Welcome! This is a feature and bug-fix update for Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion. Its primary focus is to correct several long existing issues with the game, the AI system, compatibility, and related elements. This update will not enable no-cd gameplay and requires a valid, existing installation of Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion v1.0c.
Get More Information
- Updates: http://userpatch.aiscripters.net/
- Advanced AIs: http://forums.aiscripters.com/
- Resources: http://aok.heavengames.com/
- Multiplayer: http://www.aoczone.net/
Installing the Update
Please set the dropdown at the bottom left of the installer window to "Update age2_x1.exe" for a standard install. If you require a separate exe, please select "Create age2_x1.5.exe" instead. See the Features section above for more information about each option checkbox.
Download the latest version of the update, if necessary.
Ensure that Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion is not running.
Extract SetupAoC.exe into the "Age of Empires II" folder.
It should exist next to files such as empires2.exe and eula.rtf.
Run SetupAoC.exe from this location in the game folder.
Select the features you would like to install.
Click the Install button.
Run SetupAoC.exe using your chosen method.
Click the Uninstall button.
Close and delete SetupAoC.exe.
After installing, if you'd like to start the game in Enhanced v1.0c mode or v1.3 compatibility mode, you can find shortcuts inside the "Age of Empires II\Support" folder.
Features of UserPatch v1.5
In this article, you will find details about each of the features presented by the installer. Primary features are the most important to configure, while Optional and Advanced features are less important. Restricted features are hidden by default and should not be used in most cases. In order to install one of the Restricted features, please press "F5" after the installer window appears.
Out of Sync Warning
The (sync) mark indicates that a feature will affect multiplayer game setup or synchronization. Everyone in a game must have these types of features installed, or not installed, or you will experience errors. The game will try to notify you at the multiplayer setup screen to avoid an oos during gameplay.
Widescreen interface style
With this, the bottom center area of the in-game interface will span the width of the screen. This may be useful for certain widescreen monitor configurations.
Windowed mode support
With this feature, you will be able to play the game in a window. When you install this feature, the "wndmode.dll" support library will be placed into the "age2_x1" folder.
Port forwarding support
This will enable automatic port forwarding for UPnP compatible routers and setup your firewall. When installed, the "miniupnpc.dll" support library will be placed into the "age2_x1" folder.
Darken mini-map red
This feature will change the red dots for player 2 on the mini-map to a darker shade. On certain monitors, and LCD monitors in particular, the default shade of red may be difficult to see when positioned next to orange or purple.
Darken mini-map purple
With this, you can change the purple dots for player 6 on the mini-map to a darker shade. As with red, it may be difficult to distinguish between purple, red, and orange on certain monitors with the default shade.
Darken mini-map grey
Disable this to revert the grey dots for player 7 on the mini-map to the original light grey of v1.0c. Although this tends to blend with stone and sand terrain on most monitors, some may be able to render it distinctly and effectively.
Population caps to 1000
The v1.5 update provides population caps up to 250 by default. This feature enables caps up to 1000, in increments of 25. Performance and game balance should be carefully considered before using this. Computer players, in particular, may slow the game significantly after a certain point.
Snow/ice terrain removal
With this, snow will become grass, and ice will become moss. This is purely an aesthetic change, and should not affect gameplay. You can observe the difference on maps like Scandinavia.
Enable water animation
This will enable shallow, medium, and deep water to animate during gameplay. If performance is an issue, please consider leaving this disabled.
Precision scrolling system
This feature will enable the precision scrolling system, which allows you to scroll more freely without being confined to half-tile steps.
Shift group appending
When this is enabled, if you select a unit and then press Shift+[1-9], that unit will be added to the specified Ctrl group and the group will be selected.
Keydown object hotkeys
This will enable the activation of keyboard hotkeys when the key is pressed down without having to wait for the key to be released.
New save filename format
This will modify the format for automatically named save files to type.yyyymmdd-hhmmss.ext. For example, recorded games will be saved as "rec.20130908-063026.mgz". This format should make it easier to sort and order your saved and recorded game files.
Multiple building queue
This will enable the multiple building selection queue (MBQ) system. If multiple buildings are selected, any units that you train are automatically distributed between the buildings. On the game setup screen, the SQ/MQ (single queue/multiple queue) button will change this setting.
Original patrol default
If you prefer the v1.0c-style 10 second delay for patrol over the 2 second delay, you can enable this option to change your default. Both delays are always available to you in-game. By holding the "Ctrl" key when clicking to set the patrol destination, you can use the alternate delay.
Disable water movement
If you have checked "Enable water animation", you can use this option to stop the directional flow of water. This can make the water animation less visually distracting in some cases.
Disable weather system
This will disable rain, snow, and thunderstorm effects and prevent terrain tinting. If performance is an issue or you'd like to avoid visual distraction, please consider this option.
Disable custom terrains
Custom maps and scenarios can now override terrain graphics with their own. If you use a special set of terrain graphics (grid, etc.), this option can be used to preserve them.
Numeric age display
With this, you can have the current age number displayed next to the in-game score statistics instead of the full age name. This can help to make comparisons between player statistics in rec/spec mode, as the data should be more visually aligned in columns.
Touch screen control
If you only have a touch screen and no mouse, this can enable a basic level of play, using 2-finger touch gestures on Windows 7 and later. You can use 2-finger panning to scroll the view or 2-finger tap to right-click. Hold 1 finger down and tap another to open the chat box.
Store addresses for Sx spec
If this is enabled, spectator connection messages will be shown even for Sx mode (up to 32 connections). To avoid a possible flood of connection messages, please disable this option.
Left-aligned interface style
If you prefer to have the in-game interface aligned to the left, you can select this feature. If this is not selected, and the widescreen interface style is not selected, the interface will be centered.
Delink from system volume
With this feature, you can delink the game's volume from the system-wide volume controls. This is most useful for older systems, including Windows XP and earlier, to avoid the game affecting the volume of media players and other running applications.
Alternate chat box for wine
On wine for Linux, the standard in-game textbox can have a detrimental effect on performance. This option can minimize the issue by using a different rendering method for the quick chat box and blocking the rendering of most other textboxes during gameplay.
Lower quality environment
This will reduce the update framerate for water and weather animation. If performance is an issue, please consider enabling this feature.
