Age of Empires IV is right here, and it has some fascinating tech underneath the hood. As a real-time technique (RTS) recreation, it doesn’t name for a super-high framerate. Still, it’s extra demanding than most RTS titles, so that you’ll want to seek out the very best settings to optimize your efficiency.

The recreation is sweet at routinely configuring the settings in one of the simplest ways to your system, and it features a minimal spec renderer to assist low-end machines and built-in GPUs keep a playable framerate. I took the sport out for a spin on just a few machines to measure the minimal spec renderer and how much efficiency you may anticipate with totally different rigs.

Age of Empires IV system necessities

Age of Empires IV is a extremely scalable recreation, partly as a result of it features a dynamic minimal spec mode that may kick in when your {hardware} isn’t as much as snuff. The builders have 4 totally different tiers for the {hardware} necessities, scaling as much as latest CPUs and GPUs and right down to built-in graphics from just a few years again.

As you may see within the chart above, you don’t want rather a lot to run Age of Empires IV, however the visible high quality will change rather a lot based mostly in your {hardware}. If you simply meet the minimal specs, you gained’t get the complete expertise. Based in your {hardware}, the sport will routinely use a lower-spec renderer, lowering visible constancy throughout the board.

You can set off this by turning the Image Quality settings to Low. Doing this can block off the entire settings aside from Shadow Quality. You can select to show off shadows solely if you’d like, however the different settings are routinely set to Low on this configuration.

I examined the sport on just a few totally different configurations, and every time, the sport routinely acknowledged the precise settings to make sure my framerate was close to or above 60 frames per second (fps). I’ve just a few optimization ideas within the desktop part under, however general, you shouldn’t have to poke your head within the settings menu in any respect.

XPS 13 — Integrated GPU

XPS 13 running Age of Empires IV.

I began testing with my 2020 Dell XPS 13, which incorporates an Intel Core i7-1185G7 and 16GB of RAM. This machine contains Intel’s Iris Xe built-in graphics, which are literally fairly good at working some much less demanding video games. If you had been hoping to crank all the pieces as much as max in Age of Empires IV, although, you’ll be dissatisfied.

At native 1920 x 1080, I managed simply 17 fps. Even that doesn’t seize how unhealthy the expertise was. You don’t want a excessive framerate for Age of Empires IV, however with minimal framerates down within the single digits, the sort of efficiency gained’t lower it.

As talked about, Age of Empires IV routinely adjusts your video settings while you first load up the sport. For my XPS 13, it set the decision to 720p and lowered the render decision to 66%. Needless to say, it regarded horrible the primary time I loaded it up. I went again to the really useful graphics settings (under) however saved the decision at 1080p with full render decision.

  • Image high quality: Low
  • Animation high quality: Low
  • Shadow high quality: Low
  • Texture element: Low
  • Geometry element: Low
  • Physics: Low
  • Anti-aliasing: Off

With simply the settings turned down, the machine managed a playable 58 fps common. The recreation actually didn’t look nice — each setting was turned to Low, and anti-aliasing was off — however the expertise held up. This is the minimal spec mode at work. Based on my testing, it will probably assist built-in graphics run what would in any other case be a reasonably demanding recreation.

I’d suggest turning to the graphics settings earlier than reducing your render decision. The settings have quite a lot of bandwidth, so you may simply optimize your efficiency with them. The decision slider is beneficial, although it’s going to mangle the picture in a large number of pixels rapidly. The settings gained’t.

XPS 15 — Low-end discrete GPU

XPS 15 running Age of Empires IV.

After my present laptop computer, I examined my earlier laptop computer — a 2017 Dell XPS 15 with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ, a GTX 1050 graphics card, and 8GB of RAM. This was a stable machine just a few years again, and the discrete GPU helped Age of Empires IV rather a lot (even when it isn’t practically as highly effective by at this time’s requirements).

At 1080p with the entire settings maxed out, I managed 26 fps. That’s practically double the framerate on my newer XPS 13, and though under what I’d take into account playable, you could possibly handle with this degree of efficiency. The recreation truly defaulted to larger graphics settings after I first booted it up, and it ran in 1080p with the render decision at 66%, not 720p like on my XPS 13.

A discrete GPU, even one which was underpowered when it was launched, is best than built-in graphics. With the really useful settings (under), the machine jumped to a 58 fps common. The really useful settings had been larger than my XPS 13, too, so there’s nonetheless a little bit room to optimize the sport past what it recommends.

  • Image Quality: Medium
  • Animation Quality: Low
  • Shadow Quality: Low
  • Texture Detail: Low
  • Geometry Detail: Medium
  • Physics: Low
  • Anti-aliasing: Low

1080p is the goal for many cellular rigs except you’ve a devoted gaming laptop computer. A discrete GPU is greatest so you may flip up some settings, however because the XPS 13 exhibits, you may get by with built-in graphics in the event you’re prepared to show down all the pieces. The render slider helps, too, although at a major price to picture high quality.

Desktop — High-end gaming rig

Age of Empires IV battle.

High

Age of Empires IV battle.

Low

Finally, I turned to my desktop with an Intel Core i9-10900K, an RTX 3070, and 32GB of RAM. This configuration blows previous Age of Empires IV‘s very best system necessities, so I used to be capable of handle a snug 79 fps common at 4K with the entire sliders maxed out. This actually is the perfect approach to play Age of Empires IV. 

The minimal spec mode is nice for low-end {hardware} and built-in GPUs, however the recreation shines with the entire visible bells and whistles. The lighting system appears incredible, and the character fashions are surprisingly detailed. A 79 fps common is nothing to sneeze at, however you could possibly hit framerates above 100 fps in the event you optimize just a few settings.

If you wish to optimize your recreation, take a look at the Shadow Quality and Animation Quality settings. Those will present an honest increase in efficiency. If you’re utilizing a graphics card with lower than 8GB of RAM, Texture Quality will supply some enormous efficiency good points, too.

I took a few 4K screenshots (above) to see the distinction between the common renderer and the minimal spec one. And there are some large variations. The character fashions are of decrease high quality, however the greater variations are available in lighting, shadows, and terrain high quality. If you may play the complete model, it’s best to. That mentioned, it’s good to see an choice to permit much less highly effective machines to nonetheless expertise the sport.

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