Compiling ScummVM/MinGW-w64

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Compiling with MinGw-w64 should currently be used only for debug builds, as the executable is linked dynamically with the MinGW libraries. Release builds should be done using MXE if possible, since this allows building an (almost) statically linked executable for easy distribution. Feel free to contact me (rootfather) either via eMail or IRC if you have questions regarding MSYS2/MinGW-w64.

Prepare your build environment

Setup MinGW-w64 and MSYS2

You can find MSYS2 on the official webpage and detailed installation instructions on the MSYS2 github wiki.

The MinGW packages are named mingw-<env>-<package>, where <env> is either x86_64 or i686, depending on your architecture (64-bit and 32-bit, respectively).

To create an i686 or x86_64 build environment, we need to first update the already installed packages and the MSYS2 environment itself. To do that, type the following in the MSYS2 terminal:

pacman -Syuu

Follow the instructions (one upgrade step may require that the MSYS2 terminal window is closed directly from the window's e(X)it button on the top right. Keep issuing the above command in the MSYS2 terminal until there's no more updating tasks to be done.

In order to install all required tools and libraries, open the MinGW shell matching the architecture you want to build for (32 or 64 bits) and use the following command:

pacman -S --needed --noconfirm base-devel git ${MINGW_PACKAGE_PREFIX}-{a52dec,binutils,ccache,cairo,curl-winssl,faad2,freetype,flac,fluidsynth,fribidi,libjpeg-turbo,libogg,libvorbis,libmad,libmpeg2-git,libtheora,libpng,lld,nasm,readline,SDL2,SDL2_net,toolchain,winsparkle,zlib,ntldd-git}

These commands will fetch and install the packages needed for compiling, including (but not limited to) GCC 11.x, GDB, and libwinpthread-git.

Additionally, if you would like to include Discord Rich Presence support, the pre-compiled libraries are here. Simply copy the files into your base MinGW directory.

Let's get compiling!

Finally, we are ready to compile the project! To do that, just open a MinGW-w64 shell (not the MSYS2 shell), navigate to the source folder where you have cloned scummvm.git, and type the following commands:

 make -j$(nproc)

Note: Depending on what you are working on, have a look at ./configure --help. Sometimes, you want to enable some features or engines that are disabled by default, while working on a specific engine won't require a full build at all.

If everything went well, you should have a big executable in the compilation folder, named scummvm.exe. The size of the executable comes from the debug symbols embedded in the file, so you can run the following command to shrink it:

 strip scummvm.exe

Please note that using this step is not necessary if you build a distributable package.

That's it, you successfully compiled ScummVM from the source code.

Ship required libraries for running ScummVM on a "non-MSYS2" machine

In case you want to distribute your builds to machines without a running MSYS2 installation or if you excluded MSYS2/Mingw-w64 from your PATH, you need to bundle the required .dll files with the executable - otherwise, running ScummVM will fail due to missing dependencies.

If you intend to build a ScummVM package that includes all the necessary files, you can build such a redistributable package by using

 make win32dist-mingw WIN32PATH=<target>

where <target> specifies the directory that will contain the redistributable packages.

Common Issues

  • If configure fails to find required libraries such as SDL, make sure that you have all the required libraries available for the target system and that you are using the correct MinGW shell (32-bit vs 64-bit)
  • If the executable compiles correctly, but you get a "somelibrary.dll missing" error when executing it, you just need to add the following path to your PATH variable: <installdir>/msys<env>/mingw64/bin/
  • If the configure script gives an error about using msys mode, please make sure you are running the mingw-w64 win32 shell or the mingw-w64 win64 shell, and not the msys2 shell from the MSYS2 package, when building ScummVM.


  • Despite the name, MinGW-w64 works on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems, but the latest versions cannot be installed on Windows XP anymore. However, builds produced will still work on Windows XP.
  • MinGW-w64 and MSYS2 is a fork of MinGW. If you wish to compile with the (older) MinGW toolset, e.g. to support versions older than Windows XP, check out MinGW and MSYS
  • MinGW-w64 makes heavy use of the pacman package manager, which may not be available under other MinGW setups