Age of Empires III

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Age of Empires III
Age of Empires III cover
Developers
Ensemble Studios
macOS (OS X) MacSoft
Publishers
Microsoft Game Studios
OS X MacSoft
Engines
BANG!
Release dates
Windows October 18, 2005
macOS (OS X) September 29, 2006
Age of Empires III guide at StrategyWiki
Age of Empires III at Wikipedia
Age of Empires
Age of Empires 1997
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings 1999
Age of Mythology 2002
Age of Empires III 2005
Age of Empires Online 2011
Age of Empires II HD 2013
Age of Mythology: Extended Edition 2014
Age of Empires: Castle Siege 2014
Age of Empires: Definitive Edition 2018
Age of Empires IV TBA

General information

Age of Empires III Site; Download for Trial Version available
Age of Empires Wikia
AgeCommunity
HeavenGames.com Large file database with lots of custom content
RTS-Sanctuary.com File database with many game replays
Steam Community Discussions

Availability[edit]

Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Retail
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
No disc check in latest Windows patch (1.14). Only way to purchase game and expansions individually.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
Amazon.com
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Non-Steam version also available.
Windows
GameStop
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Windows
Green Man Gaming
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Windows
Humble Store
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Windows
Steam
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Optimized for Windows 7 compatibility.
Windows
Retail CD keys for the Complete Edition can be activated on Steam (US version only).[1]
Windows Vista reports compatibility issue with unpatched retail version, but it seems to function normally.
Online features require an Ensemble Studios Online (ESO) Account (registered in-game).

Version differences[edit]

Age of Empires III Complete Collection is a complete edition with all official content. Patched retail version has no disc check.

Downloadable content (DLC) and expansions

Name Notes
The WarChiefs Added 8 maps, 3 civilizations, 2 plot acts, warcheif units, revolutions and stealth.
Windows
macOS (OS X)
The Asian Dynasties Added 3 Asian Civilizations, each one with a campaign, wonder and the new export resource. As well as 6 new native civilizations.
Windows
macOS (OS X)

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Use the +noIntroCinematics command line argument[citation needed]

Patches[edit]

The patches linked above will download and install much faster than the in-game updater, and more reliably.
  • Archived macOS (OS X) patch page: [1]

Game data[edit]

In-game general settings.
In-game general settings.
In-game UI settings. The "Enable IME" option under "Regional" is not shown.
In-game UI settings. The "Enable IME" option under "Regional" is not shown.

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\Users
macOS (OS X) ~/Documents/Age of Empires III/Users

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\Savegame
macOS (OS X) ~/Documents/Age of Empires III/Savegame

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud
Homecities can be saved on the official ESO multiplayer platform (effectively in a cloud).

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings (1/2).
In-game video settings (1/2).
In-game video settings (2/2).
In-game video settings (2/2).
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
Multi-monitor
Ultra-widescreen
HUD is partially stretched.[2]
4K Ultra HD
Field of view (FOV)
Windowed
Borderless fullscreen windowed
Game has no borders at max resolution when in windowed mode.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
120+ FPS

Input settings[edit]

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Stereo only.[3]
Subtitles
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost

Localizations

Language UI Audio Sub Notes
English
Brazilian Portuguese
Czech
French
German
Hungarian
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Polish
Russian
Spanish

Network[edit]

Online features require an ESO Account (registered in-game).

Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
8
Online play
8

Connection types

Type Native Notes
Matchmaking
Peer-to-peer
Dedicated
For matchmaking and game lobby only, gameplay remains on peer-to-peer basis.
Self-hosting
Direct IP
Enter in-game or use OverrideAddress= and hostPort= parameters.[4]

Ports

Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP (outbound) 80, 2300
UDP (outbound) 2300-2310
This game supports Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) for automatic port configuration.

Issues fixed[edit]

Failed to Join[edit]

This is the most common error suffered with Age of Empires III multiplayer.

This error can be caused by many problems, and consequently, there are many methods to try to repair it.

After each numbered step, attempt connecting to several games in multiplayer; only proceed to the next if you are still experiencing issues.

1. Allow Ensemble Studios Online more time to load.

Longer Loading Time[citation needed]

(This solution needs done every time you log in -- you might further try more steps if you wish to not have to wait every time.)

  1. Log in to ESO.
  2. Stay on the home page and wait about 10 minutes. Do not whisper to friends, check clan, or go to any other tab.
  3. After 10 minutes the problem may now be fixed. You can now leave the Home Page.
  4. Repeat this every time you log in.

