New Hardest AI Difficulty

Hi everyone, hi devs,

I was initially thrilled when I read that the hardest AI was getting a upgrade… until I realized this was a buff to resource gathering. A 2x boost for that matter!

I loved how the AI in AoE4 didn’t cheat its way into being a tough opponent, like in previous games. Now, I simply cannot keep up with an AI like this.

I’m sure some people love an insane challenge like this, but this poses an issue: we can’t have the old Hardest AI at all. I’m stuck with playing against Hard AI, which I find too easy for my taste.

Could we get Hardest AI back, and this new 2x-production-boost AI labeled as an “Insane”? Or activate this “unfair” buff as a checkable option?


Bad idea giving the Hardest AI cheats with double resource gather rate.

Make them smarter but not boost their resources. Make them earn their resources.

Make them smarter when they attack by hitting our walls with trebuchets from a distance instead of having their armies just stay by our walls and die from our towers, castles, etc.

Make them smarter but not give them cheat by doubling their resources.


Before this patch I could handle 2 hardest AI fairly easily, tried one game with the new AI and it’s pretty much impossible to 1v1, who thought this is a good idea? Do the devs even play the game? Make the AI smarter instead of cheats, it has many gaps in its decision making and eco etc.


I totally agree. A new Insane difficulty level would be great.

Previous Hardest AI was my favourite: not too hard but challenging in most situations. Now, though…

All team vs Hardest AI games that I’ve played recently follow the same scenario: AI has a 100 pop army before you reach Age III, and even if you manage to build walls by some miracle, they crush it by siege, enter your base and kill everyone with their max upgraded units. If your human teammate drops out of a game like this (which happens often), you’re dead almost instantly. If everyone stays, not so instantly but anyway.

Keep the challenging mode for hardcore players but leave the rest of us with some fun to deal with.


No way, restore our Hardest IA back!.


Totally agree. I like to play a single player skirmish game or two against the Hardest A.I. in the evenings, as I really enjoy the game but online multiplayer just isn’t my jam. I was all in favour of upping the challenge of the Hardest A.I., as like many other players I’d reached a point where I could beat it fairly comfortably.

It’s not exaggerating to say that this change has pretty much ruined my enjoyment of the game. The Hard A.I. is still easier to beat than the old Hardest A.I. and so for me doesn’t feel satisfying to play. The Hardest A.I. has gone from feeling a little undercooked difficulty-wise to absolutely steamrolling me, unless I base an entire gameplan around essentially exploiting it to try & cling on - which is even less satisfying to play.

I think Toff27’s idea is the best solution to this - instead of replacing the Hardest A.I. with this new mode, bring back the option to play against the Hardest A.I. on a level playing field and add an extra ‘Insane’ difficulty level for those who want it. I also think 2x resources is probably a step too far, so having the ability to tune the A.I. gather rate within this mode (maybe from 1.1x to 1.2x, 1.5x etc. up to 2x) might also help make it more playable and enable people to find a level they enjoy.

I’d really like the opportunity to play against the Hardest A.I. with all the other optimisations (earlier military production, optimised gathering etc.) without the 2x gather rate and see how that feels. To be honest, if things stay how they are now I’ll likely be putting the game down and playing something else, which would be a real shame because AOE has been one of my favourite series to play for quite a few years now.

Devs, I get what you’re going for and appreciate the effort but please - not like this.


Totally agree, I was also excited to hear about the difficulty increasing. But a forced and fixed resource multiplier has to be the most out of touch decision they could have made, especially given that it isn’t an extra difficulty option but an replacement of AI Hardest.

I welcome increased difficulty, but they should be making the AI smarter. There are so many ways their programming could be improved.

At least give us the option, preferably in the form of an AI handicap slider. I doubt I would ever go any higher than 1.25x .


Agree with this also, Hard difficulty was to easy for me, the Hardest difficulty is just right for a casual player like me. Hope they bring back the old Hardest AI and just add another level of difficulty “Insane” or “Epic” for those who wants extra challenge.


Hey devs you guys do understand not all players are beastyqt skilled yeah?

LEGIT!!! the new ai is way to unfair with the stupid 2X they get, devs if you are reading this PLEASE!!! either make the ai smarter or give us the option to select how much extra resources they get eg: 1X or 1.2X,1.5X or put em back to previous difficulty.

Hoping for a response from the devs about this issue PLEASE GUYS


When you “fix” your hardest AI by making it cheat on resources instead of making it actually smarter, you are not doing anything at all. It’s like making a car faster by drawing higher numbers on the speedo.

As others have mentioned, AI units still camp under keeps, attack with their whole armies until they lose everything not knowing when to retreat and regroup. AI villagers still do the conga line to go for that last stone patch, becoming sitting ducks if you intercept them. AI doesn’t know how to defend sacred sites or strategic resources.

The only reason the hardest AI got more difficult is that you have no chance of overproducing it, so you are always behind in your economy and unit count. Racing to outcompete a cheating AI instead of forcing you to think strategically (as a good RTS AI would do) is just a lazy workaround.


Is this the new ottoman thing?? Every 2 seconds open q new thread on the same shit? Let me guess the OP DIDNT see this idea posted already

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So many of these accounts are also brand new. Interesting.

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“Make the AI smarter” is easy to say but if they did that its probably because they cant.

In any case its a bad idea to put the hardest AI with automatic cheat. Since now its impossible to play the smartest one without cheats.

What they need to do is 2 settings:
AI level: (Intermediate, Hard Hardest)
And handicap: 100%, 125% 150% 200% resources

So this way you can play the best AI without cheat, and you can also add cheat to any AI or players.
This is the only valid solution.

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for anyone wondering why community hasn’t fixed the AI on their own, we cannot, we cannot do our own scripts the way editor works rn, just adjust parameters for existing script


Then don’t do it and say that the old hardest was all AoE 4 AI got for now. No harm in being honest. Better than faking a more difficult AI which strategically behaves exactly like the old one but with swarms of high-cost units.

Drongo, who is a pretty good player, couldn’t defeat it after trying twice. Let’s say eventually he can defeat it if he practices or gets lucky, so this is an AI for the 1% of top players which coincidentally don’t play against AI that much (if at all), rather preferring human players. So it’s virtually for nobody. The sad thing is that I saw drongo sweating not because he had to anticipate an unexpected move or strategy, but because he had to get his production to 300% to counter the flood of knights. That sounds more like a tower defense game than an RTS.


the problem with resource bump to AI is ultimately it encourages completely different approach to typical mp match, in a sense that you need to go full cheese and can’t really play intelligently to win, since no unit composition has what it takes to reliably beat the AI’s spam of knights and other gold heavy units, anyone that was ever in a 1v1 match with a legit hacker will know how much of a sweatfest that is, assuming its even possible to win


Agreed. It doesn’t even feel like I am playing against a “tough” player at all. It feels more like I am against a player that is cheating! As if the AI is using “robinhood” and “jimmycheesesteak”. I want a tough but Fair gameplay. Not a gameplay that just makes the AI cheat it’s way to victory. As some other comments in the thread have said, I want a “smarter” AI that is playing the game on the same fair circumstance as the player. Not an AI that is basically just cheating with boosted res. Maybe create a new mode for this and bring the old Hardest AI back with just a bit of tweaking that makes it be smart, not cheat.


The AI plays better and I like it, but I do not like that he has not improved and only gets bonuses. If the AI to improve and remove the bonuses would be perfect. At the moment I am satisfied with it because with the old AI was quite easy to play.

I love the new AI. Really quite challenge to kill it without cheesing.

It should be listed as “insane” or something though.


totally agree
hope they change this