How to Make Custom Maps in "Age of Empires III"

By Eric Benac

Updated September 22, 2017

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“Age of Empires 3” is the third game in the popular real-time strategy series. You can pick from many different historical cultures, such as the Mayans, and then gather resources, raise armies and defeat your enemies to win. There are many different maps to play. However, it is possible to create your own maps using the Random Map Script program that comes with the game. Learning how to make these maps requires learning the script and carefully planning out all of the features of your map, including enemy placement, resources and obstacles such as mountains.

Learn how to program using the Random Map Script programming language. Read tutorials about this script on pages like Hyena Studios, the Age of Mythology Heaven website and the Age of Empires 3 FAQ website. It is a complex script and must be fully mastered before making your own maps.

Draw your map on a piece of paper or using a digital design program. It doesn’t have to look perfect. It simply serves as a plan to work off of while you program the map. Having this visual reference will make it much easier.

Open a text editing program, such as TextEdit or Microsoft Word. This is where you will program your map. Program all of the features of your map using the Random Map Script language. Refer to your programming tutorials and dictionaries to make sure you are programming correctly.

Save your file as “MyMap.xs.” Move this file to your map directory in your “Age of Empires 3” gaming folders. The map will now be playable when you start the game.

Open your map in the game. Pause the game and look around the level to check for any visual errors. Play the level and search it for programming errors or bugs. These bugs can freeze the game and crash it. They can also trap your units or the units of others and make the game unplayable.

Fix all of the gaming bugs. Open up your text map file and find the programming error. Even an error of one character can cause a major problem. Keep playing and fixing errors until the map is done.