There are a number of different GameMaker Studio 2 licences available, but which one is the best for me?
That's a question only you can answer, but at least we can help you make your decision by outlining the pros and cons of each licence, as well as what the intention behind each one is...
The Trial Licence is a free licence granted to you automatically when you register your YoYo Account and gives you almost complete access to GameMaker Studio 2 for the next 30 days.
After creating your account, you can get access to the trial version of GMS2 simply by going to the Downloads section of your account Dashboard:
Once you have downloaded the installer, simply run it and install GMS2, then when prompted inside GMS2, give your YoYo Account details to sign-in. If you have not bought any other licences, then GMS2 will default to the 30-day Trial Licence and you can start using the program in this capacity.
The Trial Licence permits you to test out most of the features of GameMaker Studio 2, but does not permit you to create final executables, nor does it permit you to use the higher-performance YoYo Compiler or create a Marketplace Publisher account to sell your assets to others (find out more about the Trial limits here).
This version is ideal for those people that are unsure of whether GameMaker Studio 2 is for them and want to try it before committing to buying a licence.
Note, you cannot get a Trial licence of any Steam products.
With the Creator Licence you unlock the power of GameMaker Studio 2 and the ability to create a final executable of any project you make. You also get full access to the GameMaker Marketplace, so you can sell assets or services to the many other GameMaker users who use the Marketplace.
You can buy a Windows licence or a macOS licence, meaning that you will only be able to compile a final executable for one you bought.
For example, purchasing GameMaker Studio 2 Creator Mac allows you to use the full licence if you login to GMS2 on a Mac and then you can make macOS games (which you can then sell on the App Store, Steam, or other Mac-friendly Marketplaces). However, if you have bought Creator Mac, but were to login using the Windows IDE you will be a Trial user only, so you could only test your game on your own Windows PC.
The Creator Licence is designed for hobby developers or for people that just want to have fun making small projects for themselves, as well as those people that want to learn to use the product without having to pay a larger initial amount.
The Creator licence is a 12-month non-renewing licence, and at the end of the 12-month period you will need to buy another licence to continue using GMS2 fully. Or, before your initial 12-month licence elapses, take advantage of the 30% discount on the Desktop licence if you want to be able to make and sell games on Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu platforms.
It is worth noting that the Creator Licence will not permit you to change the Splash Screen of your projects and you do not get access to the second compiler ("YYC").
Note, you cannot get a Creator Licence through the Steam client.
The different Developer licences are permanent licences with a one-off purchase price. When you purchase any of the Developer licences you get access to all platforms included in that licence, the additional higher-performance YoYo Compiler ("YYC") export type, and you can change the splash screen in all your games.
Developer licences are ideal for hobby devs looking to expand their horizons, as well as for studios looking for a fast cross-platform tool to target the various different app stores. You can find a list below of the different Developer licences available:
- Desktop -The Desktop licence lets you create games for Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu. Games made with this licence can be shared and played by anyone on a home computer, as well as uploaded to the many desktop games online stores, such as Steam, Humble or Itch.io.
- Mobile - This license allows you to target Android (including Amazon Fire), iOS (including iPadOS) and tvOS devices. Games made using this licence can be distributed through stores like the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon.
- Web - The Web licence permits you to create HTML5 games, which is a technology standard supported by an array of popular browsers, such as Opera, Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox. Games made with this licence can be hosted on your own webserver and played by any desktop or mobile user who accesses your site, plus you can publish on Itch.io, Newgrounds, or any other popular HTML5 game publishing site.
- UWP - The UWP licence allows you to compile your games for the Microsoft Store, which supports Windows 10 PCs and even Xbox One through the Creators Program. Note that Microsoft no longer supports Windows 10 Mobile phones.
Console licences are purchased as 12-month non-renewing licences and so at the end of the 12-month period you will need to renew your licence to continue using these platforms.
Note that access to buy these licences and to see any of our console development documentation will require you to have already successfully signed up with the respective console manufacturer as a developer (links given below) and validated this information with us, at which time your account will be unlocked to allow access to the console(s) you validated only.
The available Console licences are:
- PlayStation® - This licence gives you the power to test, debug and build games for the Sony PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®5 (register here). Please note, the Sony PlayStation®5 export is currently in closed beta but the full commercial launch is expected in March 2021. Developers using GameMaker to develop games for the PlayStation®5 and the PlayStation®4 generation will require either a GameMaker Studio 2 PlayStation or Ultimate license.
- Xbox- This licence gives you the power to test, debug and build games for the Microsoft Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S (register here). Please note, the Microsoft Xbox Series X|S export is currently in closed beta but the full commercial launch is expected in March 2021. Developers using GameMaker to develop games for the Xbox Series X|S consoles and the Xbox One generation will require either a GameMaker Studio 2 Xbox or Ultimate license.
- Nintendo Switch - This licence gives you the power to test, debug and build games for the Nintendo Switch (register here).
- Ultimate - This licence gives you the ultimate in export options for your projects, as it includes every export target GMS2 offers for one (significantly reduced compared to if you bought them all separately) payment. Note that whilst all consoles are included in the purchase, it's still only those you are validated for which will actually be available to you.
Note, you cannot get Console Licenses through the Steam client.
The Education licences are reserved for schools who want to teach GameMaker in an educational environment.
Each Education account is provided with a single permanent 'Teacher' licence to allow the software to be installed, evaluated, and to plan potential classes prior to making a purchase. The 'Teacher' licence includes all the functionality of an Educator licence, as shown below.
Beyond that, you purchase a "seat" for each student/other staff member who needs to be able to use GMS. The seat licences available for purchase are:
- Educator - This includes all functionality of the Desktop licence
- Educator Plus - This includes all functionality of the Desktop and Web licences
- Achiever - This includes all functionality of the Desktop, Web, Mobile, UWP and Sony PS4 licences
These licence types are available on 1-month/1-year/2-year durations and have a minimum purchase of 5 seats per licence type. More detailed information on pricing can be found on our Education Page.
Be aware that to be able to purchase Education licences you will need to submit a request to us so that we can verify the educational licences will be used for educational purposes. For more information, please see the following FAQ section: