How was your Wordle today? Mine was rough, to say the least.
Wordle, a once-daily guessing game that asks users to identify a five-letter word in six tries, has taken the internet by storm since creator Josh Wardle’s personal gift to his partner was made public late last week. from last year. Now, people find their Twitter timelines littered with black, gold, and green emojis as users share their winning (or losing) scores.
The premise is simple: players have six tries to guess a five-letter word. If they select a letter of the word in its correct place, the letter will turn green. If they select a letter in the word, but it is in the wrong place, the letter will turn yellow. If they select a letter that does not appear in the word, it will turn gray.
After six attempts, the game reveals users’ results and gives them the option to share their emoji-filled messages on social media. It also lets them know when the next game will be released.
It seems easy, right? Well, not always.
The game, which has spawned several Twitter and Reddit threads on the best strategies to win each day, has become its own sub-community on social media in recent weeks. On November 1, only 90 people played. On New Year’s Day, Wordle had more than 300,000 users and appears to be growing.
Here are some strategies that users can apply in tomorrow’s game that could help them improve their scores:
focus on vowels
Trying to use as many vowels as possible on first guesses can pay off, as some strategists have noted.
Wardle initially included 12,000 five-letter words in the game, but has since narrowed it down to about 2,500, he told The New York Times. Wardle didn’t want to use a lot of obscure words, trying to keep the game as simple as possible.
Some users have tried their best to find the best strategy. Imperial College London researcher Giorgio Gilestro has codified a “word solver,” which plays a form of the game against itself to generate hundreds of different word choices.
Gilestro found that “AROSE” had the highest letter frequency and would make a good starting word.
What is the best strategy to win in #word? I’m pretty sure you’ve already figured out your own strategy and you probably think it’s smart. Well, I did a little bit of analysis tonight and got some amazing results. I will explain it in this thread 🧵1/14
-Giorgio Gilestro (@giorgiogilestro) January 10, 2022
Think about the frequency of the letters
For Dan Ridley-Ellis, associate professor at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, the best opening word is “FEES.” The word includes the three most common consonants and the two most common vowels.
He shared his research in a five-post thread on Twitter, where he showed an Excel chart of letter frequency.
My take on Wordle’s ‘fight me’ strategy is that RATES is a good opening word. This is based on letter frequency analysis of commonly known 5-letter words (feasible for the game), done with my favorite game (Excel). But you might have different ideas, so here is my letter chart. pic.twitter.com/N9n25GiXCw
— Dan Ridley-Ellis (@FlyingQuercus) January 11, 2022
While Wordle may be difficult for some, it’s clear that many of Twitter’s reigning champions have put a lot of thought into best practices for success.
Forget the strategy, just keep guessing
For those less inclined to code or plot letter frequencies, simply log in and guess seems to be a popular strategy. Still, some tips are helpful, like realizing that the same letter can be used twice.
Some users just start with the first word that comes to mind and use the process of elimination. It may take some of the fun out of strategizing, but it provides results nonetheless.
wordle is fascinating to me because the more “how to win wordle” breakdowns I read, the less I care about strategy and will happily continue to play terrible words like WORMS.
— shing yin khor (@sawdustbear) January 5, 2022
And for those who feel like they’ve mastered Wordle, they can always turn on “Hard Mode,” which requires users to use the clues revealed in later guesses.
Even without a particular “winning” strategy, many users simply enjoy the game and the social media community that has grown up around it.
Unsurprisingly, the popularization of Wordle has resulted in copycat websites and apps, which allow users to play unlimited games or ask for fees to access more games.
Wordle doesn’t have an app and doesn’t plan to have one: Wardle told NPR that the free website doesn’t track its users’ data and doesn’t ask them for anything. Still, unauthorized knockoffs have appeared on Apple’s App Store in recent weeks, but were eventually removed.