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Supported Operating Systems and Hardware

Describes the operating systems that XNA Game Studio Express supports, and the computing hardware you will need to use XNA Game Studio Express.

Supported Operating Systems

XNA Game Studio Express is fully supported on the following operating systems.

Operating SystemSupported Versions
Microsoft® Windows® XP
  • Home Edition
  • Professional Edition
  • Media Center Edition
  • Tablet Edition
Windows Vista™
  • Home Basic Edition
  • Home Premium Edition
  • Business Edition
  • Enterprise Edition
  • Ultimate Edition


  • Windows XP requires Service Pack 2 or later.
  • Although XNA Game Studio Express itself is available only in English, it is supported under any of the language settings available on these operating systems.
  • Administrator permissions are not required to run XNA Game Studio Express. However, Administrator permissions (administrative elevation on Windows Vista) are required to install XNA Game Studio Express.
  • Although the setup program for XNA Game Studio Express will complete on the Windows 2003 Server operating system, XNA Game Studio Express is not officially supported on Windows 2003 Server, and the XNA Game Studio Express software may not work as expected.

Hardware Requirements

To run XNA Framework games on Windows, you will need a graphics card that supports Shader Model 1.1 or greater and DirectX 9.0c. We recommend that you use a graphics card that supports Shader Model 2.0 because some samples and starter kits may require it.

You should ensure that your graphics card is using the most recent drivers by checking with your hardware vendor and by accessing Microsoft Update.

To develop XNA Framework games for Xbox 360, you will need to have a hard drive connected to your Xbox 360 console.

Other hardware requirements for XNA Game Studio Express are identical to those for Visual Studio 2005. For more information, see the Visual Studio documentation.

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