How to quickly get started playing AoE2 HD online in 2019 — a friendly guide

How to quickly get started playing AoE2 HD online in 2019 — a friendly guide

Image for postThe greatest RTS game ever created

If you are getting started with AoE2 or getting back to the game after a while, this guide will help you quickly setup the game for playing online with friends and strangers. We install the game using steam and use patches to align it with the standard the community plays with (at voobly).

Also, this is the guide for the HD version. DE (Definitive Edition) launched on 14th Nov, 2019, and I?ll put up another post for that once it has matured for regular gameplay.

Install Steam, AoE2HD and Voobly

  1. Install steam client (and create a steam account)
  2. Buy and install Age of Empires II HD (2013) on Steam
  3. Launch the game from steam, start a game and then exit
  4. Download and install voobly desktop client (and create an account)

Install Compatibility Patch

The HD version from steam has compatibility issues (different key-bindings, visuals, audio, etc) with the original. Besides, a few patches are needed to streamline and balance the gameplay (official game patches).

Log into voobly desktop client and launch Age of Empires II ? The Conquerors > New Players lobby. The client may download and install updates (to voobly client) a few times. Then, voobly will scan your installation and prompt you to fix this incompatibility or offer to fix this itself.

Sometimes, voobly will not be able to install the patch. In which case go to the url provided by voobly client to download the patch yourself.

When you start the patch installer, it may be able to locate your AoE2HD install and fix it. However, in case it fails to do so, go ahead and install the patch in a random directory and then copy-paste the contents to your steam AoE2HD install folder (no file will be replaced, and you can play both the versions of the game).

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On the left is the screenshot of my steam AoE2HD install location. The voobly client will typically find the location and report it to you correctly.

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This is a screenshot of the content of the patch directory once I installed it into a folder on my desktop. I?m going to copy and paste all these files into the folder above.

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This is a screenshot of the steam AoE2HD install folder after I copy-pasted the contents of the patch. No files were replaced, and now I can launch the game from both steam and voobly.

Once this is done, rescan on the voobly client (you should still be stuck on that step). After the patch install, there will be a few more minor issues that the voobly client should be able to fix for you very quickly. Now you are good to go.

Next steps

You can launch the original version by using the binaries from age2_x1 folder in your install, but I prefer launching it from a voobly lobby (the new player lobby is good, well, if you are new) by hosting games myself (you get an easily sharable copy of your game in the cloud).

If you encounter other issues in your setup, please leave a comment below. I?ll try to find a solution. is an active forum for AoE2 gamers. You may find it useful.

See you in the game.


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