DevBlog: The Anno world and authenticity

“If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus.”
Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

“They make a desert and call it peace.”

 Tacitus, Roman Historian, quoting the Scottish chieftain Calgacus.

As announced with the reveal of Anno 117: Pax Romana just a few weeks ago, we’ll be taking you on a journey through the development of our game over the months until release.

Today, we’ve asked our Senior Game Writer, Matt Cook, to lead us through the world of Anno 117 and how we create Anno worlds inspired by ancient history.

Pax Romana

117 AD. A time of peace… mostly.

The Roman bubble has expanded to bursting, swallowing territory from the Atlantic coast to the fertile crescent in the east. Rome has absorbed countless societies and cultures through conquest, that it is now obliged to call part of Rome, whether or not it is able to govern them.

Gone are the days of powerful voices in the Senate on such matters—ambitious officials gather instead around the Emperor’s throne; a seat easy to fall into, easier still to fall out of. Under the Pax Romana, these Emperors look to consolidate and build. Great projects are now no longer just for the city of Rome. In distant provinces, new cities (neapoles) are springing up to gather local taxes, feats of engineering are undertaken— walls, bridges, aqueducts. This is a global roman template, urban and geometric, to be unboxed wherever Rome is sovereign.

Ambitions for the provinces such as these, fuel decadent fashions back home. Like blood around the body, the heart of the empire controls the flow of goods, luxuries, technology. Its people have demands that must be met!

But some of these fringe provinces, Albion chief among them, are like the wild west. Governed by displaced indigenes, washed-up soldiers, outlaws, and you the player, the freedoms on offer here, don’t yet outnumber the dangers.

To the Romans, Albion is a land of both poverty and opportunity— underdeveloped, but strong in horses, metals and metalworking expertise. As a Roman Governor, you preside over a wilderness, and a people whose culture long pre-dates your own—how will you rule? How open will you be to their ways?

Inspiration vs. Authenticity

The broad outline described above shouldn’t be too contentious to historians, but how much do we stick to history in the actual game? In short, the answer is: we need to cherry-pick and take liberties with the history to keep the game FUN.

Anno is a world of islands. It has no real-world place names, no real-world people, no strict measure, even, of the passing of time. This immediately paints a picture of a parallel universe that does not necessarily have to follow the rules of our own world – while still feeling real!

Roman buildings you’ll see in game are both meticulously researched by the artists, but also products of artistic liberty and design requirements. As for Celtic buildings, sometimes an artist’s guess may anyway be as good as a historian’s. We must always remind ourselves that we are dealing with a period of history about which evidence is often limited.

Still, we designers are committed to sound research, and keen to incorporate as much detail, large and small, that we think creates a true (and fun!) impression of the time period. From beliefs to technological exchanges, we aim to show how Rome’s provinces began to invert the identity of Rome itself.

Naturally we invest in creating plausible historical characters too. We decided, for instance, that we want female characters to play a greater role in our parallel version of history than they did back in Roman times (Everything in the history points to a deeply patriarchal society in which women had very little power or freedom). Nevertheless, we strive to make them appear in roles that have some credibility, though in at least one case we break the rules entirely, simply because we like the idea of doing so. This is the trump card in Anno, reserved for the moments a better version of the game needs us to let go of realism.

The Provinces


With its serene breezes, azure coves, fields of wheat and lavender, Latium is a forgotten treasure of a province, close to the heart of the empire. Years ago, a volcanic eruption devastated local cities, driving people away from the province, allowing nature to take over.

Now, in the time of the Pax Romana, many officials, including the Emperor, question why such a gem should remain deserted for old superstitions. In their view it is time for renewal: for new cities to spring up where nature ran riot, for the curse of history to be buried once and for all. Surely, with its beaches, villas and marinas, this place will make the perfect retreat for the wealthy of Rome, and be the perfect opportunity for an upcoming Governor to make a name for themselves.

Superficially, it’s paradise, the epitome of Roman Italy— tranquil, restful, a place of luxury and for pleasure-seekers looking to swim with the dolphins. Still, the brighter the summer, the thicker the shade: mysterious forces operate below the surface here, that may at first go unnoticed.


Roman invaders first encountered the white cliffs of Albion generations ago. Several times they attempted to master the marsh-ridden land and its warlike people, never entirely managing to do so.

When they want to prove themselves, Emperors always look to Albion for triumph and trophies because expeditions to Albion are like mythic quests to Romans. To them, the Celts appear as far removed from civilisation as anything in the imagination.

Still, on paper, they call Albion a Roman province, and exports of strange culinary delicacies plucked with grimy hands from its muddy mires are becoming ever more popular back home—call it a taste of the exotic.

Celts just do everything differently, and while the Romans consider some of them beastly barbarians, they are at the same time fascinated by their craft and ideas, and have no compunctions taking what they need from them, if it works.

As for the Celts, those who come to your cities in Albion in search of shelter may no longer have a tribe or a place to call home. For although the Romans have brought destruction to their door, they also offer peace (a very rare thing in those days), education, warm baths and best of all…wine!

We hope this article also sets your imagination loose and we’re curious: What was your first thought on seeing the announcement of Anno 117: Pax Romana? Which event, theme or even personality was your first association for the Roman Empire and its provinces? We’re looking forward to your comments!

DevBlog: The Anno Brand – Crafted with Care

What’s this, a new Anno logo? Have they now really abandoned the good old wooden plank from the days of Anno 1404?

