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Home Guide Playwright vs Cypress: A Comparison

Playwright vs Cypress: A Comparison

By Krishna Tej, Community Contributor -

It is essential to test web apps and ensure they function according to the user requirements for a high-end user experience. There are a lot of tools and frameworks available in the market used to test web apps, such as Playwright, Cypress, and Selenium, to name a few. In a snapshot, both Playwright and Cypress are open-source and support automated app testing. Cypress supports JavaScript, whereas Playwright supports multiple languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, and .NET C#.

So, how does one go about choosing the best one? In this article, let’s compare Playwright vs Cypress and calibrate against the framework that best fits your automation needs.

What is the Playwright Framework?

Playwright vs Cypress

Playwright framework is an open-source, Nodejs-based automation framework for end-to-end testing. It was developed and maintained by Microsoft. Its main goal is to run across the major browser engines – Chromium, Webkit, and Firefox.

It was forked from an earlier project called Puppeteer, but it is relatively different from it. The main difference is that Playwright was explicitly made for end-to-end testing and was built for developers and testers. The team identified a gap in the ability to run automated end-to-end tests across multiple browsers.

Playwright Supported Capabilities

Playwright framework offers the following features:

  • Create scenarios spanning multiple pages and domains
  • Intercepts network activity for stubbing and mocking network requests
  • Emulates mobile devices, geolocation, and permissions
  • Used for downloading and uploading files
  • Allows cross-browser web automation
  • Native input events for the mouse and keyboard

Playwright framework uses Browser Context, isolated environments built on a single browser instance. Using Browser Context, one can create concurrent tests entirely separate from each other and execute them parallel to the browser context.

  • It can also be used with primary CI/CD servers like TravisCI, CircleCI, Jenkins, Appveyor, GitHub Actions, etc.
  • You can also use a docker image to get started with the cloud deployment of Playwright when not using any CI/CD providers.
  • It makes things easy right from the start by introducing intelligence defaults.
  • It’s easy to install and has many capabilities for more advanced scenarios.

Creating and running a Playwright script ensures that the UI is readied to execute the actions after running through a bunch of checklists. And all of this is done automatically without you having to code the tests manually.

A lot more features will be more transparent when we make the comparison of Playwright vs Cypress.

What is the Cypress Framework?

Playwright vs Cypress

Cypress Framework is an open-source automation tool for web app testing. Cypress supports JavaScript and is used for end-to-end testing. It also supports the Mocha test framework.

Cypress uses a different approach than the existing testing tools. When you run a script inside the browser, the script is executed in the same loop as your application. If you have some cases to be run outside the browser, Cypress leverages the Node.js server to handle it.

It provides more consistent results as it can understand everything that happens inside and outside the browser. This also gives native access to each object without dealing with over-the-wire protocols or object serialization.

Playwright vs Cypress: A Comparison

Cypress Supported Capabilities

Cypress offers the following features:

  • Real-time debugging of apps by taking snapshots as your tests run
  • Cypress network control allows you to control, stub, and test edge cases easily without using a server
  • API testing capabilities
  • Mocking and stubbing capabilities
  • Component testing capabilities
  • Tests are written in JavaScript
  • Since Cypress doesn’t use Selenium or WebDriver, it provides fast, consistent, and reliable tests that are not flaky.
  • Supports BDD/TDD style testing
  • It offers excellent Debugging capabilities with dev tools. It gives readable errors and stack traces and makes debugging super fast.
  • Automatic waiting: Cypress automatically waits for commands and assertions before moving on.
  • It is fast because tests run inside the browser like an app

The Cypress test runner has no restrictions. Using Cypress, you can test cases, change the reporter, and even write a plugin that can yield a pass/fail – all of which are open-source, MIT-licensed, and accessible.

Try Cypress Testing Now

Playwright vs Cypress: Core Differences

LanguageSupports multiple languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, and .NET C#Supports JavaScript
Test Runner Frameworks SupportedMocha, Jest, JasmineMocha
Operating Systems SupportedWindows, Linux, and macOSWindows, Linux, and macOS 10.9 and above
Open SourceOpen Source and FreeOpen Source and Free
ArchitectureHeadless Browser with event-driven architectureExecutes test cases directly inside the browser
Browsers SupportedChromium, Firefox, and WebKitChrome, Firefox, and Edge
SupportSince Playwright is fairly new, the support from the community is limited as compared to SeleniumStrong community support from professionals across the world 
Real Devices SupportDoes not support real devices for Mobile Browser Tests but supports emulatorsSupports real device cloud and remote servers

Which to choose – Playwright or Cypress?

Functionality remains the core focal point when choosing the proper testing framework from Playwright or Cypress. After gaining insights from the Cypress vs. Playwright comparison, it is evident that Cypress offers extensive support with its well-drafted documentation and proactive community. This helps to overcome all the bottlenecks and issues through the help available.

Pros of choosing Playwright

  • Supports multiple languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, and .NET C#
  • Easy setup and configuration
  • Playwright framework, by default, comes with many valuable reporters like List, Dot, Line, JSON, JUnit, and HTML Reporters.
  • Supports the execution of parallel testing through Browser Context
  • Debugging options include Playwright Inspector, VSCode Debugger, Browser Developer Tools, and Trace Viewers Console Logs.

Cons of choosing Playwright

  • Playwright doesn’t support Native Mobile Apps
  • No Support for IE11
  • Since Playwright is fairly new, the support from the community is limited.
  • Since Playwright is new to the market user base is still growing.

Key Takeaway – If you are experienced and want to test Webkit browsers or your tests tend to have more coverage across multiple domains and pages, then Playwright is the right choice.

Pros of choosing Cypress

  • Has excellent documentation.
  • It captures snapshots during test execution.
  • Cypress waits automatically for commands and assertions.
  • Developers or QAs can use Spies, Stubs, and Clocks to verify and control the behavior of server responses, functions, or timers.
  • Earlier Cypress supported only Chrome testing. Now, Cypress supports Firefox and Edge browsers.
  • As the programmer writes commands, Cypress executes them in real time, providing visual feedback as they run.

Cons of choosing Cypress

  • One cannot use Cypress to drive two browsers at the same time
  • No support for multi-tabs
  • Cypress only supports JavaScript for creating test cases
  • Limited support for iFrames

Key Takeaway – Cypress is the way to go if you are a beginner looking for ease of installation and usage.

Closing Notes

It is important to note that choosing a testing tool for your web app is ultimately a choice based on usage and functionality, and if the right testing tool is used, it can make the entire testing process streamlined.

  • Emulators/simulators cannot offer real user conditions for testing software.
  • Consider testing on a Real Device Cloud that offers the latest devices, browsers, and OS versions.
  • BrowserStack’s real device cloud provides integrations with popular CI/CD tools such as Jira, Jenkins, TeamCity, Travis CI, and more.
  • Additionally, in-built debugging tools let testers identify and resolve bugs immediately.
  • BrowserStack facilitates both Cypress testing and Playwright testing with hassle-free parallelization.

Test on Real Device Cloud

Automation Testing Cypress

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