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Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition - How to Increase Performance (FPS)

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition fps boost

It seems that many PC players have been experiencing performance issues in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. You may encounter low fps problems in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition even though your computer meets the minimum system requirements. In this guide, I listed a few tweaks to fix the performance issues and increase your frame rates in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, such as stuttering, freezinglaggingfps dropspikes.

There are 17 ways to improve your performance in Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.

System Requirements for Running Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

Minimum System RequirementsRecommended System Requirements
CPUIntel Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon 64x2 5600+2.4 Ghz i5 or greater or AMD equivalent
GPUNVIDIA® GeForce® GT 420 or ATI™ Radeon™ HD 6850 or Intel® HD Graphics 3000 or better with 2 GB VRAMNvidia® GTX 650 or AMD HD 5850 or better
DirectXDirectX 11DirectX 11
Storage30 GB available space30 GB available space
OSWindows 10 64bitWindows 10 64bit

1) Best Graphics Settings for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition

You can skip this step if you don’t want to change graphics settings. These High Performance graphics settings are for PCs which close to the minimum system requirements.

If you have a good PC, you can increase the settings slightly.

Go to in-game graphics options and make sure the settings are as follows.

Options > Graphics

High PerformancePerformance
Display ModeFull screenFull screen
Show Advanced OptionsCheckCheck
Render 3D WaterDisableDisable
Render Beach WavesDisableDisable
Map LightingDisableDisable
Depth of FieldDisableDisable
Enable BloomDisableDisable
Enable SharpenDisable50%
Animate FogDisableDisable
Animate Fog BorderDisableDisable

Confirm changes and Exit the game.

If you encounter screen tearing problem during the gameplay, you should enable the VSync. If you have a monitor with G-SYNC or FreeSync, you can activate them instead of Vsync.

2) Steam Launch Options

  • Go to the Steam library.
  • Right-click on Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and click the Properties.
  • Click the Set Launch Options in the General tab.
  • Type or paste the following commands into the box in the incoming window.

3) Update Your Graphics Drivers

You should keep your computer’s graphics drivers updated.

People who have an NVIDIA graphics card can download and install their new drivers here.

People who have an AMD graphics card can download and install their new drivers here.

4) NVIDIA Control Panel Settings

  • Open NVIDIA Control Panel
  • Go to the Adjust image settings with preview tab.
  • Click the “Use my preference emphasizing“ (If you have a mid&high end pc, Let the 3D application decide)
  • Put the bar in Performance mode.
  • Apply
  • Click the Manage 3D settings
  • Click the Program Settings
  • Click the Add
  • Select the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition from the list, then click on the “Add Selected Program” button.
  • After, make the following settings
    Antialiasing - Mode: Off
    Power management mode: Prefer maximum performance
    Vertical sync: Off
  • If you have a notebook, make sure you have selected the “High-performance NVIDIA processor” on preferred graphics processor.
  • Apply and close the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Effect of the “Power management mode” setting differs between GPUs. If these settings made your FPS worse, just set the “Power management mode” to “Optimal power“. After that, it will increase. You can test it.

5) AMD Radeon Settings

  • Open the AMD Radeon Settings window.
  • Click on the Gaming tab.
  • Then click on Global Settings.
  • Go to the Anti-aliasing mode, choose Override application settings.
  • Click on the Anti-aliasing level, so make sure you have selected the 2X
  • Go to the Anisotropic Filtering Mode and turn it on.
  • Then, click on the Anisotropic Filtering Level, so make sure you have selected the 2X.
  • Click on the Texture Filtering Quality and select the Performance.
  • Now, click on the Wait for Vertical Refresh and select the Always off.

6) Intelligent Standby List Cleaner

The “Intelligent standby list cleaner” application will monitor and clear the memory standby list when it is > 1000mb (1gb). It will help players to fix stutters in games.

  • Download the Intelligent standby list cleaner
  • Run the 7-zip file.
  • Extract to a folder.
  • Go to the that folder.
  • Run the “Intelligent standby list cleaner ISLC” application.
  • Check the “Start ISLC minimized and auto-Start monitoring”
  • Also, check the “Launch ISLC on user logon”
  • Now, click on the Start button
  • Minimize
Intelligent Standby List Cleaner

7) Full-screen Optimizations & High DPI in Windows 10

full-screen optimisations
  • Go to the folder where the game is installed.
    Steam: Steam Library > Right Click on Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition > Properties > LOCAL FILES > BROWSE LOCAL FILES
    Microsoft Store: ...\WindowsApps\Microsoft.MSPhoenix_101.101.32708.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe\Game
  • Right-click on AoE2DE.exe
  • Hit the Properties
  • Tick “Disable full-screen optimizations” on the Compatibility tab.
  • After that, click on the “Change high DPI settings” button.
  • Under the “High DPI scaling override” section, tick the “Override high DPI scaling behavior
  • Use the “Scaling performed by:” drop-down menu and select the “Application”
  • Click on the OK and again OK.
High DPI

If you don't have permission to access WindowsApps folder, follow these steps.

  • Right click on WindowsApps folder.
  • Click on the Properties
  • Go to the Security tab.
  • Click on the Advanced button.
  • Click on the Change
  • Type your PC username to "Enter the object name to select" box.
  • Click on OK button. Again click OK and now you can open the WindowsApps folder.
permission user

8) Power Options

If the CPU cooler is not enough, you can skip this setting. Processor temperature may increase by 5-6 degrees.

power plan
  • Right-click the Windows icon on the bottom left.
  • Click the Power Options
  • Click the Additional power settings
  • Select the High performance on the Preferred plans tab.
  • After, click the Change plan settings link next to High performance.
  • Tap on the Change advanced power settings
  • Find Processor power management in the incoming list, click the + icon on the left side.
  • Set Minimum processor state and Maximum processor state to 100%
  • Click on the OK

9) Game Mode

  • To turn off Windows 10 game mode, click the Start icon to bring up the Start menu. Then open the Settings.
  • Click the Gaming
  • On the Game Bar tab, set the “Record game clips, screenshots and broadcast using Game bar” to Off.
  • On the Captures tab, set the “Record in the background while I’m playing a game” to Off.
  • On the Game Mode tab, set the “Game Mode” to Off.

