Have you seen an sudden influx of social media posts featuring green, yellow, and gray boxes? Welcome to Wordle, the Internet’s favorite new word game. While the boxes might not look like a word game at first, they represent how well a player did on the day’s puzzle, without giving away the solution. Want to get in on the action yourself and see if you can guess the right word? Use this guide that includes tips and tricks to get started right away.
What Is Wordle?
Before diving into tips and tricks, you’re still probably wondering what Wordle is exactly. It’s a fairly simple (yet insanely challenging) word game. Every day there is a new puzzle. One single puzzle. This is part of what makes it so fun to play. You only get one shot, so it’s not really time consuming.
Wordle is played directly in the browser. It’s not an app, so there’s nothing to download. As long as you have a browser on your device, you should be able to play.
Plus, every player plays the same puzzle, so this also makes a bit of a social word game since you can talk with others about how they did. And, of course, you can post your results and brag about how much quicker you solved it.
It was created by Josh Wardle, a software engineer for Reddit. The game is completely free to play and devoid of ads and in-app purchases. While one developer tried to monetize a clone in the App Store, that was quickly shut down.
You have six tries to guess the day’s Wordle. Every Wordle is five letters. You start by entering any five letter word. I’ll get into strategies shortly, but you really can start with most any word as long as it’s five letters.
You’ll start to get a few hints. If a letter turns green, the letter is not only in the Wordle – but in the correct place. If a letter turns yellow, it’s in the Wordle, but not in the correct place. Finally, if a letter turns gray, it’s not in the Wordle at all.
One thing to note is you can have multiples of the same letter in a word. For example, I entered “RIVER” as my start word. While the first “R” turned yellow, the second “R” turned gray to let me know there was only a single “R” in the puzzle.
You’ll proceed guessing up to six times based on the hints you’re given. In my above example, I’d need to guess a word that has both an “R” and an “E” in it,but not in the same places as in “RIVER.” I’d also not use an “I,” “V,” or a second “R” since those are grayed out. If you’ll notice, the letters are also grayed out on the keyboard to help remind you they’re not in the puzzle.
Wordle Tips and Strategies
If you want to be a complete purist, skip this section. But, if you’d like to get even better at the game, a few Wordle tips can help you go from rarely getting those coveted five green squares together to frequently succeeding. One important thing to remember is the game uses U.S. spellings rather than U.K.
1. Pick Your First Word Carefully
The most important tip is to pick your first word carefully. According to Tyler Glaiel, who ran all the numbers to find the perfect starting word, the best first words are ROATE and RAISE. On average, you can get the correct answer within three guesses when using either of those words.
However, since Wordle solutions are usually only commonly used words (not off the wall Scrabble words like “syzygy”), ROATE probably won’t ever be the unicorn first guess answer. RAISE, on the other hand, could be.
If you’d prefer to be more random with your first word, the ideal approach is to use a word with five unique, yet common letters. A few great words to start with include:
As you might notice, “s,” “e,” and “a” are good letters to include since they’re common to so many words. Obviously, they won’t always be there. For instance, in my first time playing Wordle, the solution was MAGIC and started off with the word CRATE.
2. Skip Your Gray Letters
This might sound obvious, but one of the best Wordle tips is to just avoid using any gray letters. However, remember if a letter turns green or yellow, you could still have a duplicate of that letter. For instance, if you guessed “CHILD” and everything turned green except the “D,” the solution could be “CHILL.”
3. Choose Between Default and Hard Mode
You might not realize there’s a Hard mode if you’ve never clicked the Settings icon at the top-right corner. To add an extra layer of difficulty, Hard mode makes you use any hints you’ve been given in subsequent answers. This means you can just guess another random word to get more hints. Your next guess must incorporate all hints you’ve received thus far.
Of course, it’s a good strategy anyway to make the most of your hints. Also, while you’re in the Settings menu, you can turn on Dark Theme and Color Blind Mode to make it easier to see.
4. Make Use of Vowels
You’re not going to run into a Wordle without at least one vowel. So, make sure your first word includes at least a few vowels, especially “a,” “i,” and “e” as these are the most commonly used vowels.
5. Play Past Puzzles
While there’s only one puzzle per day, if you didn’t start playing from day one, there are some archived puzzles to take advantage of. This helps you build your own strategy. Wordle Archive lets you play all the past puzzles in one place.
Wordle Cheat Tools
As with most online games and apps, there is a cheat tool for Wordle. This can come in handy for those random Wordles that seem to stump everything, such as puzzle 213. While many guessed “PRO” as the first three letters, coming up with “XY” for the last two proved challenging. This is one of those examples where less commonly used letters can wreak havoc when it comes to solving the day’s puzzle.
