In today’s Roblox coding guide we’re going to cover some Roblox coding basics, including essential scripting concepts for Lua, and how to get started with Roblox scripting in a few simple steps. Plus, we’ll reveal some Roblox coding resources and free classes to help you build on the skills you learn today!
For expert guidance every step of the way, join our award-winning live online Roblox coding class, designed by experts from Google, Stanford, and MIT for kids and teens. There's also a more advanced Lua coding class.
Discover the getting started with Roblox coding guide
Behind every fun Roblox game is a fair amount of script to make objects respond to the players as they navigate the game. From fading platforms to lava blocks, any object in Roblox can be scripted to do whatever the code designer wants to see happen.
Scripting basics for Lua
Lua is the scripting language that game developers use in Roblox Studio. It is a basic coding language that can be used by both beginners and experienced coders since it is fairly simple to learn and also able to handle advanced scripting techniques. There are a few important concepts to learn immediately before you dive right into scripting in Lua.
Learn the Lua user interface for Roblox coding
It is really important to understand the Roblox Studio user interface (UI) and how all of the features work to make scripting easier for you. Not only do you have the main building window (stage) and the toolbar that allows you to use objects others have shared, but also you will also want to get to know several other windows that will help you check for errors, change properties, and more. All of these windows can be opened and closed on the View tab at the top of the Studio interface.
Properties Window: Be sure to keep the Properties Window open below your Explorer Window, as a fast way to make changes to your objects. You can change the color, material, transparency, anchoring, size, and much more.
Get practice going in-depth with the Properties window with this fun tutorial:
Output Window: This window usually lies below the stage window and can tell you all about your project as it runs. It will show any output that the game makes along the way, such as print statements, starting/stopping the server, and if a piece of code doesn’t act as it should, where to find the error.
Script Analysis Window: Similar to the Output Window, the Script Analysis Window not only tells you when your script has an error, it will explain what it expected to see on that line of code as well. In this example, I have an If-Then statement with no identifying information for the condition, so the analysis shows that it expected to see the identifier!
Learn the Roblox Lua coding terms
There are some important coding terms that you will want to understand before diving into scripting in Roblox. Here are a few of the basic terms to learn and understand:
- Functions: A piece of code that is created once but can be used in multiple places throughout the code. You define a code based on what it does for the script.
- Strings: Data values that are made up of more than one word or separate with spaces are referred to as strings. They can be identified by “quotes” around the phrase or statement.
- Variables: This is a value that can change, so you replace it with a word that represents the value throughout your scripts. For example: BoxSize might be a good variable name for a function that tells the script what size box to show.
- Conditional Statements: When you want something to happen based on certain conditions in your game, this uses a conditional statement. An example of this is an “If…Then” statement or “If… Then… Else” statement.
Getting started with Roblox scripting
Now that you know how things look in Roblox Studio and what the common scripting terms mean, it is time to get started with your project. Use the tips here to guide you through how to get started with basic Roblox object modification and actions on touch scripts.
1. Open a new Roblox project
Open up a new project using the classic baseplate. Click on the baseplate and delete it (either click the backspace/delete key or right click and choose delete). Then click on the + sign next to Workspace and create a new SpawnLocation block.
2. Add Roblox parts
Place a new part into your project by clicking on the Part block on the Home tab. Be sure to ANCHOR it! Don’t add any color or materials to it yet, we will be adding that through script. You can, however, scale the part to make it big enough for your player to land on, and move it to where you want it to be.
3. Add a script
Now we will add a script to this Part by clicking on the + sign next to it, and choosing Script from the menu. Go ahead and delete the default script, print("Hello world!").
4. Change the color
Let’s change the color of our part! In the script, add the following code:
Workspace.Part.BrickColor = BrickColor.new("Toothpaste")
Now, hit “Play” on the home tab and see if your part has changed to a light blue color. If your block is still gray, be sure that your script contains all the periods and quote marks as they appear in the script above.
