Free (as in freedom) open source clone of the Age of Empires II engine 🚀
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openage: a volunteer project to create a free engine clone of the Genie Engine used by Age of Empires, Age of Empires II (HD) and Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, comparable to projects like OpenMW, OpenRA, OpenSAGE, OpenTTD and OpenRCT2. At the moment we focus our efforts on the integration of Age of Empires II, while being primarily aimed at POSIX platforms such as GNU/Linux.

openage uses the original game assets (such as sounds and graphics), but (for obvious reasons) doesn't ship them. To play, you require an original AoE II: TC, AoE II: HD or AoE II: DE installation (via Wine or Steam-Linux).

github stars #sfttech on GPL licensed


Contact Where?
Issue Tracker GitHub SFTtech/openage
Development Blog
Subreddit reddit /r/openage
Discussions GitHub Discussions
Matrix Chat matrix
Money Sink money sink

Technical foundation

Technology Component
C++20 Engine core
Python3 Scripting, media conversion, in-game console, code generation
Qt6 Graphical user interface
Cython Python/C++ Glue code
CMake Build system
OpenGL3.3 Rendering, shaders
SDL2 Cross-platform Audio/Input/Window handling
Opus Audio codec
nyan Content Configuration and Modding
Humans Mixing together all of the above


  • Fully authentic look and feel
    • This can only be approximated, since the behaviour of the original game is mostly undocumented, and guessing/experimenting can only get you this close
    • We will not implement useless artificial limitations (max 30 selectable units...)
  • An easily-moddable content format: nyan yet another notation
  • An integrated Python console and API, comparable to blender
  • AI scripting in Python, you can use machine learning
  • Re-creating free game assets
  • Multiplayer (obviously)
  • Matchmaking and ranking with a haskell masterserver
  • Optionally, improvements over the original game
  • Awesome infrastructure such as our own Kevin CI service

But beware, for sanity reasons:

  • No network compatibility with the original game. You really wanna have the same problems again?
  • No binary compatibility with the original game. A one-way script to convert maps/savegames/missions to openage is planned though.

Current State of the Project

Important notice: At the moment, "gameplay" is basically non-functional. We're implementing the internal game simulation (how units even do anything) with simplicity and extensibility in mind, so we had to get rid of the temporary (but kind of working) previous version. With these changes we can (finally) actually make use of our converted asset packs and our nyan API! We're working day and night to make gameplay return*. If you're interested, we wrote detailed explanations on our blog: Part 1, Part 2.

* may not actually be every day and night

Operating System Build status
Debian Sid Todo: Kevin #11
Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Ubuntu 22.04 build status
macOS macOS build status
Windows Server 2019 Windows Server 2019 build status
Windows Server 2022 Windows Server 2022 build status

Installation Packages

There's many missing parts for an actually working game. So if you "just wanna play", you'll be disappointed, unfortunately.

We strongly recommend to build the program from source to get the latest, greatest and shiniest project state :)

  • For Linux check at repology if your distribution has any packages available. Otherwise you need to build from source. We don't release *.deb, *.rpm, flatpack, snap or AppImage packages yet.

  • For Windows check our release page for the latest installer. Otherwise, you need to build from source.

  • For macOS we currently don't have any packages, you need to build from source.

If you need help, maybe our troubleshooting guide helps you.


  • How do I get this to run on my box?

  • I compiled everything. Now how do I run it?

    • Execute ./bin/run.
    • The convert script will transform original assets into openage formats, which are a lot saner and more moddable.
    • Use your brain and react to the things you'll see.
  • Waaaaaah! It

    • segfaults
    • prints error messages I don't want to read
    • ate my dog

All of those are features, not bugs.

To turn them off, use ./bin/run --dont-segfault --no-errors --dont-eat-dog.

If this still does not help, try our troubleshooting guide, the contact section or the bug tracker.


You might ask yourself now "Yeah, this sounds cool and all, but how do I participate and get famous contribute useful features?".

Fortunately for you, there is a lot to do and we are very grateful for help.

Where do I start?

  • The engine has several core parts that need help. You can look at the project related issues and find something for you, for example:
    • Asset Converter: Converts whatever proprietary format used by a Age of Empires 2 into open formats. Written mostly in Python 3. There are a lot of TODOs and beginner issues available right now, so it's a good place to get your feet wet.
    • Game simulation: Also known as the gameplay implementation. Written in C++, using the Entity-Component-System paradigm in addition to an event-driven simulation.
    • Documentation: We not only document code, but also anything technical about the Genie engine and its games. If you like documenting file formats or thoroughly investigating game mechanics, then this might be the right place to start.
  • Check the issues labelled with good first issues. These are tasks that you can start right away and don't require much previous knowledge.
  • Ask us in the chat. Someone there could need help with something.
  • You can also take the initiative and fix a bug you found, create an issue for discussion or implement a feature that we never though of, but always wanted.

Ok, I found something. What now?

  • Tell us, if you haven't already. Chances are that we have additional information and directions.
  • Read the docs. They will answer most "administrative" questions like what code style is used and how the engine core parts are connected.
  • Read the code and get familiar with the engine component you want to work with.
  • Do not hesitate to ask us for help if you do not understand something.

How do I contribute my features/changes?

  • Read the contributing guide.
  • You can upload work in progress (WIP) versions or drafts of your contribution to get feedback or support.
  • Tell us (again) when you want us to review your work.

I want to help, but I'm not a programmer...

Then openage might be a good reason to become one! We have many issues and tasks for beginners. You just have to ask and we'll find something. Alternatively, lurking is also allowed.

Cheers, happy hecking!

Development Process

What does openage development look like in practice?

How can I help?

All documentation is also in this repo:

  • Code documentation is embedded in the sources for Doxygen (see doc readme).
  • Have a look at the doc directory. This folder tends to get outdated when code changes.


GNU GPLv3 or later; see and legal/GPLv3.

I know that probably nobody is ever gonna look at the file, but if you want to contribute code to openage, please take the time to skim through it and add yourself to the authors list.

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