Restore 20fps for single player
If the new default speed of 60fps is too demanding for your system, you can install this feature to restore the original 20fps from v1.0c. Only install this feature as a last resort.
Disable extended hotkeys
Install this feature if you would like to disable the "F7" (always-on-top), "F8" (background mode), and "F6" (m3u music playlist track switch) keys.
Force new gameplay features (sync)
With this, the multiple building queue feature will always be enabled, the multi-delete system will be enabled for shift+delete, and the SQ/MQ (single queue/multiple queue) toggle button will be removed from the game setup screen. This is intended for use only by mod developers.
Ore resource amount display (sync)
This feature will present the ore resource counter at the top of the screen, along with food, wood, gold, and stone. The Conquerors Expansion will not use ore. This is intended for use only by mod developers and should not be installed unless necessary.
Notes for UserPatch v1.5
This section provides more detailed information about the new features and capabilities that are included in the v1.5 update. Please read these notes carefully in order to get the most from your game.
Core Features of v1.5
- Population caps have been extended up to 250, or optionally 1000.
- All available video resolutions, including HD and widescreen, are selectable.
- Choose either the standard widescreen interface or the centered style.
- Spectate any single player or multiplayer game live without lag for the players.
- Mirror player civilizations with the new Team Random civ option.
- Select a maximum age for advancement using the "Starting Age" dropdown.
- Each map script generates 4,294,967,296 unique maps from 32,768 in v1.0c.
- Single player mode now operates at 60fps instead of 20fps in v1.0c.
- Browse saved and recorded games from subfolders in your SaveGame folder.
- Check real-time achievement statistics while watching recorded games.
- With the new Relics victory condition, capturing the relics is an instant win.
- The patrol system responds like The Age of Kings with little to no delay.
- New Random button above game settings for new styles of play.
- Flares are now bold and render player colors on the mini-map display.
- New higher resolution 1:1 and 1:2 full map captures with "Ctrl+F12".
- Age advancement notifications are now shown in each player's color.
- Restored games can now be recorded in all game modes.
- The vote panel/serial sync bug has been fixed for multiplayer.
- New auto-save if a problem occurs to ensure that resuming is possible.
- Optional multiple building queue to auto-distribute unit training.
- Many bug fixes for the core game and improvements for the AI system.
- The installer will correct any color problems on Windows Vista and later.
General Updates from v1.4 to v1.5
- Per-civilization m3u music playlists for both the core game and expansions.
- Precision scroll system option for smoother sub-tile scrolling.
- Shift group appending, which adds units to a Ctrl group while selecting.
- Keydown object command hotkeys, which activate without waiting for key release.
- Two-finger touch screen controls for Windows 7 and later.
- The score limit and maximum age are now displayed on the Objectives window.
- Switch players in sp mode or rec/spec with "Ctrl+Shift+[F1-F9]" (F9 is Gaia).
- Expansions can now override taunts and each can have its own hotkey (hki) files.
- New AI capabilities for precision micro, wall construction, and communication.
- New custom real world maps and tournament "random" maps.
- New dynamic random map and scenario modding capabilities.
- New direct messaging commands for in-game chat and direct AI taunts.
- New Medium and High starting resources for Regicide and Death Match.
- New self+team, neutral, and enemy technology effects for use with A.G.E.
- New environment effects including animated water rendering.
- Set language id 10815 to override the extended help textbox height for mods.
- New low-delay multiplayer (closer to single player for low ping games).
- Improved starting framerate (not 10fps for the first 30 seconds).
- Improved mouse refresh rate for multiplayer games for smoother movement.
- All save commands are now restricted by the pause counter and a timer.
- The multiplayer setup screen now updates in the background.
- Multiplayer gameplay now operates in Background: View Lock by default.
Spectator and Rec Updates
- New unit spy mode with dark fog to indicate unexplored tiles (All Visible checkbox).
- Alt+T (chat hotkey) will toggle the All Visible checkbox like Alt+F (flare hotkey) for Fog of War.
- The random map seed is now displayed on the Objectives window.
- The name dropdown list now renders text with player colors.
- Increased rec playback rate when watching at 100% max speed.
- The actual Sx maximum will now be shown at the game clock.
- The last IP address is now pre-filled in the spectator client.
- Configurable late-join time limit from the spectator client.
AI Scripting Updates
- Over 50 new AI scripting commands have been added to increase AI capabilities.
- Several new direct unit control command actions have been added for precision micro.
- Over 50 new object data sources have been added to provide more information to AIs.
- New strategic numbers for controlling villager garrison, trade evasion, and construction.
- AIs will now be able to precisely place walls and other buildings.
- AIs now have elevation awareness and can perform sub-tile unit micro.
- AIs can now see and respond to chat messages by player name or color.
- Please see Reference.html and UserPatchConst.per in the Reference/Scripting folder.
Random Map Updates
- New RMS capabilities to enable extended game modes and victory conditions.
- direct_placement: enable positioning of player lands with land_position and assign_to_player.
- effect_amount: execute any available research-style tech effects (civ tech trees still have priority).
- effect_percent: like effect_amount, but with decimal precision (divides values by 100).
- weather_type: set rain, snow, or thunderstorm effects, terrain tinting, and water direction.
- guard_state: set an object that must be protected to get a resource trickle or avoid defeat.
- terrain_state: set various terrain properties, including buildable shallow terrain.
- assign_to: assign a land to a player, color, or team in combination with direct_placement.
- rnd(min,max) parameter: randomize any numeric parameter "number_of_objects rnd(1,3)".
- New ZR@MapName.rms (zip-rms): create custom real world maps and more (see ZipRmsFiles.txt).
- Multiple wall lines can now be placed at different distances around the player land.
- With no TC, walls will surround the first player object; use REVEALER (112) for walled nomad.
- New UNIQUE_UNIT (-1) and ELITE_UNIQUE_UNIT (-2) values for use with create_object.
- direct_placement or a custom real world map is noted with !P after the map name in Objectives.
- effect_amount or effect_percent is noted with !C after the map name in Objectives.
- guard_state is noted with !G after the map name in Objectives, along with other information.
- In multiplayer, players are alerted by !Fixed Positions, !Custom Scenario, or !Guard details.
