Real-Time Strategy games are complex, and that complexity certainly involves how to finish a match.
Some games end only when you have conquered the whole map, some end after a set number of minutes, and some make you destroy every single unit and structure of the adversary — unless they surrender.
We all know that if we overcome the enemy Civilization, they might give up on the match, and you will be the winner, but is there a way to force the game to end before another player surrenders?
Luckily for you, in this Age of Empires 4 how to win guide, I will go through everything you need to know so you can go back to the multiplayer mode knowing what you have to do to achieve victory.
Win Conditions in Age of Empires 4
If you want to win multiplayer games in Age of Empires 4, you must meet one of these three conditions:
- Destroy all enemy Landmarks
- Control all the Sacred Sites
- Build and defend a Wonder
Most competitive matches of Real-Time Strategy games make players begin with a Town Center or a similar structure and a few workers.
That is not different in Age of Empires 4. In fact, most RTS share many similar characteristics. And Age of Empires keeps many tropes through its numbered sequels, which includes win conditions and resource managing.
So RTS players, especially Age of Empires players, will not be unfamiliar with what they should pursue to assure a victory in a Multiplayer match.
In any case, here are all the Age of Empires 4 win conditions.
Destroy all enemy Landmarks
If you’re able to destroy every single Landmark that the enemy has, the game will end there and declare you victorious.
To understand the rule of destroying all opponent’s Landmarks, we need to learn what Landmarks buildings do in a game.
Your first Landmark is your Town Center. It would be best if you had them spawning new villagers and gathering resources. A civilization cannot work without a Town Center, and therefore having it destroyed will make you lose the game.
The other Landmarks represent your Civilization’s advancements through the eras. They provide new units and technologies, so losing one of those can be a significant setback.
You must have Landmarks to remain in the game, so remember to protect them with your life — but preferably with good positioning and dedicated units.
The location of Landmarks must be strategically chosen, easy to protect, and hard for the enemy to reach so they won’t be frequently harassed.
Strategically placed walls and outposts might help you protect your structures as well, either by preventing the enemy from getting too close or by anticipating the adversary’s next move.
Note that rush tactics such as the longbow rush might not affect your Landmarks at the beginning of the game, but they will ruin your economy and leave you open for attacks.
Defending a Wonder
Landmarks are the structures you must build to go to the next age; however, once players reach the imperial age, the purpose of the next Landmark changes completely.
In Age of Empires 4, Landmarks are always related to victories and losses. That is because besides making you lose the game in case all your Landmarks are destroyed, building all the Landmarks makes you win the game.
The last available Landmark in Age of Empires 4 is referred to in-game as Wonder.
A Wonder takes 10 minutes to be finished, and the adversary is notified that it is under construction. There are a lot of resources spent on building a wonder too, which means that it might give the other Civilization an economic advantage.
Constructing a Wonder must be part of a victory plan once players have their defenses settled and are ready to hold off attacks and invasions.
Once players commit to constructing a wonder, the adversary is most likely going to commit to destroying the Wonder and using their extra resources to prevent you from winning.
Building a Wonder is usually effective for those who can take advantage of turtling strategies. If you know how to play the English in Age of Empires 4, you can take advantage of this sort of strategy better than most civilizations.
Sacred Sites are a newly added mechanic to the game. Each map has a different number of sacred sites, and they work as a great excuse for a civilization to expand their territory due to the win condition that involves them.
They were a creative way that the developer used to change the pacing of the game, keep the players constantly worried about the bigger picture, and diversify the gameplay.
The player who has control over all sacred sites for over 10 minutes is declared the winner of the match.
This method is a decent way to counter an enemy’s turtling build, but it is not without weaknesses. Having your troops divided to conquer and patrol sacred sites might leave your Town Center and other Landmarks vulnerable.
Age of Empires 4 brings a new way to win a game, allowing more diversity and complexity in how to handle certain PvP matchups.
Having different Age of Empires 4 victory conditions makes this title a more complex Real-Time Strategy game that equally values resource management, forward-thinking, and positioning.
There is always a way to win a game that fits a civilization better than others, and there is always a better way to counter the adversary’s strategy — but with room for tactical adaptations, sudden strategic changes, and more.
With so many variables and viable strategies, this game has an enormous potential to quickly become an exciting RTS that’s filled with counter-builds that organically change over the course of a match.
If a civilization turtles up to build a Wonder, another can try to get all the Sacred Sites. As a reaction, the first Civilization might want to take a Sacred Site for themselves, but it might cause their Town Center to have less protection than it needs.
Knowing the best way to achieve victory while preventing your enemy from doing so is how you win a game of Age of Empires 4.