What’s the Best AI for Coding? (An Intro to The Top 19 AI Coding Assistants)

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The past couple of years have truly felt like the beginning of the AI renaissance. Along with the general influx of AI tools for purposes like art and writing, there has been an explosion of AI that can write code.

These AI coding tools aim to enhance the productivity and efficiency of developers, providing assistance in various aspects of the coding process.

Programs that focus on AI for code generation are often able to complete your code or write new lines for you to eliminate busywork.

And in addition to AI that codes for you, there are also AI coding assistants that can help you learn to code yourself.

But since there are a growing number of AI-assisted coding tools out there now, how do you pick the best AI for coding based on your needs?

In this article, we’ve rounded up a list of 19 of the best AI coding tools and assistants you may want to try—and given you a quick overview of the most popular ones—so you can decide which is best for you.

Let’s learn about the best AI to write code!

What Are AI Coding Tools?

First things first: what does it take for a tool to qualify as an AI coding assistant? Essentially, by “AI coding tools” we mean AI that codes for you or helps you write code in some way.

For instance, it might:

  • 💻 Generate the code for you
  • 🤖 Autocomplete your code
  • 📝 Give you advice, instructions, or feedback
  • Etc.

The best coding AI tools often provide features such as code completion, error detection, code suggestion, and sometimes even automated code generation. 

Having an AI coding assistant can also be like coding with a tutor or another programmer by your side. If you’re using a tool like ChatGPT for programming, you can ask it specific questions to help you solve problems or get unstuck. They can also introduce you to common coding patterns and help you learn new programming languages.

Jeff W. tweets: “It has been good for learning new languages too because it can so patiently deep dive on things you need further explanation of, 100% personalized and in context.”

Daniel Kuntz shared how he believes AI-assisted coding helps programmers grow and develop their skills, despite frequent misconceptions to the contrary. “‘AI coding tools make you a bad engineer’ No, they actually help you learn faster by dramatically shortening the trial and error feedback loop.”

Ultimately, instead of thinking of it as AI that writes code for you, try to reposition it as AI that writes code with you. You’ll still need the right skills and knowledge to use them successfully!

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19 Best AI Coding Tools to Try

If you’re interested in using AI for code generation, what AI coding tools should you be looking into? What’s the best AI for coding? 

Let’s start by diving into the details of six of the biggest AI coding assistants and tools on the market right now, plus a list of other helpful tools with AI that can write code and help you in other ways.

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for some of the resources mentioned in this article. If you buy a product through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

Please note that pricing listed below may change in the future!

1. GitHub Copilot

What is Copilot? This popular AI coding assistant, advertised as “your AI pair programmer,” basically acts as an autocomplete tool. In function, it’s kind of like when Gmail suggests the rest of your sentence and you can accept it or not.

Created by Microsoft-backed OpenAI, GitHub Copilot may possibly be the most well-known AI tool specifically for coding. Visual Studio Code users can also use it as a VSCode copilot through an extension.

GitHub Copilot

💰 Price: $10/month or $100/year for an individual plan.

Is GitHub Copilot free in any cases? Yes: it’s free for verified students, teachers, and maintainers of popular open source software. Plus, everyone can sign up for a free trial to see if they like the AI Copilot first.

🤔 When & how to use it: As programmers write code, GitHub Copilot provides intelligent code suggestions in real-time.

It predicts entire lines or blocks of code based on the context of what you’re writing. It can see all the code in your project, so it knows (for example) if you’re using React components or TypeScript, etc.

It learns from context and can translate developers’ instructions from natural language comments into code.

Copilot AI can be an especially great shortcut for writing repetitive or boilerplate code, since it learns from how you use it.

🗣️ What do real coders say? 

  • Many coders say they use ChatGPT-4 in conjunction with Copilot.
  • This Redditor says: “It’s also very good at explaining how code works and writes awesome commentary on functions, variables, etc. Right now you still have to guide it and do the backbone of the programming, but if you hit a snag when debugging or want some more common algorithms, boilerplate code, etc – it’s awesome at writing them for you.”