Well, we used the last year(s) to not only refine our vision for Anno 117: Pax Romana and start the development of the game, but also to think about Anno as a brand overall and its visual identity. Today, let’s talk about branding with Haye Anderson, our Brand Director.

Note: If you’ve watched our livestream on July 2nd (VOD can be found here) you will have already heard most of this. But we wanted to also have this information here on the Anno Union – and share the Behind the Scenes video with you!

Having flourished over the last 25 years, the newest evolution of ANNO immerses players in the cultural melting pot of the Pax Romana, and at the start of its development, the team discusses topics like: “what makes up an Anno game?” or “why does this new Anno need to exist?” The reason we ask ourselves these questions is because, as we add new features (or take some away), we always need to keep the core of the product intact. And know it or not, these questions are just as important for Brand as they are for Game Design!

We start with some self-discovery by identifying the core pillars we consider make Anno “Anno”. As a branded product, Anno must have five certain things:

  1. A historical setting that feels real
  2. Top-notch graphics
  3. Rich gameplay experience
  4. Complexity (the challenge is the fun)
  5. Peacefulness

As some of you have pointed out, there are two Anno games with a futuristic setting. And yes, we also consider them Anno games as they fulfil all 4 other aspects. The historic games, however, are what the series was founded on (Anno 1602), where it found it greatest success (Anno 1800) and where it’s moving towards (Anno 117), that’s why the “historical setting” pillar plays such a central role in our new brand guidelines.

The “Peacefulness” pillar does not exclude warfare. As you are all very much aware, all Anno games included military aspects and conflict to varying degrees. However, we don’t see Anno as a warfare-focused game: Economy, logistics, diplomacy and creativity are playing a much bigger role.

When we boil these core pillars of the game down, they become our Brand Values that guide our daily work within the Anno Dev brand team!

1) CRAFT : Uncompromising on the quality of the game and marketing materials
2) AUTHENTICITY : Deeply researched stories & settings that always feel real (even if they are not)
3) EMOTION : Immersive experiences that engage the heart of the player
4) INTELLIGENCE : Enriching challenges that stimulate the mind

These four core brand values also helped us (as a brand) find our purpose, and answer that big question of: “why does Anno exist?” SIMPLE, as a brand we cultivate the joy of building! Anno revolves around themes of legacy and creation, which we believe our audience passionately resonate with, too, and central to this is our design ethos ‘Crafted With Care’, inspired by attention to detail – a mindset shared by both our fans and our development teams!


In a future blog, we’ll also look at the Design side of things and how these high-level Brand Pillars and the Design concepts come together in Anno 117: Pax Romana.

While the brand has been refreshed, you’ll notice we didn’t get rid of things that are beloved, like the number 9; however we also reimagined some things like the wooden plank:
Allowing the symbol itself to act as a vessel allows it to hold all sorts of materials –  more than just wood – and it allows us to tell a bigger story of production, craft, and building in Anno 117: Pax Romana.

When developing the logo, we wanted it to feel like more than just a logo, we wanted it to feel like a tool in the hands of a builder; we were inspired by the caliper, which was a tool used to measure a distance between two points on a map – it symbolized trade and exploration. This felt really perfect for us as a brand, and this then became the foundation of our symbol.

BUT many people see a house, the flame of a candle, or the arrow of a compass. And that’s the beauty of brand identity: it leaves your own control and is given additional meaning by the community.

The brand’s visual identity is drawing inspiration from traditional crafts (some of which are featured in the game), and brought forward into a digital-first system that seamlessly blends the old and new ways of building. We crafted a lot of the brand by hand, from forging the logo out of metal over mixing the paints (which became the brand colours), to even carving the typeface. We wanted the brand to feel built, just like how our players build in the game!


Have a look at our Behind the Scenes video below for more impressions on the process and insights directly from our partners at Wolff Olins.

Twitch has been deactivated. Do you accept the use of cookies to display and allow you to watch the video content?
Set Cookies

I acceppt Cookies

Something like this has not been seen in the gaming industry before, but we believe the effort was essential to bring our premier builder game to life!


To summarize our work and ambitions:
Drawing inspiration from the classical period, the Anno brand’s colors, bespoke typeface and graphic language together form the foundations of a builder in those ancient times. Creating a system that is designed to support the purpose of building and a celebration of craftspersonship.

Much like the great nations of the past, the new mark represents a collective mindset – fusing craft, the power of the human spirit and the ambition of building for future greatness.

Meticulous in detail and crafted with care, the symbol becomes a tool wielded by the community to shape their ANNO world.


As per requests from several of you, we’re offering a wallpaper of the logo variations and our colour tests in 1440p as download.

Did we leave any questions unanswered? Is there anything else you’d like to learn about the topic of branding or logo design? Leave us a comment below!

DevBlog: The Steampunk Pack CDLC

Hey Anno Community,

Prepare yourself a cup of steamy tea and get ready for a nice read because today, after much teasing, it is finally time to dive into our upcoming Cosmetic DLC: the Steampunk Pack! If you watched our End-of the-Year livestream back in December, you might have noticed a small teaser that redirected you to a mysterious page set up by none other than Old Nate, who was secretly “leaking” important information and clues on the content of the Steampunk Pack. Safe to say we got that situation under control now… right?

