Top 10 Mobile Game Development Languages You Should Learn Today

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DC Kumawat

DC Kumawat is the CEO of Orion InfoSolutions, a leading provider of IT solutions to businesses of all sizes. He has over 14+ years of experience in the IT industry. He is a passionate advocate for the use of technology to improve business performance.

Top 10 Mobile Game Development Languages You Should Learn Today

Introduction

Mobile gaming is booming, and the profitability its providing helped to become a billion-dollar gaming industry. Many startups have acknowledged mobile gaming demand and its substantial growth for them and the industry. Many years have passed, but the profitability of the gaming segment has remained the same. Top mobile game development solution providers focused on rich quality tools and technologies to integrate them into their systems. As a result, they got what they hoped for, a fruitful success and high revenue platform.

So behind every successful game development is its programming language which makes them fully functional. Building games for mobile, web, or desktops needs technology and a programming platform; game development is impossible without them. These programming languages are designed to develop mobile applications, games, and web solutions. Every once year, new programming languages are launched that deliver new ways of developing solutions with ease.

But as I mentioned above, countless programming tools are available, making it difficult to decide which one to choose for your project. As a developer, you can only learn some programming languages in one day, week, or month. An extraordinary person can't do that as well. So what to do? How can you decide which programming language you should choose for your project? And how can you be sure that your chosen language is good enough for your development?

This question always gives me headaches. And I think yours too! But today, I have found the solution, and in this post, I will be telling you all about the top mobile game development languages you can use in your game project. These programming languages are currently one of the top gaming solutions in 2023.

What Is Game Programming Language?

Not all programming languages are capable enough to develop games, whether it's a mobile platform or desktop. Game programming languages are specially designed to work with gaming structures. These languages proficiently create a base to work around with gaming animations.

Languages that are designed to write games are called game development programming languages. These languages are certainly different from normal programming, and the components of each programming framework and platform are different too.

However, some platforms are for everything, like app development, software development, web development, and game development. But the language and codes used for game development separate them from normal programming languages.

For example, some programming languages ​​are designed for data science (such as R), while some are designed for web development (such as JavaScript).

The best language for game development should be:

Fast and Light

The language used for game development cannot be slow to compile. Many players expect real-time action and a better gaming experience.

Strong

Today's games are extremely complex and comprise heavy graphics. A mobile game programming language has to support large amounts of data and complex graphics that needs to be robust.

Well-Integrated

Game programmers must work closely with artists, graphic, object, and model designers. They should be able to import the art assets into the game.

Well-Supported

Specifically, these languages work very well with game development kits and game development engines. You can have the best game development languages ​​in the world, but they are useless if no one uses them or doesn't know the basic programming languages.

Furthermore, many game developers look for code that is simple, easy, and can be deployed rapidly. Because so many game developers are also one-person shops, game developers often look for the best programming language for the game for beginners.

What Are The Top Mobile Game Development Languages You Should Learn?

1. C++

Game development is a resource-intensive process that requires a programming language to work with. And game codings and languages are the segments that enable game designing and development. C++ is simple to understand and an object-oriented programming language.

This language is an upgraded version of C language that is billions of game programmers' no. 1 choice for game creation. C++ is a basic programming language that every developer is familiar with. Many AAA and standard mobile, PC, and Console games have been developed in C++.

C++ Features

  • A portable, high-level, and object-oriented programming language
  • Simple and easy to understand
  • Built-in libraries are included to provide various functions to the programmers
  • A compiled programming language that improves the speed of program execution

C++ Pros

  • Fast and stable and has a huge pool of ready-to-use in-built libraries and compilers
  • If you know C++, then you can quickly learn JAVA, C, C#
  • No garbage collector running in the background
  • Full control and the app can run on any platform and hardware

C++ Cons

  • Complicated syntax, small standard library
  • Most complicated programming language to master
  • It may not support garbage collection or dynamic memory allocation
  • Object orientation is required as compared to other languages

2. C#

Similar to C and C++ language but C#, which is also known and pronounced as (C-Sharp) is used for advanced-level game development. C# compiled programs to common language runtime or CLR. This language is much more powerful than C and C++. The C# language enables game developers to build secure and robust gaming solutions that run in . NET.

C# is a strong, easy-to-integrate programming language for developing a rich-quality app and game solutions. It comprises everything that other languages have. Nevertheless, it has some great features that others don't.

