Altcademy - a Forbes magazine logo Best Coding Bootcamp 2023

How to use phaser 3 in ReactJS

What is Phaser 3?

Phaser 3 is a powerful, yet accessible game framework that allows developers to create fun, interactive HTML5 games. Imagine it as a toolbox full of pre-set features you can use to build a game. This includes everything from rendering graphics, physics engines, and input systems to animations and audio.

Why Use Phaser 3 with ReactJS?

ReactJS is a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces, primarily for single-page applications. It allows you to create reusable UI components.

By combining Phaser 3 and ReactJS, we can leverage the strengths of both. We can use React for what it's best at - creating and managing user interface components, while using Phaser 3 for game logic, graphics, physics, and more.

Setting Up Phaser 3 in a ReactJS Project

Setting up Phaser 3 in a ReactJS project is quite straightforward. To begin with, you need to have Node.js and npm installed on your machine. If you don't have these installed, you can download them from here.

Once you have Node.js and npm installed, you can create a new React project by running the following command in your terminal:

npx create-react-app phaser-react-game

This command will create a new React project with the name "phaser-react-game".

Next, navigate into your new project by running:

cd phaser-react-game

Now, we need to install Phaser. Phaser can be installed using npm, by running the following command in your terminal:

npm install phaser

Now, Phaser 3 is added to your ReactJS project!

Creating a Phaser Game Component in React

Let's create a simple Phaser 3 game within our React application. We'll start by creating a new component called Game.js. This component will be responsible for initializing our Phaser game.

In the Game.js file, let's start by importing React and Phaser:

import React, { useEffect } from 'react';
import Phaser from 'phaser';

Here, we're importing the useEffect hook from React, which allows us to execute a function when our component is first rendered.

Next, let's create a basic game configuration for Phaser:

let game;
const gameConfig = {
    type: Phaser.AUTO,
    width: 800,
    height: 600,
    physics: {
        default: 'arcade',
        arcade: {
            gravity: { y: 200 }
    scene: {
        preload: preload,
        create: create

In this configuration, we're setting the game type to Phaser.AUTO, which means Phaser will automatically decide whether to use the WebGL or Canvas rendering context based on the browser's capabilities.

We're also setting the game's width and height, applying some physics, and defining a scene. A scene in game development is like a level or a screen in your game. Our scene consists of two parts: preload and create.

preload is a standard Phaser function where we'll load our game assets. create is another standard Phaser function where we'll use the loaded assets to create our game objects.

Let's define these functions:

function preload() {
    this.load.image('sky', 'assets/skies/space3.png');

function create() {
    this.add.image(400, 300, 'sky');

In preload, we're setting a base URL for our game assets and loading an image called 'sky'. In create, we're adding the 'sky' image to our game at the position (400, 300).

Finally, let's tie everything together in our React component's useEffect hook:

function Game() {
    useEffect(() => {
        game = new Phaser.Game(gameConfig);
    }, []);

    return <div id="phaser-game" />;

export default Game;

Here, we're initializing our Phaser game with our gameConfig when our Game component is first rendered.

That's it! We've now created a very basic Phaser 3 game in ReactJS.


By now, you should have a good understanding of how you can combine Phaser 3 and ReactJS to create interactive games. We've seen how to set up Phaser 3 in a ReactJS project, and how to create a Phaser game within a React component. This integration allows us to leverage the best of both worlds, using React for the UI and Phaser 3 for game logic and interactivity.

Remember, this is just the beginning of your Phaser-React journey. There are many more exciting things you can do with Phaser and React, including creating complex games with multiple scenes, physics, animations, and more. So don't stop here. Continue exploring, learning, and most importantly, have fun coding!