Unreal new skins

The focus of this Cosmetic DLC is innovation and progress, which perfectly marries with the overall vibe of Anno 1800 and the Industrial Revolution era. However, with the Steampunk Pack, you’ll discover a new peculiar side to the age of innovation: steam-powered machinery and aesthetics, highly advanced, but quite unnecessary in application. This was the humorous twist that Laura – Prop Artist on Anno and self-appointed CDLC Overlord – wanted to give to this pack, and we are all for it. The Dragonfly Man taking off to the sky from the “Unreal University” is a perfect example of this, don’t you think?

The idea with this is not taking ourselves, as humanity, too seriously. Sometimes we have this new technology, and we try to implement it everywhere, whether it makes sense or not, and most of the time it doesn’t with these ornaments.  And this is my kind of humour!

Laura, Prop Artist

The University building is not the only one receiving a new skin with the Steampunk Pack. This pack also includes skins for the Investors’ residences and the Church, that will be transformed into the “Temple of Progress”: considering the huge telescope towering over the building, the name sounds like perfect fit. Who knows what they will find?

It’s all in the details

Is it getting steamy in here or is there a bath house in your city? The biggest ornament of this CDLC is the Steam Spa, the place that will make your residents relax and forget about their daily worries. Plus, it’s all automated! Of course, the Steam Spa is only one of the many ornaments in this pack, all characterised by moving clogs and wheels, almost mesmerising your residents: from a beautiful Celestial Fountain surrounded by bubbly steam to a small aquarium hosting the most exotic underwater creatures. However, one statue reigns supreme in this pack: Eva.Porator, an ornament that emblematically symbolises one of the biggest inspirations of this pack, Metropolis – a German science-fiction film from the 1920s.

Celestial tiling and bronze lining

Needless to say, we are obsessed with the colour theme in this pack: from the metallic shades of bronze and gold shining under the light of the sun to the celestial blues of the ground tiles and building windows. This colour  in the different tiles, as well: not just one, but three different tiles for you to build the perfect paths and plazas around your cities.


All aboard the New Era Express!

It wouldn’t be a Steampunk Pack worthy of its name without a train skin, don’t you think? Well, in this CDLC you get two of them! The “Steamliner” and the “New Era Express”. And speaking of means of transport, the flagship is completely unrecognisable with the “Nautilus” skin, a beautiful reference to the fictional submarine belonging to Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas”.

The Steampunk Pack will be available starting 14th May on PC and consoles, for the usual price of 4.99€ or your regional equivalent.

If you’d like to see the new ornaments in action before that, we recommend watching our birthday livestream VOD, where we had a first look at the full pack with the guidance of its creator, Laura.

We cannot wait to admire your cities decorated with the Steampunk Pack!

List of full content

  • Eccentric Overpass
  • Celestial fountain
  • Eva.Porator
  • Steam O’Clock
  • Aquarium
  • Adver-Turner
  • Steam Spa
  • Celestial Tiles, three types
  • Steam Pipe
  • Investors residence skins
  • “Temple of Progress” Church skin
  • “Steamliner” Train skin
  • “New Era Express” train skin
  • “Nautilus” Flagship skin
  • “Unreal University” University skin

DevBlog – The Eldritch Pack CDLC

Boo, Anno Community – happy Halloween!

What better day to finally showcase one of the most awaited Cosmetic DLCs of all time in the history of Anno 1800? This is not a drill, you read that right in the title – our next Cosmetic DLC will be the Eldritch Pack! Those of you who have been following us for a long time have probably seen this name pop up a couple of times in the past, mostly during the Community Vote for CDLCs – and you probably know that it holds a special place in the hearts of the Anno team.

Last week, you might have seen a small teaser of what you will find in this new Cosmetic DLC, but are you ready to be spooked and let yourself get carried away by glimmering lights, twisted trees and gargoyle statues? If your answer is yes, then…

… Something wicked this way comes!

Forgotten places, mysterious statues and Gothic architecture

Let’s start with one of our favourite ornaments from this pack: nothing screams Eldritch (pun intended) more than the Forgotten Abbey you saw in our teaser, don’t you think? It seems that this place has been abandoned for years, becoming a distant echo of the past. Left in ruins, now overrun by nature and eerie tranquillity. Is that all there is? Those green, flickering lights on the quiet surface of the water suggest something else…

The Eldritch Pack would not be complete without gothic statues: did anybody say Gargoyles? Not only is there a Gargoyle statue in the pack, but you can also spot some gargoyles on the Gothic Fence, standing tall and peering into your deepest thoughts. Not to mention the majesty of the Statue of Lady Morningstar. Look at all that grace! 

For all the fans of gothic architecture and style in the Anno Community: this pack will be undoubtedly a dream – or a nightmare, if you prefer – come true. Once you decorate your cities with the new ornaments, you will find yourself wandering around the Dreamspire at dusk or sitting at the Wishing Well hoping for your desires to become reality.

Gothic ornaments call for Gothic building skins

Do not get fooled by the cheerful atmosphere around the Old Inn, as the thick fog can bewilder anyone when they least expect it. The Worker and Artisan residences, on the other hand, are surrounded by a strange tranquillity. However, we heard rumours about… ghosts? Weird figures have been spotted creeping into the night, making our residents’ dreams less sweet and more frightening.

Even the Hospital now seems to be changed, somehow. Is it just us, or does it look even more imposing than before? A thick, mysterious haziness surrounds it, hiding all its secrets from prying eyes. 

