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7 Best Lua Books for 2023 [Start Coding Roblox ASAP]

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:

✅ Roblox

✅ SimCity 4

✅ Warframe

✅ World of Warcraft

In addition, CRYENGINE uses Lua as its scripting language.

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TLDR: Best Lua Books

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Programming in Lua

💥 Best for Newbies 💥

Lua Quick Start Guide

💸 Best Value 💸

Roblox Lua: Scripting for Beginners

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:

  • features
  • core concepts
  • layout
  • comparisons

And more.

1. Programming in Lua

↘️ 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.

Best Overall:

programming in lua fourth edition by roberto ierusalimschy book cover with grey background and 4 circles and vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines over the word Lua
  • 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:

✅ strings

✅ tables

✅ functions

✅ closures

✅ pattern matching

Then you’ll dive deeper while exploring iterators, metatables and metamethods, and object-oriented programming.

Lua types and values in Programming in Lua

Finally, you’ll learn about the C API which includes:

  • calling C from Lua
  • techniques for writing C functions
  • user-defined types in C

And beyond.

Throughout the book, you’ll find code snippets and exercises to help you along.

What Lua programmers are saying about Programming in Lua:

… If you’re at all curious about Lua, this book is your definitive guide…


2. Lua Quick Start Guide: The Easiest Way to Learn Lua Programming

↘️ 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:

lua quick start guide, the easiest way to learn lua programming by gabor szauer book cover with image of thousands of red led lights
  • 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.

Installing Lua in Lua Quick Start Guide

3. Roblox Lua: Scripting for Beginners

↘️ Ideal for: Lua newbies
Topics covered:
basics of scripting in Roblox Lua

Roblox Lua is a bit different than Programming in Lua and Lua Quick Start Guide because it focuses on Lua under the umbrella of Roblox.

It’s a short introduction to Lua that’s a little easier on the wallet.

Best Value:

roblox lua: scripting for beginners, learn the basics of scripting in roblox lua with pictures, beginner-friendly language, step by step instructions and scripted examples by douglas snipp book cover with rainbow paint splatter around a white circle
  • 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)

✅ scripting

And beyond.

4. Coding Roblox Games Made Easy

↘️ 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

And more.

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:

… If you’re looking to dip your toes into Roblox Game development then this book is worth it.

Jarvis Hill

5. Sams Teach Yourself Coding with Roblox Lua in 24 Hours: The Official Roblox Guide

↘️ 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.

6. Lua 5.3 Reference Manual

↘️ 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:

✅ configuration

✅ scripting

✅ prototyping

And more.

7. Lua Game Development Cookbook

↘️ 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

✅ physics

✅ artificial intelligence

And more.

Creating surfaces in Lua Game Development Cookbook

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

And beyond.

Best Lua Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best Lua books including:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
Programming in Lua

💥 Best for Newbies 💥

Lua Quick Start Guide

💸 Best Value 💸

Roblox Lua: Scripting for Beginners

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.

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