The Complete AoC Guide


A lot of this is now obsolete since UP 1.4 and AoEHD.
This is a guide to get you started with AoC and should hopefully troubleshoot most of the common problems that people face when trying to install and play the game.


1.1 - The Installer Freezes
If when installing the game the installer freezes at a certain percentage; this is usually happens when the installer tries to install the fonts. You should try the following:
  • Start the installer in administrator mode and try to install again.
  • Install the fonts manually from the \System\Fonts folder on the disc first and then install the rest of the game the normal way.

2.1 - Could Not Initialise DirectDraw
If you see this error message when starting the game, this can be caused for many reasons. You can try:
  • Turn off Windows Aero Themes.
  • Right click the game icon and change compatibility mode to windows XP.
  • If you have a modern Graphics card this can sometimes be an issue, try disabling your graphics card to play.
  • Try the patch here and follow the instructions given.

2.2 - Strange Colours In-Game
The screen is either black or the grass is purple/red. There are various ways to fix the colour bug, this bug is usually caused by the explorer.exe process and can be fixed by suspending this process. There is a long-term fix too:
  • Download the patch here and follow the instructions. When asked what file to patch select the game executable in the Program Files directory.

2.3 - No In-Game Music
If you have a pirated version or are using the no-CD patch then the chance is that you won't have any in-game music.
  • Use the CD to play the game (This is where the music files are stored)
  • Download the music and play it in a separate media player!

2.4 - Widescreen Support
In order to play AoC in widescreen you will need to use a patch. You can only use this patch to play offline so if you use voobly or GameRanger then it is recommended that you only use this patch for offline play or you make a copy of the game directory and use the copied version for the patch. The patch can be downloaded here.

In order to play online you will need the same patch as the other people you are playing with to have a trouble-free time. It is recommended that you use the 1.0c patch, this is the most common patch played on GameRanger. You can download the patch here under the Game Updates heading.

If you are playing on Voobly then the first time you enter or host a game room Voobly will automatically update your game version for you to ensure that you are using the correct patch.

4.1 - Recorded Games
If you want to watch a recorded game then you must ensure that the recorded game that you are trying to watch was recorded using the same game version that you are using (else an out of sync error will pop up). All recorded games from Voobly and the majority from AoCZone will be version 1.0c games, this is why you are recommended to get that patch!

  • 4.1.1 - Playback
    To watch a recorded game you will need to move the file (.mgx) to this location: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\ SaveGame\, once you have done that you will need to launch the game and choose: Single Player >> Saved and Recorded Games.

  • 4.1.2 - TroubleShooting
    Sometimes when you download a recorded game you will receive a .zip file, this file contains the recorded game which needs to be extracted. To open this file you need either WinZIP or WinRAR (both are free), when you extract the recorded game do not extract it to the SaveGame folder else you will get an error message. First extract it to your desktop and then move the recorded game to the SaveGame folder afterwards.

4.2 - Scenarios
Custom Scenarios often come with various other files, most will come with a ReadMe explaining what to do. As with recorded games you will be required to go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires II\ and copy various files there.

5.1 -Skill Level
If you have been away from the game for a long time or have never played online before then you will probably be in for a shock when you first start playing again. AoC has been around for an extremely long time and so have the players, so the standard is pretty high. Voobly has a new player lobby especially for people who are new to the game, I would highly recommend starting there or at GameRanger where the general skill level of the players is lower. If you are just starting out I would recommend trying maps such as BlackForest or Michi before moving on to harder maps such as Arabia and Megarandom; though this is completely up to you (BlackForest & Michi are no rush maps).

5.2 -Guides
There are various guides out there to help you on your way. An absolute beginners guide can be found here on AoCZone and some strategy guides can be found here to help you with various strategies.

5.3 -Media
There is a lot of AoC media out there and I would highly recommend checking some of it out!

  • 5.3.1 -Recorded Games
    Another good way to improve is by watching people better than yourself. You can find many expert recorded games to watch yourself at and will learn a lot from these games; you can also watch your own games back to see where you are going wrong.

  • 5.3.2 -LiveStreams
    There are various talented players who livestream their games for entertainment and educational purposes! Seeing first hand how experts play can really help you out, some streamers even give live commentaries as well. You can find a complete list of streams here.