2. Try power cycling your network hardware.

Power Cycling[citation needed]
  1. Turn off your modem, router, and PC.
  2. Wait a few minutes.
  3. Turn them back on in the listed order.

3. Ensure Age of Empires III and its expansions (age3.exe, age3x.exe, age3y.exe) are listed on your firewall's exception lists; try playing with the firewall in Gaming Mode, Low, and Off.

4. If you connect to the internet wirelessly, try a wired connection.

5. Toggle UPnP on or off.

Toggling UPnP[citation needed]
  1. Connect to your router in your browser; usually, this is done by typing 192.168.1.1 into your address bar. If that IP does not connect to your router, see your router's manual or try Googling your router brand and model.
  2. Your router will prompt for your username and password. Often, this is "admin" and "admin" or "admin" and "password". See your router's manual or try Googling your router brand and model with "default password" if those don't work.
  3. Find and Toggle On or Off (set it to whatever it wasn't before) UPnP. You may have to search around for this setting, or consult your manual. My router has it in Advanced: Advanced Setup: UPnP.

6. Try Port Forwarding UDP and TCP ports 80, 2300-2310 to your device.

Port Forwarding[citation needed]
  1. Identify your router brand and model.
  2. Go to PortForward.com and select your router brand and model, and click search.
  3. Select Age of Empires III and follow the steps given.
  4. You can use a site like CanYouSeeMe to ensure you have correctly opened the ports. CanYouSeeMe will only see a port if there is a server currently running on it -- a barebones server I made can be downloaded here: http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?z1twnicystbaqsz Unzip, run the .exe, and enter the desired test port.

7. Try Port Forwarding UDP and TCP 80, 2300-2340 to your device. Note the larger range of ports than step #6.

8. Override the Port to 2300.

Port Overriding[4]

Use the parameter OverridePort="2300"

9. Override the game to use the correct IP address.

Address Overriding[4]

Use the OverrideAddress= parameter with your IP address.

10. Try setting the DMZ on your router on.

Game Crashes on Startup/Doesn't Start[edit]

An error that usually occurs on Windows 7.

After each numbered step, attempt running the game; only proceed to the next if you are still experiencing issues.

1. Ensure the game is Running as Administrator.

Run as Administrator[citation needed]
  1. Right click on your desktop icon, and select "Properties".
  2. Go to the compatibility tab and select "Run this program as administrator", and select "OK".

2. Try running the game in compatibility mode.

Run in Compatibility Mode[citation needed]
  1. Right click on your desktop icon, and select "Properties".
  2. Go to the compatibility tab and select "Run this program in compatibility mode for:". Try all the OS options in the list. Oddly, some users report "Windows Vista (SP3)" option repairing it.

"MSXML4.0 is not installed correctly" on startup[edit]

For this issue, see instructions here.

Account Support[edit]

Problems with ESO Accounts should be first solved with the Account Management Tool on the official site.

If you have further problems that cannot be solved with that tool, create a Support Ticket. Be sure to include your Product ID.

Finding your Product ID[citation needed]
  1. Start the Vanilla game (not one of the expansions; launch Age of Empires III).
  2. Go to Help and Tools -> About.
  3. You'll find your Product Key near the bottom in this format: XXXXX-XXX-XXXXXXX-XXXXX

Other information[edit]

API[edit]

Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
OpenGL 2.x
".x" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 2.
OS X only.
Shader Model support 3
64-bit executable

Middleware[edit]

Middleware Notes
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer Ensemble Studios Online (ESO)

System requirements[edit]

Windows
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium IV 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz
System memory (RAM) 256 MB 2 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4 GB 12 GB
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce FX 5500
ATI Radeon X300 series
64 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0c compatible
Nvidia GeForce 6800
ATI Radeon X1300
macOS (OS X)
Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 10.3.9 10.4.7
Processor (CPU) IBM PowerPC G4/G5 1.4 GHz
Intel 1.4 GHz
IBM PowerPC G5 2.0 GHz
Intel Core 2 Duo
System memory (RAM) 512 MB 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 2 GB
Video card (GPU) 64 MB of VRAM 128 MB of VRAM

References

  1. Retail / Digital CD Keys - CD-Key - Knowledge Base - Steam Support
  2. Age Of Empire III 21:9 Review (2560x1080) (60fps) (Ultrawide) - YouTube
  3. How do I enable surround sound? - Age of Empires III Heaven Forum
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Direct IP? Is it working? - Age of Empires III Heaven Forum