Errors and Solutions

Common Issues

Looking for Empire Earth 2 errors and help ? Oops here is the help for Empire Earth 1 (for EE2 go to


Always remember one thing, Empire Earth is a game for Windows 98 and work with dependencies that are very badly supported on our modern versions of Windows.
The help offered on this page will try to help you to run the game, sometimes the solution will work, but most of the time you will have to dig and combine some fixes. This is the price to pay to be able to play this wonderful game.
The following help will try not to use too complicated terms and guide you to correctly correct the game’s errors without technical skills, but it will inevitably have its limits and some parts will require you to pay attention.

Empire Earth crash on program start

The inevitable, the crash when you think you can finally play.

Here is a list of possible solutions :

Install the game using the Community Setup:

  • Try without changing any compatibility settings
  • Try with and without older windows flags or/and compatibility flags
  • Try all DirectX Wrapper
  • Continue to read the help

Set compatibility options (see MsDoc):
(If the option is grayed out you must click on modify for all users)

  • Run the game as Administrator
  • Try every older windows compatibiltiy
  • Continue to read the help

Open the application “Regedit”:

  • Navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SSSI\Empire Earth” for Empire Earth
    or “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mad Doc Software\EE-AOC” for The Art of Conquest
    (Remplace “SSSI” with “Neo” and EE-AOC with “Art of Conquest” if you use NeoEE)
  • Try to set the value of “Rasterizer Name” to “Direct3D Hardware TnL” or “Direct3D”
  • Continue to read the help

Disable Anti-Virus:

  • Open Windows Defender or your Anti-Virus if you installed another one
  • Disable the real-time protection (or any execution protection)
    (Don’t forget to re-enable it and If it worked add a folder exception in your Anti-Virus for the Empire Earth (and if installed AoC) directory.)

AoC won’t start:

  •  If you copied game files from a computer to another that’s normal. AoC require EE to have been started at least one time on the computer. If it’s still not working, follow the previous solutions.
Unable to open Empire Earth window

It happens quite often on Windows 10 and 11 and with multiple screens that the Empire Earth window launches incorrectly.
Start your task manager, if the game is present in the running programs list and does not have the mention “Does not respond” in the task manager it means that the game works well but that the window is badly launched. The easiest solution is to close your other open windows and check that you don’t have any other fullscreen programs running. The other cleaner option is to create an additional desktop on which you run the game (Possible by using one of the logos next to the windows logo on your taskbar, this feature allow you to have multiple virtual desktop).

Game slow/low FPS

Empire Earth can be very slow in the following conditions:

– You may not be using the right rendering mode:
Try in the settings of Empire Earth to change between TnL and not TnL, sometimes this is enough.

– You are using a laptop with a low performance integrated graphics processor (concerns almost all integrated graphics processor released before 2021):
There is no miracle solution unfortunately, your PC is simply limited, the version of Intel HD Graphics released before 2021 (present on a large part of public PCs) are not only poorly performing but also very poorly realized and poorly optimized. You should be able to get a little more performance using dgVoodoo if the performance is bad without it, try all the dgVoodoo configurations available in the Community Setup, maybe you will see some changes.

– You have set Empire Earth in a resolution higher than 1920×1200 :
Even if the game allows it with some patch from the community it is absolutely not recommended, indeed the game engine (using DirectX 7) is not made for resolutions higher than 1920×1200 and will suffer from heavy performance problems even on good hardware. If you know a little bit about it you can tweak it with dgVoodoo to get an almost correct result.

If you are using dreXmod.dll or Reborn.dll or any other mod that allows you to modify the game camera, it is possible that the camera is too high. The higher the camera is and the more units to be displayed, the more Empire Earth has an increasing performance requirement.
In that case try to reduce the height of the camera:
dreXmod.config: config -> Camera -> Zoom -> <MaxZ>X</MaxZ>
Reborn.ini: Camera -> MaxZ = X

– You may not be using the right graphics card:
Sometimes computers (especially gamer laptops) have 2 graphics cards, one for general use of the computer, low power and low performance, and the other high performance and very power hungry. It is possible that Windows is launched the game with the low performance card, you should be able to change that in “System > Display > Graphics”

– You are using dgVoodoo:
For some unknown reason, changing the rendering mode (TnL/not-TnL) while the game is running seems to allow dgVoodoo to refresh the display and run much more cleanly.

