Microsoft XNA is a set of tools with a managed runtime environment provided by Microsoft that facilitates video game development and management. XNA attempts to free game developers from writing "repetitive boilerplate code" and to bring different aspects of game production into a single system.

The XNA toolset was announced March 24, 2004, at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California. A first Community Technology Preview of XNA Build was released on March 14, 2006. XNA Game Studio 2.0 was released in December 2007, followed by XNA Game Studio 3.0 on October 30, 2008. XNA Game Studio 4.0 was released on September 16, 2010 along with the Windows Phone 7 Development Tools.

XNA currently encompasses Microsoft's entire Game Development Sections, including the standard Xbox Development Kit and XNA Game Studio.

The name "XNA" originated out of the project's development name, Xbox New Architecture. Instead of being released under the Xbox name, the Xbox 360 was released (2005), and XNA came to stand for "XNA's Not Acronymed".

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Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013 says:

Many XNA developers moved to Unity because it uses C# and they don’t want to spend the time it takes to create that same kind of game in XNA. It would take longer to create a First person shooter in XNA than it would using Unity, (unless you are using a 3d game engine built upon XNA like Digital Rune) because you have to hard code just about everything. That’s the goal of game engines, to help people save time developing games. XNA does make it easier somewhat to display 3d models with its Model class and Draw Method and display 2d stuff using the SpriteBatch but for the most part you have to do majority of the work yourself. If you are serious about publishing a game using Unreal Engine 3, you have to go through Epic games to have it approved because after all… it’s their game engine. It’s like the old saying, anybody can use Photoshop but designers use it well. Well same with game engines. Anybody can learn to import models into UDK, hit a play button and run around in first person and learn to use Unreal Script but professionals use it well. Regardless of what the media and many critics say about XNA being dead, I am still using it. People create their own engines or modify older game engines all the time. Brink uses a Modified version of ID Tech 4 which surprised me. Bring probably would have performed better and rendered all of its textures better with ID Tech 5 but ID Tech 5 came out much later. Many people moved away from XNA because they want to support the latest versions of DirectX. My game engine not only supports .X models and maybe not the latest version, but I programmed it to support obj, .fbx, and I am working on making it support .dae which are Collada files.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013 says:

Examples of Game Engines Built upon the XNA Framework or ones that work in conjunction are:

-Digital Rune
Digital Rune is a 3D game engine for the Microsoft.NET Framework and the XNA Game Studio supporting windows, windows phone 7 and Xbox 360. See more by visiting their website (

-SunBurn (This is a lighting engine for Xna and helps developers save time creating scenes and adding lights to their scenes. You have to pay for Sunburn)
-Visual 3D
-Ploobs (Visit their website at:

I could go on for a long time listing game engines built upon the XNA framework. Also Torque X Builder is a game engine that works in conjunction with XNA. I am creating a game engine called the Cyclone Game Engine but many call it Cyclone Engine for short. I chose to create my own game engine primarily to learn and educate myself about game engine development and to have a game engine I can call my own (especially if I needed a backup). There is nothing wrong with using other game engines but if you are serious about becoming a game developer, break out of the habit of strictly using one tool and try creating your own tools. Unity is free for the most part but you have to pay for additional features.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013 says:

When you install XNA, their are tools that come with it. They are the following:

-Microsoft Cross Platform Audio Creation Tool
-XACT Auditioning Utility
-XNA Framework Remote Performance Monitor
-XNA Game Studio Command Prompt

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013 says:

Microsoft abandoned XNA but for the most part XNA is free to download, free to install on to Visual Studio and free to use. To port your game to Xbox 360 and test your programs on it, you have to download the XNA dev kit on 360 and it usually runs $100 per year to have this feature. It’s essentially a membership. You see this is great, because it allows anyone to test their games or programs on 360 for $100. That may sound like a lot but that is essentially your license with Microsoft to run the programs you create on 360. You see, years ago Homebrew games were illegal games ported to console platforms and the reason they were considered illegal is because many people porting their games they created to consoles like Xbox and PS2 did not have a license. XNA already existed. It was a dev kit for “Professional Developers”. So Microsoft create a free version of XNA for anyone to use in year 2004, before Xbox 360 launched. This diminished Home-brew games somewhat and allowed anyone to safely create games for 360 if they paid $100 per year. Check out MonoGames to port your XNA projects to other platforms. I recently found out about it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013 says:

Just to be very clear, XNA is not a game engine. I don’t have any problems with people calling it a game engine but that doesn't fully make sense. XNA is not a game engine, it’s a framework. What I mean by that is, XNA essentially is a set of Helper Classes to help game developers save time programming their games. Those classes are saved into .dll files which are a set of library files. This is where I think Microsoft slipped up some on the “tools” part but I am starting to understand why I am confused when people are saying XNA is dead and turn to Unity. XNA does not come with features like tilemaps, particles, scripts, physics, level editors, etc. but if you are a XNA Community Member, you can go to their forums and download sample projects created by Microsoft to help you primarily learn about these things and save time creating your own. So you have to either create your own or use an existing engine built upon the XNA Framework. Unity is entirely a separate game engine of its own with its own physics engine, its own graphics engine, and its own support for multiple platforms, its own level editor… I think you get the picture.

+2 votes     reply to comment
zerglingno7 Apr 2 2013 says:

simple for game deverloper

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25 Feb 3 2013 says:

XNA is a great resource and I am grateful to have it. I am programming and designing a game engine built upon the XNA framework. See more at this link:

The page will be updated gradually over time with more pictures, videos, and features. I hope you like it so far. Check it out and post comments letting me know what you think. With that said, just to be clear, I am not a professional game programmer with tons of experience. I am teaching myself and updating my engine as I go along. Thanks and I would greatly appreciate your support.


+2 votes     reply to comment
atsebak Aug 29 2012 says:

xna is great framework for 2d games too bad its not supported for visual studio 2012

+4 votes     reply to comment
Arethrid Jan 26 2013 replied:

Actually it is possible to make XNA work for VS2012 with some adjustments. Search for "Coding Made Easy" on youtube, he made a tutorial on how to do it.

+3 votes     reply to comment
#Tilbie May 6 2012 says:

There is an error in the description: XNA stands not for "Xbox New Architecture", it stands for "XNA's Not Acronymed".
Also I have to agree that XNA is not an engine.

+8 votes     reply to comment
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Released 2006
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Highest Rated (2 agree) 9/10

It's not an engine, its a framework basically a template to directX. I really like it because it allows you to develop for 3 Microsoft platforms and can port them easily.

Jul 14 2012 by atsebak

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