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September 2021

Age of Empires IV

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Relic Entertainment
Release Date: Oct. 28, 2021

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'Age of Empires IV' Technical Stress Test This Weekend, Sign Up Now, System Requirements Revealed

by Rainier on Sept. 14, 2021 @ 2:53 p.m. PDT

It's time to battle through history once more in the latest entry of the landmark Age of Empires franchise.

Age of Empires IV features two new launch civilizations, a newly revealed campaign, naval combat, and Joan of Arc.

The teams at both Relic and World's Edge have shared that players will have the choice of the English, Mongols, Chinese and Delhi Sultanate at launch, and two more civilizations have been revealed: the Abbasid Dynasty and the French.

The Abbasid Dynasty's focus on technology, powered by their unique landmark, the House of Wisdom, will allow players to choose unique upgrade opportunities. Their unique units include Camel Archers and Riders.

The French were revealed alongside the 100 Years War campaign, allowing players to place themselves in the battles fought between the English and French in the 14th and 15th centuries. The French thrive in trade, with the Chamber of Commerce and Royal Institute landmarks helping strengthen a player's late game. Royal Knights are one of the civilization's special units with a fearsome charge ability.

Making a heroic appearance in the trailer is French heroine and icon Joan of Arc. Teenage Joan rallied her country and led armies into battle against the occupying English.

Taking the battle to the water adds a whole new dimension to player strategy and adds new meaning to "sink or swim"!

With updated controls, intuitive UI and a fresh approach to the campaign, Age of Empires IV is the most accessible Age of Empires game yet while taking everything fans love about the franchise to the next level.

This weekend Microsoft are holding a technical stress test for “Age of Empires IV,” running from 10:00 am PT on September 17 to 10:00 am PT September 20.

This is designed to test the servers and systems, ahead of launch on October 28th, and ensure that matchmaking, lobbies and additional systems perform at scale. The stress test build will be available on Steam and through the Xbox Insider App hub on PC – no invite or NDA required for entry, and you can “pre-sign-up" in both locations to stay in the loop starting Tuesday, September 14.

The Technical Stress Test differs from our Closed Beta in three key ways:

  1. Our goals are different! This time around, we’re focused on scale testing our servers and systems in preparation for the October 28th release date. One reason we are hosting this event over a single weekend is that we are interested in driving as many people into the Technical Stress Test build as possible during this window to make sure that our matchmaking, lobbies and additional systems hold strong.  
  2. The Technical Stress Test will not be gated by an invite! Previously, we had some requirements that won’t be necessary this time around. The build will be available in the Xbox Insider Hub app (available in the Microsoft Store) or Steam regardless of whether you’re an Age Insider or not. The larger our audience for this Technical Stress Test, the more successful it will be! 
  3. We’re welcoming all players who meet or exceed our minimum spec. We’re introducing additional in-game settings in the Technical Stress Test, which means that you’ll be able to join us so long as you meet the Age of Empires IV listed below. During this event, the game will automatically detect and select the correct settings based on hardware, including settings specifically included for min spec devices.

What Content Will Be Available in the Technical Stress Test?

Most aspects of the game available during this event will be focused on the multiplayer experience. However, you will have the opportunity to play against AI via the Multiplayer Custom Lobby, as well as try out Mission Zero (the game’s tutorial). Given this is a Technical Stress Test, we encourage you to play against others participating. The more data we get from different match-ups across various servers, the more action our development team will be able to take to prep our systems for the big day.  

There will be four civilizations available – the English, the Chinese, the Holy Roman Empire and the Abbasid Dynasty – and five different maps. 

How Do I Get Started?

On Friday, September 17th, you should be able to access the build in one of two ways: 

  • Via the Xbox Insider Hub app on PC. Just check the Preview tab for Age of Empires IV to download the build for the Technical Stress Test. 
  • Via the Age of Empires IV base game product page on Steam. You’ll see a section titled “Playtest” that will allow you to get started!  

Pre-sign up is available via the Xbox Insider Hub now; more information to come on Steam. If you have questions about participating in the Technical Stress Test, you can keep an eye out on our FAQ here, which we’ll be updating in the days to come. 

Where Can I Provide My Feedback?

You will be able to provide feedback in the official Age forums. We’ll keep an eye on other community-frequented locations, but you’ll have the best chance of being heard if you stick to the forums for this event! We’ll be focused primarily on stability, performance and matchmaking or server reports during this event.

What’s Changed Since the Closed Beta?

A number of tweaks and changes have been made since the Closed Beta in August: 

  • Changes to the camera distance. Based on closed beta feedback, we have tweaked the maximum distance that the camera can zoom out.  This allows for more visibility on-screen while you play. 
  • Balance work. For those that joined us, you will notice additional balance work that’s gone into both the English and Chinese civilizations.   
  • Bug fixes. We always appreciate the community’s attention to detail! The closed beta group called out a number of bugs that were impacting visuals, audio, economy and in-game settings that have been fixed in this build. 

Is This Event Under NDA?

Unlike the Age IV Closed Beta, we will not be enforcing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) during the Technical Stress Test. We want to encourage you to play as much as possible and reduce the steps you need to take to join us. We also want to make sure you’re able to invite and play with your friends during this window of time. You are free to stream and create VOD content for the “Age of Empires IV” technical stress test without restrictions.

PC System Requirements

Minimum Sysem Requirements
  • OS: Windows 10 – 64 bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-6300U or AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD 520 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
  • DirectX: Version 12

Recommended Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 – 64 bit
  • CPU: 3.6 GHz 6-core (Intel i5) or AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce 970 GPU or AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU with 4GB of VRAM
  • VRAM: 4GB
  • DirectX: Version 12

Key Features:

  • Stunning 4K visual fidelity
  • Eight diverse civilizations, including the Mongols and Chinese, along with naval gameplay support
  • Four campaigns with thirty-five missions spanning 500 years of history
  • Cooperate or spectate with up to seven of your friends in PVP and PVE multiplayer modes
  • Best-in-class game and platform services, including a World Editor in early 2022, tutorials and a story mode to help onboard new RTS players

Pre-orders are open. A Digital Deluxe Edition is available on Steam; it includes a digital copy of the game's epic soundtrack as well as other exclusive in-game items. Anyone who pre-orders Age of Empires IV will receive the upcoming DLC for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, Dawn of the Dukes, when it launches in August.

Age of Empires IV launches on Oct. 28, 2021 exclusively on the PC (Steam) for $59.99 for the standard edition and $79.99 for the digital deluxe edition.

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