RichTextEffect in Godot – Complete Guide

Welcome to a journey into the world of RichTextEffect in Godot 4. If you’re looking to add some pizzazz to the text elements in your games, then mastering RichTextEffect is a thrilling step towards creating a more immersive experience for your players. Through this tutorial, we aim to demystify the RichTextEffect class, offering you a strong foundation and practical insights into how you can apply dazzling custom effects within your Godot projects. Engage your creativity as we explore the powerful capabilities of this feature without any intimidation. Perfect for anyone with a curiosity about in-game typography, let’s dive into the exciting possibilities that RichTextEffect has to offer!

What is RichTextEffect?

RichTextEffect is an inventive feature available in the Godot Engine 4 that allows developers to apply custom visual effects to text characters within a RichTextLabel. This customizable tool extends beyond static text display, injecting life and individuality into game dialogue, storytelling, and UI components.

What is it for?

Using RichTextEffect can create text that fades in, shimmers, wobbles, or changes color dynamically, enhancing the user experience and making your game stand out. The effects are limited only by your imagination and can serve as a guiding light in your journey to professional game development.

Why Should I Learn It?

Diving into RichTextEffect boosts your skillset by letting you create more polished and visually engaging games. Knowing how to manipulate text effects is essential for developers aiming to captivate their audience with impressive UI design and sophisticated visual flair. By learning to implement these effects, you’ll open the door to a new realm of presentation options that can transform the mundane into the extraordinary.

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Creating a Simple RichTextEffect

Let’s start with a simple example to get our feet wet. We’ll create a straightforward RichTextEffect that changes the color of the text over time, creating a pulsing effect.

extends RichTextEffect

var amplitude = 255
var frequency = 1.0

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var time = OS.get_ticks_msec() / 1000.0
    var alpha = (sin(time * frequency) + 1) / 2
    char_fx.color.a = alpha * amplitude
    return true

We start by extending the RichTextEffect class. Then, we define some properties for our pulsing effect. In the _process_custom_fx function, we adjust the alpha value of our text’s color based on the sine of time, giving it a smooth fadeIn and fadeOut.

Applying the RichTextEffect

To use the effect we just created, we need to apply it to a RichTextLabel. First, you have to load the script and then push the effect onto the label.

var effect = preload("res://").new()

func _ready():

In the above code, we’re preloading our custom RichTextEffect script and pushing it onto the RichTextLabel when our scene is ready.

Applying Multiple Effects

What if we want to layer multiple effects? It’s as easy as pushing more onto your label. Let’s add a wobble effect next to our pulsing color.

var pulse_effect = preload("res://").new()
var wobble_effect = preload("res://").new()

func _ready():

By pushing the wobble_effect onto the RichTextLabel after the pulse_effect, we will have both effects applied simultaneously to our text.

Handling the Wobble Effect

Now let’s define our wobble effect with some sin wave magic to make our characters dance up and down!

extends RichTextEffect

var amplitude = 10
var frequency = 2.0

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var time = OS.get_ticks_msec() / 1000.0
    char_fx.offset.y += sin(time * frequency + char_fx.absolute_index) * amplitude
    return true

In this script, we’re altering the y-offset of each character using a sin wave. The char_fx.absolute_index ensures that each character wobbles at a slightly different time, creating an undulating effect across the text.

With these examples, we have applied and created both a color pulsing effect and a wobble effect using the RichTextEffect class. These examples are the building blocks for creating more elaborate and intricate visuals within your games. As you practice, you’ll be able to develop more complex effects, further enhancing the polish and professionalism of your projects.Now that we’ve introduced simple color pulsing and wobble effects, let’s expand our toolbox with additional examples showcasing the power of RichTextEffects in Godot 4. We’ll look into creating effects such as text shadow, outline, and more complex animations.

