Age of Empires 4 is getting mods, and you can try a few now

The Public Update Preview branch for Age of Empires 4 is now live, and it contains a sneak peek at some of the big new features on their way

Mod tools and a map editor are in the works for medieval RTS game Age of Empires IV, and while their official release won’t be for another week, you can try some of them out now. A few lucky Age of Empires IV players have gotten invites to try out the Age of Empires IV mod and map editor tool, but everyone with the game can currently try out a few new in-house mods the dev team has created ahead of their launch at the start of Season One.

To access the list of mods the developers have created and curated, you need to opt into the Public Update Preview branch. To do this, open Age of Empires IV options menu in your Steam library, select the Betas tab, and select “future_live – Public Update Preview” from the drop-down menu. Once the game updates, you’ll be able to check out the build of that game currently due to roll out with the start of Season One on March 18.

The mods you can try out are a mix of maps and ‘tuning packs,’ which alter the characteristics of specific game elements. One, called Dire Wolves, makes the game’s wolves larger and deadlier – they’ve got increased damage and hit points, so they’re a more serious threat than they are in the vanilla game. Others double the number of peasants you train at a time, or double the amount of wood available in each tree.

There’s also a modded game mode called Royal Rumble that you can try in the PUP, and this one will be instantly familiar to anyone who played the Regicide game mode in Age of Empires II. It’s every king for themself, and the last king standing wins.

There’s a huge list of civ balance changes, map improvements, and fixes coming in the March 18 update, too. If you own a copy of the game on Steam, you can read the full patch notes in the Age of Empires IV discussion forums.

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