Pygame Color Tutorial – Complete Guide

Welcome to our engaging tutorial on Pygame color! If you’ve sparked an interest in game development, learning about Pygame color is a valuable and instrumental skill. With this practical guide, you’ll have a first-hand experience on how colors can be manipulated in games, improving not only the ascetics but also the overall gameplay.

What is Pygame Color?

As you journey into the world of Pygame, you encounter a variety of functions and features that add depth and color to game creation. Speaking of color, Pygame color is an integral part of this game development process. It’s a feature that allows us to change and manage the color elements in our games.

What is it for?

With Pygame color, you can breathe life into your game characters, themes, landscapes and much more. It helps to visually distinguish between different sections of a game, and brings emphasis to parts where required. From setting a thrilling background for your boss fight to driving focus on vital clues in your mystery game, creative use of colors can drastically change the player’s experience.

Why should I learn it?

Understanding and correctly utilizing the power of colors can make your games richer and dynamic. Learning about Pygame colors allows you to experiment with aesthetics and emotional perspectives in game design. A good understanding of Pygame color will move you from a beginner to an advanced game designer, adding a valuable skill in your game development toolkit.

In the next few sections, we will provide some engaging coding examples that give you a hands-on experience on how to use Pygame colors. So stay with us and let’s explore pygames colors in a manner that is beginner-friendly without implying everyone is.

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Getting Started with Pygame Colors

To begin, we need to import the pygame module and initialize it. Here’s how to do it:

import pygame

Defining Colors

In Pygame, colors are defined using RGB (Red, Green, Blue) syntax, using values between 0 and 255. Below are examples of how we define colors:

WHITE = (255, 255, 255)
RED = (255, 0, 0)
GREEN = (0, 255, 0)
BLUE = (0, 0, 255)

Now we have colors defined, let’s start applying them.

Setting Up Game Display

Here is how to set up a game display of 800×600 pixels and set its background color to white.

DISPLAY = pygame.display.set_mode((800,600))

Our display window will now show as a white screen.

Drawing Shapes with Colors

Pygame provides us with a variety of shapes that we can draw on our screen, such as lines, rectangles, circles, and ellipses. Let’s start by drawing a red rectangle.

pygame.draw.rect(DISPLAY, RED, (200, 150, 100, 50))

The rectangle will be drawn in the top left corner (200px from the left, 150px from the top), with a width of 100px and height of 50px.

Next, let’s draw a blue circle., BLUE, (400, 300), 50)

The circle will be drawn at the center of the screen with a radius of 50px.

Drawing Lines and Ellipses with Colors

After mastering the drawing of basic shapes, we can take a step further to create a line and an ellipse with specific colors.

The following code will draw a green line from point (100,100) to point (700,500):

pygame.draw.line(DISPLAY, GREEN, (100, 100), (700, 500), 5)

The last argument given in the function, ‘5’, denotes the width of the line.

Let’s not stop here! Let’s draw an ellipse. An ellipse requires a bit more information, including a rectangle that inscribes it. Let’s draw a red ellipse:

pygame.draw.ellipse(DISPLAY, RED, (350, 250, 200, 100))

The first two arguments specify the top left corner of the rectangle, and the next two denote the width and height of the rectangle.

Update Display or Flip Display?

You might be wondering why we are calling pygame.display.update() after drawing each shape. Pygame uses a concept called ‘double-buffering’. What this means, in essence, is that Pygame works on two screens: one that is visible to us and one hidden ‘buffer’ screen.

When you create a shape in Pygame, it first gets drawn on this buffer screen. The pygame.display.update() or pygame.display.flip() is used to make all changes done in the buffer reflect on our visible screen.

Use the pygame.display.flip() command when you need to update the entire screen. But if you want up to update only part of the screen, use the pygame.display.update() function and pass the rectangle containing your objects as an argument.

pygame.display.update(pygame.Rect(200, 150, 100, 50))

With these examples in mind, you can now confidently start adding striking visuals to your game design. Creating engaging visuals with colors is one of the most exciting parts of game development! With Zenva, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to design and build your own spectacular games.

Adding Colors to Text

Adding color to text in your game can help with readability and help set the tone of your game. Pygame allows you to add colors to your text easily.

Here’s how you can create a red text:

FONT = pygame.font.Font('freesansbold.ttf', 32)
TEXT = FONT.render('Hello, World!', True, RED, WHITE)
TEXTRECT = TEXT.get_rect() = (400, 300)

In the above code, we first define a font object and then use the render method to create a text surface. The first argument is the text string, the second is a Boolean for antialiasing (smoothing the edges), then comes the text color and finally, the background color. The blit function is used to draw the text on the surface.

Changing Background Color with Events

Engage your users more by allowing them to control the color of the game background with user generated events. Below is an example of changing the background color when the user presses the SPACE key:

for event in pygame.event.get():
    if event.type == KEYDOWN:
        if event.key == K_SPACE:

This code awaits and checks for any key press event. If the key pressed is SPACE, it changes the background color to blue.

Fading Colors

A color fade effect can be used for transitions between scenes. Below, we’ll use a while loop to slowly change the color of a circle:

r = 255
while r > 0:, (r, 0, 0), (400, 300), 50)
    r -= 1

This is sure to keep your users hooked with dynamic visuals and prompt them to interact more with your game.

With these new skills at your disposal, we encourage you to try playing around with Pygame colors and explore the endless opportunities they present in enhancing your game’s visuals. Coding with colors is fun, and you’re just a few lines of code away from creating a vibrant, visually engaging game that excels not only in gameplay but also in aesthetics. Jump right in and start experimenting!

Where to Go From Here

Harnessing the power of Pygame colors is just a small taste of what awaits you in your gaming development journey. At Zenva, we provide an extensive range of tutorials, covering everything from programming to game development and AI — all of this aimed at giving you a significant career boost.

To continue exploring Python and gaming, we encourage you to delve into our comprehensive Python Mini-Degree. Built for beginners, it covers a range of topics such as basic coding, algorithms, object-oriented programming, game development, and app development. The outcome? You’ll be able to create your own games, algorithms, or even real-world applications. Our courses allow learners to work at their own pace and include quizzes and challenges that help solidify your understanding.

Keep Learning

Should you seek further resources, we’ve got you covered. You can access a plethora of Python-based courses in our library, which caters for learners at all levels. These courses will provide you with the much-needed skills to further your career. Check out our broad collection of Python courses here.

At Zenva, we believe in continuous learning. So keep going and transform your beginner status to a professional one. Happy gaming!


We hope this Pygame colors tutorial has piqued your interest in the colorful world of game development! Leveraging colors in a skilled way can seriously boost the appeal and the engagement level of your games, giving it that extra sparkle which might just set it apart from the crowd. The creative application of Pygame colors – partly science, partly art – is an instrumental step in your journey as a successful game developer.

At Zenva, we provide all the resources necessary to transform your gaming ideas into playable, interactive realities. We invite you to deepen your knowledge and expand your skillset with our Python Mini-Degree or check out our other Python courses. Happy coding, and may your games be as vibrant as a rainbow!

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