5 months ago - Age DE Team - Direct link

Hello and welcome to an exciting and fun-filled update for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition! This is a small one with mod fixes and new units, plus the new Return of Rome DLC – all releasing tomorrow, May 16!

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Thanks again to our amazing community members, all of whom have helped to make Age of Empires what it is today!

—The Age of Empires Team

🢂 Download on the Microsoft Store

Remember that you’ll need to update your game in the Microsoft Store:

  • Open the Microsoft Store.
  • Click the [∙ ∙ ∙ ] symbol next to your profile picture.
  • Select Downloads and updates.
  • Press the Get updates button to automatically detect, download, and install the latest changes to your game!
  • Open the game. The title screen should show you on Build 83607.

If you are unable to launch the game after downloading the update, make sure you add (or re-add) the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition client or folder as an exception to your firewall and antivirus program.
That’s it; you’re ready to play!

🢂 Download on Steam

Remember that you’ll need to update your game in Steam:

  • Open Steam.
  • Click on Library to see your games list.
  • Click Downloads at the bottom of the Library window.
  • [If the new build does not download automatically,] click the Download Now button to manually download the new update.
  • Open the game. The title screen should show you on Build 83607.

That’s it; you’re ready to play!

🢂 Download on the Xbox App for Windows 11

Remember that you’ll need to update your game in the Xbox App for Windows.

  • Open the Xbox app.
  • Games that are installed show up on the left side of the app.
  • Hover over the game or click it, and then select Update.
  • [If the new build does not download automatically,] hover over the game, select More Options (…), choose Manage. Under the Files tab, choose the option to Check for Updates.
  • Open the game. The title screen should show you on Build 83607.

That’s it; you’re ready to play!

Please note that custom mods may not be compatible with the latest game update. If you are experiencing issues launching or playing the game after downloading the new build, try disabling your installed mods before trying again.

Still having trouble? Visit our support site!



  • All regional Trade Carts now use the appropriate sound effects.
  • Thirisadai receives the firing sound.
  • When clicking Start Game in a SP/MP lobby, the Civilization Jingle will no longer overlap with Lobby or In-Game Music.
  • Taunts now correctly reduce the volume of music for the duration of them playing.


  • Dying economy units can no longer be counted as workers or idle.
  • Turbo Mode state is now displayed in the standard game Objectives.
  • The tooltip for Monument victory banner now displays the correct text.
  • Formation buttons are no longer displayed if in the current unit selection there is only one formation-supporting unit.


  • Readded Change Weapon hotkey entry to Unit Commands group.



  • The area healing effect (used by Caravanserai and Stronghold unique technology) no longer stacks from several effect-providing buildings next to each other.


Campaign Missions

  • Alaric and Attila Campaigns have been updated to include the new Romans civilization where appropriate.
  • Saladin 5: ‘Jihad!’: Tyre civilization has been changed to Sicilians, now matching the Co-Op version.

Balance Changes


  • New regional unit: Dromon [cost: 175 wood 150 gold]
    • Anti-building siege warship with long range and area of effect attack, but cannot attack enemies at close range. Effective vs. buildings and large groups of units
    • Available in Imperial Age to Byzantines, Goths, Huns, and Romans
  • (Elite) Cannon Galleon now benefits from Siege Engineers technology


  • Elephant units converted from a Bengali player no longer lose their bonus conversion resistance


  • Receive Dromon
  • Lose (Elite) Cannon Galleon
  • Fire ship 25% attack speed bonus now also applies to Dromon


  • Receive Dromon
  • Lose Cannon Galleon


  • Receive Dromon

Romans civilization icon featuring a golden eagle on a red shield Romans

New Civilization available with purchase of Return of Rome DLC!

Note: Romans are not initially available for ranked multiplayer, but will in the near future.

