QoL Complaints with AOE4

Would like to gather feedback from the games release. Here is my complete list of complaints with the game so far, without discussing game balance. To be clear, these are not bugs, these are missing features. Please add your points in the thread:

Must haves

  • No option to set mini-map to left hand side, for player familiarity and ergonomics (glancing at one side of the screen should give me all the information I need about vision and unit queues).

  • Option to make building creation more ‘sticky’, holding down Q for example to build houses will make the ‘build a house’ option flicker. In most RTS games holding a button down stops selection and deselection when you have a building schematic, and you have to press ESC to cancel.

  • Pathing for combined slow moving units and fast moving units (AOE3 would adjust unit move speed to the move speed of the slowest unit), Sc2 has this and a follow mechanic, aoe4 doesn’t even have patrol. I don’t mind micro-mechanics being more like Starcraft 1, but if you’re going to do that I would expect more improvements in other areas such as.

  • Minimap is really badly cluttered and its not obvious where I do/do not have vision on the minimap. I think other AOE games did a great job of this with the various filters. For example, when I have idle villagers it’s completely unclear where my resource pool of ‘Deer’ are, it’s just not on the map at all.

  • More herdable types and food sources to match the biomes, what happened to all the water buffalo and cows? AOE3 set a good example here.

  • Similarly maps do not feel alive and interesting. For example neutral enemies on the map have no AI, simple wolves don’t attack scouts when scouts are walking past them for example which has been common in past titles.

  • No way for me to see my FPS or ping?

  • Unit stat info and detail. List of all unique civ units and less redundant or incorrect information. The descriptions are lazy and rushed.

  • Select your own colors.

  • Random civs/teams as an option.

  • Improved hotkey remapping, no unchangeable hotkeys like Alt to rotate camera that need you to edit a .ini file to change. I’ve been ‘not playing a grid system’ for nearly 2 decades.

  • Improved unit clarity, perhaps this one is just me but there isn’t very much to distinguish all the different kinds of units from each other just by looking at them. Other entries into the Age of Empires series did a good job at this for their time.

  • Control group improvements such as being able to select individual units from a control group, see health of units in a control group, option to toggle off putting units in multiple control groups.

  • Replace the landmark/sacred site victory condition side of the screen until someone is going for one of the conditions, replace the screen space with a production queue. Take inspiration from some of AOE3’s implementation details here.

  • Options to Zoom out ‘Very Far’ (see AOE3 for base implementation).

  • More generous or smarter hitboxes for small things like fish sheep and trees, or just villagers automatically working on what they waypoint next to. Worth noting these can be forgiven with a waypoint/pathing implementation (being able to see unit paths and waypoints when queueing up actions), which raises the priority of the next point.

  • Waypoints: can’t see paths that I set when I hold shift on any units, no drawing for this. Very surprised by this since this has been a very basic feature of entries into the RTS genre for decades.

  • No option to set waypoint of newly created units to follow units already on the map.

  • Unit option to ignore attacking ‘destroyed’ landmarks (with less-than 2HP).

  • Better visual feedback from clicking.

  • When cycling holding shift should multi select anything that you cycle.

  • On screen infographics and data on damage dealt, resources gained (i.e. on farm), cost of troops lost (refer to AOE3).

  • Single tap to select armies, double tap to snap the camera.

Nice to haves

  • Option to tap delete to delete and not hold.

  • Clarity on the terrain system. If I have 3 units stood in between a forest, their line of sight is highly restricted which is fine but it’s not obvious how the line of sight changes with terrain and not taught to the player at all. I get that it’s part of the ambush system but it’s a relatively new concept in an Age game as far as I remember, so include it in the tutorial.

  • More optional detail settings, AOE3s fidelity is honestly better in lots of areas because you can customise different aspects of the geometry (so I can have high fidelity water and tall foliage but flat-grass). Customising detail here is common for competitive play in the entire RTS genre.

  • If graphics are your focus, there are no interactions between units and the environment :expressionless: (i.e. footsteps).

  • Improved SFX when selecting different buildings (market, town centre .etc.). When I’m selecting different buildings the differences are hardly distinguishable.

I will be refunding the product unless I can see product managers take interest in building an Age of Empires game to the same standard as every other one in the series. It does not stand up to the polish that deserves the title. The fact that I can play this game for even 10 minutes and notice half of these little things makes it feel product owners care so little for the game’s quality of life that they won’t even prioritise it reaching QoL parity with the rest of the RTS genre. No matter which way you look at the game for graphics, gameplay, or narrative, the points above demonstrate just how much the game is lacking in all three. The game has not reached it’s MVP state quite yet.


