How long did it take?

I am coming from an AOE3 perspective. I tried AOE4 as soon as it came out. Played a few campaigns, art of war, skirmish, quick matches. Spent about 5-7 hours all together.

But whatever I tried I just found it very boring. I see comments on forums and streams saying it’s very fun but lacking some polish.

But what I’m finding instead is some of the mechanics of the game is a step back from aoe3 (no batch training, lack of micro ability compared to aoe3, no snare, more focused on city building etc…). Also I’m finding the pace of the game is very slow compared to AOE3.

I want to jump on that train, but I just can’t seem to get there.

My question is before I try it again is how long did it take you to find the game enjoyable? What are your tips that I should do to make it more fun?


I’m in the same situation but coming from an AoE2 perspective. I’m close to 30 hours, because after a lot of initial disappointment I decided to commit to the campaigns on hard, which I found enjoyable. If I wasnt a big fan of AoE, I would have probably dropped the game already. After I finish the campaigns, I don’t know what will happen because I just dont find the game to be good enough when it comes to gameplay, let alone the lack of polish and features. Probably hope that it will improve greatly over time with further polishing and adding the many missing features.
Btw, why would you want snaring? That was such an annoying thing in AoE3.


I enjoy snaring because once you understand this mechanic, it’s an enjoyable part of microing units (tricks to minimise damage from snare and being able to punish opponents mispositioning).

I understand players that come across it first time would find it annoying

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Game one. For me, I am a casual player from AoE 2, I am not that good at the game-- AoE 4 is actually a lot more forgiving.

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And I think that’s both a good thing and a bad thing. The problem for us folks who play “competitively” (~1200 ELO AoE2) is that punishing poor early game is actually hard because to take out buildings you need siege or a massive blob of units. Personally for being a member of the core player base I feel my needs have been forgotten and the priorities of new players has been put first. I WANT TO MAKE FOLK GG IN THE FIRST 10 MINUTES OF A GAME! BRING BACK THE SCORE!

Honestly the campaigns are great and on hard there are a few that are pretty insane difficulty wise - 7 hours on Siege of Wallingford and 3 rage quits.

The quick match experience is CRAP! Competitive games feel extremely one sided - I have yet to lose a single game and I’m hardly a micro/macro god and I am really not try-harding like I would in AoE2. The minimap is a mess in team games.

Tbh, and I know a lot of AoE2 and AoE3 friends who are playing the game purely for the campaigns and then going back to our loved flavours. When Ranked arrives and some holy group of modders start fixing the UI, the minimap, the hotkeys, the unit pathing, the game balance, the unit textures we MAY return, but that is at minimum 6 months to a year away.

I’ve not even touched on the “viewing” experience when watching whatever caster. Even before capture age took it to a whole new level, AoE2 pro matches were exciting because of the level of macro and micro they were achieving, mangonel splits, archer dancing, quick walling. These are the things that separate the chads from the gigachads :wink: . I get no excitement watching this game, even the mangonel shots are like meh. For a bit of context, my gf - not an age player whatsoever - has happily sat and watched random pro AoE2 games with me and has actually screamed at the telly. We sat down and watched a series of mini tourneys over the weekend between our main AoE2 pro’s and both of us were just bored.

Anyway RANT over xD


The lack of focus on city building is why I don’t like AoE 3. IMO people who like AoE 3 already have AoE 3 and don’t need 4. 3 already has the more modern engine, unlike 2. So I think it’s fair enough for 4 to cater more for migration of players from 2. And the game is called age of empires, not age of wandering villagers, so I think it’s reasonable enough to be building an empire during the game.

I mean it is the early stages of the game, matchmaking will be volatile at first, it was like that in starcraft 2 when that came out.

what? aoe 4 city building is exactly the same than aoe 3…

You misspelled AOE2, they have the exact same buildings.
AOE3 has no resource drop off sites etc.

I’ve played a lot of AoE2, SC2, Warcraft and C&C. I’ve played a little AoEO, AoE3, SC, and some other RTS.

I’ve enjoyed AoE4 from the first game. There are some things that need fixed, but the games have been fun.


I didnt. Did the Art of War to familiarize with it and decided I wouldnt risk £60 on it… Then got GamePass and decided I wouldnt waste my time either. Played a few games and nothing seems to work as it should… Chat lags, hotkeys dont work, the UI is bad, health bars disappear, maps have bad generation, civs are completely imbalanced, barely any outplay potential with the army, unit resopnsiveness delay, hitboxes disappear, can only see 3 buildings on screen, can get shot by stuff not on screen whilst dead center on a unit…

Really sad. I’ve played AoE series for 20 years, starting in AoE1. Played AoE2 and AoM semi-competitively (top 2-3%)… Decided to get back into AoE2 a few months ago in preparation for AoE4… And its been a huge letdown for me.

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I almost immediately fell in love with AOE4 when I was in the closed beta. It has a mechanism similar to AOE2, allowing me to quickly get started with the game, and the difference between civilizations is far greater than AOE2, but it is no better than AOE3. It’s also complicated and difficult to understand.

