a viable option?

I have been developing professionally using Visual Studio since 2003 and I love it. I have always claimed it is the best IDE ever made and other language developers have to fight their development environments all the way. However Visual studio gets event better when you use Jetbrains resharper add-on. Adding this to visual studio has been my first task for several years. Resharper give you extremely powerful re-factoring capabilities. So when time came to renew my Resharper license I got an offered where for only a small additional cost I could get Rider as well.
I have to say I love the Jetbrains license model where loyalty means a reduced price every year. Hats off

rider vs visual studio

So would I be able to use rider as my IDE of choice? well below is a quick comparison after running rider for about a week.

ProductRiderVisual Studio Professional 2017
1st ReleaseJuly 2017~2002
Company JetbrainsMicrosoft

New project

Rider definitely got a smaller set of available templates, as it is intended to be cross platform. So If you are intending to do Windows development with UWP of WPF Rider is not for you.

Otherwise Rider offers pretty much same configuration options as Visual studio for a new solutions – target framework, version control etc.

And rider like Visual Studio supports C#, F#, VB and JavaScript

Additional templates can be installed https://dotnetnew.azurewebsites.net/ new project in Rider

new project in Visual Studio



Visual studio has always offered great extensions and there are no shortages in rider either. Here they are called plug-ins. I haven’t explored all of them but this is a list of rider plug-ins

Intellisence, code completion and refactoring

Rider comes with all the power of resharper so it has extremely good code completion and intellisense. I have been using visual studio for 15 years now and the first thing I add to VS is resharper.

Resharpers functionality makes refactoring in rider a joy.

Rider also has all the other feature from dotPeek (disassembler), dotTrace (tracing running applications) and dotMemory (for memory profiling). You can even disassemble external dlls straight from within the IDE.

Searching for files, classes, methods is also a great experience in Rider. Once again it rely on the power of Resharper’s great search utilities.

Git integration Rider has great git integration where you can do gists, apply patches and create shelves. Most of the above features are naturally included in Visual studio as well but they are not as good as the features from ReSharper.


At first I was not sure about the debugging and I was searching for an equivalent of visual studio “Quick watch” which I still haven found but otherwise debugging is much the same, it might take a little while to get use to the different layout. Debugging in Rider

Debugging in Visual Studio

Quick Watch in Visual Studio

Indicating files in error is a really nice rider feature. Rider will not only put a read squiggly line under statements that are wrong. It also indicates (with a squiggly line) what file is wrong in the project structure.

Multiple start up projects is not supported in rider and for me the only real issue as I often want to run say 2 api project. In visual studio you can set what projects will run when debugging


For someone like me that has been using Resharper in visual studio for a long time the switch was rather easy as I am use to most of the keyboard short cuts, how to apply refactoring etc. If you have been using vanilla visual studio it may take a while to get use to.

If you intend to do a lot of windows development you might want to stick with Visual studio as Rider has no UWP support

Rider has a really nice feature where it indicates what files have errors in them, It also offers superior refactoring and Intellisense compared to Visual Studio.

And its no great surprise that jetbrains managed to create a great IDE experience, they are not new in this game as they have released IDEs for several other languages with e.g. IntelliJ and PyCharm

Visual Studio has greater selection of projects. and supports UWP

IDE usability

Well they are actually both great but rider wins as it has more powerfull refactoring and intellisence

Also a close race with nothing between them. Multiple start-ups is important to me and VS supports it

Visual Studio is expensive. You can get Resharper + Rider for a fraction of that price. Also the process of buying (at least the cloud subscription) a Visual Studio license is really bad

I really can’t decide. I would choose rider as it would give most bang for your buck, but as I have used Viusal studio for over 15 years it is hard to use anything else. I will continue to use the 2 IDEs in parallel for a while longer before I make my decision.

Jetbrains pricing model is awesome!!
Fair, cheap and great tools. One happy developer

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!