How to Fix Modulenotfounderror: no module named ‘pygame’

Posted by Marta on March 15, 2023 Viewed 40337 times

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In this article I will show you why you might encounter the error modulenotfounderror: no module named ‘pygame’ when you are creating a game using the python library pygame. You will also learn how to fix this error so you can continue working on your game.

The pygame module provides functionality to create a graphical display, work with graphics, and read from input devices, like mouse and keyboard, on multiple platforms. 

This module is a third-party module; therefore, the Python installation doesn’t include it by default. As a result, you need to install it separately. It is quite simple to install; you can find how in one of the sections below. Without further to do, let’s get started! 

How to check pygame is installed.

Probably you are facing the following situation. You wrote a small program using pygame, included all imports, installed python; however, when you execute the program, you see the error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File line 1, in <module>
    import random, pygame, sys
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'pygame'

This error means that the pygame module is not installed. Another option is that you have several python versions installed on your machine. It could be installed in a different python installation(python SDK) and not installed in the python installation you are using to execute the game.

Therefore, the first thing to tackle this problem is finding out if the module is installed. Whether you are using Mac or Windows, you can check if a module is installed using the pip tool. Pip is the package manager that python uses to keep track of all libraries installed. To check the list of installed libraries, you can run the following:

pip freeze



After running the pip freeze command, you will see the list of all python libraries installed on your machine. Now you can double-check if the pygame library is installed.

How to install pygame on mac

Let’s say you check your installed libraries using pip freeze, and you noticed the library list doesn’t include the pygame library. What’s next? You need to install the module using pip. All you need to do is executing the command below:

pip install pygame

How to Fix When working from an IDE

Another possible scenario. It could be that you installed the module from the terminal; however, when you execute the game from your IDE, such as PyCharm, you still get the error.

In case you are working on mac, one possible reason is that your IDE is set up to use python 2. Python 2 is installed on the Mac operating system by default.

As a result, if you installed python 3, you have two python installations(python SDKs) in your machine. And your IDE should be set up to use python3, which includes pip as the “module/package manager.” Or the python SDK where the module is installed. Let’s see how to do that.

Modulenotfounderror: no module named 'pygame'

In Pycharm, go to File->Project Structure and check the project SDK. The project SDK indicates the Python installation that pycharm uses to execute your python scripts.

If there is “No SDK” selected, make sure you coose python 3. If python3 is not available in the dropdown, click on “New …” and add the Python SDK( or installation), using the path where you have installed python earlier.

In other words, you need to make your IDE point to the same python SDK, where you have installed the module.

Where is your python SDK?

In case you don’t know or don’t remember where you installed python, no problem. Pretty simple to find out. You can check just by executing the following command from your terminal:

which python3



The above line indicates where python is installed on your machine. The Python SDK will access any module through the pip manager that is part of the SDK. As a result, you should make sure your python command and pip are in the same location/path, which means they are part of the same SDK

Where is pip installed?

You can find out where pip is installed using the which command as well. As I mentioned earlier, make sure python and pip are in the same location, meaning they belong to the same SDK. Check the pip location using the command below:

which pip



The above output means the pip command is installed in the location above, and it is part of the python version 3.7.

What next?

Once you fix the modulenotfounderror, you can start using pygame and writing your own games. You could start by programming a snake game. If that sounds like something interesting, check out the following post where you will find instructions and videos about how to program the snake game using python and pygame.

And you can also check my course about how to program a tetris game with pygame and python:


In conclusion, you will encounter the error Modulenotfounderror: no module named ‘pygame’ for two main reasons. One is that the module is not installed. The other reason is that you installed the module in a different python SDK to the one you are using to executing your game.

I hope you enjoy the article, and thank you so much for reading and supporting this blog. Happy Coding!

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