Error Handling#

Errors are a thing you will undoubtebly encounter during your bot development journey - this is unavoidable. In addition to you maybe writing code that doesn’t do what you expected it to do, lightbulb will raise errors on its own depending on the situation. For example, lightbulb will raise errors when command checks or converters fail - now this is not your fault, it is the fault of the user for running your command incorrectly!

Now naturally, it is not ideal for your bot to just not respond to command invocations if something goes wrong. It would be much better for the bot to display a message telling the user what they did/went wrong to allow them to fix it for next time. This is what error handling is for!

Lightbulb (through hikari) allows you to have global error handlers (listeners) if you want all of your error messages to look the same no matter the command that was run. It is also possible to have command-specific and plugin-specific error handlers.

Resolution Order#

When handling errors, lightbulb will try to find and then call error handlers in this order:

Command-specific and plugin-specific error handlers are a special case. They should return a boolean indicating whether or not the error could be handled by that handler. If False is returned, then the error will propogate down the list to the next applicable error handler.

For global error handlers, a return value cannot be retrieved and so if you cannot handle the error in the handler then you should have a raise statement at the bottom of the handler function.

Creating a Global Error Handler#

Global error handlers are just listeners for the lightbulb error event ( and so are defined exactly the same way that you’d create a listener for any other event.

import lightbulb

bot = lightbulb.BotApp(...)

async def on_error(event: lightbulb.CommandErrorEvent) -> None:

The contains an exception attribute which stores the instance of the exception that caused the event to be dispatched. This attribute will always be an instance of a subclass of lightbulb.errors.LightbulbError.


Lightbulb wraps some exceptions that get raised in its own exception classes internally to allow them to be dealt with more easily. When this is the case (e.g. for CheckFailure and CommandInvocationError) you can access the original exception using exception.__cause__.

Example Error Handler#

import lightbulb

bot = lightbulb.BotApp(...)

async def on_error(event: lightbulb.CommandErrorEvent) -> None:
    if isinstance(event.exception, lightbulb.CommandInvocationError):
        await event.context.respond(f"Something went wrong during invocation of command `{}`.")
        raise event.exception

    # Unwrap the exception to get the original cause
    exception = event.exception.__cause__ or event.exception

    if isinstance(exception, lightbulb.NotOwner):
        await event.context.respond("You are not the owner of this bot.")
    elif isinstance(exception, lightbulb.CommandIsOnCooldown):
        await event.context.respond(f"This command is on cooldown. Retry in `{exception.retry_after:.2f}` seconds.")
    elif ...:
        raise exception