Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition joins Xbox Game Pass for PC October 15, pre-order now

Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition
Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The classic real time strategy franchise Age of Empires has been remade with Definitive Editions.
  • The final entry in this quintessential Age of Empires collection will be Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.
  • Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition will launch on October 15, 2020 on Steam, the Windows Store, and Xbox Game Pass for PC.
  • Interested players can pre-order the game right now, with discounts for owners of the first two Definitive Editions.

Fans of the real time strategy genre may be impatiently waiting for the arrival of Age of Empires IV, but World's Edge isn't leaving players high and dry without any Age of Empires action. They've been hard at work remastering and reworking the original Age of Empires titles with Definitive Editions, and the final entry in this line will be Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. Today at Gamescom, World's Edge announced Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition alongside its very first trailer. This lovingly remastered title will be launching October 15, 2020, and will be on Xbox Game Pass for PC day one.

If you played the original Age of Empires III, you're in for a treat here. The Definitive Edition will include:

  • 4K graphics.
  • Rebuilt 3D assets.
  • Modernized UI and UX.
  • Cross-play multiplayer.
  • Enhanced soundtrack and audio.

But the Definitive Edition isn't just about graphical improvements, and also adds two new game modes and civilizations. The game modes include:

  • Historical Battles. This game mode are specific scenarios set within the time period the game covers.
  • Art of War challenges. These challenges are a fan-favorite from Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, and are returning in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition to help players learn about the different civilizations, the art of real time strategies games, and the intricacies of Age of Empires.

Finally, Age of Empires III and all of its expansions included a total of fourteen civilizations. The Definitive Edition will add two new all-new civilizations, and make some changes to other civilizations, which include:

  • The Swedes. This civilization is all-new to the franchise, and encapsulates a small but powerful nation that dominates with unique military tactics.
  • The Incas. A mainstay of the Age of Empires franchise, this South American empire was known for its construction prowress, building impressive cities, temples, and more.
  • Changes to Native American civilizations. World's Edge wanted to better represent Native American civilizations in the game, so they consulted with experts to accurately capture the culture of the Native American civilizations on display in the game. This means civilizations may be changed in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition.

So how do you get your hands on the latest in the Definitive Collection? Pre-orders are opening up now on Steam and the Windows Store for $20. Players can nab 25% discounts if they already own either the Age of Empires III: Complete Edition, or both of the current Age of Empires: Definitive Editions, bringing the total price down to $15. World's Edge will also release an Age of Empires: Definitive Collection which will include all three games for $45.

Finally, Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition will join Age of Empires: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) when it launches on October 15, 2020, so players there won't have to shell out any more to gain access to the game. If you want to buy the game to permanently add it to your collection, Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will both receive the same 25% discount.

You can keep up with the Age of Empires team on social media or their official website for information about the game, and even opportunities to test the game before its official release.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.