- Please see Reference.html and UserPatchConst.rms in the Reference/Scripting folder.
RMS #Const Updates
- Game modes: RANDOM_MAP, TURBO_RANDOM_MAP, REGICIDE, DEATH_MATCH, KING_OT_HILL, WONDER_RACE, DEFEND_WONDER, CAPTURE_RELICS.
- Version: UP_AVAILABLE (1.4 features), UP_EXTENSION (1.5 features).
- Player count: [1-8]_PLAYER_GAME.
- Team count: [0-4]_TEAM_GAME (unteamed players are TEAM0; all unteamed is a 0_TEAM_GAME).
- Per-player team id: PLAYER[1-8]_TEAM[0-4] (unteamed players are TEAM0).
- Per-team size: TEAM[0-4]_SIZE[0-8] (unteamed players are TEAM0).
- Settings: AI_PLAYERS (detect AIs to avoid creating situations where they can't play effectively).
- Please see AcropolisN.rms in the Reference/Scripting folder for a CAPTURE_RELICS example.
Scenario Core Updates
- The Set Objects button starts selection mode, while the Go To Objects button ends it.
- Added all values to the Tribute effect and Accumulate Attribute condition dropdowns.
- Fixed crash that would occur by the removal of many objects on a tile due to a terrain change.
- Fixed issue that would cause houses to change graphics when switching to testing.
- The rotation of resource objects (forage, etc.) will now be preserved for scenarios and campaigns.
- The map copy mouse region will now properly reflect the actual size of the copied area.
- The double negative object ungarrison trick now has a special exception to work despite a bug fix.
- Appending to an effect's selected units by holding shift while box-selecting new units now works.
- Selected units from different effects are no longer shown as combined when switching effects.
- The Message textbox will not overlap the dropdowns for Send Chat and Change Object Name.
- Select up to Elevation 11 instead of 7 (avoid high elevation at the map edge for visibility).
Scenario Trigger Updates
- Civilization condition: set Quantity to the civilization id (Britons: 1, Franks: 2, etc.).
- Random Percent condition: set Quantity from 1-100; negate it to disable the trigger after one test.
- Teleport effect: move a unit directly using the Task Object effect with Number set to 1.
- Execute custom tech effect commands with "up-effect" (see CustomScenario.txt).
- Modify specific, per-object, non-global attributes with "up-attribute" (see CustomScenario.txt).
- Force unique tech buttons to appear using the Research Technology effect with Number set to 5.
- Techs forced in this way must be researched before another action restores the tech tree.
- Extended Research Technology effects will now update affected building buttons while selected.
- An .scx or any scenarios inside a .cpx can load a terrain override .zip with a trigger.
- Adjust the new weather effects (rain, thunderstorm, snow, tinting, water direction) with triggers.
- Please see CustomScenario.txt in the Reference/Scripting folder for more.
Tech Effect Updates
- New tech effect type 7: Enable Tech, which can disable, enable, or force a tech for multi-use.
- New tech effect type 8: Modify Tech, which can set/add tech cost data or tech time.
- New tech effect type 9: Set Player Data, which can set DATA_CIV_NAME_ID (0) to a new lang id.
- New tech effect types 10-19: apply effects 0-9 to self + allies.
- New tech effect types 20-29: apply effects 0-9 to enemies.
- New tech effect types 30-39: apply effects 0-9 to neutral.
Tech Attribute Updates
- New ATTR_GARRISON_TYPE added as #30: append valid garrison type flags (see A.G.E.).
- New ATTR_DATA_FLAGS added as #31: enable garrison drop with flag 2; disable with flag 4.
- New ATTR_HERO_STATUS added as #40: set to 0 for non-hero or 1 for full hero status.
- New ATTR_ATTACK_DELAY added as #41: set to a valid frame delay count.
- New ATTR_TRAIN_LOCATION added as #42: set to a valid building id.
- New ATTR_TRAIN_BUTTON added as #43: set to a valid build button slot id.
- New ATTR_BLAST_LEVEL added as #44: set to a valid blast flag id.
- New ATTR_HERO_HEAL_TIME added as #45: set to the time to heal 1HP (default of 0 becomes 2s).
- New ATTR_SHOWN_ATTACK added as #46: set to the displayed attack value.
- New ATTR_SHOWN_RANGE added as #47: set to the displayed range value.
- New ATTR_SHOWN_MELEE_ARMOR added as #48: set to the displayed melee armor value.
- New ATTR_SHOWN_PIERCE_ARMOR added as #49: set to the displayed pierce armor value.
- New ATTR_NAME_ID added as #50: set to a valid lang id to change object name.
- New ATTR_CREATE_SDESC_ID added as #51: set to a short description lang id.
- New ATTR_CREATE_LDESC_ID added as #52: set to a long description lang id (unused).
- New ATTR_TERRAIN_ID added as #53: set to a valid terrain restriction id.
- New ATTR_TRAITS added as #54: append valid trait flags (see A.G.E.).
- New ATTR_CIV_ID added as #55: set to a civilization id (unused).
- New ATTR_PIECE added as #56: set to the attribute piece value (unused).
- New ATTR_DEAD_ID added as #57: set to a valid dead object id.
- New ATTR_GARRISON_TYPE flags: 16: livestock, 32: siege, 64: ships.
- New ATTR_HERO_STATUS flags: 2: no-convert, 4: auto-heal, 8: defensive, 16: protected formation
- New ATTR_HERO_STATUS flag: 32: self-destruct (ATTR_RESOURCE_CARRY must be 1 or 2; if ATTR_RESOURCE_CARRY is 1, hard-coded ids 440, 527, 528, 706 will test this flag).
- New ATTR_HERO_STATUS flag: 64: distance-based area damage with blast radius.
- ATTR_DATA_FLAGS was previously Unknown33 and ATTR_HERO_HEAL_TIME was Unknown26.
- ATTR_PROJECTILE_ID can now be set to a projectile type id greater than 255.
- All new tech attributes can only be modified by the SET_ATTRIBUTE effect, except ATTR_HERO_STATUS, ATTR_ATTACK_DELAY, ATTR_HERO_HEAL_TIME, ATTR_SHOWN_ATTACK, ATTR_SHOWN_RANGE, ATTR_SHOWN_MELEE_ARMOR, ATTR_SHOWN_PIERCE_ARMOR, and ATTR_TRAITS can also be modified by the ADD_ATTRIBUTE effect.