I couldn’t help but play for more than 70 hours in the closed beta alone, which is far different from my feelings on AOE2 and AOE3. But if you work hard and still don’t like AOE4, maybe you just don’t suit AOE4.

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This might just not be a game for you. For me it clicked almost instantly. I like the pacing that lies somewhere between aoe 2 and aoe 3, and I think the streamlined nature of the micro makes it so much more approachable and comfortable for me to play + I always preferred the focus on macro in aoe 2 as compared to aoe 3.

I doubt the things that bother you will be changed later, as they aren’t bugs but rather differences in design decisions, but maybe if you keep playing, you might get used to it? Otherwise, you might just be better off sticking with aoe 3 if that game already follow a recipe that you like better.

You are not alone.

And nope, there’s no threshold in play hours that you have cross before the game starts feeling like fun. If it doesn’t then it’s not.
Welcome to the club.



I played some AoE2, but in general i am an RTS player and play all kinds of RTS at all.
For me it clicked instantly and i love it and am happy with it.

Thing is though, that yeah, it makes some things easier / simplifies it. And out of my perspective, it needs to that and it is good that it does that.

Age 4 needed to do 2 things - be appealing to longtime players and be attractive to the people who play competitive and will grind the ladder as much as possible. Be the new RTS on the block for all the people who want something new after Years of Age2, COH2, or SC2.

On the other hand though, it also needs to set the entry barrier as low as possible while achieving the point above. Lets be honest guys, RTS Games can be the most stressing games there is. Multitasking, lots of clicking, techs, mathematics, unit types, counters, lots of knowledge, lots of things, if you play MP there always is the other guy who is pressing you. Micromanaging your army of Archers Knights and Mangonels while jumping back to your eco and get those lazy idle vills back to work. That is as stressy as it gets.

RTS was a genre in decline, nowadays we have way more casualplayers, way more people who have access to computers and just play to relax. Age 4 tries to get people into it again, thats why when u initially start the game, it goes straight into a tutorial iirc ( i skipped that naturally and queued directly for 1v1). It has a Tab called “Learn” it has the Art of War, it has all the things to make it as easy as possible for complete new players who never touched an RTS.

And yes, it feels like this also was the primary goal of the devs, and secondary then to appeal the long time RTS nerds like me. Hence the missing QoL, the missing ranked options, the missing hotkey customisation.

And you know what? I am perfectly fine with that, as long as it will be delivered. I will stick around for the moment anyways, there is no doubt in that. The worries are on the newcomers, they gotta stick around, they need to be introduced into the genre of real chads, which is RTS.

And yes, it plays different then Age2 or 3, but for me as RTS player in general, i dont mind it, cause it is not my only reference.

All of this my opinion of course and not the absolute truth.

Yeah I tried another 2-3 hours. Just can’t get there.

I even tried to look past the different mechanics and tried to accept it as its own game. But man, lack of hotkeys, unable to cleanly click individual units, the snart drag (argh!), the big maps. It’s just torture playing it.

Given up for now, but will try again when there’s fixes to these fundamental issues.

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Pretty much immediately in the closed beta after realizing the fundamentals of the game are flawed to the point where even when they fix all the bugs and horrid UI it still just won’t be fun.

The lack of batch training is the main dealbreaker. Firstly it slows down the game immensely since the game isn’t played on 1.7x speed like AoE2. That coupled with the fragility of buildings means the back and forth intense gameplay of AoE3 is not possible. You can’t turn the tide of battle with new recruits, they piddle out to die one at a time from your 10 production buildings while your buildings fall from a few tosses of a torch.

Cavalry does just as much siege as heavy infantry and isn’t balanced for population efficiency so bases just melt. Buildings like keeps are just a waste since they don’t even train units unless you’re English. The fancy walls are one of the only innovations in the game but they are super buggy and siege tears through them so they’re kind of a waste.

On the eco side, there’s a bunch of tedious units that always go idle like the tax collectors. The moving deer being locked behind a tech makes it basically useless. And there’s the continuation of having gold run out and things devolving into trash wars.

Outside the campaign, the game is devoid of history when compared to AoE3. There are no minor factions, mercenaries, or historical themed upgrades/cards/shipments to add any depth. There’s mostly just generic stuff like Abbasids getting an upgrade like “phalanx” (which has nothing to do with Arabs and should be available to all).

Because its a video game and it has time constraints on its release. They probably sat down and discussed what would be in the game-- Do you think they are never going to add other Civs?

I’ve seen this brought up a couple times. The game clock vs real time is completely arbitrary and irrelevant.

Knowing the relationship between the in-game clock and real time tells us exactly nothing about how fast the game actually is.

They could make aoe2 game time match real time and not change the actual speed of things at all.

Turks totally make sense as a future civ, but honestly at this point after all the Turkish spam and nationalism in the forum I kind of hope they literally never add them.