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Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition — Update 34699

Welcome, friends, to January 2020 and the first MAJOR update of the new year! Once again, the team has been working hard to put together a list of bug fixes, changes, and new features to continue moving Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition along the path to world domination. This month’s update introduces a significant number of stability and performance improvements, a planet’s worth of map and map-generation changes, as well as AI and pathfinding improvements to help your armies as they traverse the world.

Today also marks the arrival of the LUNAR NEW YEAR event! Complete challenges to unlock new profile icons and special holiday mods; more details can be found in the section below.

We’re already working on February’s major update, so be sure to drop by any of our discussion channels to share your feedback with the development team:

Have an amazing new year; we’ll see you on the battlefield!

—The Age of Empires Team


♦     ♦     ♦

Download on the MICROSOFT STORE
Remember that you’ll need update your game in the Microsoft Store:

  • Open the Microsoft Store.
  • Click the [ ∙ ∙ ∙ ] symbol next to your profile picture.
  • Select Downloads and updates.
  • Press the Get updates button to automatically detect, download, and install the latest changes to your game!
  • Open the game. The title screen should read Build 34699

That’s it; you’re ready to play!

Download on STEAM
Remember that you’ll need update your game in Steam:

  • Open Steam.
  • Click on Library to see your games list.
  • Click Downloads at the bottom of the Library window.
  • [If the new build does not download automatically,] click the Download Now button to manually download the new update.
  • Open the game. The title screen should read Build 34699

That’s it; you’re ready to play!

♦     ♦     ♦


Here are some of the big highlights of today’s update. Most of these changes started as discussions within the community over the past month:

  • AI & Pathfinding Improvements
  • Numerous Game Stability Improvements & Crash Fixes!
  • Balance Changes
  • Various Improvements to Random Maps

2020 Lunar New Year Event!

Now through February 4, come celebrate the LUNAR NEW YEAR with Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition! Starting today, you can unlock new profile icons and mods by completing a series of in-game tasks!

  • Sign into Xbox Live: New profile icon!
  • Play any Standard Game: Unlocks the ‘Mandarin Bushes’ mod, which changes all foraging bushes to mandarin bushes.

Once you’ve completed the first two tasks, you can return and complete the following tasks each day to unlock additional rewards:

  • Win a Multiplayer Game: New profile icon!
  • Win 2 Multiplayer Games as Different Civilizations: Unlocks the ‘TC Decorations’ mod.
    • Decorates all Town Centers with red lanterns and other festive ornamentation.
  • Reach 200 Population in any Multiplayer Game: New profile icon!
  • Win a Game against at least 1 Extreme AI: Unlocks the ‘Fireworks’ mod.
    • Trebuchet projectiles impact in a fireworks display.
    • Onager and Trebuchet shots that miss their targets land with a firecracker splash.
    • Aging-up launches fireworks from your buildings to celebrate!

The challenges must be completed by February 4th! After that point, the mods will disappear and your opportunity to unlock a new set of profile icons will slip away!

Come celebrate!

Lunar New Year Event F.A.Q.

Q: Do I have to complete the challenges on consecutive days?

A: Nope! You can complete the challenges at your own pace, though the four additional tasks must be completed in consecutive order and on different days to unlock their benefits.

Q: When is the last day I can complete the challenges?

A: The Lunar New Year event concludes on February 4th.

Q: What is 'Game Cosmetic 3104, 3105, and 3106?'

A: Oops! Those look like internal names that represent the three mods you can unlock:

  • Game Cosmetic 3104 = ‘Mandarin Bushes’ mod
  • Game Cosmetic 3105 = ‘TC Decorations’ mod
  • Game Cosmetic 3106 = ‘Fireworks’ mod

Don’t worry; as soon as you complete a challenge, the CORRECT name will be displayed.

Q: Do I get to keep the mods?

A: Not this time! The Lunar New Year mods are only available during the event and will automatically disable on February 4th.

Q: What do I do if I accidentally unsubscribe from a special holiday mod?

