Age of Empires has seen some drastic changes in terms of graphics this year with the release of Age of Empires 4. This guide will help you choose the best settings for your game and explain some other tactics to achieve maximum FPS and a flawless gaming experience.
Best Settings for Age of Empires 4
Age of Empire titles is known to be less demanding when it comes to your PC specifications. However, things are a bit different with Age of Empires 4.
Head over to the PC specifications mentioned on the steam page of the game and make sure your PC specifications stand up to the game’s minimum requirements at least. Otherwise, the game is bound to give you trouble.
However, this still doesn’t cover up the fact that the game has some optimization issues as well. You can experience FPS drops while panning the camera around.
Hopefully, the developers will be releasing a patch to fix this issue soon. Meanwhile, here’s what you can do to make your gaming experience better.
Before you launch the game, make sure no other program is running in the background.
Download Optimized GPU drivers
Both NVIDIA and AMD have been kind enough to release game-ready drivers for Age of Empires 4. If you haven’t downloaded them, you can download them through the respective official websites.
Downloading these drivers will fix any DirectX or Direct3D errors. For NVIDIA, you’ll have to download the driver version 496.49.
Whereas for AMD, you’ll have to download Adrenalin 21.10.3 Optional.
Setting the Game Window
The game is more likely to face an FPS drop if you’re playing it in the Borderless Fullscreen setting (default). Set it to Full Desktop for a better gameplay experience.
The setting can be found in the graphics menu of the game. You’ll find these settings under “Game Window”.
If you have a dual monitor setup, then turn off your secondary monitor before changing any settings on your primary monitor.
Play the game using a Dedicated GPU
This problem is mostly faced by laptop users. Gaming laptops usually come with an integrated GPU and a dedicated GPU.
If you run the game without tweaking any settings, the chances are that the game will ditch your high-end dedicated GPU and play it on the integrated GPU. Integrated GPUs are not built to run demanding titles such as Age of Empires 4.
You can select the required GPU for playing the Game through NVIDIA and AMD control panels, depending on what GPU your laptop has.
For the NVIDIA control panel, head over to the Manage 3D Settings menu and open program settings. Add or select the required program and then customize it. Select your required GPU, and you’re good to go.
For the AMD control panel, there is more than one setting that you can play around with. Firstly, set plugged-in and battery options to the maximum from the PowerPlay menu.
Then, set the performance slider to Optimal Performance in the 3D settings menu. Lastly, set Age of Empires 4 to High Performance from the Switchable Graphics tab.
Best Graphics Settings
The best gameplay experience is achieved by having the perfect graphics settings which synch well with your gaming rig.
Here’s our take on what the optimal graphics settings are for Age of Empires 4:
The game window option lets you choose between windowed, borderless, or full-screen display for your game. The best-recommended setting is Full Desktop.
This setting allows you to set the resolution of your game. It’s suggested that you keep it at 1920×1080.
Gameplay Resolution Scale
This option determines the scaling of the resolution. The lower the setting, the blurrier the game. Therefore, keep it at 100 for an optimum gaming experience.
Lock Mouse to Window
You can either turn this option on or off. Keep it on for a better gaming experience. This would restrict the mouse movement and help you have better control of the game.
The lower the image quality, the better the FPS. But this will be a tradeoff between graphics and FPS. It’s best that you keep this setting set to Medium.
This setting defines the quality of any animation that you see during the game. Higher the quality, lower the FPS. It’s suggested that you set the animation quality to low.
This setting defines how detailed the shadows are in Age of Empires 4. Keep this setting too low.
The suggested texture detail setting for the best gaming experience is medium.
The suggested geometry setting for the best gaming experience is medium.
This setting smoothens the edges of the objects. Lowering this setting will make the objects more pixelated. At the same time, it will also increase the FPS. Hence, keep this setting too low for the best FPS.
Yet another setting that needs to be set to low.
Each monitor or screen has its own pre-defined refresh rate. If this setting is on, the FPS of your Game will match the refresh rate of your monitor. That is, if your monitor has a refresh rate of 60Hz, the FPS of your Game won’t exceed 60. It’s best that you keep this setting off.
With this setting, you can set the maximum FPS of the Game. The FPS won’t exceed the limit that you’ve set. Since we’re all set to juice the maximum FPS out of this game, have the limit set to unlimited.
The game features several movie clips that get played in between the campaigns. Set the movie quality to 1080p. Setting it to 4K will result in a black screen. Therefore, you’re stuck with 1080p until a new patch is released to fix the issue.
The zoom setting allows you to adjust the viewable area of the map. Less zoom will show you more area and would require more VRAM. Therefore, keep the zoom to a minimum for best performance.
These settings will help you resolve the FPS issues. If you’re still facing FPS issues, you can always lower the setting a bit more. If it still doesn’t help, then consider getting new hardware.
Gone are the days of a less demanding Age of Empires title.
The best thing about Age of Empires 4 is that it lets you compete against other players. But the online gaming experience is dependent on your network.
Therefore, before beginning an online session, make sure no other software is using the internet on your computer. Or, if there’re any other programs using the internet, they should not be using the same port as that of the game.
Lastly, open the following ports on your firewall:
- Port 8888 (TCP)
- Port 3748 (TCP and UDP)
- Port 5222 (TCP and UDP)
If you’re hosting an online lobby, host it using a dedicated server. This will minimize the lag during your gameplay.
The game speed can be adjusted from game settings. The more the game speed, the higher the chance of a performance issue. If the game speed is less, your computer will get more time to process and display the objects on the screen.
Set the Maximum Population
Age of Empires titles allows you to set the maximum population for your empire. If you have more population, there’ll be more characters roaming around at any given time, and this will give rise to performance issues.
Having a maximum population of 200 will give you sufficient space for building your characters without hindering the performance of the game. If it helps, less population means you’ll have to gather fewer resources as well!