# States

A state is an abstract representation of a system (such as an application) at a specific point in time. To learn more, read the section on states in our introduction to statecharts.

# API

The current state of a machine is represented by a State instance:













 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 

const lightMachine = createMachine({
  id: 'light',
  initial: 'green',
  states: {
    green: {
      /* ... */
    }
    // ...
  }
});

console.log(lightMachine.initialState);
// State {
//   value: 'green',
//   actions: [],
//   context: undefined,
//   // ...
// }

console.log(lightMachine.transition('yellow', { type: 'TIMER' }));
// State {
//   value: { red: 'walk' },
//   actions: [],
//   context: undefined,
//   // ...
// }

# State definition

A State object instance is JSON-serializable and has the following properties:

  • value - the current state value (e.g., {red: 'walk'})
  • context - the current context of this state
  • event - the event object that triggered the transition to this state
  • actions - an array of actions to be executed
  • activities - a mapping of activities to true if the activity started, or false if stopped.
  • history - the previous State instance
  • meta - any static meta data defined on the meta property of the state node
  • done - whether the state indicates a final state

The State object also contains other properties such as historyValue, events, tree and others that are generally not relevant and are used internally.

# State methods and properties

There are some helpful methods and properties you can use for a better development experience:

# state.matches(parentStateValue)

The state.matches(parentStateValue) method determines whether the current state.value is a subset of the given parentStateValue. The method determines if the parent state value “matches” the state value. For example, assuming the current state.value is { red: 'stop' }:

console.log(state.value);
// => { red: 'stop' }

console.log(state.matches('red'));
// => true

console.log(state.matches('red.stop'));
// => true

console.log(state.matches({ red: 'stop' }));
// => true

console.log(state.matches('green'));
// => false

TIP

If you want to match one of multiple states, you can use .some() (opens new window) on an array of state values to accomplish this:

const isMatch = [{ customer: 'deposit' }, { customer: 'withdrawal' }].some(
  state.matches
);

# state.nextEvents

state.nextEvents specifies the next events that will cause a transition from the current state:

const { initialState } = lightMachine;

console.log(initialState.nextEvents);
// => ['TIMER', 'EMERGENCY']

state.nextEvents is useful in determining which next events can be taken, and representing these potential events in the UI such as enabling/disabling certain buttons.

# state.changed

state.changed specifies if this state has changed from the previous state. A state is considered “changed” if:

  • Its value is not equal to its previous value, or:
  • It has any new actions (side-effects) to execute.

An initial state (with no history) will return undefined.

const { initialState } = lightMachine;

console.log(initialState.changed);
// => undefined

const nextState = lightMachine.transition(initialState, { type: 'TIMER' });

console.log(nextState.changed);
// => true

const unchangedState = lightMachine.transition(nextState, {
  type: 'UNKNOWN_EVENT'
});

console.log(unchangedState.changed);
// => false

# state.done

state.done specifies whether the state is a “final state” - a final state is a state that indicates that its machine has reached its final (terminal) state and can no longer transition to any other state.

const answeringMachine = createMachine({
  initial: 'unanswered',
  states: {
    unanswered: {
      on: {
        ANSWER: { target: 'answered' }
      }
    },
    answered: {
      type: 'final'
    }
  }
});

const { initialState } = answeringMachine;
initialState.done; // false

const answeredState = answeringMachine.transition(initialState, {
  type: 'ANSWER'
});
answeredState.done; // true

# state.toStrings()

The state.toStrings() method returns an array of strings that represent all of the state value paths. For example, assuming the current state.value is { red: 'stop' }:

console.log(state.value);
// => { red: 'stop' }

console.log(state.toStrings());
// => ['red', 'red.stop']

The state.toStrings() method is useful for representing the current state in string-based environments, such as in CSS classes or data-attributes.

# state.children

state.children is an object mapping spawned service/actor IDs to their instances. See 📖 Referencing Services for more details.

# Example using state.children

const machine = createMachine({
  // ...
  invoke: [
    { id: 'notifier', src: createNotifier },
    { id: 'logger', src: createLogger }
  ]
  // ...
});

const service = invoke(machine)
  .onTransition((state) => {
    state.children.notifier; // service from createNotifier()
    state.children.logger; // service from createLogger()
  })
  .start();

# state.hasTag(tag)

Since 4.19.0

The state.hasTag(tag) method determines whether the current state configuration has a state node with the given tag.





