Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition introduces its own, unique approach to empire-building while still capturing the spirit of the Age of Empires series. It differentiates itself from and improves upon previous titles with features and gameplay that were fair ahead of their time; a great example is the Card and Shipment system, which increases the pace of matches and the strategic choices offered every time you play.

With the release of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition coming October 15th, this is a great chance to look at these awesome and varying mechanics. Let’s check out some of the gameplay pillars that make Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition special!

The Explorer

At the beginning of each match, you start with an Explorer: a courageous adventurer that can explore the map and claim treasures by defeating menacing guardians. Each treasure collected will grant you a bonus in the form of experience, resources, units, or other advantages to help your civilization gain the upper hand.


As your civilization gains experience in a match, you can request shipments from your Home City. These shipments can be resources, units, or other interesting and unique bonuses.

Shipments are represented by cards, and each match lets you bring a fully customizable deck of cards to use over the course of the game. A deck can contain up to 25 cards, of which there are over 100 to choose from when creating your personalized deck! You can even have multiple decks premade to suit your differing strategies, civilization choices, or play style.


When you want to advance to a new Age, you’re required to choose a Politician to lead the way. Every Age will offer multiple choices in a Politician, each of whom grants their unique bonuses upon advancement. Politicians may offer you additional resources to kick start your economy, military upgrades, military units, and even hot air balloons if you choose to adopt their policies for your civilization.

Batch Training

Most military units can be trained in batches, allowing you to quickly recruit groups of soldiers to enter the fray! It also opens the door to orchestrating clever ambushes and traps—especially when combined with Home City shipments.

Resource Gathering

Resources gathered by Villagers are instantly added to your stockpiles without having to be dropped at the Town Center or other drop-off points. This streamlined system lets you focus your attention on the action, and helps expand your civilization across the map.

Map Layouts

Maps in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition are designed to push players to expand into the open, which naturally leads to tense moments and action-packed sequences of gameplay. You’ll be constantly battling for access to resource locations and Trading Posts—creating an ever-evolving tug of war for map control!

Alongside these key pillars, you’ll experience countless unique and interesting mechanics that make Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition the definitive next step in the Age of Empires franchise.

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Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition launches on October 15th, and you can pre-order on Steam and the Microsoft Store now!

Discuss of 2 comments

  • soldeo October 14, 2020
    Definitely we need more civs in the future. Koreans, Siam and Zulu as dlcs.
  • celtickeeper October 14, 2020
    I hate that villagers don't drop off resources at the TC, Mil, mining camp nor lumber camp. It takes away another interesting part of micro managing your economy. Never the less , I still love the game. I hope to see more expanding of the game in the form of other maps set in Africa,the ME and Europe. I want civs such as the Zulu, Ethiopia, The Tuareg , Persia, the Afghans and the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth . Make it happen.
    • harchah October 14, 2020
      While removing drop off points does remove an interesting mechanic, it also makes the game far more fluid. I think they wanted to improve the base building aspects with mills/plantations holding 10 vils and not needing reseeding, removing grid system, turning dense forests into less dense walk through forests etc, so a requirement for drop off points is just another victim of optimization. Drop off points also wouldn't make much sense with additional resources like experience and export.

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