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C# IDE: What Are the Best IDEs for C# Beginners?

Mercy Ugonna Njoku - August 05, 2022

So, you want to build your next mobile application with C#, but you don’t know what the best Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) are for people learning C#. To get the most out of everything this programming language features, it has to be paired with a good C# IDE.

This article will provide you with in-depth information regarding the best C# IDEs, ways to help you choose the best IDE for C# development projects, and other useful information to gain a better understanding of an IDE.

What Is an IDE?

An IDE is a project management system that consists of built-in development tools, libraries, and plugins necessary for the development and deployment of websites or software applications. IDEs provide a framework for developers to build upon. IDEs provide access to source codes, code templates, integration tools, and application programming interface (API) services so you can implement and execute your software designs.

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For an IDE to be considered a C# IDE, it should provide support for C development. It should contain popular features such as version control, class browsers, and libraries for compiling the C# code into an object-oriented code. It should also come with tools for validating the C# syntax before it can be deployed. A cross-platform IDE can be run on multiple operating systems.

What Is the Difference Between an IDE and a Code Editor?

An IDE contains an array of development tools, whereas a code editor has a single tool that includes basic functional features. The code editing tool in the IDE can perform multiple programming tasks needed for the optimal development of software applications. With an IDE, you have key features and tools like code files, code analysis, auto-completion suggestions, and deployment automation tools that are not usually found in a code editor.

A code editor’s features include syntax coloring and expansion, code inspections, and code folding. You can use a code editor to conduct unit tests on bits of code. This process helps ensure higher code quality for more functional and scalable applications.

How to Choose the Best IDE for C# Development

There are several factors to consider when choosing an IDE for your C# development. You must ensure that the IDE you choose will facilitate the secure and rapid development of your application. The success of your IDE depends on various core development factors that are mentioned below.

The Project Types Involved

When deciding on a C# IDE, you should always consider the type of project you’re working on. There are several types of projects you can develop with the C# programming language. Also, there are IDEs specially built to provide support for large-scale development. Each of these projects will require unique sets of development tools and plugins.

For instance, if you are working on a video game using the C# programming language, you would need an IDE that supports the .Net framework, along with graphics tools and visual editors. However, you don’t necessarily need these tools for a web server application.

Cost of C# IDE

Knowing the cost of using C# IDEs is important. The price tag attached to a C# IDE can limit or expand your options, depending on how you use it. Most multi-featured C# IDEs usually have licenses and come with subscription fees, which limits their accessibility. However, it is obvious that the more features you have access to, the more functional your end-product is.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you can’t create a good product with a free IDE. There are many free and reliable C# IDEs in the market that come with useful built-in features and plugin facilities so you can speed up your production process.

Features Contained in the IDE

Several features facilitate the development process. Generally, you need C# functions that are regularly updated and come with modern functions. As a beginner, you should choose IDEs that provide C# learning resources and code assistance to easily build your knowledge of the language.

The most modern C# version comes with advanced technologies and features like intelligent code completion, code refactoring and analysis, comprehensive debugging, and deployment tools. Some have interpreters and compilers while others integrate more than one popular version control system and graphics tools in their environment.

Ease of Using C# IDE

While some IDEs are easy to navigate using the user interface, others come with more sophisticated designs and are more suited to professionals with advanced coding and building experience. Further factors to consider when choosing a C# IDE include operating system compatibility, IDE file size, and plugin installations.

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If you’re an absolute beginner, you should start with a web-based IDE to avoid system performance issues. These IDEs are usually low-risk as most come with a plain user interface, standard features, learning resources, and multiple device accessibility.

The 5 Best C# IDEs

A man writing lines of code into a standalone source code editor tool on his dual desktop monitors.
C# is a popular language that comes with many features for compiling your source code on multiple IDEs

Building your first or next application shouldn’t be difficult. You don’t have to worry about what IDEs are ideal for your C# projects because we’ve put together a comprehensive list for you. Here are the top picks for free, open-source, and paid C# IDEs.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio is a Microsoft-owned IDE for C#, F#, and Visual Basic application development that runs on .Net. The Visual Studio IDE was designed with advanced features that enable developers to build innovative software applications that run on the web, cloud, mobile devices, and desktops in the Windows platform. The community 2022 platform is free to use for students and individual developers.

What Makes Visual Studio a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • You get live code assistance through tools like analyzers, IntelliSense, and debuggers
  • It comes with components that make installations easy
  • It gives you access to open-source resources on GitHub


MonoDevelop is a free, open-source multi-language development environment. It allows you to build applications for the web or desktop in the C# programming language using Linux, Windows, and macOS. This IDE comes with features like source control, unit testing, and deployment facilities. It allows for strong collaboration within teams to launch secure and functional products directly from a local system or server.

What Makes MonoDevelop a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • It supports the transfer of .Net applications that are built in Visual Studio
  • It comes with code folding, code templates, and code completion for C#
  • It allows you to customize your Windows layout to your design needs

Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code is a cross-platform IDE that offers developers extension tools for C# installation packages to facilitate the .Net core development of C# applications. This IDE comes with Roslyn and Omnisharp for compiling and integrating C# scripts and .Net core projects. This development platform offers multiple features, such as symbol location, suggestive fixes, and referencing.

What Makes Visual Studio Code a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • It offers a full code editing experience for C# development
  • It supports the major operating systems
  • It makes debugging C# applications on mono or .Net core really easy


Using the Eclipse aCute extension, you can carry out impressive C# and .Net core application development. This free Eclipse IDE provides development tools and packages for you to create, test, debug and deploy your C# products through the Eclipse marketplace. Eclipse IDE also supports multiple operating systems and development platforms to facilitate your project.

