Age of Empires FAQ

Have some questions about the Age of Empires Insider Program or one of our betas? Not to worry! We’ve collected a list of issues and solutions to help answer questions you may have about the program.

Age of Empires Insider FAQ



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Age of Empires Beta Installation FAQ

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Beta FAQ

Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Beta FAQ

Age of Empires Insider Program NDA & Guidelines FAQ

Age of Empires Insider FAQ

General Questions

What is the Age of Empires Insider Program?

The Age of Empires Insider Program is a new opportunity for gamers who want to get an inside look and have a hand in the development of the Age of Empires franchise.

Insiders will be sent regular communications relating to Age of Empires, along with special survey opportunities to give the development team input on specific areas. Please note that not every survey will be sent to every insider; our devs will survey the insiders whose profiles best fit our research needs at the time. So, don’t worry if you don’t get a survey and your friend does—yours might be just around the corner!

Additionally, we’ll be selecting members of the Insider Program in the future for early testing phases of Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition. You must be signed up as an Insider to be considered for participation in these beta phases, so don’t wait!

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What platforms are the playtesting opportunities for Age of Empires available on?

Playtesting opportunities will occur around Steam and Windows Store platforms. In order to be eligible, you need to connect an active Steam account with your Age of Empires Insider profile.

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What languages is the Age of Empires Insider program offered in?

We encourage Age fans from anywhere around the world to join the program, but all Age of Empires Insider communications and information are currently offered only in English.

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Do I get the game for free for being in the beta?

As an Age of Empires Insider, you get:

  • Early access to information about the Age of Empires franchise;
  • Opportunities to participate in early playtests and betas of Age of Empires products;
  • Access to the exclusive Age of Empires Insider forums;
  • And a badge on the official forums identifying you to the world as an Insider!

Age of Empires Insiders get many perks like the above, but free games is not currently one of them.

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What’s the best way for me to give my feedback to the Age of Empires team?

There are two great ways to give your feedback:

  1. When you receive your invitation to the beta, it will include a link to a special forum on that you can join to discuss with other beta participants and developers! This secret forum is the only place you may discuss the game.
  2. We will send periodic surveys to beta participants. These surveys are our primary tool for collecting feedback, so completing them is of utmost importance!

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What is considered confidential? What isn’t?

You can share that you’ve been invited to the beta (we’re as excited as you are!), but all details about the game and the beta program must remain confidential. Please refer to the Age of Empires Insider Guidelines and NDA for more details.

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Where do I go if I have any additional Age of Empires Insider questions or concerns?

If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us at and we will get back to you within a timely manner.

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How do I register to become an Age of Empires Insider?

Registration for our Age Insider program can be found on the bottom of any main page or by clicking here.

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I registered as an Age of Empires Insider in the past. Do I need to register again?

No – with our newly refreshed Profile Page, you can update your Age Insider preferences, refresh your DxDiag.xml, and link your Steam account.

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I haven’t received any confirmation after completing the survey!

Not to worry! If you completed the survey to the end, you are signed up as an Age of Empires Insider. Check your spam or junk folder for an email from or with a subject line  starting with “Welcome to the Age of Empires Insiders.” Be aware that, in rare situations, it can take up to 72 hours to receive the confirmation email after completing the survey.

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Update my preferences

How do I update my Age Insider profile preferences

In order to review and update your Age of Empires Insider profile preferences, such as your preferred email, connected Steam account, and your DxDiag.xml, check out the quick guide below:

Accessing the Profile Page

  1. Login to with your Microsoft Account (MSA).
  2. In the top left, hover over your profile picture and select Profile from the dropdown menu.
    Alternatively, you can also login to your profile page directly at
  3. You should now see a screen that looks like the below where you can review and update your Age Insider profile preferences:

What are the Insider Settings?

  • Preferred Email – This is the email address we will reach out to you with news, updates, beta invites, and more. Make sure its set to an email you check regularly!
  • Newsletter – This section lets you subscribe or unsubscribe from the Age of Empires Insider newsletter, which includes exclusive Insider information on the franchise.
  • Steam – Link or unlink your Steam account to your Age of Empires Insider profile here.
    Remember: you must have a Steam account linked to be eligible for the Age II: DE closed beta on Steam!
  • DxDiag – Upload or remove your DxDiag.xml file, a file that is important to helping us troubleshoot bugs you encounter and understand what kind of machine you’re using to play our games.
  • Opt Out – Click this button in the top right if you wish to completely opt out of the Age of Empires Insider program.

Questions about accessing or updating the Age of Empires Insider profile preferences? Email us at and we’ll get back to you in a timely manner!

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How do I connect my Steam account to my existing Age of Empires Insider profile?

If you would like to connect your Steam account and become eligible for consideration for a beta, login to and select “Link Steam” under the “Insider Settings” section of this page.

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How do I change my gamertag/Age forums username?

