Age Of Empires 4 Is Free For Everyone To Play This Weekend

AoE 4
They actually did it - they continued AoE... | © Microsoft

Age of Empires 4 is going through public server stress tests from Friday, September 17, at 10:00 PT (13:00 ET, 18:00 BST, 19:00 CEST). through Monday, September 20, at the same time. Here's how to join up and get playing AoE 4 for free!

Now here's a bit of news we never thought we'd get to report. It really felt like Age of Empires was dead and not coming back ago all those years. But no - would you believe it, the cult classic is inbound for a reboot.

Ahead of its launch later this year, you can test the game yourself this weekend, free of charge.

How Do You Play Age of Empires 4 For Free This Weekend?

On Friday, September 17th, you should be able to access the build in one of two ways:

  • Via the Xbox Insider Hub app on PC. Just check the Preview tab for Age of Empires IV to download the build for the Technical Stress Test.
  • Via the Age of Empires IV base game product page on Steam. You’ll see a section titled “Playtest” that will allow you to get started!

Pre-sign up is available now via the Xbox Insider Hub and on Steam

What Content Will You Get To Play?

Most aspects of the game available during this event will be focused on the multiplayer experience. However, you will have the opportunity to play against AI via the Multiplayer Custom Lobby, as well as try out Mission Zero (the game’s tutorial). Given this is a Technical Stress Test, we encourage you to play against others participating. The more data we get from different match-ups across various servers, the more action our development team will be able to take to prep our systems for the big day.

There will be four civilizations available – the English, the Chinese, the Holy Roman Empire and the Abbasid Dynasty – and five different maps.

A decent amount then, and even vs. AI for those who don't want to challenge another player.

Still, got a few moments left to browse? Of course, you do - for your viewing pleasure:

When Is Age of Empires 4 Released?

Age of Empires 4 will be released for PC on October 28, 2021. We know that this is coming free with Xbox Game Pass so this might be the perfect time to try. Here are the spec requirements:

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 – 64 bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6300U or AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics: Intel HD 520 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 11
  • DirectX: Version 12

Recommended Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 – 64 bit
  • CPU: 3.6 GHz 6-core (Intel i5) or AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce 970 GPU or AMD Radeon RX 570 GPU with 4GB of VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 12

Hopefully, those specs are fine for you, there's nothing too demanding. But make sure to get your pre-download in!

Were you playing AoE way back when? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter, where we love a lively debate. And don't forget - you should consider joining