It seems all the titles or editions from the Age of Empires franchise (AOE IV or AOE III) have some issues out of the box and the game crashing, stuttering, black screen issue, lags, frame drops, etc are quite common among them. Now, if you’re also one of the Age of Empires players and experiencing lags or stuttering issues then you can check out this troubleshooting guide to completely resolve it.
It doesn’t matter which edition you’re playing because all require the internet connection due to the Real-Time Strategy (RTS) multiplayer video game that can obviously cause some issues with the input lags. Whereas mostly the gameplay may get disturbed due to system compatibility issues, an outdated game patch version, higher graphics resolution in the game menu, background running overlay apps, etc.
- Fix: Age of Empires IV Stuttering or Lags Very Badly
- 1. Try Lowering In-Game Graphics Settings
- 2. Update GPU Drivers
- 3. Close Unnecessary Background Tasks
- 4. Update Age of Empires
- 5. Check Your Internet Connection
- 6. Check for Windows Updates
- 7. Disable CPU or GPU Overclocking
- 8. Verify Integrity of Game Files on Steam
- 9. Try Disabling Overlay Apps
- 10. Perform a Clean Boot
- 11. Force Use Windowed Borderless Mode
Fix: Age of Empires IV Stuttering or Lags Very Badly
According to some reports by the affected Age of Empires PC players, there also can some reasons behind the gameplay lags or stutters such as the higher impact of the startup programs while Windows OS boots up, some unnecessary background running tasks, outdated graphics driver, or even outdated Windows OS build, etc. However, most players are trying to achieve more than 60FPS and 4K resolution in the gameplay which can be a reason.
Whereas if your game’s system tries to use only a single-core CPU that eventually creates a lot of pressure on the single-core and the system resources may get stressed out quickly. Meanwhile, it’s also worth mentioning that you really can’t expect it to be fixed by developers because it happens at your side and you can follow the possible methods below to easily reduce lags or stutters or can completely resolve it.
1. Try Lowering In-Game Graphics Settings
First of all, you should try lowering the in-game graphics settings on your PC or console to check if that helps you to fix the frame drops or stuttering issues. Try turning off some of the display settings for the game such as texture details, shadow effect, v-sync, antialiasing, etc. This should improve the FPS count and performance/smoothness in gameplay.
Make sure to check the system requirements for the game as well to ensure your PC configuration is compatible enough with the game. If in case, the requirements are not meeting the configuration then you’ll need to upgrade your hardware respectively. Otherwise, you may get frequent lags, or frame drops or stutters right from the startup of the game.
2. Update GPU Drivers
If in case, you haven’t updated your graphics driver on the Windows computer then make sure to install the latest patch version. To do so, you’ll need to check for available updates by following the steps below:
- Press Windows + X keys to open the Quick Link Menu.
- Now, click on Device Manager from the list > Double-click on Display adapters.
- Right-click on the dedicated graphics card that you’re using.
- Next, select Update driver > Choose to Search automatically for drivers.
- If there is an update available, the system will automatically download & install it.
- Once done, restart the computer to apply changes immediately.
3. Close Unnecessary Background Tasks
Another thing you can do is simply close unnecessary background tasks on your PC to ensure there is no additional consumption of system resources happening in the background whatsoever. To clear out background tasks:
- Press the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open Task Manager.
- Click on the Processes tab > Select the task that you want to close.
- Once selected, click on End Task. Make sure to do the steps for each task individually.
- Once done, just restart your computer to change effects immediately.
4. Update Age of Empires
If in case, you haven’t updated your Age of Empires game for a while then make sure to follow the steps below to check for updates and install the latest patch (if available). To do this:
- Open the Steam client > Go to Library > Click on Age of Empires from the left pane.
- It’ll automatically search for the available update. If there is an update available, make sure to click on Update.
- It may take some time to install the update > Once done, make sure to close the Steam client.
- Finally, reboot your PC to apply changes, and then try launching the game again.
5. Check Your Internet Connection
You should also try checking for the internet connection on your PC whether it’s running well or not. A slower internet speed or unstable connectivity can cause issues with the game launching or fetching data from the server. You can also try switching the internet connection from wired (ethernet) to wireless (Wi-Fi) to cross-check the network connectivity problem.
