This is an experimental technology
Check the Browser compatibility table carefully before using this in production.

The Animation.playState property of the Web Animations API returns and sets an enumerated value describing the playback state of an animation.

This property is read-only for CSS Animations and Transitions.


var currentPlayState = Animation.playState;

Animation.playState = newState;


The current time of the animation is unresolved and there are no pending tasks.
The animation is running.
The animation was suspended and the Animation.currentTime property is not updating.
The animation has reached one of its boundaries and the Animation.currentTime property is not updating.

Previously, Web Animations defined a pending value to indicate that some asynchronous operation such as initiating playback was yet to complete. This is now indicated by the separate Animation.pending property.


In the Growing/Shrinking Alice Game example, players can get an ending with Alice crying into a pool of tears. In the game, for performance reasons, the tears should only be animating when they're visible. So they must be paused as soon as they are animated like so:

// Setting up the tear animations

tears.forEach(function(el) {  
      delay: getRandomMsRange(-1000, 1000), // randomized for each tear
      duration: getRandomMsRange(2000, 6000), // randomized for each tear
      iterations: Infinity,
      easing: 'cubic-bezier(0.6, 0.04, 0.98, 0.335)'

// Play the tears falling when the ending needs to be shown. 

tears.forEach(function(el) {;

// Reset the crying tears animations and pause them.

tears.forEach(function(el) {  
  el.currentTime = 0;


Specification Status Comment
Web Animations
The definition of 'playState' in that specification.
Working Draft Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

FeatureChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafari
Basic support391 ?


36 — 483

No261 No
FeatureAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge mobileFirefox for AndroidOpera AndroidiOS SafariSamsung Internet
Basic support391391 ?


36 — 483

261 No4.0

1. Before Chrome 50/Opera 37, this property returned idle for an animation that had not yet started. Starting with Chrome 50/Opera 37, it shows paused.

2. Prior to Firefox 59, this property returned pending for Animations with incomplete asynchronous operations but as of Firefox 59 this is indicated by the separate Animation.pending property. This reflects recent changes to the specification.

3. From version 36 until version 48 (exclusive): this feature is behind the dom.animations-api.core.enabled preference (needs to be set to true). To change preferences in Firefox, visit about:config.

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

Last updated by: fscholz,