Playwright vs. Cypress article image

Playwright vs Cypress: An In-depth Comparison

As the web evolves, so do the tools we use to test it. Unfortunately, in the early days of web development, testing was often an afterthought. Cross-browser compatibility issues were rampant, and there were few options for automated testing tools. 

Now, there are many options for cross-browser testing tools, and the debate about which is the best can be heated. In this article, we’ll pit two of the most popular options against each other: Playwright vs Cypress. But, of course, both tools have pros and cons, and your best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences. 

What Is Playwright?

Playwright logo

Playwright is relatively new; it is an open-source automation package that Microsoft contributors first developed. Playwright is a cross-browser end-to-end testing solution, a JavaScript-based framework for mobile and web applications.

Playwright is built on top of Puppeteer, a Node library that provides a high-level API over the DevTools protocol. It takes what works well in Puppeteer and adds additional features that make it more user-friendly and easier to use.

Additionally, author tests can be conducted in multiple languages.

What distinguishes Playwright as a tool? 

Some of the key features that distinguish Playwright as a tool are: 

  • Cross-browser support: Playwright can automate Chromium, WebKit, and Firefox browsers. 
  • Cross-platform WebKit testing: Test your app’s behavior in Apple Safari with Playwright’s WebKit builds for Windows, Linux, and macOS. 
  • Language agnostic: In addition to Typescript and JavaScript, Playwright supports Python, .NET, and Java. 
  • Auto-wait APIs: Interactions auto-wait for elements to be ready. It improves reliability and simplifies test authoring.  
  • Advanced network control capability: Playwright provides context-wide network interception for stubbing and mocking network requests. 
  • Test Mobile Web: Emulates the Android and iOS versions of Chrome for the mobile web. Cloud and desktop rendering engines are the same. 

What Is Cypress?  

Cypress logo

Cypress is a front-end testing tool built for modern web applications and supports many popular browsers, including Chromium, Edge, and Safari. In addition, it has a unique architecture that makes it easy to use.

In addition, it has a user-friendly dashboard that shows you all your test runs. Also, Cypress tests run in the same process as the application, which makes debugging and testing faster.

What distinguishes Cypress as a tool? 

Some of the key features that distinguish Cypress as a tool are: 

  • Speed: Run tests in the same process as the application, making debugging and testing faster. 
  • Simplicity: Has a user-friendly dashboard showing you your test runs. 
  • Reliability: Tests are more reliable because they are less likely to flake (fail randomly). 
  • Flake Resistant:  Automatically waits for commands and assertions. That means no more async problems. 
  • Debuggability: Tests can be debugged directly from the command line or within the test runner. 
  • Automatic Screenshots and Videos: Cypress automatically takes screenshots and videos of failing tests. 
  • Cypress results: When you run a test from the Cypress Dashboard, you can view videos of how it is being executed. 

Playwright vs Cypress- In-depth Comparison 

Playwright and Cypress are open-source tools that can be used for cross-browser testing. Both tools support the most popular browsers on the market: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. Playwright also supports Chromium-based browsers such as Brave and Microsoft Edge (Chromium). 

Playwright was created by the team behind Puppeteer, while a team of former front-end engineers created Cypress. 

One of the key similarities between Playwright and Cypress is that they are both built on top of an existing web testing framework. Playwright uses Puppeteer as its underlying engine, while Cypress uses Electron.

Pros and cons of playwright and cypress
What are the pros and cons of Playwright and Cypress?

Key similarities 

  • Both are Open-source 
  • JavaScript-based libraries for automating your end-to-end tests 
  • You can install both as an npm package. 
  • Testing across major browser engines using a single API (Fox and Chromium supported) 
  • Share a lot of the same functionality, like screenshots, stub out requests, and setting custom viewports. 
  • Runs from the Terminal 
  • Neither supports testing in IE11. 
  • Frequently updated GitHub Repos 

Key differences  

Even though Playwright and Cypress share some fundamental similarities, they also have distinct differences. 

The two frameworks solve similar issues but come at it from different angles. Cypress is more of a “full package” with everything you need, including example files and test runners while Playwright only has configurations for certain providers that allow users to pick whatever they want instead, making this framework perfect if your needs change often. 

