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Age of Empires IV – Season One Update Release Notes

Editor’s Note: Added clarification on how the Queue Dodging system works was added below.

We’re thrilled to officially welcome you to Age of Empires IV Season One: Festival of Ages – our first major update of 2022 – launching tomorrow morning Pacific Time, April 7th (Please check our social channels for exact timing)! As we shared with our updated roadmap, our view for these major updates is that we should be offering something for everyone, so whether you’re a competitive player, a campaign enthusiast or someone who’s eager to get your hands on the Age of Empires IV Content Editor (Beta), we hope you’ll enjoy diving right into our largest set of release notes to date!

Read on to learn more about the new features coming to Age IV tomorrow, how we’re approaching civilization and map balance, and more below! We’ll also spend some time sharing what we learned from our first ever Public Update Preview (PUP) and some of what we have planned following the official release of the Season One update.

As a reminder, we’ve already shared a deep dive on the Content Editor & Mods as well as Ranked Season One, which is set to kick off next week, Wednesday, April 13th, so you’ll have some time to explore these changes before you hit the ranked ladder to demonstrate your prowess and earn rewards!

NOTE: Upon updating to this patch, you will no longer be able to utilize replays from previous updates. At times, saves will also be impacted, though we’ve taken additional steps to ensure your campaign saves are not impacted by this particular update. Skirmish saves from the previous patch are impacted and will no longer be accessible after you update.

Learnings from Public Previews

We wanted to extend a quick thank you to those of you who joined in on the 1v1 Ranked Seasons Preview and Public Update Preview! Not only did you arm us with knowledge we’ll continue to apply in the future, but you helped us properly ready up for the Season One update!

With a close look, you’ll likely notice a number of changes made since these previews, but we wanted to call out a few:

    • Ranked Season tier terminology and artwork more closely align, with the number of weapons present on each badge matching the tier. In the image below, we’re showing the badges for Tier III (such as Gold III).

  • Several balance changes were made with PUP feedback in mind:
    • Stone Wall Tower cost increased from 200 to 300 stone
    • SUL Herbal Medicine technology moved from the Dark Age to the Castle Age
    • CHI Imperial Official train time reduced from 30 to 20 seconds (This is reverting the change from the original PUP release notes)
    • SUL and ABB orchard bonus reduced from +250 to +100 food
    • RUS Banded Arms bonus range decreased from +1.5 to +0.5
  • PUP participants also called out a number of bugs we were able to fix before this release:
    • Attempting to observe a modded game when you do not have the same mods enabled should no longer result in a crash
    • Improvements made to sheep to allow for easier selection
    • Selection tool should now prioritize siege unit selection over building selection when the unit overlaps with a building
    • Fixed an issue from the PUP build where custom games that require mods sometimes do not show up as modded in the custom game browser
    • Fixed an issue found in the PUP where infantry could occasionally sneak through palisade walls near bastions

New Features and Highlights

    • Introducing the Age of Empires IV Content Editor (Beta)! With this powerful tool, creators are invited to embrace and create their own ideas within the game and share them with the wider community! We talk more about the Content Editor below, including providing a quick overview of the in-house-created mods launching with Season One.
    • Our first ever Ranked Season starts next week, April 13th! Prepare your best strategies and work your way through the ranks over the next several weeks.
    • Based on your feedback, we’ve implemented the Global Build Queue! The Global Build Queue is visible in both gameplay and observer modes. Using the Global Build Queue you’ll get an overview of all your upgrades and units in queue at all times in the HUD.
      • Click specific tiles within the Global Build Queue to select the building the unit or upgrade is queuing within (or the unit itself for build-on-the-field siege units) and optionally move the camera to that location based on the current “Find and Cycle Units & Buildings” setting
      • Ctrl+Click tiles in the Global Build Queue to cancel the most recently queued item in the stack
      • The Global Build Queue can be disabled or set to “Upgrades Only” in the in-game settings
      • Use hotkeys to cycle between “Show All,” “Upgrades Only,” and “Hide.” The default hotkey for this function is Ctrl+Shift+Q

    • We know you’ve been looking for improved hotkeys, and while we still have some work underway and planned for the future, Season One includes a number of exciting changes! For a deeper in-depth look, check out the Keyboard Controls and Quality of Life section below.
      • We’ve added the ability to rebind hotkeys to Mouse 3, 4, and 5
      • Quickly toggle on or off Control Group exclusivity, or use any number of new hotkeys to add or remove a unit from a Control Group
      • You will be able to bind other commands to the “ALT” and “Shift” keys
        • We are aware that hotkeys bound to Alt, Shift or Ctrl can lose functionality after restarting the game. Our teams are working on a fix for this
      • New Global Hotkeys enable you to cycle or select all buildings of a specific type, cancel items in production queues, save camera locations, and much more
      • Additional categories have been added to the hotkey menu to improve navigation
    • It is now possible to navigate on the map after being eliminated or when the game is over in Skirmish and Multiplayer games. You can go back and forth between the map and the post-game screen using the “Continue” and “Back” buttons.
      • The Fog of War is revealed to all players when the game is over
      • There is a new “Reveal on elimination” setting for custom games, revealing the Fog of War to eliminated players
    • Introducing the Patrol Move in-game! Patrol allows units to move along a path and attack any enemies they see.
    • You can now use the “Random” civilization selection option when setting up for a match.
    • We’re unveiling a brand new Art of War challenge with Advanced Combat. Refine your strategy and challenge yourself to earn Gold!

  • A queue dodging cooldown system has been added that applies a 5, 15, 30 and 60-minute lock out to Quick Match and Ranked queues. While your very first queue dodge will not require a cooldown period, all subsequent queue dodging will result in a cooldown with the time period escalating from 5 minutes and so on. Please note that the cooldown period resets after 24 hours.

