10 Best Android and iOS Game Development Software Tools with No Coding Skills
Today, it is entirely possible to create a cool mobile game without programming skills. There are game builders available that let you develop gaming applications for Android and iOS. Considering that mobile traffic already significantly surpasses desktop traffic in affiliate marketing, even an affiliate should have a basic understanding of mobile development.
- Is it possible to create a mobile game without programming skills?
- Two popular game development software tools that require programming skills
- Best game development software tools with no programming skills required
- Top Free Mobile Game Builders
- How are these platforms useful for affiliates?
Is it possible to create a mobile game without programming skills?
Yes, it is possible to create a high-quality and engaging game without programming skills. Many game builders allow you to create games using visual editors without the need for coding. There are also ready-made game characters, images, and weapons that can be imported into your game and customized to fit the storyline.
Programming is usually required if the developer uses an engine that requires working with code. It is also necessary when developing fundamentally new gameplay mechanics.
Two popular game development software tools that require programming skills
Many major engines require at least basic programming knowledge. They are used to create the most complex game projects that cannot be accomplished without minimal coding. Such builders are an excellent solution for those who are not strong in programming but have minimal knowledge. However, developers who do not know programming languages can still develop games on these engines, as basic programming knowledge is sufficient and can be acquired in less than a month from scratch.
It is more commonly known to affiliate marketing specialists as an in-app network. However, Unity Technologies is primarily a game development company. In addition to games and an advertising network, they have engines for application development, including game development. The majority of games created with programs and builders are made on Unity.
According to Steam statistics, Unity is the absolute leader in the number of games developed, holding the top spot to this day.
The platform has gained popularity because it allows game development for:
- Android, iOS, Windows Phone 10, Blackberry, and more than 25 other operating systems.
- Consoles such as PS4 PRO, Xbox One S.
- Graphics created with programs like 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, CINEMA 4D, Softimage, and nearly any other.
Unity has a highly simplified interface, making it understandable not only for professionals but also for beginner developers. This engine enables the creation of high-quality audio and visual effects.
Drawbacks of the platform include:
- Inability to create a game without minimal programming skills.
- Games created with Unity tend to have larger file sizes. Even the simplest game developed on Unity is no less than 100 MB.
- After creating the foundation, extensive optimization is required.
- A powerful computer is required to work with the engine.
Unity is most suitable for developing 3D games, although it also produces high-quality 2D games. The following games have been developed on this engine:
- Lara Croft GO.
- Angry Birds 2.
- Pokemon GO.
- Alto’s Adventure.
Price: Personal (free), Plus ($399), Pro ($1,800), and Enterprise ($4,000 per year).
Why is Unity in the top-list? It is the most versatile and popular engine, best suited for the majority of 3D game projects and games with complex gameplay.
Defold is a cross-platform engine used for development with HTML5, making it one of the simplest engines requiring programming skills. It allows the creation of 2D and 3D games.
Working in the visual editor part of Defold
The advantages of this engine include:
- Lightweight and adaptive games that have small file sizes and perform well even on older devices.
- Minimal optimization required before launching the game.
- Simplicity of development.
The disadvantages of this engine are:
- More limited capabilities (compared to other engines) when working with 3D objects.
- A slightly complex interface that requires some getting used to.
Games developed on the Defold engine include:
- Plague Lords.
- Craftomation 101.
- Cat Stories: New Year.
- Solitaire Towers Tournaments.
Another advantage is that the engine is completely free. The community encourages voluntary donations through their official website.
Why is Defold in our top-list? It is one of the most popular free engines for creating both 2D and 3D games.
Best game development software tools with no programming skills required
Some builders allow you to create games without coding. They provide the option to edit the code, but in most cases, a visual editor is sufficient for creating a quality game. Usually, programming skills are not required, not even at a basic level, to create game applications for working with in-app traffic.
This engine from Epic Games is one of the oldest, with the first game released on it back in 1998. It holds the second spot in popularity on the Steam ranking.
Unreal Engine is not just a game development engine; it also has a large community of teachers, training centers, and online learning projects. The main feature of the engine is its completely free usage until the game helps the developer earn $1 million. The engine provides access to all functionality and most assets. Project monetization is achieved through the sale of ready-made game elements (weapons, buildings, characters), as well as advanced paid training (basic training programs are available for free).
The Unreal Championship 2 shooter based on the Unreal Engine 2X
In addition to being free and allowing visual editing without programming, the engine has the following advantages:
- A large number of free plugins.
- Built-in optimization for mobile operating systems.
- Relatively low requirements for the developer’s computer.
- Performance issues in 3D games with a large number of objects and high detail.
- Even small games require significant optimization before launch.
- Creating in-demand games may require around six months of learning or more. The engine is not the easiest to master, even without programming.