A: No problem! All you need to do is click the ‘Lunar New Year’ button on the main menu, select the challenge where you unlocked the mod, and click Subscribe to re-add and re-download the mod.

Q: Do I get to keep the profile icons?

A: Yes! Profile icons are a permanent unlock on your account! As long as you complete the requirements before February 4th, you’ll be able to find and select the new icons via your multiplayer profile.

Q: How do I change my profile icon?

A: You can update your profile icon by following these steps:

  1. Click the Multiplayer shield.
  2. Select the Profile tab.
  3. Click the Change Icon button.
  4. Click to select the icon you want to use.
  5. You’re done!

Q: How do I download and enable mods?

For information about how to subscribe and prioritize your mods, visit this article.


Game stability continues to be a focus as we work to fix the crashes and address performance issues reported by players. Here are the fixes coming with today’s update:

  • Fixed an issue that would cause the game to crash on start-up.
  • Fixed a crash that would affect players in Spectator mode.
  • Fixed a rare crash when skipping through the Art of War videos.
  • Implemented various other crash fixes.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented save files containing non-Unicode text characters from transferring correctly when signing into another device.
  • Implemented a warning message when a LAN server is blocked by a firewall.

If you continue to experience issues following the build, please visit Steam or the official forum to provide details about the crash or disconnect, as well as any logs or errors you receive.


We will continue to make adjustments to the game to ensure it runs smoothly on a variety of different machines. Today, we’re taking a shot at how the game uses RAM:

  • Implemented improvements to RAM usage for configurations with dedicated VRAM. For configurations with less than 4GB of dedicated VRAM, we are continuing to work on performance improvements

As always, there is a vast array of hardware and software combinations to accommodate as we continue to polish and perfect the game, so we want to hear if you’re still experiencing issues. Be sure to visit the forum or come say hello on Discord, where you can include as much technical information as possible so our team can begin to dig into the problem.


  • Livestock can now be garrisoned and transported in Transport Ships.
  • Animals that can be ordered will no longer run faster than intended when tasked with waypoints.
  • Increased the base speed of controllable animals.
  • Double-clicking units no longer temporarily selects garrisoned units.
  • Fixed an issue where Villagers would sometimes not return to their work after being garrisoned inside a Castle.
  • Fixed a rare issue where Petards would fail to deal damage to Gates.
  • Fishing Ships will now put more effort into seeking out new fishing spots if their original gathering point is depleted.
  • The Guard hotkey for the Bombard Cannon and Mangonel now works as intended.
  • Trade units will now prioritize the Market that is furthest away for trading.
  • Fixed an issue where Monks would occasionally heal units beyond their intended range.
  • The building preview now displays the correct graphic when the cursor is moved beyond the map’s edge.
  • Multiple Town Centers can now be queued up for construction by holding the Shift key during placement mode.
  • Fixed an issue where waypoints would sometimes display in incorrect positions.
  • The Anarchy technology now utilizes the correct hotkey.
  • Removed the combat abilities from Markets, Monasteries, Archery Ranges, and Stables. (These were previously only available by using gather points.)
  • Cancelling the Spies upgrade will now return the full cost rather than only returning 200 gold.
  • Cancelling units in a production queue will now return the actual amount of resources initially spent on the unit. (This is a legacy issue from the CD version.)
  • Players no longer receive additional score points for killing Dismounted Konniks.
  • AI achievements can no longer be unlocked when playing campaign missions.


Today’s civilization changes are a bit smaller than last month’s massive update. As always, your feedback continues to play a big part in how the balance is shifted among all the civilizations available in the game. Once you’ve had a chance to play with the changes, be sure to visit the forum(s) to post your thoughts!


  • The Mayans and Chinese will no longer be granted their bonus starting villagers until a Town Center has been constructed.
  • Battle Elephant [Standard & Elite]: Reduced the training time from 28 to 24 seconds.


  • Arambai [Standard & Elite]: Reduced the wood cost from 80 wood, 65 gold to 75 wood, 60 gold.


  • Can now research the Block Printing technology.


  • Farmers no longer require Mills or Town Centers to drop off food.