- If ATTR_HERO_STATUS or ATTR_TRAITS are modified by the ADD_ATTRIBUTE effect, the new value flags will be appended. If flag 256 is set, the value flags will be removed instead.
- If flag 1 is set for ATTR_GARRISON_TYPE, the building's "Back to Work" button will appear.
- If flag 65536 is set for ATTR_ARMOR or ATTR_ATTACK, the value is treated as 8-bit signed.
- If Interface Kind is set to 12, siege tower behavior will be enabled for Unload ability #12.
- If the ability is enabled, livestock (class 58) will be able to garrison into adjacent targets.
Resource Amount Updates
- New AMOUNT_BUILDING_TRICKLE_FOOD added as #205: set a multiplier for feitoria ability 151.
- New AMOUNT_BUILDING_TRICKLE_WOOD added as #206: set a multiplier for feitoria ability 151.
- New AMOUNT_BUILDING_TRICKLE_STONE added as #207: set a multiplier for feitoria ability 151.
- New AMOUNT_BUILDING_TRICKLE_GOLD added as #208: set a multiplier for feitoria ability 151.
- New AMOUNT_REVEAL_ENEMY added as #209: set to 1 to reveal enemies except for sp scenarios.
- New AMOUNT_REVEAL_CLASS1 added as #210: set a class to reveal gaia except for sp scenarios.
- New AMOUNT_REVEAL_CLASS2 added as #211: set a class to reveal gaia except for sp scenarios.
- If 210 or 211 is positive, ATTR_STORAGE_VALUE must be 0 to reveal; negate the class id to invert.
- Resource ids now exist from 0 to 239, with the range between 220 and 229 being free to use.
Weather Sound Updates
- Set language id 10812 to the rain sound effect resource id (default is 5323).
- Set language id 10813 to the snow sound effect resource id (default is no sound).
- If a language id is unset or otherwise invalid, the default is used.
- Sound effects should be relatively low volume to avoid disruption.
- Each sound effect should be between 5 to 10 seconds and loop naturally.
Animated Water Updates
- Water terrain slp files must be valid with no player color data added.
- To prevent flicker, please avoid excessive dithering with alternating pixel colors.
- Each slp will be 289232 bytes in size with 100 "frames" that form a 10x10 grid if valid.
- If an slp contains invalid data, the terrain will still be rendered, but not animated.
- To customize highlights, replace slp file offset 0x1C (4 bytes, 0x74, 0x65, 0x72, 0x00):
- Set byte 0x1C to the brightest normal palette index to highlight (default varies).
- Set byte 0x1D to the first of 2 palette indices to use as the highlight color (default is 0x16).
- Set byte 0x1E to a value that modifies frequency/randomness (powers of 2 like 0x20).
- Set byte 0x1F between 0x01 and 0x0F to enable terrain underwater or 0x00 to disable.
Chat Message Updates
- Added ">[1-8] Message" to send a message to a specific player color.
- This can be used with humans or to send taunt commands to specific AI players.
- For example, to send a message to red, type >2 Hello!.
- The main chat window horn buttons now also block text messages from players.
- Previously, the horn buttons only blocked audio taunts and flare sounds.
- The !mute command remains unchanged and only blocks audio taunts as before.
- Text messages from blocked players are still shown during a vote panel.
Core Updates and Fixes
- Fixed general patrol behavior (click back and collapse) and group movement.
- Fixed patrol behavior for non-ranged siege weapons like rams.
- Fixed repair for non-moving objects by reducing distance from 2.0 tiles (non-scenario).
- Fixed active, non-patrol, grouped units from improperly assisting nearby.
- Fixed gates removing nearby building foundations when construction begins.
- Fixed garrison behavior for active formation groups to adjacent buildings.
- Fixed unexpected idling behavior for aggressive units after ungarrison.
- Fixed statistics/score data when units are lost with a transport ship.
- Fixed player color and team sync when the host selects a scenario in multiplayer.
- Fixed save/restore of ATTR_HEALING_RATE, which herbal medicine depends upon.
- Fixed the object-data-carry value for AI farms and fish traps.
- Fixed transferring taunts to AIs while playing coop multiplayer.
- Fixed issue where AI attack group units glide when coming to a stop.
- Fixed issue where AI stand-ground ranged units idle while retargeting.
- Fixed issue where AIs on Nomad fail to receive extra TC wood on Hardest.
- Fixed issue where AIs would fail to position 2x2 farms properly for mods.
- Fixed issue with retaining blacksmith upgrades for gaia units in scenarios.
- Fixed train placement for large objects like rams when a building is walled in.
- Fixed improper window position when switching resolution to start gameplay.
- Fixed issue where AIs in multiplayer scenarios did not receive hardest resources.
- Fixed issue with tribute tax mishandling under certain conditions.
- Fixed issue where AIs would crash the game with certain object ids.
- Fixed issue with excessive screen jitter when scrolling across the map.
- Fixed issue with mouse clicks, where the focus would be shifted below the pointer.
- Fixed issue with auto-retasking, where villagers would idle in certain map regions.
- Fixed counting: ids 0-899 and 1000-1959 are countable, 900-999 are reserved.
- Additional bug fixes are included for the core game.
Previous Notes for UserPatch
This section provides more detailed information about earlier features and capabilities from before the v1.5 update. Please read these notes carefully in order to get the most from your game.
Changes from v1.3 to v1.4
- Performance improved significantly for single player and the rec viewer.
- Multiplayer CPU processing overhead reduced for human-only games.
- Double-click .mgz and .mgx recs in the SaveGame folder to open them directly.
- Team Random will mirror itself, preselected civs, Random, and Full Random.
- The interface now updates at 60fps for HP counters, progress bars, and more.
- Optional hidden civilization selection for lobby launched multiplayer games.
- Double-clicking on hero units will not select similar looking hero unit types.
- Barracks and castle huskarls are still selected together with a double-click.
- Set the Patrol Default state to On (10s delay) or Off (2s delay) with "Ctrl+F1".
- Hold "Ctrl" when clicking the patrol destination point to use the other delay.