Adding a Text Shadow

A shadow effect can give text depth and help it stand out against various backgrounds. Let’s code a basic shadow.

extends RichTextEffect

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    # Clone the transformed character
    var shadow_fx = char_fx.duplicate()
    # Adjust the position for the shadow
    shadow_fx.offset += Vector2(2, 2)
    # Set the color of the shadow (semi-transparent black in this case)
    shadow_fx.color = Color(0, 0, 0, 0.5)
    # Draw the shadow character
    return true

In this example, we duplicate the current character, adjust its position to create an offset, change its color to a semi-transparent black for the shadow effect, and then draw it. The original character is then drawn on top, resulting in a shadow effect.

Crafting Outline Effects

An outline effect can enhance readability and add a bold look to your text. Here’s a simple method to add an outline.

extends RichTextEffect

var outline_color: Color = Color(1, 0, 0) # Red outline
var outline_size: int = 1

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    for i in range(-outline_size, outline_size + 1):
        for j in range(-outline_size, outline_size + 1):
            var outline_fx = char_fx.duplicate()
            outline_fx.offset += Vector2(i, j)
            outline_fx.color = outline_color
    return true

We iterate through a range based on the desired outline size, duplicate the character for each position in the range to create the outline, and set its color to the preferred outline color.

Complex Animations: Typewriter Effect

A typewriter effect achieves the look of text being typed out in real-time. Let’s implement this nostalgic effect.

extends RichTextEffect

var char_period = 0.05 # Time to wait before showing the next character

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var elapsed_time = OS.get_ticks_msec() / 1000.0
    # Calculate the time at which this character should appear
    var appear_time = char_fx.absolute_index * char_period
    # Only display character if the elapsed time has passed appear_time
    char_fx.visible = elapsed_time >= appear_time
    return true

We calculate the time each character should appear based on its index and the predefined period, showing the characters one by one to create the effect of text appearing as if it’s being typed.

Dynamically Changing Text Size

Dynamic text size alteration can be used for emphasis or to create a pulsing size effect.

extends RichTextEffect

var frequency = 2.0

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var time = OS.get_ticks_msec() / 1000.0
    var scale_factor = sin(time * frequency) * 0.5 + 1
    char_fx.scale = Vector2(scale_factor, scale_factor)
    return true

This script changes the scale of each character over time, using the sine function for smooth growth and shrinkage, creating a breathing effect with the text.

These examples provide a glimpse into various creative possibilities with RichTextEffect in Godot 4. Remember, experimentation is key to discovering the full potential of this feature. Feel free to mix and match effects, vary parameters, and adjust timing to fit the style and mood of your game. With these skills, you can take your game’s textual presentation to an entirely new level!As we delve further into the possibilities with RichTextEffects in Godot 4, we can explore more advanced concepts including gradient fills, shaking text, and a fading out effect. Let’s enhance our repertoire of text effects with these intriguing examples.

Gradient Fill Effect

A text gradient can add visual interest and highlight important game elements. Here’s how to apply a vertical gradient effect to text.

extends RichTextEffect

var top_color: Color = Color(1, 0, 0) # Red top
var bottom_color: Color = Color(0, 0, 1) # Blue bottom

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var ratio = float(char_fx.absolute_index) / char_fx.total_length
    char_fx.color = top_color.linear_interpolate(bottom_color, ratio)
    return true

This script linearly interpolates between two colors, creating a smooth gradient that spans the entire text.

Next, let’s make our text emulate a shaking effect, which can be useful for denoting instability or excitement.

Shaking Effect

The shaking effect is ideal for drawing attention or indicating an impact within your game world.

extends RichTextEffect

var intensity = 5.0

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var random_x = randf() * 2 - 1 # Random value between -1 and 1
    var random_y = randf() * 2 - 1 # Random value between -1 and 1
    char_fx.offset += Vector2(random_x, random_y) * intensity
    return true

This code snippet utilizes randomness to move each character in different directions, creating a vigorous shake.

