I need both reach GUI features of c# toolboxes and fast rendering features of XNA, is there any way to merge these two into one app? or is there any other way? for example some equivalent to c# toolbox in xna?


I assume you are referring to Windows Forms when you talk about "GUI toolbox". There are two samples available in the App Hub to mix XNA rendering with standard controls:

(but you lose Xbox360/Win7 Phone/Zune compatibility)

If you are looking for a GUI library for XNA, take a look at this post from Stack Exchange.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That SE post is a little outdated. Nowadays NeoForce Controls is gaining popularity as an in-XNA-Game GUI. \$\endgroup\$ – ChrisC Sep 28 '11 at 16:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CC Ricers First line in the Notes: "this project is no longer maintained or developed" :/ \$\endgroup\$ – pek Sep 28 '11 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I know and it's a shame that it's stopped, but there's still enough support for it from others to provide some tutorials. \$\endgroup\$ – ChrisC Sep 28 '11 at 17:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ First link is now broken due to Microsoft changing their website around. Does anyone know how to access these old links? \$\endgroup\$ – Adam K Dean Oct 3 '12 at 9:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AdamKDean fixed the links; if this happens to you again, just change the main URL to "xbox.create.msdn.com". \$\endgroup\$ – r2d2rigo Oct 3 '12 at 18:36

Also check out Awesomium. It's an in-game webpage rendering engine based on the Chromium browser (i.e. Google Chrome). You can use HTML/CSS/JavaScript to build your UI widgets that can communicate with your code. If you know a little bit of web design it's a great choice. Might be overkill depending on your project though.

Here's a couple of video showcasing XNA + Awesomium:



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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd second the suggestion to look at Awesomium. It has worked really well for me. I did a blog post on my use of it, and in it there is a link to some helper code I wrote to make the process much, much easier: http://devblog.drheinous.com/2012/08/on-xna-and-uis.html \$\endgroup\$ – DrHeinous Oct 4 '12 at 17:59

If you are programming for Windows Phone 7, the new Mango update of the OS adds support for XNA games inside a Silverlight application. This way you can create the menus and GUI in Silverlight, and lauch the game inside a frame. It is expected that Microsoft will sometime soon implement this feature on the PC and Xbox360 versions of XNA, but there's nothing official so far.

Check this article: XNA for Silverlight developers

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm targeting for Windows. but thinking of xna inside silverlight app, really seems tempting. \$\endgroup\$ – Ali1S232 Sep 29 '11 at 13:35

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