It's a good week for Age of Empires 4 fans, as in addition to the new "Sultans Ascend" expansion that's just launched across all platforms, we've also got an entirely free update which is now live on Xbox and PC as well.

The latest build is now known as Update 9.1.176, which specifically features the new Canal, Gorge and Rocky River maps along with various other improvements - Empire Wars coming to Quick Match, Walls now being simpler and easier to build, AI receiving several updates, and a whole bunch of balance changes and bug fixes.

"Fall is in the air, and our major update for Age of Empires IV: Anniversary Edition is stuffed with goodies! We’re cooking up a new Ranked Season, including a map pool rotation with a side of brand-new maps! And don’t forget to grab a slice of fun with our Fireside Festivities seasonal event!"

As for the Sultans Ascend expansion, we've already covered that in more detail elsewhere on Pure Xbox, but it seems to be going down pretty well so far - it has a "Mostly Positive" rating on Steam, and Xbox fan Klobrille gave it a 9/10:

The update is obviously free as we mentioned, while The Sultans Ascend expansion is £12.49 / $14.99 on the Xbox Store. If you're a Game Pass member, you also get a small discount off that price. We'll throw more details below:

"Lead powerful forces in defense of your homeland in The Sultans Ascend – the exciting new expansion to Age of Empires IV! Experience a brand-new campaign set in the Middle East, or command new civilizations with the Japanese and the Byzantines."

Are you jumping back into Age of Empires 4 this week? Tell us down in the comments!