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Introducing: Knights of the Mediterranean, new to Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition!



two knights in italian and malta garb battling it out on a hillside with an italian walled city in the background

Hello, adventurers! We know you’ve been waiting for all the news – and here it is. We’re excited to introduce Knights of the Mediterranean – the latest DLC for Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition! It is available for pre-order now on the Microsoft Store and Steam and will release on May 26!

Get ready to control the Mediterranean with two exciting civilizations: the Italians and the Maltese, plus enjoy a whole slew of new maps, and some engaging game modes! Are you ready to jump in? Take a look at these incoming features:

  • 2 new Civilizations
  • 30 new Random Maps
  • 9 new Minor Civilizations
  • 8 Historical Maps
  • Diplomacy Game mode
  • Tycoon Game mode
Table of Contents:


Fabulously wealthy merchant republics, kingdoms, duchies, and even the Papacy had driven the Renaissance and dominated the trade networks of the Mediterranean. However, when the Italian polities were not engaged in conflicts abroad, they fought each other nearly incessantly, until the Risorgimento gave rise to the new Kingdom of Italy.

Image of venice with turquoise and gold buildings plus some small boats

Unite a wealthy but splintered Italy while new Settlers flock to your booming empire with every technological breakthrough, and Architects construct buildings for free!

Invest at the Lombard to optimize your economy and turn a quick profit, or construct a towering Basilica and send Papal soldiers to strengthen and complement your army!

Use shielded Pavisiers to lure opponents into an ambush of Bersaglieri, or let Elmetti lower their lances and carry the day with a thundering charge!

Image of the Italian flag

Civilization Features

  • Home City: Venice (customizable!)
  • Starts with an Explorer and an Architect.
  • Receives a free Settler with every technology and economic buildings can research them in any age.
  • Can send Basilica units to spawn at any military shipment point.

Unique Buildings

  • Basilica (I, 200w 200c)
    • The Basilica ships powerful Papal allies and boosts nearby building construction speed.
  • Lombard (I, 100w 100c)
    • The Lombard trains Outlaws and Mercenaries, but is also host to a unique investment mechanic, allowing the conversion of resources for free, but over time.

Unique Units

  • Architect
    • Inspired by the original plans for an Italian civilization, Italians have a unique civilian unit called Architect.
      • Can build free, but very slowly.
      • Can pay for foundations to build very fast.
      • Partly built free foundations can be converted into paid foundation for part of the cost, to finish construction quickly, including with normal Villagers.
  • Pavisier
    • Instead of normal Crossbowmen, Italians have access to the unique Pavisier, which can change its armor with different stances.
  • Schiavone
    • Specialized Light Infantry that only counters other Light Infantry, but does so very effectively.
  • Papal Guard
    • Papal hand infantry that protects nearby allies by absorbing some of the inflicted damage. Can hook enemies with his halberd to slow them down.
  • Papal Lancer
    • Papal heavy cavalry that absorbs some of the damage inflicted to nearby allies. Counters ALL Infantry.
  • Papal Zouaves
    • Papal ranged infantry with high hitpoints that absorbs some of the damage inflicted to nearby allies. Performs well against all units. Countered by Artillery.
  • Papal Bombard
    • Papal Artillery that absorbs some of the damage inflicted to nearby allies. Good against Infantry.

Home City Cards

The Italians have access to a variety of new cards that will aid you on your path to unity and victory!

  • Around 50 unique cards tailored to the Italian civilization.
  • “Company” Cards that send complementing combinations of Natives, Mercenaries, or other European allies.

We’ve picked a few noteworthy examples for cards with a variety of unique behaviors.