In order to update your gamertag/your Age of Empires forums username, please log on to Xbox Live or check out this support article. Once you have claimed a new gamertag, the name will propagate over to our forums.

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How do I generate a DxDiag.xml file?

If we requested a DxDiag.xml file from you, please follow the steps below:

  1. Begin by holding the Windows key on your keyboard and press R. The Windows key is located between Ctrl and Alt on the left of most keyboards, and looks like a flag.
  2. In the Run window, enter “dxdiag” into the Open box and press OK.  If you are asked whether you “want to check if your drivers are digitally signed,” select Yes.
  3. After a few seconds, the DirectX Diagnostic Tool will open and begin collecting your system information.
  4. When it is done gathering information, click “Save All Information” at the bottom of the window. In the “Save as type” box, select XML File. Save the file to a location you can find again later, such as your Desktop.
  5. You may now close the DirectX Diagnostic Tool window. If requested, please attach and send this XML file to our support team.

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My DirectX Diagnostic tool won’t save as an XML file!

If you are unable to get the Direct X Diagnostic tool to save the file as an XML, then you will need to reach out to Microsoft Support for troubleshooting the issue with the tool. If they are able to resolve the issue for you, please let us know at so that we can fine-tune our troubleshooting process.

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Age of Empires Beta Installation FAQ

I received a beta invite for the Steam platform; how do I install it?

Step 1 of 2: Activate the Beta

  1. Select and copy ( CTRL + C ) the Steam key from the invite email.
  2. Launch Steam. (If you do not have Steam, you can download it here.) Login with your Steam account.
  3. Click the Games menu at the top of the application window.
  4. Select “Activate a Product on Steam…” from the dropdown menu.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to reach the below screen:
  6. Paste ( CTRL + V ) the Steam key into the activation window and click Next.
  7. Select the game and click Finish.
  8. You should now see the beta product added to your Games Library.

Be sure to take the time to download the game and all of the required files. It may take some time to download everything you need to jump in and play.

Step 2 of 2: Unlock the Beta

  1. Select and copy ( CTRL + C ) the beta password from the invite email.
  2. Locate the beta product in your Games Library.
  3. Right-click the game title and select Properties at the bottom of the menu.
  4. In the window that appears, select the BETAS tab on the top right.
  5. In the next field, paste ( CTRL + V ) the beta password (not the Steam key!) and click Check Code.
  6. You will receive a confirmation message stating “Access code correct…” below the text field.
  7. Select closed beta – Closed Beta from the dropdown menu. You must select this option in order for the beta to be unlocked. You should notice the game begin to update in the background.
  8. Select Close in the bottom right of the Properties window.
  9. You are now able to Play the beta product!
    1.  NOTE: If you get a “missing executables” error, please redo Step 2, and make sure to do point #7.

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I received a beta DLC invite for the Steam platform; how do I install it?

  1. Select and copy ( CTRL + C ) the DLC token from this invite email.
  2. Launch Steam and login to the account that has the main product in its Games Library.
  3. Select “Activate a Product on Steam…” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions and paste ( CTRL + V ) the DLC token when prompted for a Product Code.
    Note: Steam may begin installing the DLC once you finish the redemption process. If this happens, you can skip to Step 7!
  5. Open your Games Library and single-click on main product.
  6. Under the DLC section of the game details page, select the checkbox for the beta DLC if it is not already checked.
  7. Wait for the DLC to install.
  8. Launch the main product.
    Note: If the DLC added a new feature or option to the game, you may need to enable it from an in-game Options menu.

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I received a beta invite for the Windows Store platform; how do I install it?

Step 1 of 2: Download the Xbox Insider Hub

  1. Launch the Microsoft Store from the Start Menu.
  2. In the top right of the Microsoft Store, search for Xbox Insider Hub or click here to open the product page.
  3. Click Get on the Xbox Insider Hub product page.
    If prompted when downloading, please login with the Microsoft Account (MSA) that you used to sign up as an Age Insider
  4. Download and install the Xbox Insider Hub app.
  5. Login to the Xbox Insider Hub app with the Microsoft Account (MSA) you used to register as an Age Insider.

Step 2 of 2: Download and Install the Game

  1. With the Xbox Insider Hub app open and logged in, select Insider Content from the menu on the left of the app window.
  2. Select the beta product from the tiles of games.
    1. NOTE: If the game does not appear, please make sure you are using the same Microsoft Account (MSA) that you registered with as an Age Insider, and that you are meeting minimum requirements for the game.
  3. On the screen that appears, select the Join
  4. Carefully review and accept the Terms and Conditions presented to you.
  5. The Xbox Insider Hub may take a few moments to process your join request. You will be redirected to a Microsoft Store page for the beta product.
  6. Select Install to download and install the beta.
    1. NOTE: If the page does not load, please make sure you are using the same Microsoft Account (MSA) that you registered with as an Age Insider, and that you are meeting minimum requirements for the game.

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Age of Empires: Definitive Edition Beta FAQ

I can’t see the AoE: DE Beta tile in the Xbox Insider Hub!

