When comparing LÖVE vs Godot, the Slant community recommends Godot for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Godot is ranked 1st while LÖVE is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose Godot is:
Godot has a mature 2D engine with many features used by modern 2D games.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Active and very friendly community
The LÖVE forums are extremely helpful. With people checking the forums every day, it won't take long to receive answer to your questions on the Support board, receive feedback on games you post in the Projects board, as well as have a chat about the LÖVE engine while learning tricks to use in the very active General board.
If you need an immediate answer though, or just want to chat, there is a very active and helpful IRC channel.
Pro Uses the fantastic Lua for scripting
Lua is an embeddable scripting language designed to be lightweight, fast yet powerful. It is used in major titles such as Civilization as well as a lot of indie games.
Lua is very popular because it provides "meta language" features. You can implement object-oriented structures, or pure procedural functions, etc. It has a very simple C interface, and gives the engine developer a lot of flexibility in the language itself.
Artists tend to love Lua too because it's very approachable, with plain and forgiving syntax.
Lua is free open-source software, distributed under a very liberal license (the well-known MIT license).
Pro Easy to understand and use
Lua2D handles loading the resources, reading input, playing sounds and displaying stuff on the screen. Only the logic is left for the developer to write. It also removes the overhead of having to use and learn a GUI game editor. All you need is a knowledge of Lua and your favourite text editor or IDE.
Supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS.
Pro Open source and free
The LÖVE engine is licensed under The zlib/libpng License (which is very short and human readable) which allows you to use the source code and even modify it as long as you do not claim that the original source code is yours.
You can obtain the code at this bitbucket repository and even help fix bugs and participate in the development of LÖVE.
Pro Many examples and libraries with source code
There are plenty of open source examples of games or components built by the community that are ready to use or learn from.
Pro Very good documentation
The LÖVE wiki provides full documentation of its easy to use Modules, which are conveniently located on the side bar of the wiki. It only takes seconds to find the module for love.keyboard, which provided a list of all functions along with arguments and examples where the function could be used.
Pro Great for prototyping
You can learn the basics very quickly and start making simple games in no time, even if you have no previous Lua knowledge. If you're a little experienced with LÖVE, you can prototype a 2D game with it in no time.
Pro Can develop within Android
It is possible to develop games directly on a tablet or cellphone with the Android system by using the experimental Android branch.
Pro Very good for education
That is a great tool for teaching novice programmers. Creating a game on LÖVE, you have to think about developing, not about the syntax of the language.
Pro Many tutorials on the internet
Has several tutorials in several languages on the internet, mainly on Youtube.
Pro C++ and Lua one of the best languages for gamedev
Because all professionals in gamedev use C++, and Lua the fastest scripting lang.
Pro Cute name
So much love.
Pro Fully dedicated 2D engine, no hacks
Godot has a mature 2D engine with many features used by modern 2D games.
The executable is portable and less than 40 MB in size.
Pro Under constant development
This engine barely released one year ago has more than 1000 forks on github and about 100 developers. Not only that just a bit of browsing trough issues you will quickly find out the dev community loves new esp free technology and does not shy away from completely rewriting parts of the engine. The audio engine is being completely rewritten to use threads and so forth.
Pro Free and open source
Godot is licensed under MIT license. Anyone can grab the source from here, and compile the engine themselves.
Pro Can be deployed to multiple platforms
Deploy games to desktops (Windows/OS X/Linux), smartphones (iOS/Android/BlackBerry), and the web (HTML5 via Emscripten).
Pro Integrated animation editor
Every property can be animated.
Pro Built-in physics
Add physics to 2D and 3D scenes, through rigid and static bodies, characters, raycasts, vehicles and more.
Pro Unified game editor interface
All the game development work is done inside one program: the engine editor. The scripting is done in the same program. No need for Eclipse or other front-end editors.
Pro User friendly UI for all your team
Non-programmers (musicians, artists, etc) can join the development easily.
Pro Editor and runtime are fully cross-platform
You can run Godot on all 3 major operating systems (Windows/Mac/Linux) and build your game to all available platforms from each without any platform-specific work needed. All platforms including Linux are supported first class.
