Today we’re looking at the best Lua books for this year.
What is Lua programming?
Lua is a high-level, cross-platform, multi-paradigm programming language.
Its primary function is for embedded use in applications.
Lua is generally considered relatively easy to learn.
Who uses Lua?
Designed in 1993, Lua is widely used by game developers for popular games such as:
In addition, CRYENGINE uses Lua as its scripting language.
This post contains affiliate links. We may receive compensation if you buy something. Read our disclosure for more details.
Best Lua Books
Now let’s take a look at some of the best Lua books for this year.
Books 1-5 are for beginners.
Books 6 and 7 are for more experienced Lua developers.
You’ll discover their:
- core concepts
↘️ Ideal for: programmers new to Lua
↘️ Topics covered: Lua 5.3 fundamentals
Programming in Lua was written by Roberto Ierusalimschy, one of the architects of the Lua programming language.
- Learn Lua 5.3 fundamentals
- Explore metatables and metamethods
- Discover object-oriented programming
➡️ In our opinion, Programming in Lua is one of the best Lua books overall.
The book starts with the absolute basics and grows in complexity as you progress.
Covering all aspects of Lua 5.3, you’ll learn about:
✅ pattern matching
Finally, you’ll learn about the C API which includes:
- calling C from Lua
- techniques for writing C functions
- user-defined types in C
Throughout the book, you’ll find code snippets and exercises to help you along.
What Lua programmers are saying about Programming in Lua:
↘️ Ideal for: new and experienced developers new to Lua programming
↘️ Topics covered: Lua fundamentals
Lua Quick Start Guide is a bit different than Programming in Lua.
Rather than gain a deep understanding of Lua, you’ll learn just enough of the basics to get up and running.
Best for Newbies:
- Debug Lua applications
- Use standard Lua libraries
- Use Lua C API
➡️ We think Lua Quick Start Guide is one of the best Lua books for beginners.
Throughout the book, you’ll discover the basics of Lua.
Then you’ll learn:
✅ how to use tables
✅ object-oriented programming
✅ how to use standard Lua libraries
✅ how to debug Lua applications
Finally, you’ll use the Lua C API to embed Lua into applications.
↘️ Ideal for: Lua newbies
↘️ Topics covered: basics of scripting in Roblox Lua
It’s a short introduction to Lua that’s a little easier on the wallet.
- Set up Roblox Studio
- Learn about functions and events
- Discover GUIs
➡️ We believe Roblox Lua: Scripting for Beginners is one of the best Lua books for developers on a budget.
Packed with images, step-by-step instructions and scripted examples, you’ll learn the basics of scripting in Roblox Lua.
First you’ll learn how to set up Roblox Studio.
Then you’ll learn about:
✅ functions and events
✅ graphical user interfaces (GUIs)
↘️ Ideal for: Lua and Roblox newbies
↘️ Topics covered: Roblox development, mechanics, marketing, monetization
Like Roblox Lua, you’ll learn how to code Roblox games.
But here you’ll get into much deeper detail.
➡️ Coding Roblox Games Made Easy is perhaps one of the best Lua books for creating games using Roblox Studio and Lua.
Using this book, you’ll create your very own game using the Roblox Lua programming language.
But first, you’ll:
✅ learn how to use Roblox Studio
✅ become familiar with monetization, mechanics and marketing
✅ discover expert tips for collaboration and managing project workloads
You’ll also learn how to develop real-world games like Battle Royale and Obby.
What Lua developers are saying about Coding Roblox Games Made Easy:
↘️ Ideal for: Roblox and Lua newbies
↘️ Topics covered: code game mechanics, animations, designing GUIs
Coding with Roblox Lua is similar to Coding Roblox Games Made Easy.
But this is the official Roblox Guide.
➡️ Coding with Roblox Lua in 24 Hours is arguably one of the best Lua books for learning Roblox Lua in a short amount of time.
In fact, the book asserts that you can learn Roblox Lua in 24 one-hour lessons.
You’ll find step-by-step instructions, quizzes, exercises and full-color images to help you along.
Throughout the book, you’ll learn how to:
✅ import assets, models, weapons and more
✅ code game mechanics and animations
✅ design GUIs for storefronts
✅ teleport players
You’ll also discover how to publish and monetize your game.
↘️ Ideal for: experienced Lua developers
↘️ Topics covered: configuration, scripting, prototyping
We’ll be the first to admit: this cover isn’t the most compelling.
However, we think it has plenty of relevant, useful information.
Essentially, Lua 5.3 Reference Manual is the abbreviated version of Programming in Lua.
We recommended you already know the basics of Lua before reading this book.
➡️ We think Lua 5.3 Reference Manual is one of the best Lua books for experienced developers.
With this short handy guide, you’ll be able to quickly look up concepts surrounding:
↘️ Ideal for: programmers and game enthusiasts with some Lua experience
↘️ Topics covered: computer graphics, physics, artificial intelligence
Lua Game Development Cookbook is different than any other Lua book on our list.
That’s because here you’ll find over 70 “recipes” for building a modern game engine using Lua.
➡️ Lua Game Development Cookbook is arguably one of the best Lua books for developers who want to learn Lua best practices.
While exploring game mechanics, you’ll learn how to solve both common and uncommon problems.
Then you’ll learn about modern:
✅ computer graphics
✅ artificial intelligence
Packed with step-by-step instructions and examples, you’ll learn specifics like:
- using lighting and graphical effects
- implementing network support
- using textures, fonts and 3D models
- creating animated game characters
- using data structures
Best Lua Books: Conclusion
Today we looked at the best Lua books including:
So whether you’re just getting started with Lua programming or have a bit of experience, we think these are the best Lua books of this year.
Readers of Best Lua Books are also reading:
- 5 Best Game Development Courses
- 16 Best Game Development Books
- 7 Fast Questions with Roblox Game Dev MrFazCo
- 8 Best Front-End Courses for Beginners
- 14 Best Android Books