How to use `fetch()` in your backend Node.js project

How to use `fetch()` in your backend Node.js project

Here's a quick one on using the Fetch API in Node.js with the `node-fetch` package.

  • Fetch
  • Node
  • JavaScript
Miracle Onyenma
Miracle Onyenma
2 min read

fetch() is a global method provided by the Fetch API to send HTTP requests and fetch resources asynchronously.

You can use fetch() in your client-side JavaScript which runs on the browser as it's implemented in the Window and WorkerGlobalScope interfaces.

That's great and all, but in order to use the Fetch API in Node.js we need to install the node-fetch package. You can check it out here on npm.

Installing the package

To install the package in your project, run

npm install node-fetch

This will install the latest stable version of node-fetch, which at the time of writing this is v3.x.x.

Using and configuring node-fetch

This version ( v3.x.x ) is an ESM-only module and to use it, you'll have to import it.

import fetch from 'node-fetch';

You may run into issues importing and using node-fetch using this method. This is probably because you need to use v2 of node-fetch which is built with CommonJS.

To do that, uninstall the current version

npm uninstall node-fetch

#install v2 of node-fetch
npm install node-fetch@2


Now, you can add it to your project with the classic require statement.

const fetch = require('node-fetch')

Alternatively, according to the docs, you can load node-fetch into your app asynchronously without downgrading it by using the import() function from CommonJS.

// mod.cjs
const fetch = (...args) => import('node-fetch').then(({default: fetch}) => fetch(...args));

Using the package

Once you've successfully added the package to your project, you can start using it the same way you've been using fetch in your frontend projects.

Here's an example of a simple GET request

import fetch from 'node-fetch';
// if you're using v2
// const fetch = require('node-fetch')

const response = await fetch('');
const data = await response.json();


Further reading and resources