Lua vs C++ Popularity, Salary, Performance

Lua vs C++

If you want to work on games, web applications, desktop applications, or graphic software, you should learn Lua.

Lua is a powerful, efficient, lightweight, embeddable scripting language. Lua is intended to be embedded into other applications.

It supports procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming, data-driven programming, and data description.

On the other hand, if you are interested in working on large systems, games, servers, search engines, electronics, or graphic software, you should learn C++.

C++ is a general-purpose programming language. It was designed with an orientation toward system programming and embedded, resource-constrained software and large systems, with performance, efficiency, and flexibility of use as its design highlights.

C++ stats

Comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use for your next project can be tricky.

There are many factors to consider in order to choose the right programming language for the job you want to do.

Popularity, opportunities, type of projects, salaries, resources, learning curve, etc. are some of the factors that many people consider when comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use.

Here are some of the comparisons and considerations you should make when choosing to learn a new programming language.


Comparing the popularity of programming languages is not an easy task because each programming language is different.

Although the usage of many programming languages may intersect, different fields and projects may require the use of different programming languages.

Plus, other programming languages have been around for a longer time than others, giving them more time to be tried and tested, so, bear that in mind.

If you want to learn a programming language solely for its popularity among developers, you should learn C++ over Lua.

Generally, C++ is more popular than Lua. As of May 2023, The TIOBE index ranks C++ as the 4th most popular programming language while Lua is ranked as the 29th most popular programming language.

According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, C++ is the 10th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 20.17% of professional developers.

On the other hand, Lua is the 25th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 3.23% of professional developers according to the same survey.

C++ is also loved by many developers than Lua in their respective communities. As of 2022, C++ is loved by 48.39% of developers versus 51.61% of developers who dreaded it.

On the other hand, Lua is loved by 42.73% of developers versus 57.27% of developers who dreaded it.

Ultimately, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn C++ over Lua.



Another popular criterion that many people use to compare programming languages and as an incentive to learn a new programming language is salary.

Salaries for developers differ from one company to the other and from one country to the other.

Experience is another factor that comes into play as far as salaries are concerned.

The more experience you have with a certain technology or programming language, the more likely you are of getting a higher salary.

Generally, Lua developers get higher salaries than C++ developers. ZipRecruiter reported that in the United States, Lua developers get an estimated salary of $111,573 per year.

On the other hand, C++ developers get an estimated salary of $110,110 per year.

Lua vs C++ salary

According to a Stack Overflow survey of top-paying programming languages, Lua developers get an average salary of $79,568 per year and C++ developers get an average salary of $68,000 per year.

So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a programming language, you should learn Lua over C++, because you are more likely to get a higher salary as a Lua developer than as a C++ developer.

Here are 10 Programming Languages that Pay more than $90,000


Some programming languages can be learned more easily than others.

If you want a programming language that is beginner-friendly and can be used to develop different types of applications, you should learn Lua over C++.

Lua is easy to learn and work with than C++. It has few rules and comes with only 21 Keywords. It is also easy to maintain a Lua codebase even when the project is huge.

Many developers point “Fast learning curve” as the leading cause for choosing and learning Lua.

Contrastingly, C++ is one of the most difficult languages to work with. C++ is not very easy to learn and work with.

C++ concepts that allow developers to allocate and deallocate memory make it even harder to work with the language.

If you create an object in C++, you are responsible for destroying it once its task is done. On the other hand, Lua has a garbage collector which will help you with memory management.

The good news is that there are plenty of helpful resources for both Lua and C++ to help you learn the languages.

The Lua and C++ communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.


If you plan on working on applications where top-notch performance is critical, you should learn C++.

C++ allows for low-level memory manipulation and efficient use of system resources and C++ code compiles to machine code, this makes it very fast and highly performant.

C++ is one of the few high-level programming languages in which petaFLOPS computations have been achieved, others being C, Julia, and Fortran.

C++ is a go-to language for high-performance applications and systems development.

This is because C++ code works very close to the hardware, giving it an edge over many programming languages.

C++ has many advanced features that make it a popular choice for developing operating systems, compilers, game engines, video games, servers, space probes, desktop applications, telecommunication systems, embedded systems, and many other large applications.

C++ is used by many companies such as Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Adobe, IBM, Epic Games, LinkedIn, NASA, Apple, and many others.

Did you know Lua

Although Lua is not generally performant as C++, it is very fast, the designers of Lua focused on improving its speed, portability, extensibility, and ease of use in development.

When Lua is used with its just-in-time compiler, it is widely regarded as one of the fastest scripting languages in the world.

In general, Lua strives to provide simple, flexible meta-features that can be extended as needed.

Lua is also distributed in a small package and builds out-of-the-box in all platforms that have a standard C compiler.

Another great advantage of Lua is that you can run Lua code in a C program or run C code in a Lua program using a simple Lua C API.

This makes it easy to embed high-performance C code in Lua programs and other applications.

Lua is used by many companies such as Adobe, Redis, Venmo, Lost Mable LLC, Aerospike, Wikipedia, Shopify, Close, Thumbtack, Roblox, Tokopedia, Unacademy, and many others.


Lua and C++ are very popular languages for game development. The popular game engines CryEngine and Unreal Engine use Lua and C++ for game scripting respectively.

C++ is the most popular programming language for developing game engines. More Game Engines have been developed with C++ than any other language.

Lua is one of the best programming languages for game development, it is a fast, and powerful language that makes it well suited for making powerful, performant Games.

Lua is commonly used for AAA-level games, by using Lua, you will be able to develop amazing games that can attract the attention of many users.

There are many games that have been developed using Lua that have a huge user base. Some of the notable ones include

  • Far Cry
  • Angry Birds
  • Call of Duty
  • World of Warcraft
  • Plague Lords
  • Crysis Remastered
  • Company of Heroes
  • Demigod
  • FlatOut
  • Blossom Blast Saga
  • Roblox
  • Family Island
  • Ryse: Son of Rome
  • Aporia: Beyond the Valley
  • Travel Blast
  • Rift
  • Star Wars: Battle Front
  • The Witcher
  • Civilization
  • Dark Souls
  • Sniper Ghost Warrior
  • Uninvited Guest
  • And many others

C++ is the most popular choice for developing high-performance AAA games for consoles, desktops, mobile devices, and VR platforms.

Some of the amazing games made with C++ include

  • Fortnite,
  • Brothers in Arms,
  • Golden Eye: Rogue Agent,
  • Medal of Honor,
  • Shadow Ops,
  • Shrek 2,
  • Star Wars,
  • Spider-man 2,
  • Batman Arkham City,
  • DC Universe Online,
  • Mortal Kombat,
  • Transformers,
  • Crash Bandicoot,
  • and many others.

Ultimately, if you want to make beautiful high-performance games quickly, you should learn Lua and if you want to develop high-performance AAA-level games, you should learn C++.

Lua vs C++ comparison


Once you have compared the languages and evaluated all the factors, you can choose which programming language to learn or use depending on the factors that are on your side and what you want to build.

If you want to work on large systems, performance-critical applications, AAA video games, search engines, operating systems, embedded systems, etc. you should learn C++ over Lua.

If you want to work on games, web applications, desktop applications, graphics software and get a higher salary, you should learn Lua over C++.