  • Increased the cost of Archer units after researching the Kamandaran technology from 50 to 60 wood.


  • Ranged Infantry units are no longer affected by the Druzhina technology.



  • Loading a saved campaign mission no longer causes certain objects to display the wrong names. (Note that this does not affect old saves.)
  • Added the relevant dates and civilizations to each Campaign tooltip.

Art of War

  • ‘Booming:’ Fixed a rare issue where the Imperial Age upgrade could not be unlocked.

Campaign Missions

  • Alaric 1: ‘The Battle of the Frigidus’: The two relics have been moved to more accessible locations.
  • Alaric 3:The Belly of the Beast’: The two enemy cities will now attack more often on moderate and hard difficulties.
  • Alaric 4: ‘The Giant Falls’: The player now starts with extra pavilions.
  • Bari 5: ‘The Onrushing Tide’: A timer has been added to track how much time remains to protect the city during the final part of the mission.
  • Francisco de Almeida 3: ‘Ruins of Empires’: Fixed an exploit where a player could set their stance to neutral to safely convert hostile villagers without retaliation.
  • Francisco de Almeida 5: ‘A Son’s Blood’: Fixed an exploit where the player could win the scenario by constructing a wonder before receiving the objective to do so.
  • Francisco de Almeida 5: ‘A Son’s Blood’: Disabled the construction of Transport Ships, Mangonels, or the ability to upgrade to the Imperial Age during the “Truce” part of the scenario.
  • Genghis Khan 4: ‘The Horde Rides West’: Fixed a cliff that could be improperly traversed after removing the surrounding trees.
  • Kotyan Khan 5: ‘A New Home’: The player can no longer research the Redemption technology.
  • Le Loi 1: ‘The Dai Viet Uprising’: The secondary objective to bring the Relic Cart to the Monastery will now activate at the correct time.
  • Le Loi 1: ‘The Dai Viet Uprising’: Player 3 (AI) will no longer transfer all its assets to the player after completing the relic objective.
  • Le Loi 5: ‘A Three-Pronged Attack’: Fixed an issue where the AI would not participate in the mission as intended.
  • Le Loi 6: ‘The Final Fortress’: Fixed a minor AI issue that would make the scenario harder to complete than intended.
  • Pachacuti 3: ‘War of Brothers’: The player can now build siege units after defeating the Chanca.
  • Sundjata 1: ‘Hunted’: Fixed a crash that could be triggered under certain circumstances during the mission.
  • Sundjata 1: ‘Hunted’: The mission will now properly end when Sundjata is killed, as intended.
  • Sundjata 2: ‘The Sting of the Scorpion’: Fixed a crash that could be triggered under certain circumstances during the mission.
  • Sundjata 4: ‘Blood on the River Bank’: The objective to destroy the enemy will now update properly when completed.
  • Tariq ibn Ziyad 5: ‘Razzia’: Fixed an exploit where computer-controlled opponents would not activate if villagers were acquired early.
  • Yodit 1: ‘Path of Exile’: Increased the initial resources of the player. Gold and stone deposits are also more accessible to miners during the mission.
  • Yodit 1: ‘Path of Exile’: Enemy opponents now receive less Shotel Warrior reinforcements.
  • Yodit 3: ‘A Fallen Crown’: The yellow team will now resign sooner when conditions are met.
  • Yodit 4: ‘Broken Stelae’: Secondary objectives will now update properly upon completion.
  • Yodit 4: ‘Broken Stelae’: Arab allies now send more ships, and allied tribes now receive additional units.
  • Yodit 4: ‘Broken Stelae’: If a stela is lost after completing the objective to control the stelae, the objective will now reactivate.


While the civilizations tell the story of the game, the battlefields are the canvas upon which every story is written. Today’s update introduces a vast array of changes to the ways the maps are generated, how resources are placed and balanced for players, and even adds some scripting additions for our modding community to enjoy. The list is long, so give it a read before you make your mark on the next battlefield!


