Top 8 Programming Languages For Game Developers

The choice of programming language for game developers depend on the game type (console, computer or mobile) and the extent of interactivity.
programming languages for game developers

The gaming industry has been fast growing in India, as well as globally. According to Statista, the online gaming industry in the country was valued at Rs 76 billion last year and is expected to reach over Rs 155 billion by 2023. And behind every flashy and well-animated video game is a set of codes making the experience seamless for its users. Game developers use programming languages to create a game’s settings and mechanics. 

The choice of programming language depends on factors including the game type– console, computer game or mobile game; and the extent of interactivity. Here’s a list of top eight programming languages for game development


Despite its high entry barrier, C++ is one of the most popular and commonly used programming languages for game designers. It offers a high abstraction level for both fine object-oriented programming and generic programming, providing direct control over hardware and graphical processes. 

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Additionally, C++ allows the optimisation of special parts to a very high level– a feature almost impossible to achieve with other languages. 

C++ is used to build most big console and Windows games. Apart from that, popular games built using C++ include Counter-Strike, Football Pro, Starcraft, Master of Orion III. 


Given Java’s versatility and rich collection of open-source material, it is popularly used for the development of indie and mobile games. It is easy-to-use, is beginner friendly and can write a range of reusable system-agnostic code. When compared with C++, Java offers easy writing, debugging, learning and compiling. 

Games including the likes of Mission Impossible III, Minecraft, FIFA 11, and Ferrari GT 3: WOrld Track, have all been created using Java. 


HTML5 is one of the top choices by game developers to build cross-platform and cross-browser apps and games. Further, it can be interchangeably used with JavaScript. 

HTML5 is widely preferred for game development for its ultimate gaming engines. Game Frameworks including Construct 2, ImpactJS, Phaser, Turbulenz and Booty5 have taken the responsibility of the HTML5 Game Development process. 

Some popular games built with HTML5 include Cookie Clicker, Gods Will Be Watching, World Cup Penalty 2018. 


JavaScript is one of the best programming languages for interactive online games. It integrates with web technologies including CSS and HTML, allowing the development of cross-platform mobile games.

JavaScript is often used along with HTML5 since the latter cannot create animation or interactivity. Additionally, contributing to its popularity is JavaScript’s humongous online community and large number of frameworks. 

Some popular games made with JavaScript include Hangman, HexGI, Little Alchemy, Swoop and Polycraft. 


Although not as popular as Java or C++, Python is used for game development. Its PyGame library is developer-friendly, easy to use for building games and enables developers to prototype games quickly. Additionally, just like Java and C++, Python also runs on OOP principles. Its simple learning curve makes Python a go-to option for many game developers. 

Some popular games built using Python include Battlefield 2, Disney’s Toontown Online, Eve Online and Frets on Fire. 


Unreal Engine has developed the programming language UnrealScript or UScript. Like Java, UnrealScript is object-oriented without multiple inheritance. Major gaming platforms including the likes of Microsoft Windows, Android, Linux and Playstation use UnrealScript. 

However, in 2014, Epic Games had announced that Unreal Engine 4 would not be supporting UnrealScript. 

Some popular games developed using UnrealScript include Advent Rising, America’s Army, The Wheel Of Time, Batman- Arkham Knight and its series. 


Lua is a light weight, high level and multi-platform programming language that is easy to run, making it fun and efficient to be used for video game development. It can be designed to embed into many applications, making it convenient for developers and players to alter the game. 

Game engines including the likes of Gideros mobile, Corona SDK, and CryEngine, use Lua as its primary programming language. 

Some popular games developed using Lua are Age of Conan, American Girl, Angry Birds, and Aquaria. 


Despite considered easier than C++, C# is a powerful language. Its XNA framework makes it perfect for building games on Windows and Xbox. Additionally, C#’s game engine Unity3D and Xamarin enables developers to build games on all platforms including iOS, Android, PlayStation and Windows.  

C# is as popular in the gaming industry due to its efficiency and scalability. 

Popular games developed using C# include Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run. 

Debolina Biswas
After diving deep into the Indian startup ecosystem, Debolina is now a Technology Journalist. When not writing, she is found reading or playing with paint brushes and palette knives. She can be reached at

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