At launch, the game offered premium content to players in the form of micro-transactions. As part of the game's launch on Steam in March 2012, prices were lowered and Steam offered all premium content and booster packs in the game for a discount through the "All in Wonder Bundle". The developers later announced that in June 2012, the previous purchasing system would be discontinued, while all past and future premium content will be purchased through "Empire points" earned through gameplay. The option to purchase the points with real money was also available. On June 14, 2012 the summer patch went into place removing the original purchasing system for premium content and implemented the new "Empire points" system - making the game fully free to play.

Premium civilizations allowed a player access to rare, epic and legendary quality items and allowed the use of advisors, which gave unique benefits to their civilization, such as new unit types or better existing units. Premium civilizations also raised item storage capacity to a maximum of 96 slots and gave access to the full tech tree. Pro civilizations were only available by purchase, and start off at level 20 and had no beginner quests, but otherwise functioned like Premium civilizations. Booster and Vanity packs were also available.

Booster packs

Booster packs allowed for the player to enjoy and experience new very customizable PvE gameplay. These booster packs added new content to the game as well as offering the player a way to test strategies and gain experience points to level up, gold and empires points. These booster packs also had quests that allowed for the player to construct new vanity statues to decorate their capital city with. The booster packs also gave the player advisors and gear that could not otherwise be collected by the player.

The Defense of Crete booster pack was the first booster pack to be released for Age of Empires Online. This booster pack allowed the player to play PvE missions that is similar to classic tower defense games. In these missions, the player had to defend the wonder from waves of enemies that are being to destroy it.

The Skirmish booster pack was the second booster pack to be released for Age of Empires Online. The Skirmish booster pack allowed the player to choose every element of PvE gameplay in Age of Empires Online. This allowed the player to customize amount of player resources, select maps, map size, victory condition, map resources, difficulty of the CPU players, civilization to be used to the computer player, number of human as well as computer players and the AI/strategy that would be used by the computer player(s). In Skirmish mode, all units and ages were automatically unlocked for the player(s) to use in battle regardless of the player's level. Not all technologies were unlocked for the player to use however, and the technologies that a player could use depended on the what the player had already unlocked in their technology trees. The Skirmish hall could be accessed in the Cyprus region in the world map after the player had purchased the booster pack. By winning a Skirmish match, the player(s) received a reward of experience points, coin, empire points and chests. Rewards were based on the difficulty, map size, number of starting resources, number of allies and enemies, etc. In addition to this, there were several global quests that the player could complete by playing skirmish matches. Completing these quests were the only way to get certain advisors and statues to decorate you capital city with. The player was able to fight on over 20 maps. Skirmish supported 4 player co-op against up to 4 computer players. The Skirmish pack allowed the player to battle 9 unique computer opponents, 8 with unique tactics and one with random tactics. For computer players, there were 5 different difficulty levels ranging from unstoppable (hardest) to weak (weakest). The difficulty level also determined what gear the computer player's units would be using with weak using uncommon gears to unstoppable using epic gears. A typical Skirmish match begun with the player starting off at the selected starting age, resources, a scout and a few villagers. A game was complete when the player met the victory condition, which could either be a standard victory (destroy all enemy town centers), conquest (kill and destroy all units) or wonder victory (be the first to complete a wonder or kill all units).

Vanity items

At launch, there were several vanity packs for the game, These packs provided the player with blueprints to stores that allowed the player to purchase new items to use to customize and decorate their capital city with in-game gold. The vanity packs have been discontinued since and were no longer available for purchase due to the launch of "Vanity Island", an island where players could visit to buy city decorations and vanity gear using their Empire Points. However, players who had already purchased the Vanity packs could continue to use them.