After all this ornaments & skins talk, it is time for our favourite part: Q&A with the Art Team! We asked some questions to Laura, Prop Artist on Anno, to get some insights on the creative process behind the Eldritch Pack.

What was the main source of inspiration for this pack?

It was a bit of a strange mishmash, on one hand all those lone Victorian spooky villas with their gorgeous windows, towers and verandas. On the other hand, the ornamental charm of gothic architecture and statues. It was clear we wanted Grotesques and Gargoyles and a lot of fog to surround suspicious standalone villas. From that point on, ideas just popped up and this CDLC happened.

What was the hardest ornament/skin to create? Why?

The hardest were the residence skins. This time around we decided to not only paint the skins, but to as well alter the geometry. We deleted most of the second buildings, leaving only one standalone house and then created a geometry kit to add new windows, verandas and towers. Designing those was quite challenging, especially the Artisan houses, since those have quite a different base building structure.

We have noticed there are quite a few secrets hiding in this pack. Although we won’t spoil the surprise here for the players, could you talk about your approach in their creation?

It was super fun obviously, it is always nice, after being dedicated to one strong theme for such a long time, to add some funny little details to bring it to life. There is not really one inspiration or anything, it’s more like… my mind is a huge alive Pinterest of all the stuffs I’ve seen, read and listened to, basically a culture melting pot of my time and circumstances and if prompted with a certain theme it just delivers back to me.

Are you an Eldritch/spooky stuff fan yourself?

Whilst I love the ornaments and the architectural designs as well as the general mood and colouring of it all, I can’t take anything remotely spooky myself. Real life and human beings are spooky enough as it is, no need for more horror than that. 😉

Which ornament and/or skin from this pack do you consider your favourite? Is there a particular reason?

I really love the Ruined Abbey. I love the idea of nature taking back those places, and I appreciate the beauty of those buildings. The idea of those grand architectural achievements coupled with wild overgrowing nature fascinates me. Also, I really love the set dressing, placing plants everywhere and making it look all green and wild… just love that.

I really like the big spooky tree, too, since it’s based of one of the 1000-year-old oaks from Ivenack, a childhood place I used to go to a lot, so it holds a special place in my heart.

And then there is the Asylum. I just love how it turned out so imposing and it was a great fusion of minds between our concept artist Damian and me. I really love how working on assets together and having great concept art like that one takes a design to a whole other level.

What’s left to say? Get ready for a treat – no tricks here, promise – because the Eldritch Pack Cosmetic DLC will be available starting from 14th November on PC and consoles, for usual price of 4,99€ or your regional equivalent.

We cannot wait to see your spooktacular creations with the new Eldritch ornaments, we can sense they are going to be terrifying – in the most amazing way, of course.

We hope you are looking forward to the CDLC release as much as we are! For the bravest and the detectives amongst all of you, a quest awaits: will you find all the secrets hiding within the Eldritch Pack?

List of full content

  • Forgotten Abbey
  • Dreamspire
  • Cathedral Square
  • Wishing Well
  • Dead Tree
  • Twisted Tree
  • Gargoyle
  • Statue of Lady Morningstar
  • Fiery Lantern
  • Fire Pit
  • Stone Bench
  • Nostalgic Pavement (3 variants)
  • Ornate Pavement
  • Gothic Fence (modular system)
  • Black Gate
  • Victorian Skin for Worker residence (4 models)
  • Victorian Skin for Artisan residence (4 models)
  • “Old Inn” Pub Skin
  • “Asylum” Hospital Skin

DevBlog: The “National Park” Pack Cosmetic DLC

Hey Anno Community,

Please grab your walking sticks and the picnic basket, we’re going on a hiking trip!

With the “National Park” Pack we’re leaving the city completely and are looking at the wild side of your islands – you left some space for recreation, right? In the Cosmetic DLC vote in 2021, the “Nature” Pack received many positive comments – and we also loved the idea of doing something different so much that it soon ended up in our plans for this year.

Along the hiking trail you might meet people sitting down to catch their breath or spot some wild animals, curious about who is making all the noise in their forest.

There also are some majestic trees to discover, as well as old ruins and grand rock formations.

And if the terrain just gets a little bit too rugged or swampy: Don’t worry, there are elevated boardwalks to keep your feet dry while providing a slightly better view on your surroundings.

Sometimes, however, you just want to sit down and grab a snack or simply rest for a moment. For that, you have multiple different options: A picnic in the forest, maybe even with pizza? Or do you rather want to sit down at the Hiker’s Hut and enjoy the reassuring feeling of having a roof over your head?

These more spontaneous rests aside, you certainly should not miss a visit to the “Eagle’s Nest” Café. Not only do they serve the probably the best coffee and cake in the whole national park, but the eponymous tower also offers a fantastic view over the area.

And what if it starts getting dark? Don’t worry, find a nice place to set up your tents, start a little fire and enjoy the sounds of nature. And if you made some friends along the way, why not set up a proper large campfire to share both food as well as spooky stories with them?

The lake system

Walking through the forest all day may of course become a bit tiring – you will want a refresher! And is it even a proper hiking trip if you’re not getting attacked by mosquitoes while camping? So, let us visit the lake now:

The “National Park” Pack comes with a modular lake system that lets you create both small rivers as well as larger bodies of water. Leave small islands in the lake – and maybe connect them with bridges for any adventurous hiker to reach. You can pick between 3 different bridge sizes, crossing 1, 2 or 3 tiles of water.

