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VBS uses two different formats for their fonts:

  • FXY, which is a FXY File Format, consisting of a collection of bitmaps, at different point sizes, with some of them containing special (Arabic & Cyrillic) characters. If sizes are used that are not defined in a native bitmap, then the output may look jagged.
  • D3D, which uses a DirectWrite API, to display standard windows (TTF) fonts (which have to be configured within VBS). Most included D3D fonts include a wider range of characters than the FXY version, and, due to them being in a vector format, can be displayed at any size without quality degradation.
    For more information, see:

Before V3.2, only FXY fonts were available.
In V3.2, the D3D format was introduced, and the engine defaulted to FXY. To utilize D3D fonts, the -d3dfonts startup option must be used.
Since V3.6, the engine defaults to D3D. To use FXY fonts instead, use the -forceRasterFonts startup option.

Both formats can be used concurrently, and if a font is not available in the default format, then the engine will fall back onto the alternative one.

Available Typefaces

The following typefaces are currently (V3.8) available in VBS:

VBS2 Font NameIntroduced inWindows Equivalent/SourceNotes for FXY versionNotes for D3D version
DejaVuSansMono3.6DejaVu Sans Monocontains Cyrillic lettersmonospaced,
contains Arabic and Cyrillic letters
not available in D3D

Lucida Console-monospaced,
contains Cyrillic letters
NewsGothicB-News Gothic
not available in D3D
NewsGothicCn-News Gothic
TahomaB-Tahomacontains Cyrillic, and, prior to V3.6, Arabic letterscontains Arabic and Cyrillic letters
TahomaBold3.8Tahomacontains Cyrillic letterscontains Arabic and Cyrillic letters
vbs2_Digital1.50Liquid Crystalcontains Cyrillic letters
vbs2_Digital_UK1.50Volter Goldfish

vbs2_Markings_Stencil-Boston Traffic

VBS_CenturyGothic72-Century Gothiconly contains uppercase lettersnot available in D3D
VBS_CenturyGothicB72-Century Gothic
VBS_CenturyGothicslim72-Century Gothic



vbs_Unicode_lite-Arialcontains Cyrillic, and, prior to V3.6, Arabic letterscontains Arabic and Cyrillic letters
Zeppelin32-TahomaSince V2.15 identical to TahomaB

Also available are Bitstream and vbs_Unicode_med, but they are identical to TahomaB.


D3D FormatFXY Format

Character sets

Different fonts may contain different character sets.
All contain the basic ASCII characters, but most also cover the extended Windows-1252 set which includes the more common non-English characters.
Some fonts also contain specific sub-selections of the Unicode set, to allow the use of Cyrillic or Arabic letters.

For more information, see:

When using D3D fonts, and specifying special characters for a font that doesn't contain those, the engine will automatically fall back onto a similar font that does, and use those instead.

The pages linked below show all the available characters for each FXY font.
(For D3D fonts, you can also use the Windows Character Map utility with a standard Windows font -e.g. Arial- to find the code assignments.)

For more information, see

Some fonts have non-standard assignments (e.g. when using a vertical bar "|" in vbs2_digital_uk, the output is actually a heart), so these lists can help with those situations.
All bitmap samples for each font come from the one that is closest to a 36pt size. Some fonts only have bitmaps that are significantly smaller or larger than this size (e.g. GunPlay48), so their different sizing in the chart can give some indication about their appropriate application range. (Also refer to the examples above, to see the relative sizes of different fonts, even though all were output at the same nominal size.)

Use of special characters

To use characters outside of the normal ASCII range (32-128), the following guidelines should be kept in mind:

  • Files that contain special characters have to be encoded in UTF-8.
    Most text editors will have a selection available when saving, to specify the encoding. Make sure that UTF-8 is selected (and not ANSI/ASCII).
    This applies for any scripts, description.ext or addon configuration files.
  • When entering special characters in a dialog, the normal Windows Alt-key method can be used (e.g. entering <Alt>223 will display a "ß").
  • Characters can also be defined via the command.
    For that the character index is used (left column in the list pages). e.g. toString[294,276,315,315,336] will output