JavaScript Recursion

JavaScript Recursion with Example

With the help of examples, you will learn about recursion in JavaScript in this article. Recursion is the process by which anything calls itself. A recursive function is a function that calls itself.

The syntax for a recursive function is as follows:

function recurse() {
    // function code
    // function code


The recurse() method is a recursive function in this case. It is invoking itself from within the function.

  • A recursive function must have a condition that causes it to stop calling itself. Otherwise, the function will be invoked indefinitely.
  • When the condition is met, the function no longer calls itself. This is known as a base condition.
  • To avoid infinite recursion, use an if…else statement (or a similar approach) in which one branch calls the recursive function and the other does not.

So, in general, it seems as follows:

function recurse() {
    if(condition) {
    else {
        // stop calling recurse()


Example 1: Print Numbers Using Recursion

// program to count down numbers to 1
function countDown(number) {

    // display the number

    // decrease the number value
    const newNumber = number - 1;

    // base case
    if (newNumber > 0) {




  • When invoking a function in the preceding program, the user passes a number as an argument.
  • The number value is dropped by one in each iteration, and the method countDown() is called until the number is positive. The base condition is newNumber > 0.
  • The following steps will explain this recursive call:

countDown(4) prints 4 and calls countDown(3)
countDown(3) prints 3 and calls countDown(2)
countDown(2) prints 2 and calls countDown(1)
countDown(1) prints 1 and calls countDown(0)

When the number hits zero, the base condition is satisfied, and the function is no longer invoked.

Example 2: Find Factorial Using Recursion

// program to find the factorial of a number
function factorial(x) {

    // if number is 0
    if (x === 0) {
        return 1;

    // if number is positive
    else {
        return x * factorial(x - 1);

const num = 3;

// calling factorial() if num is non-negative
if (num > 0) {
    let result = factorial(num);
    console.log(`The factorial of ${num} is ${result}`);


The factorial of 3 is 6

When you run factorial() with a positive integer, it will call itself recursively, reducing the value.

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This method is repeated until the number becomes one. When the number hits zero, the value 1 is returned.

The following steps will explain this recursive call:

recursion java recursion java recursion java recursion java recursion java recursion java

factorial(3) returns 3 * factorial(2)
factorial(2) returns 3 * 2 * factorial(1)
factorial(1) returns 3 * 2 * 1 * factorial(0)
factorial(0) returns 3 * 2 * 1 * 1

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