Article ID: 907881 - View products that this article applies to.
This article describes the known graphics issues that may occur when you play Microsoft Age of Empires III. This article also provides general troubleshooting information that may resolve any graphics-related issues that you have.
General troubleshooting information
Download updateMake sure that you have the latest version of the Age of Empires III software. Updates (also known as patches) are developed to address many issues with the game. To download the game update, visit the following Ensemble Studios Online Web site:
http://www.agecommunity.comTo download and install the latest game update from the game, follow these steps:
Install the latest driversIf you have graphics problems, such as a black (blank) screen or slow performance in Age of Empires III, download and then install the latest video card driver.
The video card lets you see graphics on the screen. A driver is software that enables your computer to communicate with hardware or devices. Without drivers, the hardware that you connect to your computer—for example, a video card or a webcam—will not work correctly.
The latest driver for your video card can enable more efficient use of your video card features to improve the performance of the game. Generally, companies release their drivers regularly for the cards to keep up the pace with ever-changing software technologies.
To download and install the latest drivers, contact the computer or video hardware manufacturer. See the "Additional information" section for more information about how to contact the video hardware or computer manufacturer. To determine whether applicable driver updates are available for download, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:
http://update.microsoft.comTo identify the name and the manufacturer of the video card, follow these steps on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Vista:
General video card IssuesYou may experience the following issues when you play Age of Empires III.
Display issues that affect monitors and resolutionFor some computer monitors, certain resolutions may cause display problems. Age of Empires III provides support for many resolution settings based on the settings that your video card supports. However, the monitor may not support all the resolution settings. Any display problems that you experience when you play Age of Empires III may occur because of your display configuration. The display configuration includes the video card, the monitor, and the drivers.
We recommend that you try the various resolutions in Age of Empires III so that you can revert to another setting if the monitor does not support a selected resolution. See the monitor documentation or visit the monitor manufacturer's Web site for information about the native resolutions of the monitor.
Poor image quality on LCD monitorsLCD monitors provide poor image quality at non-native resolutions. See the monitor documentation or visit the monitor manufacturer's Web site for information about the native resolutions of the monitor.
Blocky smoke or unitsWhen you play Age of Empires III, you may see blocky smoke or units. To resolve this issue, lower Shader support. To do this, follow these steps:
Video hardware specific issues
ATIWhen you use certain ATI video cards, you may have problems when you repeatedly press ALT+TAB to switch between the Age of Empires III game and another program. We recommend that you do not use the ALT+TAB keyboard shortcut.
NvidiaAge of Empires III may close back to the desktop if the antialiasing mode is enabled. To resolve this issue, turn off antialiasing or set it to application-controlled by using the video driver control panel.
MatroxWhen you use a Matrox Parhelia 128 megabyte (MBO video card or a Matrox Millennium P750 video card, Age of Empires III may not correctly show bump mapping. Bump mapping refers to the snow or solid gray texture that appears in Age of Empires III. The Matrox Parhelia 128 MB and Matrox Millennium P750 video cards use the 6.13.0001.1691 driver and reference the 6.13.0001.1873 and 6.13.0001.1914 drivers. To download the latest Matrox drivers, visit the following Matrox Web site:
Intel 965The game may freeze after the introductory movie. To resolve this issue, download and install the latest game update. To do this, visit the following Ensemble Studios Web site:
http://www.agecommunity.com/gameUpdates.aspx#englishIf the issue continues to occur, visit the following Intel Web site, and try their suggestions:
http://www.intel.com/support/graphics/intelgm965/sb/CS-026146.htmNext to the game, click the Details link. Additionally, download and install the latest Intel video card drivers.
Intel 82945G Express ChipsetDownload and install the latest game update. To do this, visit the following Ensemble Studios Web site:
http://www.agecommunity.com/gameUpdates.aspxIf the issue continues to occur, you may have to purchase different video card.
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.
Specific Video hardware error messages
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Additional informationFor more information about how to update your graphics adapter drivers by using the Microsoft Windows Update Web site, click Play to view this streaming media presentation:
For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-usThe third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.
Article ID: 907881 - Last Review: September 28, 2011 - Revision: 6.0