A lake with such a mountain panorama makes for a great view, don’t you think? Simply plop down a few tents for the full camping experience. Just beware of bears…

“How long is the hike going to last? Are we there yet?” we hear you asking. Well, the “National Park” Pack is planned to release on Tuesday, August 22nd. It’s going to be available for the usual price of 5€ – or regional equivalent – on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, the Ubisoft Store, Steam and Epic.

And as usual, we encourage you to check the descriptions of the individual ornaments by selecting them – only this way you learn about the great lightning storm of 1602!

We’re looking forward to what you’re going to create with these new ornaments. Maybe the “National Park” works well with elements of the “Old Town” Pack?

List of all ornaments

Below you can find a list of all ornaments of the “National Park” Pack Cosmetic DLC.

  • Trail Brunch – a picnic with friends and family
  • Pizza Picnic – What else would you bring on a hiking trip?
  • Campsite – Two tents and a little campfire
  • Tent
  • Campfire
  • Majestic Rock
  • Eroded Rock
  • “Eagle’s Nest” Café – Large forest café with watchtower
  • Ruined Tower
  • Feeding Station
  • Hiker’s Hut
  • Observation Point
  • Wanderer’s Rest
  • Gnarly Oak
  • Ash
  • Willow
  • Trail Sign
  • Small Wooden Bridge – crosses 1 tile of lake/canal
  • Wooden Bridge – crosses 2 tiles of lake/canal
  • Long Wooden Bridge – crosses 3 tiles of lake/canal
  • Hiking Trail
  • Boardwalk – a hiking path on stilts
  • Lake – with dark or light grass
  • Grass tile – light and dark

DevBlog: The “Fiesta” Pack Cosmetic DLC

Hey Anno Community,


It’s May, the weather is getting sunnier and warmer: This should hopefully put both you and your citizens in the right mood for the upcoming Cosmetic DLC – the “Fiesta” Pack!

Now, we have already included a teaser at the end of our “Anno movies” videos, meaning that it’s no big surprise anymore that the “Fiesta” Pack is adding a bunch of new ornaments for the New World. Considering it’s the second most important region in Anno 1800, we have seen the comments asking for more ornaments and more ways to customize your cities there.

As the name suggests, the “Fiesta” Pack looks on the bright sides (literally) of life with ornaments that add even more colour and prepare your public places for festivities.

The “Fiesta” Pack Cosmetic DLC is now available! You can now add a bunch of festive ornaments to your cities by purchasing it on the Ubisoft Store, Steam Store, PlayStation store or Xbox store for the price of 4,99€ or your regional equivalent.

Let’s have a look at what you can expect:


On the ornament side, our focus was on spicing up your public spaces, like your market place or other plaza-type locations. For this matter, the pack contains bright and colourful festive banners and the purple Jacaranda tree. Combine this with the new groundplates and some vendors like the Fruit Stall or the Mate Stall.

It’s also about providing more space for the local culture and heritage, for example with the Mesoan Memorial or the Sunwell. Round things off with a few cacti and flower beds and your people will thank you – provided they don’t get too close to those cacti.


We did not only include ornaments in the “Fiesta” Pack, however, but also skins for two existing buildings:

The first is the Market Place itself, that now not only features a bright purple paint, but also more colour on its pillars as well as a rounder shape with an open market space in the middle

The second building profiting from a visual make-over is the Chapel. Following the rest of the Cosmetic DLC, the new Chapel skin comes with clean white paint job and multiple coloured spots on its façade and windows.

Of course, that’s not quite all the content of the Cosmetic DLC, and you have probably spotted several more ornaments on the screenshots above – and, we’ll have a list of all its content below.

The “Fiesta” Pack will release in 2 weeks, on May 23rd, for the usual price of 4,99€. We’re looking forward to seeing your reworked New World cities! How do you plan on implementing the new skins and ornaments?

List of full content

  • New model variation for the Chapel (with standard and plaza groundplate)
  • New model variation for the Market Place (with standard and plaza groundplate)
  • Public Bench (3 variants)
  • Organ Cactus
  • Rosy Pincushion
  • Fence Post Cactus
  • Traditional Path (groundplate)
  • Traditional Terracotta (groundplate)
  • Fountain of Inspiration
  • Sunwell
  • Jacaranda Tree (3 variants)
  • Palm Tree (3 variants)
  • Summer Pavillion
  • Mate Stall
  • Tropical Fruit Stall
  • Market Cart
  • Fried Corn Cart
  • Mesoan Memorial
  • Bright Banners (modular system)
  • Exotic Flower Bed (modular system)
  • Traditional Wall (modular system)
  • Brick Arch

DevBlog: What’s in the Annoversary Update?

Hey Anno Community,

With the playtest for the “Annoversary Update” (previously: “Jubilee Patch”) having concluded – thank you to everyone who participated and wrote us their feedback! – let’s talk both about our learnings from the test as well as (of course) about the upcoming Game Update itself!

So, what is the “Annoversary Update”?

The “Annoversary Update” is the last big free Game Update that we’re planning for Anno 1800 on PC (the update will not release for the Console Edition). It includes two larger new features, several quality-of-life improvements and a laaaarge number of bug fixes.

As the name implies, it’s releasing just in time for the 25th Anniversary of the Anno series! That’s a quarter of a century full of Anno!

