Head to the MakeCode arcade homepage at https://arcade.makecode.com/ and click "New Project".

MakeCode Arcade User Interface

  • On the right side of the screen is our editing space. This is where we'll drag and drop blocks onto to create the game.


  • The center column is where we'll find all the different blocks with which to choose from.


  • The game console on the left-hand side of the screen is where our code comes to life and where we can test our games out.

Code Block Types

There are two ways to program in MakeCode Arcade: with blocks and with javascript. Block-based programming is designed for beginners and allows users to drag and drop code blocks into an editor to program. Javascript is a syntax based language for more experienced programers. We'll be using the block-based method in this guide. Here are the different kinds of code blocks to program our games with in MakeCode Arcade:


  • This category allows us to create and define Sprites. Sprites are the objects what we control in our games. They can be players, enemies, food, projectiles, and more!


  • These blocks let us define which buttons control what. For example if we want button A on our controller to shoot out arrows.


  • Let us control the timeline of the game as well as when the player loses or wins.


  • Add music and sound effects.


Control the background and screen dimensions of the game.


  • Control core game elements such as score, lives and game clock.


  • For repeating certain code blocks on different conditions.


  • Tell certain code blocks to execute based on a condition.


  • Create variables which are used to store data like the velocity of a sprite.


  • Allow various mathematical functions. Can be used to modify variables for example.


Access code blocks to:

  • Images: Create and edit graphics of sprites and backgrounds.
  • Functions: Create custom functions to call within the program.
  • Arrays: Create lists of data.
  • Text: Create strings. Could be used to create speech bubbles for characters.
  • Console: Help with debugging or troubleshooting errors in the program.
  • Extensions: Access additional block types like animations.

This guide was first published on Jan 25, 2019. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Navigating MakeCode Arcade) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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