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FAQ: Error Subcode=3 / White Screen in-game
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 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.
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
Date Posted: Apr 19, 2013 @ 10:50am