Published on February 1, 2021

Favorite Visual Studio Code Themes of 2021

Colors abound!

Like so many others in the web development world, I use Visual Studio Code as my IDE. Among many other reasons, I like it for its ease of customization and the many options for themes.

I admit it. I'm a theme addict. If the theme isn't colorful enough, or if it's too colorful, I might switch to another one. Ditto If it doesn't show strings and variables in a clear and distinct way.

But I think it makes sense to obsess over this kind of thing. As developers we are gonna see these colors and fonts for countless hours. You'd want it to look nice, right?

So without further ado, here's some of my favorite themes.


Cobalt 2 theme

Link to theme

The omnipresent Cobalt2, made by Wes Bos is a theme I find myself coming back to on a regular basis. It has a nice contrast between the code and the sidebar, the color choices are pleasing, it uses italics for comments, among other things.

Shades of Purple

Shades of Purple theme

Link to theme

This might just be my favorite theme. It's definitely the one I've just the most and keep switching back to. It is a dark theme but it's not so dark that you can see your own reflection in the screen, the color choices are wondeful, it uses italics in all the right places, and it is available on pretty much everything you can customize.

Synthwave '84

Synthwave 84 theme

Link to theme

Synthwave '84 is a bit similar to Shades of Purple in that it has a very neon- and technicolor-inspired look, but this one cranks it up to 11. Slightly darker, slightly more retro. There's also a built-in option to have the text glow, but that might be a bit too much.


Dracula theme

Link to theme

Dracula is a very distinctive theme with a mix of gray backgrounds and pastel colors for everything else. I find myself switching to this one once in a while when I want something different. Their website claims that you can find Dracula on a mind-blowing 150+ apps (!).

Night Owl

Night Owl theme

Link to theme

Sarah Drasner created this theme for the night owls out there who want dark and muted colors. As expected I like using this one when I start a 1 AM coding session.

There are of course hundreds (maybe thousands) of other themes available, so make sure to browse the Visual Studio Marketplace to find even more.