Empire Earth II has several new gameplay features from the original gameplay of Empire Earth, such as the Picture-in-Picture window, a small window within the game interface which allows the player to control activities such as unit and building construction. The Citizen Manager can be configured to tell a citizen what to do if they have no set task, and the Diplomacy System allows the player to make tributes and manage alliances and wars with other players. The War Planner is another new addition, which is a map of the game that the player can display and use to coordinate attacks with allies. The crown system grants strategic bonuses to players who are first to master an epoch's military, economic, or imperial paths at the cost of losing a faster age progression. Weather, another new feature, changes over time on the map and affects the look of the map and performance of units and, in the case of airplanes in thunderstorms, hit points.