Age of Empires III 1.x

Category: Main > Games > Strategy Games > Real-Time Strategy > Age of Empires III > 1.x

NameAge of Empires III
License Retail
Votes 20
Wine Version1.9.14
Maintainers of this version:
No maintainers. Volunteer today!
Retail CD Release, with subsequent patches
Selected Test Results (selected in 'Test Results' table below)

What works
Everything works after installing missing DLLs

What does not

What was not tested
Multiplayer scenarios

Additional Comments

Test Results
DistributionTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?RatingSubmitter
CurrentArch Linux x86_64Jul 18 20161.9.14 Yes Yes Gold Ahamed Imran 
ShowUbuntu 14.04 "Trusty" amd64 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Jan 15 20161.9.1 No, but has workaround Yes Gold Isira Seneviratne 
ShowUbuntu 14.04 "Trusty" amd64 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Apr 14 20151.7.38 No, but has workaround Yes Gold an anonymous user 
ShowFedora 21 x86_64Oct 23 20141.7.28 No, but has workaround Yes Gold an anonymous user 
ShowGentoo LinuxApr 19 20141.7.16 No, but has workaround Yes Gold an anonymous user 

Known bugs
Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected
657 Many games and applications need 'mfc42.dll' ('winetricks -q mfc42' is a workaround) NEW View
14026 Installshield Wizard does not exit after it finishes NEW View
18773 The Westerner: needs MPEG Layer-3 audio codec NEW View
32355 Graphic Bug with Age of Empires III UNCONFIRMED View

during first start enable the vsync in the option, in this way the game works without removing newprofiles2.xml every time


Installing Age of Empires III

The Age Of Empires III install will require 4 DLLs

mfc42.dll - dlldump
quartz.dll - dllfiles
d3dx9_36.dll - dllfiles - This one is not available on the Internet to acquire this file please see the section below about "Acquiring".

Place all but the Quartz.dll file above in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 and set them to "Native" or "Native, Builtin" in winecfg -> libraries. Backup any pre-existing files in case you need them later.

Open a terminal and cd to the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory and type "wine regsvr32" (Without quotes)

Install Age of Empires III as usual.

When prompted to switch disks use "wine eject" to eject the cd and place the next in.

Once installed copy the Quartz.dll file into C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory and set it to "Native" in winecfg, then run the game with CD1 in the drive and the game should start.

Next time you run the game you must remove the ~/My Games/Age of Empires 3/Users/NewProfile.xml file in order for the game to start again.

 2015-02-11 Admin note: some users have also reported needing native dsound.dll in addition to the above DLLs.

Acquiring the file

There are a few ways you are able to get this file. Choose one of the following:

  1. Copy the file from an existing Windows install (C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32)
  2. Copy it from a Windows XP install cd by issuing the following command "wine d:/i386/expand.exe d:/i386/l3codecx.ax_ h:/.wine/" assuming wine has d:/ mapped to a cd drive with a Windows XP install cd and h:/ is mapped to your home directory.
  3. Install a codec pack with the file:
    -Download this file.
    -Run BCM1043.exe with wine, it will ask for installing Gecko HTML engine too, install it. After installing, it will create a folder called ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/BCM/. Copy the file under 'Codecs/DIRECTS/Fraunhofer/' to ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/.

Adding Registry Keys

When trying to patch AoE III or install an expansion if the install complains about a problem is the AoE III installation and suggests you reinstall to fix the problem, you are probably just missing a few Registry Keys.

-Run "wine regedit" from a terminal
-Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE->SOFTWARE->Microsoft->Microsoft Games->Age of Empires 3->1.0
-Right click in the right pane and click "New->String Value" Name it "CDPath".
-Right click on the new key and select "Modify".
-For "Value Data" enter wine's path to your cd drive, ex: "D:\".
-Click "OK".

Do the same for the following Key/Value pairs:

Type: String
Key: CheckAccess
Value: 1

Type: String
Key: PendingVersion
Value: Leave it blank

Type: String
Key: SetupPath
Value: wine's path to your install, ex: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires III\"

Type: String
Key: Version
Value: 1.00

Now re-run the patch or expansion install and it should complete.


Installing Expansions

If when you try to install an expansion you get an error that says "Age of Empires III was not installed for all users or the current user..." do the following:

  1. Navigate to ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/profiles/All Users/Start Menu/Programs.
  2. Create a directory named "Microsoft Games"
  3. Inside "Microsoft Games" create a directory called "Age of Empires III"
  4. Install the expansion.


Alternative but Reliable How to:


This how-to explains how to get AOEIII working if you've tried the other how-tos and just want the game to get running.  Wine-0.9.53 was the latest version of wine that ran AOE without ANY bugs (including the VSYNC/newprofile.xml bug).  You will need the above DLLs put into your system32 directory and the library links in winecfg made (see above instructions). 

Step 1:

Install wine-0.9.53.  You will most likely have to compile, but if you use Ubuntu there are still binaries available here:  If you have to compile, download the source and make sure that you have all the dependencies.  (You can actually look on the 64bit page for the list, although you will only need the 32bit packages.  If you are compiling on 64 bit, look at this page.


Step 2:

Get the DLLs mentioned above and install them exactly as prescribed.  d3dx9_36.dll (You may also need d3dx9_25.dll, depending on your system.)  mfc42.dll, and quartz.dll.  Make sure to add the appropriate library references in winecfg.  If you want MP3s to work, also get, and remember to register the file using 'wine regsvr32'.

Step 3:

Install the game.  Remember to use 'wine eject' when it asks for the next disc.

