Age of Empires 4 is the long-awaited next game in the Age of Empires series, but there is some Age of Empires tips and tricks that the game simply doesn’t tell you.
Age of Empires 4 is a complex game that merges some of the best aspects of city building games, and RTS games, making it one of the most addictive strategy games ever created.
Table of contents
- Place Your Archers on High Ground
- Use Your Castle Walls Effectively
- Use Trebuchetes to Take Down Keeps From Afar
- Prioritize Creating Villagers at The Start of Your Game
- Remove 4K Textures
- Upgrade Your Military Units Quickly
- Double Click to Select by Unit Type
- Keep Formation
- Learn the Keybindings
- Utilize and Upgrade Outposts, Keeps and Stone Wall Towers
- Play The Campaign First
Place Your Archers on High Ground
If you play the Age of Empires campaign, you will already know this, but if you’ve just jumped into multiplayer, you might miss this one.
A new mechanic that has been added in Age of Empires 4 is the high ground advantage, finding a hill, and adding some well-placed archers will enable give you the advantage in open battle.
Just make sure to deploy spike walls, so that your archers are a little safer if your attackers manage to ascend the hill, this should help tip the tide of the battle into your favor.
Use Your Castle Walls Effectively
Another new feature in Age of Empires 4 is the ability to place units on top of walls, meaning you can also get the high ground during siege situations.
You can fit a surprising amount of archers on the wall, which will help with siege situations, but make sure that you are prepared for siege towers which could plant mele on the walls with your archers, having flaming arrows will help stop the towers from getting too close to you.
Another great way to ensure survival is to build two rows of castle walls. Place your archers on the inner walls, and build another wall around that, this will mean your enemies will need to double their efforts to break into your settlement.
Use Trebuchetes to Take Down Keeps From Afar
Long-range siege weapons have always been the best way to take down enemy defenses in Age of Empires games, using them wisely can help you conquer your enemy’s defenses without taking too many losses.
The best way to do this is to have a few mele fighters, and horsemen in a line, protecting your trebuchets, with another line or two of archers behind them.
Make sure that your archers and mele fighters are on standby, and order your trebuchets to fire at enemy defenses, you can take down walls, towers, and hopefully some archers too, whilst your mele and archers kill anyone that tries to retaliate against your siege weapons.
Once you have cleared the first line of defense, edge all your units and trebuchets forward and repeat until you have completely crippled your enemy.
Bonus Tip: Any counter-attacks you face might dent your front lines, that are defending your siege weapons, have a couple of villagers come over at the start of the siege, and build a stable, keep, and/or siege workshop, this way you can replenish your front line with a FOB.
I often also build a tower and man it with archers too as this, especially if fully upgraded, will offer much more protection and range for your siege weapons.
Prioritize Creating Villagers at The Start of Your Game
Villagers are the bread and butter of your town, building plenty of them at the start of the game, will help you to achieve military dominance, by establishing a strong economy.
You can hover over the resources bars to see how many villagers are collecting each resource as well as how much resources they are gathering per minute.
Have a steady amount of villagers for each resource, but work towards upgrading the food gathering upgrades as quickly as possible, this will help you to stockpile, and establish a military might quickly, and even replenish them if things go sideways.
Remove 4K Textures
When you install Age of Empires 4, you might not notice that there are two versions of the game, however, the larger of the two installs includes 4K Videos, which you might consider an unnecessary waste of good hard drive space.
If you’re happy to forgo 4K cutscenes, or simply do not have a 4K display, then make sure to just install the Age of Empires IV base game.
Upgrade Your Military Units Quickly
Many players go for the Zerg approach, trying to build an army and rush their opponents, while this can work sometimes, the starting army is weak, and won’t stand a chance to an upgraded army.
If you can build up a strong economy, you will get the resources required to start making upgrades quickly, and if your opponent tries to rush you, they will have a much harder time against your hardened military might.
Even with larger numbers, your opponent will have trouble facing a well upgraded army, with more health, armor, and damage.
Technology is a key component to winning battles in Age of Empires games, having stronger, upgraded units will make you a tougher opponent.
Double Click to Select by Unit Type
Most people know that you can control and click a number to group units, but sometimes, you might need to quickly separate a single type of unit to gain a strategic advantage.
If you double click on any type of unit, it will select all close-by units of that type, making it easier to separate your ranged from your mele fighters.
Formations can help protect your most valuable soldiers, by clicking and holding the right mouse button, and dragging, you can set your army to the formation, and choose where they should go into formation.
While you have the soldiers grouped, you can also choose from different formations next to the group’s ability buttons, some formations are better than others, depending on the type of battle you’re engaging in.
Learn the Keybindings
While the campaign does teach you the basics of gameplay in Age of Empires IV, it doesn’t tell you all the keybindings, some of which can make the difference between victory and defeat in battle.
It might seem obvious to some, but one of the best Age of Empires 4 tips is to simply know all the bindings, and be aware of how to quickly switch between unit types.
- Rotate camera: Alt + Move mouse (Or [ for left and ] for right)
- Select all units on screen: Control + A
- Access secondary UI: Y
- Cycle through idle economics unit: Backspace
- Cycle through idle military unit: .
- Focus on last event: Space
- Forcus on Capital town center: Control + H
You can of course rebind these keys, but try to remember them, having the ability to select all units on screen can be very helpful when you’re trying to push a siege.
Utilize and Upgrade Outposts, Keeps and Stone Wall Towers
Keeps have always been a great strategic building in the Age of Empires series, using them in strategic locations can help you with both defensive and offensive play.
Outposts: These can be used to defend your town and have a solid range, they can also be upgraded to pack more of a punch and from a longer range.
Keeps: Not only do they have large amounts of HP and defense, but they also do a fair amount of damage, and they can produce units.
When placed across strategic points in your town, they can be effective at keeping attackers at bay, while quickly producing reinforcements.
Stone Wall Towers: These not only offer you extra firepower but also have two very useful abilities.
Firstly they can act as an access point up to the top of your walls, making it easier for you to place archers on your walls, as well as having a boiling oil upgrade which can help keep sieges at bay.
Play The Campaign First
The Age of Empires 4 campaign surprised me, to be honest, it’s a good size, challenging at times, and actually taught me a lot about my countries history that I was not privy to.
But, most importantly, it taught me how to form good siege strategies, as well as how to defend, even against unthinkable odds.
In short, it prepared me to be able to deal with more formidable real player opponents in Age of Empires 4’s multiplayer mode.
Of course, you don’t need to play all the campaigns, even just doing the Norman’s campaign would teach you enough to be able to face a real opponent.
Age of Empires IV is an extremely strategic game, while you can benefit from Age of Empires 4 tips online, the best way to learn to play and win, is simply trial and error.
Don’t be afraid to jump into multiplayer and face a real opponent, every defeat helps you learn to be a better player, so get stuck in.