    Developer Note: Queue dodging behavior has affected Quick Match for some time. While we have long-term solutions we’re not ready to share just yet, this cooldown system will help queues move along more quickly. We will continue to monitor feedback around this system and make adjustments where appropriate.


      • We’ve made some improvements to the layout of the Chinese Dynasty UI!
        • The Chinese Dynasty Button now fits snugly next to the official button
        • We’ve updated the visual style of the Chinese Dynasty UI, including the button used to expand the dialog

    • Based on Player feedback and data, we have made difficulty tuning to six Campaign missions. Adjustments were made to reduce the number of enemy units, in addition to smaller changes to make the missions easier and in some cases shorter. You can read on below for more details, but the affected missions are:
      • North to York
      • Siege of Wallingford
      • Combat of the Thirty
      • Siege of Paris
      • Battle of Pontvallain
      • Battle of Formigny


    In-House Mods

    The team has created several interesting in-house mods to showcase various capabilities of the Editor. You can find the full list below!

    • Royal Rumble
      • TYPE: Game Mode
      • DESCRIPTION: Be the last king standing! Achieve victory by eliminating all enemy Kings while defending your own. Based on the classic Age of Empires II game mode “Regicide.”

    • Tombolos
      • TYPE: Crafted Map
      • DESCRIPTION: Welcome to paradise. This map features multiple tranquil islands connected by narrow sand tombolos. Supports up to 2 players.
    • Britain & Ireland
      • TYPE: Generated Map
      • DESCRIPTION: Fight for regency over the British Isles! This map features a landmass that resembles Britain, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
    • Indian Subcontinent
      • TYPE: Generated Map
      • DESCRIPTION: Battle over South Asia! This map features a landmass that resembles the Indian subcontinent.
    • The Gulch
      • TYPE: Generated Map
      • DESCRIPTION: “You ever wonder why we are here?” This map features a box canyon surrounded by walls on all sides. Supports up to 4 players.
    • Thick Woods
      • TYPE: Tuning Pack
      • DESCRIPTION: That’s… a lot of wood. Doubles the amount of Wood available in trees.
    • Double Villagers
      • TYPE: Tuning Pack
      • DESCRIPTION: The peasants are revolt… I mean, multiplying! Train two Villagers at the same time for the cost of one.
    • Dire Wolves
      • TYPE: Tuning Pack
      • DESCRIPTION: The wolves are hungry and out for blood! All Wolves have increased damage, hit points, and size.

    Mod Bug Fixes

    Big thanks to those of you who joined us for the Public Update Preview! We’ve made some fixes to mods since then:

    • The scar console can now be used to debug UGC when launching with “-dev”
    • Fix for incorrect message being displayed regarding amount of mod ratings
    • Fixed an issue causing front end music to play while paused if the player used a custom map
    • Privacy settings have been updated for Mods:
      • Under Steam, users can set their privacy settings for viewing/using user generated content in game under their Online settings
      • Under Xbox, users can set their privacysettings for viewing/using user generated content under their privacy settings
    • Fixed an issue from the PUP build where custom games that require mods sometimes do not show up as modded in the custom game browser


    Balance Update Goals

    • Tighten win rates in preparation of our first ranked season!
    • Encourage earlier conflict on the map with deer patches
    • Improve the feel of moving naval units and increase strategic options through more effective retreats
    • Increase risk and counterplay when constructing buildings near the enemy forces
    • Ensure civ unique units stand out instead of being niche counters
    • Make dynasty bonuses more useful for the period of the game in which they are unlocked
    • Create more compelling decision making around landmark picks

    All Civilizations

    Core Units

    • Field construction build time of Springald increased from 30 to 80 seconds
    • Field construction build time of Mangonel increased from 40 to 80 seconds
    • Field construction build time of Traction Trebuchet increased from 35 to 80 seconds

      Developer Note: Siege weapons are frequently built by many infantry at the same time in the field. We wanted to add more time here to give opponents an adequate chance at counter play.


    • Field constructed Traction Trebuchets now have the correct tool tip
    • Scout hunting bow reload time reduced from 2 to 1 second
    • Scout melee weapon cool down reduced from 4 to 2 seconds
    • Scout melee weapon damage reduced from 4 to 2

      Developer Note: We found scout attack times to feel too long and unresponsive. This is especially noticeable in the early stages of the game when unit counts are lower.



      • Villager hunted meat carry capacity increased from 10 to 25
      • Survival Techniques hunted meat carry capacity bonus removed
      • Survival Techniques hunted meat harvest rate increased from 10% to 15%
      • Survival Techniques research time reduced from 75 to 45 seconds


    Developer Note: We’re aim to encourage earlier game deer play to reward players for being out on the map.



      • Improved the responsiveness of small and medium ships
      • Arrow ships can no longer fire while moving


    Developer Note: Engaging in naval battles was very swingy as once a player started losing it was difficult to retreat against fire while moving boats. We’re also hoping to see more tactical poke and retreat style feigns and harassment.


      • Extended Lines research time reduced from 75 to 45 seconds
      • Drift Nets research time reduced 75 to 45 seconds


    Developer Note: Between making more fishing boats and researching, the dock had to choose between these economic techs that took so long. It was generally better just to make more fishing boats. Reducing the research time makes these techs enticing earlier in the match.


      • Galley Population reduced from 4 to 3
      • Junk Population reduced from 4 to 2
      • Galleass Population reduced from 6 to 5
      • Attack Ship ranged armor reduced by 1, except for the French Hulk


    Developer Note: Attack ships are designed to counter arrowships. However we felt the armor was so extreme of a counter it felt ineffective and unfun to engage in these naval battles.


      • Baghlah springald weapon damage increased from 50 to 70
      • Baghlah attack speed reduced from 3.25 to 3.75 seconds


    Developer Note: Helps Baghlah’s ability to take out enemy structures. This is also a net increase to Baghlah DPS to account for the lack of Swivel Ballista technology.


