Good Fonts for Games

Imagine the situation: you wake up one morning and realize all your favorite games have switched up their fonts. The straight, tall font from Battlefield 1 that stands at attention like a soldier is now sloppy and casual as if it were a quick fix in a farming simulator. Forged from silver and covered in blood from tough fights, the exquisite font from Dragon’s Age is gone. Now in its place is graffiti font from Subway Surfers. For us, it really sounds like a horror.

Actually, we have this feeling because fonts’ impact on user experience is huge. They aren’t just a means of displaying text; they contribute significantly to the game’s atmosphere, tone, and readability. 

Best Gaming Fonts You Must-Have

When designers choose game fonts, they take responsibility for the visual identity of a game, its theme, and its mood. Here is an example: a horror game uses eerie and distorted fonts to create a sense of unease, while a fantasy game opts for ornate and elaborate fonts to evoke a magical atmosphere. 

If you wonder, why gamers already have expectations for the game, the reason lies in reading a lot of books and watching a lot of movies. So, the correct choosing fonts can instantly dive players into the game world and make their game experience as good as ever before.

“Okay, fonts are a critical component of game design that significantly impacts user experience. But what fonts for video game text and logos should I choose for my project?” Keep calm, dear reader. In this article, we’ll dive you into the intricate world of video game fonts and finally dot the I in question of the best fonts for video games. 

Understanding Font Types

Let’s start with basic information: understanding different font types. There are 6 main different font types, and each of them is essential if you want to effectively utilize typography power in game design. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Main different font types, guide to font styles
  • 1

    Serif Fonts

    You can recognize Serif fonts by small decorative strokes, known as serifs, at the ends of the letter strokes. These fonts are used to convey a sense of tradition, formality, and elegance.

  • 2

    Sans-Serif Fonts

    Sans-serif fonts, as the name suggests, are different from serif fonts as they lack decorative strokes (serifs). They are often preferred for their readability, especially in smaller sizes and on screens.

  • 3

    Script Fonts

    Script fonts mimic handwriting styles and feature flowing, cursive letterforms. When we look at them, they evoke a sense of elegance, creativity, or informality, depending on the specific style of the script.

  • 4

    Display Fonts

    Display fonts are highly decorative and intended for use in the large-scale text. Actually, display fonts are the best for game title logos. These fonts often have unique and elaborate designs, making fonts eye-catching and impactful. Game designers like display fonts a lot as they have many gaming font styles, from vintage and retro to futuristic and ornate, which adds personality and visual interest to designs.

  • 5

    Monospaced Fonts

    Monospaced fonts, also known as fixed-width or typewriter fonts, have a consistent width for each character, regardless of its size or shape. Each letter takes up the same amount of horizontal space, making these fonts perfect for programming code.

  • 6

    Decorative Fonts

    Decorative fonts encompass a wide range of gaming font styles that are highly stylized and often thematic. These fonts have ornamental elements, unusual letter shapes, and even thematic motifs to create a specific visual effect for the game.

However, without examples, you won’t know how to implement these various font types in the game. So, here’s a small table with examples of fonts and how and where they were used in video games.

Font Type
Features
Game Development Application
Examples of Fonts
Examples of Video Games
Serif Fonts
Small decorative strokes at the ends of letter strokes
Main menu, dialogue boxes, subtitles
Times New Roman, Garamond
The Witcher 3, Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Sans-Serif Fonts
Clean and modern appearance, lack of decorative strokes
User interface, HUD elements, in-game text overlays
Arial, Helvetica
Overwatch, Fortnite
Script Fonts
Mimic handwriting styles, flowing cursive letterforms
Story dialogue, character names, artistic titles
Brush Script, Pacifico
Stardew Valley, Journey
Display Fonts
Highly decorative, unique designs, thematic motifs
Game logos, promotional banners, title screens
Impact, Lobster
Borderlands 3, Cuphead
Monospaced Fonts
Consistent width for each character
Terminal text, code editor interface, in-game hacking tools
Courier New, Consolas
Fallout 4, The Talos Principle
Decorative Fonts
Stylized and thematic, ornamental elements
Character dialogue, fantasy-themed titles, special effects
Comic Sans, Papyrus
Kingdom Hearts, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Factors to Consider in Gaming Font Style

So, it isn’t too easy to select the right gaming font style. In return, even here are several key factors that’ll help you ensure an optimal user experience and effective communication of information.