Infantry Civilization

Civilization Bonuses:

  • Villagers gather, build, and repair 5% faster
  • Galley-line +1 attack
  • War Galleys +1/+1P armor, Galleons and Dromons +2/+2P armor
  • Infantry receives double effect from Blacksmith armor upgrades
  • Scorpions cost -60% gold and benefit from Ballistics research

Unique Units:

Centurion [cost: 75 food 85 gold]
  • Roman Unique Cavalry Unit, trained at Castle. Increases movement speed by 10% (15% Elite) and attack speed by 25% (33% Elite) of Militia-line units in 10 (12 Elite) tile radius. The effect does not stack for multiple Centurions.
Legionary [cost: 60 food 20 gold]
  • Roman Unique Infantry Unit, replaces Two-Handed Swordsman/Champion at the Barracks. Has additional bonus damage vs Infantry.

Unique Technologies:

  • Ballistas [cost: 400 wood 300 gold]
    • Scorpions and Galley-line fire 33% faster
  • Comitatenses [cost: 700 food 800 gold]
    • Militia-line, Knight-line, and Centurions train 50% faster and receive a 5 damage charge attack

Team Bonus:

Scorpion-line minimum range reduced

Random Maps

Map Balance

  • BR Fall of Rome: Changed gaia civilization to Romans.
  • BR Battle On Ice: Added gaia Crusader Knights to the middle.

Random Map Scripting

  • nomad_resources parameter now reimburses the Town Center’s cost (with the cost bonuses taken into account) instead of always adding 275 wood and 100 stone to the starting resources.


Data Mod Support

  • It is now possible to modify previously hardcoded civilization settings in civilizations.json file:
    • The amount of civilizations in the data mod (the minimum number of non-gaia civilizations that can be present is 1; the current maximum is the amount of civilizations in the official dataset)
    • Civilization interface style (used in the interface material names)
    • Civilization name string IDs and AI leader name string range
    • Internal civilization names used by the technology tree, future items display, and civilization icon and emblem widgetui material names
    • Image file names used by the civilization selection and loading screens
    • Civilization loading symbols, unique unit and technology IDs for AIs
  • It is now possible to include custom widgetui/icons.json and widgetui/materials.json files in data mods.
  • It is now possible to include custom hotkeys and hotkey groups through hotkeys.json in data mods.
  • It is now possible to define custom drop site rules through dropsites.json in data mods.
  • It is now possible to define custom button action definitions through buttons.json in data mods.
  • It is now possible to define custom audio file or sound event mappings for UI sounds through sounds.json in data mods.
  • It is now possible to define custom random map pools through maps.json in data mods.
  • Fixed an issue where civTechTrees.json and futuravailableunits.json included in data mods were not loaded.
  • Custom audio files that are not data-bound can now also be used in scenarios that are part of data mods.
    • Custom music and audio overrides can now be included in data mods. Lobby music, if included, will play immediately as soon as the custom dataset is applied.
  • Mod-specific loading symbols can now be defined for AIs in AIConsts.json file and for random maps in the string 8739.


