How to Download Flash Games to Play Offline

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 hardly anything on the web uses Adobe Flash anymore, this wasn’t a huge loss aside from the one type of content that many people miss: Flash games.

Flash games were once wildly popular, as they let budding developers 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 to play them offline.


Flash Is No Longer Supported in Chrome and Other Browsers

Prior to 2021, you could still enable click-to-run for Flash in Chrome. This allowed you to choose what Flash content to run, while Chrome blocked it from running by default otherwise.

This is no longer available following the discontinuation of Flash. Thus, if you visit a site containing a Flash game, you’ll see a message like the one below.


Flash Not Supported Chrome message

Since you can’t run the Flash game inside your browser anymore, you’ll need to download it and run the Flash game offline. We walk through this below.

How to Download Flash Games

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll download a Flash game called New Super Mario 63. Unfortunately, you’ll need to repeat these steps for each game you want to download. It doesn’t take too long, so you should have a little local Flash game collection built up before long.

MAKEUSEOF VIDEO OF THE DAY

To begin, navigate to the page containing the Flash game you want to download. Where the game once was, you’ll see a puzzle piece icon with the Adobe Flash Player is no longer supported message mentioned above.

Thankfully, Flash being disabled won’t prevent you from downloading the game.

Step 1: View the Flash Game Page’s Source

Next, you’ll need to open the source code for the page hosting the game. Right-click anywhere on the page (aside from the game’s box) and hit View page source. The keyboard shortcut for this is Ctrl + U on Windows and Cmd + Option + U on macOS.

You’ll see a new page with the HTML source code of the page. Here, press Ctrl + F (Cmd + F on a Mac) to open the search box, and enter “.swf” to search for Flash files.


Chrome Find SWF File on Page

This should find at least one result, though it may have more depending on the page. The file you’re looking for typically contains the name of the game, so you can ignore installer files like expressInstall.swf.

In our example, the full link was the following:

https://supermarioflash.co/wp-content/uploads/games/custom/S/sm63game.swf

If you can’t find a Flash game file on the current site, you’ll have to track it down elsewhere first.

Some Flash games aren’t actually hosted on the website you discovered them on. If that’s the case, you won’t find the right file in the source code and will need to look elsewhere.

In the past, you could sometimes find this information on the game startup screen or main menu, but since you can’t play the Flash game in your browser anymore, that won’t work. Instead, try looking for a game credit on the page you’re visiting.

If there’s nothing there, a quick Google search for the game’s title should bring up additional pages that host it. Take a look at those and you should eventually find one that has the actual Flash file.


Find Flash Game Origin

In case all else fails, you can try File2HD, a tool that lists all the files on a site and allows you to download them. Enter the game page’s URL, agree to the terms, and hit Get Files. Here you can search for the SWF file using the Ctrl + F menu again.

Step 2: Download the SWF File

Now you can download the SWF file that contains the Flash game. Simply right-click the link ending in “.swf” that you found earlier and choose Save link as to download it to your computer.



Windows Download Flash Game

Make sure that the Save as type shows as Shockwave Flash Object, SWF File, or something similar. This confirms that the file is actually a Flash document. If it shows as an HTML page or something else, you either right-clicked in the wrong place or the URL doesn’t go to a Flash object.

If you plan to download several games, we recommend creating a new folder on your computer to keep them all together. You should consider backing up this directory so you don’t lose the games if something ever happens.

Step 3: Play Your Flash Games Locally

At this point, you might be wondering how you’ll actually play the Flash games since they’re not in a browser. As it turns out, many media player apps can handle SWF files (which are Flash objects). This lets you play them offline, getting around the problem of Flash not working in web browsers anymore.

On Windows, for instance, Windows Media Player will open SWF files. However, in our testing, it had issues detecting keyboard inputs. Thus if you plan to play Flash games offline, we recommend downloading Adobe’s local version of Flash Player. This is a tool intended for developers to open Flash files outside a browser, but it works for personal use, too.

Visit Adobe’s Debug Downloads page and click the Download the Flash Player projector content debugger link under Windows, Macintosh, or Linux depending on what platform you use. On Windows, you don’t even have to install it—just launch the downloaded file and you’ll have a Flash Player window.

Go to File > Open or drag and drop your downloaded SWF file onto the app to play it. From there, you’ll have an experience just like playing a Flash game in a browser.


Offline Flash Game Download

Handily, you can resize the window to change the size of the game. Right-click on the game, or use the toolbar buttons at the top, to change the zoom level or game quality. If you have any issues, check out our tips to improve the performance of Flash games.

Try Flashpoint for Easy Flash Game Downloading

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 up a large library. Thanks to the work of diligent developers, though, other tools allow you to enjoy tons of Flash games offline without downloading them yourself.

If you’re into Flash games, we recommend checking out Flashpoint. It’s a Flash preservation project that collects over 100,000 titles into one Flash game downloader, and is available in two versions.

Ultimate is over 800GB and contains all its Flash content in one package. Meanwhile, the smaller Infinity version downloads games the first time you play them, then keeps them for offline play afterward.

Either way, Flashpoint makes downloading Flash games as easy as searching for one and running it. It’s an essential tool for any Flash fan, and an important effort in video game preservation.

f 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 history for both video games and the internet. And now, in just a few minutes, you can preserve some of that lore and keep your favorite games around long past Flash’s end of life.

And while Flash games might be gone, there are plenty of other browser games that use HTML5 you can enjoy too.


html5-games-browser
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