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Ignite Bowser - the hottest React Native boilerplate

npm version

Infinite Red's latest and greatest React Native boilerplate

Important note: Bowser is now re-integrated into Ignite CLI as of version 4.0.0! Head to to check it out. This version will continue to work on Ignite 3.x and be supported by the community.

Once you've installed React Native and the Ignite CLI, you can get started with this boilerplate.

This is the boilerplate that the Infinite Red team recommends and uses on a day-to-day basis. Prior art includes Ignite Andross.


  • React Native
  • React Navigation 5
  • MobX State Tree (Why MST?)
  • TypeScript
  • Reactotron (requires 2.x)
  • And more!

To see it in action, check out the blog post by Robin Heinze here: Creating a Trivia App with Ignite Bowser.

You can also watch a live coding demo at React Live Amsterdam, where Jamon Holmgren codes an Ignite Bowser app in less than 30 minutes.

Quick Start


First, install Ignite CLI globally:

npm install -g [email protected]
# or
yarn global add [email protected]

Note: Make sure you have CocoaPods installed because otherwise, React Native installation will fail.

Then spin up a new Bowser-powered React Native app:

ignite new MyApp -b bowser

into your new app and run
react-native run-ios
react-native run-android
(note: in Android, you'll need an Android emulator running or an Android phone attached).

You should see an app that looks like the screenshot above!

Next step -- follow this tutorial to learn how to create a trivia app with Ignite Bowser:


The true gem of Ignite Bowser. Generators help you scaffold your app very quickly, be it for a proof-of-concept, a demo, or a production app. Generators are there to save you time, keep your code consistent, and help you with the basic structure of your app.

ignite generate

Will give you information on what generators are present.

Component generator

This is the generator you will be using most often. There are two flavors:

  • Wrapped with mobx-react-lite's
    function - you need this if you pass any mobx-state-tree objects as props to the component, and the component will dereference properties of those objects.
  • Plain, not wrapped with
    . If you're only passing plain values or non-MST objects, this is fine.
ignite generate component awesome-component
  • Creates the component/function
  • Creates a style file
  • Creates a storybook test
  • Will make the required additions to configuration files.

You can also bypass the choice by providing which component type you want to create:

ignite generate component awesome-component --function-component


ignite generate component awesome-component --stateless-function

Screen generator

Generates a "hooks enabled" screen.

ignite generate screen awesome-screen
  • Creates the screen

Model generator

Creates a Mobx-State-Tree model.

ignite generate model awesome-model
  • Creates the model
  • Creates a unit test file
  • Will make the required additions to configuration files.


The built-in generators aren't enough? Fret not, you can create your own generators that suit your project/company. These generators can live with the default ignite-bowser generators.

Please refer to the documentation on how to create your own generators.

Explanation of folder structure

The Ignite Bowser boilerplate project's structure will look similar to this:

├── app
│   ├── components
│   ├── i18n
│   ├── models
│   ├── navigation
│   ├── screens
│   ├── services
│   ├── theme
│   ├── utils
│   ├── app.tsx
│   ├── environment-variables.ts
|   ├── assets/fonts/
├── storybook
│   ├── views
│   ├── index.ts
│   ├── storybook-registry.ts
│   ├── storybook.ts
├── test
│   ├── __snapshots__
│   ├── storyshots.test.ts.snap
│   ├── mock-i18n.ts
│   ├── mock-reactotron.ts
│   ├── setup.ts
│   ├── storyshots.test.ts
├── android
├── ignite
│   ├── ignite.json
│   └── plugins
├── index.js
├── ios
└── package.json

./app directory

Included in an Ignite boilerplate project is the

directory. This is a directory you would normally have to create when using vanilla React Native.

The inside of the

directory looks similar to the following:
│── components
│── i18n
├── models
├── navigation
├── screens
├── services
├── theme
├── utils
├── app.tsx

components This is where your React dumb components will live. Each component will have a directory containing the

file, along with a story file, and optionally
files for larger components. The app will come with some commonly used components like Button.

i18n This is where your translations will live if you are using


models This is where your app's models will live. Each model has a directory that will contain the

model file, test file, and any other supporting files like actions, types, etc. There's also an extensions directory with useful shared extensions that you can include in your models like
to access the root store or environment, respectively.

navigation This is where your

navigators will live.