5. Add texture
How about adding some texture to your part? Let’s make the part look like metal. Add the following script below your color script line:
Workspace.Part.Material = Enum.Material.DiamondPlate
Your block should now look like the one in the image below:
6. Make the block light up
Let’s reward our player for landing on our awesome block by having it light up when they touch it. Add a new script to your part and call it LightUpScript (remember no spaces between the words is best coding practice to follow).
Now delete the default script line, print("Hello world!"), and let’s place in our first function into your “LightUp” script:
local Part = script.Parent
local function LightUp(OtherPart)
local OtherPartParent = OtherPart.Parent
local Humanoid = OtherPartParent:FindFirstChildWhichIsA("Humanoid")
if Humanoid then
Part.BrickColor = BrickColor.new("Really red")
Part.Material = Enum.Material.Neon
7. Call the function
That is the function’s script instructions, but we have to “call” the function in the game, in order for it to start up and run. Therefore, after the second “end” line above, place the final piece of script:
Play your Roblox game!
Now, play your Roblox game, jump on your block, and watch it light up! You can add so many other options to your parts using more scripts. For example, your parts can move, they can harm the player when touched, disappear, or reward points!
Roblox coding websites, resources, and free classes
If you found this short scripting example fun and want to learn more, here are a few ways we suggest becoming a better script writer.
Create & Learn offers a free introductory Roblox coding class where you can learn how to create your own obby game, and begin to put more scripts in place to make your game fun to play. Each course is taught live with an experienced instructor online, so you can ask questions and share your obby with others in the class. In addition, there are three more parts of Roblox Studio coding beyond the free class that will help you learn even more skills for design, coding, and sharing your games. Try a live online Roblox coding class today!
If you love to read about Roblox and want to learn at your own pace, there are many books available that have been written by Roblox Studio coding experts and developers. This is a nice way to always have a reference tool on hand in your library that you can go back to if you get stuck on scripting language at any time. Read about some of our favorites here.
If learning with videos and reading through instructions sounds best for you, Roblox developers have put together a website that has a wide range of projects and scripting that you can learn. The tutorials on this website are great for beginners, but also proceed into more advanced scripting and project techniques to guide you through creating a full, working game of your own. If a step-by-step self-paced tutorial is for you, check out the Developer website for more information.
Are you ready to dive into a full game build? If you found our example in this post easy and are looking for more challenging content, check out some of the full game examples direct from Roblox. On the Create website, written tutorials will guide you through an entire game project from start to finish, with a completely playable and shareable game when you complete it. This example is for an Adventure Game, where your player will explore a world to collect items and power up along the way.
If you learn best by watching others guide you through a tutorial, perhaps a series of YouTube videos are your best option. One great feature about using video tutorials to learn scripting is that you can pause and rewind the content as much as needed to understand the concepts. Some YouTubers will even respond to questions in the comments section. Here is a full series of tutorial videos, Zero to Hero, by YouTuber CovertCode.
Enjoy our Roblox coding guide
Today you learned how to navigate the Roblox Studio UI, what basic coding terminology is important to know, and created a beginner script that lights up your part! You can take this knowledge to the next level by joining our expert-led live online Beginner Roblox Game Coding Class for Grades 3-8, or intermediate Roblox Studio Coding with Lua for Grades 6-12, designed by experts from Google, Stanford, and MIT. With our free intro there's no risk in trying!
The most important thing to remember is to practice your Roblox coding as much as you can, which will help you become a faster, more advanced script writer, no matter how you choose to learn.
Written by Kari Tonkin, a Create & Learn instructor. Kari has been teaching a wide variety of courses and ages for more than twenty-six years. Some of her favorite subjects to teach include computer science, graphic design, mathematics, and coding languages. She received a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Design with Technology Integration from Black Hills State University in 2016 and has used this knowledge to stay current on new technology trends in education. When she is not working, Kari enjoys playing video games with her family, including Roblox and Minecraft, hiking and camping, and traveling around the United States.