- Always-on-top and Background modes now display onscreen notifications.
- Hover help can be toggled independently from event notifications with "F1".
- Browse several new in-game statistics views in rec/spec mode with "F4".
- Background mode is now tri-state: on, off, view lock.
- Additional bug fixes are included for the core game.
Spectator Stream System
- Hosts can control this with the spectator button at the bottom of the setup screen.
- Watch single player games, campaigns, and even 4v4 multiplayer games.
- Enable restricted viewing or allow up to 32 people to spectate at once.
- Spectators can late-join a game for about 10 minutes by default.
- The late join time limit can now be configured from the spectator client.
Single Player Recording
- If "Record Game" is off, your game is recorded to "rec.mgz" and overwritten each new game.
- If "Record Game" is on, your rec file is uniquely dated: rec.yyyymmdd-hhmmss.mgz.
- Never miss an epic event in single player if you chose not to enable unique recording.
- For multiplayer games, if "Record Game" is off, it is completely disabled, as usual.
Record Viewer Updates
- The rate hotkeys (usually numpad+ and numpad-) switch players without dropdown box lag.
- The flare button/hotkey (usually Alt+F) will toggle the fog of war setting.
- Replay speed now spans from 0% to 100% (0% = original slow, 100% = fast/unbounded).
- The Slow button reduces speed by 25%, while the Fast button increases it by 25%.
- Hold the "Shift" key when clicking these buttons for finer adjustments.
- The Normal button will return playback to 50% speed (75% when spectating).
New Statistics Views
- Switch between Score, Population, Economy, Military, and Society views with "F4".
- Score: standard player/team score, along with relic/wonder victory status.
- Population: current/maximum, M: military population, C: civilian population.
- Economy: W: wood stockpile, F: food stockpile, G: gold stockpile, S: stone stockpile.
- Military: R: razed enemy buildings, D: own destroyed buildings, K: units killed, L: units lost.
- Society: E: map exploration, C: conversions, R: relics held, T: techs completed.
- The current age is displayed after each player line in parentheses.
Scenario Editor Updates
- Setup units with the Create Object effect: set Number to 1 for enable, 2 for disable.
- Setup techs with Research Technology: set Number to 1 for enable, 2 for disable, 3 for force.
- Snap the view with the Change View effect: set Number to 1 for snap instead of scroll.
- Change Object HP and Attack can now directly set a value: set Number to 1.
- Heal units to maximum HP with the Change Object HP effect: set Number to 2.
- Change unit stance with the Freeze Unit effect: set Number between 1 and 4.
- Flash objects with the Change Ownership effect: set Number to 1.
- Resign a player with the Declare Victory effect: set Number to 1.
- Assign Ctrl groups with the Stop Unit effect: set Number between 1 and 9.
- Activating or deactivating invalid triggers will notify you instead of crash.
- Trigger elements are named and prefixed: C (condition), R (reverse condition), or E (effect).
- Fixed trigger corruption when attempting to select more than 25 units for a patrol effect.
- The Set Objects button will perform changes more reliably, avoiding unintentional deselection.
- Objects in the "Others" category will not be reset when returning to a trigger.
Multiple Building Queue
- Hosts can control this with the SQ/MQ button at the bottom of the setup screen.
- Select SQ for v1.0c style single queuing or MQ for the new multiple queuing.
- With MQ, if multiple buildings are selected, any units trained will be auto-distributed.
- Changing this in single player mode will preserve the default for future games.
New Civilization Options
- Team Random: mirrors civs on other teams, randomizing only if necessary.
- Random: the original Random, which attempts to give you a unique, random civ.
- Full Random: truly random, giving you the first pick, without regard for uniqueness.
Patrol Default Modes (Ctrl+F1)
- Patrol Default: Off - units initiate attacks after 2 seconds when patrolled.
- Patrol Default: On - units initiate attacks after 10 seconds (v1.0c style).
- Hold "Ctrl" when clicking the patrol destination point to use the other delay.
Extended Help Modes (F1)
- Extended Help: Off/Off - all of the extended help is disabled.
- Extended Help: Off/On - event notification messages are displayed.
- Extended Help: On/Off - extended hover help popups are displayed.
- Extended Help: On/On - both event notifications and hover popups are displayed.
Always-on-Top Mode (F7)
- Set View: Off - window will move behind other windows (default).
- Set View: On - window will stay on top of other windows.
Background Mode (F8)
- Back: Off - mouse locked inside window border, pause on alt+tab (default).
- Back: On - mouse free to move beyond border, no pause (spectator default).
- Back: View Lock - mouse locked inside window border, no pause (multiplayer default).
- Select a resolution lower than your desktop resolution to enable.
- Your chosen resolution will take effect once gameplay begins.
- Thanks to menopem for d3dhook, and veg for wndmode.
- Install with admin privileges to automatically setup your firewall.
- Forwarding ports is only necessary to connect outside a LAN.
- Only use if you can't directly forward 2300-2400 TCP/UDP and 47624 TCP.
- Ports will be forwarded dynamically as required when installed.
- UPnP must be enabled on your router for this feature.
M3U Music Playlists
- Set your favorite tracks as background music during gameplay.
- Create a "music.m3u" playlist in the "Sound" folder of the game.
- Press "F6" to skip to the next track during gameplay.
- Please see the Music section of this guide for more information.
Color Fix for Windows
- The color palette distortion is fixed by this system compatibility update.
- Admin privileges are required one time to apply the required registry fixes.
- This issue only affects Windows Vista and later.
DWM Fixes for Windows 8
- 8-bit color mitigation is enabled by this system compatibility update.
- Admin privileges are required one time to apply the required registry fixes.
- This issue only affects Windows 8 and later.
Maximum Age Setting
- The "Standard" and "Dark - Imperial" settings span all ages of the game.
- All of the other settings are restricted as described from starting age to end.
- If you play against the built-in Computer, a Castle Age maximum or later is required.
- Wonder Race must reach the Imperial Age, unless your mod allows early wonders.
Relics Victory Condition
- This optional condition can be found with Standard, Conquest, Time Limit, and Score.
- In this mode, the first player/team to capture all relics wins the game.
- There is no countdown; once all relics are captured, the game ends immediately.
- This condition is almost identical to the scenario editor-exclusive condition.
