Best alternatives of Arduino IDE

To program the Arduino there are a variety of coding platforms that are available in the market. The Arduino IDE is the platform that is mostly used by the beginner level programmers for coding the Arduino. Though the official IDE is available for free to download, do you know that there are other IDEs as well that you can use to code Arduino boards?. Well we have suggested some best alternatives for the Arduino IDE.

There are the following top 5 alternatives that can be used as an alternative to the Arduino IDE:

  • Atmel Studio
  • B4R
  • Eclipse Arduino IDE
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • PlatformIO

Atmel Studio 7

Atmel Studio 7 is the best for programming the AVR and SAM microcontrollers as it makes writing code and debugging it easy for the users. This platform provides the opportunity of an online application store for its users through which it provides different plug-ins that can be installed and gives the liberty to use some third-party features. More than 1500 examples are present in the studio to help in making different projects. The Atmel Studio 7 also facilitates its user by giving the option of monitoring the real time data, system performance and power consumption using QTouch composer. The following are the reasons why Atmel Studio 7 is the one of the best alternatives to Arduino IDE:

  • It makes easy to integrate assembly routines
  • Provides the opportunity for debugging
  • It has the option to run the code in simulation
  • It is compatible for all chips of ATMEL


B4R is also one of the free development tools available in the market that can be used to program the Arduino boards. It is an open source platform that provides a large number of example projects and gives a brief documentation of its libraries which makes it more suitable for beginners. This platform is also useful for working with ESP8266 and ESP32.

The B4R comes with the following features that makes it one of the alternatives for Arduino IDE:

  • Easy installation for the libraries of different devices
  • User friendly interface
  • Wide online help is available on different forums

Eclipse IDE

This platform is also an integrated development environment tool that supports programming languages like Java, Python, C and C++. This software contains a workspace and a plugin system that can be used to add more features to it. Like other platforms it is compatible with Windows, macOS and Linux. To use the Eclipse platform for Arduino you have to download Eclipse for Arduino from Eclipse marketplace or you can use the soleber plugin for the Arduino. The Eclipse IDE comes with the following features that makes it one of the alternatives for Arduino IDE:

  • It provides the best debugging tool for debugging the code
  • Using plugins, we can add extra functionality to the Eclipse IDE
  • Provides Arduino Serial monitor
  • We can auto comment the line using the (shift+Ctrl)
  • The warnings and errors are shown in a separate tab

Microsoft Visual Studio

The Microsoft Visual Studio is a platform that works on three operating systems that are Windows, macOS and Linux and is created by Microsoft. This platform provides the editors for C/C++, JavaScript, C#, HTML, CSS and so on. To program the Arduino using the microsoft visual studio you have to install its extension called Visual Micro The features that make the Microsoft visual studio as the replacement of Arduino IDE are:

  • Visual Micro is quite similar to Arduino IDE
  • Better debugging compared to Arduino IDE
  • Simple board selection process
  • Intellisense suggestion
  • Provides Arduino hardware debugging


PlatformIO is a professional development tool that is suitable for making projects related to embedded systems and is the best replacement for Arduino IDE. This development tool works on the macOS, Windows and Linux operating systems and it also provides support for node.js, typescript and JavaScript. The functionality of the platform can be increased by using the extension provided by the platform and as an alternative of Arduino IDE there are the following features of the platform IO:

  • It supports the 450 plus embedded boards
  • It also works with both VScode and Atom
  • It provides supports for IoT hardware


For programming the Arduino, the most popular used development tool is the Arduino IDE but it is only suitable for beginners as it lacks some features that sometimes make the Arduino IDE old school. There are a large number of development platforms available but not all are the best to use. So, we have given a list of 5 best alternatives for the Arduino IDE that can be used for advanced level programming.

About the author

Aaliyan Javaid

I am an electrical engineer and a technical blogger. My keen interest in embedded systems has led me to write and share my knowledge about them.