15 Free Coding Games to Improve and Level Up Your Coding Skills

Practice and improve your coding skills the fun way with these 15 free online games.

When I started learning to code, my options for practicing coding skills were limited — lots of books, some very basic online tutorials, some coding challenges, and a whole lot of experimentation. These days, in addition to interactive courses and tutorials, there are lots of free coding games you can check out to improve your coding skills and take your programming skills to the next level.

Are there any games that teach coding?

The answer is: Yes! And no computer science degree is required. You can play coding games to learn coding skills – including all sorts of different programming languages. With coding games, you’ll hone your problem-solving skills, improve your knowledge of programming concepts, and enjoy the learning process too.

While a coding game alone probably isn’t going to teach you everything you need to know about coding, these free fun games can be a really incredible way to practice the skills you’re learning. If you’re anything like me, you’ll suddenly realize you’ve spent the last four hours reinforcing your JavaScript, Python, and other coding skills without even realizing it.

I’ve tried out some of the most entertaining and useful coding games for learning to code. Check out 15 of the top free games for learning to code below and you’ll find your programming skills upgraded to elite programmer status in no time. 😉

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1. CodeMonkey

CodeMonkey teaches coding using CoffeeScript — a real open-source programming language that compiles to JavaScript — to teach you to build your own games in HTML5. It’s aimed at coding for kids, but it’s definitely fun for adults, too. There are even CodeMonkey Android and iOS apps.

2. CodinGame

CodinGame offers up fun free open-source programming games to help coders learn more than 25 programming languages, including JavaScript, Ruby, and PHP. One of the great things about CodinGame is that you can play with friends or colleagues, and also enter international coding competitions.

3. CSS Diner

CSS Diner is a simple but fun way to learn CSS for beginner coders. There are 32 levels that will teach you the basics of how CSS selectors work. Each level of this free coding game gets progressively more complex — like a real video game — building on what you’ve learned in previous lessons. By the end of CSS Diner, you’ll be a CSS selectors expert.

4. Flexbox Froggy

Want to learn how CSS Flexbox works? Check out Flexbox Froggy. It has a simple interface that teaches you the basics of how things align in Flexbox while you help Froggy and his friends — save Froggy and be a CSS Flexbox expert at the same time.

5. Flexbox Defense

Flexbox Defense is another great way to practice your Flexbox skills with a programming game. This time, you’ll move gun towers into position along a path to defeat oncoming waves of enemies, using the same kinds of commands as Flexbox Froggy.

6. CodeCombat

CodeCombat is aimed at teachers and students, but anyone can play. Learn Python, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, or the Lua game scripting language. On the beginner Dungeon level, you’ll move your Hero through the programming game using some basic commands according to the tutorial alongside the game.

7. Ruby Warrior

If you want to learn Ruby, then Ruby Warrior is the game for you. There are beginner and intermediate tracks to suit your skill level. The lessons start out easy and go from there. You’ll need to login with Facebook to save your progress.

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8. Untrusted

Untrusted is a meta-JavaScript adventure game that tests your JavaScript skills to solve problems. You use JavaScript to guide Dr. Eval through a machine continuum and alter his reality to move between levels. It’s a free fun game for practicing more complex JavaScript skills.

9. Code Hunt

Code Hunt teaches you coding in a unique way. To play, you identify code fragments, analyze them, modify code to match the fragments, and then capture the working code fragment. You can use it to learn Java or C#.

10. Robocode

If you’ve ever watched the show BattleBots, then Robocode is for you. You’ll learn programming skills by building virtual robot battle tanks in Java or .NET. Battles are then played out onscreen in real time.

11. CheckIO and Empire of Code

CheckIO and Empire of Code are both strategy games that can teach you JavaScript or Python, two fundamental coding languages to learn. Empire of Code uses a space setting and you learn by defending your own base and attacking others, while CheckIO lets you improve your skills by using others’ solutions.

12. VIM Adventures

Vim is a highly configurable text editor used by programmers. If you want to learn how to use Vim, then VIM Adventures is a great place to start! Use common VIM keyboard shortcuts to navigate your way through a Zelda-like adventure game. Very video game-esque, right?

13. Cyber Dojo

Cyber Dojo has practice exercises and challenges for dozens of programming languages including Ruby, JavaScript, PHP, Python, and more. Each exercise spells out a challenge to complete with an example showing what the end result should look like. It’s a great way to practice your coding skills.

14. Elevator Saga

Elevator Saga tests your JavaScript knowledge with challenges related to moving an elevator and transporting people in the most efficient manner possible. It starts out with a challenge to move 15 people in less than a minute, with challenges getting progressively harder from there.

15. Code Wars

Code Wars helps you improve your skills by training in challenges with others. They offer a huge variety of programming languages, including JavaScript, Swift, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Haskell. You’ll have to prove your skills first with a basic test of your understanding of the language you want to practice.

Want to get started learning to code so that you can make your own games that make other coders jealous (without a computer science degree)? Check out Skillcrush’s Break Into Tech course to start your journey in the wonderful world of tech.

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Cameron Chapman

Cameron is a staff writer here at Skillcrush, and spends most of her time writing and editing blog posts and Ultimate Guides. She's been a freelance writer, editor, and author for going on a decade, writing for some of the world's leading web design and tech blogs. When she's not writing about design, she spends her time writing screenplays and making films (and music videos for rock and metal bands!) in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.