Automation Testing Tools: The Top 15 For 2023 Plus How To Choose The Right One

Inna M. by Inna M. on 03/14/2023

Automation Testing Tools: The Top 15 For 2023 Plus How To Choose The Right One

Although manual testing is still a powerful tool in software quality assurance, as we’ve established once again in our recent longread on manual vs. automated testing, more and more companies rely on testing automation for all-encompassing coverage and cost-effective QA. And automated testing tools are the key component of a well-designed testing process.

By one estimate, 26% of organizations struggle with finding the right tool for a test automation project. It can happen for a myriad of reasons, from having trouble matching the QA team to the tool to being determined to work with a free solution even though there aren’t any that fully meet the needs of the project. This is why the process of selecting the toolset for an automation QA project needs to be treated with care.

To help you make the right decision when it comes to speeding up your automation project and making it more efficient, we have prepared a detailed guide on what to look for in a good testing automation tool and which tools are worth considering in 2023.

What is an automation testing tool and what does it do?

A test automation tool is an application or software product designed to verify functional and non-functional requirements via automated test scripts. An automation testing tool can perform a variety of tasks, from developing and running tests based on a specific schedule or whenever a code change takes place to generating in-depth reports for the team to review the results of testing.

The choice of an automation tool is an integral part of any automation testing strategy, helping create a roadmap for the project and giving the team something to rely on for effective and resource-saving testing. There are often situations that call for developing an automation framework from scratch (and some AQAs prefer it that way due to the flexibility it provides), but most automation testing tasks can be completed with the use of ready-made tools. 

Types of automated testing tools

Knowing the different types and characteristics of test automation tools helps you save time on finding the ideal solution, since you will quickly know where to look. There are several approaches to categorizing all the tools for automation available today. The two most common ones are by purpose and by availability.

2 - Automation Testing Tools

By purpose

Most automation tools are created to serve a specific purpose, such as supporting a particular type of testing. These are the most popular tools for automating different types of software testing.

UI testing tools

Since most software products are intended to be used by consumers, ensuring a great user experience is vital for an emerging solution. Automating UI testing with the help of the right tools helps the stakeholders gain confidence in the appealing user experience and future success of the product.

Load and performance testing tools

Users have come to expect spotless performance at all times, and Load and performance testing are the go-to way to test these aspects of the solution. Load and performance automated testing tools allow testing software with a large number of scenarios in a limited time and provide outcome metrics and reports that help analyze the results.

Functional testing tools

Similarly to UI test automation tools, functional testing tools help the team make sure that the application is working exactly as it’s intended. However, functional testing tools go deeper to verify the correct operation of a software product and doesn’t just focus on the user interface part of the application.

Regression testing tools

Automating regression testing is one of the most common reasons for organizations to adopt automation in the first place. There is simply no reason to have multiple manual QA engineers working on the same chunk of regression testing when one or two AQAs with the right tools can automate this process and achieve more consistent results.

Mobile testing tools

There are some testing tools, such as Ranorex Studio and Appium, that support both web and mobile solutions. However, if you are primarily working in the mobile segment of software, it makes sense to choose an automation tool designed specifically for the mobile environment. That way, you can expect the most reliable results.

By availability

The availability of an automation testing tool is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing among several options. These are the types of automation tools based on their availability and distribution principles.


Commercial test automation solutions are developed by software companies for profit, which is why they are typically only available on a paid basis. As a customer, you can sometimes take advantage of a free trial version that is only available for a limited period of time or comes with limited functionality. To use the solution in full, you will need to purchase a license. It can be a lifetime license or a monthly/quarterly/yearly subscription.


Open-source automation testing tools are developed by the community and for the community, which is why they are distributed for free and without any conditions. Open-source automation software is a popular choice for organizations that don’t have a large budget to spend on setting up the automation process but have the resources to learn and integrate the tool into CI/CD to make it fully match the needs of the project.

Custom tool

For some projects, the readily available tools may never be able to do the trick. This typically happens when the automation process, environment, or scope of testing are too different from most standard procedures in the industry. The sensible solution in these situations is to develop custom automation tools based on the project requirements. Needless to say, this solution requires an expert-level understanding of coding in addition to the already high automation skills of the team.

How to choose the right automation tool for a project

When choosing the tool or toolset for automation software testing on a particular project, the only working strategy is to do it based upon the specifics of the project itself, and not the most popular tools available on the market or a set of tools that worked well on a previous project.

