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How to troubleshoot Unable to Play Rise of Nations in Windows 10?

By Eunice Samson | October 15, 2019 |

greater than 4 minutes

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Are you a fan of real-time strategy video games? If so, then you’re probably familiar with Rise of Nations. Developed by Big Huge Games and released by Microsoft Game Studios, this game takes the player to a journey through history. It lets them build their empire by gathering resources, researching new technologies, building infrastructure, and expanding military power across the world.

You can play this game on Microsoft Windows and OS X platforms. However, what if Rise of Nations doesn’t work? Well, the first thing you need to do is review this article. We are aware that several users have been complaining that Rise of Nations doesn’t start. As such, we’ve put together a useful guide that will help you resolve this particular game issue.

It can be challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem. However, we are confident that one of the solutions we shared below will get the game to start working again. If you want to learn how to fix the Rise of Nations won’t launch issue in Windows 10, work your way down our list of troubleshooting methods.

Solution 1: Running DXSETUP.exe and Reinstalling Visual C

Steam should run DXSETUP.exe automatically when you launch Rise of Nations for the first time. However, for some reason, this does not happen. So, you need to run DXSETUP.exe manually by following the instructions below:

  1. You need to access the installation folder of Rise of Nations. Usually, the folder path looks like this:

c:\program files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\rise of nations

  1. Once you’re inside the Rise of Nations installation folder, go to the _CommonRedist folder, then open the DirectX folder to access the Jun 2010 folder.
  2. Double-click DXSETUP.exe to launch it.
  3. Follow this path: _CommonRedist ->vcredist ->2012.
  4. Don’t forget to install all the necessary files.

After following these steps, try launching Rise of Nations again to see if the problem has been resolved.

Solution 2: Launching Rise of Nations in Compatibility Mode

Rise of Nations is a relatively classic game. So, this may be the reason why it is not running smoothly on Windows 10. Users reported that Rise of Nations functions properly on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. As such, we suggest that you try launching the game in compatibility mode. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your desktop, then right-click the icon of Rise of Nations.
  2. Select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Now, go to the Compatibility tab.
  4. Select the ‘Run this program in compatibility for’ option.
  5. Click the drop-down list inside the Compatibility Mode section, then select Windows 7.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save the changes you made.

Try running Rise of Nations again to see if the problem has been resolved.

Solution 3: Running the Game in Borderless Window Mode

Users who experienced the same problem mentioned that playing the game in full-screen mode causes various issues. So, we recommend that you try launching Rise of Nations in borderless mode. Usually, you can perform this by accessing the game’s video options. However, if you are unable to launch the game, then you can change the mode through Rise of Nations’ .ini configuration file. To do that, follow the instructions below:

If you cannot resolve the
problem yourself, you can
ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.
  1. Open File Explorer by pressing Windows Key+E on your keyboard.
  2. Navigate to this path: C:Users/[username/AppDataRoaming/Microsoft Games/Rise of Nations.

Note: Don’t forget to replace “username” with your user account.

  1. Look for the rise2.ini file.
  2. Double-click the file, then look for the Fullscreen=2 line.
  3. Now, you need to change the value from 2 to 1.

Save the changes you’ve made, then try running Rise of Nations again.

Solution 4: Updating Your GPU Drivers

It is possible that corrupted or outdated GPU drivers are causing the problem on Rise of Nations. The ideal solution for this is to get the latest drivers from the manufacturers. You can do this via the Device Manager, or you can choose to download them manually. However, we recommend a more reliable and convenient method of updating drivers—using Auslogics Driver Updater.

Let us show you why automating the process is the best solution for your faulty GPU drivers. Check out the processes involved in getting the latest drivers for your GPU:

Via the Device Manager

  1. Go to your taskbar, then right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Select Device Manager from the list.
  3. Expand the contents of the Display Adapters category.
  4. Right-click your graphics card, then select Update Driver.
  5. Select the ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ option.

The Device Manager will download and install the latest driver for your GPU. Now, it is possible for the Device Manager to miss the latest version of the driver. So, you may still end up visiting the manufacturer’s website to get the drivers that are compatible with your processor type and operating system version. You need to be cautious when choosing this method. If you install the wrong driver, you will experience system instability issues.


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If you want a more efficient way to update your GPU drivers, then Auslogics Driver Updater is the best option. Once you install this program, it will automatically recognize your operating system version and processor type. You simply need to click a button and this tool will find the latest compatible drivers for your PC. Indeed, Auslogics Driver Updater saves you time and spares you from the possibility of installing the wrong drivers.

After updating your GPU drivers, try running Rise of Nations again and see if the problem is gone.

Solution 5: Reinstalling the Game

As a final resort, you can try reinstalling the game. Moreover, you should check the integrity of the game files, especially if you’re running the game on Steam. To do that, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Steam.
  2. Right-click Rise of Nations, then select Properties.
  3. Click Local Files.
  4. Select the ‘Verify integrity of game files’ option, then restart your PC.

Which of the solutions helped you fix the Rise of Nations issue?

Let us know in the comments below!

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.


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