AoE II HD Compatibility Patch

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This is a community created compatibility patch for those that have purchased Age2HD from Steam to support the running the game in a mode supporting the original The Conquerors release.

The purpose of the patch is to provide a quick and legal way to purchase the HD version of the game through Steam, and add compatibility with the regular Age of Empires II. This patch does not violate copyright, no files from the original CD are used -- more on this below.


Reasons for using this patch include:

Compatibility Mode Behavior

When playing in compatibility mode, the game will behave exactly as it did in the original and the enhanced HD version , with community made patches such as UserPatch.

Some Features will remain the same: HD resolutions will still be available through the community patches -- please compare the screenshots below. Features disabled: the animated water won't be there. Features added: any feature present as part of userpatch or the multiplayer client use.

Age2HD in compatibility mode:

Compatibility Mode
Age2HD in steam mode:

Steam Mode

How this is Possible and Legalities

Compatibility mode is made possibly by combining either FE files ( or the 1.0c patch from Microsoft for the original game, Age2HD data files and a few small edits to 1.0c exe. There are no files included from this patch off the original CDs and because of this doesn't violate any copyrights.

OK, if it's not illegal wouldn't Microsoft dislike this? We hope not, as the patch requires a full installation of AoK HD it definitely doesn’t help piracy, anyone pirating the game can already get full installations of the game available. Further, we expect this to only gain more sales for Microsoft as it reduces motivation to pirate the original game if there is a quick and legal way to get it legally.

The diagram below illustrates how compatibility mode is constructed:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does this support UserPatch?
A: Yes, the patch supports 1.0c, UserPatch 1.4 and UserPatch 1.5

Q: Does this break Age2HD?
A: No, you can run both out of the same directory!

Q: Why do I have to reset my hotkeys when in compatibility mode?
A: Compatibility mode runs with a different settings file, so this is expected.

Q: How do I run the game in compatibility mode once installed?
A: Run C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Age2HD\age2_x1\age2_x1.exe

Q: The game is crashing, what do I do?
A: Try marking the exe as run as administrator and also Windows XP SP3 compatibility.