Top 7 Programming Languages for Game Development

Rancho Labs
5 min readAug 26, 2021

Gaming industry is one that is constantly evolving and growing to keep their players satisfied and this takes a lot of effort since decisions like which programming languages to use while coding for a game depends on factors like, the level of interactivity, the type of console be it a computer or a phone and more. Behind every seamless, beautifully animated and flawlessly executed game there is always a set of codes or programming that makes it appear this way!

Coding in game development makes any imagination, any possible story one wants to pursue, possible and playable. The graphics and simulations that enrapture a player comes mainly from lines of code that specify what or how the game, it’s characters, their movements and stories should be. Creating worlds would take Thanos-like abilities that none possess in reality, however, in gaming, not even the skies are the limit because if one can imagine it, one can surely make it happen!

It therefore goes without saying that people who are interested in gaming and game development should know which programming languages will come in handy when developing your very own game. So let’s check out the top programming languages in play for game development.

1. C++

Initially built as an extension of the C programming language, this language quickly came to its own owing to it’s object oriented programming capacity and generic programming, having a high level of abstraction and running speed since it has the ability to control low level system components along with graphical processing.

Despite being one of the most technical and therefore the toughest programming to learn, game developers prefer this language due it’s long list of pros and optimization abilities even for high level codes. Being platform independent and having better memory management skills it allows better control over the game overall performance making it a crucial to know language for all game developers.

Games like Witcher 3, Football Pro, Master of Orion III along with other big console and windows games were developed using this language.

2. Java

A beginner friendly programming language, it owes its versatility to a rich collection of open source material. It is commonly used for multiplayer desktop and mobile games with enhanced performance. When compared to C++, this programming language offers easy learning, writing, debugging and compiling.

The codes created on Java runs on the Java Virtual Machine which converts the codes into bytecodes. This allows Java coded games to be able to run any platform making it a popular developing language.

Java has been used to build games like Mission Impossible III, Fifa 11, Minecraft and more.

3. JavaScript

It is a high level programming language that is best suited for interactive online games. It can integrate web technology related programming like CSS and HTML far better when compared to other languages allowing for it to be used in cross platform development of games with animations or interactions, which with just HTML or CSS is not possible.

This helps developers create less resource demanding, browser based and mobile based games that are easier to share. Popular games developed with JavaScript include Hangman, Little Alchemy, PolyCraft and Miner Dash.

4. HTML5

A top choice among preferred game developing language programs, this programming language is apt for cross platform game development for different browsers and apps. It is also used alongside JavaScript to introduce animations and interactivity to online games which cannot be done with HTML5.

It is preferred for the gaming experience and graphics which can be provided due to its capable gaming engines. It is a simple language to learn and therefore used by beginners and others alike to create top notch games.

Some popular games made using HTML5 alone are CrossCodes, Treasure Arena, Sketchout and Bejeweled.

5. Python

It is yet another high level programming language with an Object Oriented Programming approach available. It is highly user friendly and flexible and it allows game creators to quickly create prototypes with its Pygame framework.

Games created with this programming language include Battlefield 2, Disney’s Toontown Online, Freedom Force and more.

6. C#

It is a top notch programming language that uses XNA framework to create games for both Xbox and Windows. It is easier to use when compared to C++, with its game engines, Unity3D and Xamarin enabling game developers to build games on platforms like Android, PlayStation and iOS.

It is cross platform compliant and has automatic memory management features making it an attractive choice for game developers since they focus on other aspects of development.

Some of the games developed using this programming language are, SuperMario Run, Pokemon Go, Stardew Valley and more.

7. Lua

It is a lightweight multi platform compliant programming language that is fun and efficient to use, easy to run for video game development. This language can be embedded into many other applications making it convenient for game creators and players to alter the game as they see fit.

Gaming engines like Corona SDK, CryEngine etc., use Lua as their primary coding language. Games developed using this coding language include Angry Birds, American Girl, World of Warcraft, Age of Conan and more.

Every language mentioned here has its own nuances, capabilities and disadvantages when compared to the other. It therefore falls on the developer to decide which programming language will render the most benefits for their games design and choose accordingly. This is applicable even for enthusiasts who are looking to venture out to the field of programming in game development. So find your niche and make the game of dreams come true using these programming languages!



Rancho Labs

Tech enthusiasts fostering young minds to have a strong foothold in Coding | Robotics | Artificial Intelligence.