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This page is for the original game. For the re-release, see Age of Empires II HD.
The unofficial patch for Conquerors, which includes NoCD is Version 1.0e.
The unofficial UserPatch: Conquerors Feature Update patch for The Conquerors adds many fixes including widescreen support, UPnP port forwarding, and various optional tweaks. Although it doesn't include a NoCD, it will not remove a valid NoCD. If it is installed on top of Version 1.0e, no CD is required.
Age of Empires II: Forgotten Empires is an unofficial expansion which adds new civilizations, maps and other fixes.
Adds Online Matchmaking and automatic UserPatch installation.
On some older Dell laptop models (e.g. the M1530) an issue occurs where the OS crashes and a blue-screen of death is displayed. This issue occurs after a seemingly random amount of gameplay time (from <30 seconds to 10 or 20 minutes). Many things have been tried to fix the issue including changing graphics card drivers, limiting the frame rate to mitigate overheating and running on virtual machines of different operating systems (e.g. Windows 98). As far as can be seen, this issue has never been resolved nor will it be, rendering AoE2 unplayable on the affected models of laptop. This issue can be mitigated by playing through Voobly.com game client and selecting 32-bit DirectX mode in the lobby options. It is actually caused by an unterminated loop in the graphics card driver. However, Age of Empires II HD (the re-mastered version of the game released in 2013) is unaffected by this problem.
Install UserPatch: Conquerors Feature Update. This includes a color fix for Vista and 7, and will also set a registry flag, allowing Windows 8+ to emulate the 256-colour modes, required by the game. It will also optionally provide support for loading the windowed mode plugin, which, apart from its direct purpose, also performs software palette conversion to 32-bit, resolving said issues.
Use DirectDrawFix to apply the required compatibility fixes to the registry.
While in use, internet connection will be lost until the settings are switched back to "Obtain an IP address automatically", but LAN will function in-game.