Android link

Ren'Py support devices running the Android operating system, such as smartphones and tablets. While these devices do not support 100% of Ren'Py's functionality, with minimal modification visual novels can be packaged and ported to these devices.

RAPT – the Ren'Py Android Packaging Tool – is a program, downloaded separately from Ren'Py, that creates an Android package for testing or release purposes.

Required Language link

Some of the libraries used by RAPT are licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser/Library General Public License. You'll need to comply with the terms of that license to distribute Ren'Py. We believe including the following language in your app's description will suffice, but check with a lawyer to be sure.

This program contains free software licensed under a number of licenses, including the GNU Lesser General Public License. A complete list of software is available at https://www.renpy.org/l/license/.

User Instructions link

When a Ren'Py game has been launched on Android, the following keybindings work:

Home
Returns to the Android home screen, suspending the Ren'Py game. As part of the suspend process, Ren'Py will automatically save the game. If necessary, the save will be automatically loaded when the user returns to the game.
Back
Rolls back.
Volume Up, Volume Down
Controls Android's media volume.

Platform Differences link

There are many important differences between the touch-based Android platform and the mouse-based platforms that Ren'Py supports. Changes due to the Android software and hardware are:

  • The touchscreen is treated as if it was a mouse. However, it will only produce mouse events when the user is actively touching the screen.
  • Text input (such as renpy.input()) is limited to the input methods that do not require completions to work. (Western languages probably work, while other languages might not.)

In addition, there are a few changes that may be necessary due to human factors:

  • Since Android smartphones can be smaller than a computer monitor, it may be necessary to increase text size.
  • Since touch input is less accurate than mouse input, touch-based buttons need to be larger than mouse-based ones.

To help you adapt to these differences, Ren'Py for Android automatically selects screen variants based on the device's screen size and capabilities. See Screen Variants for more information.

Due to the security policy of mobile devices, MultiPersistent functionality is limited only to this game and its updates, i.e. it cannot be shared by another game.

Testing and Emulation link

For testing purposes, Ren'Py supports three Android emulation modes. These are accessed from the Android screen of the launcher.

Phone
This mode emulates an Android phone. Touch emulation is performed using the mouse, but only when the mouse button is held down. Escape is mapped to the menu button, and Page Up is mapped to the back button.
Tablet
This mode emulates an Android tablet. Touch emulation is performed using the mouse, but only when the mouse button is held down. Escape is mapped to the menu button, and Page Up is mapped to the back button.
Television / OUYA

This mode emulates a television-based Android device, such as the OUYA console. The keyboard is mapped to remote or controller input, with the arrow keys providing navigation. Select is enter, Escape is menu, and page-up is back.

This mode also displays an overlay showing the Television-unsafe area. Content in the Television-unsafe area may not display on all Televisions.

While these emulators can be used to quickly test your project, it's best to also test on real hardware. The emulators do not deal with some human-factors issues, like the size of a user's fingers.

Building Android Applications link

Ren'Py contains tools that help you take a packaging-centric approach to Android game development. In this approach, you will use a PC to build an Android package and upload it to your device. You can then run the game like any Android application. When it works correctly, you can upload the package you make to Google Play and other app stores.

Building an Android application consists of four steps:

  1. Download and install the Java Development Kit and Android USB Drivers (scroll down for links).
  2. Use the launcher to install the Android SDK and create keys.
  3. Use the launcher to configure the Android build.
  4. Use the launcher to build the Android application.

Once you've finished these steps, you'll have a runnable Android package. You'll only need to run step 3 when you decide to make changes to your game's configuration or when configuring a new game entirely; you'll run step 4 most often, whenever you need to make a new build of your game.

Step 1: Installing the Dependencies link

There are three things you may need to manually download and install before you can build packages:

Java Development Kit. The Java Development Kit (JDK) contains several tools that are used by RAPT, including the tools used to generate keys and sign packages. It can be downloaded from:

You'll need version 8 of the JDK.

Please note that the developer-focused JDK is different from the user-focused JRE, and you'll need the JDK to create Android packages.

Android Device. You'll also want to set your device up for development. You'll want to enable developer mode on your device, and set up your computer for Android development. Instructions on how to set up your computer can be found at:

You can also run your app in an x86_64 image on the Android emulator (note that x86 is not supported). Setting the emulator up is outside of the scope of this document.

Step 2: Set up the Android SDK and Development Environment link

The next step is to set up the Android SDK and the rest of your development environment. This step will:

  • Check that the JDK is installed properly.
  • Install the Android SDK.
  • Use the Android SDK to install the appropriate development packages.
  • Create a signing key that will be used to sign packages that are placed on the market (android.keystore: this will be generated in the RAPT directory).

This step requires Internet access.

