Like many other real-time strategy games, Age of Mythology is based on defeating enemy units and towns, building your own units and towns, training villagers and fighters. In this way, players are able to defeat and conquer rival towns and civilizations. Players advance their tribe through four "Ages": starting in the Archaic Age, the player may upgrade to the Classical Age, the Heroic Age, and finally, the Mythic Age. Each upgrade to a higher Age unlocks new units and technologies for the player, which strengthens their settlement. However, upgrading requires a sum of resources to be paid and a certain prerequisite building to be constructed.