The decision to select a tool for test automation is something that should ideally be made jointly by the stakeholders of the project. This can include the client’s representatives, the project manager, and the Automation QA lead. However, this only works when every participant has the technical and business knowledge needed to make an informed decision. In other cases, the project can run into a few difficulties:

  • When the client requires the use of a specific tool using only business considerations, the rest of the team may find it challenging to incorporate the tool into the workflow;
  • When the AQA engineer picks tools based purely on personal preferences, there is a possibility of the project becoming difficult to develop and maintain in case the engineer quits and leaves behind a complicated tool stack.

“There is sometimes a conflict of interest between the Automation QA and the stakeholders on the project: the QA wants to try as many different tools as possible without necessarily following the company’s best interest, whereas the company prefers standard, unified, easily maintainable solutions. This is why it’s a good idea to have a person with not just technical, but also business expertise overseeing the choice of tools on a project.”

Taras Oleksyn, Head of Automation QA, TestFort

Factors to consider

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, the most sensible approach to choosing a tool for automating a QA project is to take into account the individual parameters of the project. Here are the key factors to consider when making tool-related decisions on an automation QA project.

1. Objectives of the project

Automation testing projects are not created equal. The nature and purpose of the project can be very different even within the same organization. The two vital questions to answer at this stage are: 

  • What exactly are you trying to automate?
  • Which results do you want to achieve in the end?

The answers to these questions will contribute to the selection process. For example, if your goal is to automate parts of UI testing, the choice of tools will be different from a project where the goal is to ensure comprehensive load and performance test coverage.

2. Technical capabilities of the testing tool

Different automation testing tools are created with different sets of features and possible limitations. Some of the most vital technical capabilities to consider here include the supported programming languages, the compatibility with the project ecosystem, such as operating system and hardware, and the types of testing you can carry out with this specific tool.

3. Project budget

There are free automation testing tools and paid automation testing tools. With paid tools, the cost can range from a few dozen to thousands of dollars, and the payment type can be different as well: vendors can charge a lump sum for a license once or provide their software on a paid subscription basis. These are essential factors for making the right choice, especially when the project budget is limited.

“It’s very important to maintain the right balance between aiming to save money and working towards a successful project outcome. There have been cases in my practice where the company was determined to work only with free tools to save money but then ended up spending even more money and time when the tool proved to be the wrong choice for that specific project”

Maxim Khymii, Automation QA Lead, TestFort

4. Ease of use and learning curve

Some automated testing tools are incredibly easy to master even for non-technical users, while others require deep technical expertise just for the setup stage. It’s very important to measure the skill level of your team against the selected tool to make sure they make a good match. Moreover, the project lead needs to allocate time for the team to familiarize themselves with the suggested tools.

5. Ability to integrate with other systems

Modern automated testing tools rarely exist completely autonomously from the rest of the QA project, so integration capabilities are another critical feature to consider here. This can include your bug tracking software, project management tools, the CI/CD process, and other big-picture parameters of an automation environment.

6. Need for coding skills

Although some are convinced that modern AQA engineers no longer need to have coding skills in order to be good at automation, others, including the AQA leads at our company, believe that at least some knowledge of coding is required for an efficient project. Whether or not your team members know their way around software code is going to impact your choice of tools.

7. Reporting

The work of an automation QA tool does not stop when the last test in the suite is executed — it’s also vital to analyze the obtained results and evaluate their short-term and long-term impact on the quality of the product. One of the best ways to do it is through reports. The tool you use needs to issue detailed, accurate reports, and it’s even better if the report is customizable.

8. Community, support & maintenance

When searching for the perfect test automation tool, look for a solution that is actively maintained by its vendor and provides customer support and troubleshooting. Similarly, a solid community around a software solution can help the team adopt a tool faster and avoid many of the roadblocks that can take place with a more niche tool.

Automation Testing Tools

Top 15 automation testing tools to choose from in 2023

Before we move on to the actual list of the most popular and versatile tools for testing automation, we would like to note that it’s downright impossible to pick an automation tool based on popularity or advice alone. If you are a person involved in the decision making process when it comes to automation testing tools, it’s essential to pick the right tool for the project instead of going for the “best” or most popular one.

It’s always a good idea to have someone on your team with both hands-on experience with automation tools and the skills and knowledge needed to identify the most suitable toolset. You can expect an even more consistent outcome after evaluating the tools in a real-life environment with the help of real-life test cases. Still, knowing where the market currently stands often helps you choose the right direction for the project. These are the fifteen most popular and handy test automation tools, frameworks, and libraries for 2023.

