Programming Languages You Need to Know for a Career in Game Design


Today, games are written in a wide variety of programming languages. The type of language used will depend on the game type and operating platform that it will run on. However, the industry does use some languages more than others. Often, job adverts for games developers will specify one or two coding languages that applicants must be proficient in.

Anyone who aspires to become a games designer must have a firm foundation in the programming languages favored by the gaming industry. This article reviews the languages you need to know for a successful career in gaming development.

Why game design?

There are many reasons you may want to go into game design. It can be a very diverse and interesting career, where you create new games and apps. Perhaps it is your goal to create the next RPG sensation. Or you want to craft a new generation of online games. With the iGaming sector constantly growing, casino games could be an interesting option for game designers to get into. Websites like Dunder offer an interesting example of how considered gaming design is even influencing the world of online casinos. Their graphics are described as being fresher, more modern, and intuitive than the average online gaming site. This shows how much a gaming brand relies on effective programming skills. A fluent understanding of the basic coding languages is essential for innovation in the gaming industry.

No matter what types of games you want to specialize on, the following programming languages could be helpful to know.


For those who first started to code through HTML, JavaScript is the natural segue into learning languages for gaming development. It is compatible with HTML and CSS, making it perfect for browser and mobile-based games. Diablo JS and Browser Quest are based on JavaScript. This is probably the best option for you if you are just starting out in coding. Once you have mastered it, you should turn your attention to Java for more complex games that can run on a PC or a console.


Java is one of the easiest languages to pick up. Its popularity around the world is another plus. There are so many free online resources out there that you can draw on a whole library of code to start building your first game. Many independent and mobile-based games are based on Java, as well as popular favorites like Ferrari GT, Minecraft, and FIFA 11. It is a cross-platform language, meaning that a Java-based game built on Windows can also work on a macOS and vice versa.


C++ is used by over 24 percent of game developers today. It is an object oriented language, meaning you can break down your code into parts and reuse them, which can make designing new games much more efficient. It also gives the developer the ability to directly manipulate graphics and hardware. This is the language behind many bestselling games like Starcraft, Assassins Creed, Doom, and Football Pro. After learning Java and JavaScript, C++ should be the next language on the list for any aspiring games designers.


Pokemon Go, Temple Run and Assassin’s Creed Identity are built in C#. This language is simple and there are tons of courses available online for it. It is especially easy to pick up if you are already well-versed in C++. Because it is so high level, you don’t have much control over the basic mechanics of game design with this language. However, this can be an advantage since it allows you to focus on the macro features of the game design. It is also great for game optimization. Anyone looking to sharpen their programming skills for the gaming industry should take a look at C#.