What is Wordle, and how do I play it on my phone?

What is Wordle, and how do I play it on my phone?

If you’ve been remotely active on Twitter in the past couple of weeks, you’re sure to have encountered colored boxes on your timeline accompanied by the text Wordle. You’re either super intrigued to know what it’s all about or annoyed to the point where you’ve muted the word. Nonetheless, it’s a trend that has taken the internet by storm. If you too want to jump onto the bandwagon to tackle your FOMO, we’ll tell you everything about Wordle and how you can play this game on your smartphone.

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What is Wordle?

Wordle is a web-based word game that refreshes every day. The aim of the puzzle is to guess the word of the day. You get six tries to guess a five-letter word with color-coded boxes to help you place letters in the right positions. We’ll talk more about the nuances of the game and how to play it in the subsequent sections of this article. To give you a basic understanding of Wordle, you can think of it as a puzzle that gives you a new challenge every day.

Wordle rules

Josh Wardle, a software engineer, created the game for his wife who was hooked to word games like Spelling Bee and Crossword. The name of the game is unsurprisingly a wordplay on Josh’s last name. While the game was initially meant just for the couple to play, it was made public in October 2021 and started to get traction in the subsequent weeks thanks to the power of social media FOMO. The idea behind Wordle seems to be similar to that of a British game show called Lingo.

Of course, unlike the game show, you don’t win any money for guessing the right word on Wordle. What you win, though, is bragging rights for the number of turns you took to arrive at the right word. Wordle is played via a website that has no ads and its success is purely based on word of mouth. The fact that millions of users are playing the game all over the world intrigued by a random set of green boxes on a social media platform seems like just the kind of marketing Wordle needed to become popular! Think of it as Among Us for the Omicron wave, as the peak in the game’s popularity coincided with the recent COVID lockdowns, giving people reasons to find creative ways to spend their time indoors.


What makes Wordle so interesting is that it’s available to play just once a day. The anticipation to play the game again the next day is what brings users back to it. It’s also not very time-consuming as you only get six attempts to solve the puzzle, and how much time you spend per attempt is dependent on your English vocabulary. Given that a new word is available every morning, it’s also a great way to churn your brain and begin the day on a high. The fact that the same word is available to everyone all over the world also brings in an element of unison.

I’ve seen several people mentioning how a dormant group on WhatsApp suddenly became active after Wordle started gaining popularity. It’s good to see that a simple internet game can be a conversation starter while also adding a hint of competition to see who can guess the word in the least number of attempts.

Another reason for Wordle to become so popular is the boxes you see on Twitter. Multiple well-known personalities on Twitter have shared their Wordle scores on the platform. As a result, a bunch of their followers would also have tried the game and that’s how the word spreads. Alright, now that you know what Wordle is all about and how it came to being, let’s try solving our first Wordle together!


How to play Wordle?

The best and the “official” way to play Wordle is by heading to the website — https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html either on your computer or a smartphone. Once you’re on the website, you will see 5 columns and 6 rows followed by an on-screen keyboard. The 5 columns indicate that you need to guess a five-letter word while the 6 rows mean you have 6 chances to guess the right word.

Wordle Blank

  • The game begins when you start with your first guess. Your first guess can be any random five-letter word, but there are various strategies you can apply here. The most popular one is beginning with a word that has as many vowels as possible. The idea here is that most words in the English language have at least one vowel. If you start with a word that has multiple vowels, there’s a good chance you’ll get at least one letter right in the word. Examples of five-letter words with multiple vowels are AUDIO, ADIEU, AURAE, IRATE, RAISE, AROSE, etc. Let’s start with AROSE for this tutorial. Input the word and hit Enter.

Wordle round 1

  • You will now see that the background of all the letters you entered has changed. Some letters may have a green background, others may have a yellow or gray background. This is the important bit that you need to understand. If a box has turned green, it indicates that you’ve guessed the right letter in the right position. In this case, the letter R has turned green which means R is the second letter in the word. If a box turns yellow, which it hasn’t in this case, it means that the letter is right, but it’s not in the correct position in the word. If a box is gray, it means the letter isn’t present in the word.
  • Now, keeping in mind that R is the right letter in the right place, think of another word with R as the second letter. Also, make sure that the word you think of doesn’t have any of the gray letters. In this case, you need to think of a word that doesn’t have the letters A, O, S, E. If a letter turned yellow, make sure to use the same letter but in a different position from your initial guess.
  • Let’s now try the word DRINK.

Wordle second guess

  • As you can see, we have three green squares now which means the letters R, I, K are correct and in the right positions. The letters D, N are not present in the word. We just have to guess two more letters now to arrive at the correct word. Think of the different permutations and combinations of letters that you can come up with to form a word with these letters. The possible combinations I can think of are BRICK, PRICK, TRICK. Let’s try TRICK.

Trick as third guess

  • Alright, we’ve now got the last 4 letters of the word as RICK. Let’s try the other combinations from the previous step.

