Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition – Fix Crashing, Stuttering and Lag

Age of Empires 3 (AOE 3) Definitive Edition crashing, stuttering and lag fix – Experiencing performance issues in Age of Empire 3 Definitive Edition 2020? Here are few basic fixes that you can try for that.

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition – Fix Crashing, Stuttering and Lag

Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition – PC Requirements

  • Minimum:
      • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
      • OS: 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 better
      • Memory: 8 GB RAM
      • Graphics: GeForce GT 430, Radeon HD 5570, or Intel HD 4400 with an average Passmark G3D Mark of 570 or better
      • DirectX: Version 11
      • Network: Broadband Internet connection
      • Storage: 42 GB available space
      • Additional Notes: 2 GB VRAM
  • Recommended:
      • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
      • OS: Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher
      • Processor: Intel i5-3300 @ 3.0GHz or AMD FX-8350 or equivalent with an average CPU Passmark score of 4100 or better
      • Memory: 16 GB RAM
      • Graphics: GeForce GTX 980 or Radeon R9 Fury or equivalent with an average Passmark G3D Mark of 9500 or better
      • DirectX: Version 11
      • Network: Broadband Internet connection
      • Storage: 42 GB available space
      • Additional Notes: 4 GB VRAM

Fix #1 – Check whether your graphics drivers are updated or not

Here are the links to the latest drivers for AMD and Nvidia graphics cards:

  1. Nvidia Drivers
  2. AMD Drivers

Fix #2 – Best Video or graphics settings for Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition

This section is being updated…

Fix #3 – Terminate all overclocking applications or utilities running in the background

If by any chance you are experiencing micro stutters and random freezing in Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition or the game is crashing for you, check whether you have any overclocking application like Afterburner running in the background or not. If you are a person who likes to overclock his graphics cards to squeeze out some extra performance, then there is a bad news for you. It looks like Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition gets affected by overclocking as well so just to be on the safe side try to avoid CPU or GPU overclocking.

Fix #4 – Verify the in-games files of Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition via Steam

You can actually verify the in-game files of the game to check whether your system is missing any files that might be causing the game to crash or freeze:

  • Go to your Steam Library
  • Right click on Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition
  • Select Properties
  • Click on the Local Files tab
  • Click on Verify Integrity of Game File

Fix #5 – Disable Nvidia Overlay

Recently I have noticed that a lot of Nvidia services would pop up whenever I turn on the Nvidia In-Game Overlay. You won’t realize until you check properly that there are a lot of these services and though individually they are consuming very little percentage of your CPU, when you combine them it is a hefty chunk. So try turning it off.

  • Launch Nvidia Geforce Experience
  • Click on the Settings icon on the top right corner
  • Select the General Tab
  • Turn of In-Game Overlay
  • Restart your system

Fix #6 – Update your OS to Windows 10 version 18362.0 or higher

The PC version of Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition does not support any other OS other than Windows 10, that too the 64-bit version. So if you have a different OS installed then you are out of luck here. Neither this game will run on Windows 7, nor will it run on Windows 8.1 or Linux. I know this is not really a fix, but this is something everyone should know.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Update & Security
  3. Click on Check for updates
  4. Wait for the updates to get installed
  5. Restart your PC

Fix #7 – Re-install AOE Definitive Edition (Only if nothing else works)

If none of the fixes mentioned above work for you then is your last resort. Game installations go wrong all the time. A file might have gone corrupted during the installation process. And that might be the reason why the game is crashing for you. So do a fresh installation of the game once.

Before you go for the re-installation, make sure you empty your “Temp” folder.

  • Go to the Start menu on your Desktop.
  • Press the Windows key+R at the same time.
  • Type in %TEMP% and press Enter.
  • Select All (Edit > Select All or Ctrl+A).
  • Click the Delete key.

Fix #8 – Try Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling

If you have the latest build of Windows 10 (2004) then you should make use of the brand new feature called hardware-accelerated gpu scheduling. If you have a decent graphics card then you might actually benefit from this. Here is how to turn it on:

  1. Go to Windows 10 settings
  2. Click on System
  3. Select the Display tab on the left
  4. Scroll down and you will notice an option called Graphics Settings at the bottom
  5. Click on it
  6. Turn on Hardware-accelerated GPU Scheduling
  7. Restart your PC

Graphics performance preference

The Graphics Settings menu has another awesome feature that allows you to set a graphics performance preference for a particular app. Here is how to do it:

  • Set “Choose an app to set preference” to Desktop app
  • Click on browse
  • Go the installation folder of Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition
  • Select the .exe file or the executable
  • Click on Options once the .exe file is added
  • Choose High Performance
  • Restart your PC

Fix #9 – Graphics Processor (For Laptops with Nvidia Graphics Cards)

Considering that a lot of people like to play games like Age of Empires 3 on their gaming laptops, a lot of times they forget to switch to their dedicated graphics card. If your laptop features a Nvidia graphics card inside then you need to make sure your laptop is using that instead of the low powered integrated one.

  1. Launch Nvidia Control Panel
  2. Click on Manage 3D settings located on the left side
  3. Click on the Program Settings tab
  4. Under “Select a program to customize” select Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition
  5. If it is not there then click on Add and then select it
  6. Now set “Select the preferred graphics processor for this program” to “High-performance NVIDIA processor

Fix #10 – Disable Steam Overlay

  1. Launch Steam
  2. Go to Steam Settings
  3. Click on the “In-game” tab from the left
  4. Uncheck “Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game”

Click here to check out the Official Steam Discussions page of Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition.


If you think this guide had helped you then let us know in the comment section below. Also, if you are facing other problems with the game then try checking out our other guides on Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition. Who knows, you might end up finding a fix.


That’s all folks!

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