AOE4 crashing and won’t launch – This guide will show you how to fix the crashing and startup issues in the Steam or Xbox app version of Age of Empires 4. A lot of users are facing these issues. Let’s see if there are fixes available.

Age of Empires 4 Crashing at Startup and Won’t Launch – How to fix

After waiting for almost 16 years, we finally have the fourth installment of the Age of Empires series. Just like its predecessors, Age of Empires IV is an RTS video game developed by Relic Entertainment in partnership with World’s Edge and published by Xbox Game Studios.

Game events are set in the Middle Ages. Age of Empires 4 borrows most of its game mechanics directly from Age of Empires 2. A total of 8 civilizations are available at the moment. And that includes, the English, the Chinese, the Mongols, the Delhi Sultanate, the French, the Abbassid Dynasty, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Rus. I personally don’t play Age of Empires titles, but the fans will definitely love this.

Now that the basic information about the game is out of the way, let’s talk about the technical issues in Age of Empires 4. I am seeing that a lot of PC users are complaining that AOE4 won’t launch for them, or is straight up crashing, whenever they are trying to start it. I am not surprised, to be honest. Age of Empires 3 Definitive Edition had these problems at launch too.

Anyway, there are several potential workarounds to this issue. Please work through the following steps to see if they fix the problem.

Compare the system requirements for Age of Empires 4 with your Hardware Specifications

A majority of crashes upon launching the game can be attributed to playing on a PC that does not meet the recommended requirements. Ensure that your system meets the minimum system requirements to run the game. Let’s take a quick look at them:

Age of Empires 4 - System Requirements

There are certain things that you need to check specifically. You see, this game lists Windows 10 version 18362.0 and DirectX 12 as minimum requirements. So, if your PC is missing one of those, then the reason is quite clear.

Also, I agree that this game is not demanding. But the game won’t run on really old systems. If you are a laptop user, you need something similar to an Intel HD 520 or RX Vega 11 to run this.

Graphics Drivers for Age of Empires 4

Nvidia has already released a Game Ready Driver for Age of Empires 4. The version is 496.49. You can download it from this link or directly via GeForce Experience.

AMD has also released a driver optimized for Age of Empires 4. The version is called Adrenalin 21.10.3 Optional. You can download it from this link, or via AMD Auto-Detect. Doing this would also fix any DirectX or Direct3D errors in Age of Empires 4.

You can get Intel drivers from here. Laptop users, I would recommend that you go to the official site of your brand, and download the drivers from there.

Check your antivirus settings

Some antivirus programs may prevent the game from launching. Check your antivirus settings to make sure the game is not being blocked. Add Age of Empires 4 to any whitelist feature in your antivirus program.

Make sure that you have set your dedicated GPU as your primary GPU on your Laptop

Many laptops come with two graphics devices: an on-board (or “integrated”) graphics chip, and a more powerful, dedicated video card.

If your laptop has an Nvidia GPU, then here is what you need to:

  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 4
  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

If your laptop has an AMD GPU, then here is what you need to:

  1. Open your AMD Control Panel.
  2. Go to Graphics and then PowerPlay.
  3. Set the Plugged In and Battery options to Maximum Performance.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Next, go to Graphics and then 3D.
  6. Move the Performance slider until it is set for Optimal Performance.
  7. Click Apply.
  8. If you have a Switchable Graphics tab, click it, locate Age of Empires 4 in the list, and set it for High Performance.
  9. Click Apply.

Repair Age of Empires 4 to fix crashes (For Xbox app users)

If you are playing AOE4 on the Xbox app on your Windows 10 PC, then you can actually repair the game. This will fix the game if there are any sorts of missing or broken files. Here is how to do it:

  • Go to your Windows Settings
  • Select Apps & features
  • Look for Age of Empires 4 from the app list
  • Click on Age of Empires 4 once you find it (Just use sort by : size)
  • Select Advanced options
  • Click on Repair
    Age of Empires 4 - Repair via Xbox App
  • Wait until the process is completed
  • Restart the Xbox app

Manually update Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables and restart your machine

I would recommend that you update your Visual C++ redistributable, as there’s a chance it hasn’t been installed correctly. If you are getting errors like “vcruntime140_1.dll missing” or “MSVCP140.dll was not found”, this will fix that.

Install your pending Windows 10 updates

Microsoft is known for releasing a ton of updates for Windows. Some of them improve your experience, while some of them end up making thing worse. If you do not update your OS often, then there is a chance that you are currently sitting on a bugged version of Windows 10. Install the pending updates, as it would only increase the compatibility of your system.

Update Microsoft Gaming Services

Check for updates to the Microsoft Gaming Services in the Downloads section of the Microsoft Store.

Verify the integrity of the game files on Steam

If you are missing textures or other content in game or experiencing crashing while playing a game, you can have Steam verify that the game’s files are installed correctly on the computer.

  1. Restart your computer and launch Steam
  2. Next, you right-click on Age of Empires 4 in your Library
  3. From the drop-down menu, select Properties…
  4. Select the Local Files tab and click the Verify integrity of game files… button
  5. Steam will verify the game’s files – this process may take several minutes

Launch AOE4 directly instead of through the Steam client

  1. Right-click on Age of Empires 4 in your Steam library and click Properties.
  2. Select Local Files.
  3. Click the Browse Local Files button.
  4. Double-click the AoE4.exe application to launch the game.

Uninstall and reinstall Age of Empires, or move it to a different drive

If you were able to install AOE4 successfully, but you are still encountering crashes in the game, please reinstall the app using.

You can even try moving the game to a different drive. For some users, crashes may be attributed to low disk space on the drive where the game is installed. Freeing up space on that drive or moving the game to a different drive will provide additional virtual memory to run the game.

To move your game to a different drive, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key and search for Apps & features.
  2. Click on Age of Empires 4
  3. Click on the Move button
    Age of Empires 4 - How to move to a different drive
  4. Choose a new drive from the drop-down menu.
  5. Click Move to automatically move the game to a new home.

I am watching all the forums very closely. I will update this article as soon as something new comes up…