Brick fourth guess

  • Since B has turned gray, the only other possible guess I could think of is PRICK.

Wordle final guess

  • That’s it, we’ve successfully guessed the right word! Congratulations on solving your first Wordle!

It took us five attempts to solve the Wordle which is the number you see accompanying the boxes in tweets. Wordle (5/6) indicates that we guessed the word in five attempts out of 6. Once you’ve guessed the word, you will be shown your statistics along with the option to share your performance. Social media shares also mention a number besides Wordle, which is just how many daily Wordles have been there so far, so you can compare your performance on the same number with others.

Statistics

If you choose to share it on Twitter, the game will automatically create those colored boxes for you based on your guesses along with the number of guesses. You can also see the time remaining for the next word displayed here. Once the timer elapses, you can come back to the same page and try guessing the new word.

Share Wordle

While having a rich English vocabulary does help, luck also plays a big factor in determining whether or not you’ll be able to guess the right word. Nevertheless, the objective of the game is to have fun so guess your way to the top, tweet your scores, share them with your friends, and challenge them to get the word in lesser attempts!


Wordle alternatives on Android/iOS

The original Wordle game can be played only via the website mentioned above, and it is quite convenient to simply bookmark the website and play through your phone browser. Some people may prefer playing on an app instead. There were some cloned versions of the game turned into apps going by the same name — Wordle. Those have been taken down now but there still are some word-based puzzle games that can work as alternatives on both the Google Play Store as well as the Apple App Store.

Primel

Hannah Park has created an open-source version of Wordle that developers can now make use of to create their own variations of the game. Twitter user DavidLawrenceMiller has taken advantage of this and created a mathematical version of the game — Primel. Instead of guessing words like you would on Wordle, you take chances to guess a five-digit prime number on Primel. This is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek take on Wordle, but if you would rather scratch your head finding prime factors of a number than revising your vocab, this could be your thing!

Word Bound

Word Bound is a word-based puzzle game that is similar to Wordle. You need to guess the right word using various combinations. There are multiple levels and you can even play online against your friends. The game claims to have over 1,000 puzzles with a daily word challenge. If you want something more extensive than Wordle since the latter only allows you to play once a day, you can check this game out.

Scrabble Go

Scrabble is one of the most popular word games across the globe. You are given a board on which you need to make words using the available letters. You get a certain number of points for each word that you make. You can play offline or against a friend, and the person with the most number of points wins. It’s a fun game that’s different from Wordle but still revolves around making words.

Scrabble® GO-Classic Word Game
Developer: Scopely
Price: Free

Wordlets

This is a proper replica of Wordle but in an app form for iOS devices. Wordlets gives you the same amount of guesses to arrive at a five-letter word as Wordle and with the exact same layout. This app is for those who want to play the exact same game but on an app instead of on the website.

Wordly

Wordly is a game on iOS that displays a 4×4 box with different letters. You have to draw lines inside the box to connect various letters to form a meaningful word. This is a slightly different take on a word game and I’m glad that it brings something unique to the table instead of being a blatant copy of an already existing game.


Wordle Tips and Tricks

Wordle is a pretty straightforward game. You just have to guess the right word in six attempts. However, there are some tips and tricks for Wordle that can improve your experience while playing the game. A basic tip as already mentioned earlier is to start off with a word that covers a lot of vowels or frequently used letters in the English alphabet. Letters like S, T, A, E, I, R are frequently used and hence, might give you a good start with a few yellow or green squares.

This isn’t really a trick but an Easter Egg present on Google when you search for Wordle. When you enter Wordle on Google and hit the Search button, you will see an animation resembling how Wordle works. Neat!

The next trick involves going back in time (at least, on your phone’s clock) and playing Wordle with past words. Technically, Wordle can only be played once a day. There’s a new word every day and once you’ve guessed that, you have to wait for the timer to reset before playing the game again with a new word. However, if you’re new to Wordle and want to guess the previous days’ words, there’s a small hack discovered by Reddit user r/pompeusz. All you need to do is change the date on your smartphone to a day in the past and open the website. You will now be able to play that day’s Wordle.

Using this trick LeagueBright9916 has created a Wordle Archive where you can play all 215 Wordles till now in random order. This is a great way to pass time if you’ve already solved the current puzzle and want to get the hang of the game by guessing older words.

Another basic trick is to tap on the small gear icon on the top-right corner to access some settings. You can enable/disable dark mode from here, along with the option to change the color scheme if you’re colorblind. You can also toggle a Hard Mode if you want the game to be more challenging.


That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the latest fad on social media — Wordle! If you haven’t played the game yet, start today by heading over to the link and following the tutorial above. If you’re unsure of what to do or are stuck somewhere, feel free to leave a comment below. It’s quite addictive though, so tread with caution!

About author

Sumukh Rao
Sumukh Rao

A tech fanatic with a hunger for knowledge in the ever-growing field of science and technology. An avid quizzer and a gadget critic who loves simplifying tech for the masses has a keen interest in modding Android devices.

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