Stuck in Compatibility Mode

I have the game through Xbox PC Game Pass, running on Windows 10 with an i9 and GTX 1080. My problem is, every time I start the game I get a warning that it’s running in compatibility mode. It tells me to ensure Steam isn’t running in safe/compatibility mode, despite the fact I’m not even running the game through Steam.

I’ve tried reinstalling to multiple SSDs. I also wanted to edit the xml config file in Documents/My Games/etc… However, I do not have a config file present under the AoE4 Users directory. So I deleted the entire AoE4 directory from Docs/My Games and tried another fresh install. Still, the same problem persists and still no config file present.

What’s really strange, is that one drive I tried in particular had only a few files on it from other stuff yet I couldn’t find the install for AoE4 anywhere on the drive. I can’t find a trace of the game anywhere on my computer outside of the doc files. Yet, I can still run the game.

Graphics drivers are up to date, as well as Windows. I even tried reinstalling the xbox app, that didn’t fix the issue either. Other games work fine through the app.

I’m at a complete loss as to what’s going on and what else I could possibly try. Any help is appreciated.

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Same here, running on W10 21H1 (19043.1320) with a Ryzen 9 5900x and RTX 2080 Ti.
I’m not sure but i think the bar came when the game crashed several times in a row.

Same issue also on gamepass, all drivers up to date and windows 10 up to date. Also started after a crash. Can’t find any fix on it or other posts on the problem.

That’s interesting. Mine started from the first boot, never crashed. Are you guys missing the config file as well?

I can’t find a solution for this anywhere either. I tried contacting AoE support, but got a response that doesn’t really relate to my issue.

My last stab at this, I’m going to try one more reinstall. This time via the MS store as opposed to the Xbox app. I’ll report back on how that goes.

I am getting the same issue on Windows 10, Ryzen 9 5950x, RTX 3090.

If you see this, please contact support with your DxDiag and warnings.log file. Appreciate it!

Having the same issue has anyone found a solution yet?

Not sure this is a solution, but have you tried to run steam as an administrator, even though you’re not playing from steam?
Might be you are able to fool the game in that manner…

I had this same file error.

I used two different posts to diagnose and fix my problem


First, I went into the start/windows key and searched for regedit, and once open, followed the Reddit post’s instructions (first link) on where to find the Steam.exe run path.

In there, I did not have a steam compatibility issue, only a listing for Steam running as administrator. I DID have a code for Path of Exile, as mentioned by the other post in the AOE4 forums (second link).

That POE line of code was for, in my case, a high dpi detection. I no longer have POE installed, and havent played in years, so deleted it with no worries.

That said, I also went into the properties settings in the steam program and enabled compatibility mode. (right click steam icon>properties>compatibility)

When I pulled up the regedit layers again (close the layers folder, then reopen it), Steam now had a line of code for running in compatibility mode. I deleted that line of text in the registry editor. Reopening the steam properties, I checked to make sure the compatibility check box was once more unchecked (it was unchecked).

Booting up steam and AOE4, I no longer had the error that Penteract posted a picture of.

Because I did both things (deleting the POE dpi detection code as well as adding and manually removing the steam compatibility code) I cannot say for 100% that AOE4 was detecting the POE line of code and mistaking it for itself running in the wrong mode, or that it was AOE detecting steam running wrong. That said, my problem is fixed and I no longer have the compatibility error pop up.

Hope this helps someone

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