How to: sideload classic Windows Phone 8 games onto lớn a modern Lumia

Published by Steve sầu Litchfield at 15:33 UTC, February 23rd 2020

The really interesting thing about Windows 10 thiết bị di động is that it"s fully backwards compatible with old Windows Phone 8 software. Even for games. Which you really wouldn"t think after browsing the Microsoft Store, since many of the classic titles aren"t there anymore. But that"s no reason lớn be disheartened, especially if you"re prone to a little installing và unzipping, since there are archives of classic WP8 games online và it"s the work of moments (once you"ve sầu got everything in place) to "sideload" these titles khổng lồ your Lumia 950 or similar in the current day.

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Games lượt thích Fruit Ninja, Cut the Rope, & Angry Birds were classics (the links here go to our original reviews/mentions baông chồng in the day) and have been much missed in the Windows 10 Mobile Store. It"s not clear when they disappeared, but in theory if you had a Lumia 930 or similar then there"s every chance you might still have sầu some of these games on your phone, working well, và which have sầu persisted through numerous OS updates.

Back in the real world, most of us have done at least one factory remix or device replacement since 2014/năm ngoái và we were somewhat taken abachồng by our favourite games not being restored/re-installed as part of getting the phone or new device up và running.

Now, I vày understand how the commercial world works and the publishers of these games didn"t want to expkết thúc tư vấn resources on a dwindling software platform, so their titles were eventually withdrawn, but there"s ZERO technical reason why the games themselves shouldn"t work under the latest Windows 10 mobile. Hence this article.

Over the years there have been various attempts lớn archive sầu Windows Phone games (each of which typically exists as a single ".xap" archive), some more successful than others, but thanks to a reader here I was pointed khổng lồ this archive sầu, which is the one I"ll use below. (Small print time: as you"d expect, AAWPhường takes no responsibility for the status or contents of files found at such external URLs, it"s the reader"s/downloader"s risk!)

The games all vì seem lớn be full và not trial versions, which raises an extra legal/moral question. But given that the developers themselves were the ones who abandoned the platkhung and stopped taking our money four years ago, it doesn"t seem too problematic to lớn worry about not paying them money in 20trăng tròn. If any of the game developers are listening/reading this then just put your title back in the Store officially and we"ll plug it lớn high heaven và start buying again!

In addition, importantly, note that many of us have sầu already bought these games, i.e. developers have sầu already had our money, years ago, & it"s us, the users, who have been inconvenienced by not being able lớn play the games we paid for, after a device change or reset. As a huge Angry Birds fan who paid with my own money for all the titles in the range between 2013 & năm ngoái, it"s been annoying, to say the least, not khổng lồ be able to play the games I paid for on the platkhung I paid for them on, etc.


The first và classic Angry Birds, here played in 20trăng tròn on the Lumia 950 XL. Ah, the memories! Mind you, I"ve sầu had to lớn start from the very first level again!!

In any case, here on AAWPhường. I wanted to show how lớn bởi vì the side-loading. You"ll need:

a Windows 7, 8 or 10 PC of some kindabout an hourenough tech confidence to know what khổng lồ vì with .zip & ".7z" archives, how to lớn navigate folders, & so on

There"s another caveat too - in order lớn play the games then you need to lớn leave your phone in "developer" mode. Not a huge issue, I suspect, since if you"re clued up enough to be tackling this then you"ll also know khổng lồ avoid any malicious apps you might encounter. But worth noting. If you take your phone out of "developer" mode then you"ll get an error message when launching such side-loaded titles.

If you"re happy to proceed then read on....

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1. Install the official MicrosoftWindows Phone SDK 8.0 Lite:Download it Hereor here (smaller download)

2. Install the official MicrosoftWindows Phone SDK 8.1 Lite:Download it Here.


3. Download the WPV XAP Deployer Tool:from here. Yes, it"s third buổi tiệc ngọt software & all bets are off. But then Windows 10 mobile itself is now officially unsupported, so we"re definitely in "enthusiast, it"s worth a go" territory. I"ve tried the tool & it does what it claims to lớn, with no ill effects or anti-virut warnings.

4. Download any or all of the XAPhường. archived games from this Internet archive (all link here, by the way, work as of February 20đôi mươi, when writing this piece.)

5. On your Windows 10 mobile phone, go inlớn Settings/Update và Security/For developers" and mix the toggle khổng lồ "Developer mode". Don"t worry about any warnings - you know what you"re doing!

6. Plug your phone inkhổng lồ the PC & wait while all the recognition steps settle down (30 seconds or so)

7. RunWPV XAP Deployer. Cliông chồng the "Add Xap files"button và add the games you want khổng lồ install. Then cliông chồng on "Deploy".

The games should appear in the phone"s Apps menu within a few seconds and can be run or pinned as usual.

All very interesting - most "abandoned" platforms over up with a vestigial user base of enthusiasts who find ways to work around any gaps in the platform - & Windows 10 Smartphone seems lớn be no different! Comments welcome.

PS. Thanks to AAWPhường. reader Lasitha Samarasinghe for his help with this feature.

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Platforms: Windows Phone 7.5, General, Windows Phone 8 Categories: How To, Software


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