Based on our experience, the first thing to consider is readability. The font style should be clear and legible, even at small sizes and on various screen resolutions. Players need to easily read in-game text, including instructions, dialogues, and HUD elements, without straining their eyes.

As you already know, the font style should align with the game’s theme, atmosphere, and plot. You can work on a fantasy adventure, sci-fi epic, or horror survival, but fonts should always complement the game’s aesthetic and evoke the intended mood. For example, a whimsical font will suit a lighthearted platformer, while a futuristic font would be more appropriate for a space exploration game.

Jewel Quest Tournaments game logo design and fonts

The previous reason leads us to the next one – consistency. Consistency in font usage throughout the game enhances visual coherence and reinforces brand identity. At the beginning of working on a game, choose a gaming font style for menus, subtitles, and in-game text, and maintain consistency across different platforms and game assets.

Don’t forget to consider beforehand the platform on which the game will be played, such as PC, console, or mobile devices. Video game fonts should be compatible with the target platforms and render well across different screen sizes and resolutions. Additional advice from our team — ensure that the chosen font supports international characters if the game will be localized for global markets.

Categories of Text in Video Games

Maybe, you don’t pay much attention to that while actually playing the game but there are too many texts in video games. Usually, in video games, text can be categorized into 8 distinct types based on its function and usage. We’ll tell you briefly about each of them just to make you aware of all the hidden rocks.

Non diegetic UI game design and fonts
  • 1

    Narrative Text

    The narrative text includes character dialogues during cutscenes or interactions, descriptive text to set the scene or provide context for the player, and storytelling elements essential for advancing the game's plot and developing characters.

  • 2

    Instructional Text

    The instructional text was created to provide guidance and directions to players, explaining game mechanics, controls, objectives, and rules. It includes tutorials, tooltips, pop-up messages, on-screen prompts, and in-game manuals that help players understand how to play the game.

  • 3

    Interface Text

    Interface text is important for the textual elements of the UI/UX game design that players interact with during gameplay. This category includes menu options, buttons, labels, status indicators, health bars, mission objectives, inventory descriptions, and other UI elements.

  • 4

    Environmental Text

    Environmental text is integrated into the game world itself, for example, signs, posters, graffiti, labels, and environmental storytelling elements. Without these texts, world-building would be impossible.

  • 5

    HUD Text

    Heads-up display text is usually overlaid directly onto the game screen, providing real-time feedback and essential information to players during gameplay. This category includes indicators for health, ammo, score, time, minimaps, and objective markers.

  • 6

    Collectible Text

    Collectible text is scattered throughout the game world as collectible items, such as notes, journals, books, audio logs, and lore entries. These texts are very important for players, seeking additional backstory, character development, world lore, and hidden secrets.

Match Game Shop UI UX elements design and fonts

Two more types of video game text are multiplayer communication text (chat interfaces, messaging systems, voice-over-IP chat) and tutorial text (guiding players through the initial stages of the game). Both of them are also important for the video game. However, they aren’t always necessary to be implied in the game design.

Popular Cool Gaming Fonts

Our team has experience working with many good fonts for games. However, we can highlight as very popular not so many. 

One of them is Press Start 2P. Inspired by retro video game pixel art, Press Start 2P is a pixel font with a nostalgic feel. These days, it’s commonly used in indie games, retro-style platformers, and titles seeking a vintage gaming aesthetic. Another stylish and retro-inspired font is Betty Noir. Its bold and decorative letterforms make it perfect for games with a noir theme, such as old-school platformers, detective mysteries, or 1940s-inspired adventures (for example, adventurous 2D game Jewel Quest Tournaments).

