When you want to test a mod you have made, you can play it yourself without publishing it.
To test a mod without publishing it, follow the steps below.
Preparing a Mod for Testing
To prepare a mod for testing, you must first BUILD it.
BUILDING your mod compiles all the changes you have made to it and allows the mod to appear in the client as an option to play.
Building your Mod
Once you are ready to test your mod with what you have made so far, go to the main menu and select Build > Build Mod.
Your mod will then be saved and built.
The building process will save your mod to the following location:
C:\Users\USERNAME\Documents\My Games\Age of Empires IV\mods\extension\local
You can check this file location to assure your mod has been successfully built.
Checking Your Mod Build
Once your mod has been built, it will also appear in your Mods > My Mods area of the game client. You can check this page to see if your mod is available to play.
Your new mod will appear in your My Mods interface with an Orange wrench icon under Status, since it currently only exists on your computer.
Published mods will appear with a Green wrench icon.
If you see your mod here, it is ready to test. Follow the steps below.
1) Create a Game Lobby
Start Age of Empires IV and go to Single Player > Skirmish Game.
2) Choose Your Mod
In your skirmish game lobby, select your mod.
If you have correctly Built your mod, it will appear as an option to select.
- Crafted Maps are located under Map Setup > Change Map > Crafted Maps
- Generated Maps are located under Map Setup > Change Map > Generated Maps
- Tuning Packs are located under Game Setup > Tuning Pack
- Game Modes are located under Game Setup > Change
In the crafted map example below, you can see the Orange wrench icon beside the mod. This means the mod is only accessible to you, since it is saved locally on your computer and has not been published yet.
3) Set Up Your Game
Make any necessary adjustments to the game to test your mod, including adding AI players.
Once you are finished setting up your game, press Start and begin testing your mod!
4) Make Revisions
If you encounter things in your mod you want to change, exit Age of Empires IV and return to the Content Editor to continue working on it.
Each time you Build your mod in the Content Editor, it will overwrite your previous build, making the new build available the next time you load Age of Empires IV.
You can do this any number of times until you feel your mod is ready to publish.
5) Publish your Mod
Once you feel your mod is ready for public consumption, you are ready to publish it!
Follow this link to visit the mod publication guide: Publishing and Using Mods