      • Warship formation spacing reduced from 4.5 to 3 tiles
      • Baochuan weapon range reduced from 9 to 8 tiles


    Developer Note: We want to give land units and defenses more opportunity to return fire against naval units. It’s not satisfying for a boat to out range your defenses and kill them without taking any damage. Having both sides take some damage creates a more interesting back and forth dynamic between players that adds strategy and micro into the mix.


      • Naval Navigator no longer gives +1 weapon range, increased sight range improvement from 1 to 4 tiles


    Developer Note: Naval units frequently are hampered from firing at their max range by inability to see land units on hills. This helps combat their sight issues as well as making the technology more situationally useful instead of an automatic research every game.


      • Updated the selection area for all fishing deposits to match the visual. This also resolves issues where deep fish became harder to select as the resource was depleted
      • Galley, Dhow and Junk help text updated to specifically indicate they benefit from ranged damage Blacksmith technology
      • Rams can no longer target naval units


    Developer Note: While this was a bug fix, we received player feedback about how it added a fun dynamic to the game. We’ll look into readjusting in the future.


    Core Buildings & Upgrades

      • Buildings under construction receive 50% more damage


    Developer Note: Players were dropping buildings in the middle of battles and there wasn’t any way to stop it. We’ve added this damage penalty to in progress buildings to add more risk and counterplay to these strategies to even out how powerful they are.


      • Keep build time increased from 120 to 140 seconds
      • Stone Wall Tower build time increased from 60 to 90 seconds
      • Stone Wall Tower cost increased from 200 to 300 stone


    Developer Note: These changes together are specifically targeted at weakening feudal age stone wall tower rushes as it’s difficult to get enough army together in time to prevent them.


      • Boiling Oil cost increased from 250 Gold, 100 Stone to 500 Gold, 200 Stone


    Developer Note: One of the most powerful castle age upgrades. This was frequently grabbed as soon as a keep was completed. Increasing the cost adds more strategic contemplation to when it’s researched. Still well worth the investment!


      • Boiling Oil research time increased from 60 to 90 seconds
      • Greased Axles movement speed bonus reduced from 20% to 15%
      • Geometry moved from the University to the Siege Workshop
      • Geometry resource cost reduced from 300 Wood, 700 Gold to 100 Wood, 225 Gold
      • Geometry research time reduced from 90 to 45 seconds


    Developer Note: As geometry only affects 2 units that only damage buildings, we found the steep cost wasn’t justified and limited the intended scaling of late game rams.


      • Siege Works moved from the Siege Workshop to the University
      • Removed completely from the Chinese Astronomical Clocktower
      • Siege Works resource cost increased from 150 Wood, 350 Gold to 300 Wood, 700 Gold
      • Mongol Improved version cost increased from 500 Stone to 1000 Stone
      • Siege Works research time increased from 60 to 90 seconds
      • Siege Works for the Delhi Sultanate research time increased from 900 to 1350 seconds


    Developer Note: As university holds powerful technologies that affect entire classes of units, it was a much better fit for this technology.


    • Tithe Barns now correctly provides 30 stone per minute instead of 15
    • Repair ability now shows the correct requirements when attempting to use it on an enemy player
    • Fixed a bug where some units were leaving a visible “ghost” upon entering Fog of War, as if they were buildings. Units affected by this bug were: Battering Rams, Siege Towers, French Bombards, and the field-constructed versions of Mongol and Abbasid siege units.

    Balance - Civilization Specific

    Abbasid Dynasty


    • Orchard bonus reduced from +250 to +100 food 

      Developer Note: We like that the berry gathering speed makes this a prime resource for Abbasid, but it gives a boon for too long. We want them to have to move out on the map to more risky positions sooner.


    • Camel Archer move speed increased from 6.5 to 6.75
    • Camel Archer bonus damage vs. Spearman reduced from 3x to 2x
    • Camel Archer II damage increased from 10 to 12
    • Camel Archer III damage increased from 12 to 14
    • Camel Archer IV damage increased from 14 to 15
    • Camel Rider III damage increased from 9 to 14
    • Camel Rider III bonus damage vs. Cavalry reduced from 18 to 14
    • Camel Rider IV damage increased from 10 to 16
    • Camel Rider IV bonus damage vs. Cavalry reduced from 20 to 16 

      Developer Note: For both camel units we wanted them to be a bit more useful overall instead of just niche counter units. As Camel archers are ranged, fast, and high damage we’ll be scrutinizing them for upcoming balance patches.


    • Camel Barding now only affects Camel Riders, no longer affects the Camel Archer 

      Developer Note: Camel archers already get to benefit from Biology and Incendiary Arrows, this helps combat some of the upgrade stacking issues.


    • Camel Barding moved from the Blacksmith to the Stables
    • Camel Barding Cost reduced from 300 Food, 700 Gold to 100 Food, 225 Gold
    • Camel Barding research time reduced from 90 to 45 seconds
    • Faith can no longer be used to convert Naval units
    • The Abbasid Golden Age production speed bonus now properly applies to all production buildings, and not only military production buildings
    • Composite Bows tooltip now correctly displays 33% attack speed increase instead of 25%
    • Improved Processing now applies to Town Centers

    Economy Wing Changes


    Developer Note: Previously, the strongest wing bonuses weren’t available until reaching Imperial Age. This meant that choosing a wing wasn’t exciting as the payoff was very far in the future. We’ve resolved this by adding more enticing options starting off in the Feudal age!


