12th July 2023

React Three Fiber vs. Three.js: Choosing the Right 3D Library

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Creating stunning 3D graphics and interactive web experiences has become increasingly popular in web development. Two powerful libraries, React Three Fiber and Three.js, have emerged as go-to choices for building 3D applications. In this blog, we'll compare these libraries to help you decide which one is the right choice for your project.

Understanding the Basics

  • Three.js: Three.js is a JavaScript library that provides a straightforward way to create 3D scenes and animations. It's widely used in web development and offers extensive features for 3D rendering, camera manipulation, and interaction. Three.js doesn't rely on any particular framework, making it versatile for various project setups.
  • React Three Fiber: React Three Fiber (R3F) is a library built on top of Three.js specifically for React applications. It seamlessly integrates Three.js functionality into a React component-based architecture. R3F simplifies the process of creating 3D scenes within a React application, allowing developers to manage the 3D world as part of the React rendering cycle.

Key Differences

Integration with React

  • Three.js: While Three.js can be used with React, it doesn't natively integrate with the React component lifecycle. This means you'll need to handle interactions between React and Three.js manually, which can become complex as your project grows.
  • React Three Fiber: R3F is designed with React in mind. It aligns the 3D rendering with React's component lifecycle, making it easier to manage your 3D scenes as part of your React application. This tight integration simplifies state management and interaction handling.

Declarative Approach

  • Three.js: Three.js is imperative, meaning you instruct it step by step. You need to specify how objects should be created, manipulated, and rendered in a more procedural manner.
  • React Three Fiber: R3F follows a declarative approach, similar to how you build UI in React. You describe what your 3D scene should look like, and R3F takes care of the underlying Three.js operations. This declarative style can lead to cleaner and more maintainable code.


  • Three.js: While Three.js provides more flexibility and control, it can be complex, especially for beginners. You need to manage camera views, scene graphs, and animation loops manually.
  • React Three Fiber: R3F abstracts some of the complexities of Three.js, making it more approachable for developers new to 3D programming. It simplifies common tasks and promotes a more structured development process.

Choosing the Right Library

Use Three.js When:

- You need maximum control and flexibility over your 3D application.

- Your project doesn't rely heavily on React or a component-based structure.

- You are experienced with Three.js or prefer a more manual approach to 3D development.

- You want to create a 3D application without the additional abstraction that React brings.

Use React Three Fiber When:

- You are already working within a React project or prefer a component-based structure.

- You want to take advantage of React's ecosystem and state management.

- You are new to 3D development or want a more declarative and beginner-friendly approach.

- You value a more straightforward integration of 3D into your React application.


Both React Three Fiber and Three.js are powerful tools for creating 3D web applications, but the choice depends on your specific project needs and your familiarity with React and 3D development. Three.js offers more control and versatility, while React Three Fiber streamlines the development process, particularly if you're already using React. Ultimately, your decision should align with your project's goals, your team's expertise, and your preference for either a declarative or imperative coding style.

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