Age of Empires Series Wiki

Age of Empires II has been re-imagined in high definition with new features, trading cards, improved AI, workshop support, multiplayer, Steamworks integration and more!
—Game description on Steam formerly

Age of Empires II: HD Edition is a High-Definition remaster of Age of Empires II. It was announced in 2013 and given a release date of April 9, 2013 on the Steam digital distribution platform for Windows only.

The HD Edition includes both the original game and the expansion The Conquerors, as well as updated graphics for high-resolution displays. It also supports user-generated content through the Steam Workshop and multiplayer games provided through the Steam servers.[1]

With the release of the Definitive Edition, the product was renamed to Age of Empires II (2013) on official online retail stores, such as Steam.

On January 11, 2024, more than 4 years after the release of the Definitive Edition, the HD Edition was marked as retired and its name changed to Age of Empires II (Retired) on above-mentioned online retail stores. See current state section for more.


The HD Edition brought in many bug fixes, support for modern hardware, etc. It brought in new Quality of Life features like selecting 60 units at a time (previous limit was 40). Bug fixes were universal in nature, and did not need the new expansions. Ranked Lobbies and Ranked Leaderboards were added for better matchmaking.

Some features of the HD Edition were a result of being a Steam Application. User-generated content was much easier to upload and download/subscribe with Steam Workshop. Steam Trading Cards were added.

In addition, the base game received some features too:

AoE2 el cid 1 original
HD graphics
The same scene with original graphics


Aoe2 last khans hd cover

Unreleased cover art of The Last Khans for the HD Edition

About 13 years after the previous expansion pack, The Forgotten was released. It features 7 campaigns and 5 civilizations. It required the HD Edition to be installed first. It was coupled with more bug fixes, advanced AIs and balancing.

In 2015, The African Kingdoms was released, bringing the total number of civilizations to 27.

The following year, Rise of the Rajas was released on the 19th of December, bringing the total number of civilizations to 31.

On November 14, 2019, the Definitive Edition was released, including all previous HD Edition expansions and the brand new The Last Khans expansion content, which was in development for the HD Edition too.


The development of the HD Edition was started and spearheaded by former Ensemble Studios lead programmer Matt Pritchard.[2] He brought the project to Hidden Path for development and publishing. Forgotten Empires, who were working on their own project, contacted Microsoft, following which The Forgotten became an official expansion for the HD Edition.[3]

Current state[]

Age of Empires II has been re-imagined in high definition. With the release of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, this product will not be updated further.
—Game description on Steam

After the release of the Definitive Edition, support for the HD Edition was stopped, and the game client was renamed to Age of Empires II (2013). However, even after the release of the Definitive Edition, patch 5.9 was in development for the HD Edition. Very probably the balance changes planned for such a patch were made for the Definitive Edition release.

On 11 January 2024, the game was further renamed to Age of Empires II (Retired), its description was changed, and its cover art was grayed out (see infobox).

Independent modders have tried their best to keep up the HD Edition with the Definitive Edition and its expansions, by using workarounds to achieve a similar functionality. Multi-queue was implemented by replacing technologies with blank instantly dying units, so that technologies (which are actually units) can be queued with units.



Expansion images[]


Icons on camapign screen[]

Backgrounds on campaign screen[]


Age of Empires
Main series
ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of EmpiresRomeIcon The Rise of Rome
Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition
AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - Return of Rome
AoE2-DLCicon-0 Age of Empires IIAoE2-DLCicon-1 The Conquerors
Aoe2 hb HD Edition: AoE2-DLCicon-2 The Forgotten · AoE2-DLCicon-3 The African Kingdoms · AoE2-DLCicon-4 Rise of the Rajas
AoEIIDE icon Definitive Edition (AoE2-DLCicon-5 The Last Khans) : AoE2Icon-LordsWest Lords of the West · Dawn of the Dukes icon Dawn of the Dukes · AoE2Icon-DynastiesIndia Dynasties of India · AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome · AoE2Icon-MountainRoyals The Mountain Royals · Aoe2 hb Victors and Vanquished
Aom original icon Age of MythologyAoM The Titans icon The Titans
AoM Extended icon Extended Edition: AoM Extended icon Tale of the Dragon
AoMIcon-Retold Retold
3Icon48px Age of Empires III3WCIcon48px The WarChiefs · 3ADIcon48px The Asian Dynasties
Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition: AoE3 USA DLC USA DLC · Age3DE Icon The African Royals · AoE3 Mexico DLC Mexican DLC · Age3DE Icon Knights of the Mediterranean
GameIcon-AoE4 Age of Empires IVAnniversary Edition · The Sultans Ascend
Other games
Age of Empires Online Age of Empires Online · Age of Empires Castle Siege logo Age of Empires: Castle Siege
HandheldAoe2DSicon Age of Empires: The Age of Kings · AoMDSicon Age of Empires: Mythologies
MobileAge of Empires II Mobile (Deluxe) · Age of Empires III Mobile · Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties Mobile · Age of Empires - World Domination logo Age of Empires: World Domination · AoE Mobile new icon Age of Empires Mobile
TabletopAge of Empires: Expandable Card Game · Age of Mythology: The Boardgame · Glenn Drover's Empires: The Age of Discovery