Fonts For Pygame Tutorial – Complete Guide

Fonts play a pivotal role in enhancing game aesthetics and creating immersive experiences for players. In the world of Pygame, a popular platform for budding game developers using Python, understanding how to manipulate and implement fonts can significantly elevate your creative prowess. Over the course of this tutorial, we’ll unravel the nuances of using fonts in Pygame and learn how to leverage them in your gaming projects.

What is Pygame and its Font Module?

Pygame is a free, open-source library designed for making video games using Python. It provides you with the essentials tools to build games right out of the box. Pygame’s font module adds richness to your games, letting you use custom texts in different styles, sizes, and colors.

Why Learn About Fonts in Pygame?

Giving a personal touch to visual elements in your game can enhance the overall playing experience. That’s where learning about fonts in Pygame becomes important.

• Custom fonts carry the ability to express a game’s theme more effectively.
• They can guide the gamer effectively through different levels or instructions.
• Different uses of fonts can create an element of mystery or personality in your game.

Harness the potential of using fonts and set your game apart from generic and repetitive aesthetics.

Now that we have learned why fonts in Pygame are so important, let’s dive into the world of code and learn how to implement it in our game. Stay tuned for the engaging and beginner-friendly coding examples in the next parts of this tutorial.

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Setting up Pygame Fonts

First things first, we need to import Pygame and initialize the font module. Pygame font module uses SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) for its underlying functionality. Here’s how:

import pygame

Now that we have imported and initiated the Pygame font module, we can proceed to load the desired font and set its size.

In case you wish to use the system’s default font, use `pygame.font.Font()` method:

default_font = pygame.font.Font(None, 48)

Above, None refers to the system’s default font and 48 specifies the font size.

Using External Fonts

Hoping to make your game more characterful? Use external fonts. Download a TFF or OTF font file, and include the file path in the `Font()` method:

custom_font = pygame.font.Font('CustomFont.ttf', 64)

This method creates a `pygame.font.Font` object, letting you use versatile font styles in your games.

Creating Text Surfaces

To render the created font onto the screen, we convert it into a surface object using the `render()` method:

text_surface = custom_font.render('Welcome to Pygame', True, (255, 255, 255))

In this method:

1. First argument is the text string to be displayed.
2. Second is an anti-aliasing parameter (set it to True).
3. Third is the color of the text in RGB format.

Positioning Text on the Pygame Window

Next, we’ll position the text in the center of the Pygame window. When positioning, bear in mind that Pygame treats the top-left corner of the window as (0,0). For center, we have:

screen_center = (pygame.display.get_surface().get_size()[0] // 2, pygame.display.get_surface().get_size()[1] // 2)
text_rect = text_surface.get_rect(center=screen_center)

Lastly, to complete our font rendering, we need to blit the text surface onto the Pygame window:

pygame_screen.display.blit(text_surface, text_rect)

Great! We now have a simple text appearing in the center of our Pygame window. In the next section, we’ll look at more advanced font manipulations.

Manipulating Font Attributes

Understanding ways to manipulate font attributes – such as style, size, and color – can make your game stand out. Let’s have a look at a few ways how we can change these attributes.

Changing Font Size

We have already seen how to set size when loading a new font. Pygame, however, does not provide a default way to change the size of already loaded fonts. The best method would be to re-load the font with a new size:

custom_font = pygame.font.Font('CustomFont.ttf', 72)

Changing Font Style: Bold and Italics

Pygame allows you to set your text to be bold or italic using `set_bold()` and `set_italic()` methods respectively. For example:


Creating Underlined Text

Sometimes, emphasizing certain words or sentences in your game text can be important. Pygame lets you underline your text with `set_underline()` method:


Adjusting Font Color

Changing the color of text in Pygame is as simple as manipulating the RGB values while rendering the text surface, like so:

text_surface = custom_font.render('Welcome to Pygame', True, (0, 255, 0))

In the code above, the RGB values (0, 255, 0) correspond to the color green.

Rotating Text

Rotating text can add a creative twist to your video game aesthetics. To rotate a text in Pygame, use `pygame.transform.rotate()` method:

rotated_surface = pygame.transform.rotate(text_surface, 45)
text_rect = rotated_surface.get_rect(center=screen_center)

Here, ’45’ is the angle of rotation in degrees.

