Roblox Error Handling Tutorial – Complete Guide

Roblox, an online platform that hosts user-created games and experiences, is not only a haven for gamers but also an excellent learning ground for aspiring game developers. Using its powerful scripting language, Lua, developers can bring their game ideas alive. However, like any programming language, Lua also packs its set of challenges, with error handling being a common one.

What is Error Handling in Roblox?

Error handling is an essential aspect of programming in Roblox. It’s a process that identifies, catches, and manages errors or exceptions that arise during the execution of your Lua script.

Why is Error Handling Significant?

Effective error handling in Lua scripts allows for smoother, uninterrupted gameplay by ensuring scripts continue to execute even when instances of errors occur. It brings stability to your game or experience, promoting a seamless user experience and, in turn, improving user retention.

For developers, Lua error handling provides important feedback during the development process, helping to identify and rectify coding mistakes quicker. In addition, learning error handling is a great way to level up your coding skills and to create better, more robust games on Roblox.

CTA Small Image

Basic Error Handling With pcall

The most basic form of error handling in Lua is the pcall (protected call) function. This function takes another function as its argument and attempts to execute that function.

function mightError()
    -- Some code that might cause an error

local success, message = pcall(mightError)

if not success then
    print("An error occured: " .. message) 

In this example, we call the function that might cause an error inside a pcall. If an error occurs, the pcall will return two values: whether or not the call was successful (a boolean), and a message about the error.

Using error() to Generate Errors

Another useful function for error handling is error(). This function generates a Lua error. It’s used to make your code fault-tolerant by causing it to fail when certain conditions aren’t met.

function generateError()
    error("This is a custom error message.")


In this example, we define a function that generates an error with a custom message. This error message is then caught by the pcall function.

Using xpcall for Enhanced Error Handling

For more comprehensive error handling, Lua provides the xpcall function. This function works in a similar way to pcall, but with an additional argument for an error handling function. The error handler function gets called when an error occurs, providing more control over error handling.

function mightError()

function errorHandler(err)
    print("Error occurred:", err)

xpcall(mightError, errorHandler)

In this example, we’re using xpcall function where the first argument is the function which might generate errors and the second argument is an error handling function.

Handling Specific Errors

Beyond just a generic catch-all, Lua also lets you catch and handle specific types of errors.

For instance, if your code can run into different kinds of errors and you need to handle them differently, you can `throw` custom error objects with specific properties and catch them individually. Here’s how:

function mightError()
    local day ="*t").wday 
    if(day == 1) then
        error({code=101, message="It's Sunday. I don't work on Sundays."})
    elseif(day == 2) then
        error({code=102, message="It's Monday. I hate Mondays."})
        print("It's a good day.")

local success, err = pcall(mightError)

if not success then
    if type(err) == "table" and err.code == 101 then
        print("Caught error: " .. err.message)
    elseif type(err) == "table" and err.code == 102 then
        print("Caught error: " .. err.message)
        print("An unknown error occurred.")

Above code will first check the day of the week and throw different custom errors based on it. The catch block using `pcall` then identifies the type of error based on the error code and handles it appropriately.

Nested pcall

Another scenario that you might encounter is needing to use a `pcall` within another `pcall`. Here’s how you can do this:

function innerError()
    error("This is an inner error.")

function outerError()
    local ok, err = pcall(innerError)
    if not ok then 
        error("Caught inner error: " .. err)

local success, err = pcall(outerError)

if not success then
    print("Caught outer error: " .. err)

In this snippet, we create two functions that might generate errors. Both are called inside pcalls, forming a nested error handling structure. Any errors generated within the inner functions are caught and handled by their respective pcalls.

Trackbacks in xpcall

When utilizing the `xpcall` function, the `debug.traceback` function can be useful. However, this tool should only be employed during the debugging phase and avoided in production, as it can expose your code structure:

function mightError()

local success, err = xpcall(mightError, debug.traceback)

if not success then

This code leverages `xpcall` function and `debug.traceback` to generate detailed error messages with a stack trace. It gives a textual representation of the call stack which can be immensely helpful when trying to pinpoint an error in your code.

