Compiling MTASA

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In order to successfully build Multi Theft Auto from source, it is necessary to perform a number of steps, which we will explain below.

Please read the instructions carefully and do not skip parts of it, if you have no experience.


Compiling the Multi Theft Auto client is only supported on Windows 10.

Make sure you have the following software and SDKs installed:

Visual Studio 2022

Visual Studio Community.PNG
  1. Download Microsoft Visual Studio 2022 - make sure you get the Community Edition, that one is free.
  2. On the installation checklist, make sure you tick these 2 items:
    1. Desktop development with C++
    2. Optional component C++ MFC for latest v143 build tools (x86 & x64)

If you don't enable MFC, you will get the following error: cannot open include file 'afxres.h'.

If you've made a mistake, you can run the Visual Studio Installer app to modify your current installation. There is no need to uninstall and reinstall.

Microsoft DirectX SDK

DirectX SDK.jpg

Download Microsoft DirectX SDK (August 2009) (DXSDK_Aug09.exe):

File verification
Algorithm and variant Hash
SHA-3 SHA3-224 8bfcdc03518d7edd34689534fd4d21291469ff2f2eb10437ad648c58
SHA3-256 45bf3e08da3b3636ddb4f4a74243430f8d65759c074c0d79756ef810c4701c5a
SHA3-384 b358e529963d6f5fd7f8bd4b530fb18f6a2e6a442009a54e981b2f9967589ed48150af310f283640d56f9b60d41100c9
SHA3-512 43522187053af744250059ef69c0f3083cecd1157fe56daac16b9497ebc6fb5b525875144e42898367c55f757cffd3526f37074d544470578602a5a944a45a75
SHAKE128 2a7c81bde9e867cbb5ef00b72ad8de66a3ee64c1d59f16465fa712479b6a84d28a02cc5ed08afa1d51e72011657453dbd4656cc9340d32e18179c39d03982dfc35c8f0c2a5c99e11dc74d0e23ed21b1e55f19c809a5a152bde39a2d46fcd12421f373f2d691ade1b57faf6c2ab7aded5a7d174f1f1c77127c0d6a1523b4775c569c5e1b4efa2da4bf2f708a96707a709e245a7f507382e69a81777919c90e95a091c0b699ce7f517
SHAKE256 9c100dac5245a61774f3a2752bf9e941bdcd5654b18035155161c63b20936dfc9bd7334feb9a6fe9a99a65491161083b39ac3bd578e2cf4f90cba3c786e9924fa0611f65a725331b77b63e7c8b552e1637bc77531ba0f2c9cac72115b28e523929ede4e5b246a0755e8d5c4089d94bf16627fb08672cfffa523bba3d976489a0eec60d3c6a96ca2b
SHA-2 SHA-224 a3a74b89cccfe314b79418d5598aac5e94800221e5d945c74f15c004
SHA-256 4ab1de69312f10f6b41310a5218d80c478bbd823bc0f86627318d690b128fb9f
SHA-384 254ed29c6ad2cadc6f013d2d51c0ac78a6bbe236a2c94ca99610eba8b2c1200d1a62c445ca9ee51bb09354875d5eca8a
SHA-512 736393c0dfa32221e229890f87eb330174d70dd2a02fa0cace303816d3e7a10a332a44129748de39665d1b339e627d6028c2080268f7afdd5240c447fec8ff0b
SHA-512/224 7e23d9ba916000782a17e23abf48e25237f45590cfe767aed9d79f10
SHA-512/256 0c833a56046fe7e4213fcb1862c730acf313d1b8f60b51eebf64dc3e79730c1c
MD5 66e5379ecf46b014688779621bcc677c
SHA-1 5b9b969ed7b6cf5534bb7350e44c09b3573b0e71
CRC32 e9f5c61d

NOTE: Restart your computer after installing Microsoft DirectX SDK, because otherwise the environment variable DXSDK_DIR won't be available yet. After restarting it re-run create-projects.bat

Cant find d3dx9.h
Add the $(DXSDK_DIR)Include; to the VC++ Directories in DirectX9GuiRenderer, GUI and Client Core projects. You can find the VC++ Directories list by selecting a project, then pressing the shortcut ALT + ENTER (without the +), then under the 'Configuration properties' you can find 'VC++ Directories', and in there you can find the 'Include Directories' field, click on it and add ;$(DXSDK_DIR)Include; at the end of it. Note: You need to do the same thing in Release mode as well

Cant find d3dx9.lib
Do do same as in the error above, but instead of ;$(DXSDK_DIR)Include; you must add ;$(DXSDK_DIR)Lib/x86; to the Library directories field Note: You need to do the same thing in Release mode as well

S1023 Error
"S1023" error when you install the DirectX SDK (June 2010)

Cannot open source file "xxx.h" after upgrading to Visual Studio 2022
If you've just upgraded to Visual Studio 2022 and were working on MTA using a previous version, you may receive errors about header files not being found (stdio.h, stddef.h, etc) when building the project.

