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Alternatives to Scratch are other programming languages used for similar purposes. Although Scratch can be an amazing resource for learning to code and expressing one's talents, if one is more advanced at coding and requires a more advanced program, they may need to advance to other languages. Most of these alternatives are free like Scratch, but some of them are at a cost to use.

Note Note: Engines and programming may be hard to master, so it is most likely best to stay dedicated to a single engine/programming language you are trying to learn if you want to master it.

In software development, there are two main categories:

  • Programming — the code for the application
  • Modelling / Art — the visual interface of an application

Just as Scratch can be used to make games, animations and more, there are also other programming languages that can be used to create them.

Programming Alternatives

Drag and Drop Programming


Program Description Code On Code For
BYOB/Snap! Snap! is an advanced Scratch Modification with lambdas, first-class data, procedures, recursion, and many other features. Version 4.0 was renamed Snap! and was rewritten in JavaScript, and is thus no longer considered a Scratch modification. Desktop, Mobile Desktop, Mobile
Blockly A drag and drop language made by Google. It is used on many websites. It converts the Scratch-like language to another text-based language in real-time. This could be useful in learning traditional languages such as JavaScript or Python. This is used for Scratch 3.0. Desktop, Mobile Desktop, Mobile
Android App Inventor The Android App Inventor by Google allows Android apps to be created with a simple, Scratch-like interface. In fact, it was based on Scratch and coded by a team at MIT. Desktop Android
Stencyl Stencyl has an interface similar to Scratch, but it has slightly more advanced editing features. Desktop, Mobile Desktop, Mobile
Gamefroot An online game creation software for creating side-scrolling games. It has a drag and drop block editor for advanced scripting. Desktop, Mobile Desktop, Mobile
Pocket Code A visual programming language and app for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone smartphones, tablets, and HTML5 enabled mobile browsers. It is inspired by Scratch and developed by the Catrobat team as free open-source software. Android Android
Hopscotch An iOS-based application which is similar to Scratch but is simpler and easier to use. It's somewhat based in the middle of Scratch and ScratchJr. Hopscotch is primarily for iPad, with the player being the only thing accessible on other devices. iOS iOS, Desktop
GameSalad A drag-and-drop programming software, aimed at inexperienced coders, which allows anyone to create games easily. Desktop Desktop, Mobile
GameMaker Studio A drag-and-drop game-making software that can be used by inexperienced coders to create video games of many genres. It also uses "Game Maker Language", a GUI programming language used to add more advanced features to a game. Several successful games, such as Undertale, have been created with this software. This software is not free, but a trial is available. Microsoft Windows Desktop, mobile, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Tynker A drag-and-drop programming software, aimed at kids, which allows anyone to create games easily. It has programming challenges, and functionality to program external devices as well as mod Minecraft. The service also teaches Python and HTML5, however the service is not free fully. Desktop, Mobile Desktop, Mobile
CODE.GAME An educational visual drag-and-drop programming software, originally known as Codemao in China. The Kitten Editor is similar to Scratch, albeit with support for physics, AI, video, augmented reality video sensing. The Turtle Editor allows visual drop-and-drop programming in Python. Desktop, Mobile Desktop, Mobile


The logo of Alice.
  • BeetleBlocks: A GUI-based programming language, based off Scratch, which can be used for 3D modelling, unlike Alice.
  • Alice: Features 3D projects. Created by Carnegie Mellon.
  • Starlogo-TNG: Supports 3D models and terrain. Block-based, and meant for simulations and education purposes. Created by the MIT STEP group.
  • Starlogo Nova: The newer, online version of Starlogo-TNG.
  • CODE.GAME's Box: Allows creation and manipulation of pixelated Minecraft-like worlds and characters.

Text-Based Programming

Text-based programming is done through a programming language. Here are several:

Language Description Implementation(s) Editor(s)
Java Java was originally created and popularized as a platform-independent programming language. Today, Java is a general purpose language.
  • Java Runtime Environment: Software developed by Oracle for running Java that includes a virtual machine for interpreting compiled Java programs
  • Java Development Kit: Software for developing Java programs, that includes a Java compiler
  • Greenfoot: Greenfoot is a simple Java development environment with extensive documentation. It is focused on graphics and interactivity. It is often used with Java beginners.
  • Eclipse: A professional and widely-used Java IDE.
  • IntelliJ IDEA: A cross-platform Java IDE.
Python Python is a general-purpose coding language with emphasis on readability. There are also libraries available for communicating with Scratch and reading/writing Scratch files.
  • Command Line: This approach, although very advanced, does allow for the use of any Text Editor, like vim.
  • PyCharm: A cross-platform Python IDE.
  • IDLE: Text editor with syntax highlighting

C is a language originally praised for its portability. It was created by Dennis Ritchie and used to program Unix, and it is used in Linux as well. C# and C++ are based on C. Nowadays, they are often used in operating systems and embedded systems. They are also commonly taught languages.