  • It is now possible to include widgetui/morematerials.json in a non-data mod which will add material definitions on top of the original materials.json file.
  • Technology tree width now properly reflects the amount of content in the technology tree.
  • Allowed adding items to the technology tree with Age ID parameter set to -1, which can be used as displayed requirements for other items, but won’t have their own displayed nodes.
  • Added new parameters to techtreepreviewpanel.json to control previously hardcoded settings:
    • UnitId – sets the unit ID which icon will be displayed instead of the technology’s icon
    • CivIds – specifies for which civilization the item will be displayed
    • ExcludeCivs – show the item for all civilizations except the ones specified by CivIds
    • TeamBonus – used for team bonus items
    • FullTechTree – display the item for all civilizations in full tech tree mode, not only for specificed in CivIds
  • Allowed 4-staged items in the technology tree preview
  • Units with the same string ID and class will now be selected together by double-click.
  • Carried by villagers resources will be deposited into the player’s stockpile upon garrisoning into a building if this building is in drop_site_list in dropsites.json.
  • The behavior of predator animal class units is now controlled by Combat Level attribute: 1: boar-like, 4: wolf-like.
  • Command panel button 15 in all buildings and buttons 6, 11 in Market can now be used by units and technologies.
  • Allowed sprite variations for building objects with several angles in their graphics.
  • Added new attributes to control previously hardcoded properties:
    • Minimum Conversion Time Modifier (adds to the minimum time to convert the unit).
    • Maximum Conversion Time Modifier (adds to the maximum time to convert the unit).
    • Conversion Chance Modifier (reduces the chance to convert the unit per conversion roll).
    • Formation Category (0: not using formation, 1: mobile, 2: body, 3: ranged, 4: long ranged, 5: protected).
    • Formation Spacing (controls the spacing between units when in formation).
    • Blast Damage (multiplier to the percentage of blast damage the non-directly targeted units receive if positive value, fixed number damage if negative).
  • Allowed modifying several more unit attributes by Effect Amount, Modify Attribute trigger effect and technologies in data. Check tooltips in Advanced Genie Editor for more information about them.
    • Can be Built on (see AGE).
    • Foundation Terrain (see AGE).
    • Graphic IDs for Attack, Standing, 2nd Standing, Dying, Undead, Walking, Running, Special graphics.
  • The appearance of items in Units → Other tab in scenario editor can now be controlled by the new Hide in Editor attribute flag 2.
  • Removed Blast Attack Level attribute flags 4, 8, 16, 32 as their functionality is now handled by the new Blast Damage attribute.
  • Allowed defining convert, repair, and heal tasks for specific units and classes which will be used instead of the default task.
  • Work value 1 set to 0 in repair and heal tasks will disallow repairing/healing of the specified unit or class.
  • Added additional options for the convert tasks:
    • Work range allows to set the conversion range which is different from the default range.
    • Unused Resource can now be used to choose the required for conversion resource. Having more than 0 value of the assigned resource allows the conversion, more than 1 allows to use the default range instead of the range specified in work range field.
    • Search wait time field allows setting the string ID of the notification which will be shown if conversion is not allowed (when having 0 of the conversion requirement resource).
  • Added a new task 155 which allows units to provide power up to other units. The unit has to have Combat Ability flag 32 in order for the task to function. The available settings:
    • Unit or Class – unit or class to affect with power up.
    • Search wait time – attribute ID to increase; currently supported: attack (9), reload time (10), work rate (13), regeneration rate (109), movement speed (5).
    • Work value 1 – attribute increase at the maximum power up.
    • Work value 2 – units required for the maximum power up.
    • Work range – range of the effect.
    • Target diplomacy – players whose objects will be affected.
    • Unused flag – flags to enable additional settings, can be combined with each other. 1: use the amount in work value 1 as multiplier, 2: round area of power up, 4: display the range indicator.
  • Allowed using 32-bit numbers for technology name and description IDs.
  • Enable Tech command type used by Effect Amount (ID 7, -8 for gaia) has been replaced by Spawn Unit, which functions similarly to the data version of this effect type.
  • Modify Technology effect is now able to set the state of technology. It can be used to disable, enable, force enable or research the specified technology ID.
  • Relic-requiring technologies are no longer hardcoded to IDs 699-703 (used by the Lithuanian cavalry attack bonus). To receive this functionality a technology needs to have its first cost type set to Relics Captured.
  • The unit cost addition (multiplying the cost attributes by -1) or removal (multiplying the cost attributes by -2) can now be used by technology effects in data.
  • Fixed an issue where the enemy versions of Modify Tech, Spawn Unit, and Upgrade Unit effect types were not affecting enemy players during treaty.
  • Expanded the functionality of Full Tech Mode technology attribute to be able to restrict the technology to the specific game setting. Negating the number will disable the technology in this setting. The currently available conditions:
    • 2: Random Map
    • 3: Death Match
    • 4: Empire Wars or Empire Wars Mode
    • 5: Wonder Race
    • 6: Defend the Wonder
    • 7: Sudden Death or Sudden Death Mode
    • 8: King of the Hill
    • 9: Capture the Relic
    • 10: Battle Royale
    • 11: Regicide
    • 12: Turbo Mode
    • 13: Scenario or Campaign game
    • 14: Regicide Mode
    • 15: Scenario Editor
    • 16: D3
    • 17: Solid Farms
    • 18: Shared Exploration
    • 19: Default Starting Resources
    • 20: Low Starting Resources
    • 21: Medium Starting Resources
    • 22: High Starting Resources
    • 23: Ultra-High Starting Resources
    • 24: Infinite Starting Resources
    • 25: Random Starting Resources

