In 2019, Visual Studio Code (VSCode) was the most used text editor by developers, with 50% of the 87,317 surveyed using it. This was a significant leap forward after being ranked 13th among popular development tools on Stackoverflow.
However, with over 5,000 themes to choose from, it can be daunting to find the best one for you. If you’re looking for the best VSCode themes to try, here are my favorites!
How to Install Themes in Visual Studio Code
You can install themes in Visual Studio Code in two main ways. You can visit the Marketplace and select the theme you want to download, or you can search within the VSCode IDE.
Method 1: Marketplace
Visit the Marketplace and select the theme you want to download. In VSCode, click on File > Preferences > Color Theme to open the Color Theme selector on your Windows PC. If you’re on macOS, click on Code > Preferences > Color Theme.
You can also open the selector using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+K Ctrl+T.”
Use the arrow keys to scroll and preview the theme colors.
Select the theme you want and press “Enter” on the keyboard.
Method 2: Search in VSCode
Alternatively, you can install a theme by searching for it within VSCode. From the Extensions icon on the left side of VSCode, search for the desired theme and click Install.
Top Dark Themes for VSCode
If you don’t want to strain your eyes using a light theme all day, a dark theme is definitely recommended for your sight. Although VSCode has a default Dark+ theme, it might not be your favorite… Perhaps you want a mix of different colors and shades.
Here are the top dark themes for VSCode:
One Dark Pro
One Dark Pro is the most popular and widely downloaded VSCode theme with almost 4 million installations. It is based on the One Dark theme of Atom and is suitable for developers who love dark mode themes. It has well-blended combinations and very cool syntax highlighting colors that make it visually appealing.
Created by Zeno Rocha, Dracula Official is a dark theme for VSCode and more than 181 other apps. It has worldwide downloads with over 2 million users and has received an average rating of 4.9 from 81 reviewers. It boasts fantastic color combinations and contrasts to enhance your productivity.
If you’ve used Jetbrains IDEs and Android Studio, you’ve surely come across the Darcula theme. Although it’s easy to confuse Dracula Official with Darcula, the latter offers a carefully dark color combination for over 195+ apps, code editors, and terminal emulators, including VSCode.
The Synthwave ‘84 theme is a simple CSS theme that celebrates the aesthetics of the ’80s in modern web development. Influenced by the music and cover art of modern Synthwave brands like Timecop 1893, The Midnight, and FM-84, it allows you to experience the neon dream glow effect of the ’80s with well-blended colors, making it one of the most stylish and classy themes.
Atom One Dark Theme
Created by Mahmoud Ali, it inspired the One Dark theme and is based on the Atom IDE theme. Unlike other dark themes, it has only one variant: dark. It’s an excellent option if you miss Atom but don’t want to go back. It boasts almost 2 million installations worldwide with a 5/5 rating.
Are you a night owl who likes to code at night when the rest of the world sleeps? So am I! The Night Owl theme can work for you. It features both a light and a dark theme, which helps color-blind people and ensures easy visibility in daylight.
Top Light Themes for VSCode
Light themes are recommended for daytime coding. Since programmers spend most of their work during the day, you may often need a stylish bright theme that helps you code with ease. I personally use them when working outdoors under the sun.
Here are the top light themes for VSCode:
Bracket Lights Pro
Bracket Lights Pro is an eye-catching theme with a beautiful color palette. It channels the light theme of Adobe’s Brackets code editor into VSCode. Although Adobe discontinued support for Brackets on September 1, 2021, you’ll enjoy using Bracket Lights Pro for its clean look.
If you want a theme with sophistication and a wide range of colors on the palette, you won’t go wrong with Bluloco Light. Initially forked from the One Light Theme, it features a broader use of color consistency and syntax scope for readability, contrast, and aesthetics.
Top Themes for VSCode
VSCode is undoubtedly one of the best code editors, with a wide range of extensions supported by the community. Available on macOS, Windows, and Linux, you can meet almost all your programming needs regardless of the operating system.
Here are the top themes for VSCode:
This theme is clean, fresh, and relaxing with calm colors. It celebrates the lights of downtown Tokyo at night and is available in both light and dark versions. Its perfect blend and combination of colors help you meditate while writing code.
The GitHub theme brings the GitHub experience to VSCode. It is similar to the official themes of GitHub.com and is popular among developers who prefer classic themes. It is available in both light and dark versions.
Winter is Coming
If you’re a big fan of Game of Thrones, you’ve
probably heard this phrase several times! Created by John Papa, it is available in different versions, including dark blue, dark black, and light. It strikes a balance in its color combinations, making it perfect for coding during both day and night.
The Firefox theme is based on the Mozilla Firefox developer tools. Its perfect balance of cool colors gives it an elegant look with neon-lit icons. To easily switch between tabs, it provides highlighted underlining on open tabs for quick transitions. It is available in both dark and light versions.
Nu Disco was created by Danny Banks and is powered by Style Dictionary. Its syntax colors are beautifully positioned with contrasting colors to simplify your coding experience. Available in both dark and light versions, it is perfectly designed to be easy to use in both bright and poorly lit environments.
VSCode is a great code editor that supports hundreds of languages and advanced features, including syntax highlighting, automatic indentation, and snippets. It is suitable for modern web development and features an interactive debugger to view call stacks and run variables.
Trying one of the Visual Studio Code themes I suggested above can greatly help you during your coding sessions. While the above themes make your IDE colorful and help your eyes sting less, they certainly won’t make you a better programmer… But working in a pleasant environment is definitely more motivating!