Custom Expectations

Pest's expectation API is powerful by default, but there may be times when you need to write the same expectations repeatedly between tests. In such cases, creating custom expectations that meet your specific requirements can be incredibly useful.

Custom expectations are usually defined in the tests/Pest.php file, but you can also organize them in a separate tests/Expectation.php file for better maintainability. To create a custom expectation in Pest, chain the extend() method onto the expect() function without providing any expectation value.

For example, suppose you are testing a number utility library and you need to frequently assert that numbers fall within a given range. In this case, you might create a custom expectation called toBeWithinRange():

1// Pest.php or Expectations.php...
2expect()->extend('toBeWithinRange', function (int $min, int $max) {
3 return $this->toBeGreaterThanOrEqual($min)
4 ->toBeLessThanOrEqual($max);
7// Tests/Unit/ExampleTest.php
8test('numeric ranges', function () {
9 expect(100)->toBeWithinRange(90, 110);

While users typically utilize Pest's built-in expectations within their custom expectations as demonstrated in the toBeWithinRange() example, there may be times when you need to access the expectation value directly to perform your own custom expectation logic. In such cases, you can access the expectation value that was passed to expect($value) via the $this->value property.

1expect()->extend('toBeWithinRange', function (int $min, int $max) {
2 echo $this->value; // 100

Of course, you probably want users to have the ability to "chain" expectations together with your custom expectation. To achieve this, ensure your custom expectation includes a return $this statement.

1// Pest.php or Expectations.php...
2expect()->extend('toBeWithinRange', function (int $min, int $max) {
3 // Assertions based on `$this->value` and the given arguments...
5 return $this; // Return this, so another expectations can chain this one...
8// Tests/Unit/ExampleTest.php
9test('numeric ranges', function () {
10 expect(100)
11 ->toBeInt()
12 ->toBeWithinRange(90, 110)
13 ->to...

Intercept Expectations

Although it is considered an advanced practice, you can override existing expectations with your own implementation via the intercept() method. When using this method, the existing expectation will be fully substituted if the expectation value is of the specified type. For example, you can replace the toBe() expectation to check if two objects of the Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model type have the same id.

1use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;
2use App\Models\User;
4// tests/Pest.php or tests/Expectations.php
5expect()->intercept('toBe', Model::class, function(Model $expected) {
6 expect($this->value->id)->toBe($expected->id);
9// tests/Feature/ExampleTest.php
10test('models', function () {
11 $userA = User::find(1);
12 $userB = User::find(1);
14 expect($userA)->toBe($userB);

Instead of passing a string type as the second argument to the intercept() method, you may also pass a closure, which will be invoked to determine whether or not to override the core expectation.

1expect()->intercept('toBe', fn (mixed $value) => is_string($value), function (string $expected, bool $ignoreCase = false) {
2 if ($ignoreCase) {
3 assertEqualsIgnoringCase($expected, $this->value);
4 } else {
5 assertSame($expected, $this->value);
6 }

Pipe Expectations

There may be instances where you want to run one of Pest's built-in expectations, but include customized expectation logic under certain conditions. In these cases, you can use the pipe() method. For example, we may want to customize the behavior of the toBe() expectation if the given value is an Eloquent model.

1use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;
2use App\Models\User;
4expect()->pipe('toBe', function (Closure $next, mixed $expected) {
5 if ($this->value instanceof Model) {
6 return expect($this->value->id)->toBe($expected->id);
7 }
9 return $next(); // Run to the original, built-in expectation...

As demonstrated, creating custom expectations can significantly simplify your code by eliminating the need to duplicate the logic to verify that your tests are behaving as anticipated. In the following chapter, we will explore additional CLI options that Pest provides: CLI API Reference