By knowing the right way to handle and prevent errors, you’re not only making more robust games and experiences but are also taking one more step towards becoming an advanced programmer. Hope you found these examples helpful for your Roblox Lua scripting journey with Zenva.

Handling Expected Errors

Using `assert` function is another way of handling expected errors in Lua script. It is often used for verifying conditions and pausing the script execution when conditions are not met.

local value = 5
assert(value == 5, "Value is not 5")

In this snippet, the assert function checks if the `value` is equal to 5. If not, it throws an error with the error message “Value is not 5”.

Error Levels

While creating custom errors, you can specify a second argument to the `error` function which is the error level. This feature allows the developer to attribute the error to a specific line or function in the code.

local a = "hello"
local b = "world"

function addStrings(s1, s2)
    if type(s1) ~= "string" or type(s2) ~= "string" then
        error("Arguments to addStrings must both be strings", 2)
    return s1 .. " " .. s2

print(addStrings(a, b))
print(addStrings(a, 123))

Here, the `addStrings` function throws an error if either of its arguments is not a string. The error level (2) attributed to this error indicates that the error occurred in the function that called `addStrings`, not in `addStrings` itself.

Chain of pcalls

Lua allows you to catch cascading errors through a chain of pcalls. This method is often used in complex scripts where multiple `pcall` may be nested within each other.

function thirdLevel()
    error("Error at the third level")

function secondLevel()
    local ok, err = pcall(thirdLevel)
    if not ok then 
        error("Caught third level error: " .. err, 2)

function firstLevel()
    local ok, err = pcall(secondLevel)
    if not ok then
        error("Caught second level error: " .. err, 2)

local success, err = pcall(firstLevel)

if not success then
    print("Caught first level error: " .. err)

Such a complex structure is useful in larger programs where numerous functions are interacting with each other. Each function is wrapped within a pcall and when an error occurs, it flags the error up to the function that called it.

Using rawpcall

The `rawpcall` function is similar to the `pcall` function, except it doesn’t afford protection against yielding. This function can be useful when used with caution, as it doesn’t handle errors that might occur during yielding.

    local success, message = rawpcall(function() 
        error("This will throw an error") 
    if not success then
        print("Caught error: ".. message)

This code example is making use of both coroutine (used for creating threads in Lua) and rawpcall function to catch an error. The error thrown by the function is caught by the rawpcall and printed out.

Understanding when and where to utilize these error methods can help you develop scripts that maintain the stability of your games and experiences. We hope that these examples will contribute to enhancing your mastery over Lua scripting in Roblox and that you’ll continue your learning journey with Zenva to master this and other game-related scripting languages.

The realm of Roblox game creation is enormous, holding ample opportunities for you to sharpen your scripting skills and contribute to the game industry. Having begun your journey with error handling in Lua, it’s time to propel your learning to the next level. There’s a plethora of concepts and areas to explore to continue mastering Roblox game development.

We at Zenva offer an amazing stepping stone to help you proceed on this journey – our comprehensive Roblox Game Development Mini-Degree. This collection is designed to cover concepts from Roblox basics to developing engaging games like melee battle games and first-person shooter games. This mini-degree is suitable for beginners and structured in a flexible manner, allowing you to learn at your pace even with a busy schedule.

If you’re interested in checking out a broader collection, feel free to explore our variety of Roblox courses. Keep going, continue learning, and delve deeper into the exciting world of Roblox game development with Zenva.


Understanding error handling is at the core of becoming an efficient Lua programmer for Roblox. By mastering this key concept, you not only augment the quality of your games but also greatly enhance your problem-solving capabilities as a coder. Embrace these techniques to let your creativity shine and bring your unique game ideas to life.

Feel inspired to explore more? Continue your game development journey with Zenva’s Roblox Game Development Mini-Degree, and unlock the door to a future brimming with endless opportunities. Happy coding!

Did you come across any errors in this tutorial? Please let us know by completing this form and we’ll look into it!

Python Blog Image

FINAL DAYS: Unlock coding courses in Unity, Godot, Unreal, Python and more.