How to Code an iOS Game – Best Learning Tutorials

Have you always wanted to create your own iOS game but didn’t know where to start? There’s no better time than now to dive into iOS game development. With the availability of powerful game engines and resources, all you need is motivation and determination to bring your ideas to life.

In this article, we will guide you through some of the best learning tutorials for how to code an iOS game. But if you’re looking for a comprehensive, beginner-friendly option, consider Zenva Academy’s Mobile Game Development Mini-Degree, covering all aspects of mobile game development using Unity.

Why Build Games for iOS

With a massive user base and a highly profitable platform, iOS games offer a lucrative opportunity for game developers. Apple’s App Store has millions of daily active users, and iOS gamers are known for their high engagement and spending habits. Furthermore, iOS devices offer an impressive display and performance, providing an excellent gaming experience for users. By developing games for iOS, game creators can reach a broad audience and potentially generate significant revenue.

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How Do Mobile Games Differ from PC & Console Games

Mobile games have unique characteristics that make them different from PC and console games. Some notable differences include:

  • Touchscreen controls: Mobile games rely on touch inputs, requiring developers to design intuitive and responsive controls for the touchscreen interface.
  • Portability: Mobile devices offer on-the-go gaming, which means players might be playing your game in short bursts throughout the day.
  • Smaller screens: Developers must optimize their games to ensure gameplay and graphics are clear and enjoyable on smaller screens.
  • Performance limitations: Mobile devices have performance limitations compared to gaming PCs and consoles, making it necessary to optimize your game for lower-end hardware.

How iOS Games are Made

iOS games are developed using Apple’s development tools, such as Xcode, Swift, and the Metal graphics framework. Developers must design, code, and optimize their games for iOS devices. Additionally, they must comply with Apple’s guidelines and submit their games for review before they can be published on the App Store.

What Game Engines Are Best for iOS Games

Choosing the right game engine can significantly affect your game development process and the quality of your final product. Some popular game engines for iOS game development include:

  • Unity: A powerful and widely-used game engine that supports 2D, 3D, AR, and VR game development.
  • Unreal Engine: Known for its graphical prowess, Unreal Engine is ideal for developing high-quality 3D games.
  • SpriteKit: Apple’s native 2D game development framework, designed specifically for iOS game development.
  • Godot: A free and open-source game engine that supports 2D and 3D game development and runs smoothly on iOS devices.

What Skills Are Needed to Build iOS Games

Developing iOS games requires a mixture of technical and creative skills, including:

  • Programming: Knowledge of programming languages such as Swift, Objective-C, and C++ is essential for iOS game development.
  • Game design: An understanding of core game design principles and mechanics is crucial for creating engaging and enjoyable games.
  • Art and animation: Visual design and animation skills can help bring your game to life and enhance the gaming experience.
  • Audio design: Effective sound and music design can greatly improve the atmosphere and mood of your game.
  • User experience (UX) design: UX design ensures that your game’s interface is intuitive and user-friendly.

In addition to these core skills, developing iOS games can require a strong problem-solving ability, good project management skills, and the ability to work collaboratively in a team.

Below, you’ll find a list of the best resources for learning how to code an iOS game, both from Zenva and other sources. These resources will guide you through the game development process, from creating your first iOS game to honing your development skills.

Zenva Academy: Mobile Game Development Mini-Degree

If you’re serious about learning iOS game development and looking for a comprehensive course, consider Zenva Academy’s Mobile Game Development Mini-Degree. This in-depth program covers end-to-end game development for both iOS and Android platforms, providing you with the skills and knowledge needed to create your own mobile games.

The mini-degree includes tutorial videos, hands-on projects, and quizzes that tackle essential topics in mobile game development, such as:

  • Game design and mechanics
  • 2D and 3D game development
  • Working with game engines like Unity
  • Building and optimizing games for mobile devices
  • Publishing your games on the App Store and Google Play

By enrolling in this mini-degree, you’ll gain valuable real-world experience working on practical projects, helping you build a strong foundation for your career in mobile game development.

Macworld: How to Make an App for iPhone or iPad

This article provides a useful guide to making an iOS app or game with Apple’s development tools, such as Xcode 8, Swift, and Metal. The tutorials outline the steps to get started, from signing up with the Apple Developer Connection to planning and coding your game. Furthermore, the article suggests hiring an app developer if you need additional support or expertise.

Appy Pie: Creating a Simple iOS Game with Swift in Xcode

If you’re looking for a hands-on tutorial, this article guides you through creating an iOS game called “Add 1” using Swift and Xcode. You’ll learn about working with variables, optionals, Interface Builder, Auto Layout, outlets, and timers while building a user interface and configuring view controllers.

GitHub: iOS Game Development Repositories

This GitHub collection offers an extensive list of public repositories featuring iOS game assets, resources, and engines, as well as games developed using Swift, Objective-C, and C++. Some of these games are available on app stores, while others serve as open-source projects for aspiring developers to learn from.

GameDev Academy: How to Code a Game

This article is an excellent starting point for beginners looking to learn how to code a game. You’ll find an overview of various programming languages used in game development, such as C++, C#, Python, and JavaScript, as well as popular game engines like Unity, Unreal Engine, and Godot. The article also advises starting with a simple retro game like Pong or Breakout to familiarize yourself with game development basics.

WWDC20: Sample Code

This list contains sample codes for developers who attended the WWDC20 session videos. You’ll find codes covering various frameworks and topics, such as building widgets, creating custom views in SwiftUI, and enhancing user experience with pointer interactions, as well as codes related to media, AR experiences, and more.

Tuts+: Learn iOS Game Development by Example

Looking to learn from open-source projects? This article lists 10 iOS game projects available on GitHub, showcasing a wide range of classic and modern games. Remember, the goal is to review these projects for learning purposes, not to copy and submit them to the App Store.


Learning to code an iOS game can be an exciting and rewarding journey. With numerous tutorials and resources available, mastering mobile game development is more accessible than ever. However, for a comprehensive, beginner-friendly option, consider Zenva Academy’s Mobile Game Development Mini-Degree. With dedication and persistence, you’ll soon see your ideas come to life on the App Store.

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