A MonoGame C# configuration for Visual Studio Code
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A Monogame C# configuration for Visual Studio Code (on Windows)



  1. Download & Install MonoGame. Get the "for Visual Studio" version although VS is not actually needed. Install with the default options checked off
  2. Download & Install .NET Core SDK
  3. Download & Install Visual Studio Code if you don't already have it
  4. Install the official C# Extension, reload the window & wait for the dependencies to install
  5. If on Windows, install Git Bash, and ensure the "terminal.integrated.shell.windows" property in the project's settings.json is set to bash.exe's correct location. We'll be using this for the terminal in our workspace so that the Makefile can run in both Windows, Mac & Linux (although Mac configuration is untested thus far)


At this point, everything you need is installed

  1. Open the monogame-vscode-boilerplate folder in VS Code. You should see an orange/red status bar at the bottom (color-picked from the MonoGame logo).
  2. You should be able to run a build task (Ctrl+Shift+B > Build & Run), but it'll be nicer to add keybindings for these tasks so you can build with 1 keypress.
  3. Open the .vscode folder and click on the _keybindings.json file. This is not an officially recognized file, but just contains the keybindings you can copy into the actual keybindings.json file.
  4. Go into File > Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts & click on the keybindings.json link at the top.
  5. Copy the keybindings into this file. Feel free to change them if you don't like them later.
  6. Hit the F9 key to run the Build & Run: Release task. It should run the Makefile, find the compiler, build the Main.cpp into Main.o, and launch the blue screen that you may recognize from MonoGame tutorials. Shift+F9 will launch the last built Release, whereas F10 & Shift+F10 do the same for the Debug build.

The only difference in the Debug build is simple use of the console via a custom "Log" class - Log.Print(String). Feel free to take this out if you just want to use the normal debugger via F8.

.vscode folder

  • .vscode\settings.json - Contain all of your workspace settings & overrides VS Code's main settings.json. Here are some settings of interest:

    • "files.exclude" - Add any filetypes you want to exclude from the folder panel.
    • "files.encoding" - This is set to windows1252, but feel free to change it to suit your needs.
    • "editor.fontFamily" - I set this to Courier by default. Change/remove this line if you want to stick to VS Code's default (Consolas), or your own preference. Same with "editor.fontSize" & "editor.lineHeight".
  • .vscode\launch.json - Used to store the configuration to launch the debugger.

  • .vscode\tasks.json - Used to store the task definitions (Build & Run commands, etc.).

  • .vscode\_keybindings.json - As mentioned before, this is used purely to store handy keybindings that one can add themselves, and not recognized by VS Code.


  • This is based on the MonoGame.Framework.DesktopGL.Core template, but can be adapted easily to the others
  • This configuration assumes all source files are contained within the src folder, but uses the root as the working directory for assets & things referenced in your project.
  • Feel free to offer suggestions/report issues if there's anything I missed, or could do better.
  • This will be an ongoing project as I learn more about C# and MonoGame.
  • Upon the initial load in VS Code, you'll see numerous "problems" trigger. Simply build the game once and these should go away.
  • This config is based on https://github.com/dotnet/corert/tree/master/samples/MonoGame


VS Code & .Net Core are pefect for development since they are both nice and fast, however, creating the final exe & publishing via .NET Core isn't recommended for now since it's kind of limited. You'll want to have a full Visual Studio 2017 install configured (See: https://www.codeproject.com/Articles/1175671/Getting-Started-with-MonoGame-using-Visual-Studio) for creating the final build of your game. I've included an archive with the extra project files required for VS 2017 that can be tweaked to fit your needs further.

MonoGame Documentation

Main: http://www.monogame.net/documentation/ Alternate: https://jjagg.github.io/MonoGame-docfx/manual/

That should be all you need to get started. Happy game making!