Playwright vs Cypress Comparison Table 

Criteria Playwright Cypress
Installation & Configuration  There are no folder structures defined, and you can use any Test runner you like  Easy to install and configure and has a pre-defined folder structure. It’s a complete package that includes its test runner. 
Language   Supports multiple languages such as JavaScript, Java, Python, and .NET  Supports JavaScript 
Test Runner Frameworks Supported  Mocha, Jest, Jasmine  Mocha 
Operating Systems Supported Windows, Linux, and macOS  Windows, Linux, and macOS 10.9 and above 
Architecture  Headless browser with event-driven architecture  Directly carries out test cases inside the browser 
Browsers Support  Chromium, Firefox, WebKit, Chrome, Edge  Chromium, Chrome, Firefox, Electron, Edge 
iFrames Support  YES Limited (need to set ChromeWebSecurity = false), and not all cases work 
Community Support  It has less community support because it is a more recent application Strong community support from international professionals 
Windows/Tabs Support  YES Limited, but some workarounds are available 
Parallel Run  YES Paid dashboards or utilizing workarounds and free plugins 
Real Devices Support  It does not support real devices for Mobile Browser Tests but supports emulators  Supports real device clouds and remote servers 
Mobile Testing Support  Can emulate mobile dimensions Can only set browser dimensions
API call support YES YES

Cypress vs Playwright: The Pros and Cons  

Now that we’ve looked at the key similarities and differences between Playwright and Cypress let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of each tool. 

Pros Cons
Playwright -Built on top of Puppeteer, which makes it more stable and reliable. 
-Has broader cross-browser support 
-Allows setting multiple user contexts
-It can be used to test native applications on macOS and Windows 
-It does not generate any files 
-Supports multi-page and third-party implementations 
-Allows you to select a test runner 
-Newer tool than Cypress, so it has less community support. 
-Documentation is not as comprehensive as Cypress’ documentation. 
Cypress -Has better documentation 
-Stronger community support 
-Easier to understand for people new to testing 
-Only one framework you need to learn because it covers everything 
-It can be used to test web apps 
-It doesn’t support multi-page and third-party implementations 
-Create numerous test directories and files 
-It does not have as good cross-browser support as Playwright 
-Need to write separate tests to simulate different user scenarios

Cypress vs Playwright Syntax Comparison  


The syntax used by Cypress is more similar to JQuery, except that instead of “$”, “cy” is used instead. The one keyword method that Playwright uses might make more sense for designers and junior front-end developers who are less accustomed to async and creating instances of objects. In the example below, the test scenario is to check if an element called “App-logo” exists in both frameworks based on their syntax differences. 

// Cypress 
describe(‘Navigation and Element test’. () => ( 
it(‘Finds the react logo’ => { 


With Playwright, you can create object instances using a syntax akin to Javascript. We can operate several tabs, browsers, and user contexts simultaneously with its ability to construct object instances. The example below shows how Playwright uses the async functionality to wait for a UI element to appear before continuing the test. Cypress solves a similar problem by automatically retrying assertions until the timeout is reached. 

// Playwright 
import * as Playwright from ‘playwright’; 
const browsertype = playwright.chromium; 
(async () => { 
const browser = await browsertype.launch(); 
const page = await browser.newPage(); 
await page.goto(‘<http://localhost:3000/>’); 
const logo = await page.$(‘.App-logo’) 
if(!logo) throw new Error(“Cannot find logo”) 
await browser.close(); // Close browser again 

Which one is the best – Playwright or Cypress? 

Cypress vs playwright comparison

The answer to this question depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a tool with better cross-browser support or need to test Webkit browsers, or if your tests need to cover scenarios spanning multiple pages and domains, Playwright is the way to go. However, Cypress is better if you’re looking for a tool with better documentation and community support. 

For your entire testing process to be as seamless as possible, it’s imperative that you choose the right testing tool.


What Is Selenium?  

Selenium is an open-source tool that automates web browsers. It offers a single interface that enables you to create test scripts in several different programming languages, including Ruby, Java, NodeJS, PHP, Perl, Python, and C#. 

Is Playwright better than Selenium?   

Playwright is a newer tool than Selenium. It offers several advantages over Selenium, including better cross-browser support and automating tasks across multiple browsers. However, Playwright does not have as strong of a community following as Selenium; consider Selenium if you’re looking for better documentation. 

Is Cypress better than Selenium?  

It depends on your needs. But if you prefer to use a single framework for Component, API, End to End, Visual, Accessibility, and Performance testing. In that case, Cypress will work better for you. 

Does Cypress require coding?  

Cypress requires you to have basic knowledge of JavaScript to write your test cases. However, you don’t need to be an expert in JavaScript to use Cypress – the learning curve is relatively easy. In addition, Cypress’s error messages will help you understand why the test failed and don’t require any configuration.