Pygame Font Tutorial – Complete Guide

Welcome to our journey into the world of Pygame Fonts! Throughout this tutorial, we will dive into the intricacies of managing texts in games created using Pygame, a set of Python modules designed for game development. Knowing how to effectively use fonts and text manipulations in Pygame can truly add life and personality to your games, making them more engaging and enjoyable to play.

What is Pygame Font?

The Pygame Font module is a part of Pygame, supporting the rendering of text on Pygame surfaces. Games aren’t just about fascinating graphics and interactive gameplay – they also rely heavily on text for dialogues, instructions, and player feedback. Understanding Pygame Font enables developers to tap into the power of written words, making their games significant and conversational.

What is it Used For?

If you’ve ever seen text in a Pygame-made game, you’ve seen the Pygame Font module in action. From showing game scores, displaying instructions, or advancing the game plot through dialogues, the Pygame Font module’s capabilities are always on display. Programmers use it to foster the connection between the game and the player through textual prompts and responses.

Why Should I Learn It?

Every element of a game contributes to its overall appeal and success, and text is no exception. By learning how to utilize Pygame Font, you get the chance to drastically enhance your game’s storytelling and instructive aspects. Both beginners wishing to create their first game, and seasoned coders looking to improve the depth and immersion of their creations will find this knowledge indispensable.

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Creating a Font Object

The first step in using font in Pygame is creating a Font object. This is done using the pygame.font.Font function.

import pygame
font = pygame.font.Font(None, 36)

In this example, the pygame.font.Font function is provided with two parameters:

– The first parameter specifies the font style. By passing None, we are telling Pygame to use the default font.

– The second parameter is the size of the font.

Creating a Text Surface

After creating a font object, we can use it to render text into a Pygame surface.

text_surface = font.render("Hello, Zenva!", True, (255, 255, 255), (0, 0, 0))

Here, the font.render method is called with four parameters:

– The first parameter and second parameter are the text to be rendered and a boolean representing whether or not to use anti-aliasing, respectively.

– The third and fourth parameters are the color of the text and the background. These are specified as RGB tuples.

Displaying the Text

The text surface we just created can now be displayed on the screen.

screen = pygame.display.set_mode((800, 600))
screen.blit(text_surface, (50, 50))

Here we create a screen using pygame.display.set_mode and then draw our text surface on this screen at the position (50, 50) using the blit function.

Setting Font Style and Size

Beyond using the default font, Pygame allows us to specify a font file for more custom styles. To do this, pass the font file path as the first argument to the pygame.font.Font function.

font = pygame.font.Font('freesansbold.ttf', 32)

In this code snippet, we specify a TTF font file (‘freesansbold.ttf’) and set its size to 32. Keep in mind that the specified font file has to be in the same directory as your python script. If it is in a separated folder, the path to the folder must be included.

Adjusting Font Appearance

Pygame provides the ability to modify font appearance to enable developers to better match the game’s aesthetics. Two key modifications among these are bold and italics.

For instance, to make text bold:


To italicize the font:


In both examples, you can pass False to turn off the bold or italic effect.

Adjusting Font Transparency

Another useful modification is setting the alpha value or transparency of the font. This is done by using the set_alpha() method.


This code will make the text semi-transparent. The alpha value can be any integer between 0 (fully transparent) to 255 (opaque).

Resizing the Text

Suppose you find that your text doesn’t fit well in the space provided, and you wish to resize it. You can accomplish this using the pygame.transform.scale() function.

new_surface = pygame.transform.scale(text_surface, (200, 50))

In this code, we provide a new width and height (200, 50) that our text surface will be scaled to.

Rotating the Text

Sometimes, you may want to rotate your text for a dramatic effect. This can be achieved using the pygame.transform.rotate() function.

rotated_surface = pygame.transform.rotate(text_surface, 45)

In this piece of code, the text surface is rotated 45 degrees counterclockwise.

These various techniques and functions provide you with the capability to add personality and versatility to the text in your Pygame applications. Remember, engaging and visually pleasing text is a key part of creating immersive user experiences, and with Python’s Pygame, the power to create those experiences is firmly in your hands.

Determining Font Dimensions

Before placing your text on the game screen, it’s often helpful to determine the dimensions of the text surface. Pygame provides a built-in way of doing this.

text_rect = text_surface.get_rect()

Here, we are using the get_rect() method which returns a rectangle object. This object can then be used to determine the width and height of the surface.

Setting Text Position

After determining the dimensions of your text, setting its position becomes simpler. If you want your text at a certain position, use the get_rect() method.

text_rect.topleft = (50, 50)
screen.blit(text_surface, text_rect)

In this code, we set the top-left corner of the text to be at the position (50, 50). We then draw the text surface at this specified position.

Centering the Text on Screen

In some cases, you might want your text centered on screen. The rectangle object provides an easy way to do this. = (screen.get_width() / 2, screen.get_height() / 2)
screen.blit(text_surface, text_rect)

In this example, we set the center of the text to be at the center of the screen. Thus the text will appear centered both vertically and horizontally.

Changing Text Color

Text color in Pygame can be changed dynamically, allowing you to highlight certain parts of text or accommodate design elements.

text_surface = font.render("Hello, Zenva!", True, (255, 0, 0), (0, 0, 0))

In this code snippet, the previously white text is now red, as dictated by the RGB color code (255, 0, 0).

Updating Text Content

Often in gaming scenarios, text needs to be updated frequently. Be it for displaying changing scores or timers, you can easily do this in Pygame.

for i in range(10, -1, -1):
    text_surface = font.render(f"Countdown: {i}", True, (255, 255, 255), (0, 0, 0))
    screen.blit(text_surface, (50, 50))

Here, a countdown from 10 to 0 is created. Text surface is updated every second with the decreasing count value.

Mastering fonts in Pygame isn’t just about understanding the syntax – it’s about knowing when and how to use text effectively to engage your players and enrich your game’s storytelling. We’re excited to see how you’ll use this powerful tool in your Pygame projects. Don’t forget, at Zenva, we’re always here to support you on your coding journeys. Happy coding!

Where to Go Next?

Indulged in the world of Pygame fonts and wondering what your next steps should be? We recommend diving deeper into Python game development or expanding your knowledge of other Python areas. Python is an extensively versatile language suited for a wide range of applications – from game development to data science.

To gain a substantial understanding of Python, consider our Python Mini-Degree. This comprehensive collection of courses covers coding basics, algorithms, object-oriented programming, game development, and more. Designed with flexibility in mind, these courses encourage self-paced learning, ideal for both beginners and experienced programmers. This Mini-Degree also includes projects you can add to your portfolio, showcasing your Python proficiency and preparing you for success in the industry.

Feeling prepared to explore beyond? Have a look at our broader collection of Python courses. With over 250 supported courses to choose from, you’re sure to find one that sparks further interest. No matter where you are on your coding journey, we at Zenva are committed to providing high-quality content that will propel you from beginner to professional.


And there you have it – that’s your complete guide to mastering fonts in Pygame! Having covered everything from creating a font object, to dynamically changing font style and size, to setting and updating text content, you’re now equipped to add depth and value to your games with engaging text elements.

Embrace the opportunity to breathe life into your games through memorable dialogues, dramatic instructions and lively feedback to players. Remember, a skilled developer knows how to use every tool in their arsenal to create an immersive gaming experience – fonts included. Interested in extending your expertise in game development? Check out our comprehensive Python Mini-Degree, and make sure you get the most out of your coding journey with Zenva. Happy coding!

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