Specifically, the release is planned for April 4th, and in addition to what we mentioned above, you can also look forward to a few surprises for the Annoversary in particular. We keep those for later 😉

Instead, let’s take a look at the contents of the Update.

The Creative Mode


The Creative Mode is a completely separate game mode, an alternative to campaign or sandbox mode. Important to note here also is, that this is NOT the intended way to play Anno 1800 since it does not simulate a regular game. Instead, it’s a mode targeted towards our beauty building community, making it easier to build the city (or industrial district) of your dreams!

Accordingly, in Creative Mode, multiple core mechanics are disabled or changed, for example:

  • Money is unlimited
  • The influence system is deactivated
  • You won’t have to worry about incidents
  • Buildings don’t need a street connection, don’t have construction costs, and don’t require input goods or workforce to function

Basically, it allows you to build whatever you want and as much as you want and – it’s in the name – be creative!

To further help with that, there are more special rules and changes compared to the regular game, like:

  • Immediately place any type of residence building without needing to upgrade
  • Place unlimited numbers of decorative versions of all monuments
  • Place any of the Museum, Zoo or Botanical Garden exhibits freely without having to first acquire them

The Creative Mode is intended as a playground to play around with and specifically for the beauty builders among you to have a less restrictive sandbox to build and design as you please. If you own any DLC or Cosmetic DLC, they will of course also be available in this mode.


Even if you’re not so much into beauty building, the mode might still be interesting for you because of the second feature we’re adding. Introducing…

Yes, this certainly is something we have seen being requested a lot over the years: A way to save layouts and use them again later or even in a different savegame. And that’s exactly what the Stamp Feature does.

Like with the copy tool, you can select a number of buildings, streets, ornaments etc. that are then saved as a “stamp” in a separate menu. You can rename each stamp and select an icon (from any of the buildings included in the stamp) and there are folders you can sort your stamps into.

To make things much easier, you can organize and rename your folders and stamps also outside the game in the Windows File Explorer. Additionally, this allows you to share your stamps with other players, for example on Reddit or Discord. Be it a perfect production layout or a beautiful park for your city, we’re already looking forward to seeing your creations.

If a Stamp includes content that is either limited to the Creative Mode or part of a DLC you don’t own, you can still place it, but the unavailable objects are placed as blueprints and cannot be upgraded (or, in the case of DLC content: not until you own it).

More Quality-of-Life Improvements

In addition to these changes, there are also some smaller quality-of-life improvements in this update, a quick selection below:

  • Roads can now be upgraded/downgraded via the upgrade tool, like regular buildings
  • You’ll be able to enable fully colored minimap islands (an improvement we took from the Console Edition)
  • In Warehouses and the expedition preparation menu you can now search for specific goods
  • We’ve reworked the Happiness calculation for residences to better factor in Hotels/Tourists that previously had too little impact
  • Some smaller improvements for our modding community

Learnings from the Playtest

The recent playtest in particular helped us identify a few key areas where the two new features need some more context or explanations (esp. when it came to the Stamp Feature and the folders), and we’ll soon start working on those to have them ready upon the update’s release.

Additionally, our testers highlighted a few more bugs both with those new features, as well as in other areas, that they’d like us to tackle for the update, that we now have on our fix-list for the next weeks.

Once more, a big thank you to everyone who participated in the playtest and provided us with reports and feedback!

So… what’s left to say? The “Annoversary Update” will release on April 4th, and as usual we will have the full Release Notes ready for you closer to that date when we have finalized the version.

In the coming weeks we’re getting ready for the launch of the Anno 1800 Console Edition which we’re very excited about. And at the end of March you can then expect news on the “Annoversary Update”. Stay tuned!

DevBlog: The “Dragon Garden” Pack

As part of our “What’s next for Anno 1800” blog from December last year, we also talked about our Cosmetic DLC plans – and teased the first of this year’s topics: The “Dragon Garden” Pack!

Today, let’s take a look at what you can soon add to your cities to celebrate the new Lunar Year.

Light up your city and create the right mood with a variety of lanterns: Both Lantern Gates as well as individual ones are highlights especially at night. The Wishing Tree, the perfect place to hang your New Year wishes, is also decorated with a set of bamboo lanterns.

And, of course, let’s not forget the (literal) highlight of the DLC: The Great Dragon itself, easily outshining the rest and making a great centre for the overall celebrations.

Nothing stands in the way of having the best start into the new Lunar Year (the year of the rabbit, by the way, not to be confused with the Rabbids).

Additionally, there are also some ornaments that don’t have as much of a festive character but can be used to create a (dragon-) garden or dedicated district. Starting with the Forbidden City Wall and Gate to frame such an area, you can place mighty stone Lions to protect the entrances. The Garden of Serenity or the Pagoda, on the other hand, are wonderful places to relax or to meet good friends.

With these new ornaments in your bag, you’ll be able to celebrate Lunar New Year in style – and can probably make Princess Qing very happy. We can’t wait to see your creations and designs!

The “Dragon Garden” Pack will release next week, on January 19th, for the usual price of 4,99€. You can find a list of all its ornaments below.