Make sure you have the latest Windows 10 SDK installed (via the Visual Studio Installer) and restart your PC.

If that doesn't work - close Visual Studio, go into the `Build` folder (where your mtasa-blue is located) and delete the `.vs` folder. Start Visual Studio and everything should be fixed.

Git Client

Git logo.png

If you would like to contribute to MTA, you should install Git. This will allow you to collaborate with us by creating branches and pushing to your own fork. If you are not comfortable with the command line, we recommend you to download and install GitHub Desktop.

If you only want to compile the source code and are not interested in contributing to MTA, you can download the source directly (see below).

Getting the latest source code

To get the latest code, you will have to download the latest copy of our Git repository.
We recommend cloning the repository in your Git client because you can pull any updates from there easily.

Compiling the code

  1. Execute the script win-create-projects.bat
  2. Open the solution file MTASA.sln in the Build directory
  3. If you are asked to upgrade the project, click Cancel
  4. Select Debug - Win32 configuration in Visual Studio, then press Build > Build Solution... (may take some minutes)
  5. Execute the script win-install-data.bat

Running the software

Running the client

You can start your client in the Bin directory. You might find there a Multi Theft Auto.exe and/or Multi Theft Auto_d.exe executable. The _d suffix indicates a debug build of the software.
Furthermore, you can also run your client inside the debugger from Visual Studio if you want to investigate a stack trace or set breakpoints in interesting code regions (read more in the section Debugging below).

Running the dedicated server

If you already have run step 5 (Install resources) in Compiling the code to install resources then you can go to Starting the server.

Installing the latest resources

If you want to run the Multi Theft Auto dedicated server, you will have to install the required resources. These are required because they implement the most basic functionality (e.g. spawning players) in order to play.

Our official resources repository is hosted on GitHub. You can download the latest resources from there or download a zipped version. Make sure that you have the latest resources package.

Starting the server

To run the server, open the MTA Server.exe executable in the Bin/server directory. The _d suffix indicates a debug build of the software.
You can also run the debug build MTA Server_d.exe with the Visual Studio Debugger (as of writing, you can do that by right-clicking on the Server's Launcher project and selecting Start a local instance in the Debugger menu), but you can also attach to a running debug build MTA server (see more in the section Debugging below).


If you already compiled the code in the Debug configuration then continue reading, if not, then go up to Compiling the code and follow the steps for a Debug build.
To compile in Release, click on the Debug list and switch to Release.
You can either launch MTA yourself and attach any debugger you want to use (also applies to the Visual Studio debugger) or you start a local debugging session in Visual Studio.
Local Windows Debugger.PNG

How to enable breakpoints

If you choose to run MTA with Visual Studio then you should also attach the debugger to the executable gta_sa.exe (press CTRL + ALT + P in Visual Studio) - otherwise, your breakpoints will not work for anything besides the MTA Launcher project.
Attach to Process.png

Extending timeout duration

When you use breakpoints during debugging, you may get kicked by the server due to timeout, because the client is frozen. To prevent this, create the timeout.longtime file in your Bin/server/ directory. The content of the file is the new timeout duration in seconds, so make sure you type a huge number in there. If you keep the file empty, the timeout will be set to 120 seconds.

ReAttach for Visual Studio

You can use ReAttach to re-attach the debugger to the gta_sa.exe executable whenever you start your local debugger in Visual Studio.
ReAttach to GTASA.PNG

Getting involved

Please see our Coding guidelines for information on the coding practice.

Additional information

If you need more information, try our bug tracker or Discord.


CL38 error. [netc_d.dll not found]

Solution: Delete Multi Theft Auto_d.exe and hit compile again.

After cloning the repository, it doesn't compile the project

Solution: Execute win-create-projects.bat in main directory.

CL17 Load field. Please ensure that the latest data files have been installed correctly

Solution: Execute win-install-data.bat in main directory.

ERROR: Loading network library (net_d.dll) failed!

Solution: Execute win-install-data.bat in main directory.