Factorial program in Java

A classic program in Java is the Factorial Calculator.

What is the factorial of a number?

According to the Britannica:

Factorial, in mathematics, the product of all positive integers less than or equal to a given positive integer and denoted by that integer and an exclamation point. Thus, factorial seven is written 7! meaning 1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 × 6 × 7. Factorial zero is defined as equal to 1.

In everyday life, we use factorial as the total number of arrangements. It means we can arrange n objects in n! different ways.

How is calculated the factorial of a number?

The factorial of a number n is the product of all numbers from 1 to n.

Based on this rule, let’s write the algorithm of the factorial calculator.

Step 1: Declare the variable i, and initialize it to 1.
Step 2: Declare the variable result, which will store the factorial, and initialize it to 1;
Step 3: Read the variable n.
Step 4: The result is multiplied with i, and the product is stored in the variable result.
Step 5: Repeat step 4, for each i, from 1 to n.

The next step is to implement this algorithm in Java.

The factorial program in Java

Each program in Java is within a class. We will implement the calculation part inside a method called calculateFactorial.

static void calculateFactorial(int n)


Let’s build the loop for, which will calculate the product of each number, from 1 to n.

for(i = 1; i <= n; i++){ 
 fact = fact * i; 


The complete code of this example in Java is:

public class FactorialProgram {
 static void calculateFactorial(int n) {
  int i;
  int fact = 1;  
  for(i = 1; i <= n; i++){    
   fact = fact * i;    
  System.out.println("Factorial of "+n+" is: "+fact);    
 public static void main(String[] args) {


In Console:

Factorial of 5 is: 120
a recursive Version

The nature of the algorithm is recursive: the calculations for the factorial of n are based on the factorial of (n-1). Let’s try to implement the recursive version of the factorial program.

The base condition is:

if (n == 0)


This means the recursion will stop when n is equal to zero. Otherwise, the method calls itself, but with another parameter, which will be (n-1).



The code of the recursive version of the factorial program in Java is this one:

class FactorialRecursiveProgram{  
 static int factorial(int n){    
  if (n == 0)    
   return 1;    
   return(n * factorial(n-1));    
 public static void main(String args[]){  
  int fact=1;  
  int number=4;  
  fact = factorial(number);   
  System.out.println("Factorial of "+number+" is: "+fact);    


In Console:

Factorial of 4 is: 24


Hopefully, this will help you understand this classic problem, solved in both iterative and recursive ways.

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