Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Xbox

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. The re-release of the legendary strategy has long been released on PC, and it reached the Xbox only after two and a half years. It took a fairly long time, but after a few evenings in the game, we can say that the developers have tried everything for a reason, and the control on the gamepad is almost perfect.


Age of Empires on Xbox

You probably don’t know it, but Age of Empires II has already been released on consoles. More precisely, on PlayStation 2, and then it was not only delayed for the next two years after its release on PC but also appeared only in Europe and Japan. This version was quite strange – suffice it to say that it was possible to move the camera only when moving the cursor to the edge of the screen. That is, the left and right sticks were not used for this.

Apparently, for this reason, the game supported the keyboard and mouse on the console – so that customers could simplify their lives. If you do not have a console or like to play on a PC, you can download the game on pirate bay. And now, let’s take a detailed look at the game interface and other features and functions.


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Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Xbox

The Xbox re-release also supports a keyboard and mouse, but this time the developers made it so that the player doesn’t want to plug them in. As they explained in an interview, instead of trying to adapt the computer controls for the gamepad, they decided to forget about it completely and imagined that they were creating an interface for the console version from scratch. They had to consider the limited number of buttons and the difference in speed between a stick and a mouse; they had to make the font readable at any distance, and so on.

The moving cursor was completely abandoned, not even on the menu. In the game, the left stick is responsible for the movement of the camera, and the right stick can change the zoom of the map. So the cursor is always in the center – if you want to interact with something, you need to make sure that the corresponding object is in the middle of the screen.

Tutorials and Gameplay


Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition on Xbox

The tutorial here is the William Wallace campaign, which explains over several missions what the buttons are for and what you generally need to do in Age of Empires II. Everything is very clear: press button A and select a person or object, then press the right trigger, and the wheel of action opens. In the case of settlers, choose the desired building, determine its location, and use the same press A to start construction; if you want to build defensive buildings like towers or walls on the same wheel, press Y and switch to another category.

With buildings, the principle is the same. Open the wheel and either generate soldiers, call up new settlers, buy passive bonuses, or something else – depending on the selected building. You can deselect with the B button – it’s intuitive.

The most important innovation of the console version is not related to the soldiers but to the settlers. Since camera movement with the stick is not as fast as with the mouse, the developers allow the console players to simplify the gameplay and automate the actions of the workers.


If, for some reason, your only way to familiarize yourself with Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is to play it on the Xbox with a gamepad, it won’t be torture and won’t cause discomfort. The developers have perfectly adapted the control and interface without hurting the gameplay in any way. Now we are waiting for Age of Empires IV on the Xbox -for the console version, you do not have to worry.

Jess Shaver
Jess Shaver
Online Entrepreneur. Successfully running and operating multiple eCommerce ventures, in between writing about it all.

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