NEW: Cyberball 5.0 has now been released!

Made possible by NSF grant award #1339160.
Here are some of the new features in this latest version of Cyberball (v5.2.9):
  1. Online version that does not require the experimenter to setup their own webserver.
  2. Online and desktop versions that integrate well (particularly the online version) with Qualtrics.
  3. Integration with MediaLab through the desktop version.
  4. Create a single Cyberball experiment file that can be used on the online version or on the Windows desktop version.
  5. Ability to run Cyberball on mobile devices (within a browser).
  6. Customization of schedules and throws including custom messaging (at the game and individual player level), custom throw delays, etc.

Please visit the Cyberball download page at to download the configuration, play apps, and manual.

Cyberball 4.0


  • Cyberball is an open-source virtual ball-toss game that can be used for research on ostracism, social exclusion or rejection. It has also been used to study discrimination and prejudice.
  • It is in beta form and needs testing. You may download it for free, but we ask that you help us make it better and that you cite the software in publications (see below).
  • Cyberball versions 1-3 were developed by Kip Williams and colleagues. Cyberball 4.0 [beta] was re-developed to run on any web browser via HTML5 by David Yeager and colleagues.
  • A list of published articles using Cyberball can be found here.

Note: For ethical reasons we recommend that Cyberball experiments ARE NOT conducted over the web without an opportunity for in-person debriefing by a trained experimenter.
To download Cyberball 4.0 [beta], click the image below:

Cyberball will work on Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 9 or above (not IE 8 or below). For an example of an installed version, click HERE (try it on an iPad!).
(Note: this is hosted on a demonstration server. Please don't use it for actual research, as the server is not intended for such use and may not be reliable. If you want to use the 4.0 version for research, please download and host it somewhere suitable for your research needs.)

For an example of a Qualtrics survey set up to randomly assign to exclusion or inclusion, followed by the standard post-cyberball questions, click here (). (If you have a Qualtrics account, you can download this survey template to import into Qualtrics ).

For help with Cyberball, please click HERE to download and read the user manual. To ask questions, please post in the discussion section of this wiki and they will be answered by members of David Yeager's research team. If you post questions and answers publicly, this will help future researchers who have the same questions. You may also email David Yeager's research team at cyberballhelp AT

Martin Sona (Maastricht University) also has had great experience using exteral help. If you have trouble setting it up or if you want to make some custom changes to your code the contact behind the link will most likely be able to help you. The freelancer has worked on cyberball many times.

Note: David Yeager's lab currently only can give advice on embedding Cyberball within Qualtrics, a survey software, because that's all they have used so far. Many universities can obtain a free account for students and faculty (visit: Compatibility with MediaLab is possible and we're finalizing instructions on that right now. In the meantime, if you learn how to use Cyberball with other software, please post instructions in the discussion section.

Kipling D. Williams, David S. Yeager, Christopher K.T. Cheung, and Wilma Choi

Williams, K.S., Yeager, D.S., Cheung, C.K.T., & Choi, W. (2012). Cyberball (version 4.0) [Software]. Available from

Blair Jarvis, Empirisoft (; Qian Wang, Stanford University; Grace Porter, Stanford University.

University of New South Wales School of Psychology; Macquarie University Department of Psychology; Purdue University Department of Psychological Sciences; Australian Research Council; National Science Foundation; The Thrive Foundation for Youth.

Reproduced features from Cyberball 3

  • Play with 3 or 4 players, with all of the settings files that appeared in Cyberball 3
  • Change the names and pictures of the players
  • Save log files of every throw in the game

NEW features in Cyberball 4.0

  • Settings (e.g. names, pictures, conditions) that are set in a URL, to allow for integration with experimental software.
  • An optional chat box, with comments time-stamped and logged in a log file.
  • A "spectate" condition that allows a player to watch Cyberball being played, with any combination of settings.
  • The participant can click anywhere on another player to throw the ball.
  • Other features that are in development...

Overview and History of Cyberball 4.0

For a history of Cyberball versions 1-3, click here.

Cyberball 4.0 was designed to create a "future proof" version of the popular Cyberball 3 program that was also easier to administer in diverse experimental settings and that could be seamlessly integrated with web-based surveys. It is currently in beta version, which means that although it is fully ready to be used in experiments, there are features that need improvement and testing.

It started as a project to redesign Cyberball just to suit the research needs in David Yeager's lab, which entailed mass administration of Cyberball experiments in high school settings as a part of randomized interventions. The old version of Cyberball 3 required installing Java on local computers, which was not easily accomplished in schools where there was administrator passwords. In addition, survey software such as Qualtrics could not redirect to Cyberball, and MediaLab could not be installed on these computers, making random assignment to condition logistically taxing. Finally, Cyberball 3 increasingly was incompatible with newer versions of Internet Explorer, Windows, and Mac OSX.

To solve these problems and others, Cyberball 4.0 was re-created from scratch in the new industry standard for web-based games, HTML5. Unlike Java or Flash, no software is needed to run the program in HTML5. Every modern web browser has HTML5 (note: only the latest Internet Explorer is compatible). This includes browsers on smartphones and tablets, meaning that Cyberball experiments can now be conducted on iPhones and iPads (note that while Apple iOS does not allow Flash games, it does allow HTML5 games, meaning that Cyberball 4.0 will be fully compatible with all mobile devices for the foreseeable future). Thus, for the first time, Cyberball experiments can be conducted easily in naturalistic settings on web-enabled mobile devices, allowing for potentially greater access to difficult-to-reach populations and for potentially greater ecological validity.

Cyberball 4.0 also improves on another limitation of Cyberball 3: seamless integration with web-based survey software. It does this by having a new method for selecting the settings files: parameters in the web-address (or URL). These parameters can be set by a web survey software and then piped into the URL, either as an iframe or as a redirect link. For example, a player can answer a question earlier in a survey--such as a nickname, or a picture--and then that nickname or picture can be associated with their own player when the Cyberball game begins. This will allow for both ease of administration as well as diversity in new experimental procedures.