  • 5.3.2 -YouTube
    As well as streams there are various Youtubers who bring quality entertainment, guides, tutorials and lots of other good stuff as well.

Hopefully I have covered the essentials, I'm going to take a break now before my mind frazzles but this is an open guide and can be added to as time goes on. If you have any suggestions/ corrections then please leave a comment below saying exactly what should be added or corrected. Help support me & subscribe @ YouTube or follow my Website
Thank you for your time, and enjoy AoC!


New Member
Apr 2, 2011
If you have been away from the game for a long time or have never played online before then you will probably be in for a shock when you first start playing again. AoC has been around for an extremely long time and so have the players, so the standard is pretty high. Voobly has a new player lobby especially for people who are new to the game, I would highly recommend starting there or at GameRanger where the general skill level of the players is lower. If you are just starting out I would recommend trying maps such as BlackForest or Michi before moving on to harder maps such as Arabia and Megarandom.

You may want to add that voobly is rated whilst gameranger is not.
I started out on maps like coastal and continental. I wasn't very skilled, but I like to think I'm decent. If I had been only trying out black forest when I started playing online.. well suffice to say that I would have looked for a faster map or gone back to AOE:P
anyway what I'm saying about the maps is: To each his own. Some players only want to play late game big battles-for those, balck forest is pretty good. others like me wanted to rush- basically anything besides black forest was playable.


Known Member
Sep 28, 2012
Can you provide some info on age of chivalry?I have it but I need to install it every time I need to play and after I uninstall it,turbo random map is missing from list of game types in aoc.Is there a way to use both without any hassles?

Feb 7, 2012
Dedicated to [NDC]clan to my Bro The_BsK_Priest The_Legend The_beast,to my Sire(dean) aka whirlpool,to my promate(sinan)aka firestorm,to my Bro The_BsK_Priest The_Legend The_beast

you sud have good hotkeys to have good speed and dm is all about speed
Building hotkeys:

bx=achery range
bz=siege work shop
bn=town center
b middle mouse button=lumberjack
b wheeldown=mining camp
b wheel up=mill

bt=bombard tower

i think its enough for Hehe building hotkeys

Now hotkeys for creating units:
in stable by holding shift and pressing z=light cavalry

in barracks
In achery range are the same hotkeys i hope you would have understood it

the same hotkeys in siege work shop respectively

in castle:
n=unique units

In monastery:

In market:
u=trade carts

In mill:
z=reseed farm

ok its enough for units :

Now some useful movements:

wheel down = unload

backspace = wheel up
mid button = pack

Now the most important thing,the army control.Dm is all about army
control and speed:
q=defensive stance
s=patrol attack[patrol attack is one of the most important thing in army control if you dont use it then you will remain noob whole life:frown: ]
d=stand on ground[for the ranged units so they will not become spread]
a=aggressive stance
z=to regroup army [lineup the army]
f= army expand[spread the army]

Some Move to hotkeys are very good for speed:
s=move to stable
a=move to achery range
d=move to barracks
h=move tosiegeworkshop
e=move to monastery
i=move to market
m=move to castle

The use ctrl+ 1 2 3 4..... use it for militry i use it for main base

Now im starting real training:

1)first thing in dm you have to learn good,smart,fast,beautiful,tight and smart gaps and nice sequence build.

At start we usually have three vills first of all click onto the tc[town centre] and order villies after it grab two vills
and build a militry building and put rallypoint(flag) of the tc on this building but be smart what are you building?[if u have pal civ
then start with stable and if u dont have pal civ and u are heavy camel civ then start with
stable too.Start with stable only in case if u are pal or heaavy camel civ otherwise
Start with barraacks].After ordering ur villies to build whatever militry building then grab
the last vill and make a house.Afterthat push(,) key to go to the scout or you can click scout manually
and send him to enemy territory( send to the berries)[all this process sud be done in 15 secs of the game push(f11) for time] as i mentioned before that your build sud be fast
so at start try to decrease your vills walking as far as possible for a faster start it is necessary.After it your scout would be in the enemy territory
kill atleast one vill with scout at the same time enemy scout would also reached your territory to kill ur vill
during that time scout gotta kill ur one vill atleast.So during that use(g) to garrison ur vill inside the tc[town centre].meanwhile ur army man
[halbs,pala, heavycamel whatever it would be] would be created and slaughter enemy scout.

2)After starting like as mentioned above always keep in mind that your vills sud never be idle
at all well during your militry building has been building make more militry builidings near to your
first militry building with small gaps in proper sequence so your vills would not walk much but
when your first builiding is in building process there would be two or three villies buildinng it
grab one vill build more militry buildings like one builing that is in progress or one step for
new builiding then again click on the builing that is in progress then again build one more buiding(in a proper sequennce)
remember after first militry building is built after that always one villie on one building
speacially in case youre (huns) Meanwhile dont ever forget to build houses.Houses sud also be in proper sequence
small gaps b/w(between) houses and very near to your militry builts always in a tight gap.And for faster start
u sud be alert with your pop(population limit) like if you have total 15 units u sud have
atleast 25 pop limit.So when your army man has slaughtered the enemy scout except that pala or heavy camel
put the rally point of your first stable right behind the enemy territory and
the incoming pala from the stable or heavy camel will head towards the berries when he reaches the
berries then kill one vill with one pal after he kills one vill take mile away him from berries
just like that with other stables second stable's rallypoint sud at the left behind the berries
(enemy territory) and kill vills from incoming pala from sec stable just like with third stable but rally point sud be at right bhind
enemy territory just send 8 palaa to kill his villies but the fourth stable's rally point sud be
into yours territory to protect your villies to be killed by enemy raids just like this 5th 6th 7th stable rallypoint sud be inside
your territory to protect your villies meanwhile also use (g) to garrison villies inside the TC[town centre]
because pala two hits=villi death so garrison is necessary even you having pala inside your territory to protect
halbs are very good against heavy camels and pala.
dont ever let any of your villie die And your pop(200) sud be 200 in 14 mins.f11(time)

infantry vs pala or camels civ

What sud we do?when we are you any infantry civ(having no pala orheavy camels) Start
with Rax(Barracks) if youre against pala or heavy camel civ make a mixer of champs and halbs
but halbs(halberdiers aka pikeman hehe ) sud be more than the champs in numbers.But in this situation no need to raid
at start becuz youre infantry civ and infantry walks hehe it takes time hehe pala at horse
he come like a car bahabahahaha.SO u just need to protect your territory speacially villies
all things are are same except starting raids i hope u may understood it hehe!

infantry vs infantry civ

But if youre against infantry civ youre also an infantry(in this situation raids start is neccesary to pressurize enemy) then with Rax only one halberdier at
start to slaughter enemy's scout faster and make 99.9% from rax no pikes champs after killing enemy's scout wait for sometime
to collect 7 or 8 soldiers then patrol them towards enemy territory if enemy's infant solidiers are also coming to
to raid your your poor villies also protect your base with soldiers if u have handcannoneer so also make them(if dont have then make arbalest hands and arbalest are very good vs infantry) so fight with them in the mid of the of map but try collect more small
troops army for reinforcement in this way you will have a chance to raid his villies xD.when youre in his base dont
fight with soldiers just kill villies xD.Dont sieze your attack keep on attacking that's it!

fast gameplay

how can u play more faster? Like we know one champ kills one elite eagle but one champ cant kill two elite eagle so be cool
.dont send army unit lonely for fight. isnt good,remember always fight in a group even it is consist of 4 or 5 army units but as game progresses the inclusion of army units in
group sud be start make sure that your army men are not going far away from your base.

