Background keyword

Occasionally, we may find ourselves repeating the same Given steps in all the scenarios of a feature.

Since it's repeated in each scenario, this is an indication that those steps are not quite essential to describe the scenarios, but rather are incidental details. So, we can move such Given steps to background, by grouping them under a Background section.

Background allows you to add some context to the scenarios following it. It can contain one or more steps, which are run before each scenario (but after any Before hooks).

Feature: Animal feature
    Given a hungry cat
  Rule: Hungry cat becomes satiated
    Scenario: If we feed a hungry cat it will no longer be hungry
      When I feed the cat
      Then the cat is not hungry
  Rule: Satiated cat remains the same
      When I feed the cat

    Scenario: If we feed a satiated cat it will not become hungry
      When I feed the cat
      Then the cat is not hungry
extern crate cucumber;
extern crate tokio;

use std::time::Duration;

use cucumber::{given, then, when, World};
use tokio::time::sleep;

#[derive(Debug, Default)]
struct Cat {
    pub hungry: bool,

impl Cat {
    fn feed(&mut self) {
        self.hungry = false;

#[derive(Debug, Default, World)]
pub struct AnimalWorld {
    cat: Cat,

#[given(regex = r"^a (hungry|satiated) cat$")]
async fn hungry_cat(world: &mut AnimalWorld, state: String) {

    match state.as_str() {
        "hungry" => = true,
        "satiated" => = false,
        _ => unreachable!(),

#[when("I feed the cat")]
async fn feed_cat(world: &mut AnimalWorld) {

#[then("the cat is not hungry")]
async fn cat_is_fed(world: &mut AnimalWorld) {


async fn main() {


NOTE: Background steps indicated by > mark in the output.

NOTE: In case Background is declared outside any Rule, it will be run on any scenario. Otherwise, if Background is declared inside a Rule, it will be run only for scenarios belonging to it, and only after top-level Background steps (if any).

Best practices

  • Don’t use Background to set up complicated states, unless that state is actually something the client needs to know.
  • Keep your Background section short.
  • Make your Background section vivid, use colorful names, and try to tell a story.
  • Keep your Scenarios short, and don’t have too many.

Clearly, example provided above doesn't need Background and was made for demonstration purposes only.