When comparing libGDX vs GameSalad, the Slant community recommends libGDX for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” libGDX is ranked 17th while GameSalad is ranked 64th. The most important reason people chose libGDX is:
Lots of references, tutorials and open source code to learn from.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Lots of resources to learn from
Lots of references, tutorials and open source code to learn from.
Pro Great performance across devices
While it may not always have the best performance for a particular device or system, it's one of the few engines which consistently performs very well across different platforms.
Pro Allows you to migrate from 2D to 3D within same framework
LibGDX supports both 2D and 3D game development. Allowing developers to migrate from 2D to 3D with ease without having to switch the engine they are using or having to learn a new API.
Pro Doesn't force a specific design
Unlike some engines, which only allow you to make your game in a few specific ways, libGDX allows you to design any type of game you wish as it is extremely customisable.
Pro Active and helpful community
The libGDX community, in the official libGDX forum is extremely helpful and approachable for any kind of question regardless of the its quality or difficulty.
The forums themselves are a very helpful resource for any issue or guide simply by searching past posts in there.
In addition to the forums, there's also the official #libgdx IRC channel on Freenode.
Pro Uses Box2D
A Java port of the Box2D physics engine is included in libGDX.
Pro Interfacing with platform specific code
Sometimes it is necessary to access platform specific APIs, e.g., adding advertisement services or leaderboard functionality provided by frameworks.
Pro Can use any JVM language
Since it's built with Java and runs on the JVM, any language that compiles to Java bytecode can be used to develop games with libGDX.
Pro Free, open source & permissive license
libGDX uses the Apache License 2.0.
Not only is libGDX free and open source but also it's license gives you a lot of power over the engine. As long as you provide a copy of the license, give credit, do not hold devs liable and do not use libGDX logo in any engine forks you can do pretty much anything you want.
Pro Kotlin support
It is written in Java so you can easily make games using Kotlin and Ktx project will help you get all advantages of this language.
Pro Very easy to customize
Pro Constantly improved
LibGDX itself is pretty mature, and get updates not quite frequently, but various libraries for it are actively updated.
Pro Across platform support
You can write once and run anywhere (Android, IOS, Desktop, Browser) also lately came with lib to deal with VR.
Pro Support for 3rd party tools
libGDX has built in support for many 3rd party tools, including (but not limited to) Bullet Physics, Box2DLights and the well-praised Tiled Map Editor.
Pro Lots of tutorials to get you going
Even though the official documentation might be lacking, there are many tutorials on YouTube for libGDX.
Pro Excellent font rendering support
Very good tools for rendering fonts.
Pro Similar to the Microsoft XNA framework
Old XNA users may like libGDX since it's API is actually very similar to XNA's.
Pro Focusing on object pool patterns, to control memory without pointers
Unlike Unity or other engine, it allows to optimize a language that uses garbage collector when using patterns of objects you can control the use of memory without needing a language like C / C ++, getting the same speed in a more productive language.
Pro No-code editor
Pro Has a Windows(.exe) version on par with Mac
The Windows version is now upto date with all the features of its Mac sibling.
Pro Multiple publishing platforms
Can create and publish games for iOS, Macintosh desktop and laptop computers, Android, Kindle, Amazon FireTV and FireTV Stick, Windows 8 and Tizen devices.
Pro Gamepad support
Gamepad support is available as of 0.13.3.
Pro Free standalone viewer app allows instant, live mobile device testing
The GameSalad Viewer is a free app available for iOS, Android and Kindle. Once installed on your mobile devices, you can deploy and test your GameSalad games live on any mobile device running the Viewer that is on the same local network as your dev computer.
This even allows Windows users to test their games on iOS devices without a Mac device and without any complicated code signing or provisioning profiles.
And, you can even take your games with you -- once loaded onto your mobile device, a history option caches recent games on your device without any connection to the dev computer.
Pro Allows you to focus on the logic rather than code
Since the user mainly uses menu options there is very little code needed to be keyed in. This makes the code very easy to read and understand.
Hence there are many help videos on youtube
Pro Extensive community of seasoned professionals for support
Extensive community of seasoned professionals in all disciplines (graphics, game design, animation, physics, music, video production, marketing, etc.) producing tutorials, videos, publishing tips, free templates and who are willing to answer forum questions and help newcomers.
Pro Powerful expression editor and functions
Allows you to create expressions on par with LUA (it's back end-language).
Pro Custom collision shapes with JSON support
Allows you to import JSON data for custom collision shapes to use with Gamesalad's implementation of Box2d physics.
Pro Easy to publish
Software prepares your app so you can just send it to Apple. All my games are reviewed with no problems.
Pro Drag and drop editor
The drag and drop editor makes GameSalad very easy to use, no programming experience needed.
Pro Great engine
Very quick to learn and great for making games. Community is very open and helpful.
Con Not starter friendly
Even default applications fail to load in Android. It doesn't have any documentation on errors either.
Con The project slowed down in development
The number of active developers has decreased, many open issues and pull requests.
Con Build system is clunky
LibGDX uses Gradle, which is very demanding of memory and makes IDEs freeze on anything if your computer is not powerful enough.
Con Does not create compiled code
LibGDX runs entirely on Java and does not create executable binaries.
Con A bit difficult to use
This engine is not well put together. Is made from various free modules each with their own peculiarities. At times it feels you need to learn a couple of libraries rather than just one. Is not an engine for beginners as it requires coding. Lots of coding. You need to be intermediate to advanced in Java to develop in LibGDX.
Con Bad editor
There is no scene zoom, search boxes, or snap to grid. There is also no ability to focus view on the actor or use folders for file structure.
Con Expensive compare with others
There is no free version any more and it is very expensive compared with other engines.
Con Poor editor performance
Especially when you're working on a big project.
Con No scripting language or SDK
If a needed behavior is not supplied by GameSalad, there's no way to add it.
Con Product is suffering - Lacking company leadership and no voice from corporate
Some customers are currently in a holding pattern from the lack of support and messaging from GS corporate. GS is currently unstable and developers are waiting for another update that has been going on from 2015.
No word or message from GS corporate about timeframes or deliverables.
You can read the ongoing discussion here.
Con Product is in Limbo - company is lacking developers
Con Doesn't support Windows platform (*.exe)
Doesn't support Windows platform (*.exe)