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The HelpDisplay is an actor which relies on BitmapText to draw text meant to guide the player in interacting with the interface with helpful text that flips to segments in a given amount of time.

By default it uses the [HelpDisplay] metrics group to get information about the OnCommand, time to how the tip (TipShowTime) and how often it needs to switch the help block (TipSwitchTime).

Def.HelpDisplay {
	Font = "Common Normal", -- Alias of the default font
	OnCommand = function(self)
            local helpText = "I can provide helpful text::Like moving left and right to change songs!::Or pressing Esc to go back!"
            self:SetTipsColonSeparated( helpText )

Please check the BitmapText page for the list of attributes.

Formatting Help Text (SetTipsColonSeparated)

Help text in HelpDisplay can be just regular text, but the actor allows for this text to be in “pages”, which splits the text into multiple segments that will be shown in a determined amount of time. These are separated using the :: (two Colon characters) sequence.

For example, if my HelpDisplay has a interval time of 5 seconds and a help text of "I am::Help Text", the following will happen:

  • I am will be shown flashing for the first five seconds.
  • After 5 seconds, Help Text will be shown for the next five.
  • Once those 5 seconds pases, it will return back to I am and the process restarts.



( string text )

Alias of settips. Splits the text using the :: flag. Check Formatting Help Text for SetTipsColonSeparated for info on how to format it.


( table<string> text, table<string> textAlt )

Using a table of strings, it formats the text to contain the help information.

-- Using the example from above, 'I am <split> Help Text`.
local myHelpText = {
    "I am",
    "Help Text"

textAlt is an optional table to have text in case there are missing glyphs on the current font. Check Ensuring string compatibility for more information.


Returns two tables which contain the help text currently being displayed on the HelpDisplay.

local helpText, helpTextAit = self:gettips()
-- Now you can obtain the help text.
for data in ivalues(helpText) do


( float seconds )

Tells the help display how long it has to wait before switching to the next help block.