How to mod Age of Empires 1: Definitive Edition (AoE:DE)

How to mod Age of Empires 1: Definitive Edition (AoE:DE)

Published at: 04/11/2021
Updated at: 12/30/2022

How to mod Age of Empires 1: Definitive Edition (AoE:DE)

Modding AoE1:DE can be quite challenging but luckily someone managed to do that. The main problem is that there is no official support for modding this game. You can download scenarios but not mods. On AoE2:DE it is easier because you can download mods in game directly.

Thanks to u/cal-cheese (MeryKitty99) we can today add some mods even for AoE1:DE. You can find his original post on Reddit. I will explain it here at my best. You can also buy him a coffee!

The mods we are presenting here are very welcomed by the community as they are some of the most used mods in AoE2:DE and were pretty much needed in AoE1:DE too, at least if you like to play competitively.

Important: If you own the game from the Microsoft Store, you can't apply mods because the C:\Program Files\Windows Apps\ folders are all locked, the game runs as an UWP and the system will prevent you from editing the contents. Even if you change permissions you might end up corrupting the files and will need to reinstall the game.

You will be able to install scenarios anyway.

Looking for Age of Empires 2 mods? Read the list of mods to use in Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition!

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Downloading mods for AoE1:DE

From the official website:

  • Login with your account into
  • Navigate to the Other category of mods
  • Click on the desired mod
  • Click on the Download button on top right

Or uploaded by me:

Applying the mods in game

  • With the Microsoft Store version of the game, this can't be done, as mentioned in the beginning of this article.
  • On the Steam version instead, browse to the installation folder of your game, like this: C:\Steam\steamapps\common\AoEDE\Assets\SLP. Extract the mods here and run the game.

Game installation folder for applying mods

In my case, the folder is:


How to add Grid Mod for AoE1:DE

Only for the Steam version of the game. You can't mod the one from Microsoft Store.

  • Download Grid Terrain Mod from Age of Empires website or from our website if you prefer: Grid mod
  • Extract the files into your game folder as mentioned before
  • Run the game

How to add Small Trees Mod for AoE1:DE

Only for the Steam version of the game. You can't mod the one from Microsoft Store.

How to add High contrast Fish Mod for AoE1:DE

Only for the Steam version of the game. You can't mod the one from Microsoft Store.

How to download and add scenarios for AoE1:DE

Scenarios and campaigns can be downloaded from the official website by navigating AoE:DE mods page. You can filter the type of mods you want to download for every AoE game.

Read the official installation instructions on how to download scenarios.

I will sum them up here:

  1. Download a scenario from AoE website
  2. Unzip the file into AoE:DE scenarios' folder.
    • If you are not sure which folder it is, launch the game
    • In the main menu click on Options
    • Click on "Open game folders". This will open up the folder in your desktop
    • In my case the folder is C:\Users\eartahhj\Games\Age of Empires DE\Users\eartahhj\Game Content
    • Open the correct folder based on what you downloaded (Scenario, AI, Campaign)
    • Close the game and unzip the files in that folder
  3. Launch the game
  4. Start a lobby, either multi or single player
  5. In the "game mode" on the right you can choose "Select scenario".

Everything should be working fine.

Let us know in the comments. Please drop a thanks to MeryKitty on Discord for making these mods available! Consider making a small donation to him!

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  • 2024-01-18 15:49:20

    Author: eartahhj

    @Jhonny hi, I am not sure, I just checked and my files are still in the same folder, did you try checking the readme.txt file inside the ZIP? Or maybe try redownloading the file from the official website and put the files in that folder again. Maybe there was something different since the last time I wrote this article.

  • 2024-01-17 17:27:52

    Author: Jhonny

    hey, I downloaded de grid mode and extracted the folder to C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\AoEDE\Assets\SLP, then launched the game on single player and nothing happened. Any idea?

  • 2023-09-14 17:45:12

    Author: Player

    @JoonasTo Thank you for the information. It really works.

  • 2023-08-28 21:43:33

    Author: eartahhj

    @JoonasTo oh really? I didn't know that, does it work the same way as Steam? I will check it out when I have a bit of time. Thank you for letting me know!

  • 2023-08-28 20:27:31

    Author: JoonasTo

    Now that the XBOX games are no longer installed into the windows apps you can also install these mods in the Windows Store version of the game!

  • 2023-08-27 06:43:09

    Author: eartahhj

    @Bebesona I don't know, it is already a miracle if the game itself runs fine on Linux, anyway if you are using Steam it should work. If you game was running, try closing and restarting it. Otherwise, it is likely that those mods will not work on Linux. See if this can help you somehow:

  • 2023-08-27 00:34:23

    Author: Bebesona

    Hey, does this work on linux? I did the steps and nothing happened...

  • 2022-12-30 18:32:32

    Author: eartahhj

    I have fixed the broken links, for any other problem let me know in the comments or write me an email!

  • 2022-12-28 14:07:51

    Author: eartahhj

    @Maik sure I will check them later and fix them! Thank you for telling me! Happy new year to you too!

  • 2022-12-28 14:05:57

    Author: Maik

    Hey Mate. Thanks for this nice Post, exactly I was looking for. But your links are not working anymore. Can/will you fix this? All the best and a happy new year. :)