Age of Empires 4's first major patch of 2022 brings bug fixes and balance changes

Age Of Empires 4 Patch 10257 Delhi Press
Age Of Empires 4 Patch 10257 Delhi Press (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Age of Empires 4 is getting its first patch of 2022, available for download January 19.
  • Patch 10257 primarily focuses on bug and balancing fixes.
  • The patch will wipe out replays and skirmish saves from previous versions. Campaign saves should remain intact.

Age of Empires 4 launched October 28, 2021 and received an overall warm reception. There have been countless hours played since launch, both online and offline, and a number of bugs and balance issues have turned up. And now, we have the first patch of 2022 — Patch 10257 — being deployed today to fix a number of major issues that players have been dealing with for the past few weeks.

A developer stream was hosted January 18, detailing the changes coming in today's patch.

This patch is significant, and it will cause your older replays and skirmish saves to stop working. Campaign saves should be unaffected by the patch. There are a number of general changes that will take hold no matter the civilization you're playing, as well as more focused changes for individual civilizations.

For the general changes, the player pool matchmaking system has been expanded by 67%, meaning you should find ranked games faster thanks to there being more players to choose from. All Scouts in the game now move 35% slower when they're carrying an animal carcass, giving them a bit of a nerf that's important in the earlier ages. And all Horsemen rank II to IV have had their ranged armor buffed from 1 to 2. This should make it easier for a tech switch when going up against archers.

There are a number of other changes specific to certain civilizations that I've copied below. You can see the full list of patch notes at the official Age of Empires site.


  • Spearmen now activate the spearwall ability correctly.
  • Fixed an instance of the Prelate getting stuck while inspiring and would no longer inspire other units.


  • Horse Archers now attack slower, fire rate changed from 2.0 to 2.5 (Updated to clarify previous wording). Developer Note: We've noticed a larger issue with attack speeds in general and will be doing a more robust fix in the future to address this issue.
  • Horse Archers no longer receive additional attack speed and additional damage from the Incendiary Arrows technology.
  • Warrior Monks now move 25% slower while carrying a Relic

Developer Note: In congruence with the scout speed reduction, we are making this change to allow more counterplay options against Warrior Monks quickly grabbing up relics on the map.


  • Starting wood decreased by 50 (Updated to clarify previous wording)

Developer Note: The Mongol civilization gets off to a fast start by not needing houses and enhanced stone income from the Ovoo. This change is targeted at slowing down the opening and giving enemies more time to muster a defense.

  • Outpost cost increased from 70 wood to 100 wood

Developer Note: We found the Outpost rushing strategy to be too low of an investment for Mongols for how powerful and difficult it is to counter. Mongol outposts are still special as they provide the Yam network movement speed bonus.

  • Fixed an exploit where it was possible to own multiple Ovoos at the same time
  • The Mongol Khaganate Palace can now be packed correctly

Developer note: We have removed the requirement from all Mongol buildings that they must have an empty queue in order to pack up. We feel that this will improve the player experience when attempting to pack and move multiple buildings quickly or at the same time.

Delhi Sultanate

  • Spearmen now activate the spearwall ability correctly.
  • Keep tech times are no longer increased while in the influence of a Mosque
  • Piety base research time reduced from 600 seconds to 135 seconds
  • Explosives base research time increased from 300 seconds to 900 seconds

Developer Note: This now correctly matches with the other research times of average cost technologies in Imperial Age. Technology research times for the Delhi Sultanate are based on their power level and the age that the technology is available in.

  • Chaser Cannons base research time increased from 450 seconds to 1350 seconds

Developer Note: This now correctly matches with other research times of highly expensive technologies in Imperial age.

  • Hardened Spearman base research time reduced from 210 seconds to 105 seconds
  • Sanctity base research time reduced from 300 seconds to 210 seconds
  • Herbal Medicine base research time reduced from 300 seconds to 180 seconds
  • Honed Blades base research time reduced from 1350 seconds to 300 seconds


  • Fire Lancer cost increased from 80F/20W/20G to 120F/20W/20G, Bonus vs. Ranged unit type removed

Developer Note: We envision this unit as a hit and run raider that's effective vs buildings, siege and villagers. In addition to this, the current AoE damage is so powerful it can quickly nuke and kill most units! We've targeted these changes at making the Fire Lancer overall less cost effective at fighting enemy troops.

  • Fire Lancer III health increased from 135 to 155, Charge weapon area of effect damage will deal now 50% damage to the surrounding enemy units (instead of 100%), Torch damage reduced from 51 to 36
  • Fire Lancer IV health increased from 160 to 180, Weapon damage reduced from 15 to 13, Charge weapon damage reduced from 25 to 23, Charge weapon area of effect damage will deal 50% damage to the surrounding enemy units, Torch damage reduce from 55 to 40

That's about it for this patch, but the team is apparently already working on another February patch which will cover some of the other outstanding issues players have been experiencing. The notes mention demolition ships, siege, the Abbasid Dynasty, and elephants and mounted cavalry.

If you'd like to start enjoying this RTS gem, one of the best gaming laptops can help you get things off the ground. Age of Empires 4 can be purchased separately from Microsoft or Steam, but it's also included in PC Game Pass.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond. If it runs Windows or in some way complements the hardware, there’s a good chance he knows about it, has written about it, or is already busy testing it.