Port your game to Windows and Windows Phone

[This article is for Windows 8.x and Windows Phone 8.x developers writing Windows Runtime apps. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation]

Move your game to Windows and Windows Phone, and enjoy state-of-the-art graphics and a lot more.

The Windows advantage

If you're creating new games, or porting existing titles, there are plenty of good reasons to support Windows.

  • Your game will never look better. Windows and Windows Phone use DirectX 11.1 for state-of-the-art graphics.
  • Powerful coding, diagnostic, and debugging tools at your disposal.
  • A broad range of cool devices to run your games, including phones, desktop PCs, laptops, and small hand-held tablets.
  • Flexible interactions with touch and pen support, as well as traditional keyboard, mice, and game controllers.
  • The Windows Store and Windows Phone Store providing exciting new monetization options, such as in-app purchases and consumables.

Not every game requires the full-on graphics power of DirectX, and not every developer has the time to learn how to use DirectX, or how to code in C++. If you're interested in more casual games, or if you want to use C# (which has plenty in common with Objective-C and Java), or leverage your JavaScript skills, there are still plenty of way to build games for Windows devices.

Cross-platform games authoring

These days, it makes sense to release the same game on multiple platforms—especially when the same resources (images, sound, animations, 3D models, music) can be shared so easily. If you're creating a game to be cross-platform, it pays to consider your options from the beginning. For example, if you're targeting Windows and Windows Phone, you can focus on using C++ and DirectX, or C# or WinJS, and build a Universal Windows app. However, if you're thinking of supporting iOS or Android, you can either port your existing code to their native environments or consider something more neutral, like a cross-platform authoring tool like Unity or a development environment based on Mono (the open source implementation of the .NET platform), or JavaScript and HTML5.

Sample game code

Blogs for game developers

Videos and tutorials

Authoring tools

  • Unity

    A 3D and 2D game environment.

  • GameSalad

    A game authoring environment.

  • Construct 2

    A game authoring environment.

  • Titanium Studio

    A cross-platform authoring environment.

  • SharpDX

    Use the DirectX API from .NET languages, such as C#.

  • MonoGame

    An open source XNA replacement.

  • Xamarin

    A cross-platform C# development tool.

  • Cocos2D-x

    A cross-platform code library for drawing and physics modeling.

  • Impact.js

    An HTML-based game library.

  • Marmalade

    A cross-platform SDK.

  • OpenFL

    A cross-platform development tool.

  • PhoneGap

    An HTML/JavaScript/CSS coding library.

  • GameMaker

    An authoring environment specifically for games.


Developing games

Creating a DirectX game

DirectX and XAML interop

Design inspiration: Games

Migrate your Windows Phone 8.0 DirectX Project to Windows Phone 8.1


Bringing Halo: Spartan Assault to Windows Tablets and Mobile Devices

Accelerating Windows Store Game Development with Middleware