    • Agriculture cost reduced from 200 Wood, 500 Gold to 75 Wood, 200 Gold
    • Agriculture research time reduced from 90 to 45 seconds

    Abbasid Dynasty – Trade Wing Changes

    • Grand Bazaar moved from the Imperial Age to the Feudal Age
    • Grand Bazaar cost reduced from 300 Food, 700 Gold to 50 Food, 125 Gold
    • Grand Bazaar research time reduced from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Spice Roads moved from the Feudal Age to the Imperial Age
    • Spice Roads cost increased from 100 Wood, 250 Gold to 300 Wood, 700 Gold

    Military Wing Changes

    • Boot Camp requirement reduced from Imperial Age to Feudal Age
    • Boot Camp cost reduced from 300 Food, 700 Gold to 50 Food, 125 Gold
    • Boot Camp research time decreased from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Camel Rider Shields cost reduced from 300 Food, 700 Gold to 250 Gold, 100 Food
    • Camel Rider Shields research time reduced from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Camel Support requirement increased from Feudal Age to Imperial Age
    • Camel Support armor bonus increased from 1 to 2
    • Camel Support cost increased from 50 Food, 125 Gold to 300 Food, 700 Gold
    • Camel Support research time increased from 60 to 90 seconds


    • Ancient Techniques cost increased from 150 Wood, 350 Gold to 200 Wood, 500 Gold 

      Developer Note: As players start in a dynasty and normally grab Song early this tech is giving at least a 10% bonus to gather rates and up to 20% for all resources.


    • Ancient Techniques research time increased from 60 to 90 seconds
    • Barbican of the Sun sight range increased to match the Outpost
    • Imperial Spies ability from the Imperial Palace Landmark now reveals Villagers, Traders, Trade Ships, Fishing Ships and Officials
    • An insidious tax fraud scheme has been discovered by our internal investigation bureau. It has come to our attention that Officials have been collecting taxes more often than permitted by Imperial Decree. An Official reprimand has been issued and the guilty have been punished. Firmer rules have been enacted to prevent this corruption from happening again in the future
    • Fixed a bug where Elite Fire Lancer torch damage wasn’t increasing when upgraded to Elite
    • Fixed a bug where Pagodas could generate more resources than intended

    Chinese Dynasty Changes

    • Dynasty units and buildings are no longer gated when advancing to the next dynasty. Once unlocked you can always build them
    • Yuan Dynasty movement speed bonus no longer applies to Siege
    • Village requirement reduced from Song Dynasty to Tang Dynasty 

      Developer Note: Adding earlier villages allows Chinese to create defensive garrison to resource nodes right at the start of the game.


    • Village cost increased from 100 Wood to 125 Wood
    • Village health increased from 1000 to 1500
    • Granary requirement reduced from Yuan Dynasty to Song Dynasty 

      Developer Note: Building the Granary earlier allows you to plan out your base layout while making the farm transition, instead of trying to fit in a large building after crops have already been established.


    • Granary harvest bonus reduced from 15% to 10%
    • Granary Health increased from 1000 to 1500
    • Pagoda requirement reduced from Ming Dynasty to Yuan Dynasty 

      Developer Note: Moving up the Pagoda allows the dynasty building to be built in the castle age when players are collecting relics.


    • Pagoda Relic resource bonus reduced from 100 Gold, Food, Wood and Stone to 100 Gold, 50 Food, 50 Wood, 50 Stone per minute

    Chinese Official Changes

    • Supervise production and research speed reduced from 200% to 150% 

      Developer Note: We found that China is quite strong with the improvements to their dynasties and the flexibility of 200% production speed allowing them an easier counter vs most tech switches.


    • Official cost changed from 150 Food to 100 Food, 50 Gold 

      Developer Note: China was able to rapidly accelerate their age of time by skipping a mining camp and using tax gold to age up with their faster building production time.


    Delhi Sultanate

    • Delhi Sanctity Gold bonus reduced from +100% to +50% 

      Developer Note: Providing so much gold bonus early allowed Delhi to snowball an early lead into an unstoppable victory.


    • Delhi Starting Wood reduced from 250 to 200 

      Developer Note: This wood bonus was originally added to help make an early Mosque. As the civ is quite strong in Feudal age, we wanted to require more commitment to unlocking the power of an early Mosque. Additionally, the extra starting wood was providing a powerful boost on maps where fishing boats could be constructed.


    • Herbal Medicine moved to the Castle Age 

      Developer Note: This powerful tech was providing a large power spike too early in the game. We’ve moved it back to Castle Age to match other civs.


    • Orchard bonus reduced from +250 to +100 food
    • No for real this time, guys! “Tower War Elephant” has been renamed to “Tower Elephant” so the name is more distinct from their cousins the “War Elephant.”
    • Delhi Fixed a bug where the Armored Beasts tooltip incorrectly stated it applied to Tower War Elephants. It now correctly states it only applies to War Elephants
    • Slow-Burning Defenses is now correctly positioned in the Imperial Age column in the Delhi Sultanate tech tree
    • Tower of victory attack speed bonus increased 15% to 20%. The buff is now applied in a larger radius. Effect now properly applies its full bonus to all-melee and ranged infantry
    • Fixed a bug that would sometimes reset the Food income provided by the Hisar Academy after producing a Man-at-Arms or Knight
    • The Compound of the Defender effect is no longer active while the Landmark is destroyed
    • The Delhi Sultanate tech tree now lists Honed Blades under the Castle Age
    • The Delhi Sultanate tech tree now lists Slow-Burning Defenses under Imperial Age instead of Castle Age


    • Man-at-Arms train time reduced from 22 to 15 seconds 

      Developer Note: We want to create more dynamic choices in the unit roster for the English civilization. This allows English players the ability to pump out powerful early game units quickly. As the Man at Arms is very food-heavy, it also synergizes with their farming bonuses.


    • Vanguard Man-at-Arms armor increased from 2 to 3
    • Abbey of Kings healing rate increased from 4 health/1.5 seconds to 6 health/ 1 second
    • Starting Wood increased from 150 to 200 

      Developer Note: This, along with the previous changes, gives English more options early game to start with a barracks rush, early farming, or save for feudal age.


