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15 Free Coding Games To Learn Programming for Beginners

Have you ever read sci-fi books that envisioned the world becoming a digital utopia around this decade? The reality isn’t quite as glamourized – however, we are getting there as machine learning and AI technology is advancing like no other. In retrospect, learning to program is the trend now, and there are tons of free coding games that make it a fun experience.

Let’s be honest – programming as a beginner can be daunting. While it’s thrilling to see your first program run successfully, many people struggle to apply programming concepts to real problems. That said, there’s an abundance of resources to learn programming on your own from scratch and challenge yourself in several ways to grow skills.

Free Coding Games for Beginners

Many believe that the best way to learn anything is to think of it as a game where you need to keep conquering quests. This was probably the mindset when people were developing these 15 free coding games to learn to program for beginners, which we talk about below.

01. Vim Adventures

Vim Adventure is a free coding game based on vim editorVim is a text editor used by programmers worldwide – however, many complain that it is hard to understand even though it’s highly configurable. But once you’ve got hold of it, there are hardly any other text editors that you’d wish to switch to. Vim adventure feeds on that and can sow in the building blocks needed to use the vim tool to its full potential.

Key Features

  • Uses puzzles to teach users the application of Vim commands and shortcuts.
  • It comes with a Zelda-like interface that makes learning fun and interesting.
  • Vim key mapping feature lets users customize shortcuts to invoke frequently used actions.
  • One can simply use the keyboard to play the 13-level game, with the plot building up as they get to higher levels.

02. Code Combat

Code combat is a coding game.Code Combat is one of the best free coding games for both young and adult learners. It helps with teaching users the fundamentals of programming through interactive gaming. It has a clean and beginner-friendly interface with tasteful graphics that only add to its value. However, accessing harder levels may need premium accounts that start from $9.99 /mo or $99.0 /yr.

Key Features

  • Lets users choose the language they want to learn, such as Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, Lua, and more.
  • Google Classroom integration lets educators around the globe connect with users in an organized way.
  • Text-based coding allows beginners to experience actual coding environments for gameplay.
  • Clever integration allows educators and parents to stay connected with the user’s progress for K-12 students.

03. Blockly Games

Blockly uses block-based coding to teach programming.If you’ve ever heard of Scratch, you must have heard of Blockly. Blockly Games is a block-based coding game for beginners to help them understand the underlying concepts of each program. One can think of it much like a reverse program since you need to use blocks to run tasks, and if the tasks are successfully executed, you get to see the program code and relate the concepts.

Key Features

  • The game is 100% client-side, so it is highly secure and does not waste memory resources.
  • It is great for beginners of any age who wish to learn the basics of JavaScript.
  • One can run the game smoothly on any device and browser and log in to access their data.
  • The game is highly customizable and extensible, so educators around the globe can pair it up with any curriculum.

04. CheckiO

CheckiO is one of the best free coding games out there.CheckiO is one of those free coding games where you have to solve challenges using Python and TypeScript. It lets users experience real-time programming using an online text editor. One can even see other people’s solutions to the challenges if they are stuck, so the game is big on the trial and error learning method.

Key Features

  • Course instructors can see class progress with a single click and follow students’ work processes.
  • It comes with an internal search engine for finding specific solutions if you aren’t happy with progressive hints.
  • All CheckiO missions are Github-friendly, so users can customize or create their own missions starting with level 9.
  • PyCharm and WebStorm integration let users dive into real problem solving, even as beginners.

05. Ruby Warrior

Ruby warrior is a game.One of the aims of Ruby was to make it as beginner-friendly as possible. They even went as far as to create Kids Ruby to make learning easier for beginners. It is also a trendy language with tons of potential. However, if you are a beginner who wants to learn Ruby in a fun way, Ruby Warrior is the perfect coding game for you.

Key Features

  • In-browser Ruby interpreter lets users run ruby commands to make the warrior carry out tasks.
  • The play turn method lets users practice using ruby syntaxes with classes as you would do in a regular IDE.
  • Level grades motivate users to learn better coding techniques and range from S, A to F, S being the highest and F the lowest.
  • One can create golems that allow users to learn using complex logic and different classes.

06. Elevator Saga

Elevator saga is a free coding game that teaches programming efficiently.Elevator Saga is a JavaScript coding game where you have to transport people in elevators through a series of codes within a limited time. As far as free coding gams go, Elevator Saga aims to let users learn JavaScript coding in a way that prepares them to create neat programs while managing limited memory resources and challenging their minds.

Key Features

  • Help documentation and demo program let users learn how to use JavaScript Functions and commands.
  • Wiki and solutions feature provides help for users who are stuck at certain levels.
  • All codes are auto-saved locally, so users never lose data if they accidentally close the browser or device.
  • The ‘+/-‘ button can be used to control the elevator’s speed without coding and save time.

07. CodinGame

Coding game has the best interface as a free coding gameCodinGame is one of the most interactive free coding games out there that supports over 25 programming languages and allows users to compete globally once they have learned the core concepts. The game also allows users to do peer programming among friends and colleagues for an even better experience.

Key Features

  • The game’s intuitive interface allows users to code and runs the game side by side to help users relate the game to its code elements.
  • Logging in for the first time allows users to see an easy tutorial that sets them up for playing with ease.
  • The hints section tells users how they might complete a task on their own.
  • CodinGame’s forum feature allows players to discuss problems and get help from an international community of experienced programmers.

