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Age of Empires IV gets a fix for Steam Deck / Linux online play desyncs

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Age of Empires IV just got a fresh 2024 patch and excitingly, it gets an official fix for Steam Deck / Desktop Linux multiplayer problems.

This has been a long-standing issue. Single-player was fine, but when trying online play the game would desync at some point. So unless you went through some manual fixing (which didn't work for everyone), it just wasn't playable online for Steam Deck / Desktop Linux players with Proton.

In the patch notes for the update released January 30th it notes clearly "Fixed an issue causing desyncs on Steam Decks when playing online." amongst fixes and improvements across various other areas of the game. Nice to see more Xbox Game Studios published titles getting improvements for us. What a time to be alive.

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Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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MayeulC Jan 31
Interesting. I also note that ucrtbase causes desyncs in Halo: MCC as well. I'd like to investigate Wine's DLL at some point.
cbstryker Jan 31
The fix script replaces ucrtbase.dll, which is the exact file that needs to be replaced in AoE2 to fix multilayer desync.

Three things I wish worked in AoE2 are:

  • native multiplayer desync fix

  • multicore support

  • Xbox live sign-in

I had to read this article several times.
- Microsoft... has fixed...
- Wait, Valve?
- NONONONONO... MICROSOFT... has fixed... they have fixed... their game to run on Linux.

This is a very long standing, very prolific issue. These are the same binaries needed to fix the online desyncs for Age of Empires 2, Mortal Kombat 11... very recently Tekken 8.

Proton normally doesn't address this (think AoE2-old) so I never expected this to be fixed by Valve, so I recently recommended someone just to never play Age of Empires 4 on Linux.

So in summary, Microsoft just shut my mouth big time.

Anyway I will still maintain, this is not a game to play with gamepad controllers!
Interesting I hadn't played for quite some time and couldn't get it to start a single player game last week (desktop). Good news.
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