Looking for some Wordle tips? Social media is a strange place at best, but over the last six months it has been awash with strange, contextless messages consisting of numbers and colored squares that look like this:
Wordle 195 3/6
These are wordle answers, proudly displayed by the game’s worldwide group of gamers after completing the daily puzzle game from software engineer Josh Wardle (really) who created it for his partner who loves word games, then sent it to his family who also loved it and then released it to the public in October 2021. “It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day,” Wardle told the New York Times, with the website buying the game for an undisclosed seven-figure sum in January 2022. “And that’s it. Like, doesn’t want more of your time than that.”
That short time commitment is key to the game’s appeal. There is only one puzzle available each day (unless you play one of the many games like wordle that came about in response to the game’s popularity), so you can’t gorge yourself for hours on Wordles, and there’s no chance of falling behind an overzealous friend who has suddenly devoted his life to these five mailboxes. It only takes a few minutes, it’s fun, and it can be a challenge for your day without sucking up an entire afternoon.
With that in mind, here’s how to play, plus some key Wordle tips to help you secure your perfect winning streak.
How to play
Wordle Rules: How to Play the Daily Puzzle
In that free word game you need to figure out which secret word fits inside a five-letter box using a maximum of six guesses. Each time you type a word, the letters reverse and the boxes change to one of three colors: a green box means you’ve put the right letter in the right place, a yellow box tells you it’s the right letter, but it needs to be in another place in the word, and finally a gray box to let you know that the letter is not present in the word (there’s also a high contrast mode, which makes the green boxes a bright orange and the yellow boxes a light blue).
On the next line, repeat the process for your next guess using what you learned from your previous guess. You have six tries and can only use US English words (so don’t fill in the boxes with EEEE to see if there’s an E and where exactly it should appear – and international players will need to remember to discard those Us).
When you’ve won (or lost), it’s time to share your results on social media using Wordle’s smart sharing system: it shows you how many tries it took you to get the answer, without revealing the solution. That way, you can easily show off your genius puzzle skills, email them to grandma, or even add that one time you guessed the right word the first time you access your resume.
Want to play Wordle? Of course you do. But if there’s one thing better than playing Wordle, it’s playing Wordle well, which is why I’m going to share some quick tips to help you on your way to puzzle success:
Start with a word that uses several different vowels and common consonants. ALERT, RAISE, and MILES are good examples, but anything along those lines will also do the job. ATAXY, on the other hand, uses A twice and has an X and a Y which, if eliminated, probably won’t help you much with your next guess.
Keep in mind that a letter can appear more than once in the solution. If you type TAINT and the A turns yellow or green, it doesn’t mean that the answer only contains a single A. It may have more. The answer may be MAFIA. That said, make the most of your initial guesses by sticking to words with no repetitions or previous letters already dropped. Each guess should provide as much information as possible.
Don’t forget the plurals. “BIRDS”, “TRAVELS” and “SIZES” may not reflect the highest heights of your personal vocabulary, but they still confirm the presence or absence of a vowel and some common consonants anyway and make you more informed.
Don’t rush your guesses. There’s only one Wordle per day and there’s no time pressure other than making sure it’s done by midnight (local time). So if you’d like to spend an hour or so turning over the clues in your mind while working on other things (like real work), there’s no reason not to treat the game like a casual newspaper crossword and come back to it later.
And if you need a little extra help, every day I post a helpful tip, as well as the answer to the last puzzle in our dedicated Wordle section.