This article is a step-by-step guide on how to get started with the free GameMaker ("GM") version - registering for your account, logging-in to GameMaker itself, what restrictions a free version has compared to our other options of Professional and Enterprise.
If you already have a GameMaker Account, you can simply sign-in to the accounts website and move on to Step Two.
Step One: Sign Up For A GameMaker Account
To get started you will first have to create an account at https://gamemaker.io/account. This website is where you complete the sign-up process and get granted a free version (Paid options are available) and is also your gateway to other GameMaker features, such as the Marketplace.
As part of creating your account you will be sent a confirmation email asking you to activate the account, and once you have clicked the activation link you will be automatically granted a free version to use GameMaker.
Now you can sign-in on the website (if you're not already) and move on to Step Two.
If you require further guidance on how to create and configure your account, please see this article here: Creating A GameMaker Account.
Step Two: Getting The GameMaker Installer
Once you have signed-in to your account, you need to go to our Downloads page:
This will present you with the page that contains download links for the current versions of the GameMaker IDE.
Download the correct installer for your operating system now. Then double-click the download to start the installation process.
Step Three: Login To GameMaker Itself
Once you have downloaded GameMaker and installed it, you will have to log-in to the product using your Opera account (below marked 'Sign In'), or the username and password details for your legacy account (below marked 'Login') .
Ensure you're still connected to the internet, then start GameMaker.
You will then be shown the login screen shortly after GameMaker appears:
Select the appropriate option and proceed with logging or signing in.
The GameMaker installer comes with all the required build tools included for the free version and suitable for your machine, so you can now start using GameMaker right away!
Free Version Limitations
The free version is designed to let you explore the IDE, learn how to use GameMaker and additionally save your games on the GX.games platform through the "Opera GX" target. However, whilst it gives you a a fully-functional version of GameMaker to use, it does have the following limitations:
- It does not permit you to create Commerical shareable executable copies of your game through targets other than "GX.Games"
- You must always be on the current/newest public version of GameMaker in order to use your licence, so you may be required to periodically update your install in order to continue using GameMaker (Note: there may be a short "feedback" period after each major release when this is perhaps not enforced immediately, but you should still prepare to update when requested.)
- Cannot utilize our Console exports (Enterprise Subscription only).
Other than those restrictions, the free version grants you full access to GameMaker, with no limits on how many assets you can create within your projects. You can also upload and publish your games to the GX.games platform for free.
This means that if you have any old GameMaker: Studio 1.4 game projects you can import them into GameMaker to try them out. Please refer to our Porting A GMS 1.4 Game To GameMaker article for further information. Note that projects made with versions of GameMaker older than GM: S 1.4 are not able to be imported at all.
For information on upgrading your licence whenever you're ready to start selling your games or start developing for console, please see How To Upgrade Your GameMaker Licence