If you are using an older version of Windows 10, you may not see the Game Mode settings. In this case, you can configure the settings directly in the Registry.

  • Press the Windows logo key and R key simultaneously on your keyboard.
  • Type regedit
  • Press the Enter key.
  • The Registry Editor will open. In the left panel, Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\GameBar
  • Right-click inside the panel and select New
  • Click on the DWORD (32-bit) Value
registry new
  • Rename the New Key to AllowAutoGameMode
  • Right-click on the AllowAutoGameMode
  • Select the Modify…
  • Set the “Value data” to 0
auto game mode
  • Click on the OK button.
  • Close the Registry Editor.
  • Restart your PC.

10) Windows Performance Options

  • Type performance in the search section of Windows, click to Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows from the results.
  • Select the Adjust for best performance from the options in the Performance Options window that opens.
  • Click OK

11) Cleaning Temporary Files

  • Simultaneously press the Windows logo and R keys.
  • Type %temp%
  • Press Enter key.
  • Delete everything in the Temp folder that opens. You can skip undeleted.
  • Again, Simultaneously press the Windows logo and R keys.
  • Type temp
  • Press Enter key.
  • Delete everything in the folder that opens.
  • Again, Simultaneously press the Windows logo and R keys.
  • Type prefetch
  • Press Enter key.
  • Delete everything in the Prefetch folder that opens.

Finally, empty the Recycle Bin

12) SSD

If you have a Solid-State Drive, I recommend that you install the game on the SSD or move the game files to the SSD.

13) Optimize Your Discord

If you are using Discord, disable the Hardware Acceleration and in-game overlay.

  • Open Discord
  • Go to the User Settings
  • Then, go to the Appearance tab.
  • Uncheck the Hardware Acceleration.
Optimize Discord
  • Go to the Overlay on App Settings tab.
  • Make sure unchecked the “Enable in-game overlay”
discord overlay

14) Optimize Your Google Chrome

If you’re using Google Chrome, you’ll need to make this setting.

chrome setting
  • Go to settings page in Chrome
  • Click the Advanced
  • Go to the System tab
  • Finally, uncheck the “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed”

15) Background Processes

You should close all unnecessary Apps, such as Chrome, Spotify, OneDrive. Also, if the Discord is idle, you should quit Discord.

Also, you can use the CCleaner to go through your startup and scheduled tasks, and disable everything that you consider unnecessary.

And also, you should disable your Firewall/Antivirus while playing the AOE2:DE, such as Acronis Active Protection, Eset, Avast, BitDefender, AVG, etc. Or, add your Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition directory in the exceptions list in your antivirus software.

16) Increase The Priority

You need to adjust this setting every time you enter the game.

  • Launch the game.
  • Simultaneously press the ALT and TAB keys to minimize the game.
  • Open the Task Manager
  • Click on Details Tab
  • In the list, find the AoE2DE.exe
  • Right-click on AoE2DE.exe application and Set priority to High.

If you facing stuttering issue in the game after doing this, don’t do the High priority setting. Set it to Normal.

17) CPU Limiter – Fix Freezing & Stuttering

If the CPU usage is around 100% while playing Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and you experience freezing/stuttering issues, you can limit your CPU. Also, if you apply this setting, you can skip the previous method.

  • Download and install the Process Lasso
  • Run the Process Lasso application.
  • Launch the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition.
  • Go to the Process Lasso app and find the AoE2DE.exe in “All processes” list.
  • Right-click on the exe and select the CPU Limiter
CPU Limiter
  • Set the “When CPU use is” to 98
  • Set the “Reduce by this many CPU cores” to 1
  • Below the “Reduce by this many CPU cores”, set the “For a period of” to 1
  • Click on the Add Rule button.
  • Finally click OK button and play the game.
CPU limit



Click here to post a comment
  • it worked for me....this helped me improving the game performance.....thanks for the article and thanks to this article creater....

  • Worked for me. I tried for 10 mins - just to test. I was able to play. Thanks.

    I am playing on Macbook Pro using Parallels.

    • Hi, After doing these settings, I am able to play the game. However, there are no sounds in the game.

      I have sounds in the windows. All drivers are updated. I reinstalled the game as well. Doesn't work.

      I am playing on Macbook Pro using Parallels. I was able to play for the last 9 months. This has happened after the latest patch.

      Please help.

  • When trying to set the Nvidia specific program settings, Age of Empires II DE is not shown as being installed on my PC. I have the steam version installed on the pc. The property on the desktop shortcut is not a reference to a program installed on my PC but a web document steam://rungameid/ followed by the game id number. Is there still a way I can set my nvidia settings specific for this game?

    • Go to the Steam library
      Right Click on Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition > Properties > LOCAL FILES > BROWSE LOCAL FILES
      It is your game location.

      On Nvidia Control Panel, click the Manage 3D settings
      Select the Program Settings
      Select the Add
      Hit the "Browse" button.

      Now, head to game location. In this wise, you can add the AoE2DE.exe

      • Can't post a separate comment for some reason. I just wanted to thank you for this... Definitely improved my game performance by 10-15 fps... Thank you!