SDL Wiki
(This is the documentation for SDL3, which is under heavy development and the API is changing! SDL2 is the current stable version!)


Create a 2D rendering context for a window.

Header File

Defined in <SDL3/SDL_render.h>


SDL_Renderer * SDL_CreateRenderer(SDL_Window *window, const char *name);

Function Parameters

SDL_Window * window the window where rendering is displayed.
const char * name the name of the rendering driver to initialize, or NULL to initialize the first one supporting the requested flags.

Return Value

(SDL_Renderer *) Returns a valid rendering context or NULL if there was an error; call SDL_GetError() for more information.


If you want a specific renderer, you can specify its name here. A list of available renderers can be obtained by calling SDL_GetRenderDriver multiple times, with indices from 0 to SDL_GetNumRenderDrivers()-1. If you don't need a specific renderer, specify NULL and SDL will attempt to choose the best option for you, based on what is available on the user's system.

By default the rendering size matches the window size in pixels, but you can call SDL_SetRenderLogicalPresentation() to change the content size and scaling options.


This function is available since SDL 3.0.0.

Code Examples

#include <SDL3/SDL.h>
#include <SDL3/SDL_main.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[])
    SDL_Window *win = NULL;
    SDL_Renderer *renderer = NULL;
    SDL_Texture *bitmapTex = NULL;
    SDL_Surface *bitmapSurface = NULL;
    int width = 320, height = 240;
    SDL_bool loopShouldStop = SDL_FALSE;


    win = SDL_CreateWindow("Hello World", width, height, 0);

    renderer = SDL_CreateRenderer(win, NULL);

    bitmapSurface = SDL_LoadBMP("img/hello.bmp");
    bitmapTex = SDL_CreateTextureFromSurface(renderer, bitmapSurface);

    while (!loopShouldStop)
        SDL_Event event;
        while (SDL_PollEvent(&event))
            switch (event.type)
                case SDL_EVENT_QUIT:
                    loopShouldStop = SDL_TRUE;

        SDL_RenderTexture(renderer, bitmapTex, NULL, NULL);



    return 0;

See Also

CategoryAPI, CategoryAPIFunction, CategoryRender

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