Age of Empires II: HD Edition

Age of Empires II: HD Edition

80 ratings
Playing on Mac using Wine (No Bootcamp, No VM)
By sudo
A complete guide to running AoE II HD on Mac using Wine (without running Windows), meant for the average Steam user to be able to follow easily.
5/16/2015: I'm still busy with college and work, but I had a little time to play AoE II HD recently and noticed that my old Wine wrapper from the original guide was broken! Luckily, I found that PlayOnMac has updated its Steam bottle, so it works now with AoE II HD! So I've quickly updated the guide, removing all the piles of old junk.
Intro (skip if you want)
What is Wine? Wine allows Intel Macs to run Windows programs in Mac OS X without a virtual machine. That is, the Windows OS itself is not involved. It also runs on other Unix-based OSs on any Intel PC. It is faster and much more convenient than a VM. Theoretically, it could be faster than running the programs in Windows with Boot Camp, but this is usually not the case (actually, it tends to be slightly slower).

Wine is finicky, and certain Windows programs won't run properly in it. Steam complicates the setup, too. So I cannot guarantee that this will work for you. The most reliable (but least convenient) way to play this game is to play it in Windows in a VM or Boot Camp. But I have been playing this game exclusively in Wine for quite some time and love it.

What should work:
- Singleplayer (stable and without lag, campaigns not tested much).
- Multiplayer games and lobbies (stable and without lag, low ping, tested frequently).
- The Forgotten DLC (not extensively tested).
- Map Editor.
- Plays pretty nicely with desktop features in Mac OS X, including Exposé, with only minor issues.
- Full screen mode and windowed mode, with a resizable window.
- Steam.
- Steam notifications, such as incoming chat messages, appear as minimized windows in the Dock.
- Steam Workshop subscriptions.

What doesn't work… at least not yet:
- Steam in-game overlay.
- The "invite" button in AoE II HD. You have to use the "invite to game" menu item for the friend in Steam.
- Intro videos.
- The launcher window is glitchy. This guide shows you how to skip it.
- When typing in any text fields, including the chat window, you cannot see text until you press return. This is the only serious problem.

System Requirements:
- An Intel processor. Motorola processors (G5, G4, G3, earlier) will not work at all.
- Decent hardware. Any Intel Mac desktop should be good enough, but older MacBook Airs and circa 2007 Mac laptops might be pushed hard.

List of Tested and Confirmed Mac OS X Versions:
Works in 10.11.4 "El Capitan".
1. Download, install, and open PlayOnMac:

2. Press "Install" (plus button) in the PlayOnMac main window. Search for Steam. Install it. Don't check "run Steam now" or whatever it says when it's done.

3. You should now have a Steam icon in your PlayOnMac main window. Only if you don't, hit "Configure" (gear button). Click on the Steam prefix. Under the "General" tab, press "Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive". Wait for it to scan, then create a shortcut for Steam, then hit cancel to go back.

4. You should really now have a Steam icon in your PlayOnMac main window. Select it, and press "Run" (play button).

5. Log into Steam, and install the game like you'd do it in Windows. Run the game. The launcher window might be missing text on its buttons, but you can click the buttons anyway. Have fun!
Q: This is so easy. Why bother making a guide?
A: The process used to be longer and more complicated. I had to figure out a lot of hacks to make it work. The old guide was much, much longer. Luckily, things outside of my control have recently changed to improve the situation, so I updated the guide so people don't try any crazy stuff like before. It is a little sad, though, since I put a lot of work into my old guide ;_;

Q: Did you play on GameRanger?
A: Yeah, my name was ßømß or something.

Q: Why don't you just run Windows?
A: I use OS X for school and work, and I occasionally play games. This is the only Windows-only game I play (thanks, MSFT), and I don't feel like booting into Windows every time or running a VM to play it. Surely others will find Wine much more convenient, too.

Q: Can I play other Windows-only games in Steam through PlayOnMac?
A: Yes, you can in some cases! Give it a shot. I used to do it for Unturned. I don't know what works and what doesn't. Wine and PlayOnMac are both constantly improving, and games are constantly being patched, so everything is up in the air.

Q: Can you help me with running some other game?
A: Chances are I don't have the game, and I rarely have free time, so sorry... Ask a tech-savvy friend to help.
< >
PAPA May 2 @ 6:24am 
Hey, I asssume that games which are early access wont work, do they?
huh? Mar 20 @ 12:27am 
does anyone know how to change the resolution of the game? The models appear to be so big in game, I tried to change it in the wine configuration but it doesn't help.
broylecal Mar 7 @ 4:50am 
Only if you don't, hit "Configure" (gear button). Click on the Steam prefix. Under the "General" tab, press "Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive".

I can't get it to make the new shortcut and for it to be showing on the face of playformac.

Where do I choose for the shortcut to be created?
kisacaerkan Feb 25 @ 1:03pm 
Anybody having performance issue when playing online?
I have white turtle next to my nickname. Scrolls and any clicks cause delays and so very bad experience in the game.

Can it be because of internet connection or if not; any solution for that performance issue?
(I do not have this problem in single player game)
turing Nov 5, 2017 @ 12:54pm 
Hey @Driksteve ... Use PortingKit That's the only thing working these days.
Dirksteve Nov 2, 2017 @ 7:41am 

I followed the instructions in the guide for setting up and running AoE HD II.
Basically, installed PlayOnMac fine, and Steam through that. No issues at this stage.

Installed AoE fine, but every time I try to run it it displays the initial run window, Steam says it is running in the Library sidebar; it does this for about a second, very quickly says it is syncing and then closes itself without the game actually opening or running at all.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Stanford Aug 19, 2017 @ 5:42am 
Спасибо огромное! Помогло! +rep:anonymous:
Nopal_Asesino Aug 10, 2017 @ 6:14pm 
Play with Porting Kit, it's easier to install and works 100%.
Thomas Aug 10, 2017 @ 12:31pm 
I can't join games. When I try to join a game it gets stuck at Joining multiplayer game ... and then i press esc to get out.