How Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is bringing a modern RTS experience to Xbox players

A retinues of the Stormcast Eternals’ hammer-wielding Liberators are making their way across the battlefield with one goal

As the Stormcast Eternals gather resources, their forces grow in power, however, their more powerful units, like the Wyrmflame Stormdrake Guard and winged Prosecutors, soon enter the fray to take control of the battle – at the same time, however, the Kruleboyz unleash massing hordes of enemies and large monsters like the towering Mirebrute Troggoth to wipe these champions of Order out.

It’s not going to be an easy fight. But it’s going to be a heck of a lot of fun to watch.

This is what it’s like to play a multiplayer match in Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin, a major real-time strategy game based on Games Workshop’s® fantasy universe and developed by Frontier Developments, coming soon to Xbox Series X|S. Presenting a modern take on a much-loved genre, you’ll enjoy a narrative-driven campaign told from multiple perspectives, then jump into online, where you’ll select one of four distinctive factions in both 1v1 and 2v2 competitive cross-platform multiplayer modes (though you can play against the AI too, if you’d prefer). Each faction plays differently, and the battle changes drastically as players unlock each tier of the tech tree and new combatants enter the field.

Realms of Ruin presents players with a modern take on the RTS game, offering both genre newbies and hardened veterans a quickfire and compelling pick-up-and-play multiplayer experience. Built equally for PC and consoles, it was our goal from the start to ensure players could enjoy a comfortable yet flexible real-time strategy interface on Xbox.

That’s why we’ve created DirectStep™ for your Xbox controller, which does exactly that. In Realms of Ruin, you can give orders to selected squads by using a heading indicator. Pushing the left joystick in the desired direction and hitting the X button will allow you to rapidly snap a chain of movement orders together using the heading indicator, sending your squads across the battlefield in the direction you choose. The length of the heading indicator – and therefore how far the squad will move from a single order – is impacted by the zoom level of the camera, allowing for precise orders to be given when the camera is pulled right into the field of view. You can toggle both Direct and Attack movement orders, too, with the latter ordering your troops to engage any enemies they encounter along the way.

The right stick offers complete 360 degree control of the camera, giving you total command over the view of the battlefield – meaning you get the opportunity to enjoy the game’s authentic, high-fidelity and beautifully-animated Age of Sigmar units fighting up close. Or, if you’d prefer to zoom out for a classic RTS perspective, we put that choice in your hands.

Realms of Ruin’s controller interface does much more than enable simple movement orders on Xbox, too. If you want to select another squad elsewhere on the battlefield, all you have to do is tilt the left analogue stick towards the intended target and tap the A button. This instantly puts control of that squad in your hands, letting you jump around the map to control the tide of conflict on multiple fronts as you see fit. If you’d prefer more traditional RTS movement orders, pushing the left stick in will toggle Reticule Mode. This disconnects the camera from selected squads and allows for free camera movement, which can be used for plotting individual orders at greater distances. You can even hotkey groups of units using the d-pad, giving you even more instantaneous control of your armies.

Ultimately, the goal with DirectStep™ is to provide fast-paced inputs and fluid gameplay for players of any ability – whether they’re familiar with the heritage of RTS games on Xbox, or if they’re totally new and want to jump into a scrap for the first time. 

Players will be able to try DirectStep for themselves on July 7 to July 9, when the Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin Open Beta comes to Xbox. Both the Stormcast Eternals and Orruk Kruleboyz factions will be playable in 1v1 competitive matches. A second open beta will follow later this summer. Head to our official website if you’d like to learn more about it – we look forward to seeing you on the battlefields of the Mortal Realm Ghur!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is coming soon to Xbox Series X|S, and we can’t wait to tell you more about the remaining factions and ways to enjoy the game as we get closer to launch.