Age of Empires III

Retail CD Release, with subsequent patches

Application Details:

Version: 1.x
License: Retail
Votes: 21
Latest Rating: Gold
Latest Wine Version Tested: 8.21

Maintainers: About Maintainership

Test Results

Old test results
The test results you have selected are very old and may not represent the current state of Wine.
Selected Test Results

What works

Everything (even online).

What does not



What was not tested

LAN play.

Hardware tested


  • GPU:
  • Driver:

Additional Comments

After a little work the game is running great. One thing to be noted is that a dll called "pidgen.dll" may be needed. The installer kept failing until I added it. AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition Nvidia GTX 260 Game works great at max graphics, minus antialiasing which will not work set higher than low for some reason. It makes everything go gray and white.

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
ShowArch LinuxDec 27 20238.21Yes Yes YesGoldBastien DUMONT 
ShowLinux Mint 20.3Jan 30 20238.0No Not installable NoGarbagePhil 
ShowArch Linux x86_64Dec 09 20184.0-rc1Yes Yes YesGoldIsaac Horvath 
ShowmacOS 10.13 "High Sierra"Nov 26 20183.0.3Yes Yes YesGoldYVES 
ShowmacOS 10.13 "High Sierra"Dec 13 20172.0.3Yes Yes YesGoldYVES 

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
20456 Multiple applications have text rendering issues with 'Courier New' font using distro provided Liberation fonts (cut off/partial text display)(FEAR, AoE 3, Supreme Commander, fasmw 1.x) STAGED View

Show all bugs

HowTo / Notes


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.

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.
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


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

Resolution issues with CD Key
by Ethan Bustad on Thursday September 6th 2018, 12:07
At the beginning of the installation, when asked to enter the Product Key, I was unable to enter in the key properly because the first input box (for the first 5 characters of the key) would only accept 4 characters (the other boxes would accept 5 as expected). This was across several wine versions.

I was able to work around it by messing with the DPI settings in wine config before running the installation.

Just in case anyone else encounters this problem :)