Recursion in C#


Recursion is one of the most useful aspects of subroutines; that is the ability of the procedure or subroutine to call itself.

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This article will use a rather ancient puzzle known as the Tower of Hanoi originated from Hindu.
Tower of Hanoi
Diagram Tower of Hanoi 
The rules of this puzzle are:

  1. We are interested in moving the rings from A to B, perhaps using  C in the process. 
  2. Also by the rules of the game, rings are to be moved one at a time
  3.  At no point may the larger ring be placed on top a smaller one.
This puzzle can be solved following these 7 steps:
  • move A to  B;
  • move A  to C;
  • move B  to C;
  • move A to  B;
  • move C  to A;
  • move C  to B; 
  • move A  to B;


subroutine move N from A to B using C;
  1. if N is 1 then print "move A to B";
  2. else( If N is greater than 1) do the following:                 
            2.1 call move N - 1 from  A to C using B;
            2.2 call  move 1   from A to B using  C;
            2.3 call move N - 1 from  C to B using A;
    3. return


 We have 3 rings on Peg A, therefore, our N = 3, which is greater than 1.
 After the function; below are the 3 Steps our code follows:
 P(3, A, C, B) means  call move 3 from A to B using C
 Step1: P(N - 1, Beg, End, Aux)  
 Step2: P(1,       Beg,  Aux, End)
 Step3: P(N - 1, Aux, Beg, End)

 Below also are the meaning of the variables selected:

 P = denotes procedure/subroutine
 N = numbers of ring
 Beg = Initial stage of moving the ring
 End = destination 
 Aux = auxiliary output through which we move rings

If N is greater than 1:
Step1  says: move top (N -1) rings from Beg to Aux peg.
Step2  says: move 1 ring from Beg to End peg.
Step3 says: move top (N-1) rings from Aux to End peg.

Let us see in code:
namespace TowerOfHanoi
class Program
static void Main(string[] args)
char beg_fromPeg = 'A';       // Begining of the tower in output where we move from
char dest_Peg = 'B';            //  end tower in output where we move to
char via_PegtoDest = 'C';   // auxilliary tower in output through which we move
int disks = 3;                    // number of disks to move around
solverHanoiTowers(disks, beg_fromPeg, via_PegtoDest, dest_toPeg);
private static void solverHanoiTowers(int n, char beg_fromPeg, char via_PegtoDest, char dest_toPeg)
if ( n == 1)

Console.WriteLine("move" + beg_fromPeg + "to" + dest_Peg);

solverHanoiTowers(n - 1, beg_fromPegdest_Pegvia_PegtoDest);
solverHanoiTowers(1, beg_fromPegvia_PegtoDest, dest_Peg);
solverHanoiTowers(n - 1, via_PegtoDest, beg_fromPegdest_Peg);



move A to B;
move A to C;
move B to C;
move A to B;
move C to A;
move C to B;
move A to B;

These processes below is the sequential flow that moves all the rings in peg A to B recursively.

P( 3 , A, B, C)                             
       /                                            1st Chain                    2nd Chain           3rd Chain
P(2, A, C, B) - Step 1,2,3.    P(2 , A, C, B)          P(1,A, B, C)= A to C    P(2, B, A, C)
 /                                            /                                                                     /
P(1, A, B,  C)  - Step 2.        P(1, A, B, C) = A to C                               P(1,B,C,A)= B to A
 /                                             /                                                                    /
P(2, B, A, C)  -  Step 1,2,3.   P(1, A, C, B)= A to B                              P(1,B,A,C)= B to C
                                              /                                                                    /
                                            P(1, C, A, B)= C to B                             P(1, A, B, C) = A to C

Here what happened is that we applied those 3 steps on P(3, A, B, C) and those are the chain we got out of it that gave us the accurate result in code.

Happy reading! 
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Read: Class and Object -Object-Oriented Programming


  1. Thanks for posting

  2. This is easy to understand tutorial, thanks for sharing.

  3. Here's [a link](! that might help


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