C# Features

  • A modern, well-structured, and scalable programming language
  • It contains a rich-function library for programmers
  • Ensures the security of an application with type-safe code
  • C# is an interoperable and updatable database Structure

C# Pros

  • High-level language with memory access capabilities
  • C# designed as a part of the .NET platform
  • Extensive assets of .NET frameworks and cross-platform runtimes
  • Visual Studio as a native IDE
  • Inbuilt garbage collector
  • Type-safe language with dynamic capabilities
  • Thorough documentation
  • Large community

C# Cons

  • C# performance isn't the absolute best
  • Dependence on the .NET platform
  • Hard learning curve

3. Lua

Lua is a lightweight, flexible, high-level programming language that is less popular than other languages. However, many AAA games like Angry Birds, Civilization V, and Elder Scroll Online are developed in Lua. This programming language is based on Java, which makes it more efficient and scalable.

Lua Features

  • Cross-platform support
  • Easy to use and efficient
  • Robust programming structure
  • Adaptable to broad types of application

Lua Pros

  • Better response time
  • Written in C language that can manipulate easily
  • Thorough documentation

Lua Cons

  • Small community

4. Swift

Swift is an iOS programming language developed by Apple. This programming language is only for Apple platforms. Swift is used to developing iOS, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch apps and games. The language is intuitive and fun to write, as the platform has a vibrant coding structure. This helps game developers to build robust, secure, and interactive game designs.

Swift Feature

  • Powerful generics
  • Package manager
  • Native error handling
  • Debugging
  • Structs and classes
  • Source and binary compatibility

Swift Pros

  • Rapid development process
  • Easier to scale the project requirements and the team
  • Improved performance
  • Speed of development and safety
  • Decreased memory footprint
  • Interoperability with Objective-C
  • Full stack potential and cross-device support

Swift Cons

  • The language is still quite young
  • Limited talent pool
  • Poor interoperability with third-party tools and IDEs
  • Incomplete cross-platform support
  • Lack of support for earlier iOS versions

5. Java

Java uses the same object-oriented programming principles used by C++ but provides a wider range of systems to play with. Java code usually runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and gets translated into normal bytecode executable on any system.

So, Java is one of the few game programming languages ​​that allow developers to develop games for any system. It is one of the best and most used programming languages ​​for game development.

Java Features

  • A robust, server-side programming language
  • Compiled and interpreted
  • It is independent of platforms and environments, meaning it is architecture neutral
  • Ensures program security with access modifiers and virtual machine sandbox

Java Pros

  • Popular for code reusability and portability
  • Java code can run in multiple environments, virtual machines, browsers, and on different platforms
  • Protects developers from issues introductory in native coding structure, memory leaks, etc
  • Flexible, versatile, portable, and platform-independent programming language
  • Clear interface, simplified and machine-independent language

Java Cons

  • There may be some bugs when running JAVA in a virtual machine - JVM
  • Low-quality written class libraries and a complex syntax
  • Complex implementation due to poor garbage collection

6. HTML 5

HTML5 has become one of the most common game programming languages for the web, iOS, and Android platforms. Most of the mobile games you developed today to use this markup language. Creating a sophisticated web-based game is effectively easy with the help of JavaScript languages.

The language is easy to learn, does not require complex programming knowledge of algorithms, and is becoming a popular choice for game developers.

HTML 5 Features

  • Video and audio are the new tags
  • An SVG element is for the scalable vector graphics
  • Semantic tags in HTML5
  • Figure and figcaption
  • Controlling the display
  • Adaptability

HTML 5 Pros

  • No compatibility issues with all browsers; new features and standards have already appeared
  • Built-in ability to support rich media formats such as audio and video
  • Loads faster using local storage or cache
  • Canvas elements are used for embedding applications based on geolocation, dynamic graphics, offline/online games, and animations

HTML 5 Cons

  • Requires a large amount of coding for each platform
  • Not supporting older versions or systems causes backward compatibility issues
  • It takes more time to develop a mobile app as each platform has its coding requirements
  • In terms of customization or adding features, HTML5 adjusts the code, and tools for iOS and Android move behind the official SDK
  1. JavaScript

JavaScript is best for cross-platform mobile app and game development, mobile apps for different platforms, and web-based. JavaScript is so popular that it is the most widely used programming language in the world, used by 97.0% of all websites as a client-side programming language. Therefore, many advanced-level developers still use this best programming language for apps and game creation.

JavaScript Features

  • A lightweight, platform-independent, and prototype-based language
  • Supports dynamic typing and object-oriented programming
  • Can validate user input and client-side calculations
  • Built-in date and time functions

JavaScript Pros

  • Resourceful and flexible language and easy workaround through Node.js
  • Faster and doesn't need to be compiled on client-side browsing
  • Efficient working structure and easy to control
  • There is no standard and lots of room for variation

JavaScript Cons

  • Not completely secured and, in some cases, can be exploited for malicious purposes
  • You may face some browser support issues in some cases
  • The same output from server-side scripts always, and the client-side is a bit unpredictable

8. Objective-C

Objective-C is an extended programming language of the C language and is a general-purpose, ideal, object-acquainted platform. It comes with some great fresh features similar to the Smalltalk-style messaging. Well streamlined and complete game development programming language, Objective-C is substantially used for macOS and iOS apps, game development, and operating system.