Intel HD Graphics (iGPU) / Old AMD GPUs

The iGPU (integrated graphics processor), especially on the Intel (HD Graphics series) side which are the most present on computer, and old AMD graphics cards suffer from compatibility and performance problems on Empire Earth.

– You should be able to solve this problem by using dgVoodoo with the Community Setup. If this is not enough or if new problems appear, refer to the other guides on this page (also maybe read the “Game slow/low FPS” help section).

CD Keys

NeoEE uses an identification system at the time of installation to register your computer with the servers. If this message appears, it is probably because the installation did not go well (too much re-installation in a short time, using a Virtual Machine, etc…).

If you use NeoEE:

  • Use the Community Setup and install the game as administrator (this is technically not required but better)
  • Disable your Antivirus and then reinstall/repair NeoEE (don’t forget to enable it again after)
  • Use the old (deprecated) official NeoEE Setup (don’t forget to disable your Anti-Virus), remember that this setup don’t provide Empire Earth, you need to install it before (Because this setup is a “patch”).
  • Ask Empire Earth Reborn devs to give you a CD Key

If you don’t use NeoEE:

  • In the folder where Empire Earth (and if installed AoC) is installed, there is a file called “WONLobby.cfg”, open as administrator (can work somethime without admin) a text editor and edit that file by remplacing the line “CDKeyCheck: true” to “CDKeyCheck: false”
Game version

“Your game version does not match the host’s version”… right ?

This is due to a very simple thing, you try to connect to a game hosted by a player who does not have the same version of the game as you.
But be careful, Empire Earth manages the versions in a very strange way, indeed, some mods modify the version of the game. If you or the remote person has mods that modify the models or some values of the game, Empire Earth will indicate a different version on the main menu.

The original version of Empire Earth (up to date) is
The original version of The Art of Conquest (up to date) is

The NeoEE ( version of Empire Earth is
The NeoEE ( version of The Art of Conquest is

If you didn’t used the Community Setup and installed the game with GOG Setup or GOG Galaxy read the [Warning] at the end of this help section.

Check the game name, maybe the host added “[Name of a mod/modpack]” meaning that he is aware and wait for persons who also have the same mod/modpack.
Else, you or the host player must have modified the game, any content added in \Data\db or \Data\Models will change the game version (or any change to .dll files of the game).
Unfortunately, even if at first sight the game doesn’t look incompatible, it is, just use the original game. Note that custom textures and sounds don’t change the game version you are free to use them without problems (but check that they don’t come with models it could be the cause).

More on EE versions wiki on Github.

[Warning] For some time GOG has been distributing a version of Empire Earth that contains modifications that change the version of the game (2974?). If you have downloaded your setup on GOG (or GOG Galaxy) the problem probably comes from there. Try to use the community setup after uninstalling the version currently installed.

Online lag

So there’s nothing magical about it. If during the game a snail of your color appears it means that your connection is bad and that you should really stop playing online and bothering others.
More seriously, Empire Earth doesn’t require a lot of bandwidth (on the contrary we are talking about a game from the 2000’s). So it’s probably due to your ping. The ping is the time that passes between the moment you send an information and the person receiving it (in ms).
You check your ping using this, if your ping is less than 40ms you should not have any problems. In the opposite case, try to get closer to your network (or even better, use a network cable), close all your programs, and also check that nobody on your network is using (too much) bandwidth. If you have more than 80ms of ping, please do not play online, you will cause unbearable slowdown for others players (waiting for synchronization…).

Multiplayer map upload stuck at 0%

This problem occurs when the game is unable to share the map (saved game) with other players.
It is very likely that you have not set up port forwarding for the game or have never heard of it. As a matter of fact NeoEE has a multiplayer technology that allows you to play online without setting up this famous “port forwarding”, but this technology unfortunately does not support save game sharing.

You have two solutions:

Set up port forwarding for Empire Earth
Transfer the saved game (“\Data\Saved Games” from the game directory) to other players computer, it can be done through any app you want to use and he has to place the file in “\Data\Saved Games” from other players game directory folder. Then the game will not have to upload the game save since everyone have it.