Italian Unique Cards
card with image featuring a renaissance garbed man standing next to a globe

TEAM Marco Polo Voyages: Arrives fast! TEAM Explores the black areas of the map and doubles the resource rewards granted by treasures. Any resources already looted are granted to your team again.

image for the arsenal in age iii with an anchor over it

Venetian Arsenal: Ships 1 Arsenal Wagon. Docks work much faster when an Arsenal is nearby.

image of machiavellian-type man in a pose as if plotting

Machiavellianism: Arrives fast! Improves your Italian Explorer in combat, enables him to pick up Treasures nearly instantly and gives him a powerful canine companion.

image of 4 flags with a coin in the middle

Merchant Republics: Ships 1 Trading Post Wagon. Grants resources for past and future control of Trading Routes.
 • Delivers 1 Trading Post Wagon.
 • Trade Routes: 20% of ALL resources you have earned so far are granted to you again.
 • Trade Routes: Future income improved by +30%.

military uniformed officer on horse with sword drawn

Guardia di Finanza: The financial police collects Coin for each enemy unit you have defeated so far.     

Company Cards
knight holding a lance on horse with another military guard in the background

Broken Lance Company: Ships a number of Papal Lancer and Stradiots.

image of three knights hospitaller

Maltese Company: Ships a number Fire Throwers, Hospitallers, and Inquisitors.

image of two knights, and one of them has a gun drawn

Black Company: Ships a number of Black Riders and Armored Pistoleers.

And many more…



One of the Mediterranean’s epitomes of a melting pot, Malta was strategically and financially important, and thus most of the surrounding powers coveted it, becoming a stronghold of the Knights Hospitaller.

image of malta with mud buildings and a very busy port with a fort to one side

Guard the Mediterranean against incursions with unique fortifications, don shining armor to fend off attacks, and shell opponents from afar with Fixed Guns.

Fire Throwers and greatswords win battles, but the superior logistics of your Commandery win wars. Luckily, you can have both!

Fighting at sea with Order Galleys may wet the gunpowder, but your Arbalesters won’t mind. You can always restock at a Gunpowder Depot, or blow it up when an enemy army marches past!

Maltese flag with red background and white hospitaller cross

Civilization Features

  • Home City: Valletta (customizable!)
  • Starts with a Grand Master.
  • Maltese units gain additional hitpoints with each shipment and heal overtime when idle.

Unique Buildings

  • Hospital (II, 100W)
    • Trains Maltese infantry. Heals idle units.
  • Commandery (II, 250W 100C)
    • Units that can be garrisoned may be deployed from ANY other Commandery. Trains powerful foreign allies from around Europe who pledge their allegiance to the Knights of St. John.
  • Depot (II, 50W 50C)
    • Depot filled to the brim with gunpowder. Boosts attack speed of nearby Gunpowder Units, Artillery and Buildings. Will EXPLODE if destroyed, damaging ALL units.
  • Fixed Gun (III, 100W 600C)
    • Powerful stationary artillery.

Unique Units

  • Grand Master
    • The hero of your civilization. Explores, fights, builds Fortifications and Trading Posts. Cannot die. If he falls unconscious, he can be rescued.
  • Hospitaller
    • Hand infantry. Absorbs damage. Faster near Buildings.
  • Sentinel
    • Defensive Musketeer that may construct Outposts. Stronger near Buildings, especially Fortifications.
  • Fire Thrower
    • Light Infantry that attacks with incendiary weapons which inflict burning damage. Counters Heavy Infantry and Light Cavalry.

Home City Cards

The Maltese have access to a variety of new cards that will aid you on your path to unity and victory!

  • Around 65 unique cards tailored to the Maltese civilization.
  • “Tongue” Cards that send units from other European nations in support of your cause.
Maltese Unique Cards
image of a ship firing fire onto another ship

Greek Fire: Enables Docks to construct Fire Ships. Explosive vessels stowed with Greek fire, a secret incendiary mixture which inflicts considerable damage upon contact.

image of a tower firing fire from its top

Fire Towers: Researches Frontier Outposts and enables an additional powerful short-ranged fire attack.

image of a watchtower card with french and swiss flags in the background

Wignacourt Constructions: Settlers gather natural resources significantly faster when nearby a Town Center or Outpost.

4 knights around a round table with swords pointed towards the middle

TEAM Knights of the Round Table: The Knights of the Round Table ship 1 Hospitaller to each TEAM member for each Town Center they have on the map. Also grants +2% hitpoints to all Units on your team, unlike your other TEAM cards.

knight shooting fire from a gun

Fire Throwers: Equips Fire Throwers with a Flamethrower, a powerful charged attack that inflicts considerable Burning Damage in close-range combat.  