Objective C Features

  • Great memory management structure
  • Provides better support for binary libraries
  • Interoperability with C++ and Objective-C
  • Many third-party libraries help in the development

Objective-C Pros

  • Objective-C is a well-tested language, as it has been in existence for many years
  • A lot of code is written in Objective-C. There are several well-documented, third-party frameworks out there
  • Objective-C is compatible with C and C++ programming languages
  • Since Objective-C is a superset of C, code in C and C++ runs smoothly on it
  • Objective-C is stable
  • If you have developed your app on Objective-C, then you don't need to spend money on migrating

Objective-C Cons

  • Objective-C is difficult to learn because of its complex syntax
  • It differs from many other popular programming languages ​​in the way that Swift is preferred over it
  • A small number of developers are interested in learning Objective-C because it is difficult to learn
  • Objective-C is not as secure as other programming languages
  • An app developed with Objective-C is more prone to hackable than Swift

9. Python

Python is best for mobile game development and has become a prominent choice for game programmers. The language's simplicity and coding speed make Python an excellent choice for prototyping. With the help of Python, developers can instantly see the results in game programming.

Therefore, Python is also the perfect game development programming language to start your journey with game creation, whether you are already fluent in it or just starting.

Python Features

  • It has some great syntax
  • Ensures rapid application development
  • Can merge existing scripts
  • It is readable and clean code because it uses indentation
  • Using one of the many standard libraries can help with building a GUI

Python Pros

  • Fast, easy to use, quick to deploy, easy to learn, and excellent readability
  • The high-level programming language used for scientific and numerical data analysis, calculations, and software development
  • An interactive language used to create scalable apps and support GUI applications
  • Supports multiple systems and platforms
  • There is a huge set of frameworks that makes programming flexible

Python Cons

  • Slow execution time
  • Not Sufficient with modern mobile application development
  • Not a great choice for memory-intensive tasks
  • There are some drawbacks to data access

10. Kotlin

Kotlin is known as an advanced programming language of Java. Kotlin is an open-source, statically-typed "pragmatic" programming language designed for game development. The object-oriented and functional programming features make it a compiled best-suited programming language with extensive extension and library support. It focuses on programming language interoperability, safety, clarity, and tooling support. Many game developers have designed games using this language.

Kotlin Features

  • Cleaner, more compact syntax
  • Single-type system (almost)
  • Null safety
  • Functions and functional programming
  • Data classes
  • Extensions & Libraries
  • Operator overloading
  • Top-level objects and the Singleton pattern

Kotlin Pros

  • Maximize the productivity
  • Works with existing Java Code
  • Less maintaining hustle
  • Less Buggy, Reliable, and Easy to learn
  • Merges functional and procedural programming

Kotlin Cons

  • Compilation Speed
  • Less Kotlin professionals and Community
  • Limited sources to learn

How To Choose The Right Mobile Game Development Programming Languages?

Consider your experience, knowledge, and skill when choosing a mobile game development programming language. If you are a beginner-level developer, choose a programming language that is easy to learn and implement, just like (Java and Lua). And if you have a lot of experience and know how to use and code advanced game, choosing a high-level programming language such as (C# or C++) are ideal languages that utilize your skill level.

Additionally, these languages' utilization depends on the game development engine. Therefore, consider choosing a game engine compatible with the language you want to write your game codes. If you know Unity or Unreal engine, these are the top two game development engines that 70% of game developers use. These platforms reduce your time of writing the codes from scratch. These game engines incorporate most programming languages like JAVA, C, C#, C++, and many more.

Often people will tell you that there is no choice and that all languages ​​are the same and were developed to serve a particular purpose. However, it can be quite confusing if you are new to mobile game development and lack knowledge about programming languages.

So, if you are in a dilemma, the following factors can easily help you choose the best language:

  • Target Platform
  • Flexibility of Language
  • Production Time
  • Performance, Support & Community
  • Purpose of Creating the Product
  • Programmer Skills & Knowledge

Conclusion

Your game development platform will heavily influence the best programming language for game development. Whether you're interested in using Unity or Unreal or programming Android or iOS games, you'll need to find a language well-suited for your goals.

But if you're just interested in learning a useful, all-purpose language that's also used in game development, you can't go wrong with C#, Python, Java, or JavaScript. Whether you're developing games for windows or mobile devices, these languages ​​are flexible enough to get the job done.

Take the next step and try out these languages in game development and see which allows a better environment and platform.

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