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.

You can inspect what version of LÖVE you have installed like this:

love --version

Making a Game

To make a minimal game, create a folder anywhere, and open up your favorite code 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. The startup path specifies this folder.
  • From a .love file (a renamed .zip-file). The startup path specifies the file.

In both cases, there has to be a file called main.lua in the startup path or .love zipfile. This file will be loaded when LÖVE starts. If this file is missing, LÖVE will not recognize the folder or .love file as game, and it will complain about a wrongly packaged game. A frequently made mistake is zipping the folder rather than its contents. This stems from very old practice (because when you unzip a folder you don't want it to splash out all over your current directory), but for LÖVE doing that doesn't make sense: you need to zip the game folder's contents only, to get a correct .love.


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. There's also the Scite option.

You can also call it from the command line:

For instance:

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

You can also 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. Double-clicking the shortcut will execute the given command line.

On Windows, there is a special option which will attach a console to the Window. This allows 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 have installed the .deb, you can double click on .love files in your file manager as well.


On Mac OSX, a folder or .love file can be dropped onto the application bundle. On the Mac OSX Terminal (commandline), 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 -a TextEdit ~/.bash_profile):

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

Now you can call love from the commandline 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"

Note for OS X Lion Users: The above steps do not achieve the desires results under Lion. In order to run Löve and retain the print() functionality you can use a script such as the following:

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

Next steps

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