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Age of Empires IV: Everything in the Expansion – Coming November 14th

The release of The Sultans Ascend expansion for Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition is just around the corner on November 14th on SteamMicrosoft Store, and Xbox!

Over the last few weeks, we have slowly been revealing aspects of the expansion and have been overjoyed seeing your enthusiasm and discussion leading up to launch day. As we round the last days before the expansion’s release, we want to give a final review of all the exciting content to come:

  • 2 top-requested civilizations – the Byzantines and the Japanese
  • 4 variant civilizations
  • 10 new maps
  • 2 new biomes
  • 8-mission single-player campaign
  • Plus lots of unlockable content, including Masteries and Achievements!

Read on to find out more!

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We are grateful to have such passionate fans whose engagement helps make game content like this possible. Truly, thank you!

—The Age of Empires Team

New Civilizations

This expansion brings two entirely new civilizations to the world of Age of Empires IV – the Japanese and the Byzantines! Each of these civilizations comes with the full array of features: new mechanics, unique civilization bonuses, new architecture, a new set of landmarks, some unique units, buildings and technology, supporting masteries and achievements, as well as new music and audio-design, including their own historical speech.

The Byzantines

The Byzantines construct aqueducts, harvest olive oil as a new resource, hire mercenaries from other civilizations, and utilize devastating Greek Fire.

Some additional mechanics for the Byzantines include the Field Stones bonus which provides a small amount of Stone whenever a building is constructed, with larger buildings providing a larger bonus.

Outposts, Keeps, and Wall Towers also have a new unique Mangonel Emplacement. Similar to its siege counterpart, these emplacements excel against tightly packed enemies.

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The Japanese

The Japanese have access to several unique units such as Samurai, Shinobi, Bannermen, and the Onna-Musha, as well as some dual-purpose buildings, and powerful Daimyo upgrades for their Town Center.

Additionally, the civilization has a unique mining bonus: 20% of Gold dropped-off is received as bonus Stone, and vice-versa. This gives the Japanese access to both resources, even when only one type of deposit is being mined.

In the Imperial Age the Japanese are able to construct Castles, unique Keeps with powerful rocket emplacements.

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New Variant Civilizations

This expansion introduces the new concept of Variant Civilizations – re-imagined and modified versions of classic civilizations from Age of Empires IV.

We published a deep dive into Variant Civilizations several weeks ago, but in short, each Variant Civilization offers new unique ways to play one of the classic civilizations while still keeping with that civilization’s overall themes and aesthetics. In most cases, a Variant Civilization uses their parent civilization’s architecture, units, and audio-design, with a few exceptions where their unique concepts come into play.


The Ayyubids trade the classic House of Wisdom’s unique technologies that the Abbasid Dynasty receives, for a choice between multiple bonuses on each wing and a stronger emphasis on camels (such as receiving support from infantry instead of vice-versa).

Jeanne d’Arc

Jeanne d’Arc takes the French civilization and trades some of its classic civilization bonuses (faster-training Villagers and cheaper resource drop-off buildings) for a powerful hero unit, the nominal Jeanne d’Arc herself! 

Order of the Dragon

The Order of the Dragon replaces many of the classic Holy Roman Empire units with Gilded versions which outmatch their counterparts on the battlefield but cost more resources, time, and population. 

Zhu Xi’s Legacy

Finally, Zhu Xi’s Legacy takes inspiration from the titular philosopher and re-envisions the Chinese classic Dynasty bonuses and Landmarks for a focus on economy and long-term efficiency instead of fast expansion. 

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The Ayyubids

Jeanne d’Arc

The Order of the Dragon

Zhu Xi’s Legacy

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The Ayyubids

Jeanne d’Arc

The Order of the Dragon

Zhu Xi’s Legacy

New Maps

The Sultans Ascend introduces 10 new maps which are exclusive to owners of the expansion.

African Waters

Experience immediate conflict from the start as players must battle to secure both space and resources. 


A pattern of cliffs and passes weaves across the map, exposing rich Stone and Gold deposits. What might be on the other side? 


Emerging civilizations have dug up themselves into small defensive forts, awaiting an imminent clash for supremacy.  


While the initial wall of forest provides a sense of security, you must soon venture out of your hideout to battle for resources.

Golden Pit

The central pit contains numerous large gold deposits. Conquering the gold deposits will be crucial for victory.


Expand outwards, away from the chaotic center, where both allies and foes are settled in close proximity.

Hidden Valley

A sacred valley cuts its way between two large mountains. Hidden far behind the tree lines are secrets and treasures for those who dare to search for them. 


Start atop a hill with scarce resources and venture into the valley to uncover valuable deposits. Be cautious, however; your enemies seek the same treasures. 


Vanquish the enemy by taking control of the holy lake or send your armies around the extensive forests and cliffsides to surprise them. 

Turtle Ridge

Nestled between protective mountains and blessed with bountiful resources, civilizations have time to both construct impressive fortification and prepare massive armies to overcome those of their foes. Let the battles begin! 

New Biomes

In addition to the new maps, owners of The Sultans Ascend also have access to 2 expansion-exclusive biomes when creating lobbies – Japanese Spring and Savanna!

Japanese Spring

A beautiful springtime environment dotted with cherry trees in bloom. 


Based on the grassy plains of Africa and dotted with the iconic Acacia tree. 