AI & RM Scripts
- New maps can use grouped team positioning for a different experience.
- Start your civilization on maps like Acropolis with new elevation attributes.
- AIs are selectable in multiplayer (direct ip or lan games are most stable).
- Multiplayer games can be started with only AI players for practice.
- AIs can now choose to close openings created in their walls.
- Boar hunting and luring is now fixed and operational for AIs.
- Ungrouped AI players will not ally themselves against humans.
- AIs are now able to lure deer and clear trees on michi maps.
- Direct unit control commands are available for precision AI unit micro.
- The reference guide describes all of the new features.
- For required defconsts, please see the included "UserPatchConst.per".
- Please visit the aiscripters forum for more information.
- Press "Ctrl+S" once to disable grid placement of non-building objects.
- Enable free placement of all objects by pressing "Ctrl+S" a second time.
- For free placement on a grid, press "Ctrl+S" a third time.
- Fill new maps or modify existing maps with any available terrain.
- Create maps using custom rms scripts directly in the scenario editor.
- Trees, mines, and more are now properly replicated by the map copy feature.
- Change the names of units in a specific area, without having to preselect.
- Use negative numbers more freely with trigger conditions and effects.
- New reverse condition checkbox to invert your scenario trigger conditions.
- Area selection options for the patrol effect and the fewer-objects condition.
- Change object speed, range, and armor with new trigger effects.
Custom Music Playlists
With UserPatch v1.5, you can provide a music playlist for the game to use as background music during gameplay. This file can often be created by simply saving a playlist in "m3u" format from your media player, naming it "music.m3u", and placing it into the "Sound" folder of the game. For properly defined expansions, the process is the same, except the "music.m3u" file would instead be placed inside the "Games\[NameOfExpansion]\Sound" folder of the game.
However, some media players use relative file paths like "..\..\..\Music\Track2.mp3" instead of absolute file paths like "C:\Users\Person\Music\Track1.mp3". The music will only play if these relative paths are based upon the game's "Age of Empires II" folder. This rule applies to both the core game and any expansions. Finally, some media players may save the playlist in UTF-16 or UTF-32 "Unicode" encoding. This will also prevent playback, as ANSI or UTF-8 text encoding is required.
For these reasons, it's often more reliable to create and manage your background music playlist using the installer's "Music" button, or create one manually as described below.
Create a Music Playlist
- Start the Notepad application from Windows.
- Enter the absolute file path of each music file, one per line.
- Save this file as "music.m3u" in the game's "Sound" folder.
- Start The Conquerors Expansion and begin a new game.
- Your music should play and switch tracks automatically.
- Press F6 to skip to the next track at any time.
Example File Content for "music.m3u"
Some players like "Media Player Classic" have many audio and video codecs, filters, and parsers built-in and therefore do not have to rely entirely on your installed DirectShow codecs. In these cases, it may seem like you have the codecs required for playback, even though they are not actually installed. If all required DirectShow codecs and filters are present, any music file format can be used. The wave audio format (.wav) should always work, regardless of installed codecs and filters.
If you use this feature, please place an m3u playlist for every available civilization into the appropriate Sound folder. The playlists are named by civ id: Britons are 1.m3u, Huns are 17.m3u, etc.
Spectator Stream System
In UserPatch v1.5, you can broadcast your game to up to 32 spectators at once in any game mode. To broadcast, the host must forward port 53754 TCP and provide their IP address to spectators for them to connect. If the "Port forwarding support" feature is enabled, the game will automatically open and close the port as required. Spectators do not have to forward any ports in order to watch games.
Setup Spectating as Host
- Provide your external IP address to spectators.
- Click the spectator button to change the number of allowed spectators.
- Start the game and play, as usual.
When the spectator button is set to "S0" mode, spectating is disabled. If set between "S1" and "S4", only that number of spectators is allowed. For "Sx" mode, up to 32 spectators are allowed. Notifications will appear as spectators connect and disconnect, and a counter will appear next to the game clock (press "F11" to display). To avoid flooding, connection notifications are disabled for "Sx" mode by default.
Connect as a Spectator
- Click the "Watching Player" button under single player options.
- The game will close and the spectator client will open.
- Under "Spectator settings", enter the IP address of the host.
- Click the "Spectate" button to begin.
The system will automatically launch the game when it starts. You can late-join a game in progress for about 10 minutes by default. If your connection is denied, your client will disconnect.
If you typically run the game with administrator privileges, you must also run the spectator client with administrator privileges or you may experience issues during spectator auto-launch. If you usually run without admin, then the same would apply to the spectator client. When the spectator client is launched with the "Watching Player" button, all of this is handled for you automatically.
Spectator View Controls
The in-game viewer will attempt to maintain smooth playback, while remaining as close to "live" as possible. The playback speed scale spans from 0% (slowest) to 100% (fastest/limited only by CPU speed). You can use the rate change hotkeys (usually Numpad+ and Numpad-) to quickly switch between player viewpoints without using the player dropdown box.
The spectator system runs in background mode by default, which means the game will not pause if you "Alt+Tab" or otherwise switch away from the game. This helps to allow spectators to keep their view "live", while chatting with others, multitasking, etc. In addition, background mode frees the mouse from the window boundaries. If you would like to disable background mode, you can press the "F8" key at any time. You can also toggle always-on-top mode with the "F7" key.
Clicking the "Slow" or "Fast" buttons at the bottom of the screen will adjust your playback speed by 25%. If you hold the "Shift" key when clicking these buttons, the playback speed will change at smaller intervals. Use the "Normal" button to return to 75% speed. If the view becomes choppy, it is likely that you have reached "live", so please wait as the system auto-adjusts itself.
It is strongly recommended to allow the system to automatically manage playback speed in order to keep the view "live" at all times. Increasing your playback speed manually will not cause any issues, however reducing speed or pausing playback will naturally cause your view to temporarily drift away from "live". For most games, spectators should not have to make any manual speed adjustments.
If you ever pause or delay playback, you can set the playback speed to 100% by using the "Fast" button in order to catch up to "live". If the players pause their game or are otherwise delayed, the spectator view will enter a waiting state until they will resume. If the host disconnects or the game ends, the spectator view will come to an end.
