Roblox uses Lua coding language and one of its most impressive features is its expandability. Using its own proprietary modification tool, Roblox Studio, almost any kind of game – or ‘experience’ – can be produced. This is achieved using what is called a scripting language.
Hello! I’m Jamie, and – over the past couple of decades – I’ve created mods for a number of titles (including Doom, Neverwinter Nights, and Minecraft), when not writing my own basic applications and games.
In this article, I’m going to discuss what coding language Roblox uses, how Roblox games are made, how you can start learning to produce your own games, and also answer some questions we frequently encounter regarding Roblox development.
Now, let’s get into it!
Why is Roblox Scripting Useful?
Roblox scripting is useful for a variety of reasons; the most obvious one is that it allows you to create your own games within the Roblox universe. With enough work, you’ll be able to design the kinds of rules, logic, and gameplay elements that you’ve always wanted to see in a game.
Learning to use scripting will also allow you to edit experiences provided by other creators (so long as they allow the source of their game to be copied). This lets you see the gears and bolts under the hoods of certain games, which means you can then implement those same ideas into your own projects.
Another good reason to learn Roblox scripting is that it will provide you with an understanding of game design, as well as the fundamental skills needed for software development.
Does Roblox use C++ or Lua?
Although C++ is undoubtedly the most popular game programming language today, Roblox scripting uses Lua exclusively. Technically, it uses its own derivative of Lua 5.1 called Luau, but they are syntactically the same.
While you could feasibly modify the client (the program which connects your computer to Roblox’s servers) using C++, doing so would be unnecessarily complicated (plus, your ability to create games would be significantly impaired if not nonexistent).
What is Lua?
Lua is a “high-level” programming language, meaning that its commands – or “syntax” – are usually easier to read than “low-level” languages like Java or C++/C# (which tend to use more cryptic commands).
Created in 1993 at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Lua was conceived as a scripting solution which would allow anyone – whether or not they were professional programmers – to extend existing software.
How to Learn Roblox Lua?
Scripting with Roblox is particularly accessible, thanks to a wide number of great tutorials available online.
The best way to learn is really to jump right in, and a great place to start is the official Roblox DevHub. There is also the DevForum, where you can ask questions and read existing discussions with regards to scripting.
There are also dozens of other ways to learn Roblox:
- Online tutorials
- Physical books
- And more
However, our advice is to use one of the above links for a good, comprehensive introduction to scripting for Roblox.
Benefits of Learning Lua
Lua might allow you to bring your Roblox ideas to life, but the benefits of learning it will go far beyond that.
Today, it’s used in a wide variety of applications; having an understanding of Lua means you’ll be able to modify other popular games (such as Civilization VI, Dark Souls, and Garry’s Mod) as well as a variety of productivity applications (like MySQL, Apache, and VLC Media Player).
It’s also worth noting that Lua can be used to create games using the LOVE (a popular 2D game engine), Defold (another engine, useful for writing browser and mobile games), and even the PICO-8 fantasy console.
There also exist proprietary tools such as Codea editor (available on iOS devices), which allow you to create and convert your Lua applications into Xcode (meaning that you could, in theory, write a game on your iPad and then release it as an official app in the App Store!).
Is Roblox Scripting Hard?
The truth is that learning to write good Roblox scripts will require a significant amount of time and effort; before you even begin to understand how a Roblox game is put together, you’ll first need to ensure that you have a good understanding of the fundamentals of computer programming.
The good news is that this will almost definitely prove to be time well spent. Not only will your Lua knowledge be transferable to other applications, you’ll also be able to use your new understanding of loops, functions, and data sets in picking up other languages.
On top of that, you’ll also start to understand processes which are more specific – and instrumental – to game development; debugging, game events, and effective use of object and world space.
Here are some common questions we get about Roblox and Lua.
What coding language does Minecraft use?
Minecraft is written in Java, and learning to create your own Minecraft mods can be a great way to learn one of the more complex programming languages out there. There are a variety of fantastic tutorials out there which can help you get started.
Two Minecraft modding tutorials we would specifically recommend are A Grownup’s Guide to Minecraft and Writing Minecraft Mods and CodaKid’s Ultimate Guide to Minecraft Modding with Java.
On the other hand, Minecraft: Education Edition provides a much more accessible environment for creating your own modifications to the game. It does this by using a block-based, visual-coding environment. Additionally, it also lets users see how their mods affect the game in real-time!
Does Roblox use Python?
While it’s possible to interact with Roblox using Python (via third-party wrappers such as RobloxPy), this has never been officially supported. We’d recommend using the official Lua-based tools, instead.
Programming is a wonderful skill to have, and can benefit everyone in a number of ways; it’s good for your career, it’s fun to do, and it helps to improve your problem-solving abilities.
Learning with Roblox and it’s coding language Lua allows you to get instant results, but also makes the process of understanding programming concepts a lot more fun!
We really hope that this article has helped clarify exactly what’s involved in Roblox scripting, and – if you’re interested in learning how to do it yourself – that the resources we’ve provided prove to be useful.
Don’t forget to let us know what you thought in the comment section below!