  • Gold and Stone deposits, as well as Relics, will more effectively avoid cliffs during map generation.
  • Relics will now avoid forests more effectively during map generation.
  • Implemented additional logic to prevent Scouts from spawning in forests.
  • Starting sheep will now spawn between 7-8 tiles from the Town Center (was 8-9 tiles).
  • Team members’ walls that are adjacent to each other will now form a team wall instead of overlapping.
  • Changed the way Gates are generated on walled maps to reduce the chance of them being blocked.
  • Restored the Relic count to 5 on the following tiny, small, and medium maps. Relics are also more fairly distributed in a 1v1 setting:
    • Archipelago
    • Black Forest
    • Continental
    • Fortress
    • Highland
    • Islands
    • Team Islands
  • Fixed a bug where trees in some forest types could be deleted by using building foundations. They must now be chopped down before building a structure.
  • Dragon forests can now appear on more African-themed maps.
  • Implemented various cosmetic updates to terrains used on all maps.

Map Settings

  • King of the Hill: The monument now generates resources for the controlling player.
  • All gold, stone, relics, straggler trees, boar, sheep and fish have been removed from games set to “Infinite” resources.

Map Generation & Layout

  • The secondary gold and stone deposits are now more consistent and more closely resemble their original values on the following maps:
    • Acropolis
    • Arabia
    • Arena
    • Baltic
    • Black Forest
    • Budapest
    • Cenotes
    • City of Lakes
    • Coastal
    • Continental
    • Fortress
    • Ghost Lake
    • Hideout
    • Highland
    • Hill Fort
    • Lombardia
    • Mediterranean
    • Mongolia
    • Nomad
    • Oasis
    • Rivers
    • Salt Marsh
    • Scandinavia
    • Steppe
    • Team Islands
    • Valley
    • Yucatan
  • Acacia forests have been replaced by palm/dragon forests on the following maps:
    • Arabia
    • Coastal
    • Continental
    • Crater Lake
    • Fortress
    • Gold Rush
    • Nomad
    • Rivers
    • Team Islands
    • Valley
  • Added a Mediterranean season to the following maps:
    • Arabia
    • Arena
    • Archipelago
    • Black Forest
    • Coastal
    • Continental
    • Crater Lake
    • Gold Rush
    • Golden Pit
    • Hideout
    • Highland
    • Hill Fort
    • Islands
    • Mediterranean
    • Megarandom
    • Migration
    • Nomad
    • Oasis
    • Rivers
    • Team Islands
    • Valley
    • Enemy Archipelago
    • Enemy Islands
    • Open Plains
    • Swirling River
    • The Eye
    • Twin Forests
    • YingYang
    • Iberia
    • Italy
    • Byzantium


  • Acropolis: Added extra gold and stone nodes.
  • Acropolis: Adjusted the player starting positions so they all begin at an equal distance to the center of the map.
  • Archipelago: Fixed an issue where the starting gold nodes would fail to generate at the start of the map.
  • Fortress: Straggler trees no longer appear within the walls.
  • Fortress: Adjusted the forests so they at least partially appear within the walls.
  • Fortress: Boars will now spawn in two different positions as opposed to one group.
  • Fortress: Reduced the distance at which Boars spawn from the Town Center to 16-19 tiles (was 30-35 tiles).
  • Fortress: Walls will now consistently spawn 20 tiles from the Town Center. On ludicrous map size, they will spawn at 35 tiles from the Town Center.
  • Fortress: Towers will now consistently spawn within 2 tiles of the wall.
  • Fortress: Adjusted the generation of houses and other buildings so they do not impede the player.
  • Fortress: Improved the way farms are generated so they cleanly surround the Town Center.
  • Ghost Lake: Extra sheep spawns have been adjusted to form three groups of two sheep per player. These groups will only appear on the middle lake.
  • Golden Pit: Slightly increased the size of the pit in the center of the map.
  • Megarandom: Mangrove forests will now only appear on shallows.
  • Megarandom: Extra gold and stone deposits have been adjusted to spawn in more balanced locations for players.
  • Megarandom: Gold and stone deposits, as well as Relics, now spawn further away from forests.
  • Megarandom: Straggler trees will no longer be generated when playing a Deathmatch or Infinite Resources.
  • Sandbank: Adjusted the location of gold and stone deposits.
  • Sandbank: Improved the placement of additional deer spawns.
  • Scandinavia: Adjusted the generation of forests and ice patches to offer easier navigation and access to the water.
  • Scandinavia: Resources have been moved closer to players’ initial starting positions.
  • Team Islands: Fixed a rare issue where gold and stone nodes would fail to generate at the start of the map.
  • Team Islands: Removed cliffs from the map.
  • Team Islands: Reduced the distance between islands from 22 to 20.
  • Yucatan: Teams are now interconnected by shallow terrain in case rivers block passage.
  • Yucatan: Adjusted how forests and terrain are generated to provide more open gameplay.
  • Wolf Hill: Extra gold and stone deposits now spawn further away from forests.

