Age of Empires 4: Beginners Tips for Skirmish Mode

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If you're picking up Age of Empires 4 without having ever played another game in the franchise, you may find its Skirmish Mode quite the challenge. In this mode, you essentially set up a blank canvas map and have to work your way to victory.

We've got some tips to get you started in Skirmish Mode whether it's setting up the game, how to spend your first few minutes or how to navigate the end game.


Setting up Skirmish Mode

When setting up a game of Skirmish, you must first understand the three win conditions. You can either build and defend a Wonder, Control all Sacred Sites or Destroy all enemy Landmarks.

Skirmish Mode Age of Empires game setup

What you consider the easiest to achieve comes down to how you prefer to play Age of Empires. For new players, building and defending a Wonder is probably the easiest to achieve.


Establish your Resources

Once the game begins and you are dropped into the map with your Town Centre, the first challenge is to establish your resources. There are four in total; Gold, Wood, Food and Stone.

Even if you plan to eventually chase a victory via army and destruction, it's best to focus your early game on resources. Also key will be spending them wisely and this comes down to how you want to win.

age of empires 4 resources and gathering
Know where your resources are and get gathering!

If you're chasing a Wonder victory, you want more workers to gather more resources and spend very little on army units, to begin with. If chasing a brute force victory, you want to build your barracks, archery range and stables asap.

Be Ready to Defend

Regardless of what difficulty you play on, one A. I player is almost certainly going to annoy you with small groups of army units.

They'll arrive in camp periodically and you'll be notified via the Town Centre bell ringing out. It's always handy to have a group of units covering each entrance to your town. Be sure to set aside to Wood to build palisades if you have any weak spots that you cannot cover.

age of empires a.i aggression
The A.I loves to test your resolve throughout the game

Keep Moving Through the Ages

To get the most out of the town you will need to periodically move through the ages. There is no limit on when you can advance an age, you simply need the required resources and at least one free worker.

age of empires 4 landmarks and bonuses
Landmarks offer unique bonuses that can be very useful

There are four different ages in Age of Empires 4, each costing more resources to advance through. Once each age is unlocked you can build a Landmark. You can choose between two each time you advance. They come with their bonuses so pick wisely based on what you need the most.


Spend Freely in the Late Game

Once you reach the latter stages of a match, don't get tight with your resources. By this point, you will have already established which win condition you are chasing so throw all your resources into pursuing this while making sure you're well-defended if you come under attack.

age of empires 4 win conditions
Spend resources wisely and you'll shrug off any attacks from enemies