    • White Tower and Berkshire Palace now have visual weapon emplacements for boiling oil
    • Setup Camp can no longer be triggered while in combat 

      Developer Note: The fantasy for this technology is troops relaxing at a warm fire after a tough battle. Note that it can still be activated while moving.


    • Corrected requirement text on English Setup Camp ability


    • Red Palace now has visual weapon emplacements for boiling oil
    • Arbaletrier Pavise ability now increases armor by +5 instead of setting armor to 5
    • Fixed a bug with the French Tech tree where traders were displayed in the Dark Age under Chamber of Commerce
    • Military siege engineer UI now matches other civilizations and has the correct icon
    • Royal Knight help text updated to reflect proper duration of bonus after a successful charge attack


    • Regnitz Cathedral Relic capacity reduced from 3 to 2 

      Developer Note: This helps balance the high gold per minute provided by the relic. In addition, it allows HRE more options for powering up Keeps and Outposts by adding relics to them.


    • Burgrave Palace now produces infantry 400% faster instead of training units in batches of 5 

      Developer Note: While technically the same as training in batches of 5, this is better for multiple reasons: First off, it now applies to all barracks techs for awesome timing attacks! This change also allows units to hit the field much faster, with smaller resource requirements, and additional flexibility in the units produced.


    • Meinwerk Palace research discount increased from 25% to 30%
    • Meinwerk Palace research speed increased by 30%
    • Palace of Swabia Villager production speed and discount reduced from 75% to 66%
    • Inspired Warriors effect duration increased from 30 seconds to 60 seconds 

      Developer Note: This, along with the Marching Drills, changes are intended to make it more rewarding for you to put Prelates into your main army.


    • Marching Drills cost reduced from 100 Food, 250 Gold to 50 Food, 125 Gold 

      Developer Note: While Marching Drills is a powerful tech, the cost was difficult to afford in Feudal age. We’re hoping this opens up new strategic potential for expanded HRE Feudal play.


    • Marching Drills research time reduced from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Marching Drills now affects Prelates
    • Added a Prelate UI indicator for HRE players to be able to more easily locate and keep track of their Prelates
    • Elzbach Palace now has visual weapon emplacements for boiling oil
    • By placing Relics in Docks it is no longer possible to surpass the maximum 25% attack speed bonus
    • The Great Palace of Flensburg Wonder can now properly make use of influence and the Emergency Repair ability
    • Docks can now properly make use of influence and the Emergency Repair ability
    • Keeps no longer grant a springald when a unit is garrisoned, and the Springald Emplacement is not researched
    • Relics placed inside of docks no longer increase attack speed of all players’ ships
    • Fixed a bug where the HRE Galley archer ship was firing an additional arrow


    • Textiles (Improved) has been added to the Town Center, available in the Castle Age 

      Developer Note: This is intended to help Mongols defend from raids later in the game as they have no keeps or walls.


    • Textiles (Improved) increases the health of Villagers by +50
    • The Mongol Landmark Town Center can now be packed while at maximum population
    • Improved Biology now only provides +10% health instead of +15% for a total of +30% instead of +35% 

      Developer Note: This is consistent with other Mongol stone upgrades that provide a 50% increased bonus over the base upgrade.


    • Fixed a bug where Mongol Improved Tithe Barns did not list the correct resource income
    • Fixed a bug where Mongol Tithe Barns research time was 80s instead of the intended 60s. It also gives the proper +30 Food, Wood, and Stone instead of +20
    • Khaganate Palace now produces Mangudai in 90 seconds instead of 77 seconds
    • Stone Commerce help text updated to specify trade bonus
    • The Khan Defense Arrow tool tip no longer incorrectly stats it gives +3 armor. Text has been fixed to state the bonus it actually provides: +2 armor
    • The unpack ability of Mongol structures now searches for the closest valid placement location near the cursor (the same way that regular building placement does)
    • The upgraded Yam aura movement speed bonus no longer applies to siege weapons


    • Warrior Monk weapon range increased from 1.15 to 3 

      Developer Note: This allows warrior monks to safely attack from behind a line of infantry and provide their combat buff without being too exposed to enemy melee attackers.


    • Warrior Monk charge weapon range increased from 2.15 to 3
    • Horse Archer Precision technology weapon range bonus reduced from 2 to 1 

      Developer Note: It’s our intention that Horse Archers are countered by Archers. Being speedy and then getting this upgrade to out-range Archers means unit counters in imperial were too limited.


    • Horse Archer Precision technology research time reduced from 90 to 60 seconds
    • Streltsy Double Time ability no longer quickens their Static Deployment ability 

      Developer Note: We wanted the focus of this technology to be about the movement ability instead of adding extra functionality to an already powerful unit.


    • Banded Arms bonus range decreased from +1.5 to +0.5 

      Developer Note: The large range bonus on this tech was difficult to play against and led to some drawn out stalemate-style gameplay that wasn’t exciting for most players. We’ll revisit this upgrade in a future patch.


