FRAME TIME BUG, micro lag, performance issue, video stutter

:arrow_forward: GAME INFORMATION

  • GAME BUILD #: 101.101.50292.0 6958215 also 101.101.47820.0 6624001
  • OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows 10 build 19041

note: This bug occured for me at least before the release of lotw. I play the game weekly and so do I noticed it with the corresponding versions of the game.

:arrow_forward: ISSUE EXPERIENCED

When ingame initially the game runs fine, with contant low frametimes (every frame below 5ms).
Suddenly there are frames, which take 55ms to compute, about 100ms apart. Inbetween these ‘bad frames’, all other frames are computed with normal time, but their screen time is neglectable.
This makes the game practically run at 10fps, despite 300fps are computed.

This image is taken from my AMD graphics driver, plotting the frame times.
Note that there are 2 distintive values:
The constant time of the bad frames (50ms)
The constant distance between the bad frames (in time about 100ms, in frames 30).

The change from normal operation to this stuttering occurs sudden, at random time, but so likely that is happens every match. It is immediatly noticable. Both the ingame fps counter and my custom frame counter state that the fps drop from 500fps to 300fps. But because some frames take so long, the game feels like running on 10fps.

On change of display mode, the game returns to constant low frames times and high fps.
E.g. changing “full desktop to full screen” or “full screen to full desktop back to full screen” will fix the issue for a while.
Also if the app is quit (quitting to desktop) and restarted, normal frame times will occur again.

The game does not return to low frames times, when going back to main menu and starting another match.

:arrow_forward: FREQUENCY OF ISSUE

  • 100% of the time / matches I play (ALWAYS)

:arrow_forward: REPRODUCTION STEPS

Here’s the steps to reproduce the issue:
0. use new Windows 10 installation, close all programs, disable all game mods.

  1. plot frame times
  2. start a game, either skirmish or campaign or multiplayer
  3. take snapshot of frame times
  4. play until you notice that stutter occurs
  5. take snapshot of frame times
  6. change display mode
  7. take snapshot of frame times

:arrow_forward: EXPECTED RESULT

The frames times should always be as high as right after the change of display mode.
It is considered normal that the frame times in general get higher with higher game time/unit count, but this is distincable from the bad frames shown here.

:arrow_forward: IMAGE

Here the frame times are plotted. There is a contant frame time and constant gap between certain frames.

Initially the game runs fine, with 500fps

#IMAGE003, belonging to the above picture
The frame times are below 5ms each and the system has ressource overhead for additional computation. The shown software is provided by the AMD driver.

Suddently the fps drop to 300fps, but the visual experience is like 10fps.
In this case the game was still in dark age

#IMAGE005, belonging to the above picture
The bad frames occur. In general the system still shows ressource overhead.

Changing the display mode brings the frame times back to normal, for a while.
But the sudden switch to bad frame time will occur again in the same match.

This is how it looks in Riva Tuner Statistic Tool (RTSS).

:arrow_forward: GAME FILES (SAVE / RECORDING)

*none so far


It also occurs on Radeon Pro 21.Q1.2 and Radeon Adrenaline 21.5.2.
There is another bug maybe linked to this, see Vsync messed up for amd graphic users
It even causes the “yellow clock” in multiplayer for me. If I change the display mode, everything runs fine again.

Are you aware of this bug?

Can you add it to the list of unfixed bugs?

1 Like

I have this too. Happens only on Radeon based systems. Clearly some sort of compatibility issue.


Can you post your frametimes from the driver software to confirm this?

How do you know Nvidia users don’t have it?

Had a NVIDIA based systems in the past (weaker than what I have now) and did not have this issue.

Also plenty of players have AMD cpus with Nvidia cards and the game runs fines.

I’ve tried all sort of settings in the radeon control panel to fix this, and nothing works really well. You can force the premium freesync with a 144hertz monitor and it sort of fix the stuttering/frames issue, but it gives you a nasty input lag similar to playing with 400 ping on voobly.

Post here, if the bug persists with the recent update 50292 build 101.101.50292. 6958215
edit: I still have it!

1 Like

If would also be helpful, if an Nvidia user can post some screenshots of their frametimes in post imp.
I am considering to switch to Nvidia, but need to know if I get rid of this lag. It makes me mad 24.


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Here you go:

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Does anyone of the developers in this forums want to acknowledge or deny the existence of this bug?
@DirefulLily9407 @ChristheCo @IkoKnight8151

Or am I seeing things?

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In this particular case I don’t want to pick on them, because it’s possibly really hard to find the issue which causes this bug.

@DeJake5261 do you have AMD graphics and also suffer from this bug?

1 Like

Yes I’ve fought these exact same issues for years, it’s terrible how devs overlook huge bugs on popular, mainstream hardware and software.

Responded to your v-sync post too, great job spreading the word! Your posts have been essential in helping me get to the bottom of this madness that the devs have left us.

Hi everyone,
for proper investigation, can you tell me if you have enabled vsync in settings and if it happens also after you restart a match?

vsync is disabled in game settings and driver.

What part is not understandable?
It also does not return to normal frame times if restarting a match.
Once the bad frame times occur, the only way I found to get to normal frame times again, is the change of display mode.
I guess the change of display mode will reinitialize/re call some of the rendering, which causes the trouble.

Hey everyone
Thanks for the report we are now tracking the issue and looking into what can be done.
Have a nice day!

1 Like

@ChristheCo did someone try to replicate the bug?

I have great news:
I reinstalled Win10 on 2 of my AMD graphics machines and the bug seems to be gone.
The Windows build was the one from the MediaCreationTool21H1.

Updating drivers/OS didn’t do anything previously, only reinstalling the OS.
Also I installed common additional software like Firefox and Discord already.
I fear that the bug will come back, so I will use a dedicated OS for Age of Empires 2 DE only.

Game build is 7486483
Win10 build is 19043
AMD build is 21.10.1
MSVCs builds are 9.0.30729.6161 x86+x64, 12.0.30501.0 x86+x64, 14.28.29913.0 x64, 14.10.25008.0 x84
DirectX is default from the Win build

1 Like

I have this issue majorly on my desktop with an AMD Radeon RX 6800. No issues on my nvidia laptop. I’ve tried just about everything you can try.

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It occurs regardless of Vsync, although it can help smooth it depending on the type of monitor used.

And yes if the issue occurs, it will stay regardless of restarting a match, or the PC.

That is good, but I agree that issues would likely return on a multi-purpose PC. Unfortunately keeping a sperate OS to be able to play the game without frame issues isn’t a worthwhile workaround for most

This issue continued for me on my Radeon RX580 until I bought and installed a NVIDIA graphics card. This is the only fix I found that worked.

The fixes UnfamousScout has discussed did work, but were temporary, for example would revert back to original problem after a PC restart.