Neovim 101 - Games

Learning Vim/Neovim while playing games.

5 min readNov 27, 2022


Neovim 101 — Games

For Vim beginners, the initial learning curve could be relatively steep. A game-based approach to learning Vim is a good start. This article explores different types of games that could help.

This article is part of the Neovim 101 series.

The Neovim configuration files are available in this repository.

Getting Started

This diagram shows the classical learning curves for several common editors. 2 editors that stand out are Vi and Emacs. Though not easy to learn, they have been popular for several decades. Grokking one of them is definitely worth the time spent.

The built-in Vim tutor (:Tutor) provides a good introduction to learning Vim quickly. However, an interactive and game-based approach is more fun.

Vim Tutor

This article explores different games to help us master Vim.

Console Games


PacVim is a game that teaches Vim commands. We need to move Pacman (the green cursor) to highlight each word on the gameboard while avoiding the ghosts (in red).


PacVim has two special obstacles:

  1. We cannot move into the walls (yellow color). We must use Vim motions to jump over them.
  2. If we step on a tilde character (cyan ~), we lose!

We are given three lives, gaining a life each time we beat levels 0, 3, 6, 9, etc. There are 10 levels, 0 through 9. After beating the 9th level, the game is reset to the 0th level, but the ghosts move faster.

Winning conditions — Use Vim commands to move the cursor over the letters and highlight them. After every letter is highlighted, we…




Software engineer, Data Science and ML practitioner.