A simpler way to useReducers


637260.5.13 years ago3 years agoMinified + gzip package size for use-methods in KB


use-methods Build Status


Pick your poison:

  • npm install use-methods
  • yarn add use-methods


This library exports a single React Hook, useMethods, which has all the power of useReducer but none of the ceremony that comes with actions and dispatchers. The basic API follows a similar pattern to useReducer:

const [state, callbacks] = useMethods(methods, initialState);

Instead of providing a single "reducer" function which is one giant switch statement over an action type, you provide a set of "methods" which modify the state or return new states. Likewise, what you get back in addition to the latest state is not a single dispatch function but a set of callbacks corresponding to your methods.

A full example:

import useMethods from 'use-methods';

function Counter() {

  const [
    { count }, // <- latest state
    { reset, increment, decrement }, // <- callbacks for modifying state
  ] = useMethods(methods, initialState);

  return (
      Count: {count}
      <button onClick={reset}>Reset</button>
      <button onClick={increment}>+</button>
      <button onClick={decrement}>-</button>

const initialState = { count: 0 };

const methods = state => ({
  reset() {
    return initialState;
  increment() {
  decrement() {

Note: the methods factory function must produce the same set of method names on every invocation.

Comparison to useReducer

Here's a more complex example involving a list of counters, implemented using useReducer and useMethods respectively:

useReducer vs useMethods comparison

Which of these would you rather write?


use-methods is built on immer, which allows you to write your methods in an imperative, mutating style, even though the actual state managed behind the scenes is immutable. You can also return entirely new states from your methods where it's more convenient to do so (as in the reset example above).

If you would like to use the patches functionality from immer, you can pass an object to useMethods that contains the methods property and a patchCallback property. The callback will be fed the patches applied to the state. For example:

const patchList: Patch[] = [];
const inverseList: Patch[] = [];

const methodsObject = {
  methods: (state: State) => ({
    increment() {
    decrement() {
  patchCallback: (patches: Patch[], inversePatches: Patch[]) => {

// ... and in the component
const [state, { increment, decrement }] = useMethods(methodsObject, initialState);


Like the dispatch method returned from useReducer, the callbacks returned from useMethods aren't recreated on each render, so they will not be the cause of needless re-rendering if passed as bare props to React.memoized subcomponents. Save your useCallbacks for functions that don't map exactly to an existing callback! In fact, the entire callbacks object (as in [state, callbacks]) is memoized, so you can use this to your deps array as well:

const [state, callbacks] = useMethods(methods, initialState);

// can pass to event handlers props, useEffect, etc:
const MyStableCallback = useCallback((x: number) => {  
  callbacks.someMethod('foo', x);
}, [callbacks]);

// which is equivalent to:
const MyOtherStableCallback = useCallback((x: number) => {
  callbacks.someMethod('foo', x);
}, [callbacks.someMethod]);


This library is built in TypeScript, and for TypeScript users it offers an additional benefit: one no longer needs to declare action types. The example above, if we were to write it in TypeScript with useReducer, would require the declaration of an Action type:

type Action =
  | { type: 'reset' }
  | { type: 'increment' }
  | { type: 'decrement' };

With useMethods the "actions" are implicitly derived from your methods, so you don't need to maintain this extra type artifact.

If you need to obtain the type of the resulting state + callbacks object that will come back from useMethods, use the StateAndCallbacksFor operator, e.g.:

const MyContext = React.createContext<StateAndCallbacksFor<typeof methods> | null>(null);

If you find any bugs or have a feature request, please open an issue on github!

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