The Best Animation Tools for Game Designers in 2023–24

The Best Animation Tools for Game Designers in 2023–24

Nov 10, 2023 12:35 PM

Animation Tools

Animations on your site grab the attention of your visitors, allowing entrepreneurs and creators to express their creativity and to continue interacting with and growing their audiences.

Animations are now ubiquitous on the internet, and it's not surprising that they are. The playful, imaginative nature of animation requires us to think outside the norm. There is no limit! In a crowded online marketplace, this is a creative goal. It's likely the reason you're on this page.

For us creators on the internet, animation can't be any easier by 2023. With the abundance of animation software available, deciding on the software to create animation for your specific needs will be the tough part.

If you're a complete beginner seeking to explore the mysterious world of animation or a newbie looking for easy yet innovative ways to apply new and creative effects to your web content, here are the top 18 applications for animation in 2023.

Before we go overboard, we need to address the most urgent question: How can I select the most suitable animating software to meet my specific needs?

How do you choose the best animation application?

Pricing. The majority of this animation software can be costly, particularly for a single-person business. However, the best step is to determine what you're looking to create. You do not require fancy animation software for what you only want to create: infographics.

Ease of use. It is also important to think about how long you'd like to invest in learning about a program. Some animation applications are infamous for their arduous learning curves. But this doesn't mean that you have to ignore more sophisticated software. This is a consideration to take into account when weighing the cost to ensure that you get the most value from the animation software and the highest return on your investment.

In a nutshell, match your animation application to your capabilities and dedication to learning a new program.

Customer support. Additionally, we recommend looking into your options to seek help, whether there's an active community or one offering technical support. Check to see when they're available. We like apps with animation that include live chat because you can obtain a transcript of conversations.

Other considerations include:

2D, 3D vs. 2D, or both

Social media integration

The user interface and the options for customization

Media library

A note on the use of animations on your site Use the animation section on the accessibility guideline to ensure that everyone has the best experience possible on your website.

Awesome animation applications for game designers (free and paid)

Animation Tools
Cinema 4D (paid)

Cinema 4D is a dependable 3D animation application that is well-designed and top animation software for designers that provides users with a variety of tools to create various professional projects. For beginners, it is possible to get started with this user-friendly platform. Support for customers is exceptional, with weekly tutorials and webinars to help users navigate its numerous options.

Cinema 4D's list of features is extensive, with the most notable being its included Adobe integration. It requires a strong computer to run the program, including RAM and other hardware that can support it. Motion graphics can be created, as well as realistic artificial reality games and procedural modeling. As you might imagine, the software isn't inexpensive at $59.91 per month, which is what's billed annually.

The platforms are: Windows, Mac


Stellar customer support

A powerful toolkit

Adobe product integration


The advanced features aren't necessary for simple projects.


Resource heavy

Adobe Animate (paid)

Adobe Animate focuses on the two-dimensional side of the spectrum, which makes it simpler to use than other applications for animation. The features it offers are beneficial for marketers looking to design compelling ads and infographics. It is possible to create animations frame-by-frame to give life to banner ads or games.

Adobe Animate offers several export options, which include SVG and HTML5 Canvas. It is also compatible with mobile and TV applications.

Another great feature is the capability to edit without or without the use of code, making it a great tool for novices. You can purchase Adobe Animate as part of the company's Creative Cloud subscription or use it as a stand-alone. The trial offer is free and lets you start from the beginning and test whether the application for animating is appropriate for your needs and skill set. It's an investment that is worthwhile for business owners who want to explore animation.

OS: Windows, Mac


Import options

Integration with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription

It is useful for the market.

Excellent export options


Not suitable for users with advanced skills

Technology that is out of date

Adobe After Effects (paid)

Adobe After Effects is the best solution for creating 3D motion and animation. It's effective software. It can perform simple tasks like changing text as well as more complex tasks, such as complete post-production editing. Its interface is simple to use, but it does have an extremely steep learning curve to fully utilize its capabilities. There are also plugins available to perform specific tasks, but at a price.

Adobe After Effects integrates well with the company's range of software programs and third-party software, such as Cinema 4D. You can choose to subscribe to this animation program or all Creative Cloud applications. A subscription to Creative Cloud will give you access to more powerful features. Unfortunately, this could put it out of budget for small and private companies.