Scenario Editor

  • Added Gazelle – a new prey animal unit.
  • Previously existing Centurion and Legionary units have been renamed into Imperial Centurion and Imperial Legionary.

XS Scripting

  • Fixed an issue where units were not getting upgraded correctly by xsEffectAmount command.

Return of Rome

Build Spotlight

New Civilization

Shield with red and green circular stripes with a gold sun in the middle for the lac viet civilization Lac Viet

Building Set: East Asian

Archer Civilization


  • Foragers gather 20% faster
  • Military units created 25% faster
  • Archery Range units +2 Melee Armor

Team Bonus: Houses and farms build 50% faster

Missing technologies: Aristocracy, Mysticism, Polytheism, Afterlife, Fanaticism, Monotheism, Chain Mail Infantry, Tower Shield, Siegecraft, Engineering, Urbanization.

Missing units: Phalangite, Legion, Camel Rider, Cataphract, Helepolis, Ballista Tower, Fire Galley, Juggernaut

New Game Mode

  • D3
    • This rule set reduces rush tactics and allows players to start their early game more robustly, only allowing fighting with a single unit until entering the Bronze Age, ensuring players reach later Ages for equal battles.  This rule set also bans walls and towers, making for exciting match ups later in the game.
  • New lobby settings

New Technologies

  • City Watch: 300f – Bronze Age/Government Center – All Buildings +3 LoS
  • Conscription: 450f 250g – Iron Age/Government Center – All units trained 25% faster
  • Urbanization: 350w 150s – Iron Age/Government Center – Houses provide double population space (from 4 → 8)
  • Theocracy: 400g – replaces Sacrifice – Only one priest must rest after a successful conversion.


High Level Gameplay Adjustments

  • Resource exchange added to the market
  • New unit: Trader (75w, 60g) – A land trader that generates gold by traveling to allied markets. Requires wheel.
  • Naval Trade adjusted, now no longer requires a resource exchange nor trade goods stockpiling at the docks (aoe1 naval trade). Now functions the same as AoE2 where each trip generates gold.
  • Trade Boat moved to Bronze Age, cost changed to 75w, 60g.
  • Villager garrison available at the town center now, does not provide any defensive arrows from garrisoned units.
  • Villager garrison available at towers now, does not provide any defensive arrows from garrisoned units.
  • Tech Requirements for unit upgrades have been removed (i.e. needing fanaticism for legionary)
  • Added Gates
  • Units may garrison into the building they created upon production, maximum of 10 per building. Units garrisoned this way may not go back into the building after, this functions by setting the rally point of the military building to itself.
  • Villagers gathering shorefish can now deposit fish at the docks.

Balance Changes

Ranked Available in Return of Rome

Ranked lobbies and leaderboards will be available in Return of Rome.

Tool Age Unit Balance

  • Scout: +3 Bonus Damage vs Ranged Units
  • Scout: +1 Pierce Armor
  • Axeman: +1 Pierce Armor
  • Axeman: +4 Bonus Damage vs Scouts/All Cavalry
  • Bowman: +2 Bonus damage vs Melee Infantry
  • Watch Towers: Damage increased from 3 → 5

Bronze Age Unit Balance

  • Sentry Towers: Damage increased from 4 → 6

Iron Age Balance

The splash radius of these units is changed in data to reflect the differences in tile size (without these changes the splash radius is massive)

  • Reduce Splash radius of Scythe Chariots from 1.5 → .75

Note: This is to accommodate new unit sizes/tile sizes in formations.

