to their economy through a system of bounties. The more animals hunted, the greater the rewards in the form of Gold. Sheep are worth +5, Deer +10, Wolves +25, and Boar +75. This system is broken into three tiers:

  • Tier 1 – 100 Bounty: +5% Villager Food Harvest Rate & Hunting Cabins generate Gold every 27 seconds
  • Tier 2 – 250 Bounty: +10% Villager Food Harvest Rate & Hunting Cabins generate Gold every 24 seconds
  • Tier 3 – 500 Bounty: +15% Villager Food Harvest Rate & Hunting Cabins generate Gold every 18 seconds

Rus Landmarks

  • The Golden Gate (Feudal Age, Economic) – Allows the exchange of resources at a favorable rate. Generates an additional exchange every minute.
  • Kremlin (Feudal Age, Defensive) – Acts as a Wooden Fortress that comes with Arrowslits, Castle Turret, and Castle Watch technologies.
  • Abbey of the Trinity (Castle Age, Religious) – Acts as a Monastery. Can produce Warrior Monks at half the cost and contains unique religious technologies.
  • High Trade House (Castle Age, Economic) – Generates Gold like a Hunting Cabin with the value increased by +400%. Spawns Deer every 60 seconds. Villagers can drop off Food at this building.
  • Spasskaya Tower (Imperial Age, Defensive) – Acts as a Keep with all weapon emplacements already in place and with increased health.
  • High Armory (Imperial Age, Military) – Decreases the cost of siege engines in nearby Siege Workshops by -20%. Contains unique siege engine technologies.

Rus Masteries

Like the other civilizations in the game, players can complete several Mastery challenges for the Rus. Completing these missions nets the player 1,000 Experience Points, along with other fun rewards in the form of fun facts, monuments, portraits, etc.

Challenge Description Reward
Hunting Grounds Accumulate 50 bounty by hunting Sheep, Deer, or Boar in the Dark Age Portrait: Rus Forester Fun Fact: The Forest Provides
Foresters Construct 4 Lumber Camps within the range of influence of a Wooden Fortress Fun Fact: The Wolf Hunt Coat of Arms-Frame: Rounded Banner Shape
Test Of Strength I Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match against the Easy A.I. Fun Fact: Battle on the Ice Portrait: Boar
On The Wild Side Accrue 250 Gold from Hunting Cabins in the Dark Age Portrait: Elena Glinskaya Fun Fact: The Fur Trade
Birch Barricades Construct 25 Fortified Palisade Walls with Villagers in the Dark Age Fun Fact: The Moscow Kremlin Coat of Arms-Sigil: Boar’s Head
Frontier Trading Use the Golden Gate Landmark to make 5 trades in the Feudal Age Portrait: Rus Scout Fun Fact: A Crowded Winter
Test Of Strength II Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match against the Intermediate A.I. Fun Fact: Rivals for the Throne Monument: Forester
Day And Knight Defeat 15 enemies with Early Knights in the Feudal Age Portrait: Olga of Kiev Fun Fact: The Monk and the Mongol
Divinity Defeat 30 enemies affected by Saint’s Blessing Coat of Arms-Sigil: Hand Ax Fun Fact: The Trading Square
Mount The Attack Research Boyar’s Fortitude and Mounted Precision and then defeat 30 enemies with cavalry Portrait: Rus Horse Archer Fun Fact: Wandering Town
Test Of Strength III Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match against the Hard A.I. Portrait: Rus Streltsy Fun Fact: The Reign of Elena
Lay Siege Research two upgrades from the High Armory and produce 20 siege engines in the Imperial Age Portrait: Druzhina Knight Fun Fact: The Rise and Fall of the Streltsy
Black Powder Research Double Time from the Archery Range and defeat 30 enemies with Streltsy Portrait: Rus Warrior Monk Fun Fact: The Boyars
Ours Is The Glory Achieve a Sacred Victory with fully upgraded Warrior Monks Portrait: Ivan the Terrible Fun Fact: The Tsar and the Church
Test Of Strength IV Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match against the Hardest A.I. Coat of Arms-Pattern: Right Quadrant Pattern Fun Fact: Fear and Control

Tips For Playing As The Rus

The Russian predilection toward hunting can’t be overstated. The more animals that can be hunted means more Gold in the player’s pockets. With an abundant supply of Food and Gold, players can recruit units and purchase upgrades with ease. Any deficient resource can be bought through the Market. Consider building the High Trade House Landmark for a regular supply of Deer.

Fans playing as the Rus should use their early-game advantages to jumpstart their economy aggressively. Build plenty of Hunting Cabins near forests to generate respectable amounts of Gold. Once enough Wooden Fortresses and military units have been acquired, players can adopt a slower pace to grind their enemies down, courtesy of a robust and highly efficient economy.

Age of Empires 4 is currently available on PC.

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