5 Best Ways to Draw Different Shapes in Pygame

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πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation: In this article, we’re tackling the challenge of drawing different geometric shapes using the Python library, Pygame. Assume you’re given the task to create a Pygame window and render various shapes like rectangles, circles, polygons, and lines for a simple graphics project. The desired output is a display window showcasing these shapes, potentially moving or interacting based on further programming.

Method 1: Drawing a Rectangle

Drawing rectangles in Pygame is straightforward using the pygame.draw.rect() function. This function requires the surface you’re drawing on, the color of the shape, and a tuple representing the bounding box of the rectangle (defined by the x-coordinate, y-coordinate, width, and height).

Here’s an example:

import pygame
screen = pygame.display.set_mode((500, 500))
color = (255, 0, 0)  # Red color
rect = (10, 10, 100, 50)  # Rectangle position and size
pygame.draw.rect(screen, color, rect)

Output: A red rectangle located at coordinates (10, 10) with a width of 100 pixels and a height of 50 pixels on a 500×500 window.

This code initializes Pygame, creates a display window, and uses pygame.draw.rect() to draw a red rectangle at position (10,10). The dimensions of the rectangle are 100×50 pixels. Lastly, pygame.display.flip() updates the entire screen to display the drawn shapes.

Method 2: Drawing a Circle

The pygame.draw.circle() function allows you to draw circles in Pygame. It takes the parameters: the surface to draw on, the color of the circle, the center position as a tuple (x, y), and the radius of the circle.

Here’s an example:

color = (0, 255, 0)  # Green color
center = (250, 250)  # Center of the circle
radius = 75  # Radius of the circle
pygame.draw.circle(screen, color, center, radius)

Output: A green circle centered on (250, 250) with a radius of 75 pixels on the same 500×500 window.

This snippet leverages the pygame.draw.circle() function to draw a circle with a specified radius and center. The function needs the drawing surface, the desired color, the center point, and the radius of the circle. Here, a green circle with a radius of 75 pixels is drawn in the center of the window.

Method 3: Drawing a Polygon

Polygons in Pygame are drawn using the pygame.draw.polygon() function, which requires a surface, color, and a list of points that denote the vertices of the polygon.

Here’s an example:

color = (0, 0, 255)  # Blue color
points = [(200, 200), (300, 150), (350, 200), (300, 250)]  # List of vertices for the polygon
pygame.draw.polygon(screen, color, points)

Output: A blue polygon with vertices located at (200, 200), (300, 150), (350, 200), (300, 250) on the Pygame window.

The pygame.draw.polygon() function is flexible, allowing for drawing any regular or irregular shape based on the points provided. The list of points represents the polygon’s vertices, which are connected in the order they are listed, with the last point connecting back to the first to form the shape.

Method 4: Drawing a Line

The simple pygame.draw.line() function is used to draw lines between two points on Pygame surfaces. It takes the parameters: the surface, the color, the start position, and the end position.

Here’s an example:

color = (255, 255, 0)  # Yellow color
start_pos = (100, 100)  # Starting point of the line
end_pos = (400, 400)  # Ending point of the line
pygame.draw.line(screen, color, start_pos, end_pos)

Output: A yellow line from (100, 100) to (400, 400) drawn across the Pygame window.

This code piece uses the pygame.draw.line() function to draw a line from a starting to an ending position on the display surface, defined by the respective x and y coordinates. The color of the line can be customized, and the display is updated to show the new drawing.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Drawing an Ellipse

With pygame.draw.ellipse(), you can draw ellipses within a bounding rectangle. Similar to drawing a rectangle, it needs a surface, a color, and a bounding rectangle.

Here’s an example:

pygame.draw.ellipse(screen, (128, 0, 128), (100, 300, 150, 100))

Output: An ellipse drawn inside a rectangle that is positioned at (100, 300) with a width of 150 pixels and a height of 100 pixels, colored in purple.

This succinct one-liner uses pygame.draw.ellipse() to draw an ellipse bounded by the specified rectangle parameters. The color is set to purple and once drawn, the display is updated to render the shape on the screen.


  • Method 1: Rectangle. Strengths: Perfect for drawing simple, straight-edged shapes. Weaknesses: Limited to right-angled vertices.
  • Method 2: Circle. Strengths: Ideal for spherical objects and circular designs. Weaknesses: Only for perfectly round shapes.
  • Method 3: Polygon. Strengths: Versatile for any multi-sided figure. Weaknesses: Complexity increases with the number of vertices.
  • Method 4: Line. Strengths: Great for simple lines or connecting shapes. Weaknesses: No thickness control with this basic method.
  • Method 5: Ellipse. Strengths: Used for oval shapes and circles with different radii. Weaknesses: Anchored within a rectangular bounding box, limiting placement freedom.