Age Of Empires Online Multiplayer Issues

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Age Of Empires Online Multiplayer Issues

Post  Ephestion on Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:04 am

One of the most common issues people have in multiplayer games is being able to connect smoothly with other people during a multiplayer match. There are many reasons for not being able to play a smooth online game. I am going to cover some of the ways you can correct known issues.

1. Adding the game to the firewall exceptions
Each version of Windows has a slightly different way of getting to the firewall settings. From XP onwards you need to get to the control panel usually found on the start menu. Once the control panel is launched in classic view (large or small icon view) find the icon called Windows Firewall. In Category view you will need to select System and Security and then select Windows Firewall.

There should be an option to allow programs to communicate through the firewall. Look through the list for Age Of Empires Online.

Windows XP
1. Go to Start-> Control Panel->Security Center->Windows Firewall
2. In Windows Firewall form, select Exception tab
3. After adding exception to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires Online\Spartan.exe, Click OK

Windows Vista/7
1. Go to Start-> Control Panel->Security->Windows Firewall
2. In the left hands of the page, Click on Allow a program through the firewall
3. The same as Windows XP setting, select Exception tab (in Win7 you are taken directly to the Exception list so you don't select Exception Tab)
4. After adding exception to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires Online\Spartan.exe, Click OK

On 64Bit systems the install is usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires Online\Spartan.exe
If you installed via Steam make sure you follow instructions specific to Steam installs. You will need to consult the steam forums for more advice.
If you have a third party firewall you may need to either set it up to allow the Spartan.exe through the firewall or uninstall it completely.

2. Opening Ports Required
Using the same steps as before you can add ports to your firewall exception list. If the previous did not fix your problem then add these ports:

For Windows Live You Need These Ports Open:
TCP 53 80 443 3074
UDP 53 88 3074

For The Game You Need These Ports Open:
TCP 2300-2400 28800-28805
UDP 2300-2400 6073

In Windows 7 Ultimate you can add port ranges easily but for Windows XP or Vista you will probably need to make a batch file (<yourfilename>.bat)
Wherever you see a range of ports like 28800-28805 you will need to change your bat file to indicate this range eg:

FOR /L %I IN (<start of range>,1,<end of range>) DO netsh firewall add portopening TCP %I "<unique name for firewall entry>"%I

This is for a TCP port to open
FOR /L %I IN (28800,1,28805) DO netsh firewall add portopening TCP %I "2880028805TCP"%I

This is for UDP
FOR /L %I IN (2300,1,2400) DO netsh firewall add portopening UDP %I "23002400UDP"%I

Also read this

3. Router Settings
Each router is different so you will need to st it up as per your router instructions.

Enable uPnP.
This does not really affect your connection with a server. But it helps with channeling information from multiple devices that you may have connected to your router or modem-router. The uPnP is like a special thread created for the devices attached to your home network. The uPnP on most routers is cached. So you may need to turn your router and or modem-router off for about 30 seconds and turn them on again to clear any old cache. Another way is to disable uPnP, reboot your router and then unplug it's power for 30 seconds. Then when it is started again, enable uPnP, save the changes and reboot.

There are different ways of setting up NAT. But the best way is to leave it alone.
Most routers in the last 3 years have designed for gaming and p2p applications. If your modem/router is older then consider upgrading your home network. I had many problems with modems and routers provided by my ISP when I signed up for internet. Usually they give you trash. Also many of my older modems and routers are just plain too old, you may not notice them getting old, but over time they get slower and slower and start malfunctioning on you. One of the first things that happens is your NAT gets messed up, uPnP is not as good as it was, traffic is slow and you are probably not using Gigabit LAN speeds, not to mention slow wireless connections.

For more information on NAT and settings for your router check this article out: (keep in mind it varies per router and this router is one of those that can be highly customised, which menas it pretty much shows everything you can do.)

In some routers if you enable uPnP on the WAN settings and leave NAT as is, you get what is called uPnP NAT. This is probably the best solution.
On older routers the uPnP was not WAN side.
Never use DMZ.

Some routers will let you give priority to certain programs or tasks. Some are port driven other by application. Usually you don't need to change these settings because you won't be having more than 20 people using your router at home and therefore your traffic doesn't need managing as much. But let's say you have lots of people downloading things on different devices, you may need to configure this setting to give less bandwidth to downloads. Check your router settings for QoS.

Port Trigger or Forward
Finally and as a last resort you may want to direct traffic that uses the ports for Windows Live and the Game to one PC. Note I said ONE PC.
There are two ways to get traffic using the required ports for your game to communicate directly with one PC in your home network.

The first is Port Triggers. Port triggers are usually found on new routers. What they do is open for a brief moment (while the port is used) a path that goes from the router to a PC you specified in your settings. Port Forward is almost the same except that it opens the port and keeps it open always, it directs all traffic that is using the ports you specified to one PC.

You can find information about port triggering/forwarding your router here:

The ports you need to forward/trigger are exactly the same as those we mentioned in Part 1 for your Windows Firewall. Please note once you add forwarded ports to one PC, you essentially screw up any other PC trying to use those ports. So if you have two PC's playing AOEO doing CO-OPS or team games, you most certainly do not want to port forward. It only helps ONE PC!

If you are still having problems and you have contacted the Age Of Empires Online Community, consider upgrading your network system. Yes I know who wants to spend money on a router and modem, they have been probably hidden in a corner for so many years you forgot what they look like. But if you do decide to upgrade consider this very important and useful tip: Make sure it is compatible with ddwrt custom fireware Even if you do not intend to try a custom firmware upgrade (which can ruin your router completely), usually the companies making hardware that is compatible with ddwrt have all the advanced Router settings we spoke of in this article. I use the ASUS RT N16 without custom firmware, but ASUS makes firmware that is very similar to the DDWRT type so I don't need to do a custom firmware update. But if you do buy something like this it will mean you will need to know about Bridging a modem to the router.

Now I must tell you that using a modern router will not automatically fix all your problems, and infact, i think AOEO has some bugs in the way it handles multiplayer sessions. I have no immediate proof to show you, but I did spend over $300 for a network system uplift and still have problems when my son and I connect with another friend. Because the game is running on 2 PC's at home and one externally we get some lag. But we can play which is the main thing. When the second PC in my network connect and I connect to the AOEO server there is no lag, when we do seperate quests there is no lag. But once we team up in Co-OP or join games together that is when the NAT is causing lag. So be prepared for this type of behavior.


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