Create your first Windows app using DirectX

If you know DirectX, you can develop a DirectX app using native C++ and HLSL to take full advantage of graphics hardware.

Use this basic tutorial to get started with DirectX app development, then use the roadmap to continue exploring DirectX.

Windows desktop app with C++ and DirectX

A Windows desktop app with DirectX is an app developed using native C++ and DirectX APIs. This model is more complex than an app written in a managed framework, but it provides greater flexibility and greater access to system resources especially graphics devices. So, it is a good model for the experienced developer.

Why develop a Windows app with DirectX?

The answer is simple: you want to make a game that is graphics- or multimedia-intensive, and can use the features that many graphics devices support. This won't be easy if you are new to game development or to Windows development and C/C++, but there's some good news: DirectX 11 is the simplest and most cohesive version of Microsoft DirectX yet. It's also the most powerful and feature-rich. If your goal is to master game development and learn the most advanced rendering techniques, then DirectX can provide the opportunity for you to do that.

That said, planning your game (or interactive, real-time app) is essential. If you are new to game development, and your game doesn't have demanding graphics requirements, consider developing it with the .NET framework instead. Also, many "middleware" graphics and game development packages are available for Windows platforms, and some do not require significant programming skills.

If you are confident, or simply have a dream of making a game with high-fidelity graphics (or an app with complex graphics content), then read on!

In this section

Topic Description
Prerequisites for developing with DirectX
When you start to develop a Windows app using DirectX, keep the prerequisites on this page in mind. This includes the technologies you need to know before you dive in.
Get started with DirectX for Windows
Creating a DirectX game for Windows is a challenge for a new developer. Here we quickly review the concepts involved and the steps you must take to begin developing a game using DirectX and C++.
Roadmap for Desktop DirectX apps
Here are key resources to help you get started with using DirectX and C++ to develop graphics-intensive Desktop apps, like games.