The platforms are: Windows, Mac


A great collection of preloaded Adobe Fonts, preloaded effects, and presets

A wealth of tutorials is available

Integration with plugins

A lot of industries use it

Animated text feature

Virtual reality capabilities


A seven-day trial is all you need

A steep learning curve

Makes use of a large number of computer resources

LottieFiles (free and paid)

LottieFiles simplifies motion design, permitting you to create large-scale animations that can be used for everything from pitch charts to web pages. With Webflow Lottie integration, you can create animations for websites. With webflow Lottie integration, it is possible to select from a variety of 50,000 free animations within the Designer, allowing you to design custom animations as well as create triggers such as a scroll, click, or hover to activate your designs.

LottieFiles is a fantastic animation application for web design because its animations are less than gifs. So, you can rest assured that they will not slow down your site's loading speed. Furthermore, they're adaptable, which means you can keep your designs slick regardless of the size of your screen.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android


Integration with Webflow

More than 50,000 free animations

No programming knowledge is needed

Mobile app

Option to have a free plan


The free plan includes only one private project as well as a limited number of links that can be shared.

Features such as customization and unlimited projects, as well as collaboration and version history, are only available for paid plans.

SideFX Houdini (free and paid)

SideFX Houdini is an ideal option for producing advanced content that includes motion graphics, virtual reality, and even film. Professional animators employed it during the making of Frozen. Like other animation apps and software, SideFX comes with a steep learning curve. There are many instructions to aid you in overcoming the hurdle. It comes with a variety of automated functions, which make it easier to use.

Houdini's strengths lie in its workflow based on nodes, which lets you design actions that can be reused and rearranged quickly. It is, however, advanced software. A background in coding is beneficial but not necessary. If you're willing to spend the time to master the skill, you'll reap the benefits of creating film-quality visualization effects as well as rendering abilities. The platform comes with six different subscription levels, including an option that is free for those who are interested in the hobby.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux


Workflows based on Node

Amazing real-time animation

Free for non-commercial use

Tutorials geared towards the effect are available.

Mantra-inbuilt renderer

Texturing capabilities

Drag-and-drop editing


High learning curve

Not for the casual user who wants graphic design software

The cost of a subscription is prohibitive.

Blender (free)

Although Blender is an app for animation that is free, it can do many things using this 3D animation tool. Its capabilities are digital sculpting, visual effects editing videos, and motion tracking. Although there are tutorials available, they are restricted to certain tasks. It does have an active community with regular updates for the software, and they continuously improve its performance. Its documentation is also excellent.

Blender has a broad range of formats for graphic images and is therefore user-friendly. Additionally, it has a built-in 3D game engine in case you're looking to take your abilities to the next level. Similar to Houdini, film production has utilized it as well. It can take some time to master using the program; however, at the very least, it won't cost you anything to test it. It provides everything you need to make your creation, including modeling, simulations, and post-production.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux


Open-source, free program

Great feature set

Fantastic community assistance

Audio capture capability

A portable USB version is available.

Keyboard shortcuts


The interface is confusing, particularly for novices

Resource Hog

3D videos are harder to make.

Pencil2D (free)

Pencil2D is a different free, open-source application that allows animation, which is perfect for people who are just beginning to learn about 2D animation. It is compatible with both vector and raster workflows, offering you the maximum flexibility. It's got a solid range of features, especially when you consider that it's free. Its top highlights include pixel tracker audio scrubbing as well as movie import. Its community is active, providing lots of help.

Pencil2D's strength lies in its user-friendly interface as well as its easy-to-use design. It is a good choice for people who are just starting and want an easy program to do the task. The program is supported by a committed group of contributors who continuously develop the program and add new features. One issue is the persistent security protocol issues that affect operating systems, which will hopefully be resolved within the next few months.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux


Open-source, free program

Community Assistance

Highly effective 2D animation tools for game designers

Drag-and-drop editing



Support for vector graphics and vectors


Not strong enough for more advanced users.

Certain permission issues are encountered with operating systems.

