The perfect size for a Flash game

When you are about to design a Flash game, one of the first things you must consider is the size of the stage.

Those “width” and “height” parameters must be set carefully. A size too small allows limited gameplay, while a big one can cause problems to users playing at not-so-high resolutions on not-so-powerful computers, such as netbooks.

While you should set the stage size according to the gameplay (a Tetris clone should have a portrait size, while a Metro Siberia Underground clone should have a landscape size), it’s interesting to have a brief overview about other games’ size.

Thanks to my MochiAds plugin for WordPress I collected the sizes of 7,873 games and made some queries to obtain some interesting stats.

This won’t tell you the perfect size for a Flash game, but it will help you to know the most used game sizes

Width Height
Average 617 469
Max 1280 900
Min 300 207
Most used 550 (23%)
600 (15%)
640 (13%)
400 (31%)
480 (12%)
600 (10%)

And this is the top 5 chart of the most used resolutions:

1) 550×400 (18%)
2) 640×480 (11%)
3) 600×400 (6%)
4) 800×600 (5%)
5) 750×530 (2%)

What’s your favorite Flash game size?

  • Xodus

    Well, i usually base my flash game size (unless it is a tetris or metro game or the like) by the golden ratio, which is the most comfortable size for the human eye. if the height is x, the width is 1.61x

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  • Nice idea Xodus, I’m going to try that with my next game I think.

  • New

    What’s with the music on the mainpage oO

  • stupid

    I use 750×500

  • Mine is 640px width * 480 px height.

  • If you want more resolution data, check out http://mochiads.com/zeitgeist

  • kyong

    The music is from the “Designing the structure of a Flash game – AS3 version – Part 6″ post.

  • No surprise that 550×400 is at the top. Lazy people :)
    I use 640×480 almost exclusively.

  • Thanks for doing this research. It’s spooky – I just posted this analysis of the topic on my blog today:

    http://blog.iainlobb.com/2009/04/flash-games-dimensions-resolution-and.html

    I like a size of about 700 x 400 – but read my post and let me know your thoughts.

  • The bigger it is the worse, both for Websites and users. This has not occured to some people, but maybe your guide will help. Thanks!

  • I’m 780 x 600 and 35 fps all the way.

    There are two trends:

    1 for users to have bigger monitors for desktops
    2 for users to have laptops instead of desktops

    I find 780 x 600 is suitable for laptops (as long as the user doesn’t have five toolbars). And also, I’m personally not a fan of small-stage games. As a developer, I find the small stage limiting.

  • I am surprized! Not one of the popular dimensions follows the “Golden Rule – 1:1.6″ … maybe moderns prefer unbalanced instead of nature’s perfect shapes?

  • I’m a fan of 500×400, 400×400, 400×300, 300×300 and of course the lovely, lazy 550×400.

    Of course, the stage size is something to expermient with. A smaller stage size leaves less blankspace you’d otherwise have to fill. Less clutter!

  • I was looking for common resolutions a couple weeks ago when deciding the resolution for a new project. In the end, I settled for 480×600 because it fit best with the type of game and seemed to be a somewhat common resolution. Looks like I might’ve had that backwards, though.

    A question about resolution; does processing required for a flash movie go up linearly or exponentially as you go up in pixels? An 800×600 flash seems like it would be very intensive.

  • Arby

    Ezion: Yes. Bigger dimensions = slow rendering for the Flash player. However, if you code in AS3, this is less of an issue.

    550×400 is most popular eh? That’s the default stage size in Flash. Haha

  • Minie

    I am making a dress up game.It has quite a lot of parts so 1024×748 works best for me since all images are photoshop imported and have their own dimensions and resolution…I could go smaller but not too much.
    I have trouble when testing flash movie because it only shows part of a whole thing, like 1/4. I can expand it a little with window expanding but not nearly enough.
    What to do?

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  • Jumpkut

    I like to use 720×480.
    It just seems appealing to me!

    • Pat

      Haha! That’s the standard DV NTSC resolution for video! Why not just go HD 1080p? :P

  • Anonymous

    640 x 400 fits the golden ratio.

  • hi guys,
    the frame size is fine, lets say 640*480. but what DPI do i set if i want to build the stage in photoshop?

  • malu

    nadav, for digital applications, you should use 72 dpi photoshop templates
    hope it helps!

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  • What ever happened to good old Phi (AKA the Golden Ratio AKA the half of the sum of root 5 and 1)?
    Choose a height, and multiply it by 1.61803398875 (or choose a width and divide it by Phi).

    580×360???

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  • Nyle

    very nice of you to label this post as the perfect size for a flash game only to tell us there is no perfect size!

  • thanks for this. its really thanks full. i think 800 x 600 is best for a clear view