How to Use Ren’Py Debug Tools to Diagnose and Fix Issues in Your Game Code

Ren’Py is a popular open-source visual novel engine that helps developers create interactive stories and games with ease. To further…

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Ren’Py is a popular open-source visual novel engine that helps developers create interactive stories and games with ease. To further support developers, Ren’Py comes with built-in debugging tools to help identify and resolve issues in your game code. In this informative article, we will explore how to use Ren’Py’s debugging tools effectively, focusing on the keyword “ren’py debug.” We will also provide a tutorial to enable the console and discuss the features available in the debug tools.

Enabling Developer Mode and Accessing Debugging Tools

To access Ren’Py’s debugging tools, you must first enable the developer mode by setting the variable config.developer to True. This can be done by adding the following line to your script:

define config.developer = True

Once the developer mode is enabled, you can access several helpful tools, such as the Lint tool, Shift+O Console, Shift+E Editor Support, Shift+D Developer Menu, Shift+R Reloading, Shift+I Style Inspecting, Fast Skipping, Warping to a Line, and Debug Functions.

The Lint Tool

The Lint tool is available through the launcher and checks your game for potential errors or misoptimizations. It also provides valuable information and statistics about your game. However, using the Lint tool should not replace thorough testing.

Shift+O Console

To access the Shift+O Console, press Shift+O on your keyboard. This debug console allows you to interactively run Ren’Py script and Python statements, evaluate Python expressions, and trace Python expressions as the game progresses. Various commands can be executed through the console, such as clearing the console history, jumping to a label, loading or saving the game, and many others.

Shift+E Editor Support

By setting the config.editor variable, developers can specify an editor command that will run when the launch_editor keypress (Shift+E) occurs. This integration allows for seamless editing with your preferred text editor.

Shift+D Developer Menu

Pressing Shift+D while config.developer is set to True displays a developer menu that provides easy access to several features, including reloading the game script, style inspecting, and fast skipping.

Shift+R Reloading

With developer mode enabled, pressing Shift+R will save the current game, reload the game script, and reload the game. This feature allows developers to make script changes using an external editor without having to exit and restart Ren’Py.

Shift+I Style Inspecting

When config.developer is set to True, pressing Shift+I will display a list of displayables underneath the mouse, along with their type, style, and rendered size. Clicking on the style name will show where the style properties are taken from.

Fast Skipping

By enabling either config.developer or config.fast_skipping, you can use the fast_skip key (“>” by default) to quickly skip to the next important interaction in your game.

Warping to a Line

Ren’Py supports warping to a specific line in your script without having to play through the entire game. To invoke warping, run Ren’Py with the –warp command-line argument, followed by a filename:line combination. Note that the warp feature requires config.developer to be set to True.

Debug Functions

Ren’Py includes several debug functions that can be helpful during development, such as renpy.get_filename_line(), renpy.log(msg), renpy.unwatch(expr), and

renpy.get_filename_line() returns the filename and line number of the current statement. This can be helpful in tracking down the source of an issue.

renpy.log(msg) logs a message to a log file if config.log is set. The message will be formatted to config.log_width columns, making it easier to read in the log file.

renpy.unwatch(expr) stops watching a given Python expression, while watches the given Python expression and displays it in the upper-right corner of the screen. This can be useful for monitoring the value of a variable or expression as the game progresses.


Ren’Py’s built-in debugging tools offer a wide range of functionalities to help developers diagnose and fix issues in their game code. By enabling developer mode and utilizing these tools, you can streamline your development process and quickly identify and resolve problems. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced developer, Ren’Py’s debugging tools will prove invaluable in creating engaging and error-free visual novels and games.

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