Age of Empires IV is set to have a big stress test this weekend that anyone will be able to join and be a part of. While it won’t have all the content in the full game’s release, which is coming in October, the developers are trying to make sure that everyone will have a chance to test the game’s limits before it officially launches. You don’t even have to buy the game, apparently — it appears you don’t on Steam, anyway. The test will run from this Friday through next Monday.
The developers previously ran a closed beta to test the game with a limited number of players. According to them, the point of the stress test is to have the exact opposite of a limited number of players: “One reason we are hosting this event over a single weekend is that we are interested in driving as many people into the Technical Stress Test build as possible during this window to make sure that our matchmaking, lobbies and additional systems hold strong.”
In order to join the stress test, you just have to find the game on Steam or be part of the Xbox Insider program, where you can find the game on the hub. The only restriction on who can join the test, according to the announcement, is that PC gamers will have to meet the minimum spec requirements for the game before they can play, and the game will “automatically detect and select the correct settings based on hardware, including settings specifically included for min spec devices.”
Out of the content that will be available during the stress test, most of it will be focused on the multiplayer element, for obvious reasons. Out of the whole game, players will be able to use five maps and four civilizations: The English, the Chinese, the Holy Roman Empire and the Abbasid Dynasty.