How to Play Old Flash Games in 2023

Near the end of 2020, Adobe Flash was discontinued from service, signaling 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 2023

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 Alternatives

Since Adobe Flash Player became obsolete, you’re out of luck if you want to use it. Thankfully, a few methods were developed to help people relive the good-old Flash game days. Many enthusiasts have successfully preserved these old yet respectable and fun Flash games, and they released them for the world to enjoy.

Remember that you might have to install a few more things depending on the software you decide to run. Flash games are not very demanding to run, so you can always enjoy them even on a slower computer if needed.

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 its many security flaws. BlueMaxima, the company that created Flashpoint, worked with over 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.

Flashpoint runs 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 or 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.

The software comes in two versions, Flashpoint Ultimate, and Flashpoint Infinity. Flashpoint Ultimate is a master download containing all 90,000+ games and animations, requiring 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 600 GB of data compressed and 700 GB after extraction. Flashpoint Infinity is only 650 MB, but the file size increases 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. Download your chosen version of Flashpoint.
  3. Install Flashpoint.
  4. Launch Flashpoint.
  5. Select the game you want to play. If you’re using Flashpoint Infinity, you’ll need to download the game, which will load slowly as it downloads.
  6. Close the game. Now, it should run faster, and you can play it offline.
  7. 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 quickly get up and running.

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. Ruffle runs on your PC to address Flash’s initial security concerns.

While Ruffle is entirely open-source, it’s always in the development process. Actionscript 3 has increased from 5% API and 10% Language completion in 2022 to 59% API and 60% Language completion in 2023. If you don’t already know, Actionscript 3 replaced 1 and 2 in 2006, and games released after 2006 required it. It was not backward compatible with Actionscript 1 or 2.

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 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. You’ll see how to install the standalone edition further 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 to help them upgrade the software further.

Use the Internet Archives

The Internet Archive announced in 2020 that it would 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.

You can also upload your Flash creations to the existing games in The Internet Archive. Compared to Flashpoint and the Flash Game Archive, the Internet Archive has a limited number of games preserved. However, playing 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. Search for “flash games” or type a specific 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. Since more Flash games continue to get 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 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 games are free. 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 them on its 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 effectively they emulate your original Flash games. Feel free to try out what works for you.

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.

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 while online.

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 option is inherently superior.

In closing, emulators and browser extensions are methods to play classic Flash games 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.

4 thoughts on “How to Play Old Flash Games in 2023”

Jonathan says:
I have some pc games that need flash to play, how do I run those? for example time dreamer: temporal betrayal, and book of legends

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