    • Golden Gate trade buttons have been relocated to match Markets
    • Golden Gate no longer shares double click selection with Markets
    • Lodya ships now have the correct upgrades applied after conversion
    • Fixed a bug where Lodya Attack Ships built after research Armored Hull were getting additional hitpoints
    • Fixed a bug where it was cheaper to upgrade into Lodya Trade Ships instead of producing them from the dock
    • Fixed a bug where you could place down RUS palisade Walls and still get the Wonderstruck achievement
    • Lodya Fishing Ship
      • These changes are aimed at slowing down the Lodya Fishing Ship rush. Players will now have less fishing ships to convert into attack ships immediately upon aging up to Feudal.
        • Population cost increased from 1 to 2
        • Cost increased from 75 to 150 Wood
        • Train time increased from 25 to 38 seconds
        • Health increased from 125 to 250
        • Deep Water Fish gather rate increased from 1.0 to 1.9
        • Shoreline Fish gather rate increased from 0.66 to 1.19
        • Fixed an FX marker attachment issue that was causing the fires to not be in the correct locations of the pyres and torches, for the Lodya demolition ship


    General Changes

    1v1 Resource Spawn Tuning

    • 1v1 (Micro) map size resource balancing has received a pass, with the goal of improving the distribution of resources between players.
      • On open maps, like Lipany and Dry Arabia, this has meant objects like relics, gold deposits and stone deposits are now spawning in a tighter band for each player, to cut down on cases where one resource node would spawn considerably further away for one player than for the other. We are always tweaking and looking to improve this, so keep sending us screenshots and map seeds when you feel things are generated unfairly!
      • On divided maps, like Mountain Pass and Mongolian Heights, we have done additional custom tuning for several maps to help ensure that the dividing geography does not separate one player from their allotment of resource deposits. We were seeing instances of, for example, both players’ large gold deposits spawning on the same side of the mountain range on Mountain Pass. This was due to how we place resources within a central band of map area that is calculated based on pathfinding distance from each player’s TC to each point on the map. In cases like Mountain Pass, if one player spawns closer to the opening, the “midpoint” between players would be on one side of the mountain range, and our contested resources would be placed there. This set of tuning has been about finding new constraints for this banding on maps with dividing geography. Danube River, Boulder Bay, Confluence, Mountain Pass, Mongolian Heights and Nagari all received custom tuning in this regard.
    • Relics will now spawn in a more balanced configuration – one accessible relic per player, 3 centrally contested relics. This updated balance logic has been applied globally to all map sizes, and tuned specifically for several maps on the Micro (1v1) size. Additional tuning for divided maps at larger sizes will be coming in a later update. Relics have been tuned to spawn further away from each other.
    • Divided maps have had custom tuning and will spawn 1 accessible relic and 2 contested relics per “side” of the map, for a total of 6 relics. This was done to ensure that maps in which terrain gives natural ownership to one player don’t have a built-in imbalance due to the nature of spawning an odd number of contestable objects. The maps that include these relic changes are Confluence, Mountain Pass, Mongolian Heights and Nagari. Small gold and stone deposits have had their contested spawn range tightened. One contested small gold and stone will now spawn per player (up from only one overall), with less likelihood that it will be too close to a single player.
    • Sacred Sites have had their spawn parameters narrowed to help them spawn evenly across the center of the map on maps where their locations are not being specifically placed by the map script (e.g. on the hill on King of the Hill).

    Specific-Map Changes


    • Mountain ranges have been shortened slightly to provide a more consistent central lake and mountain configuration.
    • Deep water fish have been removed from the side ponds and concentrated in the central lake. This was to both remove instances of unbalanced amounts of safe fish and ensure that the most valuable fish are located in a contested part of the map.
    • Relic count has been increased to spawn a base 4 relics plus one per player to better ensure fairness of distribution on maps where geography can divide the map into discrete sections
    • Resource spawning for 1v1 Micro size matches has had custom tuning done on various resource deposits. Our goal with this pass was to cut down on perceived unbalanced map generations, especially on maps where map geography can divide the map into discrete sections. Resources like gold deposits should now spawn more squarely in each player’s “side” of the map, to avoid instances where a central, contested deposit could be placed on the wrong “side” of the central geography.

    Black Forest

    • The “forest-y” ness of Black Forest has been reigned in to not spawn unchoppable trees in the middle of your Town Center courtyards
    • Trade Posts on Micro and Small map sizes have been adjusted to spawn closer to the exact center of the map to help ensure more equal access
    • Spawn reliability of the second deer herd per player has been improved
    • Sacred Sites have been re-added to Black Forest. We have been watching for your feedback on this change, so thanks to everyone who gave us their thoughts on the Black Forest Sacred Sites. With the way Age IV plays, Sacred Sites provide a valuable way for you to counter a locked-in defensive strategy. While we appreciate the epic slugfests that remind us of classic Age of Empires II Black Forest gameplay, we feel like the Sacred Sites play well in the Age of Empires IV version of the map.

    Boulder Bay

    • We have updated the forest distribution to include more smaller forests, as opposed to fewer, larger forests. This is to help prevent instances of large forests completely blocking you in on one side of the bay.
    • We’ve updated the fish distribution in the bay to be more even. We are also working to provide a more robust solution for balance of deep water fish in the near future.
    • We’ve adjusted gold distribution in 1v1s to be spawned more evenly between players
    • Fixed a spawn issue where you could spawn on the wrong side of the bay on larger team games

    Danube River

    • Large gold deposits have been rebalanced to more reliably spawn evenly between teams
    • We’ve changed the central crossing to be a Stone Bridge. We’re able to add bridges to maps, and the central stone bridge was added to Danube River to help break up naval dominance. If you seek control of the water, you will now need to build ships on both your half of the river as well as your opponent’s half.
    • Fixed an issue where in larger games, teammates could spawn on the wrong side of the river.

    Mountain Pass

    • Sacred Sites have been given a buffer of flat terrain to ensure they spawn correctly.
    • Resources in 1v1 Micro size maps have been balanced to more equally spawn resources on each side of the mountain range. Previously, there was an odd number of gold and stone deposits spawning, which could lead to unbalanced resource generation between players.
    • An additional small gold and stone have been added for ensuring that we can generate maps with fair distribution.
    • An indexing error in the map script was fixed that was leading to the mountain range giving one player slightly more area on their side of the map. Now, the total area of the map should be split much more evenly between the sides of the mountains.


      • We’ve updated gold spawns to be more fairly distributed for players in 1v1.
      • Adjusted the crossings on this map. Now, a ford will spawn on each arm of the river near the edge of the map, and near the center confluence point, a stone bridge will spawn on each arm of the river. This should help reduce water supremacy and make moving land armies through the map much smoother.

