Puppeteer vs Playwright - Which is best for browser automation?

Dec 31, 2023

Puppeteer and Playwright are two popular open-source Node.js libraries used for browser automation, web testing, and web scraping. Both provide a high-level API to control browsers programmatically. While they share many similarities, there are some key differences that may help you decide which one is best suited for your needs.

Key Points

  • Puppeteer was developed by Google in 2017, while Playwright was created by Microsoft and released in 2020.

  • Puppeteer is Chrome-centric and supports Chromium and Firefox (experimental), while Playwright offers cross-browser support for Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit.

  • Puppeteer supports JavaScript and TypeScript, whereas Playwright supports multiple languages, including JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, Java, and C#.

  • Both libraries require zero setup and can be easily installed via npm.

  • Puppeteer has a larger community and more resources available due to its longer existence.

Puppeteer Overview

Puppeteer is a reliable choice for browser automation, especially if you primarily focus on Chromium or Chrome. Some of its strengths include:

  • Tight integration with Chrome DevTools

  • Automatically downloads a compatible version of Chromium

  • Offers a handy functionality to follow page performance using a timeline trace

  • Active and supportive community

However, Puppeteer has some limitations:

  • Supports only JavaScript and TypeScript

  • Lacks extensive cross-browser support

Playwright Overview

Playwright, although newer, has quickly gained popularity due to its versatility and cross-browser support. Its main advantages include:

  • Supports Chromium, Firefox, and WebKit

  • Offers a single API to control multiple browsers

  • Supports multiple programming languages

  • Provides unique features like automatic waits and improved element selection

However, keep in mind that Playwright's API is still evolving, and its community is smaller compared to Puppeteer.

Code Example

Here's an example of how to take a screenshot using Puppeteer:

import puppeteer from 'puppeteer';

(async () => {

const browser = await puppeteer.launch();

const page = await browser.newPage();

await page.setViewport({ width: 1280, height: 720 });

const website_url = 'https://example.com';

await page.goto(website_url, { waitUntil: 'networkidle0' });

await page.screenshot({

path: 'example_screenshot.jpg'




Choosing between Puppeteer and Playwright depends on your specific requirements. If you prioritize cross-browser support and language flexibility, Playwright is the better choice. However, if you primarily focus on Chromium and value a larger community and more resources, Puppeteer may be the way to go.

Ultimately, both libraries are powerful and capable of handling a wide range of browser automation tasks. It's worth exploring both and deciding based on your project's needs and personal preferences.

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