I’m often asked if Age of Empires 2 can be played on Android or iOS, usually because you have seen an advert for a mobile game showing Age of Empires artwork. However, when you download the game there’s nothing Age of Empires related in it, leading you to ask the question: does an AoE mobile game actually exist?
Unfortunately Age of Empires 2 does not have an official mobile version for Android or iOS. Even though the game is 20 years old it hasn’t been ported to any mobile devices. Microsoft did make Castle Siege which is a free to play mobile style game available in the app store, but Castle Siege will be shut down in May 2019.
The Fake Adverts
Don’t let these ads fool you, I’ve seen countless mobile games using Age of Empires screenshots to promote themselves. It’s malicious practise which leeches off the iconic imagery that’s instantly recognisable to most of us. The funny thing about this particular advert is that they haven’t even taken a good screenshot! The grass textures are all messed up. If you’re going to rip it off, at least do it well.
Shame on you “King of Avalon” and many more of your kind for false advertising and misleading consumers. It’s like the catfishing of the gaming world, they tempt you in with iconic Age of Empires art and then when you load the app it’s nowhere to be seen. Instead you’re greeted with an overly bloated, micro-transaction infested, money-grab app. Sounds a lot like my last Tinder date!
Microsoft have said that they are aware of this issue and looking into it, so hopefully these ads will disappear in the future.
Where to Play Age of Empires
If you’re looking to play Age of Empires then your mobile phone is not the place to look. There are thousands of people still playing the game today, exclusively on the PC. You can buy the official game from the Steam Store, along with the new expansions.
Age of Empires is often in the top 50 games on Steam by concurrent player count. With over 6 million sales and thousands of regular players each day.
SteamCharts shows a real-time player count. In December 2018 AoeHD hit it’s all-time player peak with 22,492 concurrent players. This is the most players at one time since the game was released on Steam in 2013.
Android Games Like Age of Empires
If you’re looking for something to keep your Age of Empires addiction at bay while you’re travelling or away from a PC then here’s my list of 5 recommended alternative games:
- Civilization Revolution 2
- The Battle for Polytopia
- Kingdom Rush
- March of Empires
- Rival Knights
While none of these games truly capture the essence of Age of Empires 2, they do have some common themes. All of them fall under the strategy category with strong medieval themes. Ultimately, it’s unlikely that an experience similar to Age of Empires would truly be possible with the limitations of mobile gaming. More about that in the next section.
Will Age of Empires 2 ever come to mobile?
I wouldn’t expect there to ever be an official Android or iOS version of the game, mostly because the gameplay doesn’t translate well to mobile controls. An Age of Empires spin-off for mobile is entirely possible and exactly what Microsoft attempted with Castle Siege, but the true real time strategy elements are missing from these types of games. Imagine trying to micro your army by tapping the screen, it would be nearly impossible to pull off. Or being able to keep on top of your economy when your screen is so zoomed in, infuriating!
I remember when Age of Empires 2 came out on the Playstation 2, a great game which ended up being ruined by atrocious controls. It’s maybe for the best that Age of Empires is only available on the PC, it’s certainly the best suited system for enjoying the games to their fullest.