Following monthly balance updates and bug fixes, Relic today launched the first major content update for Age of Empires IV. Dubbed Season One, the update carries the much-awaited content editor in beta form for mod making, ranked seasons, new maps, improved hotkeys, a global build queue, major balance changes, and more.
Easily the biggest addition is the official modding tools, letting players craft their own multiplayer maps from scratch, produce maps based on custom rules for offer elements of randomness, tune units, create new game modes, and more. See this blog for a deep dive of what these beta tools can achieve and handy tutorial videos.
In addition to new maps like 'Indian Subcontinent' and 'The Gulch' (from Halo) as well as Regicide (now named Royal Rumble) as a new mode to show off the content editor's powers, sweeping changes have been made to existing map generation rules to mainly balance relic spawns and terrain generation further.
Matchmaking will be plagued with fewer dropouts now too thanks to the new queue dodging minimizing system that gives a timeout penalty for players abusing it. To increase their strategy skills, players may also jump into the new Advanced Combat Art of War challenge.
Meanwhile, beginning April 13 is the first Ranked Season, offering 1v1 players a chance to battle it out for classy rewards and climbing prestige. Highly requested features like a global build queue for quickly checking and tweaking the currently producing units and techs, much deeper hotkey customizations including for extra mouse buttons, a Patrol command for units, and more are included here too.
To find the massive list of balance changes made to all eight multiplayer civilizations and bug fixes check out the release notes made available by Relic here. It includes developer notes explaining the decision-making process behind each change as well.
The Age of Empires IV Season One update is now live across Steam and the Microsoft Store. PC Game Pass subscribers can now download the update as well. In the next seasonala update, Relic is looking to implement a map voting system, player color picking, more hotkey customizations, and perhaps map size adjustments for team games following feedback.