What Is Wordle, and Why Is Everyone Playing It?

What Is Wordle, and Why Is Everyone Playing It?

What Is Wordle, and Why Is Everyone Playing It?

Have you seen a pattern where individuals are using the hashtag #wordle to publish grid-like emoticons on Twitter? It is the most recent viral timewaster. Here’s how it works and how you may participate as well.

Wordle Is a Daily Word Game

Wordle is a daily word game that invites you to try and guess a five-letter word in just six tries. It’s very simple to play along once you get the idea, and the fact that it’s a once-a-day thing means your enthusiasm for it will likely be drawn out over a matter of weeks or months, rather than a downloadable game where you can monster over a hundred levels in an afternoon.

The game works on both desktop and mobile browsers, with no need to download an app. Just head over to the Wordle website and check back each day for the latest iteration.

Note: At the time of writing, there is not an official Wordle app for iPhone, iPad, or Android. The Wordle website acts as a web app and can be used in any mobile browser such as Chrome or Safari. Currently, all Wordle apps in the App Store or Google Play Store are clones of the puzzle game.

At first, you’ll be presented with an empty grid, into which you type a word then hit enter. The letters will change to indicate whether any of the letters are in the right place (green), in the word but the wrong position (amber), or not in the word at all (gray).

So, if your first guess is “FIRED” and the R turns green, the E turns yellow, and the rest of the letters turn gray, you can deduce that the final word has an R in the center position, has an E in it somewhere, but does not use F, I, or D. From here you can refine your guess, which you’ll type into the next row.

Wordle Games

Wordle Games

Tips for Playing Wordle

Everyone has a different approach to brain teasers, and there’s no single strategy that you can lean on. The game works best when it stokes your sense of deduction, forcing you to rack your brain for words that use a certain set of letters in specific positions.

That said, there are a few tips to take away. If you guess a letter and it goes green or amber, that letter may appear more than once in the puzzle so may be worth keeping in mind for future guesses. Don’t rule any letters out unless they turn grey.

Some players like to start with a new word each day, others stick to the same basic word that includes a lot of vowels and common letters (like ARISE or TEARS) to better refine future guesses.

The key takeaway is not to waste any of your chances by repeating letters that turn grey in previous guesses. You only get six chances, though you could always boot up a second browser or use incognito mode.

How does Wordle work? How do you do Wordle?

It works like this: When you visit the Wordle website, you’re greeted by 5-wide by 6-long grid of empty, white boxes. Each box can hold one letter, and so you guess at the answer by typing in a five-letter word and pressing ‘Enter’.

There aren’t any clues up front, so any five-letter word will do as an initial guess. That’s where the game of Wordle really starts. When you send a guess along, the color of each letter’s box changes.

  • If it turns green, that letter is in the daily word, and you’ve placed it in the right spot.
  • If it turns yellow, the letter is in the word, but you have it in the wrong position.
  • If the box turns grey, it means the letter isn’t in the word at all.

The website serves up a simple explainer graphic for first-time visitors that lays it all out clearly.

How do you start Wordle? Best starting words?

We have some ideas to help you select the perfect opening. Some of those tips include choosing a word with at least two different vowels in it, plus a few common consonants such as S, T, R, or N.

Why is Wordle such a big deal?

How To Play wordle games

How To Play wordle games

Wordle has been available since October 2021 as a daily word game that anyone online can play for free. It only exploded more recently, after Wardle announced the addition of a “Share” feature in mid-December that makes it easy to post your daily performance online.

Really though, there’s no “wrong” way to play. The beauty of Wordle is its simplicity. It won’t even let you get away with plugging a nonsense lineup of letters in lieu of an actual word; every guess you make is checked against Wordle‘s own dictionary. If your guess isn’t a real word, the game doesn’t allow you to push it through.Just give it a shot and see for yourself. Once you’ve caught the bug, it’s hard to keep yourself from coming back for more.

Reporting by Caitlin Welsh contributed to this article.


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Adam Rosenberg

Adam Rosenberg is a Senior Games Reporter for Mashable, where he plays all the games. Every single one. From AAA blockbusters to indie darlings to mobile favorites and browser-based oddities, he consumes as much as he can, whenever he can.Adam brings more than a decade of experience working in the space to the Mashable Games team. He previously headed up all game’s coverage at Digital Trends, and prior to that was a long-time, full-time freelancer, writing for a diverse lineup of outlets that includes Rolling Stone, MTV, G4, Jaystin, IGN, Official Xbox Magazine, EGM, 1UP, UGO and others.Born and raised in the beautiful suburbs of New York, Adam has spent his life in and around the city. He’s a New York University graduate with a double major in Journalism and Cinema Studios. He’s also a certified audio engineer. Currently, Adam resides in Crown Heights with his dog and his partner’s two cats. He’s a lover of fine food, adorable animals, video games, all things geeky and shiny gadgets.


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