Skip to main content

Using Vorpal with Wechaty

Wechaty Vorpal NPM NPM Version

Vorpal is a framework for building immersive CLI applications using Node.js. WechatyVorpal is an extensible interactive CLI plugin for Wechaty ChatOps that is powered by Vorpal.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to build a Hacker News bot, that can be run on WeChat and WhatsApp, using wechaty-vorpal and vorpal-hacker-news plugins.

Wechaty Vorpal

Image: rainbow sword

Powered by Wechaty TypeScript

Try out the bot

Edit vorpal-wechaty-hackernews

You can try out the Vorpal Hacker News chat bot using this interactive CodeSandbox.

Just scan the generated QR code with WeChat app, and you are ready to play with the bot!


  1. Node.js v16+
  2. Wechaty v0.40+
  3. WechatyVorpal v0.2+


import { Wechaty }        from 'wechaty'
import { WechatyVorpal } from 'wechaty-vorpal'
import hackerNews from 'vorpal-hacker-news'

const wechaty = new Wechaty()

use: hackerNews,


See: wechaty-vorpal-contrib for more Wechaty Vorpal Extension CLI for Chatbots.

Getting started

Before getting started, make sure you have Node.js installed on your system. If you do not have Node.js installed (or have a version below 12), then you need to install the latest version of Node.js by following the links below:

Node.js installation docs

Installation guide for Node.js on other platforms can be found here.

You can head over to the Building the bot section to learn how to build the bot on your own.

Otherwise, if you just want to try out the bot on your local system, follow the steps below:

1. Clone the repository

Use the following commands to clone the GitHub repository and navigate to the directory:

git clone
cd wechaty-vorpal-contrib

2. Install dependencies

You can install the npm packages required for running the bot, using this command:

npm install

3. Run the bot

First, you have to export/set the environment variables, and then you can run the bot:

export WECHATY_LOG=verbose
export WECHATY_PUPPET=wechaty-puppet-wechat
make bot
# the above is equals to the below command:
# npm start
# or, npx ts-node examples/ding-dong-bot.ts

There are various Wechaty puppets available, you can know more about them here.

It will generate a QR code, scan it using WeChat or WhatsApp (according to the puppet you have used), and you are ready to play with the bot.

Building the bot

Let's get started with building the Vorpal Hacker News bot using Wechaty.

1. Initialize project

Create a new folder called vorpal-bot and move into that directory:

mkdir vorpal-bot
cd vorpal-bot

Use the following command to initialize an npm project:

npm init -y

This will generate the package.json file containing these:

"name": "vorpal-bot",
"version": "1.0.0",
"description": "",
"main": "index.js",
"scripts": {
"test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
"keywords": [],
"author": "",
"license": "ISC"

2. Install dependencies

For building the bot mainly you will require the following dependencies:

You can install these dependencies by running the following command:

npm install wechaty wechaty-vorpal vorpal-hacker-news qrcode-terminal

You will also need to add dependencies for using any Wechaty Puppet which helps to integrate Wechaty with various instant messaging (IM) systems (such as WeChat, Whatsapp, and Gitter):

  1. If you want to use WhatsApp, you can install wechaty-puppet-whatsapp:

    npm install wechaty-puppet-whatsapp
  2. If you want to use WeChat, you can install wechaty-puppet-wechat:

    npm install wechaty-puppet-wechat
  3. If you want to use Wecom, you can install wechaty-puppet-wxwork:

    npm install wechaty-puppet-wxwork

You can find more information about the puppets here.

3. Writing code for bot

Start by creating a new folder called src, and add a file vorpal-bot.ts. We will be writing the code here.

Let's import the required packages in the TypeScript file:

import {
} from 'wechaty'

import { WechatyVorpal } from 'wechaty-vorpal'
import { generate } from 'qrcode-terminal'
import hackerNews from 'vorpal-hacker-news'

Now, you have to define some functions that will help you to handle the different events returned by the Wechaty bot.

  • onScan

    Function used for generating QR code for the puppet specified, and display it on the console.

