How To Play Jade Empire in Windows 7 (now updated)

I have verified that this method works in Windows 7 64-bit. A friend on Gamespot has verified it works on Vista as well. Commenter julio was kind enough to verify that this method also works in Windows 8 Enterprise, 64-bit edition.

First problem:
Jade Empire needs DirectX 9 to run, and it is incompatible with any later versions. Win7 ships with DirectX 10, and that’s what causes the big error when you try to load the game. Thankfully the solution is simple. Before installing the game, click on the button on the installer that installs DirectX 9. After that has installed, install the game.

If you bought Jade Empire from Steam, or from any other place where you get the digital download and not the CD with the Dx installer, you can get DirectX 9 here. (Microsoft download, so it requires a valid and activated version of Windows.)

Second problem:
If you installed first DirectX9 and then the game, the game will now load and run, and run great. What it will not do however, is to save your progress. At all. Yes, I agree, this is a deal breaker. Fortunately the solution is simple. Navigate to the main game folder, un-creatively named “Jade Empire” and right-click on the  file JadeEmpire.exe. In the right-click menu, pick Properties. Locate the Compatibility tab, click on it, and check the box to run the game in compatibility mode for “Windows XP Service Pack 2”. You also need to check the box to “Always Run As Administrator.” Click Apply and Okay and all that, until all boxes are gone. Now replace the shortcut on your desktop with a shortcut directly to this file, and use that to launch the game.

Jade Empire should now run and save, and load saves, just fine on your Windows 7 system.



Filed under Gaming

25 responses to “How To Play Jade Empire in Windows 7 (now updated)

  1. Kitty Smith

    Oh thank you so much! I’ve been having real issues with my save files and this is the best solution I have found. Thank you!

  2. You’re welcome! Enjoy the game now. :)

  3. This is not working for me… It always crashes at the config utility when i first run the game.

  4. @Daniel Noble
    If the above method isn’t working, try setting the game’s main .exe to run As Administrator and in Compatibility Mode for XP, SP2. It worked for me when I reinstalled the game after seeing your comment. The file you are looking for is JadeEmpire.exe in the main folder “Jade Empire”. I will update the main blog post with the new method shortly.

  5. jeremey times

    i tried to switvh the compatibility mode and i dont have sp2. do i have to go install it?

  6. Mark B.

    I’ve got win7 64 bit and installed the game. I could play with it, save it until I got to the dockhouse at the harbor. Well, the autosaves would not appear, but the saves I saved did. Now I have a problem that keeps me from keeping on. Whenever I enter the dockhouse I do not arrive to the next area, rather the game loads my last save game. I can’t save the game now either.. I’ve downloaded and installed directx9, set the kompatibility to Win xp serv. pack 3, start it as administrator, but I always get the error message that says I have to insert the correct CD ROM. But it IS the correct CD that I inserted… still the game would not recognise it.. Any solution for this problem?
    Thank you very much for your help.

  7. Lollipop

    @Mark B.
    Alread tried to use a crack for this problem?

  8. ridonkulus

    Ok so i got a problem and it seems no one can fix it. I have window 7 and when I try to run this game it dosent launch. No main menu no nothing. It just stays on my desktop. In my processes it starts for a second and then just ends. Ive tried putting as admin, windows xp3 & 2 turned off desktop composition and display themes but nothing works. Im pretty sure i have the specs for the game if i can run Sid Mieres Pirates then i should be able to do this one. I have the same problem with civ 3…and 4…

  9. @Lollipop
    Nope. It’s an original, not downloaded, haven’t thoght about that. Think it would solve the problem? Got one that would work?

  10. Ja40

    Hello. I new in this and i dont speak English very well, but i hope you can understand it.
    Well, the game was working fine to me until i reach the imperial arena.
    After winning the bronze and silver rounds i started the gold one.
    In the first fight of this round there is a woman who use the phoenix unity style.
    After beating this woman the first time, she uses the phoenix unity style and a video shows.
    After the video, when you should fight the girls clones, the game crash and return to deskpot.
    I have Windows 7 64 bit version and the game works perfectly.
    Whats the problem then?

  11. Rurouni

    Thank you, this advice saved me from many gray hairs. :)

  12. kiefer

    does this method work for steam users? or is it just for the hard copy of the game that this method works with?

  13. While I don’t have the Steam version of the game, the previous method was verified to work on the Steam version. Because of that, I suspect the new method would work on the Steam version as well, as long as the file is there to be right-clicked.

  14. Thank you very, very much! :)

  15. Nico

    thank you very much for the smart advice! it worked out fine and now i can enjoy the game even on my windows 7 system.

  16. Alwico

    Thanks works great.

  17. Theoclast

    Thank you so much! I had to use a cracked .exe to get the game properly working with Steam, but otherwise it runs without a hitch! It had previously started up but then crashed to desktop upon starting a new game — clearly installing DX9 and then reinstalling the game was just the ticket. Thank you again! It’s such a great game and I was really bummed that it seemed not to run.

  18. I am going to post a guide in the Steam Community Guides area for JE, with the address to this post and a summary of the text, if you dont mind. I tore my hair out for a month before i found your article.

  19. As long as you include a link back to this blog post I don’t mind at all. Since I never visit the Steam Community Guides, I would miss any feedback from Steam users that is posted there. Here on the other hand, the blog emails me when someone posts a comment.

    Sorry about your hair, I hope it grows back out soon. Distract yourself from the scalp pain by playing JE! :)

  20. Thank you very much for your help. i was tinking that i was gona have to use a vm to play this game. I did what you sugested and it is working for me, on a windows 8 64 bits enterprise n build 9200.
    one more time thanks.

  21. Alberto

    The real thing– create a blank file with Notepad and save it as SystemInformation.xml in C:\Program Files (x86)\steam\steamapps\common\jade empire\data. Attempt to run the config program and it still crashes. Next, attempt to run the main game and it skips the config and actually starts and plays without issue


  22. Kasia

    Is it save to install DirectX 9 when I have 11?
    Can I have both, or I will lose the 11 one?

  23. Haerzog

    From what i have heard, DX11 includes the necessaries to be backwards compatible. Otherwise the indie market would be squeezed out. I hve direct x 11 installed , and have a guide for running it on steam hosted there, and it works, you just cant change the graphics settings, such as resolution, because the graphics tool for the port to pc is broken.

  24. @Kasia
    You can have both installed, it should not break anything.

    And while it is correct that DX11 has all the necessary components for backwards compatibility, that unfortunately doesn’t automatically mean that a game developed for Dx9 only (back when that was the latest and greatest) will even realize what Dx11 is. hence why this guide recommends installing Dx9.

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