HTML5 Games Workshop

The game loop

The game loop is the core of every game. It's what allows us to update the game logic and render the graphics every frame –hopefully 60 times per second!

The game loop

In Phaser, the game loop is handled automatically via game states. A game state represents one "screen" in our game: the loading screen, the main menu, a level, etc. Each state is divided into phases or steps, the most important are:

Game state

As you can see, update and render form the game loop. These phases are called automatically each frame, so we don't need to worry to implement a game loop and keep track of the timing.

A game state in Phaser is just an Object with some methods that we can override. We will be overriding some of these in order to load an image and render it on the screen.


Create a game state

  1. As before, edit main.js so it looks like this:

     PlayState = {};
     window.onload = function () {
         let game = new Phaser.Game(960, 600, Phaser.AUTO, 'game');
         game.state.add('play', PlayState);

Load and render an image

  1. To load an image, we will make use of the preload phase of our game state. In this phase we will load all the assets that we require (images, sound effects, etc.).

    To use a phase in a game state we need to add a method with a matching name. In our case, we will be creating PlayState.preload:

     // write this under
     // PlayState = {};
     // load game assets here
     PlayState.preload = function () {'background', 'images/background.png');

    Things to note:

    1. We have a reference to the Phaser.Game instance inside the game state via
    2. When we load an asset, we assign it an (arbitrary) key. We will use this key later to reference that asset.
  2. To render an image we need to create an instance of Phaser.Image, which is one of the many game entities in Phaser. We can do this using the game.add factory, which will automatically add the image to the game world so it gets drawn on the screen automatically every frame.

    Add the following method to our PlayState:

     // create game entities and set up world here
     PlayState.create = function () {, 0, 'background');

    We are providing the X and Y coordinates –(0, 0) is the top left corner– and the key to the asset we just loaded.

If you check out the game, you should see a pretty background drawn in the screen:

A background, rendered


Rendering an image in the game loop is the first step in crafting games. Get ready for the next step!


Are you stuck? Take a look at the source code for this step.