SOLVED: Age of Mythology black screen in Windows 10

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • Age of Mythology is one of the best real-time strategy games that were ever made.
  • A common issue that may occur with Age of Mythology in Windows 10 is a black screen during initialization.
  • Whether you play occasionally or more like a pro, visit our Gaming section for more awesomeness.
  • For more information about the most popular OS, explore our Windows 10 Hub.
Fix Age of mythology black screen

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 stands 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‘s 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.


Table of contents

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

How can I fix Age of Mythology black screen issues?

1. Check the GPU drivers

A 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 happen 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 DriverFix.

This tool will scan for the right drivers and display which one has to be updated.

Start by downloading and installing DriverFix. After you start the application, it will immediately start scanning for any possible driver problems from your system.

Of course, the tool will also look for driver updates confronting your drivers with the newest ones from its cloud database.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

The only thing left to do after the scan finishes is to decide whether you update the drivers one by one or all in a single shot.

To install just the GPU driver necessary for Age of Mythology you just click on its corresponding box. If you decide to install all, you need to click on the Select All box from the top.

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2. 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 and install PowerISO.
  2. Open the tool 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.
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3. Run the game as Administrator and in a 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 the changes.age of mythology windows 10 black screen
  5. Try starting the game and look for improvements.

4. 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 12, but Age of Mythology will run on 9.0 either way.


You don’t know how to reinstall DirectX 12? Here’s an awesome guide to help you with that


5. Disable the intro cinematics

  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.

6. Reinstall the game

  1. Backup the saved games.
  2. Open Start, right-click on the Age of Mythology, and choose Uninstall.
  3. This will take you to the 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.

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.

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.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2018 and was revamped and updated in September 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.