YES YES YES. I’ve tried so many times to just click my archers to follow one melee unit as to not get ahead of them and they won’t.

Patrol is another HUGE thing I’d love to be able to do in areas of the map where I’m vulnerable for scouting.

You can see ping in the menu for the server you chose and there are a slew of windows utilities that will show you your FPS. NVIDIA/AMD have their own software for that, Fraps, MSI Afterburner, Steam’s Overlay etc.

A million times yes, I’ve had so many idle workers not doing anything because a tree already got chopped down or I missclicked next to the sheep and not the sheep itself.


From a product perspective, it’s perfectly possible someone doesn’t have any of these tools installed or doesn’t know how to. Secondly, a lot of those tools are intrusive, and in terms of their cost CPU cycles, bad. On slower machines you get a much better measurement if you can see your FPS in game.

From my perspective I can’t think of another game where I can’t do this, and I don’t want to use the post processing on external tools to check my FPS, and I find it really frustrating when my game is lagging and I can’t just CTRL+ALT+F and see if my FPS is dropping or not.

As a developer, the fact that this was missed, is a bit concerning. This is because when developing the game I would expect them to be taking their own measurements to test on various devices and that’s a lot easier to do if you just log FPS to the console, and it shouldn’t be tonnes of work to expose that writer to the public. I don’t want to drill that last point too hard, I just can’t imagine writing an engine and not testing in this way.

Ok, if you hit WIN+G you bring up the Game Bar in game and you can enable the performance tab to track your FPS. Already installed comes with Windows.

As for the ‘intrustive tools’ that cost CPU cycles… hardware wise we’re past that point where it has any impact whatsoever to your performance.

I’m sure the devs can enable their dev consoles to see an FPS and many other stats the only problem is that it probably doesn’t look pretty, the Dota one was notorious for showing way more information and taking up way too much space. This is probably what the AOE one looks like and nobody could be bothered to put in the time to make a pretty one for the consumers before release as their time was more important working on other tasks.

I think this is relative to the generation you are on, we might agree to disagree.

I think this is a good point, but I would rather have this than nothing at all. Maybe product leaders said ‘not pretty enough, no’.

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It’s a polished Triple A game and AOE really needs a big win for the RTS franchise to not completely die.

They didn’t take any risks, they delivered the most polished experience they could and will update it over time(hopefully)

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yes, polished hotkeys and zoom delivered properly. (no)

We still have Frost Giant Studios, if aoe4 fails we still have them to make the next big rts. Most of their devs made Starcraft2!


This is the bit that I’m worried about. The responsibility to the Age series should be respected as an enormous undertaking as big as making the next Counter Strike, Dota 3, or Half Life 3. I am insecure as to whether Relic will give it the attention it deserves.


I am very skeptical of Frost Giant. I’ve not seen a single good game come out of the cycle of dev leaves big company to make their own game

Fingers crossed though. I wish them all the best.

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Can you rematch against same opponent easily? I miss that on AoE2 DE.

You can always add someone as a friend and play a custom game. Otherwise I don’t believe you can, no.

I totally agree with the lacking qol features that you point out. AOE 4 is severely lacking in the qol updates that it will need to keep a decent player-base. The graphics may be better, but the qol aspects feel worse than games like AOE 2 and StarCraft 2.

However, as a casual single-player focused player, one of the biggest things missing for me is cheat codes and it won’t be an AOE game to me until it gets them.

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just to let you know me and many other people did almost same callouts from 1 year ago and nothing got changed, glad you got refund, they will just not add anything.

  • Treaty time!!!its mandatory

  • Pause button while allowing to micromanage, at least in single player.

  • Speed of the game!!! allow to player to either have a peace time or set AI speed to low or something like that so they are not harassing from the first minute.


That’s really sad, I would expect better from any game studio.


Great list!
Another nice to have for me:
incremental autosaves, right now I have to manually delete them all as they add up quite quickly in MB’s and I store them on my limited OneDrive.

Another issue I found is there is no hotkey to cancel unit queues :confused:

I think a lot of people are waiting for these QOL features thinking they ‘just didn’t get around to it and will do it later’.

I don’t get the feeling we’re dealing with a ‘we’ll do it later’ kinda team here.


My concern is that feedbakc i’ve seen from players that are familiar with Relic is that Hotkey customization is not their strongest suit… Same with Zoom.

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