Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition First Major Update Brings Map Ban in Ranked Games

Age Of Empires 2 Definitive Edition recently received its first major update and this build has a massive list of changes. This update has everything from stability and performance improvements to major balances changes.

All the major changes are listed below, you can read the complete changelog here for the more intricate changes and bugfixes.


Performance Improvements

  • The loading screen sequence is now smoother.
  • Updated the V-Sync setting to offer a more consistent and smooth experience when camera scrolling.
  • Fixed an issue where AI players could cause performance spikes when calculating very long paths.
  • Fixed an issue where the game would occasionally hitch when selecting units.
  • Voice over audio has been moved out of the main installation package to reduce the initial installation size of the game. Audio files will now be downloaded depending on the language settings of your Steam client (only).
  • Lowered the benchmark score for 1v1 games to 900. The score for team games remains at 1000.
  • Implemented several improvements to how memory (RAM) is used by the game. 
  • Implemented various rendering performance improvements.
  • Fixed various render artifacting issues.
  • Fixed a rare desync issue.

Balance Changes

Some of the civilizations like Cumans and Bulgarians have been nerfed a bit based on community feedback. Steppe Lancer units have also received a nerf bringing it on par with other cavalry units in the game.

  • The line-of-sight for herdable creatures is now consistent. Cow and Buffalo herdables now see 3 tiles, while all other herdables see 2 tiles.
  • Steppe Lancer: Decreased the attack power from 10 to 8 melee damage.
  • Elite Steppe Lancer: Decreased the attack power from 12 to 10 melee damage.
  • Steppe Lancer [Standard & Elite]: Increased the gold cost to train the unit from 30 to 45 gold.
  • Steppe Lancer [Standard & Elite]: Slowed the rate of fire from 1.9 to 2.3 seconds.
  • Steppe Lancer [Standard & Elite]: Decreased the speed of the unit from 1.5 to 1.45.
  • Steppe Lancer [Standard & Elite]: Doubled the size of the collision box to prevent multiple units from stacking too tightly.


  • Konnik [Standard & Elite]: Slowed the rate of fire from 1.9 to 2.4 seconds.
  • Krepost: Reduced the size of the building from 4×4 to 3×3 tiles.
  • Krepost: Can no longer be converted.


  • Increased the time to construct a Feudal Age Town Center from 225 to 270 seconds.
  • Cumans no longer have access to the Husbandry technology
  • Elite Kipchak: Reduced hit-points from 50 to 45 health
  • Civilization Bonus: Cavalry units now move 5% faster in the Feudal Age, 10% faster in Castle Age,  and 15% faster in Imperial Age

Map Ban System for Ranked Matchmaking

The map pool has now been updated for ranked matches.

  • Arabia
  • Arena
  • Black Forest
  • Gold Rush
  • MegaRandom
  • Nomad
  • Steppe
  • Team Islands

Players can now ban maps when matchmaking:

  • 1v1: bans
  • 2v2: ban
  • 3v3: 1 ban
  • 4v4: bans

Campaign Balance 

Players will now see medals beside their completed campaign missions. These will be based on the difficulty level on which the given mission was completed:

🥉 BRONZE: Standard Difficulty
🥈 SILVER: Moderate Difficulty
🥇 GOLD: Hard Difficulty

Also, previously completed missions before this update will receive the Bronze-tier medal by default. This is regardless of the actual difficulty you played the mission on.

  • Campaigns that are fully completed will display an overall completion medal based on the lowest medal earned within the campaign. For example, a campaign with five Gold medals and one Bronze medal will display a Bronze medal on the Campaigns screen.
  • The swords on the campaign screen which indicate the difficulty of any given campaign have been updated to accurately convey their challenge. Easier campaigns will display a single sword; moderate campaigns will be marked by two crossed swords; the most difficult campaigns will be marked with three crossed swords.
  • The voice-over audio for the El Cid campaign is now available in Castilian Spanish.
  • The kiting behavior of AI-controlled teams has been updated in throughout the campaigns.

Achievement Fixes

  • The A Truly Holy Emperor achievement can no longer be unlocked if the player converts a working villager.
  • The An Army Marches on Its Stomach achievement no longer requires any towers to be destroyed.
  • The Diplomacy is for the Meek achievement can now be unlocked by defeating the Scythians and killing their prince.
  • The Furor Teutonicus achievement can now be unlocked by defeating all players apart from the Cumans.
  •  The I Was in China Before achievement can now be unlocked by defeating the Jin before they start building their wonder.
  • The Offense is the Best Defense achievement can now be unlocked by defeating all enemies before completing the Wonder.
  • The Pitched Battle achievement can now be unlocked by winning the scenario without building any palisade walls, stone walls, fortified walls, or gates.
  • The achievement, The Wonder, the Wonder, the…Oh, Never Mind, can now be unlocked by defending the wonder and winning the scenario.
  • The Turkish Delight achievement can now be unlocked by defeating all Turkish rivals and winning the scenario.

Pathfinding Improvements

  • Units will now converge to a single point rather than maintaining their initial distance from each other. Note that you can ALT + Right Click to utilize the old behavior.
  • Fixed an issue where melee units would be slow to respond when right-clicking to attack groups of enemy units.
  • Fixed an issue where units would fail to find a new target after a targeted unit garrisoned in a Town Center.
  • Fixed an issue where Villagers ordered to drop resources at the Town Center would not automatically move to help construct buildings afterwards.
  • Fixed a rare issue where Villagers would sometimes go idle in certain circumstances.
  • Fixed a rare issue where Rams would not attack enemy structures when patrolling.
  • Fixed a rare issue where the AI would send its units to the westernmost point of the map.
  • Fixed a legacy issue where units could walk through buildings if they were placed on top of enemy foundations.

AI Improvements

The devs have made some difficulty adjustments with this update based on community feedback.

  • Fixed an issue where AI players would resign too early while still having strong allies on the battlefield.
  • Fixed an issue where AI players would resign too early on Very High population settings.
  • Fixed a rare issue where the AI would not attack unless attacked first.
  • Fixed an issue where AI-controlled teams would train fewer military units than intended on high-population matches or when using difficulty settings lower than Hard.
  • Villagers will now fight back against wild animals when building a Town Center after migrating to a new landmass.
  • Improved the AI’s build order when playing on the Wonder Race game mode.
  • The AI now researches unique Technologies and defensive upgrades faster, when applicable.
  • The AI no longer users their Scout to lure Deer on difficulties lower than Extreme.
  • The AI no longer sends tributes when playing with infinite resources.
Farhan Ali
Farhan is a passionate writer with an undying love for games, PC hardware, and technology. With nearly 5 years of experience in blogging and over 14 years of experience in gaming, this is what he loves and does best.