Age of Empires 4: release date, civilisations, and everything else we know

Here's everything we know about Age of Empires 4, from release date, to key features and more!

A keep on a hill looking out over the sea in age of empires 4 as a fleet of ship approaches

What is Age of Empires 4’s release date? Well we’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is, we know it’s coming in the autumn. The bad news is, we don’t know exactly when, yet.

With the latest Age of Empires game landing over a decade ago, anticipation for a new entry in the classic RTS game series couldn’t be higher if you placed it atop a saddled war elephant and marched it towards an enemy base. We’ve known for a few years now that the fourth entry is coming, but news has been painfully slow at emerging from the fog.

Thankfully, a recent fan preview broadcast blew the lid off of the Age of Empires 4 enigma and gave us a ton of new information to work with, including the release ‘window’ for later this year.  We have rounded as much Age of Empires 4 news and information as possible, so that you’re on the same page as us. We’ll keep this article updated as and when new information comes to light, but feel free to let us know if there’s something important you think we’ve missed.

Age of Empires 4 release date

Age of Empires 4 is slated for a Fall 2021 release date as of the Age of Empires fan preview event, which was broadcast on April 10, 2021. You can read a summary of what was revealed here, but the main information has been transported to this guide as well, further down.

At the time of writing, pre-orders are not currently available for Age of Empires 4. We’ll let you know when this changes.

Age of Empires 4 units from the dehli sultanate civ

Age of Empires 4 beta

A closed beta is planned for Age of Empires 4, but the current run dates are unknown. Regardless, to be eligible to participate you have to be part of the Age Insider program, so it might be worth signing up to that at least.

More official information on the closed beta is due in the “near future”.

Age of Empires 4 civs

It’s been confirmed that there will be eight civilisations for Age of Empires 4 at launch, drawn from medieval societies across Europe, Asia and beyond. Out of those eight, four have been named

The English and the Mongols were the first Age of Empires 4 civs confirmed for the game, way back in 2019. The Age of Empires fan preview event in April 2021 further revealed the Chinese and the Delhi Sultanate as playable civilisations.

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The civilisations in Age of Empires 4 are going to be more asymmetrical in their design. The English, for example will look and play more like traditional Age of Empires civilisation, where-as the Mongols will be feature more bespoke mechanics – such as migrating buildings – which will make them feel very different. The other civilisations are likely to be designed to fit different points on this scale.

There will be some commonality. For example every civ has a generic pike, ranged, and mounted units to keep that core combat triangle intact.

Civ design also extends to the visuals and atmosphere as well. Architecture will evolve over time, but the language other NPCs use will also change to reflect how these societies evolved culturally during the rough time-period covered by Age of Empires 4.

A king in age of empires 4 leads a column of men towards a town

AGE OF EMPIRES 4 campaigns

Age of Empires 4 will have four campaigns, one of which is confirmed to be a Norman campaign focused on William the Conqueror and his descendants. Instead of focusing on the life of one historical figure, Age of Empires 4 campaigns will span generations, covering multiple people, and will serve the historical context in a more documentary-style format.

According to Adam Isgreen there is going to be around three hours worth of footage that will supplement the campaign missions, a lot of it using live footage from real-world locations with superimposed graphics in the style of the game, but also other types of video content as well that they’re not talking about right now.

age of empires 4 campaign gameplay showing base building

Age of Empires 4 Features

Further details on Age of Empires 4 features are a bit scattered, but here is a summary of some of the key features that will be coming:

The game will be fully 3D, with more realistic environments that show more pronounced elevation, and forests that will allow units to hide in for ambush tactics. The maps will also be procedural.

Units will be capped at around 200 per player. In an eight-player multiplayer match, this will mean you can have a maximum of 1600 units all fighting over the same space.

While the campaign will have hero-like units for narrative reasons, general skirmish gameplay will not feature hero units. The exception to this at the moment are the Mongols, who have a unit called the ‘Mongol Khan’ who acts similar to a hero-unit, but is not as strong as one.

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The ages have been confirmed to be: Dark Age, the Feudal Age, the Castle Age, and the Imperial Age. Naval combat has been confirmed, and the ‘age-up’ mechanics from Age of Empires 3 have been incorporated into Age of Empires 4’s design.

Related: The best strategy games on PC

We’ll be sure to update you on any other Age of Empires 4 news regarding the release date, and anything else the developers decide to share.

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