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John Selawsky
John Selawsky

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Learning by Playing: How to Learn Java With Coding Games and Quests?

These days, resources to learn Java are almost countless. Self-learning tutorials, books, online courses, offline classes — you name it.

However, to keep the students motivated to learn to code, the developers have recently come up with game-based online courses. They are found to be one of the best methods to acquire programming skills while having little to no previous experience. Gamification allows you to learn by playing, which is a distinctive practice to avoid burnout.

So, next, you will find a list of five Java gamified platforms that will make the process of learning the language an exciting journey.

Top 5 Game-Based Programming Platforms for Java Practice

1. CodeGym

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  • Free zero level, as well as free access to the game section, forum, and help section.
  • $49/month for the Premium plan.
  • $99/month for the Premium Pro plan.

Once you start the course from CodeGym, you will be forced to write your first line of code from the very beginning. This is an online programming platform focused on giving students as much Java practice as possible. The course contains four questions, 10 levels each. In general, you will resolve 1200 small practical tasks of increasing complexity and acquire the knowledge and skills needed to land a job in any company that desperately needs programmers.

Other than that, this Java course uses the latest teaching methods to make the learning process interesting to the students. Gamification is one of the methods. A user gets to the futuristic planet inhabited by robots and faces team crushes. From level zero, the user together with a young robot Amigo starts teaching themselves to code to educate the rest of the team and get out of the planet and come back to Earth.

As you can see, the course is way entertaining, which allows students to move further until they get to the final level. Other than receiving instant verifications to all the tasks the learners complete, they also get access to a lively community. This is where they can seek help, share their impressions about the quests with other students, and give a helping hand to someone with zero experience in programming.

2. Codewars

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  • Free.
  • $9.99/month to access additional tutorials.

Codewars platform has been created thanks to a collective effort of its users. It allows students to improve their skills by training themselves on kata, challenges named after a form of practice in some martial arts. These programming exercises help to strengthen different skills from mastering the chosen language to expanding the understanding of a new one. The course is gamified, so the students never get bored when learning to code.

When joining the Codewars platform, users get access to 20 programming languages they can choose from; the other 12 languages are still available in the beta version. Kata can be solved right in the student’s browser and checked using test cases.

Apart from that, students, while challenging themselves on kata, earn ranks and honor. The higher rank of the kata they complete, the more complex challenges relevant to the skills they get. Learners can also compare their solutions with their peers, talk over the best practices, or brainstorm within the community.

And last but not least, Codewars users can create their own kata based on their interests and skill set, challenge the community, and collect feedback.

3. Cyber-Dojo



  • Free for non-commercial use (donate is welcome).

Cyber-Dojo is another place to learn Java, JS, Python, and other 25+ programming languages. Same to CodeGym and Codewars, the Cyber-Dojo platform is developed using gamified techniques. The students can acquire coding skills by completing lots of exercises and challenges, each well-described and explaining what the solution might look like.

The platform makes it possible for the students to choose the preferred language and exercises, start practicing on their own or join the group session. While training, users write code and then test run to check if they pass the challenge. In case of failure, the light turns red, while amber light indicates syntax errors. Finally, the light turns green when you pass all tasks.

The main goal of the Cyber-Dojo course is to help you enhance your coding skills rather than reach the last level as soon as possible.

4. CodeChef



  • Free.

Consider CodeChef if you are looking to learn Java while competing with your fellow developers. This is a platform developed to host programming contests and challenges three times a month. CodeChef encourages specialists to put themselves up for recognition and get a boost in the form of prizes and goodies. Other than that, the platform allows other programming communities, including large institutions and organizations from the whole world, to conduct their own contests.

While competition is more suitable for specialists with previous experience or at least basic technical knowledge, CodeChef has taken care of beginners as well. Among other things, you can find training sessions, tutorials, and discussions referred to algorithms, binary search, sorting, and other concepts that will help to start your programming journey. As the problems to solve are all tagged according to level and topic, you can choose the one that suits your skills.

Like Codewars, CodeChef allows its students to upload, write, and run code right in the browser window and choose the language they want to master from the list of 35+ technologies. Every time users give correct answers, they earn points and gain higher ranks. Additionally, they get feedback on their code from mentors, which allows eliminating any possible errors or discrepancies. Once the students feel they have enough programming knowledge and skills, they can finally join the contests.

5. CodinGame



  • Free for developers (sponsored by companies waiting to get in touch with coders).
  • €349 paid monthly or €249 paid annually for Growth plan (for businesses looking to hire specialists).
  • The quote needs to be requested for the Enterprise plan.

CodinGame is one of the few platforms that encourages its students to take responsibility when writing their first lines of code and contribute to establishing a global game in the future. It also serves as a platform for recruitment and helps specialists to be noticed by tech companies looking for a skilled developer. These and other features make it worthy to be in this list of top gamified courses.

CodinGame platform combines both theoretical and hands-on teaching methods, so developers of all skill levels can learn and practice any language from over 25 available. They get access to programming puzzles of increasing complexity and bot competitions.

Writing an AI bot lets the students compete with other programmers’ bots in a playful way and learn how to solve problems with the tools at hand. Those who are always on the go can make the most of a 5-minute coding battle every day.

Other than being known for its gamified challenges, CodinGame can also boast a lively and supportive community of programmers. Do you have a hard time completing the puzzles and can hardly find the solution, have a few coding questions, or just want to share your impressions about the contest? Forums and chats are ideal to find help and people who are in the same boat as you.

Wrapping Things Up

Learning programming is like eating healthy — just as everyone finds healthy food tasteless, everyone is used to the idea that Java practice and learning other programming languages are boring.

However, it is far from reality, and learning to code can be as fun as possible with online courses based on gamified teaching methods. Put the mentioned platforms on the list and try them out when it comes to learning a new programming language or expanding your knowledge of one you’ve already mastered.

First published on JavaRevisited.

Discussion (1)

lepinekong profile image

Good list thanks