New Campaign – The Sultans Ascend

This new Age of Empires IV single player campaign takes place in the Middle East during the European Crusades. You’ll take on the role of the Muslim resistance and follow the story of historic Muslim leaders and their struggles with the European Crusaders. Players will fight against the Holy Orders of the Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutons, as well as their old foes, the Mongols. 

New Unlockable Content


Byzantines Achievements 
  • Win For The Empire – Win a match as the Byzantines. 
  • Protecting Constantinople – Win 20 matches as the Byzantines. 
  • Unsinkable – Construct a Transport Ship with a Varangian Guard and garrison it fully as the Byzantines. 
  • Getting Some Help – Recruit 60 mercenaries from a Mercenary House in a single match as the Byzantines. 
  • Bulwark – Defeat 200 enemies with Limitanei while Shield Wall is active as the Byzantines. 
  • Let There Be Fire – Destroy 50 buildings with Cheirosiphons as the Byzantines. 
  • Overflow – Build 10 Cisterns in a single match as the Byzantines. 
  • Let It Flow – Accrue 2,000 Olive Oil in a single match as the Byzantines. 
Japanese Achievements 
  • A First for the Emperor – Win a match as the Japanese. 
  • Established Lands – Win 20 matches as the Japanese. 
  • Protecting Us – Heal 20 units using Shinto Priest units in a single match as the Japanese. 
  • Daimyo Mastery – Spend Stone to research all Town Center upgrades as the Japanese. 
  • Exchange Rates – Convert Stone to Gold at a Forge 250 times in a single match as the Japanese.
  • Shinobi Mastermind – Disable 50 buildings with Shinobi units as the Japanese. 
  • Gunpowder Mastery – Defeat 50 siege units using Ozutsu units as the Japanese. 
  • Successful Gatherer – Enhance 10 resource dropoff buildings by depositing a Sacred Object as the Japanese. 
Campaign Achievements 
  • The Sultans – Complete The Sultans Ascend campaign. 
  • Master Naval Trader – Have 20 Trade Ships trading simultaneously during the Raiders of the Red Sea. 
  • In the Lead By a Quarter Nile – Capture all Control Points during Into Egypt. 
  • Saving the Day Early – Eliminate all 3 enemy leaders within 30 seconds of each other during the Battle of Mansurah. 
  • Rescue – Rescue all the prisoners during the Invasion of Cyprus. 


Byzantines Masteries 
  • Burn the Midnight Oil – Construct 3 Olive Groves and then harvest 300 Oil. 
  • Conveyance – Have 15 Villagers simultaneously Irrigated by Cisterns. 
  • Test of Strength I – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Byzantines against the Easy AI. 
  • Shared Interests – Construct 3 buildings within the influence of a Cistern before reaching the Feudal Age. 
  • Combat Streak – Construct the Imperial Hippodrome and activate a Triumph that lasts at least 45 seconds. 
  • Pointy End – Defeat 5 enemy units with Villagers using Akritoi Defense. 
  • Test of Strength II – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Byzantines against the Intermediate AI. 
  • Surefire Victory – Defeat 20 enemy units using Greek Fire. 
  • Sheild’s Up – Defeat 15 units with Limitanei while Shield Wall is active. 
  • Bear Down – Produce 15 Cataphracts and then Trample enemy units 20 times. 
  • Test of Strength III – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Byzantines against the Hard AI. 
  • Terror Stricken – Produce 10 Varangian Guards and then defeat 15 enemies while Berserking. 
  • Fielding the Whole Gang – Construct a Mercenary House next to a neutral Trade Post and fully upgrade the contract units to Veteran. 
  • Rain of Fire – Research the Greek Fire Trebuchet and then destroy 20 buildings using Trebuchets. 
  • Test of Strength IV – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Byzantines against the Hardest AI. 
Japanese Masteries 
  • Senmaida – Improve your Town Center to Daimyo Manor and Produce a Bannerman. 
  • Honor Bound – Defeat 1 enemy unit with a Samurai in Age I. 
  • Test of Strength I – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Japanese against the Easy AI. 
  • By Night and Naginata – Defeat 15 enemy infantry units with Onna-Bugeisha. 
  • Duplicitous – Construct the Koka Township and produce 10 Shinobi. 
  • All a Quiver – Defeat 15 enemy spearmen with Yumi Ashigaru. 
  • Test of Strength II – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Japanese against the Intermediate AI. 
  • Encouraged Growth – Use Shinto Priests to place a Yorishiro into any building to provide special bonuses. Yorishiro are produced by the Floating Gate Landmark in Age III. 
  • Deflection – Research Maru-do Armor and defeat 30 enemy units with Mounted Samurai. 
  • Give Strength – Use the Conversion ability with a Buddhist Monk and inspire 20 nearby allied units. 
  • Test of Strength III – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Japanese against the Hard AI. 
  • Safeguard – Construct the Masumoto Castle Landmark and trade with the Treasure Trader 3 times during Age IV. 
  • Not So Fast – Increase the movement speed of 40 Onna-Musha using a Kabura-ya Whistling Arrow. 
  • Iron Rations – Defeat 20 enemy units with Ozutsu. 
  • Test of Strength IV – Win a 1v1 Custom or Skirmish match as the Japanese against the Hardest AI. 

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