Roboto is a modern sans-serif font developed by Google which is widely used in video game interfaces. Its clean and sleek design makes it perfect for a wide range of game genres, particularly those with futuristic or minimalist themes. Talking about sans-serif fonts, we also like a lot ObelixPro, known for its clean lines and geometric shapes. Its simplicity and readability make it also suitable for a lot of various games, from action-packed shooters to match-3 shooters like Bubble Panda.

We also would like to mention about Grilled Cheese BTN Toasted font which is a fun and playful font with a hand-drawn appearance. Its uneven letterforms and quirky style make it perfect for indie games, casual titles, and projects with a lighthearted or comedic tone such as Toy Tap Fever.

Toy Tap Fever Match-3 gaming logo and fonts

Choosing Fonts for Different Game Genres

Match-3

When selecting cool gaming fonts for a Match-3 game, you should remember that the Match-3 game design has colorful and vibrant visuals like in the game Bonbons Crush Legend, so the fonts should reflect this playful aesthetic. We recommend you use fonts with rounded edges, whimsical shapes, or cartoonish elements to complement the game’s cheerful atmosphere. 

The best fonts for Match-3 gaming logos: Quiska, Raleway, GROBOLD, Insani Burger with Cheese, Jack in the Box, Quacker, RiotSquad, and Bangers Regular.

The best fonts for Match-3 game design: Comic Sans MS, Bubblegum Sans, and Marker Felt.

Bonbons 2D game concept art, main logo and fonts

City-Builders

City-building games give us a feeling that we’re businessmen so these games aim for a polished and professional aesthetic. If you want to make a city game, use fonts with clean lines, modern designs, and a sense of sophistication to convey the game’s sense of authority, professionalism, and credibility.

The best fonts for City-Building gaming logos: Futura, Gotham, Avenir, Proxima Nova, Montserrat, Bebas Neue, and Titillium Web.

The best fonts for City-Building game design: Roboto, Montserrat, Open Sans, Lato, Gotham, and Proxima Nova.

Retropolis Buildings 3D isometric city game fonts

RTS Strategy

While working on RTS game design, you should remember that players manage multiple units, resources, and objectives simultaneously. Choose fonts that are clear and legible, even at smaller sizes, to help players make decisions without hesitation. Use different font styles, weights, and sizes to distinguish between different types of information and highlight important elements, such as mission objectives or unit health.

The best fonts for RTS Strategy gaming logos: Impact, Bebas Neue, Agency FB, Exo, Titillium Web, and Eurostile.

The best fonts for RTS Strategy game design: Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Helvetica, and Futura.

Survival

Survival games evoke in our hearts a sense of tension, danger, and exploration. Choose rugged or distressed typefaces for post-apocalyptic settings, or handwritten fonts for a more personal and intimate feel. However, you should remember that survival game design encompasses a wide range of settings, from wilderness survival to zombie outbreaks so fonts also should be versatile enough.

The best fonts for Survival gaming logos: Rusty ColaPen, Hacked, Dead Kansas, Decay, Blood Crow, and After Apocalypse.

The best fonts for Strategy game design: Courier New, Roboto, Open Sans, Old Standard TT, Ink Free, and Liberation Serif.

Post Apocalyptic video game fonts

Platformers

Exactly like Match-3 games, platformers often have colorful and cheerful visuals, so fonts always reflect this playful aesthetic. When we’re working on platformer game art, we use fonts with rounded edges, bold shapes, and quirky details that will definitely engage the audience. Look for fonts that have character and charm, whether it’s through unique letterforms or a hand-drawn appearance. Believe us, players like it when designers add personality to the game’s visual identity.

The best fonts for Platformers’ gaming logos: Super Mario 256, Sonic Title, Mario Kart DS, Minecraftia, Adventure, and Mario & Luigi.

The best fonts for Platformers’ game design: Press Start 2P, VCR OSD Mono, Adventure, Gamja Flower, Joystix, and Pixellari.

