Best fonts to use in a game

What is a good way to use fonts with games and what are the best fonts to use, for example, for sci-fi game? Could someone recomend me some good free fonts for small text, buttons, titles, etc?

usualy games uses bitmap fonts. truetype fonts are somtimes supported but usualy are much slower to display.
drawing fonts usualy is part of creating a game. if you want some premade try google for “free fonts” you’ll get more than enough results.
you may need to create a panda-version of these fonts (i belive there is a bitmap with all letters in it…) perhaps someone else can complete this post.

Panda uses the Freetype library to render fonts, and it can render bitmap, TrueType, vector fonts, or just about any kind of font that exists. There’s not a performance penalty to speak of for using TrueType fonts. Most people just use their favorite .ttf file and leave it at that. There’s no need to create a special Panda version of the font; you can use any font directly.

Googling for free font files is a fine idea.


Ah i didn’t express my question well enough. What i wanted to ask was more about style and design.

What is your favorite font size and styles to use for buttons, dialog text, titles, hud text? How many diff fonts should we use? What are the most interesting font effect to use with text and when? Stuff like this.

I noticed myself some cool tricks. The drop shadow text effect is very useful to show text in front of a background with many colors. The free fonts (just google and you will find it) Verdana and Trebuche are claimed to be very readable with small text sizes.

This is probably an hard topic but if you know any interesting design tricks let me know.

the big awnser to your question is most likely. create what’s pleasant to your own eye.
for more detailed infos you can always look at “professional” games and analyze them.
for a futuristic example i’d recommend the c&c tiberium sun’s installer. it’s pretty nice done.
another game i remember for looking futuristic would be HALO.

for fonts in game… i’d say choose a cool loking font for menues and headlines where readability is less important (like in briefings or mission names).
And a good readable font (maybe not as spaced as the headline) for everything important, ingame chat, mission describtion, server lists, player names etc.

you might want to add more stuff like alien-fonts which are actually unreadable but cool-looking or some very clean fonts used in textures (perhaps on a helicopter " danger hot -exhaust" or something like that.

also coloring is quite important. usually blue or green is associated with technologie. somtimes it’s cool to have glowing fonts (a softer shadow behind the actual letter).
for a fantasy style i’d recommend some more gray, or rusty iron like colors.

well best advice really is to look at other games and take the parts you like =)

when you browse fonts you can see quite quick that a bloody looking dracula font or a bamboo style font wont fit into a sci-fi game.

@drwr… sorry about the slow tt-font statement. just a my experience. a lot of engines have speed problems with tt-fonts. nice to hear that panda can handle them without problems =)

For sci-fi games, it’ll be better if you use some “minimalism” style fonts. It’s style is very very suitable for that. Those fonts usually only use straight thin lines, and the corners either sharp or rounded, no ornaments at all. Or you may interested to employ stripped & digital fonts too.
You can try VoxSlanted, AlienEncounter, Monoglyceride, Usuzi (taken from Isuzu vehicle), Victor, AstronBoyVideo, DigitalDream.

My fonts suggestion above are only based on my bare memory, still haven’t got access to my fonts collection (2000+), so if some are not free, plz don’t shout out.

May be you want this too :

Nice fonts. I also found the SF NewRepublic and all the fonts made by this author very good for sci-fi theme.

If you want to take a look at some of my fonts hard copy, get it here ! (19 pages)
LarabieFonts also has nice fonts.

Thanks for the font thumbs. There was a couple of computer theme fonts in there i didn’t know.