Test automation is crucial for quickly detecting bugs and ensuring software quality. Two popular open-source tools for test automation are Playwright and Selenium. Both can automate web browser testing, but have different strengths. In this post, we’ll compare Playwright vs Selenium across key factors to help determine which is best for your needs.

Browser Support

A key consideration is browser support. Selenium supports Firefox, Chrome, IE, and Safari. Playwright officially supports Chromium, Firefox and WebKit browsers.

Selenium has more established browser support, while Playwright is newer and still expanding. But Playwright’s Chromium support is exceptionally strong since it was built by the Google Chrome team.

For cross-browser testing, Selenium is better suited. But if you primarily use Chromium-based browsers, Playwright is a good option.

Language and Tool Support

Selenium supports a wide range of languages like Java, C#, Python, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP and Perl. Playwright has official libraries for JavaScript, TypeScript, Python, .NET and Java.

In terms of tool integration, Selenium works well with tools. Playwright has built-in support for Jest, and has plugins for Mocha and Cucumber.

Selenium generally has more language and tool integration support. But Playwright covers the most commonly used languages and frameworks.


Both Playwright and Selenium allow simulating user actions like clicks, text entry, navigation. They support capabilities like capturing screenshots, videos, network requests etc.

Some differentiating capabilities:

  • Playwright has built-in support for generating PDFs, HAR files and API testing. Selenium requires separate tools.
  • Playwright has native mobile app testing support via webviews. Selenium focuses primarily on web browsers.
  • Playwright has better built-in support for action chaining, mocks, viewport configuration etc. Selenium may require more coding effort.
  • Reliability and Stability
  • Selenium provides stable, reliable automation support across a wide range of browsers. But the asynchronous execution model can make test scripting complex in some cases.

Playwright has a simpler, synchronous API that avoids callback pyramids. The tool is relatively new, so may have some stability issues compared to the mature Selenium.

Overall, both tools offer reliable automation. But Selenium has proven itself over many years of usage.

User Community

Selenium has an extremely active, engaged user community with over 160,000 members in its Google Group forum. Playwright is newer, so its user community is still growing.

For help troubleshooting issues that arise during testing, Selenium provides unmatched community support. Playwright’s community is expanding rapidly but still smaller.


Selenium is the more established solution with widespread language support, comprehensive browser coverage and a large user community. But Playwright brings fresh capabilities like native mobile testing, PDF generation, better API design.

Playwright makes sense for teams already using Chromium and modern frameworks like JavaScript/TypeScript, Python, C#. Selenium is better for cross-browser testing, legacy application support, and leveraging community knowledge. Evaluating team skills, application under test and required browsers will determine which tool makes the most sense.

Both Selenium vs Playwright are great choices for test automation. Identifying the key factors around browser, language, tooling and capability support will help decide which is the right fit.  

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