Tongue Cards
image of hospitaller cross on italian flag

Italian Tongue: Ships a Commandery Wagon and a number of powerful Order Schiavoni. Enables Commanderies to recruit more.

hospitaller cross on a french flag

French Tongue: Ships a Commandery Wagon and a number of powerful Order Cuirassiers. Enables Commanderies to recruit them.

hospitaller cross on a german flag

German Tongue: Ships a Commandery Wagon and a number of Settler Wagons. Enables Commanderies to recruit them.   

And many more…

Historical Maps

Historical Maps are a new variation of Random Maps. Randomly generated for endless replayability, but with unique objectives for each map, based on some of the most memorable conflicts on the European continent.

  • The Italian Wars
  • Eighty Years’ War
  • The Deluge
  • Great Turkish War
  • Great Northern War
  • Napoleonic Wars
  • Russo-Turkish Wars
  • The Thirty Years’ War (multiplayer only)

European Royal Houses

European Royal House Depiction in game

With the Introduction of over 30 new European Maps, 9 new Minor Civilizations enter the game, adding an arsenal of unique new units, technologies, and abilities.

Representing larger entities whose influence transcended national borders rather than individual people-groups, European Royal Houses thematically blur the lines between major and minor civilizations in Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition. Like Native American Settlements, Asian Holy Sites, and African Kingdoms, a Trading Post must be built on European Royal Houses’ Palaces to ally with them. Royal Houses provide a unique ability and more units and technologies on average than other minor civilizations, but these are staggered across multiple ages rather than being available in the Exploration Age. These assets are quite impactful and the units often utilize novel mechanics – such as unit promotions, charged actions, (dis)mounting, and damage deflection – but tend to come at a higher cost than their counterparts.

Royal Houses

  • House of Bourbon
  • House of Wittelsbach
  • House of Oldenburg
  • House of Hanover
  • House of Phanar
  • House of Jagiellon
  • House of Vasa
  • House of Habsburg
  • House of Wettin

New Game Modes


A brand new way to experience Multiplayer with your friends. Allowing players to change their allegiance to other players during the course of the match. Negotiate with your friends over war & peace… and make them pay for it!

diplomacy mode window player summary

This new diplomacy mode is available for all existing random maps! Additionally, one map has been specially crafted around this game mode, the multi-player exclusive diplomacy map “Thirty Years’ War“.


Tycoon is a new Game Mode to accompany Supremacy, Deathmatch and Empire Wars.

Economy Mode Challenge List

Designed to focus on the economy-building of Age of Empires III: Definitive Edition, this new Game Mode provides a setting where players concentrate on creating the strongest economies for their empires, without having to bolster armies or defend against full-scale sieges. 

List of Achievements

Achievement Name Achievement Condition Score
Tongues of Europe Send 3 different “Tongue” Home City cards as Malta. 10
Demolition Derby Deal 2000 Damage with Depot explosions. 10
The Great Siege Deal 10,000 Damage with Fixed Guns. 15
Heavy Metal Rain Defeat 30 Units with Fixed Guns. 5
Knights Hospital Heal 4000 Health points playing as the Maltese. 5
Business Trip Deploy ‘Trip to Jerusalem’ from your Home City shipments as the Maltese. 5
Maltese Victory Win a game as the Maltese. 5
Alone against the World Win on the Eighty Years’ War Historical Map defending 1v7 against Humans or Hard AI. 15
Cossack Captain Win on the Deluge Historical Map against Humans or Hard AI. 15
Defense of the Headquarters Destroy the Headquarters in The Eighty Years’ War or Great Turkish War Historical Maps. 10
Scorched Earth Raze 20 Village Houses in The Deluge or The Thirty Years’ War Historical Maps. 5
Uphill Battle Capture five Strategic Points from an enemy in The Napoleonic Wars Historical Map. 10
Bring out the Big Guns Deal 3000 Damage with captured Fixed Guns in the Great Turkish War or Russo-Turkish War maps. 5
International Supporters Send 50 Units from the Basilica. 10
Technological Boom Research 50 Technologies as the Italians. 10
Investment Banker Transform 15,000 Resources using Lombards. 10
Free Real Estate Construct 200 Buildings with Architects. 5
Bersaglieri Battalion Deal 5000 Damage with Bersaglieri. 10
Italian Victory Win a game as the Italians. 5
La Serenissima Unlock 5 Italian Home City Customizations. 5
Economic Super Power Achieve 1st place for 3 challenges in a Tycoon mode game. 5
Ok Boomer Build 3 Town Centers in a Tycoon mode game. 5
Grand Exchange Generate 10,000 Tycoon score from exchanging resources for Tycoon Packages. 5
Imperium Meet the Economic Victory conditions in a Tycoon mode game and win. 15
Wealth of Empires Complete a Tycoon mode game with 10 Different Civilizations. 10

