There are several potential workarounds to this issue. Please work through the following steps to see if they fix the problem:
🛠 Update your display drivers.
If you are playing on old or outdated display drivers, you may encounter issues when trying to launch and play any game. You can check what video card and drivers you are running using the DxDiag command. Once you know what hardware you’re using, you can download the appropriate drivers from the web:
- Nvidia Video Card Drivers: https://www.nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp
- ATI Video Card Drivers: https://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
- Intel Drivers: https://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/graphics
- Laptop video drivers are dependent on and obtained from your laptop’s manufacturer.
🛠 Check your antivirus settings.
Some antivirus programs may prevent the game from launching. Check your antivirus settings to make sure Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is not being blocked.
- Add the game to any whitelist feature in your antivirus program. (Note: some antivirus programs may remove the game from the whitelist when it is updated. Double check that the game is still on your whitelist!)
Here are a few particular antivirus programs with known conflicts, as well as resolution steps for each:
- Avast: Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition must be added to the program’s whitelist. Steps can be found here.
- AVG: Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition must be added to the program’s whitelist. Steps can be found here.
- Bitdefender: Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition must be added to the program’s whitelist. Steps can be found here.
- Comodo: disable shellcode injection detection.
- F-secure: Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition must be added to the program’s whitelist.
- Players have reported that specifically disabling "deepguard" can resolve any issues starting the game.
- Trend Micro: Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition must be added to the program’s whitelist. Steps can be found here.
If the antivirus requires you to target the game files through “Browse…”, the default file path will be:
- Steam: Program Files (x86) > Steam > steamapps > common > AoE2DE > AoE2DE_s.exe
- Microsoft Store: Program Files > WindowsApps > Microsoft.MSPhoenix_101.101.######.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe > Game > AoE2DE.exe
🛠 Manually update Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables and restart your machine.
Make sure you have all the necessary files to run the game. You can find the latest visual studio files here.
- If you are using a 64-bit Operating System, download the vc_redist.x64.exe file.
- If you are using a 32-bit Operating System, download the vc_redist.x86.exe file.
🛠 STEAM: Verify the integrity of the game files.
Follow the steps to verify the integrity of your game files. Once this is done, re-launch the game and verify that the issue is fixed.
🛠 Remove mods and add them again one at a time.
Unofficial mods are now automatically disabled upon the release of new game updates. This is to prevent compatibility issues with mods that have not been tested or verified to work with new updates, or which may cause crashes and other unexpected behaviors. A new message will appear when mods are disabled in this manner which includes instructions on how to re-enable mods.
If you begin to experience issues after enabling mods after an update then remove them again one at a time will help to identify if any are causing an issue. The default mod location is:
C:\Users\[USERNAME]\Games\Age of Empires 2 DE\[REALSTEAMID]\mods
If you continue to experience crashes after trying these troubleshooting steps, then please Submit a request to our Support team. Include as much detail as possible about when crash is happening, along with a DxDiag and crash logs. Steps to find those can be found in our article: How to find information for troubleshooting with Support – Age of Empires Support