List of all ornaments

  • Lantern gate (2 variants)
  • Lamp Post
  • Lucky Bamboo Lanterns
  • New Year’s Lantern
  • Fortune Coin Stand
  • Wishing Tree (3 colour variants)
  • Bronze Bell (with and without roof)
  • Gong (with and without roof)
  • Wishing Gate
  • New Year Stall
  • Peaceful Pagoda
  • Forbidden City Wall (modular)
  • Forbidden City Gate
  • Garden of Serenity
  • Stone Lion
  • Great Dragon

DevBlog: The “Pride & Peddlers” Scenario

Dear Madame,
Ever since you arrived in the New World, your name has become a synonym for exquisite taste.
It is no secret that you deal in some of our greatest treasures. While this practise is perfectly legal, we regret that our people were unable to place a bid for what is rightfully theirs.
We, the Artista Collective, want to encourage the repatriation of these objects and hope to enlist your help in this matter.
Rather than intrude on your time uninvited, we have an offer to make, one that is well-suited to your talents as a trader.
We await your presence at the Atelier Insólito, graciously hosted by the Yaosca Research Centre.
The Artista Collective

Another challenge awaits you, Annoholics, in Season 4’s third scenario: Pride & Peddlers.

As you may have already deduced from the intro, this time you will be taking on the role of Madame Kahina, a trader dealing in exotic artefacts, spices and more. Hired for just these talents, Pride & Peddlers is all about producing and trading goods and amassing significant sums of money.

The goal: Buy back three valuable artefacts from three Old World traders and exhibit them in your still-to-be-constructed museum.


Check out our video below to get a quick overview:


You’ll be starting off with a small fleet of four ships and are free to settle any island you want. The production chains and needs largely follow the regular ones in the New World, with only a few modifications. Building a first settlement and – importantly – getting your production started to have goods to export should be your first objective.

There is a twist, however: Since all your workers are volunteers in this mission, you will not be able to tax them. Accordingly, your only source of income is trade. We’ve adjusted the balance calculation to show you if you’re making a plus or not in this scenario. For this, you will either have to set up trade routes or approach a trader manually. Possible trading partners are both the already mentioned three traders (Margaret Hunt, Vicente Silva, Carl Leonard von Malching) or some familiar faces from the New World (Yaosca, Isabel Sarmento, Paloma Valente).

The Old World traders also offer goods your residents might be willing to pay you for (Black Market goods), but those are expensive, and you’ll have to think twice if you can afford them.

Some other changes to your regular gameplay sessions include the randomization of the map, meaning mines and fertilities are not consistent on restart. Additionally, mines are finite and cannot be “refilled”, and there’s no military component to the scenario.

You can and will need to settle multiple islands to produce the large variety of goods and stay prepared for all eventualities – but expansion is expensive. Make sure you can compensate the costs via your trading.


Additionally, there are some optional story events around Madame Kahina herself – and you’ll occasionally find valuable goods in the wreckages or less fortunate trading vessels.

The Market

After this general overview over the scenario, let’s dive into one of the core features: The Market.

Similar to the “Seasons of Silver” scenario, the market situation changes in irregular intervals (meaning not all events have the same duration), providing you with modifiers to your production, population and trade. The market is rather unregulated – which can be a great way to turn a big profit, if you manage to get ahold of the products affected by the market trends. Events can be positive or negative, see these two examples:

  • “A fishy business”: fish oil can be sold at 250% its normal price.
  • “The fields lie barren” | Negative event: Farmer protests that affect all crop farms, all new world orchards and all animal farms. Farmers everywhere have decided to protest harsh conditions and falling prices –> -50% productivity, +75% chance of riots

You’re provided with a forecast as to what the next market event will be, allowing you prepare. It might not be profitable forever to focus on agricultural goods, but you might want to branch out and also get some more advanced factories going.

The market trends are randomized to a degree, and there are quest-related special events with their own effects. Additionally, the market trends are both influenced by with whom you are trading (Old World traders or New World traders) and how far you have progressed in the scenario.

Victory Conditions

As mentioned previously, your goal is to repatriate the three artefacts in question and then exhibit them in your museum. This grants you the Bronze Medal.

Silver and Gold will additionally challenge you to end the scenario with a certain amount of money for the “heritage fund” and Gold requires you to be a real export master (which actually was our internal name for the scenario) by selling a total of 500.000 tons of goods during your playthrough.

This time around, there is no timer attached to any of the objectives, which means that in theory you have as much time as you want.

Practically, due to the changing market situations described above, you will still want to tackle your goals in a timely manner

The rewards for finishing the scenario are new skins for your museum modules.


As introduced with DLC 11 and Game Update 15, Pride & Peddlers is also coming with its own set of badges. These extra challenges grant you additional Golden Tickets for the Grand Gallery if fulfilled during a playthrough. There are three in total:

  • Win the scenario with 180t of scooters in storage.
  • Win the scenario with 100K coins in stock.
  • Win the game with a population of at least 3.000 after surviving one hour in volatile markets.

An update for the Grand Gallery

Finally, we’re also updating the Grand Gallery with Game Update 16. For your Golden Tickets earned through the scenarios you can unlock several additional items, the selection is a mix of specific feedback you provided us with as well as a general community favourites. For example, you can now find Ermenegilda di Mercante, the Mole Master and Master Craftsman Franke in the Grand Gallery.

Additionally, you unlock the Artista portraits for your profile as well as a variety of cemetery-themed ornaments like graves, a crypt or an angel statue.


And that’s all for “Pride & Peddlers”, the new scenario coming with the “New World Rising DLC”. How will you fare without taxes as primary income source?

Development of Anno 1800 – Season 4 is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action within the framework of computer games funding.

