Getting Set up for Development with Visual Studio

Elements integrates with Visual Studio 2017, Visual Studio 2019 and 2022, for the Community, Professional or higher editions (the Express editions do not allow integration, and are thus not supported). If Elements finds a suitable copy of Visual Studio, it will offer to integrate with it.

Visual Studio Community Editions are also available for free from Microsoft, here:


Visual Studio and the Elements compiler require Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or later, and the .NET Framework 4.0 or later.

Depending on what platforms you wish to develop for, the Elements compiler has a few prerequisites you may need to install in order to have all the tools you need to get started with the platform.

Setup for .NET and Mono Development

No further prerequisites are required for .NET and Mono development. Elements automatically supports every version of .NET and .NET Core that is installed on your system, independent of which versions might be supported by Microsoft's languages in your version of Visual Studio.

Depending on your needs, you might want or need to install additional versions of the .NET Framework, .NET Core SDKs and/or the Windows SDK.

Setup for WinRT and Windows Phone Development

If you are using Visual Studio Community Edition or higher, you should be all set to develop for WinRT/Metro and Windows Phone out of the box.

Setup for Android Development

To develop Android apps you will need to install Android SDK, which comes included with Android Studio. (If you install Android Studio, no separate JDK or Android DK install is required for Android development, as the Androids Studio installation provides both)

Setup for Java Development

You need to install the Java Development Kit (JDK) version 6 or later to develop Java apps.

Setup for Cocoa Development

A Mac running the latest Xcode is required to build Cocoa apps for Mac or iOS in Visual Studio (you will work on Windows, but Elements will communicate with your Mac in the background).

Setup for Island Development

No additional dependencies are needed for developing Island projects for Windows from Visual Studio.

If you have a 64-bit version of Windows 10 Creators Update or later installed, you can also use the local Ubuntu sub-system ("Bash on Windows") to debug Linux applications, as well.

Otherwise, you will need a Linux server or VM with an open SSH connection in order to test and debug Linux applications from inside Visual Studio. See CrossBox for more details.