Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is a remaster of Age of Empires II, released on November 14, 2019.
It features a fully remastered soundtrack, multiple quality of life improvements, significant graphical upgrades, and includes The Last Khans, an expansion that adds four new civilizations based on Central Asia and Eastern Europe (the Bulgarians, the Cumans, the Lithuanians, and the Tatars), and four new campaigns (for Tatars, Cumans, Bulgarians, and Incas, replacing El Dorado). It also includes the Enhanced Graphics Pack that increases the Definitive Edition to ultra-high fidelity resolution.
On December 15, 2020, a new expansion was announced, Lords of the West. It features two new civilizations based on historical kingdoms of western Europe (the Burgundians and the Sicilians), three new campaigns (for Burgundians, Sicilians, and Britons) and new achievements. It was released on January 26, 2021.
On April 13, 2021, the second expansion was announced, Dawn of the Dukes. It features two new civilizations from Central and Eastern Europe (the Bohemians and the Poles), three new campaigns (for Poles, Bohemians, and Lithuanians) and new achievements. It was released on August 10, 2021. In addition, new cooperative campaigns and Historical Battles were announced and have been gradually added since July 6, 2021.
On April 14, 2022, the third expansion was announced, Dynasties of India. It features three new civilizations from South Asia (the Bengalis, Dravidians, and Gurjaras), a reworking of the existing Indians civilization (being renamed to Hindustanis, with a new unique unit and unique building, as well new bonuses), three new campaigns (for Bengalis, Dravidians, and Tatars/Hindustani) and new achievements. It was released on April 28, 2022.
- Base Age of Empires II HD game and all previous expansions ported into the Definitive Edition
- The Last Khans expansion content
- Changes to some civilization architectural sets
- Mediterranean and East European sets reworked
- Byzantines and Spanish now use the Mediterranean set
- Vietnamese now use the East Asian set, to reflect Chinese influence against Vietnamese kingdoms.
- Crest symbols for each civilization
- Cross-play functionality between Microsoft Store and Steam versions
- Empire Wars game mode
- Global queue display
- Improved and reworked campaigns, including changes to the civilizations that feature for a more accurate representation
- Voice acting added for Forgotten Empires campaigns
- Improved spectator mode and multiplayer, including native streaming support
- Manual gate rotation (using mouse-wheel)
- Mixed technology and unit queue
- Modding via Age of Empires web platform
- New AI that does not cheat, and a new level of difficulty: Extreme
- New main menu features and functions
- Campaign difficulty indicators (the more swords, the more difficult)
- Campaign pages reorganized to geographical regions
- Historical Battles section (combined Battles of the Conquerors and Battles of the Forgotten)
- The Art of War challenges on learning advanced gameplay tactics (e.g. booming, early economy, fast Castle Age)
- New graphics and effects, including demolished building animations
- New objects and units, in addition to redesigns for some old ones (e.g. Sea Wall)
- New, fully remastered soundtrack
- Each soundtrack set now begins with a theme of the civilization being played
- Options allow for the selection of soundtrack sets
- New scenario editor features, including a reworked triggers system
- New server-based multiplayer
- Progress bar for buildings, effects on them if they are working
- Reworked interface that displays the number of villagers working on each resource
- Toggleable gameplay and interface options for veteran players
- Toggles for automatic Farm and Fish Trap reseeding
- Zoom functionality
- Bulgarians: When nomadic Bulgar horsemen approached the Danube in the 7th century and encountered the local Slavic tribes, the stirrups that they brought changed European cavalry warfare forever. Fortify the nearby mountain passes with formidable Kreposts and punish overconfident invaders with powerful combined armies of cavalry, infantry, and siege engines! Your valiant Konniks, the pride of your army, will continue to fight fearlessly even after their horses are felled beneath them.
- Lithuanians: The forested boglands east of the Baltic Sea hold more than meets the eye. Coagulate the various Baltic tribes into a Grand Duchy with a new religion, smash invading forces with powerful cavalry and mobile spearmen and javelineers, and assemble the largest empire in late-medieval Europe! The Lithuanian unique unit is the Leitis, a heavy cavalry unit who strikes with such vigor that all armor is useless against his weaponry.
