Unity is a leading game development engine used by about 70% of game developers globally. This platform provides numerous features and tools to build games for several devices, including consoles, desktops, virtual reality/augmented reality, and mobile devices. Its popularity in game development is partly attributed to its ability to support multiple popular programming languages, which attracts a wider user base.
But what languages does Unity support? Well, determining which programming language to use for Unity game development can be challenging. But we’re here to help you pick out the top programming language to use when building games with Unity. Join us as we review the top five coding languages compatible with the Unity development engine. But before that, let’s start with some basics.
Why Choose Unity as Your Game Development Engine?
Unity is a robust and user-friendly game development engine that enables you to build everything from 2D platforms to comprehensive 3D games in one platform. Small-scale developers can use Unity for free, attracting those interested to learn more about it.
What’s more, Unity provides numerous resources online. These resources are valuable for anyone interested in learning more about Unity game development.
Here are some reasons why you should choose Unity game development:
- Simple and intuitive user interface.
- Strong and supportive.
- Rich asset store, where you can access numerous pre-built components.
- Next-level graphics.
- Excellent cross-platform capabilities and features.
Top 5 Coding Languages for Unity Game Development
Here are some fundamental coding languages for Unity game development:
The Unity game development engine supports C# natively. Therefore, it is the most popular coding language for developing games on Unity. C# is a modern language built by tech giant Microsoft. As an object-oriented programming language (OOP), C# has been used to create numerous applications, including video games. So, if you have prior experience in OOP, C# would be an excellent choice.
But Why C# For Unity Game Development?
The C# programming language supports several features like classes, polymorphism, inheritance, and objects and has a clean syntax, making it easier to learn.
Also, the Unity game development engine uses Mono, a cross-platform implementation of the Microsoft .NET framework, which is based on the C# coding language. As a result, all Unity libraries are developed using C#.
Furthermore, Unity constantly introduces new features, pushing further what you can do with C#. With Unity confirming that it considers C# as its only canon development language, it’s safe to say that it is one of the best programming languages for Unity game development.
Another top programming language compatible with the Unity game development engine is C++. As a low-level coding language, C++ is often used to create high-performance apps, including games.
C++ is often used by developers to create plugins in Unity game development. But why do developers need plugins in Unity game development? Here are some instances where a plugin would be suitable:
- When you want to access a codebase already built using a different programming language.
- To boost the speed of your game.
Although Unity has an extensive library and Asset Store, sometimes you may need to use plugins to enhance its capabilities. C++ programming language can help you build these scripts into dynamic link library plugins, saving you from having to rewrite the code. In some instances, it enhances performance.
The list of top coding languages compatible with the Unity game development engine cannot be complete without Rust. This programming language is used in system programming solutions such as game development.
Developed in 2009 by Mozilla, Rust is a modern programming language that has gained significant popularity in recent times. It is a fast and safe language that offers memory safety without affecting performance. Rust is an excellent alternative for writing native plugins for performance-sensitive tasks like game mechanics.
But Why Use Rust in Unity Game Development?
Rust is a favorite coding language, particularly for experienced programmers. Here are some reasons why developers prefer Rust for Unity game development:
- It provides a remarkable degree of control over your game components.
- It is developer-friendly, overcoming the setbacks of coding languages such as C++, which may feel unfriendly at times.
Note: Developers cannot directly write Rust in Unity. However, they can access methods and functions written in Rust from their Unity code. This is an alternative way to develop native plugins in Unity.
Developers often leverage Rust’s ability to seamlessly integrate with other programming languages. It allows them to call Rust functions and methods directly from C# or other programming languages leveraging Unity’s DllImport attribute.
Game developers often find Python unsuitable for developing games. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to use it, especially when using the Unity game development engine. IronPython is the answer.
This coding language combines .NET and Python and is used to write scripts for game logic. However, you must download the IronPython libraries from GitHub and refer to them in C#. Despite being in the market for over 10 years, IronPython is actively being developed.
Lua is an easy-to-learn scripting language thanks to its simple syntax. It is used in developing games on Unity, specifically in writing game logic and AI. As a lightweight scripting language, Lua helps developers produce high-performance games using the Unity game development engine.
MoonSharp, a Lua interpreter, is among the best implementations of a third-party coding language for Unity. It is used to describe design levels and objects independently from your primary game code. With MoonSharp, you can interface with your code effectively.
Even more interestingly, Lua is freely available on Unity’s Asset Store. This means that you can directly import it into your game development project.
Unity is a powerful game development engine that supports various coding languages. These languages include C#, C/C++, Rust, IronPython, and Lua. Although developers cannot directly use specific languages like IronPython and Rust in Unity game development projects, they can call scripts written in these languages from Unity’s primary coding language, C#. This enables them to build robust games for multiple platforms while delivering a better gameplay experience.