I can say a lot of good things about Arduino ecosystem. List will quite long, trust me on that. But Arduino ecosystem has one thing that sucks a lot: Arduino IDE. Programming environment for Arduino is crap. Period. I would not call it the worse development environment ever, but it's pretty close to that title. C'mon, Turbo Pascal from the early nineties of previous century was a better IDE!

There were few project to fix that problem. Somehow none of those really worked until Microsoft did not decided to do something about it and created

Visual Studio Code extension for Arduino

Arduino for Visual Studio Code

What Arduino extensions for Visual Studio Code does? Well, not so much, it only makes original Arduino IDE an obsolete piece of crapware. You can use decent IDE (VS Code is at least decent IDE) with skins, syntax coloring, IntelliSense support, GIT integration and do most of the things that Arduino IDE does: sketch upload, serial port monitor, library manager, etc.

Visual Studio Code Arduino example

How to install Arduino for Visual Studio Code?

  1. Download and install Arduino IDE. It will be still required. It has to be stand alone installation, version from Microsoft Store will not work
  2. Download and install Microsoft Visual Studio Code
  3. Run Visual Studio Code
  4. Open Command Palette (Ctrl + Shift + P)
  5. Select Extensions: Install Extensions
  6. In search window look for Arduino extension from Microsoft. There will be other extensions names "Arduino", but we look for the one from Microsoft
  7. Select it
  8. Click Install

Visual Studio Code Arduino command palette

Since now, all Arduino related functions will be available in Command Palette.

Personally, I fully switched to VS Code version of Arduino. It's just so much better that it's really hard to compare those two.