KittyChix Apr 19, 2013 @ 10:50am
FAQ: Error Subcode=3 / White Screen in-game
Originally posted by MS Ryz0n:
Error Subcode 3
After investigation, the Subcode 3 error turns out to be a pretty tricky one to nail down, and the answer to this is going to depend on your computer. I will preface this by saying it’s not something I enjoy writing, because in many cases this is an error that indicates the system doesn’t hit minimum system requirements.

So…why are you seeing this error? The specifics are pretty technical, but it comes down to part of the game rendering pipeline and GPU hardware. With the engine changes and code changes made to Age of Empires II: HD Edition, several technologies were used that are much more modern standards than the original game. Part of the Direct3D / Direct X tech is something called an Index Buffer, which gets used in conjunction with vertex buffers when drawing vertices that form the underlying 3d environments. (If you’re inclined to technical reading, the following overview[c0de517e.blogspot.com] may be up your alley). Remember, with the terrain meshes we’re rending 3D vertices in game.

Part of a DX 9.0c capable GPU and software is the inclusion of a 32 bit index buffer. Like we’ve seen PCs increase over the years from a 32bit to 64 bit architecture, older GPUs may only have a 16 bit buffer or less. When the game launches, it checks for a number of things, including what the system reports for this component. If you’re seeing an error subcode 3 upon launch, your system is likely reporting that it doesn’t have a 32 bit index buffer and is unable to play the game.

This can be a real stickler, because it requires both the hardware to be able to physically support this piece of tech, but in some cases even with compatible hardware, the GPU / chipset driver is designed in a way that reports the system only has a 16 bit buffer. If that is the case, it would require an updated driver to identify the hardware’s functionality. Please note, that in some circumstances if you’re not running on a normal OS (i.e a VM or through linux), depending on the GPU driver or how it interacts with the OS, you can see this error even with capable hardware in the system.

At the end of the day, it boils down to ensuring the system matches system requirements. Unfortunately hardware with a 16bit index buffer (like GPUs that only support shader model 2.0) are not compatible with Age of Empires II: HD Edition. If your hardware does support the technologies, ensure you have the latest drivers and that the software drivers are also compatible.

White Screen
Similarly to the Error Subcode=3, this is an indication that the graphics chip is not dx9.0c compatible. Please refer to your graphic card provider's website to ensure that the card is compatible with the system requirements.
Last edited by KittyChix; Apr 19, 2013 @ 10:52am
Showing 1-15 of 24 comments
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Com783 Apr 19, 2013 @ 1:01pm 
Some people also encounter black screens when starting a game. Why did that could be?

The same Problem?
Last edited by Com783; Apr 19, 2013 @ 1:06pm
hillsfire Apr 19, 2013 @ 1:19pm 
So how does one check the index buffer of your card?
XuanKamo Apr 19, 2013 @ 5:43pm 
I don't understand. this is the cause of going out in any MP game? I'm running windows xp 32bit
Gimli the Ogre Apr 19, 2013 @ 6:50pm 
Refund?
[TRR] Is dead Apr 20, 2013 @ 10:45am 
Basically, if you have an AMD card or chip in the X series below X1300, an Nvidia card in the 5000 range, or a non-X Intel GMA chip, your computer is on Direct X 9.0, but not on Direct X 9.0c, which is required for the game.

You might be able to get a refund from Steam if this requirement wasn't clear. It's really hard to tell that this issue even exists, I remember it took me years to figure out why I could run TF2 on Direct X 9, but I couldn't get any of the shading or special effects to work.
Strauss_KHAN Apr 29, 2013 @ 12:36pm 
So I have to buy a new ♥♥♥♥ing computer in order to play this game that I've been playing for years. Give me a ♥♥♥♥ing refund.
Mr. Brown May 2, 2013 @ 8:26am 
I got the damn issues on a Raedon HD 6870!
Count Windei May 8, 2013 @ 3:50am 
Is this getting fixed or what?
StepS May 9, 2013 @ 12:51am 
Originally posted by Count Windei:
Is this getting fixed or what?
this is a FAQ explaining that your system has insufficient specs, therefore, it can only be "fixed" with a newer PC
Last edited by StepS; May 9, 2013 @ 12:52am
Avatar Korra Aug 4, 2013 @ 8:26am 
Are they going to be making a patch that resloves this issue for people with older computers? If not, does steam give full refunds?
Teancum Aug 4, 2013 @ 4:06pm 
So an newer computer, can't be the only fix? I'm trying to run this on a Windows 7 64-bit pc, I haven't looked much into the computer side, but It's ran seemingly more complex programs before. any help there?
also on top of that I've tried it in on a Macbook Pro OSX with much more than is needed to run it in terms of Hardware, In a VM of course, but I used to get subcode 1 but upon that fix AOE crashes upon starting, It loads the first menu. then crashes when I click on play any help here will be appreicated
sorry for the tangent.
Last edited by Teancum; Aug 4, 2013 @ 4:07pm
MS Ryz0n  [developer] Aug 5, 2013 @ 7:03am 
Originally posted by Porter:
So an newer computer, can't be the only fix? I'm trying to run this on a Windows 7 64-bit pc, I haven't looked much into the computer side, but It's ran seemingly more complex programs before. any help there?
also on top of that I've tried it in on a Macbook Pro OSX with much more than is needed to run it in terms of Hardware, In a VM of course, but I used to get subcode 1 but upon that fix AOE crashes upon starting, It loads the first menu. then crashes when I click on play any help here will be appreicated
sorry for the tangent.
Virtual machines rarely have pass through driver support for advanced direct X functions.

This is unfortunately not an issue that we have the ability to resolve, as it's related to the GPU function being below minimum system requirements. In some cases (some of the older intel GMA drivers), the issue is the software driver rather than the hardware itself, so theoretically if there were alternative drivers that did not report the index buffer as 16bit instead of 32bit then it might work, however I'm not aware of any that do so.
Ровный сын Oct 26, 2013 @ 6:20am 
ty for fixing problem
elvismolotov Nov 4, 2013 @ 12:21pm 
i use a radeon 7970 and get the white screen
so this (whitescreen) appears with grafikcards that are 9.0c compartible
JiggaJerm Nov 23, 2013 @ 6:47pm 
So wait. I meet all the minimum requirements (XP, 32bit, DX 9.0c) and yet 30 dollars later I still can't play this game on my computer? Is there any information on how we can maybe get a refund? Because that is false advertisement. I troubleshooted every possible solution for this problem, and still face a white screen. What can we do from here?
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