10 Best Programming Languages for Game Development

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10 Best Programming Languages for Game Development

Dhruv Parmar
Last updated on February 8, 2023

    Multiple programming languages are available for different purposes – software, web, mobile app, or game development. However, a few of them are very popular and widely used. When it comes to games, there are a few popular ones you must consider learning. This article will make you aware of the best programming languages for game development.

    The game development industry is growing tremendously. There has been a great deal of progress since the beginning.

    According to Statista , the global market value of the game development industry was $178 billion in 2021. It is expected to grow to $268.8 by 2025.

    These numbers are expected to grow in the future. As a result, many individuals are interested in making their careers in this industry.

    If you are interested in the same industry, you must first learn game-specific coding languages to write and create functional games.

    This article lists some widespread programming languages for game development.

    What are Game Programming Languages?

    Game programming is the term used to describe the computer or video game code.

    Both programming and technology have advanced over time. Early in the history of video games, programmers were frequently in charge of most of the development processes, including design.

    But as software and hardware advanced and video games grew more complicated, the size of development teams rose significantly. Additionally, more effort is now spent on improving things like advanced visuals and artificial intelligence to meet player expectations.

    There are programming languages game developers specifically use to create video games that provide exceptional experiences. The following are the features that those languages must possess:

    • Speedy and lightweight : A game development language must be quick to compile. Many players anticipate real-time activity.
    • Robust: The games of today are complicated. So, the language must support large data sets and intricate graphics.
    • Well-integrated : Artists and designers must collaborate closely with game programmers. Developers must be able to acquire art assets in the videogame.
    • Well-supported : The language should be well-supported, especially regarding game development tools. Even if you utilize the best game coding languages available, they are pointless if nobody else supports and likes them.

    In addition, many game creators search for straightforward, quick, and deployable code.

    What Exactly Does a Game Developer Do?

    The responsibility of a game developer is to code the underlying technology using the design team's concepts. They might also work on level design, animation, character design, and unit testing .

    In addition, they can control anything, such as how quickly a character moves and how significantly it jumps, how many adversaries come at certain times, and how they behave when assaulted.

    They collaborate closely with producers and staff from other departments, such as game designers, artists, and sound professionals, to turn a project's concept into a fully playable, functional game.

    Knowing what kinds of games people desire in various settings like offices or remote workplaces is crucial. To stay on top of the competition, video game developers must keep up with market trends. Keeping up with industry changes and new technologies might inspire ideas for new games.

    The Connection Between Platforms and Game Programming

    The game coding languages you can access depend on the network you want to publish games for. For instance, since C++ is a popular language for PC games, you can select it if you want to create a game for PCs. You would need to utilize C++ or an emulator that can compile to C++ if you wanted to create a game for PlayStation 4.

    The majority of platforms offer good support for game coding languages. Java and C++ are both widely applicable. However, there can be specific game software languages to take into account for mobile games. Swift and Objective C are both often used for gaming on Apple devices.

    Another thing to note is the possibility that the most significant languages for developing the game are just those best supported by a game development kit (GDK). Companies produce unique game development kits to facilitate game production and have all that a programmer requires to develop a top-quality game.

    These programming languages range from robust general-purpose languages to those most typically used for video games.

    After reviewing some of the most crucial components of a game-developing language, let's look at some of the more well-liked ones.

    Top 10 Programming Languages for Game Development

    1. C++

    As a powerful object-oriented language, C++ is frequently utilized to create video games. Although C++ has a bit steep learning curve, it is widely popular. The majority of game development tools and frameworks support it.

    Bjarne Stroustrup created this solid low-level language, C++, for machine readability. It powers many powerful platforms and Microsoft Windows video games.

    It follows an object-oriented programming paradigm , which means that it divides code into reusable, standalone components. Because these components are mobile and reusable, you can write complicated games without starting from scratch.

    You can use C++ and other languages, like C# and JavaScript, to enhance specific game elements, like visuals or music.



    • Great closeness to hardware while working.
    • Works cross-platform and includes tools with excellent performance.
    • A sizable programming community and open-source code.
    • Suitable for use with other gaming coding languages.
    • Complex and challenging for newcomers
    • Notably, many game makers have switched to newer languages.

    Game development systems use C++:

    • Lumberyard
    • Cryengine
    • Godot
    • Unreal Engine

    2. C#

    Compared to C++, C# (C-sharp) is a more precise and approachable language. It is a comprehensive language that is easy to understand. Its compilers prevent runtime mistakes by forewarning the programmer, and its syntax promotes code reuse, which makes it efficient.

    As a scripting language for video games, C# is in the lead. Scripting languages define the game's mechanics and direct the computer's actions as the game advances. Using scripting, you may make it such that a player sees a particular image or text when their protagonist picks up an object in the game.

    In web development scenarios, developers use C# to connect with servers rather than users. C# is indeed a back-end language. In a multiplayer game, C# instructs the server how to comprehend a player's action.



    • Provides fast and efficient performance
    • Often used for the development of mobile games
    • Complicated and challenging to learn

    Game development systems that make use of C#:

    • Godot
    • Heroengine
    • Unity

    3. JavaScript

    JavaScript is a flexible language capable of building powerful online apps and video games. It is most preferred among beginner programmers since it is simple to understand and use.

    Games you develop using HTML5 and JavaScript are compatible with web browsers and smartphones like iPhones and Android. These games are better to access than console games because they may be hosted directly on a website. Because the JavaScript language has inherent reliability, games developed using it are also simple to maintain.

    Online games today typically make use of HTML5, a fundamental web technology that combines JavaScript code with CSS .



