What is MakeCode, MakeCode Arcade, and What's Needed

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The MakeCode Arcade main screen at arcade.makecode.com

Microsoft MakeCode is a block based web coding environment. It is very similar to Scratch and other block based editors. You do not need to download any code on your computer. The web environment works best on Google Chrome which is available for PC, mac, and Linux.

MakeCode Arcade is a similar environment to MakeCode, but the environment has code blocks which are oriented towards building games. Most of the concepts used in game development on small devices are supported by MakeCode Arcade.

Documentation is available for MakeCode Arcade at https://arcade.makecode.com/docs

Software

Makecode Arcade requires Google Chrome as the browser at this time. There are versions of Chrome for mac, PC, Linux, and Raspberry Pi.

No other software is required.

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The back of the PyGamer board. The square at the center marked "Atmel" is the microcontroller.

Hardware

Code in MakeCode Arcade can run on a few boards developed by different companies. Here, we will concentrate on the Adafruit MakeCode Arcade compatible boards:

Note this list may grow - if you are unsure if your Adafruit board is compatible, go to the product page on Adafruit.com and see.

Each of the Adafruit boards have LCD color displays and buttons for game controls. All are currently based on the Microchip SAMD51 microcontroller.

This guide was first published on Jul 31, 2019. It was last updated on Jul 31, 2019. This page (What is MakeCode, MakeCode Arcade, and What's Needed ) was last updated on Dec 05, 2019.