Spirit Run Multiplayer Battle game art and fonts

RPG

Many RPGs are AAA titles set in fantastical worlds with rich lore and mythology. For these types of 3D games, we recommend using fonts with a sense of fantasy and adventure, such as medieval-inspired or script fonts with ornate details. Also, while sharpening RPG game art elements, include fonts that reflect the traits of different character types, such as bold and heroic fonts for warriors, elegant and sophisticated fonts for royalty, or mysterious and arcane fonts for wizards.

The best fonts for RPG gaming logos: Elder Futhark, MedievalSharp, Goudy Bookletter 1911, Papyrus, Kells SD, and Black Chancery.

The best fonts for RPG game design: Baskerville Old Face, Vafthrudnir, Imprint MT Shadow, Book Antiqua, Charlemagne Std, and Palatino Linotype.

Typography Trends in Gaming

As we’re regularly working with various game genres, we want to share with you some interesting typography trends in gaming. As a retro-inspired studio, we’re happy to see pixel fonts trend. Fonts such as Arcade Classic, FFF Forward, and Blox BRK have blocky letterforms reminiscent of early video game consoles which give us an amazing nostalgic feeling.

During the last few years, we’ve seen that many games started to lose their souls and become meaningless. So, it was just a question of time when handwritten fonts would become a trend in video game typography. Handwritten fonts add a personal and intimate touch to the gaming world, adding a sense of authenticity and warmth. We couldn’t just go past this trend, so we’ve developed an amazing game art and design for the Millionaire Mansion slot builder game, including fonts Landre, Otista, and Lobster Two.

Millionaire Mansion concept art, game logo and fonts

Font Pairing Techniques

Okay, it’s time for lifehacks! How to make your game look much better just in a moment? With the help of font pairing techniques, of course!

This technique is about pairing fonts with contrasting styles to create visual interest and hierarchy. For example, pairing a bold and heavy display font with a lightweight and elegant serif or sans-serif font creates a dynamic contrast that draws attention to key elements. A perfect example of a successful combination is LuxorC Regular & Banana Yeti ExtraBold.

It’s still about different fonts but now they complement somehow each other in style, mood, or theme. For instance, pairing a modern sans-serif font with a minimalist appearance with a handwritten or decorative font creates a balanced design that reflects the overall aesthetic of the project like a combination of Kid Kosmic Cyr & Berlin Sans FB.

Similarity pairing is about selecting fonts that share similar characteristics, such as stroke weight, letterform shapes, or proportions. This technique helps to create a sense of harmony and unity in typography. For example, pairing two fonts with similar x-heights and letter spacing such as Jack in the Box and Quacker creates a cohesive and interesting look.

Bubble Panda logo design and fonts

Case Studies: Successful Font Utilization in Our Games

When someone asks us: “What is your favorite newest project?”, we answer Bonbons Crush Legend. Everything in Bonbons Crush offers a fresh perspective on the Candy Crush stylized genre, even type fonts. The game has a simple, yet colorful design for each level background, so we’ve decided to follow this style and add some similar interesting fonts.

Also, we were experimenting with logo and game icon designs, combining such fonts as Quiska, Raleway, GROBOLD, Insaniburger with Cheese, Jack in the Box, Quacker, RiotSquad, and Bangers Regular. You can see an amazing result of our work down below ;)

The older one project that we’re proud of is Chef Solitaire USA. While working on its logo and game design in general, we have been using KareliaC, LuxorC Regular, Philosopher Regular, Banana Yeti ExtraBold, SignPainter HouseCasual, Great Vibes Regular, No. Seven Regular, and Beachwood Regular fonts.

Chef Solitaire game logo design and fonts

User Testing and Feedback

As you already know, video game fonts not only change the visual aesthetics but also affect the user experience, readability, and level of immersion. 

During user testing, developers gather feedback from players to evaluate the effectiveness of fonts in conveying information, establishing hierarchy, and enhancing the game’s atmosphere. Participants may be asked to assess the legibility of in-game text, readability of dialogue boxes, and clarity of HUD elements. Through observation and feedback collection, developers identify potential issues, for example, font size, style, or spacing that may hinder gameplay.