Micro army control

if you want to be a good player then army control is a very important factor palas are very good against ifantry(infantry killer)But except of halbs and teutonic knights
pala very good against all cavalry except of camels pala very good against all kinda achers are very good against siege units but u sud be very careful with pala dont waste them ever
they cost expensive and they are the real aset of any pala civ except of byz pala(Byz pala are ok),dont fight on that place where you feel that they will die.Dont try to
fight pala vs halbs and teutonic knights(they are Anti pala) but when youre huns against teutons try to rush teutons faster if opposistion just have 3or 4 teutonic knights it is
np(no problem) But as game progresses teutonic knights will become more =death of pala.Rush carefully smartlly and ofc fast halbs are also pala killer
dont fight pala vs halbs at all its a waste though.And yeah lol elephants be careful against elephants.
But still pala Rox pala is the hero of AoC xD(i love pala<3) he has speed,strength,attacking power.Palas are best for raids at start and during the game.
Camels are very good (cavalary killer).But no that good against infantry and achers Zero against halbs and teutonic knights can do camels rush at start if youre fast enuf xD.But sara
camels rox their camels hitpoints are 170 these camels can perform a pala task.champs good against any infantry and halbs but zero against teutonic knights
not good against achers But to distract achers u can use siege rams they are good because they work as an obstacle against achers and divert their concentration from main attacking area this is what we call micro and slaughter achers with champs: )
but if you want to destroy siege rams as an obstacle against the achers u sud have some onagers and some sword men usually pala to destroy
rams onies are very good against achers and infantry simple onager is also very good but siege onagers rox.
!scorpions are very good against achers,infantry,also very good against elephants,
scorps sux against against pala,if not used well. But i tell you some tact that how to use scorps well.
if u are invading stance agressive push (a) it is necessary.Second thing is that make scorps stance defensive when youre defending even stand on groud rox But stand on groud is very good.
scorps having some rams among them but in front of scorps and having some onies for scorps specially in case youre can you kill scorps u can kill em with onies
but if u dont have onies u have lowest onager dont worry only two civ have lowest onies in AoC and got Siege rams and they've camels and pala when scorps are attacking u place 9 or 10 siege rams against them they distract the scorps or u can patrol rams
towards the scorps to distract em meanwhile u sud have mess pala push(f) to spread pala push (a) for aggressive stance then patrol(s) at the back of scorps [patrol(s)].how to kill elephants? well we cant kill elephants there are only two ways to kill them one
with scorpion but it is very difficult .But the most reliable and easy way to stop elephants are monks like you have 10 or 15 monk
with 15 monk u sud have halbs plus scorps regroup your army first make them clos halbs are at the front scrops in the mid monks behind onagers to kill rams
dont try to attack elephants hehe just be defensive when they come double click on monks click on one elephant
then hold ctrl button and deselect one monk then click on another elephants then again deselect another monk again click on another elephant again deselect again click ele again deselect againele in this way you will have atleast 10 elephants coverted at the same time hehe
do again and again when faith is filled again u can convert atleast 25 eles by this tact h. if you practise this and if youre master in this you can beat persians easily.

raids play an important role in your success raid with pala or halbs or light cavalry is good your first raid sud be in 20 mins
raid enemy villie it annoys your your enemy call them back if u think your pala has raided alot dont ever waste them but if youre halbs np for it but sud annoy your enemy its important(it diverts your enemy concentration make him to stop attacking against you for a while).if you have strong opposition attack from all sides a main attack sud always be ready to kill him but lilltle attacks+ raids from sides is good
and is only the way to beat good opposition dont raid! raid! raid! is bad,raid! when needed or if u havent raided for a long time 8 or 9 pala are good for raid But 2,3or4 pala are also good for it!just kill villies and call them back! or u can build small bases at your sides but a little near to your enemy's base but sidely u can also make castle for a strong little base raid and call them back to your small bases

after building a very smart,fast,tight,correct sequence order, build at start at the same time build tcs near your gold piles and
stone piles with gold piles two tcs are good but only nearer gold piles but the gold piles which are away only one tc is good
tcs near gold or stone and having a miningcamp with it,is very good! in the 7 or 8 minute of the game start making farms
at the start 4 to 5 farms are good but with passage of time make more farms but farms sud be build in a very pretty tight manner
spaces b/w famrs are very bad farms sudnt have any space among them and build one or two mills at the end of farms only when farms getting far away from
tc.dont travel your villies much try build eco where they are!Will be a happy eco: ) when your minners are enuf at gold piles then put rallypoints of tc onto the trees make lumbercamps near
dont ever make so much villies for eco so ur army become lesser.if u feel that there are useless and extra villies at eco select some villies and kill them.Not need to store your resources use them dont stop attacking
back up your army which is at war after making a huge army at start your remaining soldiers time by time will come out and send them for back up but a time come when gold will remain like 200 or 300 but it is still increasing but slow how we use less gold in a smart way?
simply just use (s) for stable (d) for barracks (a) for achery range for save your time and get a fast army in less time and in less resource if u wana make pala press (s)for stable and (x) pala in this way only one pala from one stable so this is faster way just like with achery range and barracks it is veryful when youre low in resources but always use this tact to create army after creating first army manually.By this tact it is very easy to continue our attack : ).

