How to Play Old Flash Games in 2021

Near the end of 2020, Adobe Flash became discontinued from service, which also signaled the death of Flash games. Flash couldn’t run on mobile devices and is now obsolete. But what about the Flash games?

How to Play Old Flash Games in 2021

You may be surprised to find out that Flash games still exist, and in this article, you’ll learn how to play them through other methods. Yes, you can still enjoy some of the classic Flash games you grew up with and enjoyed.

Adobe Flash Altenatives

Since Adobe Flash Player became blocked to prevent it from running Flash files ever again, you’re out of luck if you want to use it. Thankfully, there are a few methods developed to help people relive the good-old Flash-game days. Many enthusiasts have successfully conserved these venerable and fun Flash games, and they released them for the world to enjoy.

Keep in mind that depending on the software you decide to run, you might have to install a few more things. Flash games aren’t demanding to run, however, so you can always enjoy them even on a slower computer as well.

How to Play Old Flash Games using Flashpoint

Flashpoint is a project that started in 2018 when Adobe announced that it wanted to retire Flash due to the many security flaws. BlueMaxima, the company that created Flashpoint, worked with more than 100 contributors who preserved all the games they could find for future generations. Today, at least 90,000 games and thousands of Flash animations have been saved for anyone to download as they wish.

Flashpoint runs Flash games using Apache, a custom launcher, and BlueMaxima’s created software. It is safe to use as it does not carry the security flaws of Flash and does not leave security holes on your PC. Files only get used on-demand. No permanent writes occur compared to installed programs that create folders and files that remain on your PC.

The software comes in two versions, Flashpoint Ultimate and Flashpoint Infinity. The former is a master download that contains all of the 90,000+ games and animations, and it requires considerable hard drive space. Flashpoint Infinity is much smaller—basically only the software you need to run the games. You can pick and choose which games to download as you desire.

As mentioned, Flashpoint Ultimate is quite large, with 600GB of data compressed and 700GB after extraction. Flashpoint Infinity is only 650MB, but the file becomes larger than the 2.5GB install size with every game or animation you download. If you can afford the space for Ultimate, then, by all means, download it, though Flashpoint Infinity is the recommended option.

You can get Flashpoint for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Here’s how to play old Flash games using Flashpoint:

  1. Visit the official Flashpoint website.
  2. Choose and download your chosen version of Flashpoint.
  3. Wait for the download to finish. Be patient.
  4. Install “Flashpoint.”
  5. Launch “Flashpoint.”
  6. Select the game you want to play. If you’re using “Flashpoint Infinity,” you’ll need to download the game and it will load slowly during the process.
  7. Close the game. Now, it should run faster, and you can play it offline.
  8. Repeat for other games, if required.

Whichever Flashpoint version you use, you can run the games offline, as long as you download them. It might be overwhelming to choose from tens of thousands of options, but this only means you have all the time in the world to enjoy them.

How to Play Old Flash Games using Ruffle

Ruffle is another great Flash game emulator that you can get up and running very quickly.

Ruffle comes in three forms: a standalone program, a browser extension, or a program that runs on your website by adding a line of HTML code.

While Ruffle is entirely open-source, it’s still in the early development process. It doesn’t support Actionscript 3, which prevents it from running Flash games made after 2006 that use that particular version. Perhaps one day, it will run all the games from oldest to the ones made just before Flash’s retirement.

Ruffle takes care of this problem by running on your PC to address Flash’s initial security concerns.

Ruffle built the browser extension without Flash, so it’s safer than running Flash plugins. You don’t have to worry about security breaches and memory problems that the retired format experienced for years.

Like Flashpoint, Ruffle lets you play Flash games offline, especially with the standalone and browser extension versions. You can even get it to run on Android and iOS if you install it on a website. We’ll be discussing how to install the standalone edition further down in this article.

Follow these steps to play Flash games on Ruffle:

  1. Go to the Ruffle official website.
  2. Download the “standalone version” and install it.
  3. Open “Ruffle.”
  4. Ruffle will prompt you to open an “SWF” game file, which you can download from other websites.
  5. Once opened, you can play your Flash games offline.

In the future, you can right-click on any SWF file and set the default app for opening such files to Ruffle. This process lets you double-click on any SWF file, and you can play it instantly. That sounds very handy if you ask us.

Just like Flashpoint, Ruffle is entirely free to download. The developers do ask for donations as it would help them upgrade the software further.

How to Play Old Flash Games using Flash Game Archive

The Flash Game Archive is another Flash game emulator you can download for enjoying the good Flash games of old. It’s not the same as the two we discussed above, but it has its advantages. The Flash Game Archive is also tiny in size, and you fill your library by downloading games from its archive.

Other than its small download size, the Flash Game Archive has these advantages:

  • Control the game’s resolution
  • Always updated for free
  • High score enabled so you can compete
  • Password protect your games

The development team is constantly working to ensure the archive allows people to enjoy their favorite Flash games.

To play games with the Flash Game Archive, follow these instructions:

  1. Visit “Flash Game Archive.”
  2. Download the correct version for your operating system.
  3. Install “Flash Game Archive.”
  4. Once the installation process finishes, launch it.
  5. Load any Flash games you have.
  6. Start playing.

You can get plenty of games from the website, but you can also get your own from the internet as well. The games are divided into categories so that you can find what you want.

How to Play Old Flash Games using Flash Player Projector Content Debugger

The Flash Player Projector Content Debugger is a rather well-hidden secret, and Adobe still lets it work on your computer. Since it’s not online, it doesn’t suffer from the many security loopholes web-based Adobe Flash had.

You only have the right to download the Flash Player Projector Content Debugger for personal use, and distributing it is prohibited.

To use this software, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official Adobe Flash Player Support Center website.
  2. Download the correct Flash Player Projector Content Debugger for your operating system.
  3. Run the projector instantly. No installation is needed.
  4. Locate an SWF file on your computer. It will run the Flash game instantly.
  5. Resize the window as needed.

Since this is a debugging tool, Adobe has no plans to discontinue this software. You can always download it from the appropriate website. Just ensure you have some Flash games to run on it.

Use the Internet Archives

The Internet Archive announced back in 2020 that it will also start preserving Flash games, animations, and more. If you manage to find your favorite Flash game there, you have the option of playing it online or downloading it. Playing it online is much better as you don’t have to download anything that could damage your computer.

Other than the existing games in The Internet Archive, you can upload your own Flash creations. Compared to Flashpoint and the Flash Game Archive, the Internet Archive has a limited number of games preserved. However, the ability to play them right there is attractive to those who don’t want to download any games.

Since there’s no need for downloads, visit any Flash game on the website, and you can click the big button to begin playing. You have to wait for the game to “download,” but it takes very little time.

Play Flash games using The Internet Archive by doing the following:

  1. Visit The Internet Archive.
  2. Find a Flash game you want to play.
  3. Select the game’s internet URL.
  4. Click the “Begin” button.
  5. Wait for the game to load.
  6. Start playing.

There are plenty of games to keep you occupied, and since more of them are always getting added, you can always come back and see if your favorite one is finally uploaded.

Modern Remakes of Your Favorite Old Flash Games

While most Flash games are simple creations that began as fun projects, a select few managed to “graduate” and become fully-fledged video games. Games like Hatoful Boyfriend and Super Meat Boy are currently making profits for their original creators. You can still find the old versions in archives, but the remakes are inherently superior in many ways.

If you feel that these remakes and remasters are better, by all means, buy them. The developers have often fixed their bugs and updated the graphics, among many other improvements.

Meanwhile, the Bloons series is accessible through Steam, and all of the games are entirely free to play. You do have to download Steam and register for an account, but that’s also free. Alternatively, you can download standalone PC versions too.

While you can find the Bloons games on other sources, NinjaKiwi archived its games on their website. The older versions might still interest you, so there’s nothing wrong with playing it instead.

Various Other Flash Game Emulators

Here are a few other Flash game emulators. They’re all free to download but vary in how effective they emulate your original Flash games. Feel free to try out what works for you.

  • Lightspark

You can download Lightspark to play many Adobe Flash games, and since it works with ActionScript 3, it is compatible with games made after 2006. If Ruffle doesn’t support a particular SWF file, try playing it on Lightspark.

  • WAFlash

This web-based emulator lets you instantly run games by dragging and dropping your favorite SWF files. However, it’s unknown if it will become commercial, and there are no offline versions or browser extensions. Nevertheless, it’s a convenient way to enjoy Flash games.

  • swf2js

The free version of “swf2js” is decent for Flash games and tends to be very accurate, and it doesn’t have many visual glitches. However, the paid version is inherently superior.

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In closing, these emulators and ways to play classic Flash games are pretty helpful if you want to relive the good old days. While Flash is now gone, many enthusiasts are only beginning to create ways where others can still enjoy those classic arcade challenges and side-scrolling worlds. Pick your favorite method and start playing.

Flash Games FAQs

Is Flash gone for good?

Yes, it is gone for good. Your browsers will never run Flash ever again. The only way to enjoy Flash files is to use emulators or find them in the Internet Archive.

What replaced Flash in modern browsers?

Some replacements are HTML 5, WebGL, and WebAssembly. These are much safer than Flash, which suffered from various security problems.

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