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What Is Love2D?

by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith)

When you hear Love 2D, and you ask yourself: What is Love 2D? Baby don't hurt me, no more ...

No, it's not Haddaway

Love 2D, a sensational engine for 2D games

Let's try to answer what Love 2D is: LöVE (or Love2D) is an open source multiplatform engine for the development of 2D video games. The engine is written in C ++ and uses Lua as its scripting language. It is published under the zlib license.

The API provided by the engine provides access to the video and sound functions of the host machine through the SDL and OpenGL libraries, or, since version 0.10, also OpenGL ES 2 and 3. Fonts can be rendered using the FreeType engine. A version of the engine called piLöve was ported specifically to Raspberry Pi.

It also provides basic "sandbox" management of files to prevent access to the entire disc and system from the running games. In other words, the games in Love 2D language are sandboxed, to limit their level of access to the host machine.

LöVE is still maintained by its original developers.

This engine is often found in the compositions of video game development competitions, such as the international competition Ludum Dare.

In July 2018, it was the tenth most used game engine by indie developers on the website


These features come with the game engine:

  • support for OpenGL GLSL pixel shaders,

  • Touchscreen,

  • support UTF-8,

  • support PNG, JPEG, GIF, TGA and BMP image formats.

  • possibility to use the 2D Box2D physics engine (can be disabled, to lighten the library),

  • luasocket library for TCP/UDP network communications,

  • lua-enet library, another network library that implements Enet, a reliable UDP-based protocol

  • native management of blocks created by Tiled.

What can you do with Love2D?

2D games, and there are still 3D capabilities, still incipient, in the engine, but that have a lot of room to evolve.

And, what types of 2D games can be made? Here is a list of examples

Blue Revolver

A new shooting game, bullet hell, built for maniacs and beginners.

For Windows, OS X and Linux.

Inspired by STG's golden age CAVE / Raizing classics, Blue Revolver is built from the ground up to be fast, light and furious. Play as Mae - a technical genius with rabbit ears who runs away from the manic environmental group "Blue Revolver" and shoot through five stages of battles. Snowy mountains, bustling docks, nightmare bases and more await you in your fight-and-flight game - each filled with cruel enemies, violent bosses and thousands of bullets!



Price: $ 14.99

Move or Die

Move or Die is a collective online game or local for up to 4 players with a frantic pace, where the mechanics change every 20 seconds. It is the perfect definition of a game that destroys friendships.



Price: $ 14.99

oh my giraffe

Oh my giraffe is a delicious survival game.
Eat fruits while being chased by lions. Cut the vines so that the fruit bounces off your backside and hits the lions. Don't worry, your flexible neck will allow you to reach everything. And remember, lions sleep at night. This is your chance to swallow as much fruit as possible.



Price: $1.99 Android/iOS, free preview for Linux, Windows, MacOS

How to get started with Love2D?

It's very simple, just install the Love interpreter, in the PCLinuxOS repos, by apt-get install love, or by Synaptic.

However, the interpreter alone is not enough. You will need an IDE. Love 2D does not have its own IDE's, any text editor can be used.

ZeroBrane Studio

If in doubt, select this one. It is probably the easiest to set up and perhaps the most focused option on Lua and Love 2d out there. With minimal effort, you will get the most functionality, including code highlighting, autocomplete and most impressive, debugging support.


IntelliJ IDEA with Lua and Love2D plugins

It is probably not the ideal choice for beginners, as the IDE itself is quite complicated and you need to configure two different plugins to get things up and running. With plug-ins, you get complete autocomplete, syntax highlighting and can run your application directly from the IDE. Unfortunately, you cannot debug.


Plugins: and plugin

Sublime Text with the Love2D Package

The sublime text is well named, it is a great text editor that, through the support of packages, can get very close to full IDE's features. It has been the right choice for general purpose text editor for years and is still a very solid option. With the Love2D package, you get syntax highlighting, autocomplete and the ability to run your application directly in the editor.


Love2D plugin:

Atom editor

Atom is another editor, with a scope very similar to Sublime Text, probably with even greater extensibility . The Love-IDE extension brings together a collection of Lua and Love2d plugins to give Atom the ability to run within the editor, autofill and syntax highlighting.


Love2D plugins:


The Eclipse IDE can also be extended to support Lua development using the LDT plug-in. Some people love working on Eclipse, so this may be an option for you. Warning, however, Eclipse is extremely hostile for beginners.


LDT Plugin:

Tutorials, where can I find them?
No better place than the wiki:

And resources for your games?


On the website Slant, Love2D is the first in best 2D game engines:

So, what are you waiting for to start your game developer career? Hmm ? With PCLinuxOS and Love2D, you have a great start.

A big hug, and, until the next article.

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