Tech Peak » Playwright’s support for multiple browsers: How to use it and why it’s important

Playwright’s support for multiple browsers: How to use it and why it’s important

by sophiajames
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Web developers today are under pressure to deliver faster. Because web apps are becoming more advanced, so they must be compatible with all devices, The increase in speed and targets depends heavily on the automation testing process. As each phone, tablet, and desktop uses a different browser engine automated cross-browser testing has become more critical than ever before.

As the scope expands, new test automation tools emerge on the market. When selecting an automation test tool, testers look for features such as easy Script development and maintenance, fast and reliable test execution with no flakiness, Support for web, mobile, API, and parallel testing, In-depth test failure analysis, Cross-browser testing, support for a keyword & data-driven testing, Language support such as Javascript, Typescript, Java, Python, and others, Intuitive test reporting, open-source, etc.

Selenium and other proprietary tools have long dominated the market; however, new open-source tools are now taking the lead. The playwright is one of the additions to the Test Automation Framework that includes all of the features mentioned above of a good test automation tool.

This article will discuss Playwright’s browser support, usage, and importance. So let’s look at this popular automation framework that can help you with cross-browser testing.


The playwright is a cross-browser open-source test automation framework that Microsoft contributors created. It performs end-to-end automated testing of web applications using the same API and continues to perform frequent tests to ensure the web application is functioning correctly. The playwright simulates a real-world event from a user’s perspective to assist users in effectively testing their web development. Playwright enables the creation of faster and more reliable test scripts, which are frequently written in JavaScript, Python, C#, C#, and NodeJS.

This web test automation library performs tests against the underlying engines of the most popular browsers, including Chromium for Chrome and Edge, Webkit for Safari, and Gecko for Firefox. Playwright runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS and can be integrated with popular CI/CD servers such as Jenkins, CircleCI, Azure Pipeline, TravisCI, GitHub Actions, and others.

Auto-Wait is one of the Playwright’s many valuable features. Before performing actions, the playwright waits for elements to be actionable. It also includes a wide range of introspection events. The combination of the two eliminates the need for artificial timeouts, which are the root cause of flaky tests. When a tester runs a Playwright test script, the UI is prepared at the backend before the test interacts with web elements.

Why Playwright

  • Despite being new to the market, Playwright has quickly gained popularity. Many web developers prefer Playwright over leading competitors, because of its search engine support (Firefox, Safari, etc.) versus end-user browsers (web page applications). With this option, Playwright bypasses certain search engine limitations, such as flexibility and speed to test the site’s functionality.
  • Testers who want to switch from another automation tool to Playwright can do so quickly because language is not a barrier. The playwright supports multiple programming languages, such as C#, Java, and Python.
  • Anyone with coding experience and a website who wants to test browser compatibility should use Playwright. Playwright allows you to create new browser pages and keep multiple tabs open by utilizing the browsing context or the environment in which relevant documents are presented to the user.
  • Along with Playwright’s adaptability, this framework allows users to interact with elements on a webpage to maximize productivity freely. The playwright also generates unique URLs for users so they don’t have to waste time doing it themselves.

How to use Playwright for multi-browser testing

The playwright Test was designed specifically to meet the requirements of end-to-end testing. All modern rendering engines, including Chromium, WebKit, and Firefox, are supported by Playwright. Test on Windows, Linux, and macOS, locally or on CI, headless, or with Google Chrome for Android and Mobile Safari native mobile emulation. Below are the steps to follow while using Playwright for browser testing.

Step 1- Begin by installing Playwright with npm or yarn. one can also get started and run tests with the VS Code Extension.

Step 2- The playwright will download the necessary browsers as well as general files such as playwright.config.ts, package.json, and so on.

The playwright.config file is where users can add Playwright configuration, such as which browsers they want to run Playwright on. If they run tests within an existing project, dependencies will be added directly to their package. json.

Step 3- By default, tests will be run on all three browsers, chromium, Firefox, and Webkit. This is configurable in the playwright.config file. Users can also run a single test, a group of tests, or all tests on one or more browsers. By default, tests are run in a headless mode, which means that no browser window is opened while the tests are being run. The terminal will display the results of the tests as well as the test logs.

