Age of Empires 4 is getting a Content Editor, mods, and more with the next big update this spring.
Season One, formerly known as the Spring Update, will be the first major update in 2022 and isn't far off, according to Relic Entertainment and World’s Edge. While a release date was not provided, some content details were shared.
The update will be an entry-point for the modding community, as a Content Editor will be made available. Alongside the editor, several in-house mods and tutorials will be released to help get modders started. Though the Content Editor will be launching as a beta, it will remain available following the start of Season One.
The 1v1 Ranked Ladder is also coming with Season One alongside hotkey improvements. With the latter, you can expect additional categories within the hotkey menu, the ability to rebind hotkeys, toggle on or off Control Group exclusivity, the ability to bind other commands to the “ALT” and “Shift” keys, and new Global Hotkeys will allow you to quickly find idle villagers, cycle through structures, and much more.
Quality of Life improvements such as Global Build Queue, the Patrol move, a civ randomizer selection within the lobby and full post-match map reveal are also coming. MegaRandom, in-house created mods, a new Art of War challenge, difficulty tuning across a variety of campaign missions, and more are also on the slate.
With Season One, some balance changes are planned for the Abbasid Dynasty, Chinese, and Holy Roman Empire civilizations in particular.
When it comes to Season Two, plans aren't currently locked-in, but you expect a more "refined list" as development continues. In the meantime though, updates to the Ranked Season ladder are coming alongside a refresh, fully Remappable Inputs are in the works, a Map Vote System is being tested with more control over map selection growing over time, and a player Color Picker is in the works to help with important customization.
Other items the developers are actively investigating for the future, some of which are likely to land this year and some that may even be pulled into Season Two, include observer mode improvements, taunts, cheats, and waypoint indicators.