  • Reduce Splash radius of Elephants and Armored Elephants

Note: This is to accommodate new unit size/tile sizes in formations.

  • Guard Tower: Damage increased from 6 → 8
  • Ballista Tower: Damage decreased from 20 → 18

Civilization Bonuses

The general goal of these changes is to expand the civilization bonuses to have more depth, with the further addition of Team bonuses.


  • Siege unit upgrades -50% cost
  • Team Bonus: Siege Workshops work 20% faster


  • Chariots +1 Pierce Armor
  • Team Bonus: Builders work 10% faster


  • Nobility free (requires Government Center)
  • Team bonus: Fire galleys +1 Pierce Armor


  • Team Bonus: Walls +4 LoS


  • Team Bonus: Priests +1 Pierce Armor


  • Receive Polytheism and Astrology free with first temple
  • Team Bonus: Markets cost -50% wood


  • Wheel 50% cost and research time
  • Team Bonus: Towers provide +4 population space


  • Team Bonus: Houses +25 HP


  • Farms +60 food changed to farmers work 10% faster
  • Team Bonus: Docks cost -20% wood


  • Traders return 20% more gold
  • Team bonus: Technologies research 30% faster


  • Triremes fire 25% faster changed to Warships fire 15/20/25% faster in Tool/Bronze/Iron Age.
  • Walls cost -20% stone
  • Gain access to Ballistics
  • Team Bonus: Stables work 20% faster


  • Docks +4 LoS, +150 HP
  • Team Bonus: Archers +2 LoS


  • Ballista/Helepolis +1 Range
  • Team Bonus: Priests heal 50% faster


  • Cavalry-line attacks 10% faster
  • Gain access to Ballistics
  • Team Bonus: Town centers provide +4 population space


  • Camels +1 Pierce Armor
  • Team Bonus: Town Centers cost -25% wood


  • Villagers move 10% faster replaced with fishing boats gather 20% faster
  • Stable and Archery Range upgrades -30% cost
  • Team Bonus: Stables and Archery Ranges cost -33% wood.



As always, we are continuing to track issues reported by the community for future updates.

For other known issues, please visit this page to see what’s being tracked!

What’s on the Horizon?


The Return of Rome Event

So far this year we’ve launched Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Xbox Consoles, and now we welcome the Return of Rome! What else are we cooking up? The answer – A LOT! We’re aware that from time to time our Community gets a little worried that we might be slowing down our support of Age II:DE in favor of other things going on at World’s Edge, and hopefully what you’re seeing in just the first half of 2023 is that Age II:DE is only growing. 

Our growth to support Xbox Consoles has been a pretty massive undertaking and we continue to be humbled and thankful for the response from our Community. As we look ahead at continuing to support all of the ways in which Age II:DE is getting bigger, we have to spend some time maintaining our code base and the tools we’re working with. Age II:DE is built on code that was written 20 years ago, much of which isn’t particularly modern and has been complicated by all of the work we’ve done in the past three years supporting it. So this year we’re absorbing the cost of some housekeeping which is intended to help us move towards more frequent updates, deliver better stability and improve overall performance in several areas.

Whenever we take on something big, it can tend to constrain our work in other areas which has the effect of slowing down or shrinking our Updates from time to time, but really all that’s happening is that we’re putting our energy into these larger releases for a time. We have some more of this ahead of us in the coming months as we prep for exciting new things we’re not yet ready to announce, so stay tuned!

Until then, please enjoy those Centurions!


Please note that this list is subject to change and should not be considered a comprehensive list of all the known issues we’re tracking. The above is to inform you of the team’s current priorities, which will change as other issues arise or take precedence.

For the latest updates and announcements, please visit our social channels.

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