Pre-Order Now!

Ready to explore and battle it out with all the new things? Knights of the Mediterranean is available for pre-order from the Microsoft Store and Steam!

two knights battling in out with the text Age of Empires III: Definitive Edtion and Knights of the Mediterranean

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Coming Soon to Xbox Game Pass: PowerWash Simulator, Last Call BBS, Escape Academy, and More



Xbox Game Pass - July Hero

We’re back and we’ve got more games to announce (act surprised)! Some are available on day one, some are returning fan favorites (looking at you Yakuza!), but most importantly they are all coming soon (yes, even “today soon”). Let’s jump in!

Available Today

Last Call BBS (PC) [email protected]
Available on day one with PC Game Pass: Boot up your Z5 Powerlance and dial into Last Call BBS, the last game from Zachtronics! The Barkeep’s loaded up his retro computer with a full set of puzzle games for you to download and play. No need to worry about copy protection, they’re all fully cracked and ready to enjoy.

Yakuza 0 (Cloud, Console, and PC)
The glitz, glamour, and unbridled decadence of the 80s are back in Yakuza 0. Play as Kazuma Kiryu, a low-ranking yakuza, who gets caught in a world of trouble when a simple debt collection goes wrong. Then, step into the silver-toed shoes of Goro Majima and explore his “normal” life as the proprietor of a cabaret club.

Yakuza Kiwami (Cloud, Console, and PC)
1995, Kamurocho. Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, takes the fall for the murder of a crime boss to protect his sworn brother, Akira Nishikiyama, and his childhood friend, Yumi. Experience the story that kicked off the legendary Yakuza series, with all the drama, action, and hilarious minigames you’d expect.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 (Cloud, Console, and PC)
An assassination threatens to erupt an all-out war between the Tojo Clan and the Omi Alliance. Kazuma Kiryu, the Dragon of Dojima, must travel to Sotenbori, Osaka to broker peace between the rival clans, but Ryuji Goda, the Dragon of Kansai, will stop at nothing to get his war.

Coming Soon

DJMax Respect V (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] – July 7
DJMax Respect V is the latest installment from the creators of the critically acclaimed rhythm game franchise DJMax. Experience tracks from popular artists such as Marshmello, Porter Robinson, and Yukika, exclusive Full HD Music Videos, online multiplayer, new game modes, and more!


Matchpoint: Tennis Championships (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] – July 7
Available on day one with Game Pass: Matchpoint: Tennis Championships is a modern take on tennis, featuring a true-to-life on-court experience supported by a deep career mode and unique rivalry system. The game places a strong focus on tactical realism, positioning and aiming, allowing the player to move their superstar in exactly the right way to get the most out of their shots.

Road 96 (Cloud, Console, and PC) – July 7
On this risky road trip to the border, you’ll meet incredible characters, and discover their intertwined stories and secrets in an ever-evolving adventure. But every mile opens a choice to make. Your decisions will change your adventure, change the people you meet, maybe even change the world.

Escape Academy (Console and PC) [email protected] – July 14
Available on day one with Game Pass: You’ve just arrived at Escape Academy, a school where promising students train to become the ultimate Escapist. Play over a dozen masterfully hand-crafted rooms, designed by experienced experts in the field of real-life escape rooms.