Setup Campaign Viewing
To allow spectators to watch a campaign game, such as the William Wallace campaign, simply enter the Single Player game setup screen, enable spectating with the spectator button, return to the main menu screen, and play the campaign of your choice.
Advanced Host Settings
If you would like to setup IP filters for allowed spectators, first open the spectator client by clicking the "Watching Player" button under single player options. Under "Server stream settings", enter up to 4 spectator IP addresses to allow into the game, separated by commas. If the allowed spectators list is empty, connections are unfiltered.
For additional control over the number of people spectating, you can set the max connection count anywhere between 1 and 32. After you are done, click the "Update" button to save your changes, and then close the spectator client. You may need to start a new game for the changes to take effect.
This section describes all of the additional registry keys and command line parameters that the game will accept in v1.5. Registry entries are stored under "\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion\1.0". The game will check under "HKEY_CURRENT_USER" first and then "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE". If both are missing for a given setting, the default will be used. None of the command line parameters will change data in the registry.
- Multiple Queue: REG_DWORD, Set to 1 to enable the "multiple building queue" feature.
- Patrol Delay: REG_DWORD, Set to 1 to enable the 10 second patrol delay default.
- Disable Help Text: REG_DWORD, Set to 1 to disable the event text chat notifications.
- Hidden Civs: REG_DWORD, Set to 1 to enable the hidden civ feature for multiplayer games.
- Numeric Age: REG_DWORD, Set to 1 to use a numeric age value on the statistics display.
- Setup Terrain: REG_DWORD, Append flags to disable custom terrains, water flow, and weather.
- Spec Default: REG_DWORD, Set between 0 to 5 to configure the default number of spectators.
- Spec Late Join: REG_DWORD, Set to the number of game turns for late join (default: 19200).
- Adjust Terrains: REG_DWORD, Set to 1 to replace snow and ice with grass and moss.
- Extend Population: REG_DWORD, Set to 1 to extend the population dropdown list to 1000.
- Mini-map Colors: REG_DWORD, Append flags for red, purple, and grey.
Parameters for age2_x1.exe
Format: age2_x1.exe [ parameter list ]
- GAME=name: Load the expansion defined by "Games\name.xml".
- NOWND: Disable the windowed mode library support.
- NOPORT: Disable the upnp port forwarding library support.
- NOPNG: Disable the png-format screenshot support.
- NOSTARTUP: Disable the introduction videos on startup.
- V1C=1: Start the game in Enhanced v1.0c compatibility mode.
- V13=1: Start the game in UP v1.3 compatibility mode.
- REC=1: Force the "Record Game" option to enabled for multiplayer.
- MBQ=0: Force the "multiple building queue" feature to disabled.
- MBQ=1: Force the "multiple building queue" feature to enabled.
- USESC: This replaces NOSC to enable strategic commander detection.
Parameters for SetupAoC.exe
Format: SetupAoC.exe [ parameter list ]
- -i: Install all fixes and features of the v1.5 update.
- -c: Install a subset of features for Enhanced v1.0c.
- -u: Uninstall and return to your original v1.0c.
- -s: Start the game after the operation.
- -b: Bypass the version check for v1.0c.
- -l: Disable game shortcuts in the Support folder.
- -f:options: Set feature checkboxes with 0/1 flags, -f:11111000110000000000
- -g:name: Operate on the expansion defined by "Games\name.xml".
- -v:version: Set a custom version id (3 characters), -v:2.3
- -e:extension: Set a custom rec file extension (3 characters), -e:pcm
- -t:types: Set resource type letters for stats (4 characters), -t:WFGS
Saved Game Filename Formats
Restore oos format multiplayer saves instead of vps whenever possible.
- Single player save: your choice.gaz
- Recorded game: rec.date-time.mgz
- Spectated game: spc.date-time.mgz
- Multiplayer save: mps.date-time.msz
- Vote panel save: vps.date-time.msz
- Out-of-sync save: oos.date-time.msz
Help for Installation Problems
Here, you can find the answers to some commonly asked questions. Please click on a question to see the answer, along with any associated information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it failing with the message, "The data backup could not be created?"
The update will not install if it cannot safely make a backup of your current age2_x1.exe, in order to ensure that you can perform an uninstall in the future. The problem is usually related to user account permissions. Windows protects system folders, like Program Files, by default, in order to keep the system safe from malware. In order for the update to modify age2_x1.exe inside the "Program Files\Age of Empires II\age2_x1" folder, your user account will need to have permission to write there.
There are 2 ways to accomplish this: the first, and perhaps easier way, is to run the update installer (SetupAoC) with elevated privileges. The alternative shown below is to grant limited user accounts the ability to modify files inside the "Age of Empires II" folder.
First, you will need to open an elevated command prompt. To do this, please follow the instructions under the "How do I run a command with elevated privileges?" article on this site.
After you have opened an elevated command prompt:
To grant limited users the ability to modify the game's files:
cacls "FullPathToAge2Folder" /e /t /p Users:C
To restore read-only permissions at a later time:
cacls "FullPathToAge2Folder" /e /t /p Users:R
An example of granting permissions with the default installation path (32-bit):
cacls "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II" /e /t /p Users:C
The actual path to your "Age of Empires II" folder may vary, depending on how you installed the game. Once you have granted limited users the ability to modify files in the game folder, you should be able to install the update.
It is telling me that "required files could not be located." What does this mean?
The update requires a valid installation of Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion v1.0c. In order to verify your installation, it checks for age2_x1.exe in your "age2_x1" folder. If this file is not present, or your installation is in a non-standard state, you will not be able to proceed.
Please verify your age2_x1.exe file in the "age2_x1" folder.
- Browse to the "Age of Empires II\age2_x1" folder.
- Look for a file named age2_x1.exe.
If you are missing age2_x1.exe, please reinstall the game from a valid installation source and apply the v1.0c update before continuing.
Why should I "install the 1.0c update for The Conquerors" when I already have it?
The update requires a valid installation of Age of Empires II: The Conquerors Expansion v1.0c. If you receive this message, it means that the required files were found, but your installation may not be properly updated to v1.0c.
Please verify the existence of empires2_x1_p1.dat in the "Data" folder.
- Browse to the "Age of Empires II\Data" folder.