Step 4- Because Playwright is written in Node.js, users can debug it with their preferred debugger, such as console.log, inside your IDE, or directly in VS Code with the VS Code Extension. The Playwright Inspector is built into Playwright and allows them to step through Playwright API calls, view debug logs, and explore locators.

Step 5- When the test is finished, the HTML Reporter displays a complete report of the results, with filters for browsers, passed tests, failed tests, skipped tests, and flaky tests. You can explore each test’s errors as well as each step of the test by clicking on it. The HTML report is usually opened if any of the tests fail.

Why Playwright is important

Playwright enables testing and automation that is fast, dependable, and capable across all modern browsers. The new features that Playwright introduces are one of the reasons for its growing popularity. Instead of relying on a middle translation layer, the playwright can see into and control the browser, allowing for the simulation of more insightful and relevant user scenarios. 

Here are some more reasons you should use tools for automated tests.

Multi browsers are supported

All modern browsers, including Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge (with Chromium), Apple Safari (with WebKit), and Mozilla Firefox, have full API coverage. It also supports cross-platform WebKit testing, which allows users to see how the app behaves in Apple Safari using WebKit builds for Windows, Linux, and macOS. 

Mobile testing

Users of Playwright can use device emulation to test responsive web apps in mobile web browsers with a single command.

Quick and reliable execution

Instead of managing to wait in test scripts with code, Playwright interacts with auto-wait for elements before taking specific actions. This increases the reliability of the tests and makes them easier to manage.

Automation with no timeouts

To avoid sleep timeouts that cause flakiness, Playwright receives browser signals such as network requests, page navigations, and page load events.

Browser Contexts

Browser contexts make use of a single browser instance to support multiple isolated execution environments. This enables users to test persistent sessions between tabs and ensure that the website works in incognito mode.

Network Control 

Test scripts can simulate file uploads and downloads to change the conditions for the application under test. To handle various authentication methods, and mock out request responses, Playwright introduces context-wide network interception.

Test Retries

The Playwright also includes a standard feature for test retries, which allows the specification of the number of retries for the tests.

Parallel Testing in the Same File

Parallel testing is another important feature of the Playwright. Playwright supports parallel testing of tests in a single file, unlike other tools that only support parallel testing of tests in different files.

Debug Making Use of the Inspector Tool

Users can use the Playwright Inspector tool to debug each line of code and see how it works in real-time on the browser. The Explore button tells users to hover over any web element on the page, and clicking on any element on the page gives the element locator, making it easier to find element paths.

Test Generator

Playwright Code gen can generate test scripts right away. It allows you to record UI interactions on-screen, and Playwright will generate the code for you. Codegen will attempt to generate text-based selectors that are resilient.

Headless and headed.

For all browsers and platforms, Playwright supports both headless (no browser UI) and headed (browser UI) modes. Headless is faster and better suited for CI/cloud executions than headed.

Modern web features

Playwright supports web components via permissions such as notifications and geolocation, user settings such as changing the color scheme to dark mode or printing, and so on.

Other than these additional novel features of Playwright automation such as PDF Generation, allure reporting, test trace viewer, multiple domains, pages and frames, and more.

Playwright Cross Browser Testing on LambdaTest

The playwright is a strong test automation framework that enables end-to-end testing across major browsers. It includes many features that are supported by LambdaTest, such as resiliency, auto-wait, capturing test traces, Videos and Screenshots, built-in reporters, and so on.

LambdaTest is a cloud-based cross-browser compatibility testing platform that offers a real device cloud of more than 3000 real browsers, devices, and operating systems for an instant, on-demand testing. It also offers a cloud Selenium grid for automated Selenium testing, which can be accelerated with parallel testing.

The team can easily run their Playwright test scripts in parallel on LambdaTest by specifying any browser with a combination of various operating systems. LambdaTest supports cross-browser testing, high-scale parallelization, testing on real devices, and seamless CI/CD integration with tools such as Jenkins, Azure Pipelines, Travis CI, and GitHub, among others. Furthermore, built-in debugging tools enable testers to quickly identify and resolve bugs.


To summarize, Playwright is an amazing framework to explore, and it’s only getting better by giving users more features. It has evolved greatly since its beginning by delivering features and fixing issues, so we can’t stop expecting more features.


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