Can I Play Flash Games on iPad or Android?

Most of the old Adobe Flash games no longer work. See below for explanation. There are a few exceptions (see "Ruffle Flash" below).

For the current online games, please visit the Free Online Brain Games page.

Yes, you can. I play flash games on my iPad Mini, as I describe below. The trick is to play them in a browser that supports Adobe Flash software.

(This solution also works on Android devices. I play flash games on my Verizon LG G3 phone.)

It turns out Apple has been fighting with Adobe, so you can't view Adobe Flash SWF objects on your iPad normally. On major browsers like Safari and Chrome, you'll see a blank spot where the flash game should be.

However, there are a few special browsers that do support Flash. You can download the browsers to your iPad from the App Store.

The Puffin browser works best for playing flash games, in my experience. In addition to Flash support, the side-swipe menu in Puffin provides very useful options for configuring and playing the games.

Game options include full-screen "Theater" mode, Mouse Trackpad, Keyboard, and on-screen Gamepad with programmable buttons.

ipad flash

Puffin claims to be the quickest mobile browser, but I have sometimes noticed a brief delay (lag) during fast-paced games such as Cube Field or Neon Rider. On the other hand, puzzle games, board games, card games, math games, word games, and other types of brain games are usually playable, especially on a wi-fi connection.

You can download the Puffin browser from the App Store on your iPad. They also have a website,, where you can learn more about the browser. There is a free version which has temporary Flash support and a paid version with permanent Flash support.

Below are some tips on using the Puffin browser to play the flash games on an iPad, using the games on my website as examples.

Theater mode is basically a Maximize button for flash games on the iPad. It lets you view the flash game in full-screen view.

Activating the full-screen mode is easy: Open the flash game, then slide open Puffin's side-swipe menu from the left or right side of the screen, and then press the Theater icon. The game should expand and fill your iPad screen.

When you're ready to exit the flash game, first close Theater mode. This redisplays the 'X' (Close) button in the upper left corner of the game.

Mouse Trackpad

No mouse for your iPad? No problem. The Mouse Trackpad in the Puffin browser puts a virtual mousepad and pointer right on your screen.

ipad flash

Use the Mouse Trackpad to play any flash game you would normally play with a mouse. To activate the Trackpad, first open the flash game. Then open Puffin's side-swipe menu and press the Trackpad icon.

A Trackpad (mousepad) appears on screen. You should also see a white mouse arrow. To move the arrow, slide your finger on the Trackpad. To click the mouse, move the arrow into position, then tap the Trackpad.

In the image above, I'm playing 3D Logic on my iPad Mini using the Puffin Trackpad. To rotate the cube, I slide my finger on the Trackpad with the pointer hovering over the cube. To select (click) a colored square, I slide the arrow over the square then tap the Trackpad.


ipad flash

Pressing the Keyboard icon displays a standard iPad keyboard. The keyboard is useful for flash games that involve typing letters or numbers. Brain Racer, a math game, is one example.

To display the keyboard, open Puffin's side-swipe menu, then press the Keyboard icon. The keyboard displays below the game.

TIP: If the keyboard covers part of the flash game, rotate your iPad vertically into portrait mode. This makes the game smaller but frees room on screen to display both game and keyboard without overlap (see image at right).

To be honest, I haven't had much luck playing flash games that require fast typing. The iPad's hunt-and-peck keyboard is just too awkward and slow compared to the typing speed I get on an actual keyboard.

For high-speed typing games, such as Typing Tidepool, stick with playing them on a real keyboard and PC or Mac.


Some flash games require controls for both movement and keyboard. To play those flash games on your iPad, use the Gamepad feature in Puffin. The on-screen Gamepad combines an Up/Down/Left/Right movement controller with 4 programmable buttons.

ipad flash

Above, I'm using the Gamepad to play a flash game on my iPad Mini. Circled in red are the two parts of the Gamepad controller.

The first part, in the lower left of the screen, is a four-way movement controller. The second part, in the lower right, is a group of four programmable buttons.

To display the Gamepad controller, first open the flash game. Then open the Puffin side-swipe menu and press the Gamepad icon.

Movement Controller. The four arms of the cross-shaped controller in the lower-left are pre-assigned as Up, Down, Left and Right movement buttons. These controls are useful in flash games where you need to move a character through a maze or other scene.

For example, in the game above, I'm using the movement buttons to walk the characters through the pirate ship.

Programmable Buttons. The four round buttons in the lower right are pre-assigned as Up, Down, Left, and Right movement buttons, but they can be changed. Click the wrench icon near these buttons to display a list of possible values.

For example, as described in this game's help screen, there are several keyboard commands used to perform actions during the game.

The help screen says to press the 'S' key to save the game, press 'T' to select from inventory, press 'P' to pause the game, and press Spacebar to perform actions on the ship.

So I reprogrammed the Up, Down, Left, and Right buttons on the right side of the Gamepad as follows:

  • Up button became the Spacebar button

  • Left button became the Save button

  • Down button became the Pause button

  • Right button became the Inventory button

To reassign buttons, click the wrench icon next to the buttons to enter Edit mode. Then click the first button you want to program. This displays a list of possible keyboard commands that you can assign to that button.

I'm impressed by the long list of commands that can be selected. They include:

  • Alphanumeric keys (A through Z, and 0 through 9)

  • Directional keys (Up, Down, Left, Right)

  • Function keys (F1 through F12)

  • Punctuation keys (including +, -, period, semicolon, brackets, slash, and more)

  • Other keyboard keys (Esc, Tab, Enter, Backspace, Space, L. Shift, R. Shift, L. Ctrl, R. Ctrl, Left Alt, Right Alt, Insert, Delete, Home, End, PageUp, and PageDown)

To assign a keyboard function to the Gamepad button, simply tap the function in the list. For example, from the help screen in this flash game I knew that Spacebar was for actions. So while editing the top button, I tapped on Spacebar in the list.

After you practice with the Gamepad a few times, you'll see that it's intuitive and not difficult to program.

A Note About Slow Response and Lag

There was a time when I thought there would NEVER be a way to play flash games on the iPad. So I'm grateful for browsers like Puffin that now enable iPad owners to play flash games on their portable Apple devices. Having said that, slow response time and lag during game play can occur.

Whether these are minor issues you can ignore or severe enough to make the games unplayable depends on your iPad's processor, your internet connection speed, and other factors. If you find playing flash games on your iPad overly frustrating due to poor Flash performance, my suggestion would be to first try playing slower-paced flash games like board games or card & tile games before you give up.

The developers at Puffin and other related browsers are working to improve their Flash support. So I would expect the performance of Flash on the iPad in these browsers to get even better over time.

Same Solution on Android Device

Here is a screen shot I took while playing Scrabble Sprint on my Verizon LG G3 Android phone:

android flash

If you see a blank screen on your Android phone or tablet when opening the free flash games on, try opening this site in the Puffin browser as described above. There is a free version of Puffin in the Google Play Store as well as a paid version.

Published: 04/24/2014
Last Updated: 06/11/2020

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