The Age of Empires: Definitive Edition multiplayer beta on Microsoft Store ended on Aug. 15, 2019, so the tile is no longer available in the Xbox Insider Hub. Thanks for your interest, and keep an eye out for other opportunities!

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Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Beta FAQ

Where can I talk about Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition beta?

You may only talk about the Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition beta in the specific communication channels, such as a private forum, listed on your beta invite.

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I’ve signed up as an Age Insider. What can I do while I wait for my beta invite?

Thanks for signing up! While we get the next wave of beta invites ready, we encourage you to do the following:

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I received an invite; now what?

If you receive an invite to the closed beta, the first thing to do is begin downloading the game. Your install instructions will vary based on the platform you were invited for (Windows Store | Steam). More details can be found in your invite email.

Once you’ve unlocked the game, we recommend visiting the closed Beta forums, as this is where you’ll be able to post feedback and discuss the game. If you have trouble logging in, follow the steps below to unlock access.

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I pre-ordered Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, I was just invited to the beta, but can’t redeem my beta key; Steam says “this game is already in your library”?

When redeeming your beta key for Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, if you already have a pre-order of the game, Steam may prompt you with a message saying “This game is already in your library.” You should be able to ignore this message and continue with your beta activation steps.

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I can’t launch the beta, Steam says “missing executables”!

If you are getting a pop-up from Steam at game launch that includes the “missing executables” error message, then you are not currently opted-in to the beta through Steam. If you were previously able to get into the beta it is possible that your beta-settings might have become unset during system, client, or game updates. Please follow Step 2 on the beta activation steps, and do not skip #7.

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I can’t access the beta forums. What do I do?

If you can’t access the confidential Beta forums, you may need to clear your cache and cookies. Here’s a helpful guide you can use to find and clear your cookies. Once you’ve cleared that information, sign into the forums again to see the Age of Empires II: DE Beta forums.

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Age of Empires Insider Program Guidelines & NDA FAQ

Can I tell people that I am in the playtest?

Yes, you can certainly tell people that you are participating in the playtest, and you can encourage them to sign-up for the playtest as well! However, you cannot show them the game or discuss NDA-covered topics with them. This includes, but is not limited to: bugs, feedback, gameplay elements, or game content. These types of information are reserved for our closed forums. Please review the full NDA & Guidelines.

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Do I need to adjust my friends setting in Steam so people can’t see what I’m playing?

No. Steam will display that you are Online but will not display you as in a game while you are playing the beta. The beta will appear on your Recently Played games list, and that is fine. See Can I tell people that I am in the playtest?

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Can I stream a let’s-play of the beta?

No. This is expressly prohibited by the NDA & Guidelines.

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Can I answer questions if someone else is asking about the playtest on another forum?

No. Questions like that are attempting to goad you into breaking your NDA; don’t fall for it. If you would like to be helpful, you can remind them, and others, that their question is protected by the NDA & Guidelines, and direct them to the appropriate beta forum.

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Someone is having trouble getting into the beta forums to report an issue, what can I do to be helpful?

Discussion of their issue outside of the closed forums would be a violation of the NDA & Guidelines. Please direct them to email with their gamertag and Xbox Live email address so we can troubleshoot with them and get them into the forums. As we need sensitive pieces of information to do this efficiently, we cannot troubleshoot forum access on a public board. Thanks for assisting!

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The AoE team responded to my post with a reminder of the NDA; am I in trouble?

Heed any warnings provided to you by our staff. Ignoring the warning, violating the spirit of the NDA & Guidelines, or blatant disregard for it will result in our team taking action.

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I found someone posting information/pictures/video of the playtest; what do I do?

Please send an email to with the URL of the leak. We will take it from there. Thanks!

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Why does the Age Insider Team take the NDA & Guidelines so seriously?

At its highest level, the Age Insider NDA & Guidelines allow us to share information with you: our loyal fans and community. We want to involve you in the beta process, hear your feedback, and work together on an awesome game! That involvement requires mutual trust and respect.

Your invitation to participate in the beta is our acknowledgement that we trust you with confidential information about an unfinished product, and that we value your feedback and contribution to the game and the community as a whole. Leaking this information, or discussing aspects of features, gameplay, or experiences in the beta, makes it harder for us to share information and get feedback in the future.

Violations take time away from our team for processing, hamper our ability to invite more participants into the beta, and in some instances, show that the individual does not value the other participants in the beta program nor the Age community at large.

We love this community and these games; we want to continue sharing them with you and cooperating on their improvement. These are the fundamental reasons why our team takes the Age Insider NDA & Guidelines seriously.

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I was removed from the Age Insider Program for violating the NDA; can I appeal this decision?

Yes. You can email and make your case for being reinstated into the Age Insider Program. To maintain the integrity of the appeals process, each case will be reviewed as unique to its own circumstances (no precedent). If your appeal is approved for reconsideration, then you will receive a response.

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