How to download flash games to play offline
Adobe and all major web browsers ended support for Flash Player at the end of 2020. Since almost nothing on the web uses Adobe Flash anymore, it wasn’t a huge loss other than the single type content that many people miss: Flash games.
Flash games were once very popular because they allowed budding developers to share their creations with others. Unfortunately, since Flash is no longer supported, these games have effectively disappeared from the Internet.
We’ll show you how to download Flash games so you can continue playing them offline.
Flash is no longer supported in Chrome and other browsers
Before 2021, you could still enable one-click execution for Flash in Chrome. This let you choose which Flash content to run, while Chrome prevented it from running by default otherwise.
This is no longer available following the discontinuation of Flash. So, if you visit a site containing a Flash game, you will see a message like the one below.
Since you can no longer run the Flash game in your browser, you will need to download and run the Flash game offline. We walk through that below.
How to download flash games
For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll be downloading a Flash game called New Super Mario 63. Unfortunately, you’ll have to repeat these steps for each game you want to download. It doesn’t take too long, so you should have a small local Flash game collection built up before long.
To get started, navigate to the page containing the Flash game you wish to download. Where the game was, you will see a puzzle piece icon with the Adobe Flash Player is no longer supported message mentioned above.
Luckily, disabling Flash won’t prevent you from downloading the game.
Step 1: View Flash Game Page Source
Next, you will need to open the source code of the page hosting the game. Right-click anywhere on the page (apart from the game box) and press Show page source. The keyboard shortcut for this is CTRL+U under Windows and Command + Option + U on macOS.
You will see a new page with the HTML source code for the page. Here press CTRL+F (Command + F on a Mac) to open the search box and type “.swf” to search for Flash files.
This should find at least one result, although it may have more depending on the page. The file you are looking for usually contains the name of the game, so you can skip installation files like expressInstall.swf.
In our example, the full link was:
If you can’t find a Flash game file on the current site, you’ll need to find it elsewhere first.
If you can’t find the right flash game link
Some Flash games are not hosted on the website where you discovered them. If so, you won’t find the correct file in the source code and will have to look elsewhere.
In the past, you could sometimes find this information on the game’s splash screen or main menu, but since you can no longer play the Flash game in your browser, it won’t work. Instead, try searching for game credit on the page you are visiting.
If there isn’t, a quick Google search for the title of the game should bring up additional pages that host it. Take a look at these and you should eventually find one that contains the actual Flash file.
If all else fails, you can try File2HD, a tool that lists all files on a site and lets you download them. Enter the URL of the game page, accept the conditions and click on Get files. Here you can search for the SWF file using the CTRL+F menu again.
Step 2: Download the SWF file
You can now download the SWF file that contains the Flash game. Just right click on the link ending in “.swf” you found earlier and choose Save link as to download it to your computer.
Make sure the save as type shows like Shockwave Flash Object, SWF file, or something similar. This confirms that the file is indeed a Flash document. If it’s displayed as an HTML or other page, either you right-clicked in the wrong place, or the URL doesn’t reach a Flash object.
If you plan to download multiple games, we recommend creating a new folder on your computer to keep them all together. You should consider backing up this directory so that you don’t lose the games if something happens.
Step 3: Play your Flash games locally
At this point, you might be wondering how you’re actually going to play Flash games since they’re not in a browser. It turns out that many media player apps can handle SWF files (which are Flash objects). This allows you to read them offline, bypassing the issue of Flash no longer working in web browsers.
On Windows, for example, Windows Media Player will open SWF files. However, in our tests, it had issues detecting keyboard inputs. So, if you plan to play Flash games offline, we recommend that you download the local version of Adobe Flash Player. This is a tool for developers to open Flash files outside of a browser, but it also works for personal use.
Visit Adobe’s debug downloads page and click the Download Flash Player Projector Content Debugger link under the Windows, macintosh, Where linux depending on the platform you are using. On Windows, you don’t even need to install it. Just launch the downloaded file and you will have a Flash Player window.
Go to File > Open or drag and drop your downloaded SWF file to the app to play it. From there, you’ll have an experience similar to playing a Flash game in a browser.
Practically, you can resize the window to change the size of the game. Right click on the game or use the buttons on the toolbar at the top to change the zoom level or the quality of the game. If you have any problems , check out our tips for improving Flash game performance.
Try Flashpoint for easy Flash game download
While this method works well for grabbing a local copy of a few Flash games, it will take a long time if you want to build a large library. Thanks to the hard work of developers, however, other tools allow you to enjoy tons of Flash games offline without downloading them yourself.
If you love Flash games, we recommend checking out Flashpoint. It is a Flash preservation project that collects more than 100,000 titles in a single Flash game downloader, and is available in two versions.
Ultimate is over 800 GB and contains all of its Flash content in a single package. Meanwhile, the smaller version of Infinity downloads the games the first time you play it, then stores them for offline play afterwards.
Either way, Flashpoint makes downloading Flash games as easy as finding one and playing it. It’s an essential tool for any Flash fan and an important effort in the preservation of video games.
If you don’t like it for some reason, there are other ways to play Flash games without downloading them yourself.
Download and play your favorite flash games offline
Now you know how to download Flash games from the Internet and play them without a browser. Flash games are an important part of the history of video games and the Internet. And now, in just minutes, you can keep some of that tradition alive and keep your favorite games long after Flash’s end of life.
And while Flash games may be gone, there are plenty of other browser games using HTML5 that you can enjoy as well.
Here is a list of free HTML5 browser games you can play without Flash. You will never need to be bored at work again.
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