Flashdevelop alternatives?

Hello all,

I’ve been using Flashdevelop since time immemorial, but it seems clear to me that it might be time to start looking at alternatives since it hasn’t updated in over 2 years and keeping things working is becoming more and more difficult as various other things update.

What would everyone here recommend? I want a lightweight IDE that doesn’t have any unnecessary bloat. Just let me write my code, then press compile, and see it run on desktop, android, ios, whatever.

I´m not sure this may sound silly but have you try Adobe Animate? I think you can code almost anything with it and compile your apps quite effortless.


Thank you for the suggestion, but I did use Animate for several years, out of necessity, since the artists I was working with were using it. And it was nearly unusable by the time I did the last project with it. Getting any kind of newer AIR SDK to work with it was a massive struggle. Perhaps Adobe did start updating it more frequently, and it is more usable now, but even FlashDevelop from 10 years ago was probably more preferable for me.

I need an IDE for coders. Something lightweight. Like VSCode, but for AS3.

https://fdt.powerflasher.com/ i found that,

and u can always use notepad++

then use VSCode

you will find different extensions

and a bit more, search tag actionscript on the Visual Studio Marketplace

and technically you don’t need those, or maybe juste the first one for some syntax highlighting supports, and all the rest you can define it yourself with tasks

see Visual Studio Code - Integrate with External Tools via Tasks

in those tasks you can run shell scripts, run the compilers from the AIR SDK, etc.
you can configure pretty much anything you want

Does anyone here use VSCode for AS3 apps? Does it work well? Do you have to set shell scripts, compilers, etc up manually? That would kind of defeat the purpose if that’s the case, it would just be a glorified notepad (like FlashDevelop). Can anyone endorse it, along with any as3 extensions they are using?

stop being lazy, try for yourself

how long would it take ?

I use FDT for my cross-platform project. Eclipse is nice, I can’t say it is lightweight, but I have found FDT easy to use and customizable. Furthermore, the FDT team has been great in saving my rear end a few times, those guys really know their stuff.

One thing I did a few years ago that has paid dividends is to make a development virtual machine, for two reasons:

  1. I never have to reinstall and reconfigure my projects even if my hardware fails, so I am not reliant on reconfiguring applications. I did this because I don’t know what will happen with Flash-related tools/applications going forward. I use source control for my code revisions but I am assured as much as humanly possible I won’t have to reinstall software that might not exist in the future
  2. I can easily backup my whole development machine at known times, then restore it if something goes awry (like a Windows Update or some glitch). This has saved my rear a couple of times, I’ve gotten into situations I could not get out of, so I boot an older version of the machine and get my code from source control.

The downside is that my machine is beefier (costlier) than I might ordinarily need (I have 32Gb RAM) but it was a worthwhile investment and I probably could get by with 16Gb.


I use IntelliJ Idea which can test and compile any Adobe Air projects, desktop and mobile. The pricing at $14.90 per month is very raisonnable for such a comprehensive product.


Thank you both for the suggestions. I do use IntelliJ for Java, it is a bit bulky but gets the job done. I’ll take a look at its AIR capabilities. I’ll also definitely take a look at FDT.

The team I work with made by far the best experience with IntelliJ and we find it far away from being bulky. We have experience with FlashBuilder, FlashDevelop and FDT (by the way, FDT is an eclipse derivative / same goes with FlashBuilder).