Contrary to the popular belief that XNA is no longer supported on newer versions of windows (no newer than Windows 7) due to its discontinuation by Microsoft, it is possible to get XNA running on Windows 8, as well as Windows 10. In its pure form, XNA will not work as a new Windows 10 application, however there is a platform called Project Centennial which helps to bring win32 (XNA) games to Windows 10. Luckily there is an open source implementation of XNA which is essentially the exact same thing and that is currently supported on all windows versions. It’ called MonoGame and I thoroughly enjoy it.
1.) You will need Visual Studio C# 2008 Express to run XNA 3.1. You can download it here
2.) When the installation process completes, click on Exit.
Import Note: You will need to register Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express within 30 days by clicking on Help > Register Production. Once you provide all of the required registration information, you will be presented with a 14-character registration key. Copy and paste this key into the Registration Window and click on the Complete Registration button.
I noticed when I entered in my serial key for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 C # Express, it didn’t work for some apparent reason. Luckily there is a solution; a way around this problem if you encounter it.
1.) First, Press your Windows Key and R together to open the Run window.
2.) Now type in “regedit” without quotes, hit enter, and navigate to: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\VCSExpress\9.0\Registration
If typed correctly, a window named ‘Registry Editor’ should appear in just a second.
3.) Delete the value Params.
4.) Right click on the key ‘Registration’ in the tree, and click permission.
5.) Click Advanced…
6.) Go to the permissions tab, and uncheck the box labeled ‘Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child object. Include these with entries explicitly defined here.’
7.) In the dialog that opens. Click copy
8.) Hit OK in the ‘Advanced’ window
9.) Back in the first permission window, click your user, and uncheck Full Control.
10.) Do the same thing for the Administrators group.
11.) Hit OK or Apply. Congratulation, you will never again be plagued by the registration nag, and just like WinRAR, your trial will never expire.
Important Note: I recommend restarting your computer just in case.
If you are having trouble, check out this video below which has a similar process to the step above. The only difference is that it is less steps and has you delete the entire ‘Registration’ folder and tells you to close the Registry Editor.
Now you are ready to Install XNA 3.1.
1.) Click here to download the XNA 3.1 installer. This will take you to the page where you can click on the Download option.
2.) A file named XNAG31_setup.exe will be downloaded.
The setup wizard will guide you through the installation process.
4.) Double-click on the XNA installation program. Click on Continue if prompted for permission to continue.
6.) The Microsoft Software License Terms are displayed. Read them and then select I accept the terms in the License Agreement option and click on Next.
7.) You will be prompted to allow Game Studio and XNA games to communicate through the firewall on your computer. Click on Yes, I Wish to Select These Rules to Enable, and then enable both of the following options and click on Install.
• Allow communications between an Xbox 360 and your computer on the local subnet.
• Allow the communication of network games built on the XNA Framework.
9.) Click on Finish. Congratulations! You now have XNA 3.1 running on Windows 10.
|There are some very nice Templates that come|
with XNA 3.1
Why in the world would you want to run XNA 3.1 on Windows 10?
I have been asked this question many times. I got my start in game development with XNA like many others. That being said, the vast majority of my game projects were created in XNA version 3.1. Prior to installing and successfully running XNA 3.1 on Windows 10, it was a hassle going back and forth between two different computers since XNA 3.1 ran on versions no later than Windows 7. Now I can keep all my projects in one place and not have to worry about whether or not they will run for the most part. There were many breaking changes between XNA 3.1 and 4.0. Now that I have figured out how to run XNA 3.1 on Windows 10, I can revive my old game projects from the dead.
Once revived, I can convert them to XNA 4.0 also with the help of the XNA 3.1 to 4.0 Cheat Sheet. Once I get my projects running in XNA 4.0, I can then port them over to MonoGame. So I am using MonoGame to essentially port my game projects to other platforms besides the default platforms supported by XNA: Windows PC, Window Phone 7, Xbox 360 and Zune. It is also possible to create a wrapper in Unity and get your XNA game projects running in the Unity Game Engine; however it will require some work. Below is a screenshot of Dungeon Quest from the book Professional XNA Game Programming 2.0 that I converted to XNA 3.1 and successfully got running on my Windows 10 computer. I plan on converting it as well with so many other XNA 3.1 game projects to XNA 4.0 and MonoGame.
|Dungeon Quest Pic 1|
|Dungeon Quest Pic 2|
Microsoft XNA Game Studio only supports Visual Studio 2010. Later versions of Visual Studio are only partially supported (only Windows Phone 7 projects). Here is a list of workarounds to use the Microsoft XNA Game Studio with Visual Studio 2012 and higher.
How to Setup XNA 4.0 for Windows 10
1.) Install the Games for Windows Live Client (Mainly for Windows 8 and higher users)
2.) Install Visual Studio 2012 or higher.
