An npm package to randomly select one element from an array.

5th May '22
2 min read

This package solves none of the world's problems, and has very little reason to exist. However, it does enable you to neaten-up your code very slightly if you need to fetch a random element from an array in multiple places.

I was looking for an excuse to create a new npm package, so that was good enough for me.

In the simplest... and most complicated terms, this package returns one element from the array that you pass it.

If you don't pass it an array, or pass it something that's not an array, it'll throw an error.


const randomElementSelector = (array) => array[Math.floor(Math.random() * array.length)];

That's literally it.

To break-down this code, Math.random() generates a random float between 0 and 1 (but not including 1), for example:

console.log(Math.random()); // 0.53249857713625

We then multiply this by the length of our array, for example if our array is

const array = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];

then we would do

0.53249857713625 * 5;

That's 2.6624928856812504 for those of you who aren't very good at maths.

Math.floor() then rounds this float down to the nearest whole number, so in this example Math.floor(Math.random() * array.length) is equivalent to


which returns 2 (I hope you got that one at least).

We then return the element in our array at this index. So from the array [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] we would return 3.

Putting that all together:

const myArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
const randomElementSelector = (array) => array[Math.floor(Math.random() * array.length)];

console.log(randomElementSelector(myArray)) // 3


This code is simple enough it can be copied directly into your project, but to use it as a package, install it with

npm install random-element-selector

and then import it into your project, for example:

import randomElement from 'random-element-selector';


import randomElement from 'random-element-selector';

const myArray = [3, 'cat', 'didgeridoo', { hello: 'World' }, 999];
console.log(randomElement(myArray)); // 'didgeridoo'
console.log(randomElement(myArray)); // 999
console.log(randomElement(myArray)); // { hello: 'World' }
console.log(randomElement(myArray)); // 999
console.log(randomElement(myArray)); // 3
console.log(randomElement(myArray)); // 3
console.log(randomElement(myArray)); // 'cat'