Age of Empires 2 Zoom Out and Zoom In

In Age of Empires 2 the “zoom” level of your screen is directly tied to your  monitor resolution. This means that if you have a larger resolution then you will be more zoomed out. If you have a small resolution, such as a laptop screen then the game will look more zoomed in. There is no zoom functionality within the game, but there are ways that you can see more or less of the game screen with the tips below.

 It’s clear to see how being more zoomed out gives you an advantage in Age of Empires 2. The 1920x1080 resolution provides you with much more vision compared to 1366x768. By being more zoomed in you can’t see as much of the map, this means that you have to scroll around more and maybe you’ll miss important things that are happening off screen. This can be improved by using a higher monitor resolution and zooming out.

By default, Age of Empires 2 HD will use the screen resolution that your monitor is using, there are no resolution options inside of the game. However, if you’re playing on a non-HD version then you can select the game resolution from the in-game menu. Be sure to select the largest resolution possible that matches your monitor.

Age of Empires 2 Zoom level

This image is from the CD Version of the game.

Change Your Resolution

The easiest way to change the zoom level of the game is to change your screen resolution. To do this on Windows you can search for “Change Display Settings”.  In this settings panel you have the option to change your screen resolution. The higher option in the list the more zoomed out and the lower the more zoomed in the game will be.

If your monitor is already at the maximum supported resolution then proceed to the next steps to see what else can be done. Many laptops come with 1366 x 768 screen sizes which makes the game feel much more zoomed in than you would like. In fact, 20% of PC users have a 1366 x 768 display, while 1920x1080 is by far the best resolution for Age of Empires 2. 

Get A Monitor

The easiest way to increase your resolution is to get a monitor that can support a higher one than you’re currently using, with the most popular resolution being 1920x1080. This gives you great vision without being too zoomed out that things become hard to see. The majority of expert players such as TheViper and DauT play with this resolution.

If you have a laptop then it’s as easy as plugging the monitor in and running the game. Age of Empires will detect the new screen resolution and automatically adjust the zoom.

Recommended Monitors

Buying a new monitor can be expensive but here are three great monitors to fit any budget. All three of these monitors will give you the best zoom level for Age of Empires 2.

21.5 Inch 60HZ – $118

This 1080p gaming display will provide you with the same zoom level as the expert players. It’s a little smaller in size but works great as an entry-level gaming monitor. The 60hz refresh rate is a little on the low side for modern monitors, but for Age of Empires 2 it would be fine.

24 Inch 70HZ – $230

A solid monitor with 1920x1080 resolution and the ideal size of 24 inches. Slightly higher refresh rate of 75hz means less screen blurring when there is fast motion. Overall, the ideal monitor for Age of Empires 2 without pushing the budget too high.

24 Inch 144HZ – $265

This is the monitor that I am using right now and can highly recommend for gaming. Not just Age of Empires 2 but anything you wish to play. Same size as the previous monitor but with a 144hz refresh rate, this prevents any screen blur or tearing when dealing with fast motion.

Use Your Graphics Card

If your PC or laptop has an Nvidia graphics card then it may be possible to use a special trick to push your resolution higher than the maximum default of your screen. Using the Nvidia control panel and selecting “Change Resolution” under the Display options will allow you to do this.

Nvidia Control Panel

You’ll see a list of options similar to the windows options. However, in the Nvidia control panel you have an extra “Customize…” button. Click this and create a custom resolution. You can try to enter common values here such as 1920x1080 or if you want to go even higher try 2560x1440.

AoE2 Custom Resolution

Once you have created a custom resolution you can test it to see if it works and then apply it. If you are able to create a larger resolution than before then your Age of Empires 2 will look more zoomed out the next time you  boot it up. 

Summary

Age of Empires 2 doesn’t let you “Zoom in” or “Zoom out” inside of the game. But by increasing your screen resolution you will be able to see more of the game on your screen.  As the game is directly tied to your monitor resolution this is how you can change the zoom level of the game. It’s a bit fiddly but can be a massive help if you get it to work as seeing more of the game screen at once has many advantages over beeing too zoomed in.