Random Map Scripting (RMS)

  • Sudden Death can now be used as an identifier for custom RMS scripts.
  • Random maps can now place buildings on terrains without terrain restrictions.
  • Random maps now generate the correct Gate types for all Wall types.
  • Capture the Relic: Custom Nomad scripts will now allow the player to build a Monastery if the map doesn’t start with one.
  • Testing Random Map Scripts in the scenario editor now works correctly when teams are set using diplomacy settings.
  • A new command avoid_cliff_zone has been added to help prevent objects from appearing too close to cliffs. The distance can be set by using the same format as the avoid_forest_zone command.
  • Fixed an issue where setting land_percent to 100 would occasionally fail to generate land on all available tiles. (For example, this would sometimes result in random patches of water on Highland.)
  • The command, set_scaling_to_player_number, now works correctly when a map is generated in the scenario editor.
  • The command, circle_radius, now supports a secondary value to define the variance of the circle. For example, circle_radius 20 1 would create a circle with radius 20 and variance 1.
  • The command, random_map.def, now includes several new beach constants:


  • Fixed an issue where Custom Map pools would always reset to Coastal after starting a new game session.
  • Added a password filter to the Lobby Browser.
  • The Regicide game mode will no longer remove the ‘Victory Condition’ dropdown in multiplayer lobbies.
  • The ‘Starting Resources’ setting now works properly when playing Regicide.
  • Fixed an issue where the check marks on the loading screen would, on occasion, not update properly.


  • Fixed a rare issue where unit outlines would fail to display behind construction graphics, Walls, and Gates.
  • Added smoke visual effects to Gate destruction animations.
  • Implemented various bug fixes and updates to art assets.


  • Fixed various issues where the voiceover dialog and subtitles did not match in campaign missions.
  • Fixed the muzzle and sound delay of Organ Guns, Bombard Cannons, and Hand Cannoneers.
  • Fixed the sound delay of Hand Cannoneers and Janissaries.
  • Fire Arrows shot from Towers will now use the new tower-specific arrow sound, as intended.
  • Fire Arrows no longer play the “whoosh” sound effect twice.


A good deal of work has been done to improve the AI and unit pathfinding in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. Today’s update introduces several new balance changes: including fixes that should help the AI make more intelligent and meaningful decisions, pathfinding improvements for both AI- and player-controlled units, and more. We will continue monitoring your discussions to see what tweaks we can work into the game; but for now, here are the changes you can play with now:


  • AI-controlled players will now continue to function in multiplayer games if the host has left the game.
  • AI-controlled Scouts will now explore the map in custom scenarios.
  • Added a localized response to Taunt 31 for AI players.
  • Extreme difficulty: AI-controlled Eagle Scouts are now better at avoiding dangers while scouting.
  • Extreme difficulty: AI-controlled Scouts will no longer try to continuously steal herdable animals.
  • Extreme difficulty: Fixed an issue where the AI would sometimes fail to counter enemy Rams with Villagers.
  • Fixed an issue where the AI would prioritize building docks on the opposite side of the map despite starting near a body of water.
  • AI-controlled players will now construct fewer docks if they are not planning to construct ships soon thereafter.
  • Fixed a rare issue where AI players would flare where it was attacking too often.
  • Fixed a rare issue where AI players would not flare where it was being attacked when asking for assistance.
  • Fixed an issue where AI players would miscalculate their starting position when playing in a match with imbalanced teams.
  • Fixed an issue where, in rare circumstances, starting with an AI (CD) opponent on Extreme difficulty would display an error message.
  • Improved the behavior of villager migration to new islands.
  • Implemented various improvements to the strategic decision-making capabilities of AI players.
  • Implemented minor adjustments to difficulty scaling.


