Zune Networking Overview

Provides an overview of networked Zune games.

Networking for Zune is designed to be consistent with Xbox 360 and Windows. The general structure of a networked game on Zune will be similar to a networked game on Xbox 360 or Windows.

Zune Networking APIs

Two XNA namespaces support Zune networking. The Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Net namespace provides actual networking functionality. For example, it supports APIs for network creation and network related events. The Microsoft.Xna.Framework.GamerServices namespace provides access to the Guide class.

Most APIs under the Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Net namespace are supported on Zune. Some APIs in the Microsoft.Xna.Framework.GamerServices namespace are not supported. Zune networking capabilities are not based on Xbox LIVE. There is limited Guide class functionality on Zune, and Xbox LIVE IDs are not accessible in networked games on Zune.

Using the Guide Class on Zune

These Guide members are supported on Zune:

Use the Guide class to access local storage through the BeginShowStorageDeviceSelector and EndShowStorageDeviceSelector methods. Use the Guide.IsVisible property to check for the existence of guide functionality in code. This property is always false on Zune.

See the Networking section for detailed information and additional networking examples.

See the Supported Platforms section on individual reference pages to check for Zune support. If Zune is not on the supported platforms list, the API is not supported. If listed, there is support for the API.

Zune Networking Specifics

  • Eight is the maximum number of Zune devices that can simultaneously share and play in one game. This is less than the maximum on Xbox 360 and Windows.
  • Networking APIs on Zune do not support Internet connectivity.
  • Network types supported on Zune are NetworkSessionType.SystemLink and NetworkSessionType.Local. When you create a network with either Create or BeginCreate, you must use one of these network types.
  • A networked Zune game can only be played on Zune devices. Players on a nearby Xbox 360 or Windows machine cannot join a game.

Events and Game Design

Zune networking features give developers tools to build creative and unique games. However, creating a networked game requires extra decisions. For example, will the game support just one player? Will the game allow other players to join mid-game? What happens when gamers leave the game in the middle of play? Answers to these questions will dictate how to build the basic game structure. Use the following events to build a game design.

Event NameDescription
GameEndedGame moves from gameplay to the lobby
GamerJoinedNew player joins a multiplayer session
GamerLeftPlayer leaves the multiplayer session
GameStartedGame moves from the lobby into actual gameplay
HostChangedSession host has changed
SessionEndedMultiplayer session ends


Make sure wireless is turned on when testing networked Zune games. If wireless is turned on, you will see a symbol above the battery icon in the bottom left corner of the display.

When the device is rebooted with wireless turned on, you may have to wait for wireless to return. The symbol above the battery icon needs to reappear before you try wireless after a reboot.

Zune Wireless Icon


To turn on wireless on Zune

  1. Click the settings menu.
  2. Under settings, click the wireless menu.
  3. Turn wireless on by clicking wireless: off. If the menu says wireless: on, then wireless is already turned on.

Community Additions