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My Friend on steam has the HD edition of AoE II but I have the definitive edition, is the multiplayer too different or is there a way we can play against each other?

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No, you cannot play multiplayer against your friend. The versions are not compatible.

This Reddit post has explanation why:

Not possible for a simple reason. Definitive edition is server-based meaning that all commands executed by the players are handled by the server. On the other hand HD edition is peer-to-peer based so executed commands by players are shared with each other and when a player lags the rest of the players are affected by the lag.

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    Note that this is a good thing: It not only means that multiplayer games will be much more stable and predictable for players without lag problems, it also means that the editions aren't tied to each other with regards to balance updates and version compatibility. You won't run into a situation where the Definitive edition gets a balance patch of feature update and the HD edition doesn't get this update.
    – Nzall
    Jan 28, 2020 at 15:05
  • you can't even play MP with both having aoe2de, but different release versions
    – hjpotter92
    Apr 22, 2022 at 6:40

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