How To Hack Your Kinect & Use It To Kill Zombies

James Bruce 25-05-2011

<firstimage=”//”>kinect hackJust a few months ago I highlighted some of the crazy Kinect hacks 5 Microsoft Xbox Kinect Hacks That'll Blow Your Mind Read More that were coming out from small development teams. Well, development has moved on to a more user friendly state now, and the drivers have been released for all to download and play with. One studio has even gone so far as to make a little tech-demo zombie game for the PC, so today I thought I’d walk you through the process of setting up the Kinect on your PC and getting the game running.



There’s quite a few things to download and configure here, but it’s certainly not difficult. You’ll need to install 3 different layers of drivers and middleware in order to get this tech demo working.

Here’s the things you need to download:

    • OpenNi: from this page, hit the topmost item for Windows x86 Development Latest. Make sure you download the x86 even if you’re running x64 Windows as not everything is fully working with 64-bit yet.
    • PrimeSense Kinect/OpenNi mod: From the github page, select the little download button on the right to just grab everything.

how to hack kinect

  • PrimeSense NITE middleware: Again, grab the topmost item listed – the Latest x86 Development version.
  • The Zombie Holdout tech demo from PixelNinjaGames.
  • DotNet 4 from Microsoft

On the Kinect hardware side of things, if like me you own a bundle Kinect with Xbox Slim, you might be wondering how on earth the device will plug into your computer – the answer is that you’ll need to buy the power supply / USB adapter separately (search Amazon for “Kinect power supply” – best deal is about £10/$16). Those of you who bought the Kinect on its own should already have one. Don’t plug it in yet!


    • Start with Microsoft .Net install if you don’t already have it. Then run the OpenNi package you downloaded first. When done installing that, extract the files to your desktop. Open up that up and run the installer for Windows found in the Bin directory.
    • Next, navigate to the Program Files -> OpenNI -> Data directory. Keep that open.
    • Again, from the directory you extracted on the desktop, open up the OpenNI -> Data directory in there. You should see a SamplesConfig.xml file. Copy that to the Program Files -> OpenNI -> Data directory you should still have open from step 2.
    • Open up the SamplesConfig.xml file and change the line that reads:



This is a license key provided to the community to allow everyone to use the Kinect device.

  • At this point, you should be able to plug in your Kinect device and have Windows recognize it with some drivers. There are actually devices contained in the Kinect – the motor, camera, and microphone. Each will be listed as separate device.


kinect hack

  • Although we’re not finished yet, it’s important you test this before we move on. Open up Program Files -> OpenNI -> Samples -> Bin -> Release and run SimpleViewer.exe to see something like this:

how to hack kinect

  • Go ahead and install the PrimeSense MiddleWare next (Nite-Win32- You’ll need to provide the license key again during install (here it is again: 0KOIk2JeIBYClPWVnMoRKn5cdY4=)
  • Check that’s working too by going to Program Files -> PrimeSense -> NITE -> Samples -> Bin -> Release -> SampleTrackPad.exe

how to hack kinect

  • Finally, extract the Zombie Holdout directory to your desktop and launch the game file inside there! Assuming everything has worked so far, you should be able to calibrate by just lifting your arms up to match the guy on screen. Reload by lifting them up again, and shoot by just pointing. Another awesome feature is that by twisting your body a little left or right you can look around.

kinect hack

Of course, there’s a million other things you could do with your Kinect now that it’s hooked up to your PC. I’ll take a look at some more next time, including how to control your Windows or Mac mouse, which would be perfect for that new living room media center Setup A Perfect Media Center With Plex [Mac & Windows] Plex is widely regarded by many as being the best media player, manager and streaming application around - available for both Windows, Mac and even mobiles (though the mobile apps are not free). If you're... Read More .

Related topics: Xbox Kinect, Zombies.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. James Bruce
    June 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    sorry aviad, its difficult to tell without knowing more info. May I suggest you ask for help on the answers site? Other than that, I can only your c++ or .net runtimes for windows are out of date, so make sure you runa full windows update?

  2. Aviad
    June 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    And also i am not getting the window u got after starting SampleTrackPad.exe .
    It is changing to VGA and stuck...

  3. Aviadperetz67
    June 6, 2011 at 11:34 am

    i did it as it written and until NITE evrythig is good
    After i started SampleTrackPad.exe nothing happened...
    what should i do???

    • James Bruce
      June 6, 2011 at 11:37 am

      sounds like maybe the license key wasnt intalled right, as NITE requires that?

      • Aviad
        June 6, 2011 at 5:41 pm

        yes it is! but the zombis doesnt work.... it's crashes right after i push fight