Thursday, May 18, 2023

7 Best Programming Languages for Game Development

The gaming sector has come a long way from developing arcade games to creating sophisticated and immersive games that can captivate millions of people around the world. The demand for more interactive online games has increased in recent years. And the development of such advanced games is complicated.

A programming language plays the most important role in writing such games. If you failed to pick a suitable language, then your final product might not be able to meet the gamer’s expectations. So, it is highly recommended that you pick a programming language that has the capabilities to help you fulfill the requirements of your game development project.

Here, in this article, we are going to talk about the top programming languages that are highly reliable and used widely because of their capabilities.

1. C++

C++ is fast and efficient which makes it a suitable programming language for developing games. If the question is about creating high-performance games, then many developers around the world are going to opt for C++. Additionally, language offers a variety of debugging tools which proves to be helpful in game development.

Before running on the computer, C++ has to be converted into machine code because it is a compiler language. But it is beneficial as it helps the code of C++ to run faster.

C++ also possesses many programming paradigms including data-driven and object-oriented programming. C++ also provides a wide range of tools and libraries that can help develop games/ that is the reason why many popular game engines support C++.

Popular game engines using C++:

    Unity 3D

    Amazon Lumberyard


    Unreal Engine

Cons of C++:

    C++ is a memory-managed language

    C++ has a higher learning curve

2. Java

Java is a versatile programming language used widely across many industries. Having many strengths the same as C++, Java is also one of the best language developers can use for game development.

Games built using this language can run on various platforms. Having a Java Virtual Machine makes it a platform-independent language. The games you develop using Java can run on every single operating system no matter if it is related to desktop or mobile devices.

Java is one of the best programming languages that can be used to build Native applications with Android Studio. Although many game engines support this programming language, Java didn't turn out to be as fast as its competitor C++.

Game engines using Java:

    Java 3D



Cons of Java:

    The learning curve is high

    Slow in comparison to other languages, especially in legacy devices

3. JavaScript (with HTML and CSS)

Among the programming languages that are widely used for game development, JavaScript is the only one that has a lower learning curve. Although this language is also not as fast as C++ or even Java, it is ideal for the development of 2D games.

Strictly speaking, HTML and CSS are not the programming languages, they are still considered as important technologies. HTML is used widely to design the structure of the game whereas CSS is used to style the game.

Games developed using javaScript can run on any web browser. Such games are easy to distribute. Still, instead of having high sales, JavaScript-based games aren't popular or used widely in comparison to the games built with other languages.

Popular game engines using JavaScript:




Cons of JavaScript:

    Very slow in comparison to other languages

    Not popular either

    JS-based games can be played on browsers only

4. C#

C# programming language is developed by Microsoft. It offers most of the advantages of C++ and more. It is claimed to be an ideal choice for creating both 3D and 2D games.

Being very easy to learn is one of the biggest benefits C# has over C++. C# is also a cross-platform programming language which means the games created using this language can run on every platform including Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

Microsoft created an integration between C# and Visual Studio which is quite helpful for the game developers. The testing and debugging tools that come with C# are also beneficial.

Popular game engines using C#:


    Unreal Engine


Cons of C#:

    Although it offers more advantages, C# is still not used as widely as its competitors.

    C# is limited to the Microsoft ecosystem

5. Lua

Lue is a lightweight scripting language that is mainly used in the gaming industry. Lua can be learned easily. Its use is easy too. And as a bonus advantage, it is very fast.

Game developers use Lua to create logic for their games. Sometimes, Lua is embedded with other programming languages to create advanced games that have very complex mechanics.

Although Lua is still not popular enough to be used widely by game developers, many game engines prefer to support it and many developers opt for creating 2D games.

Popular game engines using Lua:




Cons of Lua:

    Neither popular nor used widely

    The use of this language is limited to the gaming industry only

    not as widely used.

6. Swift

Apple created a high-performance programming language that can be used to create software for all of its platforms including tv OS, Mac OS, iOS, iPad OS, and Watch OS. The name of this language is Swift which is also capable of providing features that are suitable for game development projects.

In addition to performance, Swift also has great speed which is very beneficial for developing games. Even demanding tasks like gaming seem easy if you compile the code of Swift into a machine code as it runs very smoothly and efficiently.

If you are working on a project to build a large and complex game, then it is essential to maintain your code and keep it secure. Swift comes with an Automatic reference Counting and string-type system that can help you with that. It also brings along libraries like SceneKit and SpriteKit which developers can leverage to add some high graphics in 2D as well as 3D games.

Popular game engines using Swift:




Cons of Swift:

      Swift can be used for only Apple platforms

      Game engine support is very low

7. Python

If there is a need for rapid prototyping of a game, Python has become a go-to programming language. Although Python is a high-level programming language, it is very flexible. If you are one of those developers that want to quickly iterate and refine the designs of the game then Python is the ideal choice for you.

Python has a simple syntax, so it is very easy to learn. You don't need any prior knowledge or experience in programming or app development to learn Python. This programming language provides a standard library that offers support for basic sound, networking, and graphics. This makes the game development process easier.

Game engines offer scripting interfaces to the developers using Python which allows them to create logic and mechanics for the game without the need of writing a single line of code with a complicated programming language.

Popular game engines using Python:



Cons of Python:

      No hardware control or memory management


Picking a programming language can determine many things like what kind of platforms would support your app, which tools you can access for development purposes, and what might be the level of performance of your app. In short, the success of your project depends very much on what kind of programming language you choose.

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or an experienced developer, if you are working in the field then you need to know the strengths and weaknesses of every programming language. This helps you choose the most suitable language for your software development project, in this case, game development.

Here in this blog, we have discussed the basics of the 5 best programming languages that you can use for game development. Apart from that, we have also seen which programming languages are preferred by game engines and what their limitations are. So, I hope it helps you make an informed decision for your game development project.