While some of these cheat tools don’t necessarily cheat, they can make the game easier.
Use this tool alongside Wordle. Enter the word and your results into Unwordle to see the best possible guesses. Click or tap a letter once to turn it yellow and twice to turn it green.
While there’s no guarantee you’ll win, your odds do improve a little. This is ideal for those days when your mind is drawing a blank.
2. Wordle Helper
If you want to get a little more technical with your Wordle cheat tools, try Wordle Helper. This is a Python script designed to help you choose the best next guess using statistical probabilities.
You use it as you play, and the tool narrows down possible results with each guess. It’s simple to use and gives you a few more options than Unwordle, though it doesn’t look as nice.
3. Wordle Solver
Wordle Solver works much like Unwordle. Enter your first guess (by default, it’s RAISE), and choose the correct color underneath each letter based on how the guess performed in Wordle. You’ll then get a next best guess word along with the remaining number of possible words.
Guaranteeing a Daily Win
If you really want to cheat and not just use a tool that boosts your odds, there are two possible ways to do it. First, make use of Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode. (Go to Chrome’s menu at the top right and select “New Incognito Window”).
Play Wordle in Incognito Mode the first time. Whether you win or lose, you’ll be shown the correct answer. Since your browser doesn’t save the fact that you’ve already visited Wordle while you’re incognito, you can open a regular browser window and seemingly play Wordle for the first time, but you’ll already know the answer.
Make it look more real by guessing wrong a few times before getting the correct answer.
The second method is to view Wordle’s source code. All solutions are in the source code, so the developer, Josh Wardle, wouldn’t have to keep uploading new puzzles every day.
- Open the site as normal, but before you play, click the menu in Chrome, or any other browser that shows Developer Tools in the menu, and select “More tools -> Developer Tools.”
- Either copy and paste everything in the file in the right pane or press “Pretty-print” to make it easier to view. This file contains every single solution for Wordle that’s been programmed in so far (more may very well be added over time). I copied the file into Word to make it easier to use. Scroll until you see the word list.
So far, the words seem to be in the order in which they’ve appeared. Once you find yesterday’s word, the next word in the list should be today’s solution. This kind of takes all the fun out of it, so only use these cheats if you really want to put a bragging friend in their place.
Best Wordle Clones
Naturally, with any viral game, there are going to be clones. Some are better than others, but they’re all perfect if you’d like to play Wordle more than once per day.
1. Seven Wordles
As the name implies, Seven Wordles asks you to play seven games in a row with a timer going to test just how quickly you can do it.
2. Hello Wordl
Hello Wordl is one of the better Wordle clones because you can customize it to make it easier or harder. You can set the number of letters per word from 4 to 11. You can also play unlimited puzzles. There’s a daily puzzle and a random puzzle. (Use the Today’s and Random links] at the top).
Want a real challenge? Try Absurdle, the Wordle clone that’s actively out to make you lose. You can win, but the game gives you as little information to work on as possible and can even alter the original word, rendering your clues useless. The good news is you have unlimited guesses, but do you have enough patience?
4. Online Lingo
Much like the TV game show by the same name, Online Lingo has you guessing the right word using colored clues. You can play with five or six letters.
A few other Wordle clones you may want to check out include:
- Byrdle – Plays the same, but uses only words related to choir music
- Sweardle – Uses only four-letter curse words
- Dordle – Try to solve two five-letter words at one time
- Lewdle – Uses only five-letter curse words
- Squirdle – Guess the Pokémon using five criteria
- WordGuesser – You need to share a link to play the same word with a friend
- Primel – Guess the correct five-digit prime number
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I share my results with friends?
Half the fun of playing Wordle is sharing the results. While you can share them most anywhere, many users choose to share them on Twitter. When you win or lose, you’ll have the option to share. Press the Share button to copy your results to your device’s clipboard.
Open the app you want to share your results to. For touch-based devices, tap and hold until you see “Paste” and paste the results. For non-touch devices, right-click and select “Paste” or press Ctrl + V. You’ll get something similar to the below image.
Wordle 223 4/6
2. Can I create my own Wordle clone?
Yes. As you can see, there are already a variety of clones available. If you want to make your own, a great place to start is GitHub. A search for “wordle” gives you a variety of source codes to inspire you and build upon. Just make sure you give credit to any developer’s code you use.
3. Why do some apps ask me to pay?
Any apps that state they’re the original Wordle are just trying to monetize on the viral trend. It’s best to play one of the free clones I’ve listed above or the original Wordle in your browser. However, there are similar apps available for both iOS and Android that may have in-app purchases and ads. Remember, Wordle itself is free, so save money and play free.
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