Things in life change. Changes are never easy. But sometimes they are worth it.
I have been asked “Should I learn Phaser 3 or Phaser 2?” so often, it is easier just to write a blog post about it and give out the link. Many of us have gone through this choice before when facing the choice between Flash ActionScript 2 or 3. I’ll discuss Phaser 3 vs Phaser 2 in this post, and I’m including Phaser CE as part of Phaser 2, as I believe the arguments made apply to all past versions.
If you are looking for the short answer, you should learn Phaser 3. If that is not enough of an answer for you then check out the reasons why below.
It has the Focus
I’m going to make the assumption that you’re either working on a game or thinking about working on a game. If you’re like me you have a game on your hard drive that you stopped working on. maybe it didn’t work out maybe you just lost interest or maybe a new project came along and that stole your focus. Phaser 3 has the focus. While Phaser 2 is probably getting more attention than the game on your laptop collecting dust, But Phaser 3 is where the passion is. Phaser 3 is like the game that you can’t stop thinking about when you’re going to sleep. It is the future.
New Toys to Play With!
Phaser 3 is adding a lot of new features. Every month there is some improvement. Currently, I’m looking to try the Shape Game Objects. There isn’t anything Phaser 2 can do that Phaser 3 can not. If you stick with Phaser 2, sooner or later you are going to want to use a cool feature that you saw in someone else’s game and you’ll be stuck.
The argument I’ve heard most often for learning Phaser 2 is from coders who have not picked up on Phaser yet at all, is the number of examples and documentation. Right now Phaser 2 documentation has had a head start. That lead will not last. Almost all new content will be on Phaser 3. There is already sufficient information to get started with Phaser 3. Those of us who write Phaser content have already made the switch. Personally, I already have an ebook done, and a Skillshare course. I am also in the middle of a new Phaser 3 Udemy course. I’ll also be adding to the YouTube channel lots this year. I’m not the only one. Check out this list below.
Phaser 3 has been rebuilt
Occasionally, I have to rewrite a game or app I’ve built. I’m doing a lot of that currently. I spent a lot of 2011-2015 writing flash games and virtual worlds. Now I am re-writing all of those in Phaser. As I’m going through the old code I am remembering changes I wanted to put it the first time. I ran out of time back then. Now I get to put in the improvements. Whenever I have to write something for the second time I write it faster and better. It is logical to think the same has happened with Phaser 3 and that it is a more refined product.
You can always pick up Phaser 2 later
Sometimes I’ve had to learn an early version of a language. This is usually when I’ve taken a job that requires me to work on existing code. It is always easier to learn the older version that to upgrade. If you are just starting out and you learn Phaser 2 to start with, you’ll eventually have to learn Phaser 3. If you are just going to be making games for yourself, it makes no sense to learn both.
Code features will never keep up with our imaginations but shouldn’t you use the best possible tools available? So if you have been on the fence, I urge you to dive into Phaser 3!