Associated help page.

Can’t host a game? Be careful, Empire Earth is an old game, there is not a big server hosting the game for you. No, it’s the person who create the game who host it, so we want to allow computers outside your local network (on the same wifi as you) , we want to allow computers over the whole internet right ?

To do this you need to make a modification from the interface of your internet box (probably at every router are different check online for help about your router model and port forwarding).
You must port forward the Empire Earth ports to the computer that will host the game.

To port forward, open TCP: 33334 to 33336 and UDP: 33334 and 33336 and as destination your computer. Once this is done, normally computers from all over the world will be able to play on a game you host.
If you use NeoEE the procedure is the same but you may only have to activate the UPnP option on your box, but very rare are the people who reported that it works.

On old computers, EE Lobby can generate a WS_ServerReq_NoServerSpecified if the game can’t even communicate with internet, in that case check the firewall!

Note for China located players:
Well, you proably know that there is a very cool firewall that protect you from the ouside world… Sadly this “great” firewall block a lot of player to play with you, the best thing you can do is to take a VPN to avoid the firewall restriction (Important note: that VPN need to support port forwarding!)

Transparent textures/map

This problem occurs when you use dreXmod and DirectX Wrappers. You can try to delete the DirectX Wrapper you are using (DDraw.dll, D3D8.dll, D3D9.dll, D3DImm.dll) be careful, it is one of the most important comaptibility files), if you only use it for the camera feature, you can also replace dreXmod with Reborn.dll or disable the HUD in dreXmod config.

Tiny text on the HUD

It is possible that the text is strangely small when you play. This is probably due to the fact that your screen has a zoom factor. Easily verifiable in the Windows display settings, laptops are often at 125% or more depending on their resolution.
Normally the Community Setup should fix this bug, but it’s possible that you don’t want to use it if the fix doesn’t work, here’s what you can do:

– In the Windows compatibility options of Empire Earth try to replace the game scaling with the proposed modes (right click on game shortcut or executable, property, compatibility) .

Set your screen to 100% scale before playing and restore the right size after (don’t change your desktop icons when you are still at 100% or you will lose the usual scale desktop layout of your screen).

Screen blinking/flickering

Sometimes when you leave the game window it may happen that the game, the interface may sometimes start to become invisible and flickering. In this case, try to click on the crown (civilization choice) even if it is also invisible. This will refresh the 2D rendering of the game and you will find a functional interface once you exit the civilization selection menu.


You should be able to do it yourself, right ?
…but here are 2 informations:

You should be able to install Empire Earth from Lutris automatically or manually with the Community Setup.
If your game crashes with NeoEE when you try to create a game (at the same time as a black connection page is supposed to appear) then go to the NeoEE.cfg file and edit “ShowGUI” to false (the Community Setup do it for you automatically).

Written with the hope that you can play and have fun alone or with friends.

Useful documentation

DirectX Wrapper

A DirectX Wrapper (aka. DX Wrapper, dgVodoo) allows to intercept Empire Earth’s calls to DirectX and Direct3D interface functions (game graphics rendering). Empire Earth uses DirectX 7, this version is designed for Windows 98, nowadays modern systems have DirectX 11 or 12. This makes the game technically incompatible, however DirectX has a backwards compatibility that sometimes makes it possible to play on a more recent version. But the rest of the time, you are simply stuck, trapped and unable to play. Well, this is where the DirectX Wrapper will help us. It will intercept DirectX 7 calls and translate them into a newer version of DirectX, allowing you to play.


Regedit (or Windows Registry) is in short, the Windows database. This is where the system and some applications store their settings and informations. It is not recommended for a novice to go and modify values there without knowing what he is doing (values specified on this page are safe, don’t worry).

Mods Types

There are two types of mod on Empire Earth. The mods that change the version of the game, and the mods that do not change it. The mods that don’t change it can be used by everyone without worrying about anything. On the other hand, the mods that change the version of the game will only work with people who also own the mods in question. The files that change the version of Empire Earth concern any mod that adds content to \Data\db or \Data\Models. Also any mod that modifies a dll file of the game (modifies, not adds).