10 Programming Languages to Learn for Game Development

According to past Juniper Research findings, the video games sector will be worth more than $200 billion by 2023. This makes game development one of the most lucrative careers.

From mega joker to blackjack, game development is the backbone of every game you enjoy. However, the game development process calls for proficiency in animation, design, and simulation.

The good news is you can deliver a seamless user experience using only codes. Even so, choosing a programming language can be challenging for a beginner. Here are some of the best programming languages in game development history.

1.    Python

Python isn’t only for prototyping, machine learning, and server-side programming; you can also use it for game development. There are several advantages of game development in PythonFor starters, it’s easy to understand. Thanks to its simple syntax, Python makes an excellent starting point for game development ideasA simple syntax comes in handy to speed up development. For beginners, a simple language delivers quick results to encourage you when learning how to code.

On the other hand, larger game development studios can create a prototype quickly to test whether the game is worth developing. Another selling point is reusability. Owing to its object-oriented nature, Python applies your code where it’s required, reducing the final game’s lines of code. This way, a developer spends less time rewriting a code, accelerating the game development process. Many coding languages are object-oriented. However, Python’s extensive libraries mean there might be a written code for your problem to serve as a game development guide.

Debugging is also easier with Python. Debugging represents the process of identifying and correcting mistakes in your code. Since it’s an interpreted language, Python code executes directly without compilation into a machine program. As such, game development programmers receive notifications in case of errors, making debugging manageable.

2.    Java

From mobile games to Indie and AAA titles, you can never go wrong with game development in Java. Though it’s no longer the only language for game development android, Java holds a special place in programmers’ hearts. For starters, Java utilizes object-oriented programming. That means you can reuse objects from other programs. Moreover, this game development language guarantees legacy code modernization and simple maintenance. It also reduces errors by hiding some object information.

Another benefit of game development in Java is its simple syntax. As a high-level game development language, Java looks a lot like human language. Interpreters and compilers translate high-level languages, making them easy to understand, write, and maintain. This is unlike low-level options that resemble machine code. 

Additionally, Java allows multithreading. Besides playing games, you use your device for tasks like checking emails, browsing the internet. Multithreading boosts CPU performance using less memory. That way, users can run several tasks simultaneously and switch activities smoothly. This development language also runs on virtual machines. As such, the game can function on several game development hardware platforms. Similarly, Java allows socket programming. Sockets link two processes, making Java perfect for multiplayer game development.

3.    C++

Bjarne Stroustrup developed this programming language in 1979 as an advancement to C. Initially called C with Objects, C++ gained its name in 1983 before the release of its first commercial compiler Cfront in 1985. The language has undergone numerous revisions and upgrades over the years to make it what it is today. It might not be the easiest programming language to learn, but C++ presents many advantages when it comes to game development.

First off, this development language is object-oriented. As such, it breaks down games into logical components which are easy to understand and reuse. This is in addition to its compatibility with other development languages. Sometimes, you need more than one language in a gaming project for a better user experience. For example, you can merge C++ with Java to enhance graphic control and order implementation. Likewise, you can merge C++ with native software.

The language’s game development education is also readily available. Apart from online lectures and courses, C++ has a thriving community on GitHub and StackOverflow. You’ll also love the language’s memory management.

4.    Lua

This scripting language supports different programming paradigms, for example, data-driven, functional, and procedural programming. Because its main focus is scripting, Lua rarely occurs as an independent programming language. You can combine it with development languages like C and C++ and scripting languages such as Ruby and Perl. The best part is you don’t need complex rewrites to merge Lua with other development languages.

Another Lua advantage is speed. Though Lua outshines most programming languages, you can increase the speed using its LuaJIT compiler. Likewise, Lua’s footprint is relatively smaller than other development languages making it compatible with multiple platforms, be it massive game engines or embedded gadgets.

You’ll also love the simplicity of its game development architectureLua offers meta-mechanisms for easier component development instead of providing too many features in the language. Furthermore, this development language boasts of incremental garbage collection to reduce memory usage. Best of all, this development language is open-source; you can enjoy its game development how to start features for free.

5.    JavaScript

JavaScript emerged in 1995 to provide interactive and dynamic components to websites. Created by Brendan Eich during his stint at Netscape, JavaScript utilizes ECMAScript specifications. Though its original focus was frontend development, JavaScript is also used to write server-side code.

The first reason why you should use this language for game development is its speed. This game development language is fast since it often runs within client browsers. Unless there are external game development requirementsnetwork calls to backend servers don’t affect JavaScript. Not forgetting its interoperability. Unlike scripting languages such as PHP, you can insert JavaScript in any web page.

This is in addition to its extended functionality. Developers can write JavaScript snippets for extra add-ons. The rich interface also stands out. JavaScript supports features like drag and drop and sliders to enhance user experience. However, JavaScript retains a simple layout for both users and game developers. Another reason why you should choose this game development language is its popularity. Apart from game development examples, major corporations like Amazon and PayPal use JavaScript.

6.    SQL

You may not build a game with SQL, but this language supports smooth interactions between your game and the databases storing related information. As such, players can log in to their accounts and perform other tasks on the server.

Additionally, games require data to customize player experiences and conduct regular updates. It’s not uncommon for development experts to create data analytics systems that run in tandem with their games. Data analytics platforms track gamers in real-time to provide personalization information.

The first SQL advantage is portability. You can use SQL on a laptop, mobile phone, desktop, or server. SQL is also fast. Thanks to SQL queries, developers can retrieve large data amounts from a database. This language is also interactive. Besides being an easy language to understand, you receive answers to SQL queries in seconds. Since it requires minimal coding, SQL is ideal for a game development beginner. Developers use basic keywords like “SELECT”, “INTO”, “UPDATE”, and “INSERT”. Additionally, SQL presents multiple views of the data structure.  

7.    C#

This language emerged from Microsoft in 2000 as a brainchild of Anders Hejlsberg. Its approval as an ECMA-334 standard came in 2002 before the ISO/IEC 23270 status the following year. The language has drastically evolved since then to become a popular development language. Thanks to the language’s popularity, C# resource materials are readily available online.

C# also has many supporting frameworks and toolsets. For example, building applications with Visual Studio guarantees live coding assistance. The system’s built-in IntelliSense provides API descriptions and hints and autocompletes lines to accelerate coding. This is in addition to the IDE’s quick debugging. On the other hand, the .NET framework offers numerous libraries to build sites, implement security, and work with file systems. Not mentioning the language’s flexibility. Game development on Mac, native Windows apps, game development for android; you name it, C# supports numerous applications.

Furthermore, Microsoft releases regular syntactic enhancements to boost the performance of the development language. Best of all, functions are easy to implement because of the language’s rich libraries. The formalized set methods also increase code legibility. Moreover, you don’t have to stress over header files.

8.    Scala

The first reason why programmers love the Scala game development hierarchy is its marketability. With major companies like Quora and LinkedIn adopting its use, the future is bright for Scala as a scalable development language. You’ll also love Scala’s multi-paradigm nature. Besides object-oriented programming, Scala utilizes functional coding paradigms for code that is both functional and concise.

Scala also optimizes testing and development. Game development languages like Java may allow code shortening, but these methods deviate from standard procedures, making code hard to read. Another advantage of this game development language is its compatibility with Java. Besides leveraging Java Virtual Machine benefits, game developers can still keep their Java libraries. Likewise, Scala uses singleton object usage instead of the static usage in C++ and Java for cleaner coding.

This is in addition to the language’s growing framework. Many solid languages and frameworks are emerging by the day, aiding the efforts of making Scala a mainstream language.  Not forgetting Scala’s concise Syntax that improves readability and learning. You can also seek support from Scala’s growing community, part of which includes Java developers.

9.    Rust

Combining the efficiency of C and safety of C#, Rust is one of the game development languages to watch. For starters, Rust is fast. Because typing occurs statically, compilers can optimize codes for speed. Likewise, its trait static dispatch resembles C++ templates, only that it’s cleaner. Because the language doesn’t collect garbage, data storage is free of overheads, runtime, and sudden pauses.

The low overheads also make Rust perfect for embedded programming. Rust’s resource efficiency helps programmers spot bugs early and prevent future failures. Not mentioning zero-cost abstractions. Rust accepts your code regardless of the abstraction. For example, you can include loops and closure without worrying about compilation and your code’s performance.

This development language also has an active community. With more developers gaining interest in this development language, there’s always someone to help you with your Rust queries. Rust also allows concurrent programming by intercepting data races during compile time. Data races happen when different threads send instructions simultaneously to one memory location. When it comes to cross-platform support, this language adapts to different operating systems, allowing game development on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Moreover, you can code the application’s front and back-ends. 


This development language runs on Java Virtual Machine. That means you can use it with Java for server, web, client, or Android development. Android developers can use both languages to build their products or convert Java apps to Kotlin.

Kotlin’s popularity increased even further after Google’s #IO17 release that officially recognized it as a language for Android development. There are many reasons why game developers love this language. First off, you write less code to improve readability and reduce bugs. What’s more, Kotlin has a supportive community.  Though it’s primarily object-oriented, Kotlin enjoys world-class functional programming support.

Additionally, JetBrains, the team behind Kotlin, constantly enhances the language to meet market needs. When it comes to learning material, Kotlin offers numerous online tutorials, bootcamps, and tutorials to improve your coding skills. Not forgetting the extensions that let you add functionality without complete rewrites.

Which Is the Best Game Development Programming Language?

There’s no right or wrong language for a game development beginnerGame development languages present different features for game development experts depending on their preferences and target platforms. Take the example of the gambling industry.

Programming plays different roles in online casinos, for example, payment processing, enhancing mobile functionality, and developing multiple gaming channels. Moreover, the programming language varies with the gaming genre.  For example, the developer may use different languages to create slots and table games.

Game development is about exploring different languages until you find one that suits your needs. Who knows, some development languages may be easy to learn and deliver better results. What is your favorite development language? Share some game development basics in the comments.

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