We are excited to announce the Public Update Preview on the Steam for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. You can find more details about it on our Steam forums.
Here are some other details you need to know. We’ll be building our FAQ over time as you ask your questions about the Public Update Preview. Please join us in strengthening the quality of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition by sharing your voice – we’re definitely listening, and looking for every opportunity to make this the game you love to play!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I access the Public Update Preview branch?
A: If you'd like to join us in early play of upcoming Updates for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, you can find and download the Public Update Preview build using the instructions provided below.
- Locate Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition in your Steam Games Library
- Right-click the game title and select Properties at the bottom of the menu
- In the window that appears, select the BETAS tab on the left
- If a Public Update Preview is active, you will see it in the list with the prefix 'pup_april - ' and then a reference to an upcoming Update - example: 'Public Update Preview - April'
- Your game will then receive an update, and you can launch the game from there
- To return to the Live game, simply repeat steps 1-3, and once on the BETAS tab select NONE in the list - your game will then update back to the Live build version
Q: Do I need to be an Age Insider to participate?
A: This effort is available to all owners of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Steam, so you don’t need to be an Age Insider. However, we’d be thrilled to have you sign up and join us for other fun opportunities, so be sure to sign up here!
Q: Where do I go to provide feedback?
A: Every time we make a build available through the Public Update Preview, we’ll create a Steam sub-forum specifically for you to provide feedback. This is where you can let us know if you see something troublesome and if your issue is difficult for us to track down, we may ask you to submit a Customer Support ticket so we can gather additional information.
Q: If I find a crash or some other bug that I’d usually send files to help you track, where do I do that?
A: You can continue to use our Customer Support portal for sending us files when you encounter issues, you’ll just indicate that you found this issue in the Public Update Preview, and you’ll be able to pick the appropriate build # to help us track down what you’re reporting.
Q: What’s the purpose of the Public Update Preview?
A: Our goal with offering a look at preview builds is to get your feedback earlier in our process. We’ve done this in the past with small groups, but we’d like to start covering more ground so it’s simply time to open this up. Our hope is that your feedback helps us strengthen what we’re able to deliver in Updates, and that you have even more fun playing as a result. We’ve got a great Community and we’re always looking for ways that we can better find your voice.
Q: How will you be communicating with us when we provide feedback?
A: Here’s what to expect. As you play through the preview build and post on the forum, we’ll largely be observing and gathering that information. We likely won’t respond to posts unless we’re asking questions to try and better understand what you’re reporting. That may make the forum seem a bit quiet, but it’s because we’re working on fixes. Please note that we won’t be able to answer many questions you may have about which bugs we’re fixing or when fixes will come, and we’ll communicate Updates and official news in our normal Community channels.
Q: Is this a different kind of build?
A: Yes! Technically, the builds in the Public Update Preview branch are what we call ‘Preview’ builds… you’re surprised, right? Anyway, these builds are a little different from what you see with the Live game. With Preview builds we use a temporary player profile to avoid overwriting any of your existing profile data, and there are some additional version considerations. Here are the big differences:
- You can only matchmake, see or join Lobbies, and play Multiplayer against other users also with the same preview build – this does not connect to the Live game
- All Events are excluded – you won’t see those here or be able to complete Challenges
- Your Campaign progress and game options will not carry over
- Replays will not be compatible with the current Live build, and like any build, will only be compatible with the corresponding build #
- Like with the Live game, Mods are disabled by default
Q: What should I expect from builds in Public Update Preview?
A: It depends on what our focus happens to be at the time. When we make a Public Update Preview build available, we’ll provide a sticky in the forum that gives a brief overview of what changes are in the build and what kind of feedback would be helpful for us. The overview on changes will be general – this is because you’re playing while we’re still fixing bugs and compiling our more exhaustive Update patch notes. If a build mostly contains bug fixes, we’re likely to look for help making sure those are solid. If a build contains new features or content, we’ll be sure to give that a highlight and tell you where we’d love to get reaction! Keep an eye on the stickies!
Q: Does it cost me anything to access this branch and check out the preview builds?
A: Nope, it’s there for you if you own Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Steam.
Q: What if I report a bug, maybe even multiple times, and it isn’t getting fixed?
A: When we see issues reported, we go through a process to figure out how we can best resolve them and this may be a good opportunity to explain what that looks like. This includes looking at how many users it’s impacting, whether or not we can reproduce the issue to better understand and fix the bug itself, and sometimes spending time going back and forth with particular users to clarify what’s being reported. Some bugs are quick and easy, while others can be quite difficult to chase down and force us to take additional steps like the Enhanced Logging build or inviting specific users to help us try and reproduce these issues. In every case we also have to weigh bug fixes vs ongoing feature work, content creation, and other workstreams that are equally important to the Community. At times, we’re aware that this makes you feel a little unheard when you think an important bug isn’t being addressed, but please rest assured, we care about every single bit of feedback and over time we hope to get to quite a lot – if you keep playing, we’ll keep fixing!
Q: Can I stream from the Public Update Preview?
A: Yes! You can stream or capture footage freely from the Public Update Preview builds, but this is an honor system experiment. These are builds that are very much work-in-progress and even we don’t consider them ready to go Live yet, so please at least note that when you make videos about the bugs you find. We can laugh at ourselves :)
Q: Can I play Replays from the current Live build?
A: No, Replays only work with matching build numbers, and preview builds in the Public Update Preview will never match the current Live build.
Q: Will the Public Update Preview be available on Windows?
A: The Public Update Preview is currently only available on Steam.