Create your first Windows Store app using DirectX

[ 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 ]

[This tutorial series is featured in Develop great apps for Windows 8.]

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

This section provides basic tutorials and procedures for getting started with DirectX app development.


Although this tutorial focuses on building Windows Store apps for Windows 8.1, it is also possible to use C++ and DirectX to develop Windows Phone Store apps for Windows Phone 8.1. For more information, tutorials, and resources, see Developing Windows Runtime apps (C++ and DirectX).

Windows Store apps with C++

A Windows Store app with DirectX is an app developed using native C++ and DirectX APIs that have been made available to the Windows Runtime.This model is more complex than the usual Windows Store app, 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 Store app with C++?

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: this 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 techniques, then DirectX can provide the opportunity for you to do that.

That said, planning your game is essential. If you are new to game development, and your game doesn't have demanding graphics requirements, consider developing it as a usual Windows Store app 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 a Windows Store app using DirectX

When you start to develop a Windows Store 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 developing a simple DirectX game for the Windows Store

Creating a DirectX game for the Windows Store 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++.

How to set up your DirectX Windows Store app to display a view

To develop a Windows Store app with DirectX, you must understand how to hook DirectX up to the windowing infrastructure that is provided by the Windows Runtime and exposed as the CoreApplicationView and CoreWindow types. Here we step you through the process of creating a CoreWindow object and connecting a DirectX swap chain to it.

Roadmap for Windows Store apps using DirectX and C++

Here are key resources to help you get started with using DirectX and C++ to develop graphics-intensive Windows Store apps, like games.