    • Rivers in Confluence have also been straightened out in order to make the center of the map more consistent and predictable. The Sacred Sites will be placed around the confluence of the river, one in each quadrant, near the bridge crossings. We found the previous version of the map, when Sacred Sites could be placed anywhere along the rivers in each quadrant, felt unfocused and could lead to a more scattered map flow. This change, along with the inclusion of the bridges themselves, will hopefully give the map a tighter flow and limit the dominance of powerful warships that previously could have full control of the map.

    Ancient Spires

    • Removed errant deep water fish that would spawn on Micro (1v1) size matches
    • We’ve adjusted trade post spawns to ensure that they do not spawn on isolated islands created by lakes at the side of the map. This should help ensure that both trade posts are available for players to trade with.


    • We’ve fixed rare instances of Sacred Sites not spawning. This was occasionally caused by a random mountain spawning beside the tile that was designated to spawn a Sacred Site, and as we give Sacred Sites a mountain buffer around their spawn area, it could leave no room for the site to spawn.
    • We’ve fixed rare cases of players spawning too close to the side mountain ranges and stomping out things like Sacred Sites and Trade Posts

    Mongolian Heights

    • Number of relics increased to 4 base + 1 per player, up from 3 base + 1 per player, in order to distribute them evenly across the river
    • Number of contested resources all adjusted to be spawning in an even amount, in order to ensure that both sides of the river receive an equal share of resources
    • Fixed an indexing error in the map script that was resulting in the river giving one side of the map a bit more playable space than the other. The river should now perfectly split the playable sides in half.
    • Space between sheep herds was increased to cut down on the instances of 5+ sheep spawning together
    • Adjusted the spawning of the cliffs to ensure that each player is given a flat path from their start position to the river. Previously, some of you could receive a map generation where the starting area was protected by a long cliff, while the opponent was in a much more open area. This should help even up the geography.

    Hill and Dale

    • We’ve tuned down wolf spawns from 2 per Sacred Site to 1 per Sacred Site.
    • We’ve tuned starting forests to not be able to close off a full ramp to the player’s plateau. You will now get one regular forest and one smaller forest on their plateau
    • Overhauled how the plateaus spawn to provide a more consistent experience. Plateau sizes will now be the same for both players, and team plateau sizes can no longer sometimes be very disproportional.
    • The main plateau entry ramp had its size slightly increased.

    King of the Hill

    • We’ve done an overhaul to the King of the Hill map to ensure that generations are more even and consistent. We saw previously that some players could have very little wood near their TC, or that their path to the top of the hill was much longer or more difficult than their opponents. We also saw many instances of the gold and stone being distributed on the hill unfairly. We’ve taken out a bunch of the more unfair aspects of the randomness of these parameters. On new generations, you should now see:
    • Overhauled hill generation to ensure fairness between players. Pathways up the hill are now based directly on player spawn locations, with players getting a straight shot access to the top of the hill. Large gold and stone locations are mirrored on the hill to provide equal access to contested resources.
    • Removed all random forests on the map.
    • A dense perimeter forest was added that rings the entire map. The goal of forests on KotH was always to need to balance fighting for central gold and stone with the necessity of maintaining a presence on the outer parts of the map for wood and food, but we were seeing many instances where wood access between players could be incredibly unbalanced. This change should ensure that all players have access to ample wood on the map edges.

    Added Maps


    As the name implies, MegaRandom has the ability to spawn in an enormous number of different configurations. We’ve created a huge number of random parameters that MegaRandom can choose from when generating, such as whether to spawn lakes and rivers, which types of impasse to use to generate terrain (if any), whether to spawn extra amounts of some resources, whether to incorporate special terrain patterns, and much more!

    • Send us your best MegaRandom generations! We will continue to update MegaRandom over time to keep it fresh and exciting, and to add potentially even more wackiness!

    Crafted Map “Valley Battle”

    As an example for what a crafted map may look like when created using the Age of Empires IV Content Editor (Beta), we have added a map called “Valley Battle” to the “Crafted” maps tab. This map was created to be a balanced, mostly symmetrical map that has a bit of everything – open fields for large battles, a river with numerous crossings, small lakes to take advantage of fishing, a defensive area near players’ start locations, and resources that are exactly balanced across the two halves of the map.

    Map Bug Fixes

    • Stealth ocean areas have been updated to have a different colored water tile to help make their area more visible
    • Fixed a bug where min spec trees would pop in game
    • Fixed a visual issue where shadows would appear to be “rippling” on some terrains and shadows settings
    • Fixed scaling of the Fog of War in the Mini-Map to match the rest of the terrain on small maps
    • Fixed a bug where buildings placed in the fog of war would sometimes snap to locations overlapping trees or resource deposits, causing them to not be built once the villager arrives
    • Fixed a visual issue where the building destruction VFX on low Image Quality settings would appear as a grey rectangle due to the cloud texture being loaded at too low of a resolution
    • Fixed issue where the terrain texture would sometimes appear stretched on very wide display aspect ratios
    • Fixed scaling of the Fog of War in the Mini-Map to match the rest of the terrain on small maps
    • Fixed a visual issue where some health bars didn’t display if the gameplayer resolution scale was set below 100%


