SOLVED: Age of Mythology black screen in Windows 10

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Loading Comments
Affiliate Disclosure

age of mythology windows 10 black screen

Solutions to fix Age of Mythology black screen bugs

  1. Run the game as Administrator and in a compatibility mode
  2. Check GPU drivers
  3. Install DirectX and Redistributables
  4. Run the game with the non-CD executable
  5. Disable intro cinematics
  6. Reinstall the game
  7. Consider acquiring the Extended Edition

Even though we got into a phase where the latest games are like cinematic interactive stories, some people like to embark on the nostalgia train and play some beloved classics.

Age of Mythology is an amazing game, a revolutionary RTS from the beginning of this century. Arguably, one of the best games in the genre, as it stand the challenge of time quite well and it’s still very much playable.

However, Age of Mythology does have some issues on Windows 10, and one which is quite common is the black screen. This occurs during the game initialization.

If you’re stuck with this error, feel free to check the solutions we provided below. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help you resolve it.

Steps to fix  Age of Mythology black screen issues

Solution 1 – Run the game as Administrator and in a compatibility mode

Let’s start with the most common troubleshooting step for all old games run on the latest Windows platform. As you might know, Age of Mythology (and we’re referring to the initial release) was introduced 16 years ago.

It was intended to run on Windows XP and this might be the problem on later Windows iterations. The compatibility issue is almost a certain thing, although it doesn’t have to be connected with the black screen error.

Luckily, all Windows systems, including Windows 10, allow users to simulate the application execution in an older environment. This is strongly advised for Age of Mythology as we’re dealing with quite an outdated game.

Here’s how to run Age of Mythology as administrator and in the compatibility mode:

  1. Right-click on the Age of Mythology shortcut and open Properties.
  2. Choose the Compatibility tab.
  3. Check the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” box and select Windows XP SP2 from the drop-down menu.
  4. Now, check the “Run this program as an administrator” box and confirm changes.age of mythology windows 10 black screen
  5. Try starting the game and look for improvements.

Solution 2 – Check GPU drivers

Another possible reason for the black screen in Age of Mythology might be due to a failing graphics card. Now, drivers are a common reason for this occurrence, even if you’re positive that the latest supporting software is installed.

Generic drivers which Windows Update provides automatically are not always the best suited for the job. Especially if you’re an avid gamer.

For that reason, we suggest navigating to the official OEM’s website and getting the latest supporting software, including drivers. Avoid downloading drivers from third-party websites, and stick with the official ones.

Here’s the list of 3 major graphics cards manufacturers you might want to check:

It might arrive that on the official sites you won’t find the right driver version, especially if you have an older GPU. In this case, downloading and installing the drivers you are not sure are the good ones, might damage your system. We recommend you to try to check for the right drivers with Tweakbit’s Driver Updater. This tool will scan for the right drivers and display which one has to be updated.

Solution 3 – Install DirectX and Redistributables

Now, it’s obvious that you need to install a game in order to play it on a Windows platform. However,  a lot of people neglect the importance of DirectX and Redistributables.

In some cases, you’ll need additional software, like launchers, to get the game up and running. Not in this case. You’ve already met the system requirements, so that’s out of the picture.

However, installing DirectX and Microsoft Visual C++ redistributables is a must.

So, make sure to install even the oldest redistributable and update your version of DirectX. You might have the latest version of DirectX 11, but Age of Mythology will run on 9.0 either way.

Solution 4 – Run the game with the non-CD executable

This game, like so many others from that era, requires a CD to run. Now, this hardly leads to any issues, but just for the sake of precaution, we suggest installing a third-party virtual drive emulator.

That way, you can create an ISO copy of your physical CD and run it directly. By doing so, you’ll avoid a halt caused by damaged CD.

Here’s how to create an emulation of the installation disk and run it virtually:

  1. Download Deamon tools utility and install it. You can find it here.
  2. Open Deamon Tools and make sure your Age of Mythology disk is in the drive.
  3. Choose to copy the disk and select the ISO as the output format.
  4. Now, once you’ve copied the CD, open This PC.
  5. Right-click on the newly created Virtual Drive device and mount the ISO file.
  6. Start the game and look for changes.

Solution 5 – Disable intro cinematics

This is a solution we run into which seemingly resolved the problem for so many users. Namely, the black screen error allegedly appears just after the initial screen is followed by the intro cinematics.

By disabling cinematics, some users resolved the error and were able to start the game successfully. In order to do so, you can meddle with some configuration files in the installation folder or, even better, run the game with a certain command which disables it.

This works the best in the compatibility mode for Windows XP, as explained in the first step we enlisted. After you’ve done that, follow these steps to disable intro cinematics in Age of Mythology:

    1. Right-click on the Age of Mythology desktop shortcut and open Properties.
    2. Under the Shortcut tab, look for the Target line.
    3. What you’ll need to do is copy-paste the following line at the end of the current entry:
      • xres=640 noSound noIntroCinematics bpp=16 window lowend terrainHalfDensity lowPoly waterbump skipMipMapLevels=1 graphicDetail=2age of mythology windows 10 black screen
    4. Confirm changes and start the game.

Solution 6 – Reinstall the game

If none of the previous solutions worked for you, we suggest removing the game installation completely and reinstalling the game. With that followed by all other previous steps we enlisted, the problem should be resolved.

The game reinstallation is not as long as it is with some contemporary games, as the game takes less than a gigabyte of storage space.

Follow these instructions to reinstall Age of Mythology:

  1. Backup saved games.
  2. Open Start, right-click on the Age of Mythology and choose Uninstall.
  3. This will take you to Uninstall a program section in Control Panel. Remove the Age of Mythology and delete saved files.
  4. Restart your PC.
  5. Right-click on the installer and run it in compatibility mode for Windows XP (if available).age of mythology windows 10 black screen
  6. Wait until the game installs and give it another shot.

Solution 7 – Consider acquiring the Extended Edition

In the end, if the outdated version won’t work on your Windows 10 PC, the only remaining thing we can suggest is giving Extended Edition a try. This is basically a revamped version of the classic game optimized for the latest Windows version.

I personally tested it and, when fully patched, it does work remarkably well. Some glitches and bugs are not uncommon, but that’s what all of us have to deal with.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to tell us in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.