Redux Essentials, Part 1: Redux Overview and Concepts

What You'll Learn
  • What Redux is and why you might want to use it
  • Key Redux terms and concepts
  • How data flows through a Redux app


Welcome to the Redux Essentials tutorial! This tutorial will introduce you to Redux and teach you how to use it the right way, using our latest recommended tools and best practices. By the time you finish, you should be able to start building your own Redux applications using the tools and patterns you've learned here.

In Part 1 of this tutorial, we'll cover the key concepts and terms you need to know to use Redux, and in Part 2: Redux App Structure we'll examine a basic React + Redux app to see how the pieces fit together.

Starting in Part 3: Basic Redux Data Flow, we'll use that knowledge to build a small social media feed app with some real-world features, see how those pieces actually work in practice, and talk about some important patterns and guidelines for using Redux.

How to Read This Tutorial

This page will focus on showing you how to use Redux the right way, and explain just enough of the concepts so that you can understand how to build Redux apps correctly.

We've tried to keep these explanations beginner-friendly, but we do need to make some assumptions about what you know already:


If you're not already comfortable with those topics, we encourage you to take some time to become comfortable with them first, and then come back to learn about Redux. We'll be here when you're ready!

You should make sure that you have the React and Redux DevTools extensions installed in your browser:

What is Redux?

It helps to understand what this "Redux" thing is in the first place. What does it do? What problems does it help me solve? Why would I want to use it?

Redux is a pattern and library for managing and updating application state, using events called "actions". It serves as a centralized store for state that needs to be used across your entire application, with rules ensuring that the state can only be updated in a predictable fashion.

Why Should I Use Redux?

Redux helps you manage "global" state - state that is needed across many parts of your application.

The patterns and tools provided by Redux make it easier to understand when, where, why, and how the state in your application is being updated, and how your application logic will behave when those changes occur. Redux guides you towards writing code that is predictable and testable, which helps give you confidence that your application will work as expected.

When Should I Use Redux?

Redux helps you deal with shared state management, but like any tool, it has tradeoffs. There are more concepts to learn, and more code to write. It also adds some indirection to your code, and asks you to follow certain restrictions. It's a trade-off between short term and long term productivity.

Redux is more useful when:

  • You have large amounts of application state that are needed in many places in the app
  • The app state is updated frequently over time
  • The logic to update that state may be complex
  • The app has a medium or large-sized codebase, and might be worked on by many people

Not all apps need Redux. Take some time to think about the kind of app you're building, and decide what tools would be best to help solve the problems you're working on.

  • Redux is a library for managing global application state
    • Redux is typically used with the React-Redux library for integrating Redux and React together
    • Redux Toolkit is the recommended way to write Redux logic
  • Redux uses a "one-way data flow" app structure
    • State describes the condition of the app at a point in time, and UI renders based on that state
    • When something happens in the app:
      • The UI dispatches an action
      • The store runs the reducers, and the state is updated based on what occurred
      • The store notifies the UI that the state has changed
    • The UI re-renders based on the new state
  • Redux uses several types of code
    • Actions are plain objects with a type field, and describe "what happened" in the app
    • Reducers are functions that calculate a new state value based on previous state + an action
    • A Redux store runs the root reducer whenever an action is dispatched

What's Next?

We've seen each of the individual pieces of a Redux app. Next, continue on to Part 2: Redux App Structure, where we'll look at a full working example to see how the pieces fit together.