Age of Empires III Definitive Edition

Fix Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Crash at Startup, Stuttering, and FPS Drop

Fix Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Crash at Startup, Not Launching and Performance Issues

Age of Empires III is a perineal favorite and the Definitive Edition of the game has been a long impending title. However, ever since the release the game, it has come under massive criticism for performance problems and locked frame rate. In this guide, we set out to help you resolve the Age of Empires III Definitive Edition crash at startup, stuttering, and FPS drop. Keep scrolling for more.

Fix Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Crash at Startup, Stuttering, and FPS Drop

Here are all the solutions you can try to resolve the Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Crash at Startup, Stuttering, and FPS Drop. Before we proceed, ensure you meet the system requirements to play the game.

MinimumRecommended
OS: Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higherOS: Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher
Processor: Intel i3-2105 @ 3.1GHz or AMD Phenom II X4 973 with an average CPU Passmark score of 3735 or betterProcessor: Intel i5-3300 @ 3.0GHz or AMD FX-8350 or equivalent with an average CPU Passmark score of 4100 or better
Memory: 8 GB RAMMemory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: GeForce GT 430, Radeon HD 5570, or Intel HD 4400 with an average Passmark G3D Mark of 570 or betterGraphics: GeForce GTX 980 or Radeon R9 Fury or equivalent with an average Passmark G3D Mark of 9500 or better
DirectX: Version 11DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 42 GB available spaceStorage: 42 GB available space
Additional Notes: 2 GB VRAMAdditional Notes: 4 GB VRAM

If you meet the system requirements, let’s proceed with the fixes.

Fix 1: Disable the Antivirus Completely

As the antivirus is the primary culprit, disable the antivirus or the Windows Defender and try to play the game. If the game works, you need to set an exception for the game on the respective antivirus software as you can keep the security software disabled for long. Here are the steps.

Windows Virus & Threat Protection

  1. Press Windows Key + I and select Update & Security
  2. Click on Windows Security, select Virus & Threat Protection
  3. Under Virus & threat protection settings, click on Manage settings
  4. Locate Exclusions by scrolling down, click on Add or remove exclusions
  5. Click on Add an exclusion and select Folder
  6. Browse the Age of Empires III Definitive Edition folder and set the exclusion.

Kaspersky Internet Security

  • Home >> Settings >> Additional >> Threats and Exclusions >> Exclusions >> Specify Trusted Applications >> Add.

AVG

  • Home >> Settings >> Components >> Web Shield >> Exceptions >> Set the exception.

Avast Antivirus

  • Home >> Settings >> General >> Exclusions >> Set the exclusion.

Fix 2: Verify Integrity of Game Files

If the game itself is corrupted that could also lead to crash at startup or mid-game crash with Age of Empires III Definitive Edition. Here are the steps to check and repair corrupt files on Steam.

  1. Launch the Steam client
  2. From the LIBRARY, right-click on Age of Empires III Definitive Edition and select Properties
  3. Go to LOCAL FILES and click on VERIFY INTEGRITY OF GAME FILES…

Fix 3: Disable Fullscreen Optimizations

If the game is set for full-screen optimization, it can lead to crash and not launching problem. As such you must disable the full-screen optimization. You can also provide the game with admin permission, often that’s another cause for these errors. As both settings are located at the same place, the procedure is simple and straightforward.

In order to perform the above two fixes, go to the desktop shortcut of the game and right-click, select Properties. Now, go to the Compatibility tab and check Disable fullscreen optimization and Run this program as an administrator. Click Apply and Ok to save the changes.

Verify if the Age of Empires III Definitive Edition crashing at startup, not launching problems still occur.

Fix 4: Update the Graphics Drivers

Although an outdated graphics card driver causes the most crashes, you should keep all drivers and software updated on the system. This includes the OS, audio drivers, motherboards, processors, etc.

So, first update the graphics card drivers and check if Age of Empires III Definitive Edition crashes on startup or in-game. Nvidia recently released Game Ready Driver. Here are the link to both Nvidia and AMD drivers you need.

Nvidia Game Ready Driver

AMD Radeon Software Driver

Select your OS and other specs and download and install the software. If the problem persists, update everything from OS to audio drivers and check again.

Fix 5: Terminate Unnecessary Applications and Perform Clean Boot

With so many games, third-party software that forcefully inject themselves between operations cause crash in the game. Hence, the first thing we must do to resolve the Age of Empires III Definitive Edition crashing on startup or failed to launch error is suspend all unnecessary programs and then launch the game. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type msconfig, hit Enter
  2. In General tab, uncheck Load startup items
  3. Go to the Services tab
  4. Check Hide all Microsoft services
  5. Now, click Disable all
  6. Click on Apply and OK.

Try launching the game, check if the error still occurs. If it does, disable all startup tasks from Task Manager, restart the system and try playing again.

Fix 6: Disable Steam Overlay

If the game crashes right after the intro video, the cause of the problem can be the Steam Overlay. This feature has been known to act up with some games. You can resolve the error by disabling the Steam Overlay. Launch Steam client. Click on Library and right-click on Age of Empires III Definitive Edition. Select Properties and uncheck Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.

Close Steam and check if the in-game crash or Age of Empires III Definitive Edition crash at startup still occurs.

Fix 7: Disable or Remove GeForce Experience / MSI Afterburner

Sometimes third-party software can tune the GPU settings that does not pair with the game leading to the error. By simply disabling the software, you can resolve the errors. You can uninstall the programs to disable them or simply disable them from the Task Manager. Disable the programs via any method that suits you. Once done, try playing the game and check if the error still appears.

Fix 8: Disable Shader Cache

For Nvidia users, you can disable the Shader Cache which is known to crash games. Here are the steps to disable Shader Cache from the Nvidia Control panel.

  1. Right-click on Desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel
  2. Expand 3D Settings > Manage 3D settings > Program Settings
  3. Click Add and select Age of Empires III Definitive Edition
  4. Under Specify the settings for this program, locate Shader Cache and select Off.

Check if the Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Game Crashes at Startup, Crashes Mid-game, and other performance errors still occur. If they do, try the next fix.

Fix 9: Remove Bad Sectors from the HHD

If you have bad sectors on your HDD, it could also be causing the crash. Although you could correct the corruption in the file system via CHKDSK on Command Prompt, here is a simple alternative.

  1. Right-click on C drive or the partition where you have installed the game and the launcher.
  2. Select Properties and go to Tools
  3. Click on Check and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. Try playing the game.
  4. After the process completes, the window will auto-exit.

Now, try playing the game and check if Age of Empires III Definitive Edition crashing error still occurs.

Fix 10: Modify Discord Settings

The in-game overlay and the hardware acceleration of Discord is also known to cause crash in games. So, if you have the software installed and running disable the overlay and hardware acceleration. Here are the steps you can follow.

  1. Launch the Discord app and click on User Settings
  2. Click on Voice & Video in the left menu
  3. Locate Advanced by scrolling down and click
  4. Next, disable OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco System, Inc. and Enable Quality of Service High Packet Priority
  5. Go to Overlay and disable it
  6. Go to Advanced anddisable Hardware Acceleration.

Hopefully, the above solutions have resolved the Age of Empires III Definitive Edition Crashing at Startup and Won’t Launch problem with the game. Let us know in the comments if you have better solutions.

Tim Blisz
I am an avid gamer who loves to write about games. When not writing, I like to cook and play first-person shooter video games.

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