Building a Real-Time Multiplayer Game with Node.js and WebSockets

Online multiplayer games have become increasingly popular in recent years, with millions of people playing games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Minecraft with their friends and strangers from around the world. These games require a reliable real-time connection between players, which can be challenging to implement. In this article, we will explore how to build a real-time multiplayer game using Node.js and WebSockets.

What are WebSockets?

WebSockets are a protocol that enables bidirectional communication between a web client and a server in real time. Unlike traditional HTTP requests, which are unidirectional, WebSockets allow both the client and server to send data at any time. This makes them ideal for real-time applications like online multiplayer games.

Building a Real-Time Multiplayer Game with Node.js and WebSockets

To build a real-time multiplayer game with Node.js and WebSockets, we can use the ws package from npm. This package provides a Node.js implementation of the WebSocket protocol, making it easy to build real-time applications.

Here’s an example of how to use ws to create a simple multiplayer game:

const WebSocket = require('ws');

const server = new WebSocket.Server({ port: 8080 });

let players = [];

server.on('connection', socket => {
  console.log('New player connected');


  socket.on('message', message => {
    console.log(`Received message: ${message}`);

    // Broadcast message to all players except the sender
    players.filter(player => player !== socket).forEach(player => {

  socket.on('close', () => {
    console.log('Player disconnected');

    // Remove disconnected player from list of players
    players = players.filter(player => player !== socket);

In this example, we create a WebSocket server on port 8080 and listen for connections. When a new player connects, we add their socket to the list of players. We also listen for incoming messages and broadcast them to all players except the sender. Finally, we listen for the close event and remove the disconnected player from the list of players.

To test this server, we can create a simple HTML page with a WebSocket client that sends messages to the server:

    <input id="message" type="text" />
    <button onclick="send()">Send</button>

      const socket = new WebSocket('ws://localhost:8080');

      socket.onmessage = event => {
        console.log(`Received message: ${}`);

      function send() {
        const message = document.getElementById('message').value;

This HTML page creates a WebSocket client that connects to the server and sends messages when the “Send” button is clicked. The client also listens for incoming messages and logs them to the console.


Building a real-time multiplayer game with Node.js and WebSockets can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. By using the ws package from npm, we can easily implement a real-time connection between players and create a fun and engaging multiplayer experience. With the right tools and techniques, we can build games that bring people together from around the world and create lasting memories.