For some users, this issue may result in a gray screen or window prior to the crash, or just appear like the game is not launching. There is usually no error message when this occurs. This could be caused by a variety of issues, which all have similar symptoms. Please try each of these troubleshooting steps.
🛠 Manually Check for Windows Updates
While your Windows Updates may be set to automatically install, it is possible that these updates failed to install properly, or that an essential update was skipped. Please confirm that you are on Windows 10, build 19043 or better. If you are on an earlier OS version, or a preview version, you may run into issues.
If you are on Windows 11, please continue with the troubleshooting advice below.
🛠 Manually Update Visual C++ Redistributables
You can find these 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.
- Please Note that Age of Empires IV requires Win10 64-bit as part of its minimum technical requirements, if you are running a 32-bit version, you may not be meeting min-spec.
🛠 Add the Game to the Allow List of Windows Antivirus Programs
Check that the game is on the Allow List for Windows Defender, Windows Security, and Windows Controlled Folder Access. This process may require additional steps if you have any additional Antivirus programs running on your machine.
Windows Controlled Folder Access
- Search for and open "Controlled Folder Access" from the Windows Search Bar
- Click Allow a program
- Locate RelicCardinal.exe from among the recently blocked programs
- Select allow program
- Search for an open "Windows Security" from the Windows Search Bar
- Go to Settings > Protection History
- Locate RelicCardinal.exe from among the recently blocked program
- Click Actions > Allow
- Search for and open "Control Panel" from the Windows Search Bar
- Go to System & Security > Allow an app through Windows Firewall
- Locate the RelicCardinal.exe from the list of apps
- If not listed, click Allow another app, then locate RelicCardinal.exe
- Checkmark both Private and Public settings
- Click OK
🛠 Check Your Antivirus Settings & Quarantined Files
Some antivirus programs may prevent the game from launching, or may quarantine critical game files during downloading. Check your antivirus settings to make sure the game is not being blocked.
Add the game to any allow-list feature in your antivirus program. (Note: some antivirus programs may remove the game from the allow-list when it is updated. Double check that the game is still on your allow-list!) The steps for this process will differ based on your antivirus program.
If the game is on the allow-list for your antivirus programs, please see if temporarily disabling the program allows the game to launch. If it does, then your antivirus program could still be blocking the game from accessing critical files.
🛠 Manually Update Graphics & Audio Drivers
If your graphics or audio drivers are out of date, or missed a recent update, this may be causing the issue. Steps for this are going to differ between driver makes and models. If running an update checker does not find any updates, please manually check with your driver manufacturer's website to see if you need to run a manual update.
🛠 Check that you are Running DirectX 12 and have a Compatible GPU
Especially if you are seeing a gray-screen before the crash, check that your machine is running DirectX 12, and that your GPU is compatible with that version of DirectX as well.
- Go to the Start Menu and type "dxdiag" and press Enter
- On the System Tab, under System Information, look for your DirectX version number to confirm you are running DirectX version 12
- Next, go to the Display Tab, under Drivers, look for your Feature Levels number
- If the Feature Levels starts with 11 or lower, then your GPU may not be compatible with DirectX version 12
If you are not running DirectX 12 OR your GPU is not compatible with DirectX 12, then your machine is not meeting the minimum technical specifications for this game.
🛠 Manually delete the Age of Empires IV 'My Games' folder
This can remove any data that may be interfering with the game operation.
Note: Deleting the folder can remove in-game settings such as Hotkeys and custom Settings.