There we go! Armed with this information and examples, you are now ready to bring a diverse range of text utilities into your Pygame projects. Utilize these methods to their fullest potential and elevate your video game design.

Animating Text

Animating your game text can make your game more dynamic and engaging. Pygame doesn’t have a pre-built function for this, but with knowledge of Pygame’s basic principles, we can create our own text animation.

import pygame

screen = pygame.display.set_mode((800, 600))
clock = pygame.time.Clock()
font = pygame.font.Font(None, 50)

text = 'Welcome to Pygame'
x = 800

while True:
    screen.fill((0, 0, 0))
    text_surface = font.render(text, True, (255, 255, 255))
    screen.blit(text_surface, (x, 300))
    x -= 5  # This moves the text to left

    if x < -text_surface.get_width():
        x = 800  # Reset the x when the text is off screen


This is a basic example of how to create scrolling text animation in Pygame.

Creating Text Boxes

Being able to interact with a game through text inputs is important. By creating our own text box function, we can achieve this output:

def draw_text_box(screen, rect, text):
    box = pygame.Rect(rect)
    pygame.draw.rect(screen, (255, 255, 255), box, 2)
    text_surf = pygame.font.Font(None, 25).render(text, True, (255, 255, 255))
    screen.blit(text_surf, (box.x+5, box.y+5))

This code displays a text box on the screen where the text can be updated dynamically.

Working with Text Inputs

Using the function above, you can then also create dynamic text inputs:

text = ""
while True:
    for event in pygame.event.get():
        if event.type == pygame.QUIT:
        if event.type == pygame.KEYDOWN:
            if event.key == pygame.K_BACKSPACE:
                text = text[:-1]
                text += event.unicode

    screen.fill((0, 0, 0))
    draw_text_box(screen, pygame.Rect(50, 50, 200, 50), text)


The code snippet above makes a dynamic text box where users can write and also delete characters with the backspace key.

Display Non-English Fonts

Pygame also supports the display of non-English fonts such as Chinese, Arabic, or Japanese. You just need to ensure you’re using the correct font file that supports the language characters:

custom_font = pygame.font.Font('NonEnglish.ttf', 64)
text_surface = custom_font.render('非英語', True, (255, 255, 255))

Remember to replace ‘NonEnglish.ttf’ with your own non-English supportive font file name and ‘非英語’ with your desired text.

With these tricks in your Python Pygame toolkit, the creation of engaging and personalized games is within your grasp. As always, remember to explore, experiment, and enhance your codes!

Where to go next – How to Keep Learning

Congratulations on learning the basics of using fonts in Pygame! Your journey doesn’t end here. Just like in game development, the path of learning is continuous and filled with exciting possibilities. We at Zenva encourage you to keep honing your skills and refining your understanding of these concepts.

Interested in delving deeper into Python and programming? Consider our Python Mini-Degree, a comprehensive collection of courses designed to effectively teach Python programming. This stripped-down, efficient series caters to beginners and experienced programmers alike, with hands-on projects to build your Python project portfolio. Python, known for its simple syntax and versatility, is in high demand in today’s job market, particularly in data science, making this a very worthwhile investment of your time.

Also, check our wide range of Python courses for various topics that cater to any learning objective or career goal. So go forth! Dive into these resources, soak up the knowledge, and equip yourself with a highly sought-after, versatile skill set.


In this tutorial, we’ve explored how you can employ fonts in Pygame to enhance the aesthetics and user experience of your game. By understanding and utilizing Pygame’s font module, you’re now able to display text in various styles, sizes, and colors. From basic font manipulation to advanced functionalities like animation and user interaction, this newfound knowledge opens up a plethora of possibilities for your game development journey.

As we wrap up, remember that every step you take brings you closer to becoming a seasoned game developer. Throughout this journey, we at Zenva are your companions, equipped with high-quality and effective learning resources. If you’re eager to continue enhancing your Python and game development skills, consider our Python Mini-Degree. Let this be your stepping stone into the exciting world of programming and game development. Keep learning, keep growing, and most importantly, keep having fun with your creations.

Did you come across any errors in this tutorial? Please let us know by completing this form and we’ll look into it!

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