Pro Instancing and node concept makes sense
The node and the instancing concept work very well and helps developers to structure content efficiently.
Pro The list of supported languages is growing
Officially, Godot supported languages for now will be GDScript, C#(Mono), VisualScript and C++.
Pro Fun to use
An important aspect that can't be grasped without using the engine for a few days. The Interface is evolving nicely and making games is just fun.
Pro Drag & drop interface
Many parts of the editor allow you to drag & drop, which makes working with assets and scene trees a joy.
Pro Internationalization of the editor
You can change the language shown in menus. Godot translations can be found here.
Pro Easy to learn scripting language
Godot has their own scripting language called GDScript. The scripting language is easy to learn with Python-like syntax, but it is not Python. It's very powerful, easy to learn, and it's free of unnecessary things because it was custom built for optimized integration with the Godot Engine.
It can be used to add custom behaviors to any object by extending it with scripting, using the built-in editor with syntax highlighting and code completion.
A built-in debugger with breakpoints and stepping can be used and graphs for possible bottlenecks can be checked.
Pro Really good community
The community is great and really cares about the engine. It is easy to get help and to be part of Godot's future.
Pro Creating editor tools is a breeze
Godot Engine is itself a Godot game. By adding the "tool" keyword to the top of a script, you can design extensions for the editor itself INSIDE the editor. Integrating these editor scripts into a bundled plugin for sharing is extremely easy to do.
Pro Friendly towards Version Control Systems
The engine is build not only to support version control but to really use it. Scene files for example which usually get compiled into some sort of unreadable data stay in a text format - that way you can actually see your changes in a version control system like Git.
Pro Doesn't need to be installed into the system
Godot is very portable, you can download the file from a website then put it on a USB and run it on your other computer without any troublesome errors.
Pro Easily expanded scripting system
With 3.0's addition of NativeScript and PluginScript via GDNative, developers can easily define bindings for new scripting languages. In addition to the primarily supported C++, GDScript, VisualScript, and C# languages, the community has contributed D, Nim, and Python as well with more on the way.
Pro Incredible documentation after 3.2.2 beta
The documentation used to be weak, but now we have nathen with his help the documentation is the strongest advantage.
Pro Scene Based editing
Godot gives you the ability to create scenes to make your life easier, with reusable objects and things you want to incorporate in your games. This makes the game making processvery streamlined and organized.
Pro Built-in documentation linked to the internal ScriptEditor
The editor has a fully searchable index of class API documentation for everything the engine offers (NOT just a web interface). You can easily open the documentation for any class by Ctrl-clicking the class's name in the in-engine text editor for scripts.
Pro Simple and readable codebase
The engine's source code is easy to read and understand with a self-documenting approach to code design. You don't have to wait months or years for other people to fix an engine bug that is important to your game. Often times, you can spend an hour or two of your own time to fix whatever problems you encounter yourself.
Pro Easy to get involved
No need to learn anything with node, you can build a game without typing a line of code + has visual scripting.
Pro Engine is yours
There is no royalty and the game you made + engine itself is yours.
Pro Can be installed on Steam
You can easily install Godot via the Steam store.
Pro Comprehensive tooling
In addition to the scene editor and the script editor (with debugger), the engine also provides a tile map editor, an animation editor (not just for rigs), a performance monitor, a network profiler, and an audio bus console.
Pro It has a visual scripting tool (Godot 3)
It has a great visual scripting tool. It's a great choice if you don't like to code. This was however removed in Godot 4, so you will need to use the (still supported) Godot 3 branch for visual scripting.
Con Not very powerful
The engine has very few modules and only the really required one, you'll have to do almost everything from scratch.
Con Game distribution is harder than it should
The process to create an executable could be streamlined: the dedicated wiki page is somewhat confusing, and the actual process either means relying on one of the various community-maintained tools or creating an executable manually for each platform.
Con More of an API than a game engine
It may come with graphical, audio and IO but it lack most features most game engines have such as UI system, pathfinding, etc. and you have to implement most of the stuff you might want manually.
