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Age of Empires 4 is getting cross-play on Xbox consoles and Windows PC

 Age of Empires 4 Holy Roman Empire.
Age of Empires 4 Holy Roman Empire.

What you need to know

  • Age of Empires 4 first launched on Windows PC in 2021, with Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One versions arriving in 2023.

  • The latest update preview is bringing cross-play for Age of Empires 4, allowing players on Xbox consoles and PC to play together.

  • There's also a number of balance changes for the various civilizations.


Platforms will no longer divide aspiring conquerors thanks to the ongoing efforts of developer World's Edge.

The latest preview update for Age of Empires 4 brings cross-play support across Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows PC, meaning friends can hop into modes like Team Ranked together with no issues. In order to use this feature on PC, you'll need to manually update your game on Steam, the Microsoft Store, or the Xbox app. The update will bring your PC copy of Age of Empires 4 to Build 10.0.576. 

Age of Empires 4 Season 7 balance patch

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Alongside the addition of cross-play, every civilization has received a balance pass for Season 7, with some tweaks that'll shake up the expected flow of different games. You can find the full patch notes for each Age of Empires 4 civilization below.

Abbasid Dynasty:

  • Fresh Foodstuffs moved from the Town Center to the Mill. 

  • Camel Archer cost reduced from 180 Food to 170 Food. 

  • Fertile Crescent Wood discount increased from 25% to 30%. 

  • Spice Roads upgrade now correctly modifies gold income for all traders. 

Ayyubids:

  • Tower of the Sultan: 

    • No longer has Ram melee vulnerability. 

    • Build time reduced from 200 to 140 seconds. 

    • Garrisoned units increase movement speed for each unit garrisoned. 

  • Atabeg’s Supervision and Biology are now multiplicative. 

  • Corrected an issue where Desert Raiders ranged weapon was not fully benefitting from their Golden Age 5 attack speed bonus. 

Byzantines:

  • Chierosiphon cost reduced from 200 Wood 100 Gold to 200 Wood 60 Gold. 

  • Chierosiphon health increased from 280 to 310. 

  • Chierosiphon ranged armor increased from 30 to 50. 

  • Chierosiphon bonus damage vs Walls increased from 0 to 5. 

  • First Mercenary contract choice is now free and instant, saving 100 Olive Oil and 20 seconds of research time. 

  • Veteran Mercenary upgrade cost reduced from 100 Food 250 Gold to 50 Food 125 Gold and research time reduced from 60 to 30 seconds.  

  • Limitanei Shield wall damage reduction reduced from 40% to 30%. 

  • Mangonel Emplacement damage reduced from 8 to 7. 

  • Corrected an issue where Mercenary Sipahi and Mercenary Camel Riders would receive Gold from Expilatores upgrade when killing Villagers. 

  • Greek Fire Projectiles help-text now mentions that patches of Greek Fire can’t stack.

Chinese:

  • Barbican of the Sun now accepts your tax donations.

Delhi Sultanate:

  • Ghazi Raiders are no longer missing bonus damage versus siege engines. 

  • Lightweight Beams now has the correct research time in the Imperial Age.

English:

  • Berkshire Palace weapons are no longer duplicated on their UI. Corrected an issue where one garrison arrow was normal instead of incendiary. 

French:

  • French Keeps now cost 10% less stone to build.  

  • Keep Influence range increased by 1 tile.

Holy Roman Empire:

  • Marching Drills is now a civilization bonus and is granted for free at the start of the game, it no longer affects Prelates. 

  • Inspired Warriors now increases the move speed of Prelates. 

  • Prelate inspiration range increased by 1 tile. 

  • Meinwerk Palace bonus increased from 40% to 50% cost and research time. 

Japanese:

  • Castle of the Crow issue corrected where projectiles would be blocked when attacked from certain angles. 

  • Castle of the Crow help-text now explains that bonus Stone is reduced compared to Food, Gold, and Wood. 

  • Previously missing Towara, Takezaiku, and Fudasashi economy pips now appear.

Jeanne d'Arc:

  • Consecrate help-text now updates after researching Ordinance Company. 

Mongols:

  • Ovoo Stone income in the Dark Age reduced from 80 to 70 per minute. 

  • Moving buildings rotation rate reduced so that they do not instantly snap when changing direction. 

  • Khaganate Palace: Rus Knights now properly use Poleaxe.  

  • Horse Archers now properly use the Gallop ability. 

  • Nest of Bees units now receive the Additional Barrels upgrade. 

  • Prayer Tents no longer grant vision on pre-placement after researching Monastic Shrines. 

  • Fixed an issue where units could get trapped in a Mongol landmark when its owner was eliminated. 

  • A crash relating to The Silver Tree landmark has been fixed. 

  • Allies of a Mongol player can now set the Silver Tree as a trade destination while it’s packed up and Traders will only move to it when it’s unpacked. 

Order of the Dragon:

  • Aachen Chapel bonus increased from 10% to 15%. 

  • Meinwerk Palace bonus increased from 40% to 50% cost and research time. 

  • Golden Cuirass cost increased from 50 Food 125 Gold to 100 Food 200 Gold (50 Food 100 Gold discount). 

  • Zornhau cost increased from 100 Food 250 Gold to 150 Food 350 Gold (75 Food 175 Gold discount). 

  • Bodkin Bolts cost increased from 200 Food 500 Gold to 300 Food 700 Gold (150 Food 350 Gold discount). 

  • Corrected Gilded Handcannons missing projectile and muzzle effects. 

Ottomans:

  • Great Bombard health reduced from 350 to 300. 

  • Great Bombard ranged armor increased by +5. 

  • Vizier experience requirements for each level increased from 60/80/120/200/320 to 60/100/150/240/320 

  • Military School production speed reduced from 4.5x to 5x the standard production rate. 

Rus:

  • Hunting Cabin build time increased from 25 to 35 seconds. 

  • Boyars Fortitude cost increased from 100 Food, 250 Gold to 150 Food, 350 Gold. 

  • Corrected an issue where Horse Archers would not retain the Mounted Precision bonuses when advancing to the next tier. 

Analysis: A great addition for a game going strong

Cross-play has become a huge feature in the last few years, and it's especially important for keeping game populations healthy, so I'm happy to see this happening for Age of Empires 4. The game is going strong, with last year's expansion being the best-selling DLC ever for the franchise.

Outside of Age of Empires 4, the rest of the series is continuing at a brisk pace, with new DLC for Age of Empires 2 and Age of Mythology launching on Xbox and PC later this year. To learn more about both of those topics, I recommend reading our interview with World's Edge founder Adam Isgreen.