Featured image by GameSkinny

Age of Wonders 4: How Affinity and Magic Tomes Work

Here's how to unlock the secrets of Affinity and Magic Tomes in Age of Wonders 4.

Age of Wonders 4 eschews the traditional tech tree often seen in most 4X strategy games. Instead, tech and research are tied to various Magic Tomes, each with its own set of spells. Our guide demystifies the research and Magic Tomes systems in Age of Wonders 4.

Recommended Videos

AoW4 Tome of Souls and Magic Tomes Research System Explained

Starting Magic Tomes and spells are dependent on what the chosen empire has available. This is either set by default (default empires/rulers) or customized if you make your own. You’ll find these options under the Tome of Souls tab when viewing or customizing an empire.

Here are some important details when it comes to Age of Wonders 4 Magic Tomes:

  • Tomes are categorized based on affinity:
    • Order
    • Chaos
    • Nature
    • Materium
    • Astral
    • Shadow
  • Each affinity has two Magic Tomes per tier (from Tier 1 to Tier 4) and one for the max level (Tier 5).
  • Affinities also correspond to certain spell schools and spell types:
    • Order — Spirit damage and stability.
    • Chaos — Fire element and swarm/horde units.
    • Nature — Animals, plant life, and forest growth.
    • Materium — Production and earth-based spells.
    • Astral — Lightning element and shielding.
    • Shadow — Ice element and necromancy/undead summoning.

How to Increase Affinity Tiers

Multiple Tomes need to be researched to increase your overall tier. For instance, your two initial Tomes must be fully researched before you can reach Tier 2. Lastly, you can shuffle the spells that can be researched if you don’t like the options that have appeared.

How to Pick a New Magic School

Screenshot by GameSkinny

Bear in mind that you have to research all or most of the spells for a particular Magic Tome if you want to select a new magic school. This is affected by a faction’s overall knowledge resource gains.

The Age of Wonders 4 Magic Tomes mechanic offers opportunities to come up with unique combinations and synergies. You can learn more in our best early-game spells guide. For other in-game information, you can visit our AoW4 guides hub.

GameSkinny is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez
Jason Rodriguez is a game reviewer and guides writer from the Philippines. With around 5,000 published articles, he's freelanced for numerous outlets, including GameSkinny, GameSpot, Polygon, IGN, PCGamesN, PC Invasion, and more.