For a walkthrough about how React Navigation v5 works, check out Harris Robin's post: Getting Started with the New React Navigation v5 and Ignite Bowser v5.

screens This is where your screen components will live. A screen is a React component that will take up the entire screen and be part of the navigation hierarchy. Each screen will have a directory containing the

file, along with any assets or other helper files.

services Any services that interface with the outside world will live here (think REST APIs, Push Notifications, etc.).

theme Here lives the theme for your application, including spacing, colors, and typography. For help with adding custom fonts to your application, check out the readme in ./assets/fonts/.

utils This is a great place to put miscellaneous helpers and utilities. Things like date helpers, formatters, etc. are often found here. However, it should only be used for things that are truly shared across your application. If a helper or utility is only used by a specific component or model, consider co-locating your helper with that component or model.

app.tsx This is the entry point to your app. This is where you will find the main App component, which renders the rest of the application. This is also where you will specify whether you want to run the app in storybook mode.

./ignite directory


directory stores all things Ignite, including CLI and boilerplate items. Here you will find generators, plugins, and examples to help you get started with React Native.

./storybook directory

This is where your stories will be registered and where the Storybook configs will live.

./test directory

This directory will hold your Jest configs and mocks, as well as your storyshots test file. This is a file that contains the snapshots of all your component storybooks.

About The Stack

Why this stack?

If you've used Ignite Andross (the first Ignite stack), you know we formerly used Redux for state management, as does much of the community. However, we encountered some pain points with Redux so we went in search of a different solution to meet our needs and landed on

. We find that it’s a great middle-ground between completely structured (like
) and completely freestyle (like
). It brings more than just state-management to the table as well (such as dependency injection, serialization, and lifecycle events).

Some Highlights of MST

MST is...

  • Intuitive
    • With concepts like
      , it feels familiar for React developers
    • Updating your data means calling functions on objects, rather than dispatching actions.
    • Feels similar to relational databases, with concepts like
      (primary keys),
      (foreign keys), and
      (calculated fields)
  • Streamlined
    • No more
      , or
    • You don't have to declare your usage intentions with
      ; they are inferred
    • Side-effects are built-in; no need for 3rd party libraries like
      , or
    • Immutability is built-in - no need for
    • types.compose
      allow for easy code-sharing of common patterns
  • More than state management
    • Lifecycle hooks like
      , and
      let you have control over your data at various points in its lifecycle
    • Dependency injection with
      allows you to reference your environment (like API or other services)
  • Performant
    • Round-trip store writes are much faster
    • Computed values (views) are only calculated when needed
    • mobx-react-lite
      makes React "MobX-aware" and only re-renders when absolutely necessary
  • Customizable
    • MST ships with pre-built middlewares, including one which allows for Redux interoperability. These middlewares can also serve as examples to create your own!


We also recognize no state management solution is perfect. MST has some known downfalls:

  • Integration with TypeScript is clunky at times. MST's own typing system is sometimes at odds with what TypeScript wants
  • mobx
    both seem to have "magic" or "sorcery" that makes issues less straightforward to debug because you don't always have a clear picture of what's happening (but using Reactotron, which has
    support built-in, helps a lot). The MobX docs can also help illumitate some of the magic.
  • The user base is small, so finding help on GitHub or Stack overflow is less convenient (however, the Infinite Red Slack Community, as well as the MobX State Tree Spectrum channel are both very helpful)
  • Fatal errors are sometimes too-easily triggered, and error messages can be verbose and hard to grok
  • The API has a large surface area and, the docs tend to be technical and unfriendly

Learning MobX State Tree

MobX and MobX State Tree can be a lot to learn if you're coming from Redux, so here are a few of our favorite resources to learn the basics:

  • Be sure to check out the official Getting Started guide for MobX State Tree.

  • There is also a free course.

  • For a great explanation and walkthrough of the basics, check out State Management with MobX State Tree by React Native Training.

  • And for more in-depth reading, the official documentation is a great resource.

  • The official docs for MobX are another important resource since MST is built on MobX.

  • For help from real people in the community, make sure to check out the Infinite Red Community Slack as well as the MobX State Tree spectrum channel.

  • To see example codebases using Bowser (and MST), check out these repositories:

  • (simple implementation)

  • (simple implementation with hooks)

  • (more in-depth implementation)


To keep your React Native app updated:

To keep your Ignite Bowser based app updated:


In addition to

, we've also transitioned to using
vs plain
. We find that TypeScript streamlines the developer experience by catching errors before you hit refresh on that simulator and prevents costly bugs by enforcing type safety.

In Bowser, TypeScript is fully set up, so if you know TS, all you need to do is start coding!


If you are new to TypeScript, here are some of our favorite resources:

Previous Boilerplates


Contribute to Ignite Bowser - Getting up and running for your first pull request

Bowser is now re-integrated into Ignite CLI as of version 4.0.0! Head to to check it out. This version will continue to work on Ignite 3.x and be supported by the community.

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