 Step 4:

Play!  The amazing thing is, there is no VSYNC/newprofile error!  I have tried to work on a patch to fix the regression that took place after wine-0.9.53, but my patch would apparently hurt other programs.  For those of you who gave up, though, I've never failed to get AOE working on 0.9.53.  Good luck!

(Alternative How-to written by D.M.)





Supposedly, there is a Play on Linux script that installs/patches/runs AoE III.  The script may be found here:

Age of Empires III - PlayonLinux


Although I have not tested it, I will post my own results if I do.  Good luck with it...


- D.M.



If Age of Empires III is crashing when you start it, make sure you have deleted the ~/My Games/Age of Empires 3/Users/NewProfile.xml file.

--Edit--  This problem shouldn't exist if you set VSYNC to "ON" the very first time you start the game.

Alternative HowTo's

These HowTo's may be needed for older versions of wine.  If you are experiencing problem with the main HowTo try one of these.

Alternative HowTo 1

** Note ** Where there is a quote, it means to type everything in between the quotes.  If there is a word enclosed in brackets, the word will be printed on a key on the keyboard.

1. Copy all .dll's from Disk1 to .wine/drive_c/windows/system32
2. Download mfc42.dll (or copy from XP) and put it in your .wine/drive_c/windows/system32 directory otherwise it will complain that the file is missing.  If you have any problems complaining about mfc42.dll, it means you have a bad copy of it.
3. Set your Windows version to Windows XP using the winecfg tool or it will complain that this game can only be installed on Windows XP
4. At a command prompt, type "mkdir ~/tempaoe3". Copy all 3 CD contents into ~/tempaoe3.
5. Change to .wine/dosdevices
6. Delete d: (At a command prompt, type "rm d:"). Type "ln -s ~/tempaoe3 d:" This will change d: to the ~/tempaoe3 directory you copied all your files to from step 4.
At a command prompt, type "wine cmd.exe"
At the DOS prompt, type "d:" and press [ENTER].
At the DOS prompt, Type "setup" and press [ENTER].
10. Once you see the first screen click next
11. Click I agree and move the window to the lower right corner (just leave enough of the window, to drag it back up, after the next step, you have to move it because if you don't you will not see the serial input screen and you will need to restart the installation), Then press ENTER. (You are actually pressing the NEXT button, but you can't see it)
12. Enter the serial and click next.
13. Now drag the other window back up, and Choose custom or standard installation (whichever you like and click next).
14. Now AOE3 will begin to install, and though it appears to hang, again be patient it takes about 3 minutes for the installation to react).
15. If it asks for Disk 1 again, just quit the installer.
16. Once you are done click finish, go to the console and kill the IDriver.exe and IDriverT.exe as it will have created the nescassary registry entries, but the installer will keep hanging in the memory.

Read the note below titled "MP3 sound/speeches issue workaround!" for speech issues.

Alternative HowTo 2

1. Copy all ".dll" of disc 1 in "~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32"
2. Download "mfc42.dll" and "d3dx9_25.dll" in "~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32"
3. Open two Terminal windows.
4. In the first console, type "wine cmd", to start the WIne's CMD shell, also make the same to the second console.
5. In the first console, type "d:\autorun", to start the game's installation (CD1 must be inserted).
6. Follow the on-screen instructions. The installation should run normally, without delays.
7. When the installer asks for the next CD, switch to the second console and type: "eject d:". It will eject the Cd flawlessly.
8. Put in the next CD, and wait for it to mount.
9. It's better waiting about 15-20 seconds before click on "Retry" button, or the installer fails.
10. Repeat the act 7,8,9 as necessary when switch a CD.
11. Copy CD crack to Installation path

Turn off 'allow pixel shader' in winecfg under Graphics!  This usually only applies to Ubuntu users because the wine pixel shader is broken under recent releases of Ubuntu.

A Good Way to install the Game for Running in Wine

Dependence: you need a version of windows, say windows XP or others.

step 1:  Install Age of Empires III in your windows and make everything works (it's easy to do it).

step 2:  In your windows, run regedit.exe and export the Registry key for AOE3, you can find the key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Microsoft Games. you export them and save as age3.reg

step 3: In your linux, first create a new prefix for your wine, then copy all AOE3's installation directory ( mostly in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Game\Age of Empires III ) to  ~/.wine/drive_c/Progam File/Microsoft Game/Age of Empires III.

step 4: Import the registry file that exported in step 2 to wine ( just run the command wine regedit age3.reg )

step 5: To run the game you need these dlls d3dx9_36.dll mfc42.dll msxml4.dll msxml4r.dll. you can copy them from you local windows ( in C:\windows\system32\ ) to your wine (to ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/), and use winecfg to set these library to 'native' (this step is important)

step 6: now you can run the game in wine, everything works fine except that no mp3 music playing.

PS: sound works, too


to switch cd use "wine eject"


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. WineHQ is not responsible for what they say.

Error reading setup initialization file
by redrum373 on Monday October 24th 2016, 7:35
Hi Mac user here!,

I was wondering if anyone could help me out with the error named:
Error reading setup initialization file

I have followed all the steps, yet it still is being persistent...
The only thing that went wrong in the steps so far is the "wine regsvr32" not being a command according to terminal... (i gave it the right path to the file)

Thanks in advance!

[post new] [reply to this]

Bypass CD Key error
by Etchy on Wednesday September 3rd 2014, 1:36
To bypass the CD Key PID error, choose 'Custom Install' instead of Express and uncheck 'Install for all users'

[post new] [reply to this]

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