Setting up XNA 3.1 Game Studio and Creator’s Club Academic Memberships from DreamSpark and MSDNAA

DreamSpark and MSDN Academic Alliance currently include XNA 3.1 and the Creator’s Club Academic Memberships, along with Visual Studio 2008.

To install XNA 3.1 Game Studio on your PC,

  1. Ensure that your PC is running Windows 7 or Windows Vista with the latest service pack  [Both Windows 7 and Windows Vista are available in MSDN Academic Alliance at no cost to students and faculty in member departments]
  2. Install Visual Studio 2008 and the latest updates and service pack from Windows Update [Visual Studio 2008 is available at no cost both in DreamSpark and MSDN Academic Alliance]
  3. Install XNA 3.1 Game studio [available both in DreamSpark and MSDN Academic Alliance]

This lets you create XNA games for Windows right away. If you want to port run your XNA game on XBOX 360, you need the Creator’s Club membership.  MSDNAA-ELMS and DreamSpark include the Academic Trial version of the Creator’s Club membership that lets you run your game on the XBOX 360 for 12 months, at no cost.

  1. Download the XNA Creator’s Club Academic Trial membership code from either DreamSpark or MSDN Academic Alliance
  2. Sign up as a creator on the XNA Creators Club Online Web site, with a creator profile.
  3. Sign up for your Premium Membership using the XNA Creator’s Club Academic Trial membership code, by selecting Redeem Code. This Creator’s Club Academic Trial membership  enables you to create and debug your games on Xbox 360 for 12 months, but does not allow you to submit your creations for distribution on XBox LIVE Marketplace.
  4. To  Set Up your Xbox 360 for XNA Game Studio , review the instructions at

XNA Game Studio 3.1 is a FREE download and so you can install it on multiple PCs in a lab environment. XNA Creator’s Club’s Academic Trial memberships do not have LabKeys or Volume License key so download as many of those membership codes as you have Xbox 360s and install one per machine, in a lab.

if you have any difficulty downloading multiple membership codes, please have the MSDNAA administrator for the department contact support at msdnaa@microsoft.comincluding details about the product they need additional keys for, the number of keys needed, and the institution name.

Further information about lab setup is included in the following article: Implementation Strategies for Microsoft XNA  Game Development in Academic Laboratory Environments

Do I need an XNA Creators Club Online premium membership to create games?

You don't need a premium membership to make games for Windows or Zune. However, you must be a premium member and in a supported region to create games for the Xbox 360, to release Xbox 360 games to Indie Games on Xbox LIVE, or to peer-review submitted games.


Can I submit or review Indie Games if I have an XNA Creators Club Online 12-Month Academic Trial Membership that I got from my school or from the DreamSpark program?

A free XNA Creators Club Online 12-Month Academic Trial Membership will not give you access to premium content or services on the XNA Creators Club Online web site, including the ability to submit or peer review Indie Games.

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