- Look for a file named empires2_x1_p1.dat.
If you are missing empires2_x1_p1.dat, your installation either requires an update or is damaged. Please reinstall the game and apply the v1.0c update before continuing.
I can't watch a recorded game from v1.0c in .mgx format. What should I do?
To prevent the loading of incompatible data, v1.5 uses the .mgz format for recorded game files. In order to watch a v1.0c .mgx file, you will need to use Enhanced v1.0c mode. In this mode, all game errors from v1.0c are maintained, in order to ensure compatibility. This mode is not recommended for actual gameplay.
Please open the .mgx rec file from the "SaveGame" folder.
- Open Windows Explorer, File Explorer, or My Computer.
- Browse to the "Age of Empires II\SaveGame" folder.
- Double-click on the .mgx rec file of your choice.
What happened to my custom campaign files? They aren't appearing.
The game will now load and save custom campaign files (.cpx), and all other scenario-related files like background bitmaps (.bmp), to the "Scenario" folder instead of the "Campaign" folder. This makes it easier to isolate user files from core game files.
Please copy your custom campaign files from the "Campaign" folder to the "Scenario" folder.
- Browse to the "Age of Empires II\Campaign" folder.
- Look for files that are not cam*.cpn and xcam*.cpx.
- Copy these to the "Age of Empires II\Scenario" folder.
Why is the fast-forward playback of recorded games slower than I remember?
Windowed mode performs many additional computations in order to change color depth and translate graphics operations in real-time. For normal gameplay, there is usually no difference, however, when watching a recorded game on fast-forward, there is a distinct loss of speed.
Please reinstall the update without the windowed mode feature.
- Run the installer, SetupAoC.exe.
- Uncheck the "Windowed mode support" feature.
- Click the "Install" button.
Please note that it is normal for recording playback to slow down as the game progresses and more units are active on the map.
I can't hear any game sounds. What happened to the volume?
The restricted feature, "Delink from system volume," was installed. This causes the game's volume to be delinked from the master system volume, which allows the volume to be controlled in-game without affecting other applications on the system.
Please adjust your system volume settings.
- Open your system's volume control settings.
- For Windows XP, ensure the Wave/MP3 audio volume is not muted.
- For Windows Vista/7, set the game-specific volume setting to max.
- Start The Conquerors Expansion and begin a single player game.
- Raise the game volume to max from the in-game options.
- Make slight adjustments as necessary.
When starting a new game, the application crashes. What is causing this?
If your existing age2_x1.exe file is not a valid v1.0c executable, the modifications made to it by the update installer may render it unstable.
Please verify the version of your existing age2_x1.exe file.
- Uninstall the update using SetupAoC.exe, if necessary.
- Browse to the "Age of Empires II\age2_x1" folder.
- Look for a file named age2_x1.exe.
- Right-click the file, select Properties.
- Select the Version tab, and note the File Version.
If the file is version 0.7.26.809, you have a valid v1.0c executable file and there may be another reason for the failure. If your file version is different, you may need to reinstall the game or apply the v1.0c update before continuing.
I changed the screen resolution, but it's still small. What is wrong?
The non-gameplay aspects of the game, including the menus and game setup screens, are always shown in 800x600. Once gameplay begins, where you can see the Town Center and control your villagers, your chosen resolution setting will take effect.
Please start a single player or multiplayer game to see the change.
- Setup a game in single player or multiplayer mode and start it.
- The resolution should change automatically.
Why can't I connect to anyone's game? I've enabled port forwarding support.
Connection issues may occur if your actively connected network adapter (usually named either "Wireless Network Connection" for a wireless adapter or "Local Area Connection" for a wired ethernet adapter) is not at the top of the bindings list.
Please move your active connection to the top of the bindings list.
- Open "Network Connections" (run "ncpa.cpl" from the start menu).
- Press the "Alt" key to show the menu bar in the window that appears.
- Click on the "Advanced" menu, and select the "Advanced settings" option.
- On the window that appears, find the "Connections" list at the top.
- Use the arrow buttons to move your active connection to the top of the list.
- Click OK to save the changes to the bindings list.
- Run the game as usual.
If this does not resolve the issue, please contact your network administrator for assistance.
I'm hosting a LAN game, but no one can see my game. What should I do?
For LAN games, you may be unable to connect with certain router models if UPnP has been enabled on your router's configuration page. Although UPnP is helpful for connecting to the internet outside a LAN, it can interfere with communication inside a LAN on some routers.
Please temporarily disable UPnP on your router while playing.
- Open the "Command Prompt" (run "cmd" from the start menu).
- Type "ipconfig | findstr Gateway" to get your router ip address (usually 192.168.*.*).
- Browse to http://your.router.ip.address.here/ for your router configuration page.
- Login if necessary, find the UPnP system setting, and disable it.
- Host a game and see if others on your LAN can connect.
If this does not resolve the issue, please contact your network administrator for assistance.
The game is crashing in v1.0c and v1.5 on Windows 8. What has happened?
Support for 8-bit and 16-bit color applications, which includes Age of Empires II, has been removed from Windows 8. However, the application compatibility system can be used to allow these applications to run as expected.
Please install the update with administrative privileges.
- Download the latest release of the v1.5 update.
- Right-click the installer, SetupAoC.exe.
- Select the "Run as administrator" option.
- Install the update as usual.
If this does not resolve the issue, please browse to the "age2_x1" folder, right-click your "age2_x1.exe" file, and select Properties. On the window that appears, select the Compatibility tab, enable compatibility for Windows 7 or earlier, and click OK.
It's still crashing. Could one of my other running apps be causing a conflict?
Certain applications, including remoting apps like TeamViewer and other graphics intensive software, may conflict with the game and cause it to crash. In some cases, especially with certain graphics drivers, the original fullscreen mode may also cause the game to crash, and running in windowed mode may fix the issue.
Please close other graphics intensive software before playing the game.
- Close background remoting apps like TeamViewer.
- Disable any applications that modify your desktop wallpaper.
- Ensure that no other graphics intensive games are running.
- Run the game as usual.
Please try the alternate game window style.
- Run the installer, SetupAoC.exe.
- Switch the "Windowed mode support" feature checkbox to the opposite state.
- Click the "Install" button to commit the change.
- Run the game as usual.