3.) Install Windows Phone SDK 7.1
4.) Install Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1 Update
(Note: The Windows Phone SDK contains XNA Game Studio)
5.) Copy the folder named XNA Game Studio 4.0 from
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft
- (for VS2012) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft
- (for VS2013) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft
- (for VS2015) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft
- (for VS2017) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 16.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft
On some systems Visual Studio is incorrectly installed in the Program Files (x86) folder instead of the Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0 folder. In this case you have to use this target path:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common7\IDE\Extensions\Microsoft
6.) Start a text editor with administrator privileges. Open the file extension.vsixmanifest from the folder XNA Game Studio 4.0. and change the supported Visual Studio version from
- (for VS2012) <VisualStudio Version="11.0">
- (for VS2013) <VisualStudio Version="12.0">
- (for VS2015) <VisualStudio Version="14.0">
- (for VS2017) <VisualStudio Version="16.0">
This works for Visual Studio Professional. If you use an edition that is not listed, you might have to add a tag for this edition. For example, for Visual Studio 2013 Premium or Ultimate change
<SupportedProducts> <VisualStudio Version="12.0"> <Edition>Ultimate</Edition> <Edition>Premium</Edition> <Edition>Pro</Edition> </VisualStudio> </SupportedProducts>
7.) On some PCs the following step is necessary: Clear the VS extension cache. For example, for Visual Studio 2013 delete the files in
8.) Open the command prompt with administrator privileges. Change the working directory to the directory which contains devenv.exe:
(for VS2012) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\
(for VS2013) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\
(for VS2015) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\Common7\IDE\
(for VS2017) C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 16.0\Common7\IDE\
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common7\IDE\
to rebuild the extension cache.
Known Issues: Content is always rebuilt
In some solutions XNA content projects are always rebuilt even if the output is up-to-date - which can be annoying because building content can take many minutes in larger projects. Usually, this happens if a content pipeline project is included in the solution. The content pipeline assembly is updated every time the project is built, which causes the content to be rebuilt. A simple workaround is to build the content pipeline projects once and then unload it from the Visual Studio solution: In Visual Studio open the Solution Explorer, right-click the content pipeline project and select Unload Project in the context menu.
If this does not solve the problem and the content is still rebuilding, then you can check the Visual Studio build log in the Output window to see which project causes the rebuilds. You might have to increase the amount of information in the build log: Open the menu Tools | Options... | Projects and Solutions | Build and Run and change the MSBuild project build output verbosity to Detailed.
XNA 4.0 Refresh
Before we get started, download the modified version of XNA vsix here
Along with XNA 4.0 Refresh, this download also contains the following if you had any trouble above:
• Games for Windows Live Client
• Windows Live Sign-In
• Windows Phone SDK 7.1
How to Setup XNA 4.0 Refresh for Visual Studio 2012 or higher
1.) Unzip the XNA archive
2.) Open the folder XNA 4.0 Refresh
3.) Open the folder for the version of Visual Studio you have (Example: Visual Studio 2017)
4.) Unzip the XNA Game Studio 4.0.6 (2017) archive
5.) Install DirectX from the archive
6.) Install Xna Framework 4.0 Redistribution from the archive
7.) Install Xna Game Studio 4.0 Platform Tools from the archive
8.) Install Xna Game Studio 4.0 Shared from the archive
9.) Install XNA Game Studio 4.0.vsix from the archive
Important Note: Its not required but if you'd like, this guide created by Roy Triesscheijn that will provide you with a workaround for using XNA in Visual Studio 2017
Both Xbox One and Windows 10 support MonoGame. Check out the 2015 Build Conference video by Jaime Rodriguez and Brian Peek. On March 14, 2016, ID@Xbox announced that MonoGame is coming to Xbox One. This was great news for XNA fans.
How to Setup MonoGame
RB Whitaker's Wiki provides some awesome tutorials both for XNA and MonoGame. Go to the Setting Up MonoGame page to learn how to successfully install MonoGame.
• Stackoverflow: How to install XNA Game Studio on Visual Studio 2012: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10881005/how-to-install-xna-game-studio-on-visual-studio-2012
• Alison Fernandes: Install XNA on Visual Stuiod 2013 and 2012: https://dementedvice.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/let-me-explain-install-xna-on-visual-studio-2013-and-2012/
• Justin Aquadro: XNA Templates for Visual Stuidio 2013: https://jaquadro.com/2014/02/xna-templates-for-visual-studio-2013/
• Roy T.: Installing XNA 4 under Visual Studio 2017: https://roy-t.nl/2017/07/18/Installing-XNA-4-under-Visual-Studio-2017.html
• Flat Red Ball Games: http://flatredball.com/visual-studio-2017-xna-setup/