What’s a Sprite?#

Each sprite describes where a game object is & how to draw it. This includes:

  • Where it is in the world

  • Where to find the image data

  • How big the image should be

The rest of this page will explain using the SpriteList class to draw sprites to the screen.

Why SpriteLists?#

They’re How Hardware Works#

Graphics hardware is designed to draw groups of objects at the same time. These groups are called batches.

Each SpriteList automatically translates every Sprite in it into an optimized batch. It doesn’t matter if a batch has one or hundreds of sprites: it still takes the same amount of time to draw!

This means that using fewer batches helps your game run faster, and that you should avoid trying to draw sprites one at a time.

They Help Develop Games Faster#

Sprite lists do more than just draw. They also have built-in features which save you time & effort, including:

  • Automatically skipping off-screen sprites

  • Collision detection

  • Debug drawing for hit boxes

Drawing with Sprites and SpriteLists#

Let’s get to the example code.

There are 3 steps to drawing sprites with a sprite list:

  1. Create a SpriteList

  2. Create & append your Sprite instance(s) to the list

  3. Call draw() on your SpriteList inside an on_draw() method

Here’s a minimal example:

 2Minimal Sprite Example
 4Draws a single sprite in the middle screen.
 6If Python and Arcade are installed, this example can be run from the command line with:
 7python -m arcade.examples.sprite_minimal
 9import arcade
12class WhiteSpriteCircleExample(arcade.Window):
14    def __init__(self):
15        super().__init__(800, 600, "White SpriteCircle Example")
16        self.sprites = None
17        self.setup()
19    def setup(self):
20        # 1. Create the SpriteList
21        self.sprites = arcade.SpriteList()
23        # 2. Create & append your Sprite instance to the SpriteList
24        self.circle = arcade.SpriteCircle(30, arcade.color.WHITE)  # 30 pixel radius circle
25        self.circle.position = self.width // 2, self.height // 2  # Put it in the middle
26        self.sprites.append(self.circle)  # Append the instance to the SpriteList
28    def on_draw(self):
29        # 3. Call draw() on the SpriteList inside an on_draw() method
30        self.sprites.draw()
33if __name__ == "__main__":
34    game = WhiteSpriteCircleExample()
35    game.run()

Using Images with Sprites#

Beginners should see the following to learn more, such as how to load images into sprites:

Viewports, Cameras, and Screens#

Intermediate users can move past the limitations of arcade.Window with the following classes: