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Distributing Your Finished Game

Presents information about how to share your game with any Windows user, even if the user does not have XNA Game Studio installed. This type of sharing is referred to as independent publishing.

Quick Information

PlatformSource Code VisibleFormatWindows User Requirements
WindowsNo.zip or other compressed format
  • Must be running at least Windows XP Service Pack 2.
  • Must have a video card that supports at least Shader Model 1.1.

If you would like to share your XNA Game Studio game with other Windows users, but do not want to share your source code and assets, you can create an installable package that contains your game binaries and the necessary redistributable files.

Sharing to Another Windows User

You may package XNA Game Studio game projects only for the Windows platform. Use this method for distributing your compiled game code and asset files.

To Compile Your Game Binaries for Distribution

  1. In XNA Game Studio, open the project you want to package.
  2. From the Build menu, click Build Solution.

    This creates the necessary files needed to run your game on other computers.

  3. Package all files located in the appropriate output directory of your project, using an installation package tool of your choice.

Notes for Independent Publishing

In addition to the requirements listed in the previous table, there are additional software prerequisites that must be installed on a player's machine if the computer does not have XNA Game Studio installed.

The following software packages must be installed on the player's computer in order for your game to run.

  • The .NET Framework 2.0 Redistributable.
  • The XNA Framework Redistributable corresponding to the version your game was built against.

    Bb464156.note(en-US,XNAGameStudio.20).gifTip
    You can find this version number by loading your project in XNA Game Studio and clicking the project node in Solution Explorer. The XNA Framework Version property is visible in the property pane.

    To determine whether the player already has the redistributable installed, use the Windows Installer function MsiQueryProductState with the product code for the version of the redistributable that you want to verify. The following table lists the product codes for the various versions of the redistributable.

    Redistributable VersionProduct Code
    XNA Game Studio Express 1.0E7A2604C-0131-4415-9D0A-717E1BB1EDD2
    XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Refresh311F799A-FCE9-4D9E-B5D2-CBB8859B40BB
    XNA Game Studio 2.0245F6C7A-0C22-4de0-8202-2AAA620A1D3A
    Bb464156.note(en-US,XNAGameStudio.20).gifNote
    The XNA Framework Redistributable does not support the Content Pipeline or networked games.
  • The following files from the DirectX 9.0c Redistributable.

    • OCT2006_d3dx9_31_x86.cab
    • APR2007_d3dx9_33_x86.cab
    • aug2007_xact_x86.cab
    • APR2007_xinput_x86.cab
    • DSETUP.dll
    • dsetup32.dll
    • DXSETUP.exe
    • dxupdate.cab

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