I. DirectX Troubleshooting
DirectX® 9c or later must be installed on your computer before you can play Age of Empires III. If you do not have DirectX 9c installed on your computer and you chose not to install DirectX 9c when you installed Age of Empires III, you will not be able to play Age of Empires III. Install DirectX 9c by reinstalling Age of Empires III, or download the software from Microsoft Windows Update at: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
If Age of Empires III installed DirectX 9c but could not update your video drivers to be compatible with DirectX 9c, when you restart your computer you will receive the message: Age of Empires III could not initialize DirectX. Make sure that DirectX 9c or higher is installed and contact your hardware manufacturer for a video driver update. To fix this, you can download updated video drivers from the Microsoft Windows Update site (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
) or from the video adapter manufacturer’s site, or install DirectX in safe mode, which replaces the video drivers.
If you continue to experience sound or video problems using DirectX, go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/
for the latest DirectX information. You should also check with your video or sound card manufacturer for the latest DirectX-compatible drivers.
J. Video Troubleshooting
Latest Drivers—Ensure that you have the latest drivers from your video card manufacturer, or check the Windows Update site (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
) for the latest drivers. Users of motherboards with non-Intel chipsets should upgrade to the latest miniport drivers available from their motherboard manufacturer.
Age of Empires III does not support the following video cards:
3D Labs Permedia 1
3DFX – All versions
Radeon 7000 IGP
Radeon 7200 (32 MB only)
Radeon 7500 (32 MB only)
Mobility Radeon 7000 IGP
Mobility Fire GL
Cirrus Logic - all versions
Matrox Millennium II
Geforce 2 (32 MB only)
nVidia Riva 128
nVidia Rica 128 zx
S3 Savage 2000
Intel 810 / 815
Rendition - all versions
Number9 - All versions
Oak Technologies - all versions
Chromatic Research - all versions
Tseng Labs - all versions
Neo-magic - all versions
Some ATI video cards may experience difficulties with repeated toggling between the game and another application using ALT+TAB. It is recommended that you do not use this key combination.
If you are using the NVidia 6800 - Driver: 6.14.0010.7189 (April 14, 2005), terrain objects, particularly trees, will have an artificial appearance when the Shader Quality setting is set to low and the graphic Bit Depth is set to 16. It is recommended that you update to the latest version of these drivers to fix this problem.
If you are noticing flashing, popping,or pausing on an overclocked NVidia 6800, please be aware that this is a known issue with no work around.
A Matrox Parhelia 128MB or a Matrox Millennium P750 using driver 6.13.0001.1691, reference drivers 6.13.0001.1873, and 6.13.0001.1914 may not correctly show bump mapping which appears as snow or solid grey textures in the game world. It is recommended that you update to the latest version of these drivers to fix this problem.
If you experience video problems using DirectX, go to the DirectX Web site for the latest troubleshooting information at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/
K. CD-ROM Drive Troubleshooting
Age of Empires III uses SSI encryption technology and some CD-ROM drives may not be compatible with this technology.
L. Audio Troubleshooting
If you do not have sound drivers or a sound card installed on your computer, you should use the no-sound shortcut that is available on the Start menu. To apply this shortcut, select Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Games, point to Age of Empires III, point to Diagnostics and then click Age of Empires III no sound.
• Sound Blaster issues – Crashes and scenarios not working/completing correctly have occurred on systems with Sound Blaster sound cards and may be resolved by disabling hardware sound acceleration. Consult your card manufacturer's guide to disable this feature.
• DirectX – If you experience audio problems using DirectX, go to the DirectX Web site for the latest troubleshooting information. Also if this occurs, ensure that you have the latest drivers from your sound card manufacturer, or visit the Windows Update site (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com
) to download the latest drivers.
M. Processor Troubleshooting
Age of Empires III requires processors with the SSE instruction set. Setup will fail to install to machines that do not meet this minimum requirement. Please note that the 1.4 GHz Athlon Thunderbird does not have SSE.
N. Performance Troubleshooting
There are several ways to improve the game's performance. For example, the game will run faster if you use the least demanding game settings. These include:
• Setting the screen resolution to 800 x 600.
• Setting the detail of graphics to Low.
• Turning off shadows completely
• Turning music off.
Most of these improvements can be made from within the game by going to the Main menu, clicking Help and Tools and then choosing Options, or, if you are playing a game, click the Menu button, and then click Options.
A hardware solution to increasing performance is to increase the amount of RAM in your computer or to replace your video card. If you have less than one gigabyte (1 GB), you should upgrade the amount of memory in your system. If you have 1GB (or more) of memory, you should consider upgrading your video card.
We also recommend that you:
• Shut down as many other applications running on your system as possible in order to free memory and processing.
• Defragment your hard drive.
• Activate DMA (on appropriate hard drives).
• Reboot your system before starting Age of Empires III.
• Turn your virus scanner settings down while playing Age of Empires III.
Also, ensure that you have the latest drivers from your video and sound card manufacturer or check the Windows Update site (<http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com>) for the latest drivers. Users of motherboards with non-Intel chipsets should upgrade to the latest miniport drivers available from their motherboard manufacturer.
If you are using the My Documents Redirection feature of Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP (also known as IntelliMirror®) then when you go to load games the games appears to freeze for 5 - 10 minutes before starting the load process. Age of Empires III does not support the use of this feature. For better game performance, it is advised that you turn this feature off.
Performance—The following guidelines are recommended for a good experience:
• 8 Players - Greater or equal to a P4 3.2 GHz, 2 GB RAM, and Cable/DSL, LAN
• 6 Players - Greater or equal to a P4 2.8 GHz, 1 GB RAM, and Cable/DSL, LAN
• 4 Players - Greater or equal to a P4 2.2 GHz, 512 MB RAM, and Cable/DSL, LAN
• 2 Players - Greater or equal to a P4 1.4 GHz, 256 MB RAM minimum (512 MB RAM recommended), and 56 KBps modem
For more information on how to improve your Age of Empires 3 experience, visit http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=52125