Fade Out Effect

Creating a fade-out effect can be useful for transitioning between scenes or indicating the conclusion of dialogue.

extends RichTextEffect

var duration = 2.0 # Duration until text is fully transparent

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var elapsed_time = OS.get_ticks_msec() / 1000.0 - char_fx.absolute_index * 0.05
    var alpha = clamp(1.0 - elapsed_time / duration, 0, 1)
    char_fx.color.a = alpha
    return true

This code helps each character gradually disappear by reducing its alpha channel based on the time elapsed.

For added immersion, we can implement a blink effect, where text periodically disappears and reappears.

Blink Effect

Blinking text can be useful for attracting attention or signaling the player to take action.

extends RichTextEffect

var blink_rate = 1.0 # Number of blinks per second

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var time = OS.get_ticks_msec() / 1000.0
    char_fx.visible = floor(time * blink_rate) % 2 == 0
    return true

Using the floor and modulus operation, the code controls the visibility of the text, causing it to blink at our defined rate.

Lastly, let’s see how you can rotate text for effects like spinning words or letters.

Rotating Text Effect

Rotating text can be flashy and dynamic, creating an energetic atmosphere.

extends RichTextEffect

var spin_speed = 1.0 # Rotations per second

func _process_custom_fx(char_fx: CharFXTransform):
    var angle = OS.get_ticks_msec() / 1000.0 * spin_speed * 2 * PI
    char_fx.rotation = angle
    return true

By adjusting the rotation property over time, every character can be made to spin. Extra flair can be added by adjusting the anchor points for rotation, or by varying the speed for individual characters.

Through these examples, a pattern emerges showing how effects often revolve around manipulating properties of CharFXTransform such as color, offset, visibility, and rotation over time. Remember that while some effects are purely aesthetic, others can have a significant impact on the gameplay experience or storytelling.

These methods underline the immense potential of RichTextEffect in Godot. By combining and refining these effects, you can elevate the interactive narratives and overall presentation of your game. Get creative, have fun, and remember that the only limit is your imagination!

Continuing Your Godot Journey

Congratulations on taking your first steps towards mastering RichTextEffect with Godot 4! Your adventure in game development is just beginning, and there’s a whole universe of knowledge waiting for you to discover. To help you continue progressing, we highly recommend exploring our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree. This comprehensive series will guide you through building cross-platform games and cover various game genres, providing you with the skills to harness both the 2D and 3D capabilities of this powerful engine.

Whether you’ve just started game development or looking to sharpen your existing skills, our Mini-Degree is designed to help you grow. Through flexible learning options, you’ll gain hands-on experience in Godot’s node-based system and GDScript. Furthermore, completing projects will not only reinforce your learning but also help build a portfolio to showcase your skills.

Don’t stop here—continue your learning journey with us at Zenva, where you can access a wealth of knowledge through our range of Godot courses. With Zenva, you can go from beginner to professional at your own pace and comfort. Embrace your passion for game creation and craft the experiences you’ve always dreamed of!


Embarking on the path to mastering RichTextEffects is but a glimpse into the realm of creativity Godot 4 offers. Remember, every great game is a tapestry of details, and with the skills you’ve acquired today, those details will shine brighter. We believe your journey doesn’t end with the closing tags of this tutorial. So, keep exploring, experimenting, and expanding your horizons. Our Godot Game Development Mini-Degree is here to accompany you, ensuring that the games you dream of today become the interactive stories you’ll tell tomorrow. Your adventure is ours, and together, we’ll craft the worlds unseen and the tales untold. Let’s continue writing your game development story, one effect, one line, one node at a time.

Embrace the excitement of growth and the satisfaction of seeing your virtual worlds fill with color and life. The games you’ll build will not only reflect your dedication but also the boundless potential of your imagination. We look forward to seeing where your development path takes you and the amazing experiences you’ll create. See you in the next chapter of our shared journey in game creation with Zenva—an academy where your potential is our passion.

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