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1.30.0 • Public • Published

PlayCanvas WebGL Game Engine

PlayCanvas is an open-source game engine. It uses HTML5 and WebGL to run games and other interactive 3D content in any mobile or desktop browser.

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Project Showcase

Many games and apps have been published using the PlayCanvas engine. Here is a small selection:

Seemore After The Flood Casino
Swooop Master Archer Flappy Bird
Car Star-Lord Global Illumination

You can see more games on the PlayCanvas website.


PlayCanvas is used by leading companies in video games, advertising and visualization such as:
Animech, ARM, Disney, Facebook, IGT, King, Miniclip, Leapfrog, Mozilla, Nickelodeon, Nordeus, PikPok, PlaySide Studios, Polaris, Product Madness, Samsung, Snap, Spry Fox, Zeptolab, Zynga


PlayCanvas is a fully featured game engine.

  • 🧊 Graphics - Advanced 2D + 3D graphics engine built on WebGL 1 & 2.
  • 🏃 Animation - Powerful state-based animations for characters and arbitrary scene properties
  • ⚛️ Physics - Full integration with 3D rigid-body physics engine ammo.js
  • 🎮 Input - Mouse, keyboard, touch, gamepad and VR controller APIs
  • 🔊 Sound - 3D positional sounds built on the Web Audio API
  • 📦 Assets - Asynchronous streaming system built on glTF 2.0, Draco and Basis compression
  • 📜 Scripts - Write game behaviors in Typescript or JavaScript


Here's a super-simple Hello World example - a spinning cube!

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>PlayCanvas Hello Cube</title>
    <meta name='viewport' content='width=device-width, initial-scale=1, maximum-scale=1, minimum-scale=1, user-scalable=no' />
        body {
            margin: 0;
            overflow: hidden;
    <script src=''></script> 
    <canvas id='application'></canvas>
        // create a PlayCanvas application
        const canvas = document.getElementById('application');
        const app = new pc.Application(canvas);
        // fill the available space at full resolution
        // ensure canvas is resized when window changes size
        window.addEventListener('resize', () => app.resizeCanvas());
        // create box entity
        const box = new pc.Entity('cube');
        box.addComponent('model', {
            type: 'box'
        // create camera entity
        const camera = new pc.Entity('camera');
        camera.addComponent('camera', {
            clearColor: new pc.Color(0.1, 0.1, 0.1)
        camera.setPosition(0, 0, 3);
        // create directional light entity
        const light = new pc.Entity('light');
        light.setEulerAngles(45, 0, 0);
        // rotate the box according to the delta time since the last frame
        app.on('update', dt => box.rotate(10 * dt, 20 * dt, 30 * dt));

Want to play with the code yourself? Edit it on CodePen.

How to build

Ensure you have Node.js installed. Then, install all of the required Node.js dependencies:

npm install

Now you can run various build options:

Command Description Outputs
npm run build Build release, debug and profiler engines build\playcanvas[.dbg/.prf].js
npm run closure Build minified release engine build\playcanvas.min.js
npm run tsd Build engine Typescript bindings build\playcanvas.d.ts
npm run docs Build engine API reference docs docs

Pre-built versions of the engine are also available.

Latest development release (head revision of master branch):

Latest stable release:

Specific engine versions:

Generate Source Maps

To build the source map to allow for easier engine debugging, you can add -- -m to any engine build command. For example:

npm run build -- -m

This will output to build/output/

Note: The preprocessor is ignored when when generating the source map as it breaks the mapping. This means that all debug and profiling code is included in the engine build when generating the source map.

How to run tests

PlayCanvas uses of Karma for unit testing. There are two ways of running the tests:

Command Description
npm run test Runs unit tests on a built playcanvas.js
npm run test:watch Re-runs unit tests when changes are detected - open http://localhost:9876/debug.html

How to get models?

To convert any models created using a 3D modelling package see this page in the developer documentation.

Useful Links


Want to help us make the best 3D engine on the web? Great! Check out that will get you started. And look for "good first PR" label in Issues.

PlayCanvas Platform

The PlayCanvas Engine is an open source engine which you can use to create games and 3D visualisation in the browser. In addition to the engine we also make the PlayCanvas development platform which features an Visual Editor, asset management, code editing, hosting and publishing services.


The PlayCanvas Engine is released under the MIT license. See LICENSE file.


npm i playcanvas

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