Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is arguably one of the best code editors out there. With its vast collection of community-supported extensions, you can use VS Code to fuel almost all of your programming needs. The app is available across Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it the perfect program to write code on, regardless of the operating system. One key aspect of VS Code is its customizability and robust theming capabilities. While the default themes are good enough, there are many other visually pleasing themes that you should not miss out on. Here are the 20 best Visual Studio Code themes you should try in 2021.
Best Visual Studio Code Themes to Try in 2021
We’ve linked all the themes featured in this article. All you have to do is click on the links to visit Visual Studio Marketplace and hit the ‘Install’ button. Once installed, you can switch between themes using the keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl+K Ctrl+T’ or head to File -> Preferences -> Color Theme. You can also search for these themes from the Extensions section of VS Code.
1. Ariake Dark
Ariake Dark is a VS Code theme inspired by the traditional colors of Japan. Needless to say, its appearance is visually pleasing. The color scheme in this theme manages to look good without compromising on readability and syntax highlighting. The creator of the theme recommends using the font ‘Fira Code’ (you can change the font from File -> Preferences -> Settings -> Text Editor -> Font -> Font Family) for best results.
Download Ariake Dark Theme
2. Rosé Pine
Rosé Pine gives a cozy vibe and an elegant look to VS Code. The theme comes with a matching icon theme you can pick from File -> Preferences -> File Icon Theme if you prefer. You get two additional themes – namely Rosé Pine Dawn and Rosé Pine Moon, with different background colors while staying true to the color scheme.
Download Rosé Pine Theme
Celestial is a darker version of another popular VS Code theme, Horizon. While Horizon is a great theme by itself, Celestial offers a darker background color which I prefer. Although Celestial is my personal favorite on this list, it might be an acquired taste if you don’t often use and appreciate truly dark themes. You could give Horizon (scroll down to the sixth theme on this list) a try if you don’t want such a dark background but like the color scheme used here.
Download Celestial Theme
4. In Bed By 7pm
In Bed by 7pm is a theme from the creator of widely used VS Code theme Night Owl (added in the seventh position on this list). As the name suggests, this theme is best suited for those who don’t often stay up late for coding sessions. This theme has excellent contrast levels to help you effortlessly differentiate various elements in the code.
Download In Bed By 7pm Theme
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If you’re searching for a VS Code theme, chances are, you’ve visited React JS’ official website at least once. If you fancy the color palette used in React website’s code snippets, the ReUI theme brings it to VS Code. The result is an aesthetic theme with colors that go easy on the eyes.
Download ReUI Theme
As mentioned earlier, Horizon is the base of the Celestial theme. Horizon is a warm theme with a rich color palette that manages to stand out from the crowd. Further, the developer has given a few recommendations to adjust contrast, remove italics, and gray brackets in the theme’s listing to tweak the theme as per your preference.
Download Horizon Theme
7. Night Owl
Night Owl is a theme created with accessibility in mind. It offers a neat contrast for better readability, and the color scheme here is such that it would not feel uncomfortable to people with colorblindness. This theme meets the needs of those who often find themselves working late into the night.
Download Night Owl Theme
Andromeda is a theme with vibrant colors and a dark background. The developer has also created a variant of this theme with italic keywords that go well with fonts, including Operator Mono and Catograph Mono. There’s also a bordered variant if you like having a separate distinction between multiple tabs.
Download Andromeda Theme
Nord VS Code theme is based on Arctic Ice Studio’s Nord color palette inspired by the beauty of the arctic. One noteworthy part of Nord is that its color scheme even extends to popular third-party syntax extensions to offer you a unified experience. If you are someone who likes minimal setups, you will probably admire this theme. However, it may look a bit too pale in bright lighting conditions.
Download Nord Theme
10. Tokyo Night
As the name hints, Tokyo Night is a theme that celebrates the beautiful night lights of downtown Tokyo. It intentionally sets many UI elements to low-contrast so as not to distract coders. The theme comes bundled with two additional variants, namely Tokyo Night Light and Tokyo Night Storm. In the theme’s listing, the developer recommends disabling semantic syntax highlighting from settings for best results. There are also configurations for disabling italics, brightening Codelens text, and customizing active and inactive borders.
Download Tokyo Night Theme
11. Mayukai Mirage
Mayukai Mirage takes inspiration from several other VS Code themes, including Ayu theme, Material theme, Monokai, Andromeda, and Gruvbox Darktooth. According to the creator, this theme is ideal for day-long programming work. There are seven different variants of Mayukai, including Mirage, Semantic Mirage, Dark, Mirage Gruvbox Darktooth, Mono, Alucard, and Sunset. My favorite will, however, has to be the original Mayukai Mirage theme.
Download Mayukai Mirage Theme
12. One Dark Pro
Before VS Code went mainstream, the Atom code editor was the preferred choice of many developers, and there’s no denying that Atom’s One Dark theme looks great. If you miss Atom’s one dark theme, then One Dark Pro is what you need to install on VS Code. The creators of this theme have also included snippets in the listing to help you customize the colors and add italics to the UI.
Download One Dark Pro Theme
LaserWave is an 80’s synthwave-inspired theme with a warm retro look and feel. It currently supports Python, React JS, Angular, Ruby, Markdown, Java, C#, and Dart. If you’re looking for a theme that isn’t dark and works well with your lo-fi playlist, you won’t go wrong with LaserWave. It has a unique feel, and you are going to love it.
Download LaserWave Theme
Darcula (not to be confused with the popular Dracula Official) brings the familiar Darcula theme seen on Jetbrains IDEs and Android Studio to VS Code. However, the creator points out that there are a few modifications in tow to deliver a better experience to programmers. You can use this theme for a unified experience if you use Jetbrains’ IDE offerings.
Download Darcula Theme
15. City Lights
Another great VS Code theme is City Lights that brings predominant matte dark blue tones. It supports over eight popular programming languages. While you try this theme, make sure you don’t miss out on the City Lights icon package with over 60 file-type icons. It is also available for other popular code editors such as Sublime Text and Atom.
Download City Lights Theme
16. Quiet Light
Download Quiet Light Theme
17. GitHub Theme
GitHub is an official VS Code theme that brings the GitHub experience to VS Code. If you like the look and feel of the code hosting platform, you will feel right at home on switching to this theme.
Download GitHub Theme
18. Brackets Light Pro
Brackets Light Pro ports Adobe’s Brackets code editor’s light theme to VS Code. If you’re someone migrating to VS Code from Brackets since Adobe is all set to end support for Brackets from September 1, 2021, you’ll enjoy using the Brackets Light Pro theme. The recommended fonts and icons for this theme are Fantasque Sans Mono and VSCode Great Icons.
Download Brackets Light Pro Theme
19. Aofuji Light
Download Aofuji Light Theme
20. Bluloco Light
Lastly, we have Bluloco Light theme. It is a fork of the One Light theme with a Bluloco color palette that’s visually pleasing. This theme looks good even when you have Apple’s NightShift mode enabled, as per the creator. It means the theme plays along well with a blue light filter.
Download Bluloco Light Theme
VS Code Themes to Rejuvenate Your Coding Experience
These are our picks for the best Visual Studio Code themes. We hope this article helps you pick a new theme and give the overall aesthetic of your coding setup a facelift. So, which of these Visual Studio Code themes do you like the most? Let us know in the comments section below. Also, if you use a theme that we haven’t mentioned but should be on the list, do not hesitate to share it with others in the comments.