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Creating Custom React Native Templates: A Step-by-Step Guide

React Native has gained immense popularity for building cross-platform mobile applications. While React Native offers a fantastic starting point with its default template, sometimes you may want to create a custom template to streamline your development process or enforce coding standards across multiple projects. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps to create your own React Native template.

Why Create Custom Templates?

There are several reasons to create custom templates for your React Native projects:

  1. Code Reusability : You can include reusable components, libraries, and styles in your templates. This promotes code reuse across different projects, saving development effort and reducing the chance of bugs.
  2. Best Practices : You can enforce best practices and architectural patterns by including them in your custom template.
  3. Faster Development : With a template, you don't have to start from scratch. You can leverage the boilerplate code, configurations, and UI components to accelerate development.
  4. Onboarding : Templates simplify the onboarding process for new team members. They can quickly understand the project structure and development practices, leading to faster productivity.
  5. Reduced Errors : By using templates with predefined configurations and dependencies, you reduce the likelihood of configuration errors and compatibility issues.


Before creating a custom React Native template, make sure you have the following prerequisites in place:

  1. Node.js : Ensure you have Node.js installed on your machine. You can download it from
  2. React Native CLI : Install the React Native CLI globally using the following command:
npm install -g react-native-cli
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Steps to Create a Custom Template

Step 1: Initialize a New Template Project

First, create a new directory for your custom template project:

mkdir custom-rn-template
cd custom-rn-template
npm init
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Your package.json file should looks like this:

  "name": "MyCustomTemplate",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "description": "React Native Custom Template",
  "files": [
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Create template.config.js file:

module.exports = {
  placeholderName: 'MyCustomTemplate',
  templateDir: './template',
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Next, use the React Native CLI to initialize a new project:

npx react-native init MyCustomTemplate
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After that rename “MyCustomTemplate” folder to “template”.

Step 2: Customize Your Template

Now that you have a base project, you can customize it to fit your needs. You can make various modifications, including:

  • Project Structure : Organize your project structure the way you prefer.
  • Dependencies : Add or remove dependencies by modifying the package.json file.
  • Boilerplate Code : Include common components, utilities, or screens that you frequently use in your projects.
  • Configuration : Set up linting, testing, and other configurations that align with your development practices.

Step 3: Document Your Template

To make your custom template user-friendly, create documentation that explains how to use it. You can include:

  • Installation : Explain how to create a new React Native project using your template.
  • Customization : Provide guidance on how to customize the template further.
  • Usage : Describe any additional steps or configurations required for specific features or libraries included in the template.

Step 4: Publish Your Template

Once you’ve customized and documented your template, it’s time to publish it. You can publish your template as an npm package, making it accessible to your team and the community.

  1. Create an account on if you don’t have one already.
  2. Navigate to your template project directory and log in to npm:
npm login
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  1. Publish your template to npm:
npm publish --access public
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Step 5: Use Your Custom Template

To create a new React Native project using your custom template, run the following command:

npx react-native init MyCustomApp --template MyCustomTemplate
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Replace “MyCustomApp” with the name of your new project. React Native will generate a new project based on your custom template.


Creating custom React Native templates can significantly improve your development workflow by enforcing best practices, maintaining consistency, and saving time on project setup. Also check my own react-native-modular-template, which includes what I use when creating new projects.

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