Con Only for the very simple games
Con Documentation is very dry and technical
The site has plenty of tutorials, true, but they all read very technical, and explain very little. This might be too much for beginners, even for coding purposes, because of the fact that the specifics aren't explained well enough to learn effectively. The docs can be found frustrating to understand even the basics, such as tables or the like, because of how poorly they are explained, and how few examples are given before expecting you to be able to use them.
Con Game distribution for Android is a pain in the Arse
It is like you're doing a science experiment.
Con HTML5 support
Depends on love.js for HTML5 distribution which is old and incompatible with current Emscripten / LLVM version.
Con Absolutely no GUI (no graphical interface)
This has no graphical interface at all, you have to know how to read script in order to know what you're looking at. After you've written the script for everything, you compile it to see the result. It's a very poor way to create a game, given how even most professional tools out there give you a GUI to work with and debug on the go. The lack of a GUI slows down the work by ten-fold, and it's just an inefficient use of your time.
Con The community seems juvenile
For example, some of the library include names such as HUMP, LUBE, AnAL.
Con Primarily supports own language (GD Script)
Although C# is also supported by Godot, it is only supported by a separate version, and Mono must be downloaded separately. While GDScript is very accessible, and if you know Python you'll pick it up fast, having to learn a new language to fully make use of the platform can be a bit discouraging. And for those learning to code as well as learning Godot for the first time, many would rather learn a language they can 'take with them' when they explore other platforms in the future.
Con C++ Engine API not very friendly
The base C++ code from Godot is not documented, it's hard to set it up, to compile and hard to extend, it could use better programming standards.
Con Annoying minor bugs
Minor bugs can go unaddressed for some time, due to it being a free program.
Con GDScript is quite immature language
GDScript is copy of python and the real problem is, it is not python. Which means it cannot have all the power and new features that is available in Python or other programming language.
It does have some good features but it is not good enough for what you need if you want to deep dive into game development. You can just feel that by the godot team is solving that matter by supporting mono version. Because C# is popular in other game engine and it contains all the new features that is available from new programming language.
If i give you very simple example for why GDScript is immature, GDScript does not support asynchronous programming. Which is very efficient for performance of your game.
You may mention about multi-threading because asynchronous programming is one way of multi-threading. However If you try that in Godot, you cannot multi-threading where you want to implement asynchronous system. For example, Autoload (Fake singleton) where you want to manage data in real time. Autoload is not real singleton. It is not a separated thread that manage data. Therefore everything is synchronous in autoload. Even though you create new thread from Autoload script, your game will just stop and wait for your thread to finish its task...
Con Godot 3/4 split
The recent release of Godot 4 brings new features, but isn't yet fully documented, and performance may not be as optimized.
Con No console targets
Given that you can target both desktops and consoles with the same code base in other engines, the lack of support for consoles in Godot is pretty hard to get past if targeting desktops for a game. But asking for an open-source engine to target consoles is probably too much to ask. But it would be interesting to see some legacy consoles targeted even if current ones cannot be.
Con It's hard to learn
Con Difficult to optimize
Godot has an OOP architecture. Everything is an object internally and data is spread among many classes, thus it's difficult to optimize (i.e. not cache friendly, difficuly to vectorize or paralellize, etc).
Read about "Data Oriented Design" for more info about the problems and solutions.
Con Strange terminology at its base
Scenes can be made up of other scenes. That makes some sense. But even the smallest object (or prefab or asset) in a scene -- such as that spoon on the table or the marble on the floor -- is still called a scene... except when it's called a node. This is a bit odd for those coming from other engines. With all the great decisions behind the basic design of this engine, the choice of this term from all the potential other terms out there seems really out of place and only serves as a constant reminder that not everything about Godot is great.
Con No built-in way to import atlases
Godot does not have an easy and automatic way to import atlases created by other tools. However, there are plugins that can be used to import atlases from other engines.
Con 2DPhysics is weak compared to Box2d
Box2d has much more features.
Con NoAdmob or other AdNetwork support
Godot has no native support for implementing advertisements into your game.
Con Many buggy and half-finished features
Con Hard for a Unity user
Coming from a Unity background, Godot engine is hard.