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Performance Testing with Playwright: Best Practices and Tools for Effective Load Testing

Lokeshwaran Subramaniyan
Lokeshwaran Subramaniyan
Table of Contents

Introduction : Load testing Best practices

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, web applications must deliver exceptional performance under heavy user loads. Performance testing is a critical step in ensuring that your application can handle the expected traffic without compromising on user experience. Playwright, a versatile end-to-end testing library developed by Microsoft, not only excels in functional testing but can also be harnessed for effective load testing. In this blog post, we will explore the best practices and tools for leveraging Playwright in performance testing, enabling you to deliver high-performing applications to your users.

Best Practices for Performance Testing with Playwright

  • Identifying Critical User Flows
  • Creating Realistic Test Scenarios
  • Controlling Virtual User Load
  • Monitoring and Collecting Metrics

Identifying Critical User Flows:

Start by identifying the most critical user flows within your application. These are the paths that users frequently take, such as logging in, making a purchase, or submitting a form. Focusing on critical user flows ensures that performance bottlenecks impacting the core functionalities are identified and addressed.

Creating Realistic Test Scenarios:

Design test scenarios that closely mimic real user behaviour. Use Playwright to script user actions like clicking buttons, filling out forms, and navigating through pages. Additionally, introduce think times and pacing between actions to replicate real user wait times.

Controlling Virtual User Load:

Define the desired virtual user load for your performance tests. Use Playwright’s capabilities to simulate concurrent virtual users performing actions simultaneously. Gradually increase the user load until you reach the desired stress level on your application.

Monitoring and Collecting Metrics:

Incorporate the collection of performance metrics during test execution. Monitor response times, server resource usage, and network latency. Tools like Playwright’s built-in tracing feature or external performance monitoring tools can help you gather and analyse these metrics effectively.

Tools for Load Testing with Playwright

  • Playwright Test Runner
  • Artillery
  • k6

Playwright Test Runner:

The Playwright Test Runner is the official test runner provided by the Playwright team to execute end-to-end tests written using Playwright. It offers various features that simplify test execution, enhance debugging, and enable easy integration with Continuous Integration (CI) systems. The Playwright Test Runner is built on top of the Jest testing framework, making it easy for developers familiar with Jest to get started with Playwright testing seamlessly.


Artillery is a popular open-source load testing tool that supports HTTP-based load testing. We can combine Artillery with Playwright to generate load on your application using custom user scenarios. It allows you to simulate high user loads and analyze how your application behaves under stress. Artillery is designed to be developer-friendly, offering a simple YAML-based syntax to define load testing scenarios and control various aspects of the test execution.


k6 is another powerful open-source load testing tool that allows you to write load test scripts in JavaScript. By integrating Playwright with k6, you can create sophisticated load testing scenarios. While k6 itself does not have native support for integrating Playwright directly, you can leverage both k6 and Playwright in conjunction to create comprehensive load testing scenarios that include both backend API load testing (using k6) and frontend user interactions (using Playwright). This combination allows you to test the entire application stack, including both the server-side and client-side performance.

Here’s an example of how you can use a simple Playwright script within k6 to perform load testing on a basic web application.

import http from 'k6/http';
import { check, sleep } from 'k6';
import { exec } from 'k6/execution';

export let options = {
  vus: 10, // Number of virtual users (simultaneous connections)
  duration: '30s', // Duration of the test

export default function () {
  // Execute the Playwright script using Node.js
  let result = exec('node', ['playwright_script.js']);

  // Check if the Playwright script executed successfully
  check(result, {
    'Playwright Script Successful': (r) => r.exit === 0,

  // Add a sleep to simulate user "thinking" time
  sleep(5); // Sleep for 5 seconds before starting a new iteration


Performance testing with Playwright offers a comprehensive solution to ensure that your web applications meet the demands of real-world traffic. By following best practices, creating realistic test scenarios, and employing the right load testing tools, you can identify and address performance bottlenecks early in the development life cycle. With Playwright’s flexibility and support for load testing, you can confidently deliver high-performing and reliable applications to your users. Start leveraging Playwright in your performance testing strategy today and enhance the overall user experience of your web applications.

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Lokeshwaran Subramaniyan

Lokeshwaran Subramaniyan

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