QoL improvements I expect for Age of Empires 4 first anniversary and beyond


This is what I expect Age of Empires IV to have in its first anniversary. One whole year after its launch, this is the bare minimum to make this game better and shed some life to it.

  • Fully remapable hotkeys (already adressed by the devs)
  • Color picking (already adressed by the devs)
  • Not “placeholder” icons. After playing this game for 7 months I still have trouble to distinguish between some units icons aswell as to not get confused on what technology I already upgraded. So after one whole year of the game being already released, I fully expect the devs to give us proper HUD UI icons.

  • Let us properly shift-queue Chinnese Imperial Official to collect tax and supervise building. As of now, you cannot queue the Official to collect tax and then supervise a building, you have to wait for him to collect the tax and THEN you can queue dropping the gold and his supervise ability after.
  • Waypoints. When I shift-queue a unit, like a scout into the fog, go to take care of my base, then get back to the scout, and I can’t see what path he’s taking because there aren’t waypoints markers. Basically this:

  • Streamlined HUD. I expect this to be updated to not eat 1/3 of the screen. To be able to hide it, show it, etc.

  • Proper spectator and casting tools with updated UI. As of now, spectator mode is a pain in the a**. Nothing of interest is showed, the UI is cluttered, it’s hard to see players stats properly, etc. Third party tools already have better options than the actual game.

  • More intuitive wall building. Building walls is really a pain in the a** right now. If there’s a single tile of wall that isn’t able to build because God knows why, the entire section is canceled and you are just there juggling around for 20 seconds to be able to build a 5 tile large wall.

  • Make the online chat not take literally 10 seconds to be sent. It makes the game and the online experience feel absurdly unresponsive.

  • Proper sound options. As a player aswell as a spectator, we don’t have the proper options for sounds to be set properly. For example, we could get absolutely annoyed non-stop with scouts shouting every other minute the same enemies spotted.

  • AI enhancements. As of now AI is a joke. It’s totally broken, sometimes they could be harder in the easy setting than in the hard. Playing skirmish against AI (solo or coop) is not fun at all. AI is so bad it also affects the main campaign of the game.

  • Proper siege and building projectiles animations. With the game editor being out, some people got to make better arrow arc animations in a couple of days than the entire game has. I hope to see this cannon and arrow shots improved upon so they don’t look so weird.

  • Projectile visibility. As of now, in the heat of any medium to large battle, it’s impossible to see siege projectiles. Mangonels projectiles are 98% invisible. Trebuchets rocks go unnoticed if you don’t actually see the trebuchets and see your Keep getting low on health. Cannon projectiles are like magic bullets where if it weren’t for its smoke trail you wouldn’t even know where they are shooting. Tower cannons are just invisible most of the times and you only notice for the sound effect of it. Keep cannons are also hard to follow since the arc they do is laughable (cannon emplacements seem to have got the arrow arc applied to them instead of looking like actual cannon shots).

  • Let me see the CD before using active abilities (as of now I can only know of the CD After I used the ability and hover over the icon to see it)

  • Ranked medals artwork enhancement. As of now, they are all the same with different colors and just a couple more flourishes than the lower ranks. For instance, right now it’s impossible to dinstinguish between a Platinum and a Diamond rank at a glance.
    Besides the rewards we get for earning ranks, the medal is a big part of the ranked experience.

  • Put a visible CD to Tax collection on buildings. A lot of times I want to manually collect tax with the Imperial Official, not knowing I’m not able to due to them beign previously collected by other Official automatically.

  • Let us see building health when enemy garrisons vills/troops. As of now, if you’re attacking an enemy TC (or any “garrison-able” building) and some vills get inside, you cannot see the building health bar since the game just wants to show you the TC icon and the vills icon.

  • Properly show unit in training queue. As of now, if you queue let’s say 5 Palace Guards, and while doing so you upgrade them to Elite Palace Guards and put more on the queue, they’ll show in the global queue as separated units (using the same icon) because the game thinks Palace Guards and Elite IG are a different unit (despite them being Elite Palace Guard when trained)

  • Let me close dynasty tab by clicking outside (now you can only close it by clicking in the dynasties icon again)

  • Make bell notifications sound effect louder. When Wonder or Sacred Site Victory is close and you’re in the middle of a game, worst if in the middle of a battle, this notification goes unnoticed since you barely hear it. Make it more noticeable.

  • Torch arc. Is as weird as the building cannons arc. Could be a lot smoother.

  • Game map editor fully released (out of beta)

  • Just as the lumber camp, the mining camp, the windmill, the blacksmith, the TC flags, etc, are all animated. I expect these to be animated too.


This is what I hope the game adds beyond getting to be an actual complete game. Hopefully after and earlier than later we get the game to be better and better.

