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#Writing scripts with Hardhat

In this guide we will go through the steps of creating a script with Hardhat. For a general overview of using Hardhat refer to the Getting started guide.

You can write your own custom scripts that can use all of Hardhat's functionality. A classic use case is writing a deployment script for your smart contracts.

There are two ways of writing a script that accesses the Hardhat Runtime Environment.

# Running scripts with the Hardhat CLI

You can write scripts that access the Hardhat Runtime Environment's properties as global variables.

These scripts must be run through Hardhat: npx hardhat run script.js.

This makes it easy to port scripts that were developed for other tools and that inject variables into the global state.

# Standalone scripts: using Hardhat as a library

The second option leverages Hardhat's architecture to allow for more flexibility. Hardhat has been designed as a library, allowing you to get creative and build standalone CLI tools that access your development environment. This means that by simply requiring it:

const hre = require("hardhat");

You can get access to all your tasks and plugins. To run these scripts you simply go through node: node script.js.

To try this out, let's look at a fresh Hardhat project. Run npx hardhat init and go through the steps to create a JavaScript project. When you're done, your project directory should look like this:

$ ls -l
total 400
drwxr-xr-x    3 fzeoli  staff      96 Jul 30 15:27 contracts
-rw-r--r--    1 fzeoli  staff     195 Jul 30 15:27 hardhat.config.js
drwxr-xr-x  502 fzeoli  staff   16064 Jul 30 15:31 node_modules
-rw-r--r--    1 fzeoli  staff  194953 Jul 30 15:31 package-lock.json
-rw-r--r--    1 fzeoli  staff     365 Jul 30 15:31 package.json
drwxr-xr-x    3 fzeoli  staff      96 Jul 30 15:27 scripts
drwxr-xr-x    3 fzeoli  staff      96 Jul 30 15:27 test

Inside scripts/ you will find deploy.js. Read through its comments to have a better idea of what it does.

// We require the Hardhat Runtime Environment explicitly here. This is optional
// but useful for running the script in a standalone fashion through `node <script>`.
// You can also run a script with `npx hardhat run <script>`. If you do that, Hardhat
// will compile your contracts, add the Hardhat Runtime Environment's members to the
// global scope, and execute the script.
const hre = require("hardhat");

async function main() {
  const currentTimestampInSeconds = Math.round(Date.now() / 1000);
  const unlockTime = currentTimestampInSeconds + 60;

  const lockedAmount = hre.ethers.parseEther("0.001");

  const lock = await hre.ethers.deployContract("Lock", [unlockTime], {
    value: lockedAmount,

  await lock.waitForDeployment();

    `Lock with ${ethers.formatEther(
    )}ETH and unlock timestamp ${unlockTime} deployed to ${lock.target}`

// We recommend this pattern to be able to use async/await everywhere
// and properly handle errors.
main().catch((error) => {
  process.exitCode = 1;

Now run the script:

$ node scripts/deploy.js
Lock with 1 ETH deployed to: 0x5FbDB2315678afecb367f032d93F642f64180aa3

By accessing the Hardhat Runtime Environment at the top, you are allowed to run the script in a standalone fashion.

Hardhat always runs the compile task when it's invoked via npx hardhat run, but in a standalone fashion you may want to call compile manually to make sure everything is compiled. This can be done by calling hre.run("compile"). Add the following line at the beginning of the main function and re-run the script with node:

await hre.run("compile");
$ node scripts/deploy.js
Nothing to compile
Lock with 1 ETH deployed to: 0x5FbDB2315678afecb367f032d93F642f64180aa3

#Hardhat arguments

You can still pass arguments to Hardhat when running a standalone script. This is done by setting environment variables. Some of these are:

  • HARDHAT_NETWORK: Sets the network to connect to.

  • HARDHAT_SHOW_STACK_TRACES: Enables JavaScript stack traces of expected errors.

  • HARDHAT_VERBOSE: Enables Hardhat verbose logging.

  • HARDHAT_MAX_MEMORY: Sets the maximum amount of memory that Hardhat can use.

For example, instead of doing npx hardhat --network localhost run script.js, you can do HARDHAT_NETWORK=localhost node script.js. Check our Environment variables reference to learn more about this.