Additionally, user testing provides insights into player preferences and expectations regarding font aesthetics and styles. Players may express preferences for certain font styles based on personal taste, thematic coherence, or readability concerns. This information can help to enhance game title fonts and gaming logo fonts, making ASO game soft launch advanced and successful.

CookApps Merge UI design and fonts

Technical Considerations for Implementing Fonts

When implementing fonts in video games, 3 technical considerations should be taken into account to ensure optimal performance, compatibility, and visual quality across different platforms and devices. Firstly, developers need to consider font file formats compatible with game engines and platforms. Common font formats include TrueType (.ttf) and OpenType (.otf).

Secondly, developers must optimize font assets to minimize file size and memory usage. This involves optimizing glyph outlines, reducing unnecessary metadata, and utilizing font subsetting techniques to include only the characters necessary for the game.

Last but not least, font rendering techniques ensure crisp and clear typography in games. Developers should utilize techniques such as anti-aliasing, hinting, and subpixel rendering to enhance font legibility and visual quality, especially on high-resolution displays.

Accessibility and Inclusivity in Font Selection

When choosing fonts, designers should prioritize factors such as readability, legibility, and clarity to ensure that text is easily comprehensible to users with visual impairments or reading difficulties.

Sans-serif fonts are often preferred for their simplicity and clarity, making them easier to read at smaller sizes and on low-resolution screens. Additionally, fonts with generous letter spacing, ample x-heights, and distinct letterforms enhance readability for users with dyslexia or other reading disorders.

Moreover, designers should always consider the cultural and linguistic diversity of their audience when selecting fonts. Fonts that support a wide range of characters, diacritics, and writing systems ensure that content is accessible and legible to users from diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Inclusivity in font selection also extends to considering the preferences and needs of users with cognitive or neurological differences. Clear, straightforward fonts with minimal distractions can help reduce cognitive load and improve comprehension for users with attention deficits or processing disorders.

Vincell MM UI design and fonts

Bonus: Games to Teach you Typography

  • 1

    The New York Times Simulator

    The New York Times Simulator imagines a simulation game based on the operations of a renowned news organization. In this simulated world, players take on the role of editors at The New York Times, tasked with selecting news stories, editing headlines, and attracting new subscribers to the publication.

  • 2

    Type:Rider

    This platformer game takes players on a journey through the history of typography, exploring iconic typefaces and fonts as they navigate through levels designed around letterforms and typographic elements.

  • 3

    Kern Type

    Kern Type is a browser-based game that challenges players to adjust the spacing between letters (kerning) to achieve visually pleasing typography. Players earn points based on how accurately they kern each pair of letters.

  • 4

    Fontemon

    Fontemon is a playful twist on classic RPG games, where players capture and battle typefaces instead of creatures. Each typeface has unique abilities and characteristics, teaching players about different font styles and their applications.

FAQs

Frequently asked questions about fonts

Yes, when selecting fonts for mobile games, you should prioritize readability on small screens. Sans-serif fonts like Roboto, Open Sans, and Lato are popular choices for mobile games due to their modern appearance, making them easy to read on smartphones and tablets. Additionally, fonts with clear letterforms and ample spacing, such as Arial and Verdana, ensure optimal readability, especially on smaller screens. 

We’ve been using a lot of fonts in our games but our favorites are Betty Noir, DK Otago, Lemondrop, Jack in the Box, ObelixPro, TOYZARUX, Blood’n Guts, Aller Display, ARCO Typography, Heavitas, Luckiest Guy, and Plumpfull.

To test game font readability effectively, consider conducting user testing sessions with a diverse group of participants. Provide them with various in-game scenarios featuring different fonts, font sizes, and color combinations. Ask participants to perform tasks such as reading dialogue boxes, navigating menus, and identifying on-screen prompts. Observe their reactions, note any difficulties encountered, and gather feedback on font legibility, clarity, and readability.