search icon

A plugin for web browsers that allows users to play action games on the web

A plugin for web browsers that allows users to play action games on the web

Vote: (731 votes)

Program license: Free

Program by: Adobe


Works under: Windows

Also available for Mac


Program license

(731 votes)


Program by



Works under:

Also available for



For many years now, the Adobe brand has been at the forefront of PC entertainment, most notably for its Flash player which is the most widely used player on the planet, but also for the Adobe Shockwave game engine, which is also incredibly popular.

An Overview of Adobe Shockwave Player

If you have a PC and have played games before, you have likely used a piece of Adobe software to do it. A lot of the games you'll find online are compatible with Flash, particularly side-scroller games and other games with simpler levels. However, FPS games and even RPGs mostly rely on the Adobe Shockwave Player. So if you haven't downloaded this yet, it's something you may want to download.

Many big name developers online, and especially start-ups, rely entirely on Shockwave and haven't upgraded to other platforms yet. This is because Shockwave is easy to manage, upgrades regularly, and costs nothing to download. In fact, all you have to do is load up a game that requires Shockwave and you will be prompted to install it, so you don't even have to technically visit their website.

What Adobe Shockwave Player Is and What It Does

You will find that Shockwave provides you with a lot of action. Now, it's not the sort of platform that's going to offer the graphically intense experiences that you would get on a gaming console, or on those high-dollar gaming PC rigs with big-name games, but for mid-level gaming, the Shockwave player is a pretty good addition to your software. The best thing about Shockwave for browser-based gaming is that it's not in the way. You can download it and only take up a few MBs of space, and when it's not in use, you're never even going to notice that it's there. It's something that's folded into your browser's functionality, not an icon program on the desktop.

With the Shockwave player, you get a great frame rate, good graphics, and HD gaming without needing to have an expensive gaming rig. And the fact is that most browser-based games you're going to find online will require Shockwave, so it's a program you may actually have to download if you want to play certain types of games. In other words, Adobe Shockwave Player isn't so much a program as it is a plug-in. What this means, in a nutshell, is that it's incredibly compact and lightweight, leaving practically zero footprint, and it will download and install in seconds. And when a new version rolls out and you don't like it, you can always just revert back to the old player you used to have so you won't be stuck with the update if you don't like it.

Pros and Cons


  • Player is 100% free
  • Shockwave is very lightweight with no footprint
  • This plug-in powers millions of games as an engine
  • Frequently updated and is great at handling bugs


  • Some games still require sufficient PC power
  • Not as detailed as other engines on the market
  • Maybe have to manually activate browser plug-ins

Screenshots of Adobe ShockWave Player