Getting Started


Download the latest version of LÖVE from the website, and install it. If you're on Windows and don't want to install LÖVE, you can also just download the zipped executables and extract them anywhere.

To find out which version of LÖVE is installed, run the following command:

love --version

Making a Game

To make a minimal game, create a folder anywhere, and open up your favorite text editor. Notepad++ is a pretty good one for Windows, and it has Lua support built in. Create a new file in the folder you just created, and name it main.lua. Put the following code in the file, and save it.

function love.draw()"Hello World", 400, 300)

Running Games

LÖVE can load a game in two ways:

  • From a folder that contains a main.lua file.
  • From a .love file that has a main.lua file in the top-most directory level (aka root)

For creating .love files see Game Distribution.


On Windows, the easiest way to run the game is to drag the folder onto love.exe, or a shortcut to love.exe. Remember to drag the folder containing main.lua, and not main.lua itself.

SciTE allows you to launch the game from within the editor.

You can also launch the game from the command line:

love C:\games\mygame
love C:\games\

You can create a shortcut to do this; simply make a shortcut to love.exe, right-click on it and select "Properties", and then put the command line you want in the "Target" box for the shortcut.

On Windows, there is a special option which will attach a console to the window, allowing you to see standard output:

love --console


On Linux, you can use one of these command lines:

love /home/path/to/gamedir/
love /home/path/to/

If you installed LÖVE system-wide, you can double click on .love files in your file manager as well.

Mac OSX Snow Leopard (10.6) or earlier

On Mac OSX, a folder or .love file can be dropped onto the application bundle. On the Mac OSX Terminal (command line), you can use love like this (assuming it's installed to the Applications directory):

open -n -a love "/home/path/to/game"

In some cases it may be faster to invoke the love binary inside the application bundle directly via the following:

/Applications/ mygame

You can setup an alias in your Terminal session to call the binary when you use love by adding an alias to your ~/.bash_profile.

Open the file with

open -a TextEdit ~/.bash_profile

You may have to run

touch ~/.bash_profile

first if the file does not yet exist.

Then paste in the following code and save the file:

# alias to love
alias love="/Applications/"

Now you can call love from the command line like Linux and Windows:

love "/home/path/to/game"

If you debug using the print command, it is useful to see this printed in realtime. In which case the following will open an extra window that will show the printed text.

xterm -e /Applications/ "/home/path/to/game"

Mac OSX Lion (10.7) or later

In order to run LÖVE and retain the print() functionality in Lion, you can use a script such as the following:

exec /Applications/ "/home/path/to/game"

Next steps

Other Languages