  • Coop campaigns.
  • Customized campaigns. Proper spotlight for customized campaigns with their own tab in the campaigns main menu.
  • More official campaigns.
  • Voice acting and characterization of the historical figures. I liked the approach the main campaign had, with the narrator telling us the historical events.
    HOWEVER, I couldn’t feel more detached from the historical figures when playing them, since they do not have neither an icon, or a drawing representarion, or a statue figure, or a proper voice, etc etc, etc.
  • Well thought out new civs. I know people are clamoring (and will keep doing so) for new civilizations, all the time. But with the AoE IV approach to make civs more asymmetric than their AoE II counterpart. I’d rather have fewer well thoughout new civs than a plethora of them not being well differentiated nor balanced.
  • Make this a little bit more prominent? (At least when playing 1v1 where there’s a ton of extra space). As of now, our banners are not shown too much, and when they do, they’re completely underwhelming due to their tiny size.

  • Ranking feedback. As of now, when you rank you get your medal, and when you rank up, you just see a bar fill up (you don’t even see the bar fill up animation, you just see the bar already filled). No animations, no sound effects, no proper feedback from the game when you go up in rank.
    Here’s a good example of a proper ranking up medal:

(AoE IV doesn’t have any kind of animation nor sound effect)

  • Lobby UI streamlined. Yeah, another UI/UX point. We need a proper lobby UI. As of now we need to juggle around 3 tabs in order to set up a game when everything could be front and center. Map picking, game mode, and custom options could all use a simple UI with everything shown in just one tab.

  • Integrated ban/pick system for competetive play.
  • Integrated automatic mini tournaments in-game.
  • Dedicated “Arcade” tab for custom games.
  • Proper score summary. As of now, score is just broken. And besides that, it doesn’t show interesting stats. How about instead we get a score number in economy tab, we get how much gold we got by our Tax Collectors, how much extra resources we gained from Prelates buff, etc? How many units and from which we made? How many kills? Which was the most effective/favourite in this game, etc?
  • AI charaterization. Remember when the AI used to trash talk you in previous Age of Empies games? Where they took the place of a historical character and talk directly to you in Skirmish?
  • Taunts. Iconic in the AoE franchise.

I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting stuff, but anyhow I’ll add it if I remember something. Also you can add anything you think should make it into the game.
NOT BALANCE WISE, that’s an ongoing thing.


  • In-game player list also showing their respectives civs.
  • 5 seconds countdown at match start (game sometimes is a bit unresponsive at start)
  • Tech tree button in-game (now only accessible through esc menu)
  • More unit stances (defend ground, defend unit, aggresive, passive, etc)
  • More (and more meaningful) unit formations
  • Fix wall gates. Or clarify if they’re working as intended? And if they are, what’s the point of palisade walls gate being able to close???
  • Let us alt/ctrl/shift/anykeymodifier click on market resources to sell/buy in batches (now we can only spam click/hotkey if we need to sell/buy a bunch of resources)
    *Let us see buy/sell market prices directly on the icons instead of having to hover over

  • Let us see number of Trade Caravans just like number of villagers (separate them in economic numbers)
  • Ability to resize UI
  • Unit upgrade stats
  • Show map in loading screen
  • More flora&fauna diversity with the different biomes
  • Scalable and separated requirements for Wonder construction according to number of players (i.e. 3000 of each resource in 1v1, 6000 in 2v2, 12000 in 4v4, etc)
  • Team ranked
  • Higher pop cap for custom games
  • More water maps variety
  • More mode options in custom games such as Diplomacy
  • Hitbox clicking optimization
  • Make custom games mode options available for all custom games rather than needing to download a mod pack for these game modes: i.e treaty, diplomacy, regicide, deathmatch, nomads, etc.
  • Spotlight best mods periodically (just like Royal Rumble but with more mods created by the community)
  • Properly show all mods (as of now even selecting all mods and all modes, the mod list doesn’t show everything)
  • When making max Imperial Officials don’t let queue more (as of now it lets you queue more than the max allowed and halts your TC production)


Great write-up. There’s not a single point I would disagree with.

I would even put ban system for maps, proper score summary and taunts into the main category. On the other hand, I would not expect the content editor to be out of beta yet, I can understand that it will be a work in progress for longer time.

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Nothing against the thread in general, but:

No, they’re not.


Strongly agree. Haven’t delved into ranked yet, but something that stood out during the preview!

There could be a visual indication, absolutely.

I’ll add a few of the things I’d like to see:

  • Remappable hotkeys. For me, it is essential that this includes changing the panel to match our hotkeys, including changing the icons, and also having a flat structure, if we want it, like AoE 2 rather than AoE 4’s age-based structure.

