When comparing Godot vs libGDX, the Slant community recommends Godot for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Godot is ranked 1st while libGDX is ranked 15th. 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 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 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 Free and open source
Godot is licensed under MIT license. Anyone can grab the source from here, and compile the engine themselves.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 Fantastic UI toolkit (scene2d)
scene2d is a 2D scene graph, scene2d.ui is a UI toolkit on top of that. It enables very complex mobile and desktop UIs.
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 Uses Box2D
A Java port of the Box2D physics engine is included in libGDX.
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 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 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.
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 It is hard to learn
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 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.
Con Not starter friendly
Even default applications fail to load in Android. It doesn't have any documentation on errors either.
Con Documentation could be better
Other than a brief installation / getting started overview, libGDX's documentation consists of an official wiki with several incomplete pages, and automated Javadocs. The community recognizes these shortcomings, and new users are encouraged to ask for help.
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.