Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition (AOE2:DE) on M1 Mac (Crossover)

AOE 2 is a legendary strategy game of my childhood. For a rainy evening still a nice idea how to spend some time with your friends remotely. However, AOE2:DE only runs on Windows and not on Macs. So, what to do owning only a M1 Mac?

Use Crossover and enjoy the game without restriction and at great performance.

Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition (Windows only) running on Mac Book Pro M1 using Crossover

A great guide from Reddit explains how to make it running. Here an edited version of it:

  1. Install Crossover.
  2. Within Crossover, install the steam bottle.
  3. Open the just installed windows version of Steam. Log-in, download, and install AOE2:DE.
  4. Within Crossover, install into the “Steam Bottle”:
    1. “DXVK”
    2. “DirectX for Modern Games”
  5. Enable DXVK by right clicking on the bottle: Settings > DXVK backend
  6. Download “UCRTLBASE” here. (Skip step 7)
  7. You have to get a alternative ucrtbase.dll:
    1. Install Homebrew: /bin/bash -c “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)”
    2. install xcode: xcode-select –install
    3. install cabextract: brew install cabextract
    4. download: https://aka.ms/vs/16/release/vc_redist.x64.exe
    5. move terminal to your desktop: cd ~/Desktop
    6. Create a new folder: mkdir ucrtbase
    7. move into ucrtbase: cd ucrtbase
    8. use cabextract to extract the file:
      1. write cabextract into the terminal press space and drag and drop the downloaded vc_redist file into the terminal window, press enter
      2. use command: cabextract a10
    9. UCRTbase.dll should be in the created folder
  8. Put this UCRTBASE in the C:/Windows/System32 folder overwrite the current file (open C: drive by right clicking on the name of the bottle and selecting that option)
  9. Go to: Wine configuration -> Libraries.
    1. Set “concrt140.dll” to native,builtin
    2. Set “ucrtbase” to native,builtin
  10. Set AOE2:DE launch parameter “SKIPINTRO”

10 thoughts on “Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition (AOE2:DE) on M1 Mac (Crossover)”

  1. Hello there.
    I tested this on a 16″ MBP M1 Pro and I can confirm it works. Before I tried crossover I tries parallels, but I can not make parallels to give a decent score on the benchmark test, it gets around 795 points, on the other hand, with crossover I get around 1200, almost twice the score compared to parallels. The only downside is that I get a bit of lag in crossover, no matter what the type of game I play, agains the AI, against somebody else, ranked, etc, even the main menu shows that small lag. I call it a lag since I don’t know how to name it, but it is basically like the a frame missing on a video sequence every 5 seconds. Nothing super bad but still something.
    Great work on compiling these instructions! appreciate your time!

    1. Hi Jose, were you able to solve your lag issues? I can’t seem to get past them, also dealing with some desync stuff.

    2. Hm… I tried it today, but it does not work for me (M1 Max, tested December 24th 2023). Can I somehow verify if the new DDL is being used at all?

  2. As mentioned by previous comments, I am also getting the stutter/subtle lag every 5 seconds. Everything else seems perfect (playing online, ranked, 1200sh on the benchmark test). Also tried through Porting Kit, getting the same results, including stutter.

    Any solution for this? Thanks in advance
    Using Macbook Pro 2021 14″ M1, macOS 13.0.1, Crossover 22.0.1.

  3. Hi! I followed all the directions, but #9 didn’t work for me:

    Go to: Wine configuration -> Libraries.
    Set “concrt140.dll” to native,builtin
    Set “ucrtbase” to native,builtin.

    My library did not have “concrt140.dll” or “ucrtbase”

    I also can’t seem to find where I can enter “SKIPINTRO” in the launch sequence.

    When I hit play, the game launches, but no screen pops up. My steam says I’m playing, but I can’t see anything. After a couple minutes, it shuts down.

    I am on an M1 MacBook Air.

    Help?

    Thanks!

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