- Cumans (new Central Asia architecture): The vast Eurasian plains were home to nomadic tribes whose steppe husbandry and fearsome exploits still live on in the records of their terrified neighbors. Lead the Cuman-Kipchak hordes to war and pillage to your heart's content, or offer your riders as coveted mercenaries in the service of foreign kings. When an even greater threat looms to the east, will you migrate west and adopt the lifestyle and warcraft of your sedentary neighbors, or vanish before an unstoppable wave of Mongol conquerors?
- Tatars: For centuries, fierce nomads roamed the Central Asian steppe, periodically launching distant migrations or campaigns to conquer or extort their sedentary neighbors. Don arrow-resistant silk armor and dominate the hills and plains with mobile horsemen and cavalry archers, or join the Mongol hordes and swell the ranks of the Keshiks, honored bodyguards of the Great Khan himself! Dare you follow in the footsteps of Tamerlane and mercilessly conquer an empire from Transoxiana to India, Anatolia, and Russia?
- Steppe Lancer and Elite Steppe Lancer: Ranged melee cavalry, available at the Stable for Central Asian civilizations (Cumans and Tatars) and Mongols (the latter since update 35584).
- Xolotl Warrior: Mesoamerican cavalry equal to the Knight Line, available at a converted Stable (Aztecs and Incas) (slot same as Scout Cavalry, not Knight).
- Konnik: Castle unique unit of the Bulgarians, heavy cavalry unit that creates at no cost a Dismounted Konnik infantry when killed.
- Kipchak: Castle unique unit of the Cumans, multi-shot cavalry archer.
- Leitis: Castle unique unit of the Lithuanians, medium cavalry with an attack that ignores armor.
- Keshik: Castle unique unit of the Tatars, medium cavalry that generates gold while attacking other units.
- Pig (herdable)
- Goose (herdable)
- Cow (herdable) - Now with four variants
- Ibex (huntable)
- Horse - Now with five variants
- Bactrian Camel
- Wild Bactrian Camel
- Snow Leopard (hostile)
- Butterflies - Three variants
- Alaric the Goth
- Cuman Chief
- Cusi Yupanqui
- Girgen Khan
- Henry the Lion
- King Bela IV
- Kotyan Khan
- Leif Erikson
- Mounted Samurai
- Sosso Guard
- The Middlebrook
- Tokhtamysh Khan
- Tsar Konstantin
- Topa Yupanqui
- Urus Khan
- Vasco da Gama
- Vytautas the Great
- Krepost: Unique building of the Bulgarians, small Castle that can only train Konniks but not research technologies.
- Tower of London
- Dormition Cathedral
- Sankore Madrasah
- Aachen Cathedral
- Rock Church
- Supplies: Militia line units cost -15 food. Cost: 150 food, 100 gold. Available to all civilizations except Goths.
- Silk Armor (Tatars): Scout Cavalry line and all Cavalry Archers +1 pierce armor.
- Timurid Siegecraft (Tatars): Trebuchets +1 range.
- Stirrups (Bulgarians): Scout Cavalry line and Konniks +33% attack speed.
- Bagains (Bulgarians): Militia line +3 armor.
- Steppe Husbandry (Cumans): Scout Cavalry line, and Cavalry Archer line train faster.
- Cuman Mercenaries (Cumans): All team members can train up to 10 Elite Kipchaks for free at the Castle in the Imperial Age (slot 4).
- Hill Forts (Lithuanians): Town Centers have +3 range.
- Tower Shields (Lithuanians): Spearman and Skirmisher lines +1 pierce armor.
- Kamandaran (Persians): Archer-line gold cost is replaced by an additional 25 wood cost.
- Tamerlane (Tatars): In the 14th century, while lesser men tear apart the decaying remains of the Mongol Empire, Tamerlane sees entropy as opportunity. A brilliant, charismatic tactician bred on the rugged steppes of Transoxiana, can he restore the splendor of the fractured state—even if he must slaughter half of its inhabitants in the process?
