New player experience suggestions? lost 6/7 of my first games

edit: ok my post didnt seem to get my point across well so ill try a different way

i have 50 games of 4v4, so im not a complete noob, but when i started playing 1v1, i lost 6/7 games

i love the game and want it to have strong player retention, but if going on a 10-game losing streak is normal for beginners, its a bit concerning.

Instead you want to reward players so they are much more motivated to come back. Its how our brains are hardwired for survival and stuff. If your a caveman and you find a new fruit and it tastes amazing your brain goes THIS IS IMPORTANT REMEMBER THIS AND DO THIS AGAIN.

My suggestion is to sneak easy bots into competitive modes, disguised as random steam users, just for the first (or first few) placement games.

And then follow that up with aggressive, smart ELO assessment that puts them as close as possible to their true ELO immediately, using any data you have on them.

So now if a new player wants to jump straight into competitive, they wont get mericlessly owned 10 games in a row because they barely understand that they need to keep making villagers. Instead, they go up against an easy bot. They will have the feeling of facing threats, while being in full control of the game, and eventually overwhelming the enemies base and glorious victory as their first impression. They will feel like they were matched against another noob and crushed them. And players are smart and they know how easy it is to improve in such a high-skill cap game as a beginner, they will see so much potential in themselves and sink their teeth into the game.

It’s night and day. People that become interested in the game and try it only to lose hard 10 games in a row will just completely minimize the relevance of the game in their mind and move on because it feels like they will have to climb mount everest to see any reward from it.


It’s called skirmish mode.

There is no other answer than persistence.
Is this your first AoE? How long have you been playing?
Practice, get to know all civs and their strengths and weaknesses, be up to date with game updates and dev notes because that info in itself is helpful on a few levels. Your strategies, as bad as they can be, are instantly improved when for example you improve your controls. Everything from minor things like mouse sensitivity, to comfortable use of hotkeys, that imrpve your speed and efficiency.

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Yea, I feel like this could be a problem for new people coming to aoe4. The issue is a lot of aoe4 casual players left game because of game breaking mechs remained unfixed in game for long time. But hardcore player base is still sticking. So you wont find easy matches if you are new player. I am around 1200 elo (in 2v2s) trust me making single mistake can cost you entire match. I suggest maybe start playing from 4v4s. Then 3v3, 2v2 and come to 1v1s.

Personally I enjoy 2v2. 3v3 or 4v4 are also enjoyable because you have many teammates to carry and most likely you wont be the one influencing the outcome of the match. You can test whatever you want to see what works well. Also 3v3 or 4v4 are much slow and there isn’t too much tension in early game. You can explore a lot of civ advantages.

Once you learn how to play a civ effectively you can play 1v1s better. AOE4 is very punishing for micro mistakes. There are some mistakes that you never wanna do. Getting housed while you have no villager on wood is gonna delay you by 2 or 3 min easily.

Last thing I wanted to mention is, dont take it too seriously. This game can easily overwhelm you. When I first started playing multiplayer I would stress out and couldn’t play more than one match at a time. Don’t be afraid to lose. Since meta have evolved you are gonna lose a lot against experienced players even if they don’t have high elo.

Edit: I forgot to mention you can play cooperative players vs bots. I am not sure where you can find. Maybe in custom matches.

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New players have to start off with the average rating, so that the average remains at that level. As a new player is unlikely to be as good as the average person who has already played lots of ranked games, they’ll typically lose games at first until they reach their level. Once you’re at your true rating, you’ll win 50% of your games on average.

An alternative is co-op against AI where you can win 100% of your games.

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My observation is that it plops you somewhere around 800-900 Elo when you start, so depending on whether you are “naturally” below or above that Elo you’re going to have a bad/good time. Elo itself is relative, i.e., it depends on the total playerbase, so it can fluctuate in terms of what it actually “means”. But for me, it balanced me to 50% winrate quite quickly, I have no complaints about 1v1 matchmaking.

I don’t know if blocking off 1v1 would be a great decision. I prefer to go into 1v1 in most games like this early, even when I don’t really know what I am doing. But they could do something similar to how AoE III warns you and suggests you do some Art of War challenges?

Personally, I try to perceive Elo as just a good way to find me fair games after a while. A lot of people want to turn Elo into a whole ego thing but I’d say don’t take it too seriously, take your initial losses and let the matchmaking place you where you should be and just practice, and depending on your seriousness level you can watch professional games (I don’t know if AoE IV has good guides anywhere). You can also watch replays of people who beat you.

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unistall this shi t and instal aoe3 or aoe2…


If you want to fight bots play standard skirmish and try to learn how each civ works and how the units work. Because putting bots in so new players can beat them and feel good about themselves on multiplayer is not going help when you run into real people and get stomped. Unless their also noobs and then we’re back to where we started


^ what he said. Play bots on your own time, but realize the average player is better than the hardest bot. There’s a dozen ways to lose against another player, it’s going to take time for you to learn how the game is really played. Seems par for the course. In FPS you’re fresh meat, lucky to get a 1:4 k:d.

Watch your replays and figure out why you lost, it’s that easy. Observe other people games too. Watch games from the tournament streams.

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If that’s a problem the solution would be having the points decaying faster than currently is if the player looses consecutively the first matches , for example, if I am not mistaken in chess dot com you start in 1k, if you loose first you go to 800 , if you loose again you go to 600, if instead of loosing you win you go to 900 (now if you loose again you are 800, if you win you are 950). In a system like this you would be at the bottom of the ladder with 4 matches lost consecutively ->1k-4.200 = 200.

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I get exactly what your saying… AOE 4 is the only RTS I’ve played on ladder…I’ve played sooooo many hours of skirms and custom lans with friends for Aoe2 and Aoe3 as well as others. Until AOE 4I didn’t know or understand how the placement system works and how the elo system works…so why didn’t I play online for aoe3 or aoe2? Because I got absolutely smacked for 6-7 games in a row and got discouraged and never went back. I can definitely see losing your first 10 for casual players discouraging you to quit playing ladder.

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I’ve never even dared try AoE III multiplayer. The game has so much complexity I expected it’s metagamed to smithereens and I just don’t want to deal with all that where I lost the game before it even started because my card deck sucks, probably.

yep it seems like its too slow adjusting your ELO.

Then again maybe relic has good reason for that (to keep queue times healthy or something like that)

yep, im pretty curious about the retention data of how many new players installed aoe4, played a single 1v1, got put in a trashcan by someone who knows the basics, and never played again.

i wouldnt be surprised if 80% of them would have kept playing for days or weeks if instead they had que’d into an appropriately easy bot that seemed like any other steam user, and handled it without too much struggle, and the difficulty of their games gradually went up from there as they got better.

for a more honest solution, you could even do it without disguising the bots, which might be a better long-term solution

just have a pop-up info box when the player presses queue that says:
“We use bots in beginner ELO to make up for the lack of beginners in the playerbase”
and maybe also:
“100% of games will be pvp at ____ or higher ELO , so just learn/practice some fundamentals and it should be easy to reach, aka get good scrub :slight_smile: