• David Stanley

Age of Wonders Planetfall: Trex Updates Are Notably Game Changing

Age of Wonders Planetfall was released to mixed reviews when compared against the titles that preceded it. The Tyrannosaurus update is a free update is now available on all platforms and its apparent that Paradox Interactive doesn't want fans of the series to lose faith in them as they explore a different Age of Wonders.

Reminiscent of large game changing updates to games like Civ 5, there are a ton of updates to Planetfall and the gameplay has been significantly rebalanced. Players who own the game or have an Xbox Game Pass should consider loading the game back up on their system. The amount of updates and balances are notable and look to offer a better experience over vanilla Planetfall, which felt fairly tedious and monotonous.

Here's a abbreviated list of the updates from the AoW site:

New Features:

  • Game Intensity Controls

Game settings added that allow you to configure the push back the world gives the player.

  • Exploration Sites

Visit Sites have been completely reworked, remodeled, and rebranded as Exploration Sites. These sites are heavily guarded and each has its own unique interior combat map. Once captured they give unique buffs and powerful economic bonuses.

  • No Colonizer Mode

This feature blocks the ability for all players to build colonizers to create new colonies. This leads to a game with much smaller empires and puts the focus on the game's military aspect over economy.

  • Fleeing Enemies

Weak enemies may allow you to claim a location without a fight. Stronger enemies may accept a bribe.

Economy Changes:

  • Streamlined Terrain Interactions

The update changes the sectors built within a colony to always apply the bonuses without requiring the player to research build special colony upgrades.

  • Rebalanced Economic Research

Streamlining the terrain interactions in the above bullet means that many of the sector upgrade research has been removed from the economy tree, and the tree has been rebalanced.

  • Simplified Colony Economy

Rearranged and rebalanced economic bonuses from sector upgrades. Less micromanagement.

  • Razing Colonies and Sectors

Player now gains resources for razing enemy colonies and sectors. More incentive to destroy captured colonies.

Faction Changes:

  • Racial Starting Bonuses

Each race has been given a short term bonus that is immediately active from the start of the game, and a long term bonus that affects the race during the whole game.

  • Secret Tech Starting Units

It often was too hard to open secret tech, so to fix this each race starts with a tier 2 secret tech unit.

  • Xenoplague Streamlining

The secret tech for this race allows players to start with a Pustule and immediately begin spreading plague from the first turn.

  • Amazon Animal and Forest Gameplay

Operations for creating forest have become cheaper and offer more bonuses. Amazon controlled wildlife now gain an inherent stat buff to make them more useful and this can be strengthened with research. Many of the types of wildlife can now evolve so that weak units can progress into strong ones. Powerful endgame wildlife units have also be added.

Spec Ops:

  • Rebalanced Covert Ops

Rebalanced covert ops to make them more useful and a new cosmite stealing operation. The distribution of operation strength/defense bonuses have been rearranged.

  • Rebalanced Doctrines

Doctrines have reduced costs to deploy. Racial and Secret doctrines have been slightly rearranged. Some doctrines will have shortcuts allowing players to unlock high level doctrines by doing economic research, and allowing players to earn doctrine slots by doing doctrine research.

  • Operations Interface Improvements (thank baby Jesus)

Several tabs have been merged so that the player can see everything at once.


  • War Coordination Improvements

AI players can now be directed to attack and defend specific locations.

  • Trading and Diplomatic Offers Rebalancing

Trade deals and diplomatic offers are more worthwhile for the player and AI. Many of the trade items have received balancing.

Strategic AI

  • Better Army Composition

Strategic AI is better at building higher level armies with more varied units, and less likely to create low level monotonous armies.

  • Prioritization Improvements

AI has become better at setting clear goals, less AI running after single unit groups and buffing up when opponents have built up their military.

Interfaces and Readability

  • More Readable Units, Clearer Overview Map, Clearer Level Tooltips

Better visibility of units in certain terrain, clearer overview maps, and better tooltip descriptions. Economic icons now have a red outline when occupied by the enemy.

Visit the Age of Wonders website for a more comprehensive description of each change.