Age of Empires 2’s battle royale mode and free anniversary update is here

You may remember a few weeks ago we reported on how Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition was getting a battle royale mode because… well, reasons, I guess. Regardless: a free update means new stuff, and the latest patch is now live for the iconic RTS game.

The November 2020 patch, or ‘Game Update 42848’ if you want to use its superhero name, is the 21st free update since the Definitive Edition launched last year on November 14, 2019. It will bring balance changes to 19 of the 35 civilisations, modding enhancements, the new mode itself, and a new ‘Quick Play’ function to name the highlights.

The battle royale variant is set up pretty much like you think it would, given this is an RTS first. You start with a few soldiers, and must explore the map in search of resource camps and military buildings you can capture to get resources and build more units. This is an eight-player mode, so you’ll have to contend with the other players trying to capture your stuff and/or eliminate you from the game, and there are also ‘Guardians’ as well.

In true BR fashion, a ‘corruption’ will steadily envelop the map and destroy everything in its path. This mode will feature five brand-new maps.

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Also coming in the patch is a new seasonal event to celebrate the birthday milestone. Until December 1 you can log in and complete daily tasks to unlock seasonal rewards, from new profile icons to confetti effects.

If you want to read the full extent of the patch notes, you can find them in full here. Gameplay improvements cover a range of quality of life tweaks, from improved wall placement to Trebuchets showing their packing/unpacking progress.

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is currently the 51st most-played game on Steam.