Unveiling the Magic: Runes in Svelte 5 — Brief overview

Unveiling the Magic: Runes in Svelte 5 — Brief overview

Svelte, a renowned web UI framework, has been celebrated for its ability to transform JavaScript into a reactive language. This transformation has made it a popular choice among developers looking to create dynamic and responsive web applications. The introduction of Svelte 5 has brought about a significant advancement in the form of "Runes".

What are Runes?

Runes are symbols that guide the Svelte compiler. They employ function syntax to achieve the same effects and more that Svelte previously accomplished using let, =, the export keyword, and the $: label. This new approach offers a more intuitive and efficient way to handle reactivity in Svelte.

For instance, to declare a piece of reactive state, we can use the $state rune¹:

let count = $state(0);
function increment() {
    count += 1;
<button on:click={increment}> clicks: {count} </button>

At first glance, this might seem like a step back. After all, wouldn’t it be better if let count is reactive by default? However, as applications grow in complexity, figuring out which values are reactive and which aren’t can get tricky¹. The introduction of runes helps to address this issue by making reactivity explicit.

Types of Runes

In Svelte 5, several types of runes have been introduced. Each of these runes serves a unique purpose and helps in making your code more efficient and manageable³. Here are some of the main ones:

  • $state(): This rune is used to declare a piece of reactive state. It allows you to explicitly define which variables in your code should be reactive.

  • $derived(): This rune is used to create a derived state. Derived state is a powerful feature that allows you to create new state variables that are automatically updated when their dependencies change.

  • $props(): This rune is used to declare reactive props³. Props are variables that are passed into a component from its parent. Making props reactive allows them to automatically update whenever their value changes.

  • $inspectI(): This rune is used for inspecting values. This can be useful for debugging, as it allows you to easily view the current value of a variable.

  • $effect(): This rune is used to run side effects. Side effects are actions that are performed as a result of a state change, such as making a network request or updating the DOM.

The Benefits of Runes

The overall effect of runes is to simplify the Svelte API for developers³. It will take some time to adjust to the new syntax and migrate existing code, but in general, the new approach really simplifies the process. By making reactivity explicit, it becomes easier to understand and manage the flow of data in your application.

With runes, reactivity extends beyond the boundaries of your .svelte files¹. This means you can encapsulate your logic in a way that could be reused between components¹. This promotes code reuse and modularity, which are key principles of good software design.


The introduction of runes in Svelte 5 represents a significant advancement in the framework’s capabilities. By providing a more intuitive and efficient way to handle reactivity, runes are set to revolutionize the way developers write code in Svelte.

Remember, while the new features are opt-in and your existing components will continue to work, it’s worth exploring what runes can offer to enhance your code¹. As with any new technology, there will be a learning curve, but the benefits of mastering runes are well worth the effort. Happy coding!