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Quickstart Guide to Age of Empires IV

Your wait ends today! Age of Empires IV is finally out in the world. 

Whether you’re a completely new player or already familiar with all the details of the Age of Empires franchise – Age of Empires IV brings a new world to all. With all the information over the past weeks and months, we complied a quick-start guide, ready for you to dive into! 

So, where should you start? 

What to do in Age IV

The basis of Age of Empires IV, like its predecessors, is straightforward: explore the world around you, gather resources, and use those resources to train military units and build structures. 

As you grow your civilization, your objective is to face your opponent with the full force of your empire – and emerge victorious. 

In Age of Empires IV, you can achieve victory in three ways: 

  1. Landmark Victory – Use the full might of your armies to destroy your opponent’s landmarks 
  2. Sacred Victory – Strategize to take and maintain control of specific spots on the map 
  3. Wonder Victory – Build your civilization’s Wonder and protect it from your opponent within a set time limit

Mission Zero

If you’re a new player curious to check out what the hype’s all about, but are inexperienced with Real Time Strategy games, Mission Zero is a great way to easily learn the basics. 

Mission Zero will launch automatically the first time you open the game. Acting as a tutorial, it will take you through the fundamentals of an Age of Empires IV match: 

  • Collecting resources: Food, Wood, Gold, and Stone 
  • Producing Villagers from the Town Center, who are the backbone units of your civilization that collect resources 
  • Constructing resource drop-off points, houses, and other buildings with your resources 
  • Producing and commanding military units for battle 
  • Advancing to the next Age, which offers stronger units, buildings and upgrades 

The Art of War 

Next, bring the skills and knowledge you’ve gained from Mission Zero with you to the Art of War challenges! They’re the best way for you to familiarize yourself with some of the common mechanics and strategies you can utilize in an Age of Empires IV match. 

The challenges are made up of individual scenarios that guide you to practice these different strategies and mechanics, each offering a bronze, silver or gold medal based on your performance. 

In Age of Empires IV, there are five Art of War challenges to complete: 

  1. Early Economy – Learn how to construct a Landmark and advance from Age 1 (Dark Age) to Age 2 (Feudal Age).

2. Late Economy – Learn how to build a booming economy and advance to the Imperial Age with a strong economy. 

3. Basic Combat – Learn how to use the unit counter system and the terrain to win battles against your opponents. 

4. Early Siege – Learn about basic siege engines and how to use them to subdue your opponents. 

5. Late Siege – Learn about Trebuchets and Bombards and use them to tear down an enemy fortress. 

These challenges are designed to help you improve, but also push your abilities. You may not get a gold medal the first time you complete one of these challenges, take this time to continue refining your strategy and building your skills, and you’ll go beyond obtaining Gold in these challenges! 


Once you’re comfortable with the basics, it’s time to dive into your first game! There’s something for everyone, be it Campaign or Multiplayer. 

The campaigns of Age of Empires IV are story-based, single-player missions that place you into key moments of history. As you play through these campaigns, you’ll unlock mini-documentaries called Hands on History that give you a peek into the real-life context of the missions you complete. 

There are four major campaigns, each made up of several missions: 

  • The Norman Campaign
  • The Hundred Years’ War 
  • The Mongol Empire 
  • The Rise of Moscow 

You can read more about the campaigns here. We recommend starting with the Norman Campaign, as it provides a great opportunity to continue learning and improving at while enjoying the rich history and gameplay of Age of Empires IV.


Looking for something a bit more personal? Multiplayer puts you against your friends, AI, or other online players in quick skirmish matches. Multiplayer consists of two main types: 

  1. VS players – Play against real opponents in real time. 
  2. VS AI – Play against 4 different AI levels (from Easy to Hardest), with Co-op available. 

Once you’re familiar with multiplayer matches, try to complete the Daily Quests for more experience. Examples of these Daily Quests include: 

  • French Victory – Win a match as the French. 
  • Defense: Springald Emplacement – Upgrade 2 buildings with springald emplacements during a match. 
  • Produce: Warship – Produce 5 Warships in a match. 

We hope that you enjoy discovering all that Age of Empires IV has to offer and making history your story.

Now – the dawn of a new Age has begun!

How to Purchase Age of Empires IV 

Available on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on Windows 10/11,
Steam and Microsoft Store on October 28

Become an Age Insider!

Insiders unlock access to exclusive news, updates, and opportunities to provide feedback about future releases. Here are some of the perks:

  • Access to private forums where you can interact with Age developers
  • The chance to join exclusive beta opportunities through Steam and the Windows Store
  • Channels to provide feedback and inspire quality changes in your favorite Age titles