➡️ Course to get started: GitHub Copilot: Use AI to write code for you! (Copilot 2024) on Udemy

2. ChatGPT-4

Odds are, you’ve used ChatGPT. But did you know you can use it as an AI coding assistant?

Coders and software developers can leverage ChatGPT to assist in coding tasks by integrating it into their IDEs or code editors, allowing you to ask questions, offering code completion suggestions, and allowing for interactive problem-solving.


💰 Price: Free, or $20 for GPT Plus

🤔 When & how to use it: Great for troubleshooting, finding and fixing bugs, and asking questions about code. Many coders say they use it as a replacement for Google or StackOverflow, since it’s quicker and easier to find answers.

🗣️ What do real coders say?

  • Many coders say they use ChatGPT-4 in conjunction with Copilot.
  • This Redditor says: “It’s also very good at explaining how code works and writes awesome commentary on functions, variables, etc. Right now you still have to guide it and do the backbone of the programming, but if you hit a snag when debugging or want some more common algorithms, boilerplate code, etc – it’s awesome at writing them for you.”

➡️ Course to get started: ChatGPT for Programmers: Build Python Apps in Seconds on Udemy

3. Cursor

Cursor is an AI-powered code editor where you can ask questions about your code if you run into an error and it makes it easy to find solutions.

It is basically like a ChatGPT sidebar that can read your code and answer questions about it—in fact, Cursor actually uses GPT-4. But unlike ChatGPT, Cursor can read an entire codebase.

This is one of the most popular AI coding tools among real coders.


💰 Price: Free, or an upgraded version for $20/month

🤔 When & how to use it: You can chat with your project, make code changes, spot and fix bugs, and a lot more.

🗣️ What do real coders say? 

  • This Redditor says: “Not only can you feed it the entire code base, you can reference document links that it will pull from when generating code. Take NiceGUI for example which was created after sept first. Type @, select new doc, paste the link, and now the model knows NiceGUI. Seriously, try it.” 
  • This Redditor: “Same; been using Cursor for a short month maybe, VERY pleased. It’s not perfect, and a few minor UI issues are annoying, but the over-all product is miles ahead of anything I’ve ever used before.”

4. Aider

Another fan favorite among real coders, Aider is a ChatGPT-powered coding tool that lives in your terminal. You can even AI pair program with it, using just your voice.

It can read one or multiple files of your codebase and can edit them and git commit with the changes in your prompt.


💰 Price: Free

🤔 When & how to use it: It allows you to edit code stored in your local git repository. Aider is unique in that it lets you ask for changes to pre-existing, larger codebases.

🗣️ What do real coders say? 

  • According to this Redditor: “Open source, ability to work with your local repo, fantastic user experience. After using a handful of commercial coding assistants with zero luck at getting actually usable code, aider instantly worked for me.”
  • This Redditor says: “Aider is the best one I have used so far. With GPT4 the code is correct 90% of the time and plenty fast. Yes it is a terminal application, but it is smarter than Cursor or any of the other ones I have tried. I find myself using a combination of aider to write major blocks of code and Cursor to fix minor things.”
  • Twitter user Rupert Rebentisch: “Aider, a GPT-based command-line coding assistant, is my new favorite tool. It’s like having a personal coding tutor available 24/7.”

5. Tabnine

Tabnine is an AI-powered code completion tool designed to assist developers in writing code more efficiently. It integrates with popular integrated development environments (IDEs) and code editors, providing intelligent autocompletion suggestions as you type.


💰 Price: Free (for short code completions of 2 to 3 words) or $12/month for the more advanced features

🤔 When & how to use it: It can autocomplete lines of code, suggests full function completion based on function declaration, and generates blocks of code based on natural language comments

🗣️ What do real coders say?

  • This Redditor says: “I [have been] using it for about two weeks and it’s great. It really reads your mind sometimes and is super fast (instant suggestions, faster than intellisense lol). Also it’s more private than github copilot.”

➡️ Course to get started: Increase productivity with Tabnine for Java developers on Udemy

6. Codeium

Similar to Copilot, Codeium is an AI-powered assistant. It’s been trained on 70+ languages and integrates with 40+ editors. It’s a good free GitHub Copilot alternative.


