Hardhat is a development environment for Ethereum software. It consists of different components for editing, compiling, debugging and deploying your smart contracts and dApps, all of which work together to create a complete development environment.
To get started check out these sections:
If you are in doubt about which component you are looking for, you can start here.
Hardhat Runner is the main component you interact with when using Hardhat. It's a flexible and extensible task runner that helps you manage and automate the recurring tasks inherent to developing smart contracts and dApps. Learn more.
Hardhat comes built-in with Hardhat Network, a local Ethereum network node designed for development. It allows you to deploy your contracts, run your tests and debug your code, all within the confines of your local machine. Learn more.
Hardhat for Visual Studio Code is a VS Code extension that adds language support for Solidity and provides editor integration for Hardhat projects. Learn more.
Hardhat Chai Matchers adds Ethereum-specific capabilities to the Chai assertion library, making your smart contract tests easy to write and read. Among other things, you can assert that a contract fired certain events, or that it exhibited a specific revert, or that a transaction resulted in specific changes to a wallet's Ether or token balance. Learn more.