Map control:
send 2 pala on gold piles which are far away and send a villie there build a castle after this,tc and some barracks for protection
before all this when your are building a main base at start build two monastery for relics use(e) to go to the monastery and (w) to make a monk.never let your enemy to gain map.

Market use:
in team games when you will use trade use (i) to go to the market (U) to make trade carts it is a very faster away to make much trade carts in less time in team game market sud be build in under 10 mins or in the 11mins u sud have atleast 4 carts

lets talk about 1v1 Huns war:
in hunswar start with four stable at start three villies and three stables one vill on building and make sure one vill on one building.
make 5 barracks and 9 achery ranges two siege workshop but remember make 15 max cav achers from only three achery ranges and from the others make 10 max cav achers max the reason behind is that at the end you will have some gold remaining for rams use (h) and (x) to make one ram from siegeworkshop
in 4mins u sud have 100 pop limit but it will be 90 because at start you will raid with 8 palas they will die in killing villies if u can then save them to but they die usually and some of yours villis also die that's why your pop in 4 mins sud be 90.
first patrol halbs to the berries then after halbs patrol cav achers then pala.

Now we talk about frankwar:
start with 8 stables four barracks and three castles as fast as possible first attack with pala and halbs then mixer of axeman,halbsand pala
your first raid sud be done in 20 mins in frankwar raiding is very important use onies dont use scorps at all and onies are good to kill axeman
this start only good in frank war.when vs other civs then start according to the need.

Now britons:
I usually start with 4 or 5 barracks with two or three achery ranges and and five castles as fast as posiible onies are good with longbowman.

6 or 7 barracks two or three achery ranges two castles and siege onagers are very good

four or five stables two achery ranges three barracks four castles because catapharat rox onies are good.rams also,bbt is very good(bombard tower)

five or four barracks 4 siege workshop and two castles even one castle is ok and always make woad raider very good against siege.

start with 4 or 5 stables three barracks and two castles make more castles if chu ku no is needed but avoid to make scorps.china scorps are good but i recomand make them less onies are good rams are very good

four barracks two achery ranges one castle for quick treb to kill enemy mess houses around in beautiful manner and gaps
three siege workshop for scorps make onies if needed.

5 or 4 barracks three or four achery range 5 castles. onies are good scorps are avoided!But if needed then make scorps to specially against elephants.

five barracks four achery ranges two castles and mess onagers with bbt (bombard tower) is very good.

7 or 8 barracks,three castles and onies plus rams scorps when needed specaillay against elephants maya is the only civ which can kill persians very easily becuz they have monk stregth.

5 stables three castles 10 camels from two stables max and hussar five camels from three stables max and hussar onies rams and scorps are useless for mongols even against persia

two stables max pala 30 from both stables one barrack halbs three castles at main base others are at gold piles nearer to your home to protect villies no need to raid at start with persians just protect your base to be raided at start when yoour base is complete it is death hehe.what pala are important for persians to kill monks.

five stables,onies,three castles,rams

5 or 6 stables four barrack two castles at start rams,onies

5 or 6 stables four barracks two castles but dont make teutonic knight much just a few they are so slow:frown:. onagers

five or 6 stables two two achery ranges two castles bbt and bombard cannons plus rams.

four barracks four achery ranges three siegework shop scorps mess and some onies are good

i have tried my best explain everything in it.further to become a goodplayer u need experience you will learn many new thing at every new game
.watch live stream of good players it will help you alot(here i mean good player by 2k).
here i qoute a link where u can see live stream games live stream games help alot.

( [major]KD one of the best player specially with huns)



New Member
Oct 12, 2013
recorded games not playable

Hi..I followed the guide for downloading and playing a recorded game. The game shows up in my saved games folder but doesn't show up in saved games on the game itself..all the other saved games in the folder do...anyone any ideas?
If you are using a different version of AoE to the version of the recorded game then it might not show up. The rec you have is probably newer than the version of aoe you have :smile:


New Member
Dec 10, 2013
When I try to watch a replay it says it's too old. idk i'm using the patch from voobly and i played the games on that patch


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