💰 Price: Free

🤔 When & how to use it: When you need to autocomplete code and suggest code modifications. 

🗣️ What do real coders say?

  • According to this Redditor: “I use Codeium to summarize for me learning points from a code I’ve written and/or explain why my code doesn’t work (I’m a newbie taking a class in Python). I found it very useful while taking my course to better understand certain topics from lectures applied to an exercise and I don’t use it to write a code for me per se (i.e. copy paste the problem into chat to generate a solution).”

7-19: Other smaller tools

Although these aren’t as common as the six listed above, these other AI coding assistants are worth exploring as well!

7. Better Code AI: a program that leverages AI to analyze code quality, identify issues, and provide suggestions for improvement, helping developers write cleaner and more efficient code.

8. AWS CodeWhisperer: a tool from Amazon Web Services that uses AI to assist developers in writing and optimizing code on the AWS platform, streamlining the development process.

9. Refact: an AI-powered code refactoring tool designed to automatically analyze and suggest improvements to existing codebases, enhancing their maintainability and readability.

10. OpenAI Codex: the underlying model behind GitHub Copilot. Codex is capable of understanding and generating human-like text in a wide range of domains, including programming.

11. Phind: an AI tool focused on code search and discovery, utilizing advanced algorithms to help developers find relevant code snippets or solutions to specific programming challenges.

12. CodiumAI: not to be confused with Codeium in the list above, CodiumAI is an AI-powered coding assistant that aids developers in writing code by providing context-aware code suggestions and helping with various coding tasks.

13. CodeT5: a model specifically trained as AI for code generation tasks, translating natural language queries into code snippets, making it easier for developers to express coding intent in plain language.

14. AskCodi: designed to assist programmers by providing answers to coding-related queries, offering explanations, code examples, and solutions to common programming problems.

15. Visual Studio IntelliCode: a Microsoft-developed VSCode copilot that uses AI to enhance the coding experience, offering intelligent code completion suggestions and personalized recommendations based on coding patterns.

16. aiXcoder: an AI coding assistant that supports developers by providing code completions, suggestions, and quick solutions to coding challenges, enhancing productivity in software development.

17. SourceAI: an AI coding tool focused on code analysis, providing insights into code quality, security, and potential improvements, helping developers maintain high standards in their projects.

18. Bard: designed to assist with code summarization, generating concise and informative summaries for code snippets, making it easier for developers to understand and collaborate on code.

19. Code Llama: assists developers in understanding and navigating codebases by providing context-aware code recommendations and helping them explore options.

What’s The Best AI for Coding?

Ultimately, the best AI for coding really depends on your needs and what stage you’re at in your programming journey. But on a general level, here are our current recommendations!

ChatGPT is a good all-around AI coding assistant that can help you not just with your actual code but with deciding what to learn, applying for jobs, etc.

CoPilot, Aider, Tabnine, and Codeium are some of the best coding AI tools for code completion. Codeium is probably the best AI code generator that’s accessible for free.

Cursor might be the best option if you want to feel like you’re pair programming and really get the most out of AI, because it can see and answer questions about your whole code base.

How Will You Use AI Coding Assistants?

No matter what your goals are, using an AI coding assistant isn’t a replacement for learning critical thinking, computer science concepts, and general programming skills.

Think of it as more like having a coding tutor helping you along. They can’t and shouldn’t give you all the answers—there are certain things you need to learn by practicing and on your own. 

That said, AI coding tools can definitely give you a leg up on learning to code.

ChatGPT on laptop

And as you progress beyond that and become a programmer in your own right, AI coding assistants can speed up your workflow.

With the help of AI that can write code, you can reduce busywork and come up with better or more efficient ways of doing things that you might not have thought of yourself.

Whether or not you’re sold on using AI-assisted coding in your own work, it never hurts to have a new option in your arsenal.

You can always try a free AI coding assistant or sign up for a free trial to see how AI coding tools can plug into your own journey as a programmer. See how it goes, keep a flexible mindset, and you might just find the best AI code generator for you.