Not commonly employed in the business

Animaker (paid)

Animaker is different from other animation tools we've looked at because it's web-based with subscription models. Its main function is to create animations and video GIFs by using the HTML5 engine. It's a good choice when you don't wish to or cannot download software to your computer. Animation software allows beginners to learn the basics by providing templates, auto-libbing, and a variety of expressions for facial use.

The site doesn't stop there. The website also features an extensive library of images with sounds and music to produce high-quality videos. Voiceovers can be done using your preferred voice. Animaker has five pricing tiers, which include a free version with five free downloads. The limit of 5 downloads includes watermarks. However, it's a great way to experience Animaker without having to pay any money or provide credit card details.

Platforms: Web-based



Audio capture

extensive template library and image library

Interface for character builder with auto lip-sync

Music tracks with sound effects, royalty-free, and sounds

Collaboration tools

Social media integration


Watermarks for free downloads of the plan

An Internet connection is required.

Video upload unavailable

OpenToonz (free)

OpenToonz It is yet another free, open-source, 2D computer-based animation program. It comes with a solid range of features that include old-fashioned integrations as well as more modern bells and whistles. The interface, however, is not user-friendly and is outdated. This makes it difficult to learn due to the absence of support or tutorials. You can get assistance from other viewers on YouTube.

OpenToonz is a great tool for simple tasks; however, you could encounter difficulties finding the right tools because it's difficult to know which ones are hidden. It's a great tool for brainstorming and drawing 2D animations before you can launch the work in 3D. Although it's not the most effective tool because of its outdated and unintuitive interface, you'll be able to beat the cost.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux


Free, open-source

Smooth operation

Support for vector images and raster images

Great for basic 2D animation

Scan ability


It's not intuitive.

Support for the limited

Tools for drawing are limited.

Autodesk Maya 3D Animation (paid)

Many believe Autodesk Maya is the standard in the industry. In the end, what could you ask for from an organization that also invented AutoCAD? It is the preferred program for Disney. It's enough said. Autodesk Maya is a complete 3D production software that you can modify with scripts and plugins to enhance its user-friendliness.

The evolution of Autodesk Maya is geared toward the professional market. It's pricey, making it beyond the budget for small companies. The company does offer three-year licensing, which could reduce your costs when you're satisfied with this program. It's efficient and capable of producing many different types of animation. However, it's missing the mark with essential features such as a more efficient viewport.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux


Good integration with other software

Workflows based on Node

Powerful rendering engine

Ideal for complex geometry

Paid and free plugins to customize

A free trial is available


Expensive There is no texture feature.
Powtoon (free and paid)

Powtoon can be described as a different online animation program that provides premium and free plans for its software for video animation. It's a user-friendly and intuitive alternative for both small and large companies that are new to making animated videos. The site offers a vast collection of videos to help you get up and running; however, the most effective content is available with subscriptions. Powtoon can also be easy to alter to make it easier to use.

Powtoon offers four price levels for its subscription model. It offers competitive pricing on business and educational plans. Free versions are generous in their capacity for storage and recording. However, the 3-minute HD videos you can upload each month are branded, which shouldn't be a surprise. The good news is that it's simple for you to make your video available via YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and even PDF export capabilities.

Platform: Web-based


An extensive collection of characters, music, and templates

Excellent features even with the free plan.

Easy to master

Node-based editor

Export to social media

Collaboration tools


Branding is included in the free plan.

Lack of cooperation is one of the main reasons

The library is limited, and there are no options for free plans.

Stykz (free)

Stykz is distinctive in many ways. For one, it's free. It's a 2D animation software that allows you to bring stick characters to life. It's a frame-based application that gives you complete control over your work with onion skins to ensure everything is working flawlessly. Stykz isn't difficult to learn once you've mastered the concept of it. Additionally, it comes with an adequate knowledge base that you can utilize as a guide.

However, Stykz has been discontinued by the creators. It is therefore best used as a method to master the basics of animation before moving to a more active program. It does, however, appear to run smoothly, including on Windows 10 machines. It does, however, have an old-fashioned user interface that is outdated but still user-friendly.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, and Linux


Easy to utilize


Auto-save feature

Excellent help section


Not strong enough for more advanced users.


The Top Animation Apps

Animations help connect and engage with your visitors in exciting and new ways. They are a great way to explain complicated concepts directly on your site.

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