1. Appium

Appium is one of the leading market solutions for automating mobile application testing. It’s an open-source tool that can be used to automate the testing of mobile web applications, hybrid apps, and native applications for the iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems. Appium supports an endless range of programming languages and technologies and can be easily integrated into even the most complex AQA systems.

2. Selenium WebDriver

Selenium WebDriver is an open-source tool for automating browser operations. This tool can be indispensable for testing websites and web applications across different browsers, environments, and programming language requirements. Selenium WebDriver allows teams to create versatile and scalable test scripts for the comprehensive testing of web products.


3. Playwright

Playwright is one of the leading end-to-end testing tools used for QA automation. It is developed and maintained by Microsoft and supports testing web applications in multiple cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-language environments. Playwright is an open source tool that allows for an easy learning curve thanks to a robust knowledge base and community.

4. Cypress

Cypress is a JavaScript-based tool for testing web applications. It can be easily integrated with any continuous integration development model and makes it easier for an Automation QA to get started by putting emphasis on the visual aspects of testing. Cypress is available on a subscription basis with a free version that supports up to 3 users.

5. Ranorex Studio

Ranorex Studio is a popular tool for automating GUI and functional testing. It supports desktop, web, and mobile applications and includes other handy features, such as test design. Another important advantage of Ranorex Studio is its wide integration capabilities, allowing teams to build comprehensive test suites. It’s available on a perpetual license basis with a free trial option.

6. Katalon

Katalon is a comprehensive quality management platform that can be used for a variety of automation testing-related purposes. Katalon heavily relies on AI technology to streamline the process of testing and achieve maximum efficiency. It’s a low-code tool with versatile integration and setup capabilities that is available on a monthly subscription basis with an option of a free trial.

7. TestComplete

Developed and supported by SmartBear, TestComplete is the go-to automation testing tool for those who mainly deal with UI testing. TestComplete allows teams to easily set up and manage script or scriptless testing projects. It comes with an AI-powered object recognition feature and can successfully test web, desktop, and mobile solutions. There is a free trial version available, while paid versions are available in various bundles.

8. LambdaTest

LambdaTest is a cloud-based solution both for automated and exploratory testing. With the help of the cloud infrastructure, LambdaTest makes it possible to test a software solution across 3,000+ combinations of operating systems, browsers, and device configurations. This tool is available as a limited free version or a full version with a monthly subscription.

9. Cucumber/Specflow

Cucumber\Specflow are primarily a Behavior Driven Development tools that is also widely used for testing automation. It supports nearly every modern development stack and is developed and distributed by SmartBear. Cucumber is available both as an open-source solution and as an advanced tool called Cucumber Pro with a monthly subscription option.

10. ReadyAPI

ReadyAPI is one of the most popular solutions for the automated testing of APIs. This is an open-source tool that supports REST, SOAP, and GraphQL API technologies. It’s developed and maintained by SmartBear, and there is an advanced version of the tool called ReadyAPI (formerly known as SoapUI Pro) that is available on a yearly subscription basis.

11. Puppeteer

Puppeteer is a Node.js-based library created for making the most of Chromium with the help of API technology. Automating testing is only one of the purposes of this versatile tool that supports JavaScript among other technologies. Puppeteer is a tool developed and maintained by Chrome DevTools but also heavily relies on community support to grow and constantly improve.

12. HP UFT

HP Unified Functional Testing is helpful cross-platform automation testing tool. Using just one solution, teams can automate web, mobile, and desktop applications created with the help of Delphi, .NET, ActiveX, Java, Oracle, PeopleSoft, PowerBuilder, Stingray, and Visual Basic, among other technologies. HP UFT is available on a subscription basis.

13. IBM Rational Functional Tester

Rational Functional Tester is an automation testing tool developed and maintained by IBM. This is a commercial tool that supports a wide range of development environments, including Siebel, .NET, SAP, Java, PowerBuilder, Flex, and Dojo among others. Rational Functional Tester is available on a paid basis with an option for a free trial.

14. Telerik Test Studio

Test Studio is one of the latest automation tools developed by Telerik. This solution supports automating applications built with the use of HTML5, Angular, AJAX, JavaScript, Silverlight, WPF, MVC, Ruby, and PHP, available, among other things, iOS, Android. Telerik provides cross-browser support and is a record and playback tool. You’ll need to buy a perpetual license to use this tool.

15. Tricentis Tosca

Tricentis Tosca is a comprehensive automation tool for web, API, mobile, and desktop testing. It has a unique model-based testing approach, allowing users to scan an application’s UI or APIs to create a business-familiar model for test creation and maintenance. Tricentis Tosca is available on a perpetual license basis.

