The other day, I visited the Steam store only to find Age of Empires II HD, with the Forgotten expansion for 5$. Having once been an avid AOE II player, I decided to buy the game to bring back some old memories.

So I fire up the game and start a simple standard game. I am then horror-struck when I realize that the hotkeys have been changed. Being too lazy to relearn all of the hotkeys, I set off to find a way to bring back the old hotkeys in Age of Empires II. Fortunately, there’s an easy method:

  1. First off, go to your Steam library, right-click on you Age of Empires, and click on Properties.Age of empires properties
  2. Next, do to the “Local Files” tab and click the “Browse local files” button.Browse local files
  3. This will bring up a list of files and folders. Click on the “Bin” folder, then the “en” folder.
  4. You should now see two files: en-language.txt and en-language_x2.txt. Open en-language.txt with Notepad.
  5. Using the search function (ctrl+f), find the following text and REMOVE it completely:

//Shortcut hotkeys overrides — NO LOCALIZATION REQUIRED
//Hotkeys made on QWERTY keyboard, for some languages (FR?), some keys could be switched to match AZERTY/QWERTZ or other common layouts
//Forgotten Empires uses a grid hotkey system.
4151 “A”
4152 “F”
4154 “S”
4155 “V”
4156 “T”
4157 “D”
4158 “R”
4168 “W”
4169 “Q”
4171 “X”
4173 “D”
4174 “Z”
4176 “S”
4177 “B”
4178 “W”
4179 “E”
4180 “Q”
4701 “X”
4702 “Z”
4703 “C”
4704 “V”
4709 “G”
16068 “S”
16078 “S”
16079 “A”
16085 “D”
16086 “F”
16087 “S”
16089 “Z”
16090 “A”
16092 “T”
16093 “F”
16094 “A”
16095 “S”
16096 “D”
16097 “S”
16099 “A”
16100 “A”
16101 “A”
16106 “V”
16121 “A”
16128 “W”
16135 “Q”
16138 “F”
16142 “C”
16144 “T”
16149 “A”
16156 “G”
16157 “W”
16161 “D”
16164 “Z”
16169 “R”
16171 “E”
16176 “G”
16178 “F”
16182 “X”
16185 “Z”
16186 “X”
16202 “S”
16203 “D”
16287 “G”
16326 “A”
16344 “Q”
16416 “D”
16426 “S”
16436 “F”
16443 “X”
16464 “R”
16487 “E”
16504 “A”
16660 “D”
16667 “F”
16679 “D”
16731 “C”


6. Save the en-language.txt file and repeat step 5 for en-language_x2.txt
7. Open Age of Empires, then on the main screen, click on Options->Hotkeys->Reset All Keys.

Resetting all hotkeys

There you go! You should now have the default hotkeys back!

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and don’t forget to come back for more,


One thought on “How to bring back the old hotkeys in Age of Empires II HD Steam edition

  1. InAUGral

    Awesome. This is just what I was looking for. I have given a link to this page to all of my friends. The HD remakes default hotkeys are bizarre and oddly resemble that of a DOTA game. Glad it was an easy change too :)

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