To perform this step, choose "Install SDK & Create Keys" from the Android screen in the Ren'Py Launcher.

RAPT will report on what it's doing. It will also prompt you with warnings about licenses, and ask if you want it to generate a key.

Warning

The key generated by RAPT is created with a standard passphrase. You should really use keytool to generate your own signing keys.

At the very least, you should keep the android.keystore and bundle.keystore files in a safe place. You should also back it up, because without the key, you won't be able to upload the generated applications.

When creating Android keys, Ren'Py will back them up to the same place it backs up script files. This isn't a substitute for making your own backups.

If you don't want to download the SDK each time, you can create a file named sdk.txt containing a single line that is the path to the already-installed SDK.

Step 3: Configure Your Game link

Before building a package, you must give Ren'Py some information about the Android build of your game. To do this, choose "Configure" from the Android screen of the Ren'Py launcher.

If you need to change the information – for example, if you release a new version of your game – you can re-run the configure command. Your previous choices will be remembered.

Step 4: Build and Install the Package link

Finally, you can build and install the package. You'll first want to choose between one of the two release modes:

Play Bundle

Play bundle releases are in the Android App Bundle (AAB) format, and are suitable only for upload to the Google Play store, though such releases can also be installed on Play-enabled Android devices.

Play bundles may be up to 2 GB in size, but this is divided into 4 500MB fast-follow pack files, with each file in your game assigned to one of the four bundles. This may be an issue with four files - a game won't be able to fit 5 files of 300 MB in size, as there will only be room for one in each of the four pack files.

Universal APK

Universal APK release are suitable for direct installation onto Android devices, either through Ren'Py, ADB, non-Play app stores, or sideloading through the web.

Universal APKs can be up to 2 GB in size, with no restrictions on the contents.

There are three commands which allow you to perform various combinations of building the package, installing it on your device, and launching the application for testing.

You may need to uninstall the app when switching between release modes.

Icon and Presplash Images link

Icon link

Ren'Py will create an icon from your app from two files in the game's base directory:

android-icon_foreground.png
The foreground layer of the icon. This should be 432x432 pixels and transparent.
android-icon_background.png
The background layer of the icon. This should be 432x432 pixels and opaque.

Android adaptive icons work by masking the two layers of the icon to an area that is at least 132x132 pixels, in the center. The area outside of this safe space may be shown, but it might be masked out, too. Bleeding outside of the safe area is encouraged. The two layers might move a little relative to each other when the icon is dragged around.

For more information about adaptive icons, please check out:

Note that 1dp corresponds to 4 actual pixels.

When generating the application, Ren'Py will convert these files to an appropriate size for each device, and will generate static icons for devices that do not support adaptive icons.

Presplash link

The presplash is shown before Ren'Py fully loads, before the main splashscreen starts. It's especially important on Android, as the first time Ren'Py runs it will unpack supporting files, which make take some time.

android-presplash.jpg
The image that's used when the app is loading. This should be surrounded by 1px of a monocolored border. When displayed, the image is scaled to fit available space while preserving aspect ratio, and the rest of the screen is filled with the border color.
android-downloading.jpg

The image thjat's used when the app is downloading assets from Google Play Asset delivery. This should be surrounded by 1px of a monocolored border. When displayed, the image is scaled to fit available space while preserving aspect ratio, and the rest of the screen is filled with the border color.

A 20px-high progress bar is displayed 20px from the bottom, left, and right sides of the screen, showing download progress.

Pyjnius link

When running on Android, a version of the Pyjnius library is available. This allows advanced creators to call into the Android libraries.

It may be necessary to get the main activity. It can be found in the mActivity field in the org.renpy.android.PythonSDLActivity class. For example:

init python:
    if renpy.android:
        import jinus
        mActivity = jnius.autoclass("org.renpy.android.PythonSDLActivity")
    else:
        mActivity = None

Permissions link

While Ren'Py doesn't require additional permissions to run, if your game uses Pyjnius to call into Android, it might be necessary to request permissions. Ren'Py has a variable and two functions to interact with the Android permissions system.

build.android_permissions = [ ] link

This is a list of strings, with each string giving the full name of an Android permission. For example, "android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE". This simply declares that the application might request these permissions, it's necessary to use renpy.check_permission and renpy.request_permission as necessary to request the permission.

Transferring Files to and From Android link

When your Android device is connected to your computer over USB, and configured to allow access to file storage, there are some directories that files can be placed in. (This assumes that your game's package is org.renpy.mygame, but it will almost certainly be different.)

Android/data/org.renpy.mygame/files/saves
This contains the game's save files.
Android/data/org.renpy.mygame/files/game
This might not exist, in which case you may create it. Files in this directory are loaded in preference to files in the androids packages, which means that patches can be placed in this directory.