Microsoft’s Age of Empires 4 has an open beta this weekend that is open to any and all players interested in trying portions of the upcoming strategy game.
There are no requirements to play Age of Empires 4 this weekend either, outside of system requirements and the ability to download everything. Sometimes betas are held back as a pre-order incentive, but Microsoft may be killing two Covenant dropships with one Master Chief.
Age of Empires is an iconic series with name recognition as well as critical praise and positive fan reception. But it has also been over fifteen years since Age of Empires 3 was released. The open beta will help developers Relic Entertainment and World’s Edge improve features of the game but it will also help increase awareness of Age of Empires 4, perhaps pulling in new Xbox Game Pass Ultimate users further into the platform’s ecosystem.
The beta’s focus is as a technical stress test for the game’s multiplayer servers. There was previously a closed beta but the beta notes show a much different focus this time. The Technical Stress Test is intentionally being crammed into a single weekend to ensure the game’s servers are properly set for the upcoming fall launch. The goal is to get as many people as possible so no invites are required.
The event will be running and available to all from September 17th, at 1 p.m ET through Monday, September 20th, at 1 p.m. ET. Age of Empires 4 isn’t nearly as demanding as other titles coming out of Microsoft. The classic strategy title’s minimum system requirements are as follows:
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD 520 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
DirectX: Version 12
Storage: 50 GB available space
You can find more information on the beta on the game’s official website. As of writing, you can request access to the Techincal Stress Test on the title’s Steam page. If you’re not interested in participating in the beta but interested in the game, this could still be interesting for you.
Participants are free to share information and screenshots if they would like to do so as the event is not under NDA. This weekend will be a good time to check Twitch, YouTube, and other social media platforms for Age of Empires 4 gameplay and more.
Multiplayer is the only mode that will be available during the beta but there will be a custom bot match available via the Multiplayer Custom Lobby. This would be against an AI-controlled player and they’re usually pretty nice. I played with them a lot growing up. There’s also a tutorial called Mission Zero, which would be a great way for new players to start informed and fresh when the game launches on October 28th, 2021.
Age of Empires 4 is available for pre-order on Windows Store and Steam. The game will also be available in Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers at no additional cost.