    • Seamless to learn and operate
    • In high demand for creating web-based games
    • Used mainly for web development
    • Slower in speed than several other languages

    Game development systems that use JavaScript:

    • WebGL
    • Phaser
    • MelonJS
    • PandaEngine

    4. Java

    Small game development studios frequently utilize Java since it is a highly flexible language. It powers some of the most popular iOS and Android games, like Minecraft. Since Java is cross-platform, it is compatible with almost any system, including Linux and Windows.

    It has a sizable developer community and is relatively simple to learn. Java is a popular language for mobile games and apps since it is user-friendly for beginners.

    Multithreading , a function that enables two or more commands to operate concurrently, is a feature of Java that makes it stand out from the other languages. Game developers frequently choose to have several threads for different types of work, such as producing visuals and implementing gameplay logic.

    Java also has socket programming, which enables server-side two-way communication. Because of this, game creators can more easily construct multiplayer games without using other technologies.



    • Games are playable across various platforms.
    • User-friendly language
    • Older and, in the view of some developers, deprecated language
    • A slower language than some others because of the way it is translated.

    Game development systems that use Java:

    • Jake2
    • LibGDX

    5. Python

    Python is a popular, simple-to-learn language with excellent readability. In addition to being widely utilized in game production, it is also favored for applications involving machine learning and artificial intelligence . It is a good place for new developers to start. If you begin studying Python, you can enter the game design library quickly.

    Additionally, learning Python makes it simpler to use GDScript , the language used by the well-known Godot gaming engine. The developers of GDScript want it to be as readable and user-friendly as Python while also providing features specialized to gaming. You'll feel completely at home writing programs in Godot if you've already learned how to program in Python.



    • Easy to use and understand
    • A flexible language with a wide range of potential applications
    • A slower language than some others because of the way it is translated

    Game development systems that use Python:

    • PyGame
    • Godot
    • Ren.py

    6. Lua

    A popular language for game creation, Lua is simple and lightweight. It is commonly used for video games, especially those that do not require complex programming or intense visuals. It is the language behind well-known games like Angry Birds and Age of Conan.

    You may easily incorporate Lua into many applications because it is a widely embeddable language. That's a crucial component of game creation, which frequently uses several languages to achieve the desired result.

    Small and straightforward user experience games often use Lua as the primary language.



    • Popular for creating mobile games
    • Simple and easy to use
    • Lacks many other, more advanced language capabilities

    Game development systems use Lua:

    • Cryengine
    • CraftStudio
    • WorldForge

    7. PHP

    It is a server-side programming language for building dynamic websites and text-based games. Making text-based games using PHP is very simple because of how well it communicates with the console. The language even allows you to make graphical games.

    PHP is very much useful for browser-based games. Many businesses utilize language to power their online gaming platforms.

    With PHP, you can design a chess game utilizing a non-relational database , create and modify visuals, and transmit and receive data via sockets. Turn your online game ideas into reality via PHP.



    • Free and easy to use
    • High speed and excellent community support
    • Insufficient debugging tools
    • Unable to change the fundamental behavior

    Game development systems that make use of PHP:

    • GameForge
    • Goodgame Studios

    8. Swift

    Apple has developed Swift to simplify iOS game development and take it to the next level. The language has interested developers who want to exploit the new features to produce their finest games.

    Besides game development, it is ideal for developing other mobile applications. Due to its recentness, it is widely sought after by game production businesses.

    Because of the collective knowledge of the programming community, Swift, a contemporary programming language, integrates the best features of other languages and steers clear of bad design choices. Its syntax is fresh and user-friendly regardless of your prior programming knowledge.

    Furthermore, it is a language with strong semantics. This means the compiler will find more errors during compilation than users while playing your game.



    • Excellent performance and rapid development is offered
    • Interoperability with Objective-C
    • The Limited talent pool that knows Swift programming
    • Not-so-popular cross-platform support

    Game development systems that use Swift:

    • SpriteKit
    • ARKit
    • SceneKit

    9. Unreal Script

    Unreal Script, sometimes known as UScript, is a programming language created by Unreal Engine. It is object-oriented but lacks multiple inheritances, like Java. Popular game platforms like Microsoft Windows, Android, Linux, and PlayStation use this language.

    It has some built-in features, including states and timers, that enable designing gameplay considerably simpler because it was created with games in mind.

    Some methodologies and ideas are different from traditional programming because they are used in a game setting. For instance, the lack of customary explicit constructors and destructors for objects can perplex programmers accustomed to more conventional languages.

    But once you learn The Unreal Way, everything will make sense, and adding new features to video games will be a simple process.



    • Compatible with almost every platform
    • A conventional language with long-established features.
    • Beginners may find it difficult to understand

    Game development systems that use Unreal Script:

    • Unreal Engine

    10. GameMaker Language (GML)

    A well-known game creation tool, GameMaker Studio, employs GML. It is popular among beginning programmers since it is simple to understand and use. However, it is only available in GameMaker Studio and not on other platforms.

    The language’s design allows users to develop games in an accessible and flexible manner while still providing all of the capabilities of any other significant programming language.

    In comparison to many other languages, GML is substantially simpler to learn and use. GML, however, should be simple for you to learn and use if you have any experience with more complex languages.



    • Simple to use and learn
    • It can be used to develop games that GameMaker Studio will distribute to many platforms.
    • Only compatible with GameMaker Studio

    Game development systems that use GML:

    • GameMaker Studios


    New tools and platforms appear every few years, transforming the game development. The programming languages often used to create games must adapt as a result. Choose a video game development language after considering your knowledge and expertise.

    If you're a novice, I recommend you pick a language like JavaScript or Lua that is simple to understand and use. If you're more skilled, choose a language like C++ that performs better.

    The game development platform you choose will significantly impact the ideal programming language for games. It would be best to choose a language appropriate for your objectives, regardless of whether you want to use Unity or Unreal or write Android or iOS apps.

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