- Ivaylo (Bulgarians): During the Mongol invasions, a pig farmer leads a militia defending the Bulgarian villages. But when his victories attract the attention of the Tsar and his nobles, he is forced to lead a mass uprising. Can a man of such humble origins defy the established order and give his people freedom?
- Kotyan Khan (Cumans): For centuries, the Cumans throve on the vast plains of Eurasia. Now, a new threat comes from the East – Mongols, ruthless beyond imagination and seemingly invincible. Kotyan, the khan of a small clan, must unite the Cumans to resist the invaders. Will he save his people, even if it means abandoning their ancestral lands and ancient ways?
- Pachacuti (Incas): Countless tribes vie for supremacy in the steep mountain valleys and dense jungles of South America. But which will prevail and earn the favor of the gods? As treachery and discord gnaw at the young empire of the Inca, the destiny of an entire people lies in the hands of a single man.
- The Art of War (Challenge Scenarios): Uncover the strategic wisdom of Sun Tzu and practice your Age of Empires II skills in a series of short challenges. In each challenge, you will strive to earn a medal and prove your worth to your friends and enemies.
Reworked campaigns and Historical Battles
- The population cap in most of the original The Age of Kings and The Conquerors campaigns is increased. All campaigns from The Forgotten were reworked.
- Alaric (Goths)
- Bari (Byzantines)
- Dracula ( , significant changes to The Dragon Spreads His Wings and The Moon Rises)
- Pachacuti (Incas, replacing El Dorado)
- Prithviraj (Indians)
- Sforza (Italians)
- Yodit (Ethiopians, significant changes to Welcome Home)
- New trigger conditions:
- Diplomacy State
- Object HP
- Object Not Visible
- Researching Tech
- Technology State
- Units Garrisoned
- Variable Value
- New trigger effects:
- Acknowledge AI Signal
- AI Script Goal
- Attack Move
- Change Civilization Name
- Change Color Mood
- Change Object Cost
- Change Object Description
- Change Object Icon
- Change Object Stance
- Change Player Name
- Change Research Location
- Change Train Location
- Change Variable
- Create Garrisoned Object
- Enable/Disable Object
- Enable/Disable Technology
- Modify Attribute
- Modify Resource
- Modify Resource By Variable
- Script Call
- Set Player Visibility
- New objects:
- Chain - Similar to Palisade Wall, only available in Map Editor and appears in certain campaigns including Attila the Hun.
- Nubian Pyramid
- City Gate - (City Wall counterpart)
- Dismantled Cart - Eyecandy
- Temple Ruin - Eye candy, similar to Ruins
- Well - Eyecandy
- Army Tent - (Comes in 5 variants)
- Huts - (Comes in 7 variants)
- Paifang Gate
- Target - Eyecandy (Comes in 2 variants)
- Tent - (Comes in 5 variants)
- 3 new barricade variants
- 2 new pagoda variants
- 1 new bridge variant
- 1 new torch variant
- New statue variants (Civilization, Column, "Right")
- Movable map revealer
- Invisible Object
- Contraption (removed)
- Supplies: Militia line units cost -15 food. Cost: 150 food, 100 gold. Available to all civilizations except Goths.
- Tracking removed: Effects apply to all civilizations for free upon reaching the Feudal Age.
- Watch Tower HP reduced from 1020 to 700 before the Castle Age. No longer "unlocks itself" if placed at the start of the game in maps like Fortress
- Arbalest renamed Arbalester.
- Camel renamed Camel Rider (with its upgrade line renamed accordingly).
- Elite Skirmisher upgrade cost increased from 200 wood, 100 gold to 230 wood, 130 gold.
- Herbal Medicine effect increased by 50% (now speeds up building healing rate to 6 times).
- (Palisade) Gate armor decreased to 0/0 while under construction.
- Palisade Gate cost increased from 20 wood to 30 wood.
- Elite Battle Elephant attack reduced from 16 to 14.
- Dry Dock and Berber ship speed bonus no longer reduce gold per trip for Trade Cogs.
- Eagle Scout -1 line of sight and search radius in the Dark Age.
- Trebuchets now deal damage after packing or getting destroyed.
- Fixed the issue which made Houses able to attack.