    Follow the steps below:

    1. Check for the status of the QR code scanning process:

      function onScan(qrcode: string, status: ScanStatus) {
      if (status === ScanStatus.Waiting || status === ScanStatus.Timeout) {
      // TODO: Add QR code generation here
      } else {'VorpalBot:', 'onScan: %s(%s)', ScanStatus[status], status)

      If the status is Waiting or Timeout then proceed with the QR code generation, otherwise print the scan status on console.

    2. Generate QR code:

      generate(qrcode, { small: true })

      const qrcodeImageUrl = [
    3. Display QR code on console along with the status:'VorpalBot:', 'onScan: %s(%s) - %s', ScanStatus[status], status, qrcodeImageUrl)
  • onLogin

    Function for printing a log message when an user logs in to the bot. Here, a Contact object is passed as a parameter which is printed on the console in order to understand who has logged in.

    function onLogin(user: Contact) {'VorpalBot:', '%s login', user)
  • onLogout

    Function for printing a log message along with the Contact object, when an user logs out of the bot.

    function onLogout(user: Contact) {'VorpalBot:', '%s logout', user)
  • onMessage

    Function for printing a log message with the Message object received by the bot from the user on the other end.

    async function onMessage(msg: Message) {'VorpalBot:', msg.toString())
  • onError

    Function for printing an error message to the console if the bot fails to start.

    function onError(error: Error) {
    log.error('Bot error:', error)

You have completed defining all the functions required for handling various bot events. Now, provide a name to initialize the Wechaty bot:

const bot = new Wechaty({
name: "vorpal-bot",

Assign proper function to call when an event is triggered by the bot:

.on('logout', onLogout)
.on('login', onLogin)
.on('scan', onScan)
.on('message', onMessage)
.on('error', onError)

Use the Wechaty Vorpal plugin to connect with the Hacker News API:

use: hackerNews,

Finally, use the following to start the bot:

.then(() =>'VorpalBot', 'Vorpal Bot Started.'))
.catch(e => log.error('VorpalBot', e))

Running the bot

In order to run the bot, first you have to export/set an environment variable with the type of puppet to use and then run the bot:

export WECHATY_LOG=verbose
export WECHATY_PUPPET=wechaty-puppet-wechat
make bot
# the above is equals to the below command:
# npm start
# or, npx ts-node examples/ding-dong-bot.ts

This will start the bot and generate a QR code like this:

Wechaty Vorpal Hacker News QR Code

Scan it using your WeChat or WhatsApp as per the puppet you have selected, and you are ready to play with the bot!


You can try building this bot without setting up any dev environment on your local system, just head over to this interactive CodeSandbox by clicking the button below:

Edit vorpal-wechaty-hackernews

You will find various TODO(s), complete them and you will have a successfully running bot (a preview of the starter project is given below):

Bot demonstration

After scanning the generated QR code with the help of your app, the bot will start running on your device. Now, as it finds the specified commands inside the chat it will respond automatically to it.

NOTE: The bot will only respond to the messages sent by the user in the other end. One word of caution, this enables the bot globally inside your app, i.e. it will respond to messages sent by any person or within any group.

Wechaty Vorpal Hacker News

Some of the commands that you can try out with the bot are as follows:

Vorpal help


help [command...] Provides help for a given command.
exit Exits application.
hacker-news [options] Lists the top stories on hacker news.

Vorpal Hacker News help

Usage: hacker-news [options]

Lists the top stories on hacker news.


--help output usage information
-l, --length [amt] Limits the list to a given length.

Vorpal Hacker News length

Pulling top 3 stories on Hacker News:

1. Discovering Dennis Ritchies Lost Dissertation (org)
93 points by beefhash 3 hours ago | 23 comments

2. Updating the Git protocol for SHA-256 (net)
81 points by chmaynard 14 hours ago | 48 comments

3. Mac OS X Leopard and Xcode on iPad Pro (com)
134 points by tosh 10 hours ago | 28 comments


You have learnt to use Vorpal with Wechaty and built a Hacker News bot. Vorpal has a lot of extensions, you can find some of them here.