List of obvious game exploits

Hello guys!

I feel that Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, compared to all other games i know of, suffers the most from obvious game exploits in multiplayer.
This is truely sad, because we all love AoE2.

Most of the issues are discussed in this forum.
Here I want to use this thread to give a reference list for these exploits:

  1. Throtteling/delaying network bandwidth: This can provoce the “red clock” and is used to annoy the enemy team if winning, or give an advantage while microing army.
  2. Throtteling the CPU: See 1.
  3. Corrupting the outgoing network package: This causes the game to go out of sync, the game is cancelled and not rated.
    Dsync players. cheat is spreading fast, more and more players are doing it
    It is even possible to use the ingame scenario editor to get out of sync:
    Changing Tech Costs in Scenario Editor carries over to Multiplayer and Desyncs Game
  4. Resign without consent: A single player can resign and join another match, even if the first match is not lost and ongoing.
  5. alt-f4: After a match is found, but the player is not happy with the map/teammates, he can press alt-f4 to close the app and restart. The issue is, that first he interferes with the matchmaking, second all participants of the found match also have to requeue (and reinvite their teammates).
    The Alt+F4 Multiplayer Problem
  6. “Smurfing”: A new account takes a lot of matches to reach the actual players rating, if played on ranked. The people faced on those matches will have a bad game experience. Smurfs can join ranked teamgames right away, their rating is not set by their ranked 1v1s.
  7. Rank boosting: A player can team with a smurf to get an easier matchup, in order to boost their TG rating. See 6.
    Player immediatly abuses the new TG matchmaking
  8. Rank reverse boosting: A player can repetivtivly resign to lose his rank, in order to face easier opponents.
  9. Interfering with the game app performance: A player can run the game under different condition than the ranked benchmark test. Many players have the “yellow clock” in dark age, followed by a “red clock” if there are 100+ units on the field. Common causes are to run ingame mods, or applications in the background (streaming software, web browser, voip). The permission to play ranked is given on the benchmark test only, not on the behaviour in last matches. Also see 1., 2.
  10. Cheating: There are known instances of cheating, such as attacking a unit out of vision/picking up a relic out of vision, spawning extra ressources, spawning units, adding ressources to the players bank. I don’t know if this is recent. If there are detailed information, i will add new bullet numbers.

Do you have an exploit to add to the list?
Do you have a link addressing/discussing one of these exploits?
Please write in the replies, I will fill out accordingly.


This one is not a thing and is not possible to affect anyone but you. Red clock can only be provoked by CPU throttle or bad pc, not by network, since now everyone separately connects to the server (correct me if I am wrong tho). Are you 100% certain about issue #1 ?

Also for number 4: Resign without consent: A single player can resign and join another match, even if the first match is not lost and ongoing.

Number 4 is simply how the game always worked, punishments for resigning early never existed.


That was fixed a decade ago.

1 lagging player can make everyone else to lag. I get this at least once per week. I believe it can be both from network and PC performance issues.

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This is why people need to stop queuing on ranked TG by themselves.

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Mass scorpions (especially Khmer) plus controlled lag spikes are not fun. A few bombard cannons to support and wedging them in between tightly spaced forward workshops. I have seen this in multiple games against the same opponent using the same build and suddenly when a key battle starts the game chugs. This has to be more than just coincidence! You eventually win against such a one trick crutch but it takes forever as the speed of the game is set by the mercy of the opponent seemingly doing this on purpose…

Is this a troll post?
Even tho I never experienced any of the 1, 2, 3, 9 and 10. Hacks exists in everygame, im okay with it as long as Devs try to fix stuff asap.

The other ones are just everyday rant, not really exploits.

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Playing solo TGs is the first step towards making friends.


Yes, but I think that should not be a very long phase.

It is very true though, that in-game social functions are non-existent unfortunately. But I think even on this forum, or on reddit, it’s not unlikely to find a team.

My views on what should be done about some of these things:

This is a fundamental flaw in the game design. A poor connection or PC performance should only ever hinder the player who has that problem.

If the devs haven’t already seen it, they should watch this video that talks about this type of fundamental design objective, and how these things were achieved in Rocket League:

It IS Rocket Science! The Physics of Rocket League Detailed - YouTube

This should be treated like a disconnect - the player whose client has gone out of sync should lose the game. But it may also reflect a more fundamental problem with the game - is the game 100% server authoritative?

Again, how is this possible, is the game not 100% server authoritative?

These problems are all possible to fix, it’s just a question of whether the return on investment justifies the work needed.

You are correct. But I’m afraid it’s simply not realistic to expect to fix it. AFAIK the game engine is still 20 yo software, possibly de-compiled machine code. Since the issues are likely related to the core game engine, I don’t think they will get fixed.

It’s not clear what kind of corruption he is talking about. You cannot simply corrupt TCP or UDP packets, that will cause the packets to be resent or dropped, eventually causing a disconnect.