08. SQL Murder Mystery

SQL Murder Mystery is a free coding game based on SQL.While SQL isn’t a language that beginners instantly think of learning, it has a variety of uses in the corporate sector. However, if you are a fan of mystery games and wish to learn the SQL language, SQL Murder Mystery is the perfect game for you. It works through problem-solving to find out the killer in the game.

Key Features

  • You get to explore SQL database structures to help learn the syntax as beginners.
  • One can use Schema diagrams to solve the mystery as the game progresses.
  • The walkthrough feature helps users understand concepts such as SQL Queries and ERD.
  • Wildcards help players get the exact match to functions needed to solve the task at hand.

09. RoboCode

Robocode lets players build robot tanks.We’ve all played those arcade-style tank war games, at least ones in our childhood, and still appreciate those games today. Robocode feeds on just that and teaches programming to players who develop their battle tanks and dive into war with other players. Furthermore, one can grasp the fundamental Java and .NET concepts easily through this game.

Key Features

  • The game has a built-in code editor and supports external IDEs such as Eclipse, IntelliJ, or Netbeans.
  • Code Snippets provided in the RoboWiki can help users program faster while learning better.
  • Virtual combat extension lets users compete with players from around the world.
  • VS Code can be used to create .NET Robocode bots to assist your battles further.

10. Cyber Dojo – Coding Dojo

Cyber Dojo is a free coding game based on problem solving with a variety of languages.Cyber Dojo is a robust free coding game that lets beginners master a number of programming languages such as JavaScript, Python, PHP, Ruby, and more. Users are tasked with solving problems for different scenarios. The difficulty level increases as the game progress, but it’s only because the fun exercises are designed to challenge your brain.

Key Features

  • One can use their own scripts with the game to create custom exercises.
  • It does not need any setup or installation to begin playing or practicing.
  • Hosts are required to come up with their own solutions for configuration issues.
  • The game has a minimalist editor that lets users navigate easily.

11. Swift Playgrounds

Swift playgrounds is a swift based free coding game.If you are looking for free coding games dedicated to Apple products, your solution is Swift Playgrounds. It is game-based programming software that lets beginners learn Swift programming in a fun, interactive way. Moreover, it improves core programming concepts through puzzles and problem solutions.

Key Features

  • One can learn Swift commands, bug fixing, functions, and more using this game.
  • Users can build elements using concepts they have learned and understand how real-world programming works.
  • Tapping or clicking on commands lets users see what the command invokes.
  • The game comes with a guide to building your own apps for beginners to get started on swift projects later on.

12. FlexBox Froggy and FLexBox Defense

Flexbox froggy can be paired with Flexbox defense to provide the ultimate CSS flexbox learning.Since these two games are related, it’s only fair that we talk about them together. FlexBox Froggy is a game where you can learn CSS FlexBox skills with simple programs. Flexbox Defense is a game where you apply the CSS skills you learned in FlexBox Froggy to solve advanced problems.

Key Features

  • In FLexBox Froggy, the challenges introduce users to flexbox commands and syntax.
  • Clicking on the commands lets users see what it does in an easy-to-understand way.
  • Flexbox Defense starts with the concept of CSS Containers that help move towers into specific positions.
  • StartWave button helps users check their programs and fix any issues they might have.

13. Untrusted

Untrusted is a free coding game based on cracking the protagonist's reality.Untrusted is a JavaScript coding game where you have to solve problems. DR.Eval is the game’s protagonist whose reality must be altered for players to move to the next levels. The game uses a variety of keyboard shortcuts and introduces users to become accustomed to thinking out of the box when it comes to problem-solving.

Key Features

  • WASD keys are used to move around the game and can enhance logical thinking.
  • The API button helps users see references to how the functions work.
  • It is a multiplayer game that supports upto 16 players to work together to hack their way through Dr. Eval’s mind.
  • The reset feature helps users start anew where they are having trouble solving their current problem. 

14. Code Monster

Code monster has an easy to understand interface for users of all age.Code Monster allows complete beginners to take a dive into the JavaScript world where a monster teaches them to program through a series of texts. It is a super-easy game where you just have to follow the monster’s commands and see how the programs change the appearance of the out in the right-side panel.

Key Features

  • The game has a minimalist interface that anyone can navigate easily.
  • People can get through the game at their own pace – there is no time limitation.
  • The game progress is auto-saved by the browser, so data is not lost when a user exits the browser.
  • One can go back and re-do the commands unlimited times to fully understand a code concept.

15. CSS Diner

Beginners can learn CSS using CSS Diner free coding game.CSS Diner is a 32-level coding game where users can learn fundamental CSS skills and apply them immediately to see how it works. The game has a simple interface with a built-in code editor and introduces users to classes, IDs, selectors, and more. The illustrations on top of the editor act as hints when you hover over them.

Key Features

  • Typing in the selectors instead of clicking on pre-built blocks ingrains the concepts in the player’s mind.
  • It Lets the user get used to the CSS syntax and encourages them to keep trying until they can find the errors.
  • Players who are stuck can look at the solutions when they cannot figure out what to do.
  • Users can skip levels if they know how certain CSS elements work.

Parting Words

That was all the free coding games we wanted to talk about today. The games we mentioned were all beginner-friendly and added to their interest in learning a variety of programming languages. If you want to start your programming journey, we suggest you try it.

That said, we highly recommend coding games to start your journey because they challenge your thought process and improve critical thinking. If you liked to read this, do leave feedback as to what more you’d like in the future. Thanks!

Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan is a passionate enthusiast for technology. He admires all things tech and loves to help others understand the fundamentals of Linux, servers, networking, and computer security in an understandable way without overwhelming beginners. His articles are carefully crafted with this goal in mind - making complex topics more accessible.


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