I hate to break it to you this way, but I was in elementary school the last time an Age of Empires game was released. It has somehow been more than 15 years since Age of Empires III came out way back in 2005. Whether you were an avid player, a casual dabbler, or someone just getting into the franchise, chances are you’re going to need a refresher. We’ve gotten hands-on time with the new Age of Empires IV and put together five tips for you regardless of your experience. Hopefully, they’ll help you get up to speed with Relic’s latest in the series.
Shift + Click to Produce Five Units at a Time
We’ll save you the effort of having to look it up. Rather than clicking five separate times when you’re trying to spam build units thanks to your most recent defeat, hold “Shift” while you do so. This tells the building to create five units of that type assuming it is possible. If not, you’ll end up with whatever your resources allow.
Archers Really Suck at Destroying Buildings
Naturally, your archers are going to be on the back lines as your melee units take all of the damage. Be careful, however, because once you’ve dealt with all of the foes and it comes time to destroy buildings, archers really, really suck. They take at least five times longer to destroy a single building. My point is you need to ensure enough melee units survive so they can take out torches and do their thing. Otherwise, you’ll have done all that fighting only to need to regroup first, giving your opponent a chance at rebuilding their army.
Get Villagers, Then Build an Army
Early on in the game, you’re limited by how few resources you have. Rapidly increasing your income is the most efficient thing to do. Create more villagers from your town hall and start getting woodcutting and food production running. Gold can wait; don’t worry about that for now. Once you have a decent income, start building a defensive force. Towers are cool and all, but ultimately enemy units can just run out of range and decimate your town.
Units Are Bad at Target Selection
As a general warning, your units aren’t the greatest at target selection and you may need to do some babysitting. Soldiers will automatically attack things that attack them as long as they aren’t already in combat. But if your archers are suddenly in melee combat after you had ordered them to deal with another group of foes, they’ll just let themselves die to the more dangerous foes. This remains true even after they’ve killed the one unit you clicked on.
XP is Basically Meaningless
One of the first things you’ll notice once you arrive at the main menu is a list of daily missions. These reward XP, which increases your profile’s level. But what does this even do? Is it important at all? We’re happy to let you know you can entirely ignore this system. There are rewards to leveling up including special videos, emblems, and the like, but it does nothing for your experience inside the game.