Probably dumb question - Will the UI get any more character to it?

The UI I’ve seen in gameplay for AoEIV looks very… sterile. Like there’s no character to it, and it looks way too modern for a game that’s supposed to be set in like the middle ages. Is there going to be a way to modify this at all? Or will changes be made before/after release? It’s just really offputting and constantly reminds me this is a videogame.

Comparing it to Age of Empires II, where every UI changed it’s background and border design based on the faction chosen, the fact that the UI seems so shallow/souless/simplistic in this supposed successor makes it seem like the game is incomplete to me.

It may be just me, but I wanted to ask here since this seemed like the best place to get answers.


I agree to an extent! I think it would be excellent to have civilization-specific flairs. e.g. the Chinese when they have flairs in the Dynasty popup… but the UI as a whole doesn’t.

I do have to say overdoing it would reduce the readability and clarity they have now. Some icons need tweaking for use, but I like the overall organization and color palette of the UI. Information I find is way easier to digest and find in this UI. However, again, I do think there’s lots of room for character - more civ-specific background textures and elements.


You’ll have to wait until October 28th to see. And if not, you’ll have to wait until 2022 when mods become available and fix it

There will certainly be mods for that! I do have reservations on some aspects of the game, but I actually really liked the UI.

I understand a lot of people have negative feedback on it, but I wouldn’t mind if it were even more minimal. To me, the more focus on what’s actually going on in the game the better. I certainly don’t miss 90s skeuomorphism.


for me it’s an immersion thing. I like the building and the visuals of the game - but they just don’t match with the visuals of the UI for me. If we’re in the middle ages, I want a middle ages looking UI, but it looks almost more like a CIV game UI than an RTS one.


Totally get what you mean. Must’ve been a difficult choice for them.

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Do you know the difference between involvement and commitment?

When there’s bacon and eggs for breakfast the chicken was involved but the pig was committed.

The developers are committed to this UI.

Why though? It’s very simplistic and the iconography doesn’t really tell you what the structure/upgrade is. it’s just a flat gold outline of a thing. So not only does it not fit the style of the actual gameplay, but it also is hard to read which a UI should never be.


Look, you can make all the arguments you want.

THEY ARE COMMITTED TO THIS UI. At least on release. Maybe in six months or a year they’ll change it (although I doubt it).

But why are they committed?


using caps makes you more right… :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes: maybe say it once more… so we know what you mean…

yeah same… i like aoe4, but that UI is just too simplistic and not immersive, i still say it suits an indie game…

they seem to be trying to copy civ6 elements to some extent (simplistic UI and more cartoony gfx) not saying its a bad thing with the gfx, but i dont think they hit the mark with the UI


I like the overall design of the UI, it can either come off as an “animus” style history simulation of some sorts or - when taking the colorful graphical effects into account - as an art book.
Someone on this forum had the right word for the book style, which is also used for the companion book.

The Icons on the other hand could be much more detailed, I think they limited themselves too much on this part.

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my issue with this though is… why would I want to play an art book or an animus? Shouldn’t I be wanting to rule a kingdom as the British/HRE/Chinese/etc? Like how does making it feel more like a game achieve anything good?

You are already godlike in this game since you accompany your civ through different ages. There is no leadership/dynasty mechanic that supports this. Who controls king and hero units like Jeanne d’Arc? They are guided by fate, and maybe you should perceive yourself as “fate”.

Highly subjective take, just explaining how I experienced the UI.

Now what they could have done is adding different variations of the UI depending on the culture, I think it could work without going against their “vision” of the game.

And as I said: The icons could be much more detailed.

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I look forward to them making the correct decision one day. It can be difficult to overcome the sunk cost fallacy and undo decisions. But they will make a stronger game if they do.


I doubt they will change the UI style , but they will probably tweak it abit and I kinda like the current UI , it’s pretty simple and easy to get used to but there is always room for improvement .


You say this almost like we sit and daydream while looking at the AoE2 icons :smiley: Take a break from the game and admire the artwork, so to speak.

On the contrary, having icons that you can actually see what they are at a glance means less time in the UI and more time playing the game. Less time trying to figure out what the icons are and mis-clicking.

When one gold icon shows a wooden gate and another gold icon shows a stone gate, how is it easier and more intuitive to distinguish them that way than if you saw a wood brown for one and grey stone for the other? For towers, the same thing.

And if you’re wanting to create military units and wish to know what they’ll look like before building them, how is a simplistic gold silhouette statue icon with one, two, or three dots next to it better and easier to use than actually seeing a representation of what the unit looks like? And same for every civ, iirc

With AoE4, it feels cold and impersonal. I blindly click gold icons for units, buildings, and tech upgrades just to click them in a whack–a-mole fashion because they illuminated and I can afford them. From that perspective, I spend less time in the UI because I don’t want to sit there trying to decipher every gold icon. But yet there are other times when I spend time just trying to make sure I click a lumber camp instead of mine, and stone wall instead of wood one, etc., or to, indeed, read all about what the icon is because visually it’s not very meaningful. In all cases, it’s far less than ideal, imo

I hope they are making classic-style icons that can be enabled. Then, you can enable the modern day metro mobile phone app icons if you want, and others can have the more classic, era-immersive, civ-unique, and visually informative UI/UX


I like the UI, and the general theming. I appreciate that some will want more character however, and they’re perfectly entitled to their opinion. I’m glad the developers went with this approach though.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind if they changed bits here and there. But overall, I’m happy with it.


Welcome to the community, by the way! I see you just joined like 8 hrs ago, and your first post was this thread.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone with your sentiment regarding the UI. Other threads and many other posts have discussed this concern, for sure. Like this one:

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Ui of gate wood/stone is miss leading.

There should only be one gate ui, that auto fit, if its a stone wall or a wood wall.