  • Colour picker. This needs to allow us to choose what colours are used for the two teams. The current colours make no intuitive sense to me. The Rocket League colours are much more intuitive for me, where the blue team options are basically green, cyan, navy, purple, and the orange team options are yellow, orange, red, pink. This would make it much easier to know which side a given colour is on when you see units, but other people might find other colours more intuitive, so each player should be able to create their own preferred scheme for the colours of the players on each team. There still needs to be a way for players to be identified in chat that is universally the same for all players.

  • The list of players during a game should show the civ of each player. I suggest emblems like those used in the better civ emblems mod in AoE 2 DE, where the emblem is shown with 2 characters of text over the top. It would be great if community mods could do this sort of thing, to improve the rate of adding these QoL features. (If anyone thinks this would be cheating, the information is already available, it’s just not as easy to see as this would make it)

  • I suggested this before in a thread I created, but a measure of the value of what each player killed over the course of a game would be a great addition to the post-game statistics.

  • The ability to assign a camera view to a hotkey that was added is great, but it would also be nice to be able to set a gather point to a unit or a control group rather than a fixed location, so newly produced units join up with existing units. At the moment you have to keep moving your gather point as your army moves on, and keep going back to old gather points and picking up units that have gathered there. If it’s done by setting a gather point to a unit, then if the unit dies, it should transfer to the nearest unit that is in the same control group.

  • The game still doesn’t respond properly in the very first few seconds. I find I have to spam the hotkey to create new villagers and watch the queue to see when it eventually starts to recognise my key presses. It’s minor, but it’s just an annoyance right at the start of every game, it should respond to inputs the very instant the map appears on screen.

  • The text panel on the left in the tech tree should have a section for unique techs as these are an extremely important aspect of each civ and it should be easy to see them all without having to find them all in the tech tree itself.

  • When you hover over a unit in the tech tree it should show the combat stats as well as resource cost, including bonus damage.

  • When viewing a replay you should be able to see for all players at all times: current resources, number of villagers on each resource, total villager count and total military count. Basically, look at capture age for AoE 2 DE and largely replicate that.

  • Should have defensive, aggressive and stand ground stances that work similarly to AoE 2 DE.

Your suggestions are very good, great thread.


I think that before autumn they can have the editor ready.

I wish but too much stuff for this dev team

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“Not placeholder icons”… :D, so true

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Maybe not for you, but for us, yes

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You can not like them as much as you want. You can want modding capabilities that let you change them. Nothing wrong with either of those things.

But they’re just, factually, not “placeholder icons”. They are the official icons made by the developer that were shipped with the game. Calling them names isn’t a “QoL improvement”, it’s just calling them names.


Also its good to remember that even if you dont like artstyle of something, it doesnt mean that everyone else doesnt like it as well.

I prefer current icons over old AOE/AOM icons. They are simple and convey the information what they are perfectly. UI doesn’t need to use fancy colorful images. UI is best when it doesn’t distract you from important stuff. Also after 6 months you should already remember what is where as every civ has same layout for all upgrades and units…


Another QoL change I’d like to see is sorting out the left/right clicking issues. Left click should select, right click should perform an action. That should be consistent throughout the game.

You have to go all the way back to Origin’s ‘Pacific Strike’ to find a game released in a state this poor.


GET USED TO IT (c) Adam…

I still remember there answer about Zoom.
Some changes in roadmap… others probably will never happens… because it’s how you must play, even if you do not like it… cause devs decide it.
</toxic mode off >

i’m surprised that you spend so many time to collect most issues… for nothin
they do work…slow very slow…


I think the issues with walls might be my biggest annoyance. Not being able to build gates on them until the wall has finished construction, and walls being unbuildable in certain locations for highly non-obvious reasons and requiring a very annoying time investment to position your mouse cursor just right such that it’s buildable. Never had such issues AoM or AoE3 so it’s difficult to understand why the system can’t be improved here.

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I always get annoyed that whenever I come here it is just a bunch of complaining - I love the game and think it is in a really good place right now.

That being said, this is a really detailed write up, and you obviously put a lot of effort into it. It is clear that you are not just here to complain, but actually want to see the game be the best it can be.
I might not entirely agree with your categorization of the game being “unfinished” or that the icons are
“placeholder” (I have never had any issues reading them, but I can understand why people wouldn’t like the style they went for with the hud), but other than that I can’t possibly disagree that most if not all of your suggestions would be great improvements to the game.

Heres to hoping this game gets the long term developer attention I think it deserves!

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Another thing you forgot to mention, and is just plain annoying to deal with, is market not showing prices until you hover over the icon with a mouse, that shouldn’t be an issue to begin with

while in aoe4 rn its like this:

Ah, that reminds me of another one:

  • Ability to hold shift when buying/selling at the market to buy/sell 10x the quantity.

Another one I’d like to see:

  • Ability to resize UI elements, with separate scaling factors able to be set for different elements, e.g. change the size of the minimap without changing the size of other elements.

even scaling the entire thing would be progress compared to rn, but i agree with the rescale idea