Age of Empires is coming to mobile – in more ways than one
The classic RTS series will soon be available to stream to your phone, but it's also getting a brand-new spin-off
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Age of Mobile
🏰 Microsoft is bringing the hit RTS series Age of Empires to Xbox consoles and mobile platforms
☁ Age of Empires 2 and 4 will be available to stream to your phone using Xbox Cloud Gaming from next year
🤑 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can get it for free
📱 A separate spin-off game, Age of Empires Mobile, has also been announced
Age of Empires is set to hop over to Xbox consoles and mobile devices next year, with the classic strategy series hitting phones in a double whammy.
Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition will land on Xbox Series X|S on January 31, 2023, while Age of Empires 4 will join it later in the year. As announced during the franchise’s recent 25th-anniversary livestream, both games will be available on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming, letting you stream them to a phone or tablet using Microsoft’s cloud service.
Xbox Game Studios also revealed an upcoming spin-off Age of Empires Mobile in a short teaser trailer. It’s unclear whether the mobile exclusive will be a fully-fledged title or a simpler tie-in game. In a blog post, Microsoft describes it as “uniquely designed” and “visually stunning”, but only says it’s “coming soon”.
This isn’t the first time the historical RTS series has hit mobile devices. In 2015, Microsoft published the free-to-play tower defense game Age of Empires: Castle Siege and followed it up with Age of Empires: World Domination later that same year. Both games bore little resemblance to the main Age of Empires series and have since been shut down.
Streaming Age of Empires through Xbox Cloud Gaming should provide a fuller experience for mobile gamers, but be prepared to have a compatible controller to hand. Although Microsoft’s cloud streaming platform does enable touch controls for some games, the feature isn’t available for every title.
Console players will have better luck. The forthcoming Xbox Series X|S ports will support both gamepads and mouse and keyboard controls. They’ll also feature a fresh tutorial designed to introduce players to the new control scheme, and throw in an added AI system that should make managing your in-game resources more intuitive. Crossplay will be enabled, too, so you won’t need to leave your PC loyalist buddies behind while you “wololo” on console. Communicating with PC players should also be a breeze now that Xbox owners can use Discord voice chat.
Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition and Age of Empires 4 are widely regarded as two of the best strategy titles around. If Microsoft can seamlessly transfer over the experience to consoles, there’s a strong chance both games could end up in our best Xbox Series X games list.
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