Compiling for Windows

See also

This page describes how to compile Windows editor and export template binaries from source. If you're looking to export your project to Windows instead, read Exporting for Windows.


For compiling under Windows, the following is required:

  • Visual Studio Community, version 2017 or later. VS 2019 is recommended. Make sure to read "Installing Visual Studio caveats" below or you will have to run/download the installer again.

  • MinGW-w64 with GCC can be used as an alternative to Visual Studio. Be sure to install/configure it to use the posix thread model. Important: When using MinGW to compile the master branch, you need GCC 9 or later.

  • Python 3.6+. Make sure to enable the option to add Python to the ``PATH`` in the installer.

  • SCons 3.0+ build system. Using the latest release is recommended, especially for proper support of recent Visual Studio releases.


If you have Scoop installed, you can easily install MinGW and other dependencies using the following command:

scoop install gcc python scons make mingw


If you have MSYS2 installed, you can easily install MinGW and other dependencies using the following command:

pacman -S mingw-w64-x86_64-python3-pip mingw-w64-x86_64-gcc  \
    mingw-w64-i686-python3-pip mingw-w64-i686-gcc make

For each MSYS2 MinGW subsystem, you should then run pip3 install scons in its shell.

See also

To get the Godot source code for compiling, see Getting the source.

For a general overview of SCons usage for Godot, see Introduction to the buildsystem.

Setting up SCons

To install SCons, open the command prompt and run the following command:

python -m pip install scons

If you are prompted with the message Defaulting to user installation because normal site-packages is not writeable, you may have to run that command again using elevated permissions. Open a new command prompt as an Administrator then run the command again to ensure that SCons is available from the PATH.

To check whether you have installed Python and SCons correctly, you can type python --version and scons --version into a command prompt (cmd.exe).

If the commands above don't work, make sure to add Python to your PATH environment variable after installing it, then check again. You can do so by running the Python installer again and enabling the option to add Python to the PATH.

If SCons cannot detect your Visual Studio installation, it might be that your SCons version is too old. Update it to the latest version with python -m pip install --upgrade scons.

Installing Visual Studio caveats

If installing Visual Studio 2017 or 2019, make sure to enable C++ in the list of workflows to install.

If installing Visual Studio 2015, make sure to run a Custom installation instead of Typical and select C++ as a language there.

If you've already made the mistake of installing Visual Studio without C++ support, run the installer again; it should present you a Modify button. Running the installer from Add/Remove Programs will only give you a Repair option, which won't let you install C++ tools.

Downloading Godot's source

Refer to Getting the source for detailed instructions.

The tutorial will assume from now on that you placed the source code in C:\godot.


To prevent slowdowns caused by continuous virus scanning during compilation, add the Godot source folder to the list of exceptions in your antivirus software.

For Windows Defender, hit the Windows key, type "Windows Defender Settings" then hit Enter. Under Virus & threat protection, go to Virus & threat protection setting and scroll down to Exclusions. Click Add or remove exclusions then add the Godot source folder.


Selecting a compiler

SCons will automatically find and use an existing Visual Studio installation. If you do not have Visual Studio installed, it will attempt to use MinGW instead. If you already have Visual Studio installed and want to use MinGW, pass use_mingw=yes to the SCons command line. Note that MSVC builds cannot be performed from the MSYS2 or MinGW shells. Use either cmd.exe or PowerShell instead.

During development, using the Visual Studio compiler is usually a better idea, as it links the Godot binary much faster than MinGW. However, MinGW can produce more optimized binaries using link-time optimization (see below), making it a better choice for production use.

Running SCons

After opening a command prompt, change to the root directory of the engine source code (using cd) and type:

C:\godot> scons platform=windows


When compiling with multiple CPU threads, SCons may warn about pywin32 being missing. You can safely ignore this warning.

If all goes well, the resulting binary executable will be placed in C:\godot\bin\ with the name or By default, SCons will build a binary matching your CPU architecture, but this can be overridden using arch=x86_64 or arch=x86_32.

This executable file contains the whole engine and runs without any dependencies. Running it will bring up the Project Manager.


If you are compiling Godot for production use, then you can make the final executable smaller and faster by adding the SCons option target=template_release.

If you are compiling Godot with MinGW, you can make the binary even smaller and faster by adding the SCons option lto=full. As link-time optimization is a memory-intensive process, this will require about 7 GB of available RAM while compiling.


If you want to use separate editor settings for your own Godot builds and official releases, you can enable Self-contained mode by creating a file called ._sc_ or _sc_ in the bin/ folder.

Development in Visual Studio

Using an IDE is not required to compile Godot, as SCons takes care of everything. But if you intend to do engine development or debugging of the engine's C++ code, you may be interested in configuring a code editor or an IDE.

Folder-based editors don't require any particular setup to start working with Godot's codebase. To edit projects with Visual Studio they need to be set up as a solution.

You can create a Visual Studio solution via SCons by running SCons with the vsproj=yes parameter, like this:

scons p=windows vsproj=yes

You will be able to open Godot's source in a Visual Studio solution now, and able to build Godot using Visual Studio's Build button.

See also

See Visual Studio for further details.

Cross-compiling for Windows from other operating systems

If you are a Linux or macOS user, you need to install MinGW-w64, which typically comes in 32-bit and 64-bit variants. The package names may differ based on your distribution, here are some known ones:

Arch Linux

pacman -Sy mingw-w64

Debian / Ubuntu

apt install mingw-w64


dnf install mingw64-gcc-c++ mingw64-winpthreads-static \
            mingw32-gcc-c++ mingw32-winpthreads-static


brew install mingw-w64