  • Improved the behavior of military units when they are surrounding and attacking buildings.
  • Groups of units will now correctly make use of command queues.
  • Fixed an issue where military units would, on occasion, visually stutter while moving.
  • Fixed an issue where Gates would, on occasion, briefly block units during their destruction animation.
  • Fixed an issue where AI-controlled units in the campaign would stop attacking while in the Attack Move stance.
  • Fixed an issue where units could slide through obstructions if they were too close to fire while in the Stand Ground stance.
  • Fixed an issue where units on Stand Ground would stutter after ungarrisoning from a Siege Tower.
  • Fixed an issue where Rams would randomly lose interest when attacking a Gate.
  • Improved Ram pathfinding when moving to and attacking Gates and Towers.
  • Fixed an issue where Villagers would sometimes ignore commands while under attack.
  • Fixed an issue where Villagers would occasionally go idle under certain circumstances. This also improves villager gathering behavior in crowded situations.
  • The command, sn-maximum-patrol-distance, is now available for scenario designers to utilize the HD chasing behavior which broke the patrolling of individual units.


Several adjustments have been made to the AI’s scripting:

  • up-cc-add-resource now also works for non-standard resources.
  • up-find-next-player now works correctly.
  • unit-type-count-total fact now counts units in queue.
  • up-object-type-count-total now counts units in queue.
  • up-get-point position-map-size is no longer off by 1.


  • Updated the minimap to display the correct color for gravel and bogland terrain.
  • The Best Civ information on the player profile now shows the best civilization from both single player and multiplayer games.
  • Legacy HP colors are now displayed correctly in the UI.
  • Placeholder text no longer displays when a player loses connectivity to multiplayer services.
  • A Villager’s build queue no longer resets when a villager within their group of selected units is killed.
  • Fixed a rare issue where the unit command panel would not display properly.
  • Fixed an issue which prevented the correct display of allied units inside a building.
  • Fixed an issue where the Spectator command panel would not display properly when selecting multiple units.
  • Players who have resigned out of a match are now displayed correctly in the spectator UI.
  • Fixed a bug where resigned co-op players would see their names replaced by their team name.
  • Fixed an issue where hotkeys would continue to work in-game while the “Delete” confirmation window was in focus.
  • Fixed a rare issue where multiple UI screens would overlap each other.
  • Fixed a rare issue where AI names would not display properly on the loading screen.
  • Tech Tree: Unit stats are no longer inconsistent in the civilization tech tree when playing with a non-Dark Age start.
  • Tech Tree: Fixed a rare issue where researched unit or technology nodes did not appear correctly.
  • Tech Tree: Fixed a rare issue where some nodes did not include their required technologies.


  • Fixed a bug where mods could not be downloaded on systems with non-English characters in the local username.
  • By default, mods are now sorted by “Popular.”
  • Mod icons will no longer be reverted to the default icon when updating a mod.
  • Added a “Force Update Mod” button.
  • Fixed an issue where it custom audio could not be used in the intro or outro slides of a custom campaign.
  • Fixed an issue where attempting to override built-in campaign voiceover resulted in no audio at all.
  • Unlisted mods now update properly.


  • Loading legacy scenarios in the Editor will now unlock all new content to be placeable in that scenario.
  • Placeholder terrain is no longer visible under fog of war in some legacy scenarios.
  • Fixed an issue which prevented the ability to navigate text fields in the editor using the arrow keys.
  • Triggers: The object “visible” trigger condition now works correctly.

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