How to know if your automation tool works

With so many popular and versatile automation tools out there, making the right choice is not always easy, especially for teams without a lot of hands-on experience with automation. At the same time, it’s worth noting that it’s vital to choose the right tool from the get-go, as any major changes to the process once the project is already launched will result in losing valuable time and money spent on working with the wrong tool.

The set of metrics for measuring the efficiency of the selected tool or set of tools will always depend on the project itself and the goals set by the team in the first place. For example, when the main goal was to automate as much of the current project as possible, it makes sense to evaluate the overall number of cases automated in a given time period. Whereas for teams focused on optimizing the resources within the project, the key metric would be Equivalent Manual Test Effort — the number of working hours saved by the introduction of testing automation.

The exact set of metrics for measuring the effectiveness of the automation tool should be designed and implemented by an AQA Lead or a person with a similarly rich experience in automation. However, when the results prove to be disappointing, the tool is not always the culprit.

“In my experience, most cases of an automation testing tool not living up to everyone’s expectations are linked to the human factor, not some technical issues. It may be a case of a bad match between the team and the tool, or a case of some team member underperforming or not fully understanding the task. The automation tool itself is rarely to blame.”

Taras Oleksyn, Head of Automation QA, TestFort

This quote once again proves that it’s vital to make sure that the tool you consider using matches the skill set of your team and vice versa.

Where does the automation testing tool market stand in 2023?

The test automation tool market is constantly changing: in addition to a few biggest ubiquitous players, there are plenty of notable newcomers. Moreover, the automation testing industry as a whole is transforming right before our eyes. These are the biggest trends and movements we will witness among automation tools in 2023:

  • Increased use of AI and ML. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are two of the most discussed technologies of 2023, so naturally, they are also featured more and more in test automation solutions.
  • Growth of cloud services. In order to ensure the spotless performance of an application, it’s essential to test it on all kinds of devices, browsers, and operating systems. However, companies cannot always afford their own device farms with dozens of devices for testing. Automation testing outsourcing can be a great way to resolve this issue, but there is also a growing number of tools providing cloud platforms for testing.
  • Shift towards simplicity and easy adoption. A common trend among multiple established and up-and-coming tools is the swift move from complicated techniques that require deep knowledge of coding to low-code and no-code tools based primarily on the record and playback functionality.

“The software testing industry is definitely witnessing a move towards low-code and no-code automation tools. I’ve found that in many cases, no-code tools can be as effective as tools that require the knowledge of code. However, I still believe that coding knowledge is invaluable for an automation testing engineer: with it, they can make the tests even more supportable and flexible by getting rid of the brittle code that has no impact on the testing results.”

Maxim Khymii, Automation QA Lead, TestFort

Final thoughts

The choice of an automation testing tool is not the only one the team will make when launching an AQA project, but it’s definitely among the most important ones. A wrongly selected tool will prevent the team from reaching their objectives, cause them to lose time and money, and lower the efficiency of the whole project. This is why, if you’re involved in the selection process in any role, it’s best to both know the principles of choosing a suitable automation tool and be familiar with the most popular and acclaimed tools in the industry.

Frequently asked questions

What is a QA automation tool?

An automation testing tool is a software product that allows to plan, implement, and analyze various activities in the automation testing process. The activities can range from automating the test cases to issuing reports for reviewing the results of testing.

What is a good automation tool?

An automation testing tool that is able to meet the needs of every single automation QA project and team does not exist yet. Therefore, a good automation tool is one that was picked based on the specific requirements of the project, such as the most prominent types of testing, the nature of test cases, the familiarity of the team members with the selected tools, and so on.

How many types of automation tools are there?

There are several ways to classify all the available automation testing tools, such as by the types of testing they can cover or by the platforms they work with. One of the most popular ways to distinguish between different automation QA tools is by availability: there can be commercial, or paid, open-source, or free, and custom tools created by the team from scratch.

Which automation testing tool is easy to learn?

The answer to this question depends on the existing qualifications and experience of the automation QA team. Ultimately, there are no easy or challenging automation testing tools to learn. It’s all about where your skills are currently at, as well as the community around the solution that can help you fill in the gaps in your knowledge of the tools.

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Written by
Inna M., Technical Writer

Inna is a content writer with close to 10 years of experience in creating content for various local and international companies. She is passionate about all things information technology and enjoys making complex concepts easy to understand regardless of the reader’s tech background. In her free time, Inna loves baking, knitting, and taking long walks.

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