What Makes Eclipse a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • It is affordable for beginners
  • You get to customize your environment to suit your needs
  • You have access to useful learning resources and a community


Rider is a cross-platform C# and .Net IDE owned by JetBrains. It provides powerful features for developing C# and .Net core applications and project types that run and debug major operating systems and platforms for a fee. As a Rider user, you can access the cross-development platform for just $139 in your first year. This fee goes down as you become a regular.

What Makes Rider a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • You have access to hundreds of context actions and live code inspections
  • It comes with a robust code editor
  • It provides useful assistance with unit testing and debugging

The 5 Best C# Online IDEs

Using web-based or cloud-based IDEs is just as useful as downloadable files. This option offers you easy accessibility from any device or location. Also, most of the online IDEs don’t come with price tags, so you can minimize the cost of building your application. Some of our top picks for C# online IDEs can be found below.

Coding Rooms

Coding Rooms is a web-based IDE and compiler that enables you and your team to collaborate when compiling, building, and sharing functional C# applications across various platforms. You can set up your programming environment and code for free with this integrated development environment. This is an ideal platform to build your C# development skills.

What Makes Coding Rooms a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • You have real-time support to code and interact with your team
  • You have access to free code templates
  • It provides a secure environment to manage your C# projects


Ideone is a free integrated development environment for compiling, running, and debugging your C# source code in an online browser. This multi-language platform is easy to use and learn from. There are editing features to help you edit your source code. Ideone also offers users its API services from the Sphere Engine platform at an affordable fee for program execution.

What Makes Ideone a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • It offers coding samples to boost your C# development
  • The user interface is easy to navigate
  • It provides users with top-tier API services for deploying their programs


This free online cross-platform, multi-language IDE provides users with a comprehensive list of compiling, coding, editing, and running features to facilitate the development of functional C# projects. The JDoodle C# IDE is easy to get started with, and it provides terminals for the database. You can save your project file online or embed it on any website or platform.

What Makes JDoodle a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • It comes with learning resources to help boost your C# skills
  • The interface is easy to use, and you can customize the theme
  • It comes with an API service to facilitate program deployment


OnlineGDB is an efficient web browser IDE that offers C# compilers to help write clean code, compile, edit, and run your C# source codes. The onlineGDB is free to use and is a great platform to debug your C# program. This C class-based IDE allows you to save your file securely on the platform or share it with other platforms and websites easily.

What Makes OnlineGDB a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • You have access to classrooms to improve your project outcomes
  • It is an excellent platform to learn about the C# programming language
  • The user interface is easy to navigate

Net Fiddle

If you’re looking for an inclusive and supportive online platform to write, compile, run and execute your C# program, then Net Fiddle is your source. Net Fiddle is a free web-based coding platform that supports the C#, F#, and Visual Basic languages. You can work on different types of C# projects on this platform, such as MVCs, consoles, Script, and Nancy. It also supports the popular and efficient Roslyn compiler.

What Makes Net Fiddle a Good Choice for C# Beginners?

  • It provides a community for you to collaborate and share files
  • It has useful features, including database templates and NuGet packages
  • It has an easy-to-navigate user interface

Can the Best IDE for C# Help Me Break into Tech?

Yes, it can. Using a C#-based IDE is a great way to build your C# programming skills. Moreover, in the game development industry, C# skills are essential if you want to become a game developer , particularly a Unity developer, and contribute to the development workflow.

C# IDE helps you build familiarity with modern technologies and tools used by top tech organizations. It also provides you with an opportunity to network with professionals in your field, as most C# IDEs provide access to C# communities.

Learning how to use an integrated development environment is a wise investment, and for the most part, IDE providers can help you utilize this opportunity. If you need extensive knowledge of C# programming and IDEs, C# bootcamps can help you achieve this. They can also assist you in broadening your C#-based career opportunities in the tech industry.


Is C# free to use?

The C# programming language is free to use. C# was offered to the public as an open-source programming language. Microsoft also made all the languages, libraries, compilers, and runtime associated with the .Net platform free for commercial use. Microsoft also offers free courses in C# to help individuals properly use the language in development.

What IDE should I use for C#?

There are several IDEs you can use for your C# programming task needs. While most users prefer to use Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code because of how comprehensive and advanced their C# features are, there are also other useful options. A good portion of this article provides useful details on how to choose a C# IDE and the best C# IDEs out there.

Is C# easier than Java?

The answer to this is relative. Both languages were created for different purposes. While Java is popular for creating web applications and APIs on several platforms, C# is used for creating applications for games and mobile devices on Microsoft platforms. Both Java and C# have easy-to-read and use syntax. However, Java is more flexible compared to C#.

Does C# have a future?

Yes, C# has a future. The C# language is a progressive and adjustable language that can easily fit into diverse application projects. It is constantly being updated by Microsoft to suit market demand, and it is currently a popular language for Unity development. This proves that this programming language is not becoming obsolete anytime soon. So, you should get started with learning C#.

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Mercy Ugonna Njoku

About the author: Mercy, a certified Executive Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, has a background in accounting and is a veteran content writer who holds a BSc in Business Management from Abia State University. In her writing, Mercy helps people navigate unfamiliar and complex situations in their professional lives so they can thrive. Her hobbies include drawing, working on startup projects, and engaging in discussions.

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