Installing XNA with Visual Studio 2015



I get this question so often? How can I install XNA with the latest version of Visual Studio.

The question generally comes from UK Academics still teaching XNA here the latest up to date how to use XNA and Visual Studio 2015.

Thanks to the Open Source Project MXA, XNA now works fine with Visual Studio 2015

XNA is a great framework for creating games, and we use it as a tool to motivate students to learn how to program whilst creating great games at extra-curricular events such as the three thing game.

Many academic still stress

A tool like XNA is an invaluable intrinsic motivator – inspiring students to want to learn to code, as opposed to being motivated because we said so, or because they will get better grades.

1- Download the latest version of this package MXA - XNA 4.0 Refresh for Visual Studio 2013 downloaded here

2- Unzip the content

3- Follow the readme and install all files except the 'vsix'

3- Open the 'XNA Game Studio 4.0.vsix' with the Windows zip extractor

4- Edit the .vsix file because it doesn't let you install it in VS 2015. It turns out it is simply a ZIP-File.

5- Simply edit the version numbers in extension.vsixmanifest to 14.0.

 1: <Installation InstalledByMsi="false">
 2:   <InstallationTarget Version="14.0" Id="Microsoft.VisualStudio.VSWinDesktopExpress" />
 3:   <InstallationTarget Version="14.0" Id="Microsoft.VisualStudio.Pro" />
 4:   <InstallationTarget Version="14.0" Id="Microsoft.VisualStudio.Premium" />
 5:   <InstallationTarget Version="14.0" Id="Microsoft.VisualStudio.Ultimate" />
 6: </Installation>

6- Copy the modified 'extension.vsixmanifest' into 'XNA Game Studio 4.0.vsix'

7- Run the vsix with Visual Studio

Comments (11)

  1. Lee Stott says:


    XNA 4.0 Refresh (Visual Studio 2015)

    Released: Nov 4, 2015

    Recommended Download –…/618279

    Release Notes

    Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh updates XNA Game Studio 4.0 to fix bugs and add support for developing games that target Windows Phone OS 7.1 and developing games in Visual Basic.

    Visual Studio Extension for Visual Studio 2015.

    Before install extension: 1.Install DirectX

    2.Install Xna Framework 4.0 Redistribution

    3.Install Xna Game Studio 4.0 Platform Tools

    4.Install Xna Game Studio 4.0 Shared

  2. Johan Lindfors says:

    There's a new version published with Visual Studio 2015 support included.…/618279

  3. Great instructions, very clear. Worked right away

  4. Thanks for the info. Very useful for students, seasoned coders and code explorers alike. It looks like MXA has updated their release to include a specific release for Visual Studio 2015 at:

    Thanks again for the info!

  5. Bradley says:

    It worked, Thank you so much.

  6. Chad Credeur says:

    Hassle-free install, thanks!

  7. Jonathan says:

    Any chance of getting this working with Visual Studio 2017 RC?

  8. Eddy Jawed says:

    bad instructions, explain how to edit the zip file with what?

    1. Lee Stott says:

      Hi Eddy you need to follow the instructions at this has been developed by the community.

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