Currently, it is considered one of the best engines for video games and first-person shooters. Games such as Daylight, Dead Island 2, Space Hulk, Deathwing, Fable Legends, and Tekken 7 have been created on this engine.
Why did Unreal Engine make it to our top-list? It is the best solution among non-programming 3D game engines and is also free.
It has established itself as an engine for simple 2D games and is an ideal solution for those taking their first steps in game development. Although Construct 3 is an HTML5 engine, it is designed for non-programmers who are not familiar with coding.
In addition to simplicity and accessibility, Construct 3 has the following advantages:
- Games developed with it have small file sizes and work on any platform.
- No need to download anything; the engine works in the browser version.
- An excellent tool for creating game prototypes.
Working through the browser is also a drawback since constant internet connectivity is required for development. Other disadvantages include incomplete technical documentation and limitations in terms of graphics and gameplay complexity.
Construct 3 is the most suitable engine for creating simple and uncomplicated game applications. Games such as Beast Attack, Ignatius, Lunar Mission, Rescuers, and Artillerists Needs Your Help have been created on Construct 3.
Price: Personal plan – $69, Startup Business plan – $92, and Business Licenses – $373 per year.
Why did Construct 3 make it to our top-list? It is the easiest engine to learn for rapid development (simple games can be created in an hour, while more complex ones can be completed in a week). It has low computer system requirements and does not require installation.
It can be considered a more advanced alternative to the previous engine. It is also focused on creating 2D games but offers more advanced functionality. GameMaker Studio allows game development with greater detail, graphics, and gameplay complexity. Those interested in programming can write code using the GML language.
Advantages of the engine include:
- The ability to work both with programming and without.
- Fast performance even for complex games.
- A large community and a wealth of freely available learning materials.
A drawback is that the engine’s programming language is quite non-standard and significantly differs from popular alternatives. Another disadvantage is the high cost of the license.
Games such as Sudoku Scramble, Bubbles the Cat, Downwell, Crashlands, and Iron Snout have been created on this engine.
Price: A one-time payment of $400 for a game publishing license.
Considered a game builder for game enthusiasts, its creator’s mission was to provide every game enthusiast with the ability to develop games. For a long time, it focused only on creating 2D games, but the latest version allows for the creation of 3D games.
The main feature of BuildBox is the ability to model a game and then customize and edit it extensively (changing characters, landscapes, weapons, etc.). All of this can be done in the visual editor without programming.
Other advantages include:
- The option to work with code if desired.
- Cross-platform compatibility.
- Easy integration with advertising networks and its own in-app advertising network for monetization.
- Abundance of game templates, with many available for free.
- In the free version, no integration with AdMob is available, and when monetizing the game through the internal in-app network, the service takes a 70% cut of the revenue.
- Lack of built-in artificial intelligence.
Price: In addition to the free version, there is a monthly plan for $20 with limited features and an annual plan for $500 with full features.
Why did BuildBox make it to our top-list? It is the most self-sufficient (yet not complex) engine, allowing many games to be developed without relying on external services for graphics and other game elements.
Top Free Mobile Game Builders
There is a whole category of engines that are conditionally free, meaning they require payment only when the game reaches significant monetization levels. However, they are just as high-quality as engines with monthly or annual pricing. These engines are an excellent solution for solo affiliates or teams.
Currently, it can be considered a community-driven engine, although it was developed by Disney and is supported by Carnegie Mellon University. The engine is now maintained and developed by a community of enthusiasts. The software has a free license, allowing anyone to use and modify the engine for their purposes without any royalties.
As the name suggests, Panda is suitable for 3D games, with abundant complex game elements and artificial intelligence.
Advantages of the engine include:
- The ability to integrate developments made on it with other engines.
- Relatively low development complexity, making it accessible to beginners.
- Complete freeness, as the engine does not require any payment at any stage.
- Panda 3D is not a game builder but a framework, so coding is required to work with it.
- Graphics rendering significantly lags behind modern 3D engines like Unity and Unreal Engine, resulting in visuals on par with the early 2000s.
Games developed on this engine include Toontown Online (now closed), Pirates of the Caribbean Online (closed), Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, and A Vampyre Story.
Why did Panda 3D make it to our top-list? Despite lagging in terms of graphics, this free framework is excellent for affiliates, as games and applications for affiliate marketing typically do not require high-end graphics.
It is the best free solution for professionals and supports the development of both 2D and 3D games. It is free, requires programming skills in Java, and allows for the creation of high-quality gameplay.
Advantages of the engine include:
- A complete set of features in the free version.
- A library for creating complex game mechanics, in-app purchases, and integration with social networks.
- Lightweight games that run smoothly and are adapted to any device.
- Complex functionality for beginners. It is not possible to work without programming knowledge.
- Many development tools need to be created separately on the engine, such as a map editor. Other engines usually have them built-in.
