- We’ve collected a few of our favorite tips to help get your army up to speed in Age of Empires IV.
- For even more in-depth tips and strategies, be sure to check out the game’s excellent tutorial modes and Art of War challenges to better hone your skills.
- Age of Empires IV is available now with Xbox Game Pass on PC and Ultimate and available for purchase on the Microsoft Store for Windows PC and Steam.
There are tons of strategies to master in Age of Empires IV, from build queues to troop management to Age advancement, that it can take several hours until you’ve found a path to success that speaks to you and your preferred style of play (not to mention finding a favorite civilization to play with).
In our experience, we’ve found that at the core of every strategy in Age of Empires IV, in particular Skirmish mode, are a few tips that can come in handy as you embark on mastering everything Age of Empires IV has to offer.
After reading here, make sure you check out the excellent in-game tutorials for Age of Empires IV, including the challenging Art of War missions, to help you master other techniques and strategies as you prepare for battle. Enjoy!
Rally Point Resources
Early in the game you’ll be concentrating heavily on resource gathering, like Wood, Food, Stone, and Gold. To help you quickly put Villagers to work on collecting these resources, you can pre-determine their assignment before they come running out of your Town Center by utilizing Rally Points on these resources to quickly put them to work.
To do this, select your Town Center and then Right-Click click on a particular resource location (a forest for Wood, animals/Farms for Food, a gold vein for Gold, etc.). Any Villagers produced during this time, with that Rally Point selected, will automatically proceed to gather that resource. Just make sure to update them to another resource location as needed.
When to Age Up
You can pair this one with the “Rally Point Resources” tip above, but a crucial component of playing Age of Empires IV is knowing how and when to Age Up. Each Age comes with new units and buildings that allow you more strategic options – such as trading Gold and resources with your allies or neutral trading posts via the Market (unlocked in the Feudal Age) or producing Siege Engines and units that will strike fear into the hearts of your enemies from the Siege Workshop (unlocked in the Castle Age).
To Age Up, you’ll need to fulfill a set of resource requirements paired with the construction of Landmark, or in the case of the Abbasid Dynasty, a wing of the House of Wisdom. It’s vitally important to know what’s required to advance your empire, and you can check at any time from the Tech Tree or by selecting a Villager and the “Age icon” from the unit card. Hint: For most civilizations, Food and Gold is vital for getting out of the Dark Age.
Information is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Power is everything. Do not underestimate the power of your Scout. Especially in Skirmish and multiplayer modes where you’re given one for free (free!). It’s incredibly important to utilize this unit in the early phase of the game to get a general lay of the land to find resource locations and determine strategic bottlenecks. Most importantly, while you’ve been building your empire, your opponent’s done the same – utilize your Scout to get a sense of where your opponent is located on the map and what enemy production structures (and armies!) they’re amassing.
Scouts aren’t very powerful and should rarely (if ever) be used to battle enemies in the early phase of the game, but they are fantastic at a herding sheep (an excellent source of Food) to bring back to your Village to help with early Food gathering. And it’s not just the sheep that are nearby. If you can manage to sneak into enemy territory and pluck those herds from your opponent, it’s just one less advantage you’re allowing them in terms of resource gathering in the early going.
The Power of Counters
Once you’ve spent some time scouting, you may have a better understanding of how your opponent intends to attack you. Whenever possible, aim to create military production buildings that produce units that reliably counter your enemy’s. When you start building out siege and special units and embarking on Naval warfare, you’ll find a range of creative strategies to employ, but when it comes to land units, there are some basic tenets of the rock/paper/scissors mechanic to keep in mind:
- Archer counters Spearman
- Spearman counters Cavalry
- Cavalry counters Archer
There’s loads to learn from there, but this helps visualize the principle Age IV battles are built upon.
Queue Multiple Buildings
Knowing your counters is one thing and assembling an army that will leave your opponent quaking in their boots is another. Once you’ve built out your economy, you might consider queuing multiple military buildings at once. This will ensure you’re producing units faster, as you build out your forces. We’ve found it’s helpful to grab a single Villager who can plot out multiple Archery Range, Barracks, or Stable placements so you can get started queuing up unit production more rapidly.
Once constructed, Double Left-Click on the same building type (e.g. Barracks, Archery Range, etc.) to select each one of that type, then begin producing units. Also, while both buildings are selected, you can update their Rally Point as needed to either reinforce a chokepoint or head to a staging ground as you prepare for an upcoming battle.
By default, many of the Function keys (F1, F2, etc.) on your keyboard can be used to quickly navigate to your building locations in your Village, like Barracks, Archery Ranges, etc. But something we’ve found to be useful is to assign these buildings to a Group so that your camera doesn’t zoom back to your Village. This is especially helpful as you’re multitasking many elements, usually mid-battle, and it’s time to start replenishing your army in real-time.
To do this, Left-Click on the unit-producing structure (also Double Left-Click to select all of that building type), and then press Ctrl+1-9 to assign that structure a group along the number row of your keyboard. Cycling through these grouped structures, you’ll find that you can manage their building queues at any time in your navigation bar without the camera centering back to your Village, away from whatever you were just managing on-screen (troops, scouts, etc).
We hope you enjoyed a few of these tips to help get your army up to speed in Age of Empires IV. Make sure to visit the official Age of Empires IV Discord to share some of your favorite techniques with the Age of Empires community. You can play Age of Empires IV today with Xbox Game Pass on PC and Ultimate or purchase on the Microsoft Store for Windows PC and Steam.
Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition
Xbox Game Studios