My Friend Peppa Pig (Cloud, Console, and PC) – July 14
Start a fun-filled adventure with Peppa Pig! Create your character, ring the doorbell, and step into the TV show. Peppa suggests activities everywhere you go, from the Museum to Potato City. Help find Daddy Pig’s glasses, follow forest tracks, splash in muddy puddles, and more. Every playtime is different!

Overwhelm (PC) [email protected] – July 14
You’re outnumbered, low on ammunition and the paranoia sets in. Overwhelm is an action horror-world platformer where enemies get power ups and you don’t. Explore the oppressive caverns of the hive, guided only by a sparse map. As you defeat each of the five unique bosses, their abilities get distributed to the enemies of the world with escalating difficulty.

PAW Patrol The Movie: Adventure City Calls (Cloud, Console, and PC) – July 14
A big city means a bigger adventure! When Ryder and the PAW Patrol learn that Mayor Humdinger has taken over a buzzing metropolis, they must race into action to save Adventure City from his selfish scheming. The pups need you to join Team PAWsome!

PowerWash Simulator (Cloud, Console, and PC) – July 14
Available on day one with Game Pass: Release the pressure with PowerWash Simulator and wash away your worries with the soothing sounds of high-pressure water. Fire up your power washer and blast away every speck of dirt and grime you can find. Lose yourself to the simple satisfaction of power-washing to a sparkling finish.

In Case You Missed It

House Flipper (Cloud, Console, and PC) [email protected] – Available now
This is where your interior design imagination meets gaming! Reach for your best decor, furnishing, and color scheme ideas. As a professional flipper, you’ll be met with tons of makeover opportunities, clients with sublime requirements, and a handful of tools suitable for every job. Learn more here.

DLC/Game Updates


Marvel’s Avengers Introduces Jane Foster as The Mighty Thor – Available now
Jane Foster joins the Marvel’s Avengers roster as the Mighty Thor in a free update.  She possesses all the strength and power of a God of Thunder, but with human touches all her own. This update adds to a game already packed with content, including a sprawling single-player story campaign, ten playable heroes, and endless multiplayer action for up to four players. Learn more here.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perks

Fall Guys: Robo Rabbit Costume – Available now
Battle bizarre obstacles, shove through unruly competitors, and overcome the unbending laws of physics as you stumble towards greatness. Hop your way towards the Crown as Robo Rabbit, the adorable android bunny! 

FIFA 22: Supercharge Pack – Available now
Boost your Ultimate Team with the Supercharge Pack, featuring 10 players rated 80 or above and a choice of one of four Team of the Season Loan Players rated 95 and above for five games to help you dominate on the pitch!

MLB The Show 22: Summer Bundle – July 12
Celebrate summer at the ballpark! The MLB The Show 22 Summer Bundle is here, with one Diamond Cover Athlete choice pack, one Diamond Ballplayer Pack, and five The Show Packs. That’s 29 total items!

Halo Infinite: Pass Tense Rocket Warthog Bundle – July 13
Customize your Season 2: Lone Wolves arsenal with the exclusive “Pass Tense” Rocket Warthog Vehicle Coating, four 2XP Boosts and four Challenge Swaps!

Century: Age of Ashes – Krød Slaglands Dragon Bundle – July 14
Unleash the dragons for Season 1! Claim your Krød Slaglands dragon, Armour, Player Icon and XP Booster.

Leaving July 15


The following games are leaving the Game Pass library soon, so be sure to jump back in and tie up any loose ends before they go. Of course, you also have the option to save up to 20% on your purchase to keep them!

  • Atomicrops (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Carrion (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Children of Morta (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Cris Tales (Cloud, Console, and PC)
  • Lethal League Blaze (Cloud, Console, and PC)

That’s a nice collection of games coming to the library if I say so myself. Let us know what you’re looking forward to the most over at @XboxGamePass or @XboxGamePassPC and stick around to the Wire or keep an eye on the Xbox Game Pass Mobile app for updates for when these games are available. Catch you next time!

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