- Fixed the issue with Chemistry not increasing the attack of secondary Castle arrows.
- Fixed the issue with side parts of diagonal gates being walkable during construction.
- Fixed the issue where the Burmese Relic bonus would permanently reveal spots on the map.
- Cavalry +20% HP bonus only available from the Feudal Age.
- Fixed the issue with Ballista Elephant attack being inconsistent.
- Fixed the issue with Chemistry not increasing attack of secondary Ballista Elephant bolt.
- Receive Faith and Hussar.
- Lose Shipwright.
- Receive “Military units (except siege weapons) cost -15% wood”.
- Lose "Fortifications built faster".
- Mercenaries renamed Corvinian Army.
- Harbors minimum range increased to 1 (from 0). Requires Murder Holes to reduce to 0 range (only works properly since update 36906).
- Harbors base attack reduced from 6 to 3. Bonus attack vs Ships increased from 9 to 10.
- Harbors properly affected by Chemistry and Heated Shot (properly works since update 36906).
- Forced Levy changes gold cost into additional food cost (instead of removing it).
- Forced Levy cost decreased from 1,000 food, 600 gold to 850 food, 500 gold.
- Increased the base cost of (Elite) Plumed Archers by +5 wood, +5 gold (+4 wood, +4 gold considering the discount).
- Destroyed house foundations no longer provide population space with the Nomads technology.
- Town Centers and Docks work +5% faster in the Dark Age.
- Boiling Oil replaced by Kamandaran. Kamandaran (200 food, 200 gold) replaces the gold cost of Archer-line with the additional wood cost.
- Archer line +3 attack vs Standard building.
- Market costs -100 wood (instead of -75 wood).
- (Elite) Mameluke firing delay reduced.
- Halberdier -5 attack vs Mamelukes.
- Receive Faith.
- Receive free Supplies (instead of free Tracking).
- Farmers work 10% faster (lowered from 15% faster).
- (Elite) Boyar training time reduced to 15s (from 23s/20s).
- (Elite) Conquistadors receive damage from anti-cavalry archer attacks.
- Missionaries heal as quickly as normal Monks.
- Missionaries affected by Husbandry.
- Receive free Herbal Medicine.
- Receive Husbandry.
- Paper Money cost reduced from 800 food, 200 gold to 500 food, 300 wood and research time increased to 60s (from 40s).
- All civilizations introduced in The Last Khans have strong focus on cavalry units, as well having mounted units as unique units. Also, all of the new unique units are affected by either a civilization bonus or unique technology.
- According to Microsoft creative director Adam Isgreen and developers Forgotten Empires, the new civilizations introduced are planned to be the last ones as they consider having reached a sufficient number of civilizations to feature in the game. However, due to the overwhelming success of the title and community enthusiasm, plans have changed on that regard according to Cysion (Beert Beckman), founder of Forgotten Empires.
- The intro cinematic was later updated in a patch to replace the "Exclusive" text, which was used at the start of the trailers of Xbox One exclusive games, to the "Xbox Game Studios" text, to fit with the Xbox Game Studios logo.
- Even after the release of the Definitive Edition, a patch 5.9 was in development for HD Edition.
Example of the new extended civilization theme, for the Malays.
- Release day balance changelog
|Age of Empires|
|Age of Empires||1.0a · 1.0b · 1.0c|
|The Rise of Rome||1.0a|
|Definitive Edition||CU3 · CU4 · CU5 · CU6 · CU7 · U8 · U9 · U10 · U11 · Update 28529 · Update 34483 · Update 35199 · Update 38862 · Update 46777|
|Age of Empires II|
|The Age of Kings||2.0 (launch) · 2.0a|
|The Conquerors||1.0 (launch) · 1.0b · 1.0c|
|HD Edition||2.1 · 2.2 · 2.3 · 2.5 · 2.6 · 2.7 · 2.8|
|The Forgotten||3.0 (launch) · 3.1 · 3.2 · 3.3 · 3.4 · 3.5 · 3.6 · 3.6a · 3.7 · 3.8 · 3.9 · 4.0 · 4.1 · 4.2 · 4.3|
|The African Kingdoms|