Which Lua IDE is good for learning Lua?

I would like to try Lua separately from gamedev for learning. Which IDE is the best for it? I did find few ways:

  1. VScode with lua extention (Lua by sumneko);
  2. Any distro of Neovim. LunarVim, for example;
  3. VScode + VSCode Neovim (by Alexey Svetliakov) extention.

You don’t really need much to explore Lua outside of a game engine. Any text editor will do, and the Lua executable and a terminal.

Although I assume from your question that you are looking for autocompletion, static code analysis and similar helpful systems?


Thank you! I just looking for getting programming skills alongside of gamedev. But gamedev is first for me. I did find info that Lua isn’t popular in commerce (outside of gamedev). However, I did find some popular Lua projects on GitHub and got an interest: “What can I do with Lua?”
Also, defold-kinematic-walker extention was written in Lua without C/C++. In couse of it, I decided that I need good understanding of Lua. Also I bought paper book from Lua developer (unfortunetly only 2006 year of publishing was available in my region).
In conclusion, I think, I was doing in incorrect order. Firstly I need to learn Defold manuals and practice at basic things.

I’ll admit most of my defold problems are with my own code. As the code complexity grows, there’s no avoiding that the developer makes more mistakes in lua than strongly typed languages.

I love the built in editor for lua, but the worst part of defold dev remains the fact that I make a lot of typos as I go and these things would normally be caught as I type them in other languages.

I’d rather not use a non-lua language like haxe or typescript just to solve the native problems of lua, so if you have some advice for people using lua, please do share!

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For me, I got less mistakes in untyped languages than in typed. It’s because the untyped languages are flexible, I don’t need to declare its type but through its value I know exactly its current type. I feel more comfortable when writing code in lua, js than others :slight_smile:


Yeah, that’s not the problem. When you make a typo will be the problem. You won’t get an error, and behaviour bugs will creep in over time.

This can’t happen in typeed languages, or even lua with the correct diagnostics.

What typo won’t give you an error? Can you be more specific?
If you installed a good linter plugin, it will highlight the typos for you.
In Defold Editor, we have Linting and Code Navigation in the code editor (you may already known)

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This should not be a problem. Defold uses the language features of Lua 5.1 which was released in February 2006. You probably have the right book!

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Lua is used for AI image or video generators.
So a skill in Lua is usefull beyond of gamedev.

There is a LSP extension that integrates with the editor: Lua language server

We want this as part of the vanilla editor experience as well, but in the meantime you can use this extension.


I tried Neovim NVchad and LunarVim distros. It is just a brain explosion, far beyond of gamedev necessities. At Lua forum in Reddit expirienced users recomend VScode. However, Notepad++ and ZeroBrane also support Lua. (I just looked something for diving myself in Lua).