How to Install Age of Empires 3

By Jonathan Langdon

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Age of Empires III

  • Windows XP or later/ Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later

Age of Empires III is a war-game set during the colonization of the New World. You select one of eight civilizations to build cities and armies. The action of this strategy game occurs in real time as you war against other nations over resources, treasure and territory. Destroy or pacify your enemies and secure your foothold in the New World. Age of Empires III is available for both Windows XP and Mac OS X. This guide shows you how to install Age of Empires III for Windows XP.

Insert the disc labeled "Disc 1" into you disc drive. If you have Autoplay active, the setup for Age of Empires III will load. Otherwise, open a window for your disc drive and double-click "setup.exe".

Click Next to begin installation of Age of Empires III. The InstallShield Wizard will guide you through a series of options for installing the game.

Click "Next" in the second window. The options for an "Express Install" and "Install for All Users" are selected by default. The "Express Install" option streamlines the process while "Install for All Users" allows all profiles on your computer to play Age of Empires III.

Enter the Product Key for your copy of Age of Empires III. You can find the Product Key inside the Age of Empires III case. The Product Key proves that you are installing a legitimate copy of Age of Empires III.

Insert the disc labeled "Disc 2" when prompted then click "OK". Age of Empires III is a large game, so the files were spread across multiple discs.

Insert "Disc 3" when asked then click "OK" to proceed with the installation.

Insert "Disc 1" again then click "OK" to wrap up the installation. The installation ends with Disc 1 because Age of Empires III requires Disc 1 be in your disc drive in order to play. Requiring the disc is another way of ensuring that you are using a legitimate copy of Age of Empires III.

Sit back and let the installer search for an appropriate version of DirectX. If your version of DirectX is too old, a newer version will be installed. Go through the installation for DirectX if necessary. Mac OS X users do not have to worry about DirectX. DirectX is a media accelerator for Windows.

Select either to restart your machine now or later then click "Finish" to complete installation. It is recommended that you restart your computer after installing new software in order to update files currently in use by Windows, but you can restart later at no risk to your computer. Everything will be fine when you eventually restart your computer.

The InstallShield Wizard also requests that you remove discs from your drives, but this is also not necessary. Shutting down your computer with a disc in a drive could cause some problems when booting and cut off access to the disc. If there are any problems, you can eject the disc within seconds of turning on your computer.

Age of Empires III is now installed,. Enjoy!


This guide takes you through the installation for Windows XP, but the process for the Mac OS X version of Age of Empires III is similar. Age of Empires III for Mac OS X works for both Intel-based and Power PC Macs


Make sure you install the appropriate version of Age of Empires III for your operating system. Age of Empires III requires a game disc to be present in the disc drive to play.