    • Changed the order of the campaigns. The new order is as follows: The Normans, The Rise of Moscow, The Hundred Years War, The Mongol Empire
    • Fixed a bug causing Age I Mangudai units to have no speech in “The Battle of Zhongdu” campaign mission
    • In the mission Dover, enemy units now spawn at the map edge, instead of the fork in the road
    • In the mission “The Battle of Mohi”, added a new objective for repairing the broken bridge, to avoid confusion about how to reach the western rally position
    • The tooltip for the Stone Wall Tower in campaign now indicates that an upgrade is required to get the springald weapon
    • Fixed a bug in the mission “Battle of Zhongdu”, where the mission couldn’t be completed if the player destroyed an enemy market before completing the first objective
    • The mission “Battle of Pontvallain” has been made easier by decreasing the number of units in the raiding groups
    • The mission “Combat of the Thirty” has been made easier on Hard difficulty by decreasing the quality of enemy units during the final fight
    • The mission “Siege of Wallingford” has been made easier on Intermediate and Hard difficulties by decreasing the number of units in each attack wave
    • The mission “Battle of Formigny” has been made easier on Hard difficulty by decreasing the size of the English army
    • The mission “Siege of Paris” has been made shorter by decreasing the number of enemy attack waves from 10 to 8
    • In the mission “North to York”, the player now receives more villagers from each settlement captured
    • Fixed a bug where units would be facing the wrong direction after the player skips the intro scene in various Campaign missions
    • Fixed a bug where the Mongols’ Improved Raid Bounty tooltip stated an incorrect raid income amount

    General Fixes

    Controls, UI & Quality of Life

    Hotkey Remapping

    • There is a new toggle in the settings to activate Control Group Exclusivity. When enabled, units being bound to a control group will be unbound from all other control groups
    • Added camera location hotkeys to give you more options to manage your base and units. Ctrl+[F1-F8] to save a location. Shift+[F1-F8] to go to a location
    • Added new “Drag camera” hotkey in the settings
    • Added new hotkey to clear all control groups from selected units
    • Added new hotkeys to select all buildings by type
    • Added new hotkeys to cycle through and select all different buildings
    • New hotkeys to remove selected units from a specific hotkey group
    • Added hotkeys to cancel the last item or all items of the selected production queue
    • Shift and Alt keys have been unlocked and can now be used for all key combos
      • The “Rotate camera” control has been unlocked and can now be rebound to any key combo
      • The control group commands to add the selected units to the control group have been separated and are now standalone hotkeys
      • The “Select all units” and “Select all units on screen” commands are now separate hotkeys
    • Mouse 3 (Middle button) and Mouse 4 and 5 (Side buttons) can now be used when rebinding hotkeys

    Bug Fixes

    • Fixed an issue where the “Quit Game” button in the pause menu did not work after match victory or defeat
    • Fixed a bug where remapped camera panning hotkeys would not be applied until starting a new match
    • Fixed a bug where the “Continue” button does not animate to the top of the screen when a match ends in Skirmish or MP
    • Fixed match freezing for observers if all human players disconnect
    • Fixed an issue where the Pagoda would not show income for all resources it produced
    • Converted Abbasid villagers will correctly have their build menu updated to match their new allegiance
    • Camel Archer bow is no longer invisible after upgrading Incendiary Arrows
    • Fixed a bug where constructing Wings from the House of Wisdom did not contribute to a player’s Society Score
    • Pyrotechnics technology no longer appears after researching Reusable Barrels in the Astronomical Clocktower
    • Fixed an issue where the Chinese Dynasty button would not hide when switching to spectate a player not using the Chinese civ
    • Spasskaya tower now has visuals showing off its weapon emplacements for boiling oil, Springald, and cannon
    • Fixed missing geometry for Min Spec Notre Dame wonder
    • Removed an invalid bonus damage type from the HRE Man at Arms two handed axes while charging
    • Fixed a bug with the Rus tech tree where Abbey of Trinity didn’t display all of its unique techs
    • Destroyed High Trade House no longer produces Deer until repaired
    • Fixed a bug where Lodya ships could be converted when at 200 population, exceeding the pop cap
    • Fixed a bug that was causing Rus monk units to spam the Saints Blade order confirmation audio while engaged in combat

    Other Improvements

    • Improved the message notification for remapping conflicts in the controls remap panel by making the banner red and having it stay onscreen longer. Users should be able to dismiss it using the added button for the message
    • Updated the Remap Controls settings screen to be organized into categories to give better accessibility for user navigation
    • Selected unit/building stats card now shows the cumulated amount of buffs/debuffs for health, attack and armor
    • Improved presentation of Observer Delay popup
    • Improved contrast ratio in the quick match section when viewing in Strong Contrast mode
    • Improved the message notification for remapping conflicts in the controls remap panel by making the banner red and having it stay onscreen longer. Users should be able to dismiss it using the added button for the message
    • Updated the Remap Controls settings screen to be organized into categories to give better accessibility for user navigation
    • Improved the UI narration when selecting between the VS modes in the Quick Play tab
    • Improved the UI narration when toggling the filters menu in the multiplayer custom tab
    • Improved the UI narration when expanding/collapsing sections within the friends widget
    • Improved the UI Narration on the navigation tabs in the front end
    • UI narration does not say “Back Button” when clicking or using keyboard nav to interact with the back button on the post match screen
    • The Aachen Chapel blueprint aura range indicator has been updated to use the correct gold color
    • Removed keyboard navigation on non-interactive player portraits
    • New toggle in the Online settings to enable/disable ping chat messages
    • Keyboards layouts should no longer be removed from the OS by the game

    What’s Next

    So what’s next following the Season One update? Well, for starters, we’ll be paying attention to what you have to say about the changes in the forums and across various social channels. We also plan to send out a survey very soon, asking some in-depth questions as we continue to refine and improve. Keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks!

    We’ll plan to respond to any immediate call outs via a monthly patch if needed, and in the mid-term are turning our attention to some of the features we discussed for Season Two, including a Map Vote System, Player Color Picker and additional hotkey work. The team has also heard your feedback about team-game map sizes and we’re looking into making some adjustments in this area; this is an area we’ll want to adjust and test over time internally, so it may not land in the next patch but we’re actively working on it!

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    • Access to private forums where you can interact with Age developers
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