What Is RPG Maker And How Does It Work?

By Tanner Abraham •  Updated: 08/20/22 •  4 min read

The world of indie video game development is so vast and wide that when it comes to video game creation tools, there’s like rice. From programs for the design and creation of sprites, to programming languages ​​dedicated exclusively to game development. Now, among the wide range of developer tools, there are some in particular that stand out. It is about the engines or engines to create video games, and it is one of the most popular and veteran that brings us together in this article… Today we will talk about RPG Maker.


If you have been in the world of video games for a while, you have probably heard of this engine before, or even played some of its games. Well, there are not a few successes that have been made thanks to this tool, especially in the “Horror Games” sector. Curiously, this is not the main genre for which this tool was initially intended, but the community itself has been able to take advantage of it.

Although RPG Maker is designed for the development of JRPG-type games (Japanese role-playing games in the style of the first final fantasy). The truth is that with its new versions, the engine is also used for graphic adventures, role-playing games, adventure, horror, and even interactive novels. Which means that yes, as a tool it is quite practical and is not as limited as it may seem? If you are interested in learning more about this tool and what it offers, we invite you to stay and read this article until its completion.

How does RPG Maker work?

RPG Maker is an engine for the creation of video games mainly of the RPG genre, which is characterized by its simplicity. Since the engine does not require prior programming knowledge, it works through a system of pre-programmed events within the tool itself. Each event performs some specific action, and some of them even function as elementary programming operators (for example, a conditional or cycle). This obviously gives rise not only to the ease in learning and mastering the tool. But also in the speed with which a video game can be created and completed.

Although its ease of use is what has made this tool popular, it has also become the source of the bad reputation that chases this engine. Well, it is popularly branded by the developer community as an amateur and beginner tool. Which doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing?

In addition to allowing you to create games without prior knowledge in programming. RPG Maker is also an excellent tile mapping tool. Well, being an engine, it has other functionalities in addition to programming. Among them the possibility of creating maps through the use of Tiles.

The most modern versions of RPG Maker (The MV to be exact). Allows the export of your games in different formats compatible with other platforms. Among which Windows, Android, Nintendo Switch and Linux stand out.

Which version to start with?

It is always recommended to start with the most up-to-date version of the program. Not only because you will have the most current functions available. But because you will have direct support from the developer company, in addition to the correction of any bug or limitation of previous versions.

Despite what many consider the determining factor to choose between one version and another of RPG Maker, lies in the platform where you prefer to publish your games. For example, if you want to enter the mobile market, there is no doubt that you should aim directly for the version of RPG Maker MV (which is the latest). However, if you have no problem that your game is only playable on Windows, you can choose from RPG maker 2003 onwards.

As such, the program has not undergone many changes with the new versions; they have been mainly additions that facilitate the creation of video games. Or failing that, update certain functions that were already obsolete. However, if you want to start from a middle point, the RPG Maker XP version would be ideal.

To finish off, we will share with you the list with all the official versions of RPG Maker that have been released to date:

Tanner Abraham

Data Scientist and Software Engineer with a focus on experimental projects in new budding technologies that incorporate machine learning and quantum computing into web applications.