How to join the Age of Empires IV stress test this weekend

We're quickly closing in on the release date for Age of Empires IV. The game is currently slated to launch on October 28th, but as we inch closer to release, Microsoft is also hosting a number of tests to put the game through its paces. Last month, we saw a limited closed beta for Age of Empires IV, but this weekend, Microsoft will be hosting a technical stress test, and everyone is invited to join up.

Yes, it wouldn't be much of a stress test without as large a player base as possible, so Microsoft is opening the floodgates this weekend. The technical stress test will run from Friday, September 17th at 10 AM PDT/1 PM EDT through Monday, September 20th at the same time.

If you want to join up, you can do so in two ways: the first is through the Xbox Insider Hub app on PC, which is accessible even if you aren't an Insider. To use that method, download the app, log in to your Microsoft account, and then navigate to the "Preview" tab for Age of Empires IV to download the stress test. The second method is through the Steam page for Age of Empires IV, which has a panel for joining the Age IV stress test and a button to request access.

Microsoft says that the content present in this stress test includes four civilizations (the English, the Chinese, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Abbasid Dynasty) along with five different maps. In addition, players will be able to check out the game's tutorial, Mission Zero; play against the AI in the Multiplayer Custom Lobby; and go toe-to-toe with other players through online multiplayer.

Since this is a stress test, Microsoft asks that players spend most of their time playing online multiplayer, though a run through that tutorial might not be a bad idea for any newcomers to Age of Empires. Given its open nature, this technical stress test won't be under NDA, so even if you aren't playing, you'll probably be able to catch some gameplay on Twitch and YouTube. More details about the technical stress test can be found over on the Age of Empires website.