Games developed on LibGDX include Paperama, Construction City, Shipwrecked: Pearl Cove Island, Stone Pillar, and Lovecraft Quest.
Why did LibGDX make it to our top-list? Among free engines, it allows for the implementation of the most complex game mechanics.
SpriteKit for iOS
It is not just an engine for games on Apple devices but a tool by Apple itself, enabling app creators to make things that are highly optimized for iOS and MacOS operating systems. SpriteKit is also supported on tvOS, watchOS, and integrates well with platforms like GameplayKit and SceneKit.
SpriteKit is an excellent option not only for teams but also for indie developers because almost all engine features are available for free. Another advantage is the almost guaranteed compatibility of games created with it on Apple platforms since it was developed by the company itself. Additionally, developers can utilize various iOS APIs (such as iAd, In-App Purchases, etc.) without relying on third-party plugins. Games developed on this engine usually pass the moderation process in the App Store (under equal conditions).
The main drawback of the engine is its limitation to 2D games (considering that it positions itself as a platform for 2D games on iOS). Another drawback is the need for programming. Game development is associated with working in Swift 2.2, which requires downloading and installing the Xcode 7.3 toolset. Additionally, the game scene editor is simpler and more primitive compared to similar engines.
Why did SpriteKit make it to our top-list? It is an Apple-authored development and the best specialized solution for iOS, and it is free.
Godot is a cross-platform engine for 2D and 3D development. Initially, it was an in-house engine for several game companies. However, it was later released as open-source software under a free license.
Currently, the engine is maintained by enthusiasts, meaning all of its features can be used for free.
Advantages of the engine include:
- Self-sufficiency. The internal development environment of Godot is sufficient for creating games without additional tools.
- Support for multiple programming languages.
- A large number of plugins that greatly expand the engine’s capabilities.
- Cross-platform compatibility.
- 3D games still fall short compared to those developed with Unity or Unreal.
- Issues with adapting games for consoles.
Games developed on the Godot engine include:
- El Asombroso Show Zamba
- Dog Mendonça & Pizza Boy
- Running Nose
- Project Carnival.
Why did Godot make it to our top-list? For the development of many games, this engine alone is sufficient.
How are these platforms useful for affiliates?
Driving traffic to mobile apps has been a trend in affiliate marketing in recent years. Firstly, it is easier to bypass blocks from demanding advertising networks like Facebook, Google, TikTok, and others with mobile apps. Having a game in app stores is a sign that it can be approved for advertising. Secondly, apps can generate virtually free traffic from searches on the App Store and Google Play. Thirdly, mobile apps are a versatile tool that can monetize not only online games and casinos but also dating, cryptocurrency, subscription offers, and even e-commerce.
However, finding suitable apps for offers can be challenging, especially for beginners and solo affiliates. While some affiliate networks provide apps, not all offer them, and the conversion rates of these provided apps are not always satisfactory. Moreover, even if an affiliate network provides enough apps, it is better to develop your own apps in parallel to conduct split tests.
Large affiliate marketing teams typically have developers or outsource app development. However, this can be expensive and not feasible for all affiliates. That’s why programs for fast and budget-friendly app development without programming knowledge are a real lifesaver for solo affiliates and small teams, especially for beginners.
With the mentioned services, it’s possible to develop not only online games but also interactive weight-loss programs, crypto trading tutorials, dating apps, and similar applications.
Game development engines are excellent tools in affiliate marketing. By creating games on these engines, it’s possible to significantly increase monetization possibilities for traffic. Additionally, advertisers can create their own games and pay affiliates for installations through the CPI model. Thankfully, these builders offer features for accepting payments and integrating with In-App networks.
Is it possible to create your own mobile game for free?
Absolutely. Moreover, there are free builders that do not require programming skills. However, you will need to learn how to work with them, even if you use a visual editor without code. Additionally, it’s important to carefully study the rules of the App Store and Google Play to ensure your game passes moderation.
Can this be done without programming knowledge?
Even high-quality games are sometimes developed without programming. It is only necessary if you choose an engine that requires coding or if you are creating a super-professional game.
Which builders can be used for this?
If you don’t want to work with code – BuildBox. If you are looking for a free solution, pay attention to Godot and Defold. If you are willing to pay and want a highly professional and complex game to conquer the top charts Unity is the way to go.
Can these games be monetized?
Monetization is possible for any game. There are plugins and other extensions that allow you to integrate payments and place ads in your game. Moreover, many engines do not require additional payments for this (except BuildBox). Such games can be used in install-based affiliate networks that pay affiliates for game installations on behalf of advertisers. Therefore, they can be monetized effectively.
How do affiliates use these builders?
Affiliate marketing specialists use these builders to create alternatives to the applications provided by affiliate networks (for dating, betting, casinos, crypto trading, etc.). Experienced affiliate teams often learn how to create even more converting apps than those provided by affiliate networks.