As the years go by, game development gets more and more accessible to people. As of today, it is even possible to build video games without even having to learn how to code.
Game engines like Unreal, Unity, Godot and others have “Visual Scripting” features that allow you to create the logic of your game by dragging and dropping blocks instead of having to write actual code.
While visual scripting might not give you the powerful access that you usually get using coding, it can still give you a decent amount of control, and it keeps getting better year after year.
With that said, What are the best game engines that do not require you to write code?
What game engine is the best for you will depend on your goals. If you want to create games for fun, then you can pick any of the game engines that are gonna be listed down below as they all have some great visual scripting integration.
However, if you are planning to eventually have game development as your career choice, then I suggest that you go for the more popular game engines. My personal choice has been Unity. Unreal and Godot are other excellent choices that you can go for.
With that said, here is a list of some of the best no-code game engines in no particular order:
1- Unity Engine
I strongly suggest Unity for any new game developer. Unity is one of the most popular game engines in the industry (it’s probably the most popular depending on how you measure it).
It has a lot of tutorials online that can get you started, and it has visual scripting capabilities that allow you to create games without having to write code.
What is even better than Unity’s own visual scripting solutions is the large number of assets on the asset store that are made by other game developers and artists.
The Unity asset store is full of engines , systems, and assets that are built specifically to help the developers that don’t know how to code, or are very early in their learning journey.
Making games with Unity has been my full time job for a while now. I learned it all online from both the official tutorials, and from the tutorials made by the large community behind the engine, and I would strongly recommend it to any new game developer whether they are just trying to make games for fun, or are trying to make a living out of game development.
2- GameMaker Studio
Undertail, which is one of the most popular indie games recently made, was developed using the Game Maker engine.
Game maker is a great tool for you to prototype and develop video games for fun. They have learning resources on their website that can get you started.
The engine has drag and drop features that can allow you to create the logic of the game without having to type any code.
They also support scripting if you ever decide that it is time for you to learn how to code.
3- Godot Engine
Godot is an increasingly popular open source game engine. The engine is packed with features, and it supports a lot of programming languages, including visual scripting.
Godot has built their own visual scripting features instead of using 3rd party solutions, and their visual scripting integrates very well with the rest of the engine.
I am planning to dive more into Godot in the future and possibly completely switch to it as the primary game development tool that I use.
The developers of the Godot engine are not showing any signs of stopping, and they’re pushing great features to the engine periodically. On top of all this, the engine is open source. How cool is that?
Edit: The Godot 4.0 version is not going to have visual scripting included. This means that you will have to learn how to code to use the 4.0 version of the engine. However, learning the GDScript language will not be difficult because the language is extremely similar to python, which is a very intuitive language to learn compared to other languages.
4- Unreal Engine
If this list was ordered from the best to worst, Unreal would definitely be somewhere in the top.
Unreal is known for its ultra realistic graphics. It is used to build AAA quality games, and is trusted by some of the biggest game development studios.
The good news is that Unreal is also another engine that supports visual scripting. You don’t have to learn C++ to be able to use unreal (though you will have much more control if you do).
You can use Unreal’s visual scripting capabilities to start building games without writing a single line of code yourself.
5- Cry Engine
Cry engine is another game engine with high quality graphics that supports visual scripting.
Cry engine’s “Flow Graph” lets you build game logic by creating and connecting nodes visually without having to write code.
Cry engine also has another visual scripting solution that they are calling “Schematyc”, however, the system is still in beta as of now, meaning that it is not production ready yet.
6- RPG Maker
RPG is a niche game engine that focuses on… well… RPGs obviously.
It has most of the features that you can think of when it comes to RPGs, and it is “Events” based. You use events to build the logic of your RPG game without needing to write any code.
Build box is another option that you can look at if you want a general purpose engine that doesn’t require coding skills.
It has templates that you can start from, and it also allows you to start completely from scratch and work your way up.
Each of the mentioned Engines has their own strengths and weaknesses. Unity and Godot are amazing for 2D, Unity, Unreal and CryEngine are great for 3D. The other mentioned tools are more beginner friendly and can get you started quickly.
If you are planning to make game development your career job, then I personally suggest that you either go with Unity, Unreal or Godot. I personally have been using Unity for a long time now, and I am planning on diving into Godot more very soon.
If you would like to read more, you can check these articles on the blog:|