If your IP address has some issues or your DNS address is troubling you a lot then make sure to use Google DNS address on the PC to avoid rubberbanding connection or issues with the Age of Empires Stuttering or Lags which can happen due to slow internet.
6. Check for Windows Updates
The chances are high that your Windows OS build becomes outdated enough or corrupted. If you’re also feeling the same then make sure to follow the steps below to check for Windows updates. If the update is available then just install it. The latest software updates always offer bug fixes and improvements. To do this:
- Press Windows + I keys to open up the Windows Settings menu.
- Next, click on Update & Security > Select Check for updates under the Windows Update section.
- If there is a feature update available, select Download and install.
- Wait for some time until the update gets completed.
- Finally, reboot your PC to apply changes immediately.
7. Disable CPU or GPU Overclocking
It’s also worth mentioning not to enable CPU/GPU overclocking on your PC if your game is crashing or stuttering a lot. We can understand that overclocking CPU/GPU can make a huge impact in improving gameplay but sometimes it may also cause issues with the bottleneck or compatibility too. Just set the frequency to default for optimal performance.
8. Verify Integrity of Game Files on Steam
If in case, there is an issue with the game files and somehow it gets corrupted or missing then make sure to perform this method to easily check for the issue.
- Launch Steam > Click on Library.
- Right-click on Age of Empires (respective edition) from the list of installed games.
- Now, click on Properties > Go to Local Files.
- Click on Verify Integrity of Game Files.
- You’ll have to wait for the process until it gets completed.
- Once done, just restart your computer, and check for the Age of Empires Stuttering or Lags issue again.
9. Try Disabling Overlay Apps
It seems that a couple of popular apps do have their own overlay program that can eventually run in the background and cause issues with the gaming performance or even launching issues. You should turn them off to fix the issue by following the steps below:
Disable Discord Overlay
- Launch the Discord app > Click on the gear icon at the bottom.
- Click on Overlay under App Settings > Turn on the Enable in-game overlay.
- Click on the Games tab > Select Age of Empires IV.
- Finally, turn off the Enable in-game overlay toggle.
- Make sure to reboot your PC to apply changes.
Disable Xbox Game Bar
- Press Windows + I keys to open Windows Settings.
- Click on Gaming > Go to Game Bar > Turn off Record game clips, screenshots, and broadcast using Game bar option.
If in case, you’re unable to find out the Game Bar option then just search for it from the Windows Settings menu.
Disable Nvidia GeForce Experience Overlay
- Launch the Nvidia GeForce Experience app > Head over to Settings.
- Click on the General tab > Disable the In-Game Overlay option.
- Finally, restart the PC to apply changes, and launch the game again.
Also do keep in mind that you should disable some other overlay apps like MSI Afterburner, Rivatuner, RGB software, or any other third-party overlay apps that run in the background always.
10. Perform a Clean Boot
Some of the apps and their services may start automatically while booting the system right away. In that case, those apps or services will definitely gonna use a lot of internet connection as well as system resources. If you’re also feeling the same, make sure to perform a clean boot on your computer to check for the issue. To do that:
- Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
- Now, type msconfig and hit Enter to open System Configuration.
- Go to the Services tab > Enable the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.
- Click on Disable all > Click on Apply and then OK to save changes.
- Now, go to the Startup tab > Click on Open Task Manager.
- The Task Manager interface will open. Here go to the Startup tab.
- Then click on the particular task which has a higher startup impact.
- Once selected, click on Disable to turn them off from the startup process.
- Do the same steps for each program that has a higher startup impact.
- Once done, make sure to restart your computer to apply changes.
It should fix the Age of Empires Stuttering or Lags issue on your PC.
11. Force Use Windowed Borderless Mode
You should also try to force run the game via windowed borderless screen mode rather than the fullscreen mode. To do so:
- Open Steam > Go to Library > Right-click on Age of Empires.
- Now, click on Properties > Click on the General tab > Go to Set Launch Options.
- Here type this command-line argument -windowed –noborder on the field.
- Restart the Steam client to apply changes.
That’s it, guys. We assume this guide was helpful to you. For further queries, you can comment below.