Age of Empires IV Anniversary Update New Civs, Maps, Team Ranked, and More Detailed

Nathan Birch
Age of Empires IV

Age of Empires just turned 25 and the latest game in the series, Age of Empires IV, is about to celebrate its first anniversary, so Vancouver’s Relic Entertainment is prepping a big Season 3 update to celebrate. This anniversary-themed content infusion adds two new civilizations, the Ottomans and Malians, eight maps, ranked team matches, and more! You can check out some of the new content in action via the Age of Empires IV anniversary livestream, below.

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Here’s a full rundown of all the new content coming to Age of Empires IV next season…

New Civilizations

  • The Ottomans - In the Ottoman Art of War challenge, you must defend your Town Center and prevent it from being destroyed by opponents. Use the unique features of the Ottomans to build up their economy, strengthen their army and hold out against waves of enemies! Strategizing with the new Ottoman units and production buildings will be key to success in this scenario. You will gain a medal (Bronze, Silver, Gold) based on how long you’re able to survive the enemy waves.
  • The Malians - In the exciting new Malian Art of War challenge, you must defend your Open Pit Mines from waves of enemy attackers. To be successful, you must use the unique Malian units to put together strikes on the enemy forces and prevent destroying your Open Pit Mines! You will gain a medal (Bronze, Silver, Gold) based on how much gold your Open Pit Mines can gather before being overrun by the enemy.
  • New Art of War Challenges - At last, Survival Challenges have come to Art of War! This release brings two new single-player “Art of War” survival challenge missions focused on the Ottoman and Malian civilizations. Use them to hone your understanding and mastery of the unique abilities of each civilization.

Introducing Taunts & Cheats!

"The fan-requested features of taunts and cheats make a triumphant return to Age of Empires IV! In this update, you’ll have a variety of taunts and cheats to choose from. Joining for the festivities this season is a good friend of ours!"

New Maps

We’ve introduced 8 new maps in this update! Read on to learn more about what to expect for each new map and how you’ll need to strategize in this new terrain.

  • Forest Ponds - In Forest Ponds, you’ll find four bodies of water located in each corner of the map, and one large forest in the center of the map which will limit maneuverability.
  • Hideout - On this map, while you might initially start in a safe location, you’ll find you must quickly venture out of your hideout to secure faraway resources.
  • Mountain Clearing - Take control of the deep mountain clearing – with limited space and resources, fighting will be fierce.
  • Wetlands - Wetlands is an open, flat map, dotted with many small ponds full of shore fish. You’ll have to use unique strategies with the ponds, since there aren’t many gaia animals around the map.
  • Prairie - The open and unforgiving landscape of the Prairie requires rapid expansion and leaves everyone open to raids from any direction. Quickly build up your defenses or take advantage of your opponents’ lack of them!
  • Waterholes - Conquer the many lakes to gain economic advantage and dominate your opponents on foot or horseback on the Waterholes map.
  • Mediterranean - To help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the original Age of Empires, we’re bringing back one of the iconic maps from the Rise of Rome expansion: Mediterranean! Mediterranean features a large central lake teeming with fish deposits, two naval trade posts on opposing shorelines, and two Sacred Sites just off the beach on opposite sides of the lake. This map should see a mix of naval and land gameplay.
  • Oasis - We’re also bringing back the Oasis map from Age of Empires II! In the Age of Empires IV version, Oasis still features the central dense forest with a small lake right in the middle, but this time, we are featuring the map’s only two Sacred Sites on the shoreline of the lake. Will you be the first to chop your way to the oasis and secure the Sacred Sites, or will you crash through the forest from an unsuspecting angle to wrest control of the center from your opponent?

Season Three Ranked and Leaderboards

"You’ll be able to team up with friends or matchmake with other players to participate in Ranked Team matches composed of 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4. We have Ranked Leaderboards available for team games as well as 1v1! Once Season Three officially starts on October 26th, you’ll be able to see how you stack up to other players in the ranked queues!

Playing competitive games with your friends is already rewarding, but we’ve got some additional reasons to hop into Team Ranked! Earning a Team rank will grant you a unique seasonal Monument and Portrait to show off the results of your ranked journey. As well, we’ve re-vamped the Ranked badges themselves to better reflect the grandeur and prestige of your earned rank! Your Solo rank is completely distinct from your Team rank. That means you’ll need to complete your 5 placement matches for each queue."

Naval Rework

"We’ve previously let you know we’re adding some changes to Naval balance such as enhanced tactical combat, more explosive battles, reworked balance and more. You’ll now be able to check out the brand new upgrade paths for the arrow ships, fire ships, and springald ships as they have interesting scaling options in the Castle and Imperial age!"

Waypoint Markers

"In this update, you’ll be able to see Gold Waypoint Markers for any time you Move, Blue Waypoint Markers for when you do an Action, and Red Waypoint Markers anytime you Attack or Patrol! You’ll also see a marker for every time you shift-click using any of these options, so you can see the path that your unit will follow. If you select a whole group, you’ll be able to see the group leader’s waypoint markers, so queue up your troops and lead them to victory!"

Of course, Age of Empires IV Season 3 will also introduce a number of smaller tweaks and fixes, and offer new rewards. If that’s something you need to know about, you can check out the full, unabridged patch notes, right here.

Age of Empires IV can be played on PC. Season 3 launches on October 25.

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