The game is cooperative. The engine was designed with P2P play in mind, as such each player checks and validates the commands and state of everyone else. When there is a discrepancy it triggers an out of sync. This could be fixed by using an extra engine validating the game state on the server side, but they might not have the resources to do that. AFAIK the server currently functions as a logger (keeping track and saving the recordings) and buffer between the players. If one players connection is slow, the other player can still play a smooth game. Doesn’t work on slow CPU though.

this ones a bit contentious. what if the person in question has basically been eliminated?

or team mates need to be more supportive, or the player was all but eliminated, or there is other reasons the person felt the need or desire to leave the game.


Problem is that if you forbid requeuing before everyone resign, you allow sore losers who refuse to resign and hide their vills to “take hostage” up to 3 people.

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The people I know do it by router (modem) limits or by maxing out their pc down/upstream with a torrent file share.

Yeah, but if you want to participate with a team of 2 in 4v4s, you don’t have the lobbies like on voobly/mszone. So you can have bad luck with a teammate from the matchmaking, he will resign early and insult in the chat. It’s not even unlikely that you face him again, if you requeue.

Agree on this, but it’s not possible at any time.
Also newcomers to the game suffer a lot in the tg queue.

It’s a serious post. Well, if you didn’t faced a player, who has the yellow/red clock early and causes lag for everyone, then you are a lucky man. It gets better the higher your tg rank is, tho.

But in this case it does.
The game was programmed by 1997 standards.
Back then every game client communicated to each other by peer to peer.
The game state is computed on every client, only the change in state was passed by network.
It’s much diffent from modern designs.
Now at least the tickrate is about 3 times higher and the peer to peer is run over a server instead.
I don’t know if now the simulation also runs on the server.

The following could be a thing to improve the lag issues: The game client measures the time to simulate a new tick and timemarks the network packages. The measurements are sent to the server. If a user causes lag he get’s a penalty.
By no means I want to exclude people from playing the game.
It’s just that people sometimes don’t have the right setup or screw around with mods/background apps to a point where it comes unplayable for everyone.

I think it would be best, if 2 out of 3 teammates or 2 out of 4 teammates can set the resign, independent of the other teammate(s)

Last I want to mention one thing:
While most of the people play properly, it’s a few that mess up everybodies game experience.
Considering that the bad guy is matched with 7 other people, which may even hit him again in the match after, it can be really annoying.

There is nothing worse if you want some maxin relaxin aoc after work with your friends, then be 20 minutes in the queue (reinviting bc of “failed to joined match”), then have lag in dark age.
And for the next match again.
And again.


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I think some people’s PCs just aren’t cut out for 4v4. It’s entirely possible to have a completely smooth 1v1 experience in all situations, but have the game crap itself on a 4v4 with a potato PC. I remember something like this happen in the Norway team on one of their tournaments, where MBL was banned from twitch, so he didn’t participate, and his replacement had a mega-potato PC.

Yes, I think it is impossible to avoid havnig to queue solo into tg when you first join the game, but this shouldn’t be happening anymore on higher levels. A high level player should not struggle to find team mates imho, just by asking around here or on reddit.

The problem is the ranked benchmark test disregards screen resolution.

Let’s say you want to play in 4K, but you only get a score of 800. Change your resolution to 1440x810, do the benchmark and you’ll probably have over 1000. Now change the resolution back to 3840x2160 and start playing ranked.

I remember this one. And he was so stubborn to not buy a pc that could run aoe2de, despite he was playing it all day long and also in a tournament 11
There are so many people who just don’t care.

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I feel like it ought to be commercially viable to create a completely new implementation of the game. New games are being created from scratch all the time, and there are two compelling reasons why it is more viable to create a new implementation of AoE II from scratch than most new games that get created from scratch:

  1. The functionality is mostly already specified, whereas creating a specification for a completely new game is a fairly expensive activity. It is therefore cheaper to create a new implementation of AoE II than it is to come up with a new game idea.

  2. The game is already established as highly successful, and a certain amount of commercial success would be guaranteed.

So, given that creating completely new games still appears to be commercially viable, and that creating a new implementation of AoE II would be both cheaper and have a higher than average expected level of commercial success, I find it hard to see how it wouldn’t be commercially viable to create a new implementation of it.

A harder question to answer is how the profitability of a new implementation compares to continuing to hobble along with the current implementation. But I feel that the problems really need to be fixed for the game to achieve real long term success. Maybe AoE 4 is effectively the new implementation of AoE 2 that I’m talking about, but with some changes to the specification that the creators believe will all be seen as improvements. We’ll have to wait and see if it takes over from AoE 2 as the game most people want to play.

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I think you will run into the skyrim/gta5 problem of how many times will someone buy the same game

this is definitely a schizo post lol

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