DevBlog: New World Expansion and New Islands

Hey Anno Community,

In this second DevBlog for “New World Rising” we will take a closer look at what we only briefly mentioned before: The expansion of the New World region and the new islands that are getting added.

While Anno games tend to give players relatively large freedoms to build as much and how they want, there are still a few limiting factors. One main factor, of course, is space. There are only so many islands in a region and the islands have only so many tiles.

While some of you have proven over the years, that one can squeeze many more people on those islands than we originally thought, eventually a ceiling is hit, and either space for residences or space for production runs out. Space management therefore also is a key challenge of the Anno games – even more so if you’re playing with opponents.

In Anno 1800, the New World itself also acted as a limiting factor to a certain degree, considering the goods that other regions, primarily the Old World, needed. Season 4’s focus on the New World therefore meant a) to provide engaging new mechanics and b) simultaneously offer additional ways to increase efficiency and save space (e.g. Hacienda farms or workforce commute via the Airship Platform).

A larger New World

New World Rising is adding an additional population tier as well as several new production chains, as we detailed in the previous blog, and the Lifestyle Needs may also require additional production capacities in this southern region. It accordingly made sense to take an additional step to address the above-mentioned space topic, a “simple” one, actually: Giving you more building space!

And that’s what we’re doing with this last DLC of Season 4: The New World region expands on its two northern borders, adding another strip of space for more islands. That’s an increase of about 30%, making the map now larger than the Old World. There are of course still some general limiting factors for map size, first and foremost it’s performance.

New islands to settle

To increase island variety, especially now that the New World is quite a bit bigger than before, our Level Art team also created several new islands that are getting added to the overall map pool for the region. You can expect 3 new small islands, 4 new medium islands and 3 new large islands.

By popular demand, we added additional riv… no, just kidding, we reduced the number of rivers on these new islands. Plus, we’re also adding riverless variants of the existing islands to the overall map pool.

In existing savegames, these new islands will be placed in the expanded area in the north, giving you fresh building challenges to face. The exact number of islands (5 to 7) depends on your chosen region size for your savegame. Therefore, some of the new islands you may only see if you start a new game.

When you start a new game, the islands will be randomly placed together with the already existing New World islands. There is one twist, though: While only owners of DLC 12 will profit from the expanded region, the new islands and riverless island variants will be added to the general map pool, and therefore be available for all players, regardless of which DLC you own.

Our process for creating islands has not changed drastically from what we described a looong time ago back in 2018 in a blog before Anno 1800’s release. We recommend checking out the mentioned DevBlog by our Level Artist Simon if you want some more insights in our processes.

Space for your New World capital

But wait, we talked about new islands, but haven’t mentioned Mānola yet! In addition to the new regular islands that we talked about in the previous section, New World Rising is also adding a larger landmass in the very North of the map. Similar to Crown Falls in Cape Trelawney, it offers you more building space on a single island as well as some unique details – but it also comes with its own monument! This monument gets its own section below, so, let’s first talk about the island itself.

First, the name: As you can see on the screenshot above, Mānola is an island with many waterfalls! The name then was inspired by the Manoa Falls on the Hawaiian island of Honolulu, an impressive 46m waterfall surrounded by rain forest. There were additional inspirations for some of the island’s geographical features, of course: We have long beaches framed by mountain peaks (inspired by Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and many, many waterfalls (inspired by the Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil).

Considering this is the finale of Season 4, we wanted to give you a similar place to create your capital city as we did back in 2019 with Crown Falls – especially since the New World also is one of the regions that are part of the base game.

Aside from the waterfalls, you of course get plenty of building space on this island – making it a great candidate for your New World capital. While there’s a large mountain chain further inland, the area near the coast is split by a large river and slightly rises on several levels up to the mountain region. Several beaches provide space for your industry and harbour area, but also for the new beach module that we introduced in our previous DevBlog.

Several large rocks dot both the landmass itself as well as the coastal area, and a part of the island on the left is semi-detached from the mainland but can be connected via bridges. In addition to coasts and building space, Mānola offers multiple mine, clay and oil deposits to suit your needs.

Our Level Artists also added a few environmental details (and secrets?) as well as stories into this island, we heavily recommend taking the time to take a closer look yourselves.


Note, that this continental island is (in contrast to the other new islands) only available for owners of “New World Rising” with the expanded New World map.

Green Energy – The Dam

The monument you can construct on Mānola is a giant dam, that you might be familiar with when you played the “Eden Burning” scenario. Since the island has plenty of water(-falls), as you’ve seen, you can use this dam to harness the water’s energy to provide electricity to your people on the island.

First, you will have to construct the dam in multiple phases – as you’re used to from other monuments – which will require you to import some goods from the Old World, namely: concrete. Upon completion, the dam provides electricity on the island just like a Power Plant does – but without needing any input goods and with significantly higher range: all of Mānola profits from the electricity generated. No need for power plants and intricate railroad networks.

Additionally, there’s no pollution penalty, making the dam a decidedly more environmentally friendly solution. And it just looks really cool!

That’s it on the topic of New World expansion that’s part of “New World Rising” and the new islands that are getting added alongside it. Next week you can expect a DevBlog for DLC 12’s scenario: Pride and Peddlers – it’s gonna be all about trading!

Do you have any additional questions on the topic of islands and world creation? Leave them in the comments!

Development of Anno 1800 – Season 4 is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action within the framework of computer games funding.