  • Command Line: This approach allows the most flexibility, though is usually difficult to work with. Command-line text editors include nano, vi, vim, and pico, to name a few.

C++ is a programming language based on C that features object-oriented programming. It was invented by Bjarne Stroustrup.

  • G++: The C++ compiler in the GNU Compiler Collection

C# is a programming language by Microsoft that is based on C.

Visual Studio has a C# compiler.

  • Microsoft Visual Studio: An advanced, professional IDE created by Microsoft designed for the languages Visual Basic, C#, C++, and F#. Though more languages may be added.
ActionScript ActionScript is a general purpose programming language for Adobe Flash. Flash provides powerful libraries for graphics and animations. It is, however, not free, and has been discontinued since January 15th, 2021.
Lua Lua is a lightweight programming language which uses multiple paradigms. Lua is a popular language in programming video games and is used as the main programming language for ROBLOX.
JavaScript JavaScript is a language used for making interactive web applications. Any web editor should be good for JavaScript.

Modern browsers should support JavaScript.

  • Brackets - An online IDE
  • Atom - A widely-used editor for multiple programming languages
Logo Logo is the predecessor to Scratch, created by MIT. It is text-based, with commands closely resembling those of Scratch. It provides a single sprite, a turtle, which is used to draw via a set of Pen instructions. It has procedures (which may output values), recursion and first-class lists. N/A
QB64 QB64 has a large variety of applications and can be easily be picked up by beginners to text based programming. It is very similar to Python and is a offshoot of BASIC.
  • QB64 - The original QB64 compiler.
  • The compiler comes with an IDE but any editor such as Notepad++ will work fine.
Haskell Haskell is an ML-style functional programming language often used in academia. It features pattern matching, lazy evaluation, closures and partial application, and an expressive type system. List of IDEs and text editors
Rust Rust is a systems programming language that ensures memory safety via compile-time tracing of object lifetimes. N/A
Ruby Ruby is an Object Oriented programming language, also used in the application Ruby on Rails, which is used to make websites. Ruby's website can be found here. Instructions on how to download Ruby can be found here, and some Mac computers may already have Ruby installed.[1] After Ruby is ready on one's computer, programs can be run through the console.


To learn how to code in text-based programming languages, try:

  • teaches the basics of coding in a fun and interactive way. It has interactive help guides and built-in code interpreters. It teaches a variety of common languages, from Javascript to Python.

Game Engines

  • GameMaker: GameMaker is quite similar to Scratch, except it also allows the option of typing commands and features commands geared more towards making games, whereas Scratch is more open. It is a good introduction to text-based programming and debugging. It is not free, but a free version is available with fewer features.
  • Unity: Unity is a program that is used for the making of 3D games. It supports coding in three languages: Javascript, C#, and Boo. It may also be confusing to a beginner due to all the new features in comparison to Scratch, but with time, this should wear away.
  • Godot: Godot is an open-source game engine. Godot uses its own programming language, GDScript. It also supports C#.
  • The Source Engine is a game engine in which the MP version is free, it includes things like faceposing, volumetric lighting, an I/O system, and more things that can be used to create a mod/game. It does things like Fresnel water effects and dynamic rendering for the user.
  • Roblox is a massively multiplayer online game creation platform that hosts online multiplayer 3D games created with its engine, Roblox Studio. Roblox Studio allows manipulating the environment real-time and uses Lua as its programming language. With its heavy encouragement of game development, its features involving advertising and selling premium items, and the ability to make real money off games, Roblox is good for those in any level of professional game development and marketing.

Other lists

Animation/Art Alternatives

3D Animation

See also: Three-Dimensional Projects
Note Note: 3D animation software can be rigged to make 2D animations.

2D Animation

See also: Two Dimensional Objects

Other lists

See Also


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