 


 


 




const machine = createMachine({
  initial: 'green',
  states: {
    green: {
      tags: 'go' // single tag
    },
    yellow: {
      tags: 'go'
    },
    red: {
      tags: ['stop', 'other'] // multiple tags
    }
  }
});

For instance, if the above machine is in the green or yellow state, instead of matching the state directly using state.matches('green') || state.matches('yellow'), it is possible to use state.hasTag('go'):

const canGo = state.hasTag('go');
// => `true` if in 'green' or 'yellow' state

# state.can(event)

Since 4.25.0

The state.can(event) method determines whether an event will cause a state change if sent to the interpreted machine. The method will return true if the state will change due to the event being sent; otherwise the method will return false:

const machine = createMachine({
  initial: 'inactive',
  states: {
    inactive: {
      on: {
        TOGGLE: 'active'
      }
    },
    active: {
      on: {
        DO_SOMETHING: { actions: ['something'] }
      }
    }
  }
});

const inactiveState = machine.initialState;

inactiveState.can('TOGGLE'); // true
inactiveState.can('DO_SOMETHING'); // false

// Also takes in full event objects:
inactiveState.can({
  type: 'DO_SOMETHING',
  data: 42
}); // false

const activeState = machine.transition(inactiveState, 'TOGGLE');

activeState.can('TOGGLE'); // false
activeState.can('DO_SOMETHING'); // true, since an action will be executed

A state is considered “changed” if state.changed is true and if any of the following are true:

  • its state.value changes
  • there are new state.actions to be executed
  • its state.context changes.

# Persisting state

As mentioned, a State object can be persisted by serializing it to a string JSON format:

const jsonState = JSON.stringify(currentState);

// Example: persisting to localStorage
try {
  localStorage.setItem('app-state', jsonState);
} catch (e) {
  // unable to save to localStorage
}

State can be restored using the static State.create(...) method:

import { State, interpret } from 'xstate';
import { myMachine } from '../path/to/myMachine';

// Retrieving the state definition from localStorage, if localStorage is empty use machine initial state
const stateDefinition =
  JSON.parse(localStorage.getItem('app-state')) || myMachine.initialState;

// Use State.create() to restore state from a plain object
const previousState = State.create(stateDefinition);

You can then interpret the machine from this state by passing the State into the .start(...) method of the interpreted service:

// ...

// This will start the service at the specified State
const service = interpret(myMachine).start(previousState);

This will also maintain and restore previous history states and ensures that .events and .nextEvents represent the correct values.

WARNING

Persisting spawned actors isn't yet supported in XState.

# State meta data

Meta data, which is static data that describes relevant properties of any state node, can be specified on the .meta property of the state node:

















 
 
 


 
 
 





 
 
 


 
 
 


 
 
 




const fetchMachine = createMachine({
  id: 'fetch',
  initial: 'idle',
  states: {
    idle: {
      on: { FETCH: { target: 'loading' } }
    },
    loading: {
      after: {
        3000: 'failure.timeout'
      },
      on: {
        RESOLVE: { target: 'success' },
        REJECT: { target: 'failure' },
        TIMEOUT: { target: 'failure.timeout' } // manual timeout
      },
      meta: {
        message: 'Loading...'
      }
    },
    success: {
      meta: {
        message: 'The request succeeded!'
      }
    },
    failure: {
      initial: 'rejection',
      states: {
        rejection: {
          meta: {
            message: 'The request failed.'
          }
        },
        timeout: {
          meta: {
            message: 'The request timed out.'
          }
        }
      },
      meta: {
        alert: 'Uh oh.'
      }
    }
  }
});

The current state of the machine collects the .meta data of all of the state nodes, represented by the state value, and places them on an object where:

  • The keys are the state node IDs
  • The values are the state node .meta values

For instance, if the above machine is in the failure.timeout state (which is represented by two state nodes with IDs "failure" and "failure.timeout"), the .meta property will combine all .meta values as follows:




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



const failureTimeoutState = fetchMachine.transition('loading', {
  type: 'TIMEOUT'
});

console.log(failureTimeoutState.meta);
// => {
//   failure: {
//     alert: 'Uh oh.'
//   },
//   'failure.timeout': {
//     message: 'The request timed out.'
//   }
// }

TIP: Aggregating meta data

What you do with meta data is up to you. Ideally, meta data should contain JSON-serializable values only. Consider merging/aggregating the meta data differently. For example, the following function discards the state node ID keys (if they are irrelevant) and merges the meta data:

function mergeMeta(meta) {
  return Object.keys(meta).reduce((acc, key) => {
    const value = meta[key];

    // Assuming each meta value is an object
    Object.assign(acc, value);

    return acc;
  }, {});
}

const failureTimeoutState = fetchMachine.transition('loading', {
  type: 'TIMEOUT'
});

console.log(mergeMeta(failureTimeoutState.meta));
// => {
//   alert: 'Uh oh.',
//   message: 'The request timed out.'
// }

# Notes

  • You should never have to create a State instance manually. Treat State as a read-only object that only comes from machine.transition(...) or service.onTransition(...).
  • state.history will not retain its history in order to prevent memory leaks. state.history.history === undefined. Otherwise, you end up creating a huge linked list and reinventing blockchain, which we don't care to do.
    • This behavior may be configurable in future versions.
Last Updated: 5/16/2022, 12:12:35 PM