Compiling on Windows using MSYS2

MSYS2 is a collection of tools and libraries providing you with an easy-to-use environment for building, installing and running native Windows software. This page lists how to compile Minetest on Windows using MSYS2.

For a video tutorial of setting up a Minetest development environment on Windows using MSYS2 (including setting up VSCodium), you can see this video by Exe_Virus.


Please download and install the latest version of MSYS2 here:

After installation, a terminal opens. Run the following command to update the environment:

pacman -Syu

The terminal will then ask you to close it when done, proceed with doing so and then open the MSYS2 CLANG64 environment whose icon has a dark orange background. (For information on what the different environments do, see Environments in MSYS2's documentation)


First install all the necessary dependencies:

pacman -S git mingw-w64-clang-x86_64-{clang,cmake,ninja,curl-winssl,libpng,libjpeg-turbo,freetype,libogg,libvorbis,sqlite3,openal,zstd,gettext,luajit,SDL2}

Navigate to some folder where you want to clone the Minetest repository. To get out of MSYS' home folder and into your regular users folder, you would want to enter something like this:

cd /c/Users/$USER/Desktop

Clone Minetest:

git clone --depth 1
cd minetest

And start the building process:

mkdir build; cd build
cmake .. -G Ninja

Once it's finished compiling, there should be a minetest.exe executable inside of bin/ inside your Minetest folder. You can run it inside of the MSYS2 environment by running ../bin/minetest.exe in the terminal, but it will not work if you try to open the executable from Windows explorer, as the necessary DLLs aren't next to the executable.

Bundling DLLs

For bundling DLLs, you may want to use msys2-bundledlls which is able to copy over any libraries the executable is linked against and put it next to the executable.

If you're lazy, run the following commands from the build directory to download the script:

curl > ../bundledlls

When you have downloaded the script, usage is as such:

../bundledlls ../bin/minetest.exe ../bin/

It will print out a list of libraries it has copied to the binary folder once finished. Now it should be possible to run the Minetest executable outside of the MSYS2 environment.


Something about packages being untrusted or corrupted?

If you have an existing MSYS2 install that has been dormant for a while without updates, you might run into issues trying to install or update packages as the keyring is outdated. See this section on the MSYS2 website on how to solve this.

Building 32-bit

If you want to build a 32-bit version of Minetest you would want to use the CLANG32 environment (light orange background).

When installing dependencies, use the mingw-w64-clang-i686- prefix used for CLANG32 packages instead of mingw-w64-clang-x86_64-.

Graphics is broken in a VM

If you're doing this inside of a VM and you want to test the executable but get graphics issues due to a lack of hardware acceleration, you can try downloading the Mesa software renderer as a DLL. Download the 64-bit version of the DLL here and put it next to the executable in bin/. It will be slow but should be usable for testing.