Skip to content
Thoughtful, detailed coverage of everything Apple for 32 years
and the TidBITS Content Network for Apple professionals
26 comments

How to Play Wordle, the Word-Guessing Game of 2022

If you pay any attention to social media, you may have seen posts that say “Wordle” with numbers and a series of mysterious boxes, like so:

Maybe you’ve even read the New York Times profile of the game’s creator and how he made it for his partner.

Wordle is the hottest word game going right now, but how do you play it? The gameplay is simple but not immediately obvious, so let me show you how to get in on the fun. And Wordle is fun if you like word puzzles.

First, go to the Wordle page. Oddly, it’s at https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/, not wordle.com or something more obvious. You’re presented with an empty 5-by-6 grid and an onscreen keyboard that’s every bit as mysterious as the boxes in social media posts.

Wordle start game

In short, Wordle is a word-guessing game. Each day brings a different word, and you have six attempts to guess it. Start by typing a five-letter word—you can use the keyboard on a computer or click or tap the onscreen keys. Any valid word will work—typing random characters isn’t allowed. When you’re done, hit Enter.

For my first word, I typed POWER. Unfortunately, none of the letters were correct, as indicated by the gray color. On the upside, I eliminated five letters, which are shown in gray on the onscreen keyboard so you know not to use them again.

First Wordle guess, POWER

After a bit of thought, I tried the word STAND. The letters A and N were highlighted in yellow, indicating that those letters are in the word, but not in the correct positions. After wracking my brain trying to think of a suitable word that contains A and N in other spots, I tried ANVIL. Wordle highlighted the L in green, which meant that not only is L in the word, but I got it in the right position! Plus, the A and N remained in yellow, which meant that the new positions were incorrect as well. I was getting somewhere.

Wordle third guess: ANVIL. Second guess was STAND.

Three more attempts. What word doesn’t have a P, O, W, E, R, S, T, V, or I, but has an A, N, and ends with an L? I decided to try the word BANAL, since B hadn’t been eliminated yet. It was a bit risky since BANAL uses A twice, so if it wasn’t the ultimate answer, I would have eliminated or verified only the B.

If you don’t get the word in six tries, Wordle reveals the answer, and you can try again the next day.

Thankfully, I got lucky. BANAL in four guesses. Everyone gets the same word every day, so don’t spoil it for others.

Fourth and correct guess: BANAL

At the end, Wordle presents you with your statistics (tracked by browser, so you have to play on the same device for them to accumulate accurately) and a countdown to the next word of the day. If you want to post your spoiler-free result on social media, click the Share button to copy the results to your clipboard. Or don’t—it’s not like the world needs more meaningless social media posts.

Wordle statistics

The great thing about Wordle is it takes only a few minutes a day to play, it doesn’t bombard you with ads, and it doesn’t try to waste even more of your time. It’s a nice, quick brain teaser that isn’t too much of a distraction.

Subscribe today so you don’t miss any TidBITS articles!

Every week you’ll get tech tips, in-depth reviews, and insightful news analysis for discerning Apple users. For over 31 years, we’ve published professional, member-supported tech journalism that makes you smarter.

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

Comments About How to Play Wordle, the Word-Guessing Game of 2022

Notable Replies

  1. This is an AP Computer Science A Free Response Question, slightly enhanced.

  2. We’ve added Wordle to our daily word games (the NYT crossword and Spelling Bee), it’s fun.

    I can never remember the address so I set up - bit.ly/wordlepuzzle

  3. I’ve finally come full circle! You should reboot The Magazine, but not just so I can cover another word game.

  4. Thanks very much for the play-by-play explanation. I’ve been interested in giving it a try!

  5. After reading about it, I went to the App Store, searched for Wordle, and came back with an app called WhatWord. It doesn’t provide a starter word, and you can play it multiple times a day. It rather reminds me of a random-number generator – all depends on what your “seed” is.

  6. Seems very much like a game show in the UK called LINGO

  7. One thing it’s good for is eying five letter words. I suppose after you master them, you’ll need to move up to six letter words. If there’s a tickler for that.

  8. Sadly, this game’s popularity has led to lots of knock-off apps, including some that have decided to use the same name, and one that is arrogant enough to charge a $30 annual subscription fee.

    Don’t support these crooks. Play the original web game, which is the only one that supports Josh Wardle.

  9. All of the Wordle apps in the App Store are unauthorized clones taking advantage of a popular game.

    Wordle is only available via the Web for now. You can set a link to the webpage on your Home Screen via the Add to Home Screen option under the share menu. However, that doesn’t share cookies with Safari, so it won’t track your statistics.

  10. There are a lot of word games very much like Wordle, and another similar game with colored pegs called Master Mind.

    However, those games told you the number of correct letters in the right spots, the number of correct letters in wrong spots, but not which letters. Wordle tells you that, and it completely changes the game.

    Knowing which letters are right and in the right spots, which are right, but in the wrong spots, and which are not in the word at all, makes the game much easier. Most games can easily be solved within four guesses.

    You still need to strategize. You still need to think, but it almost always pays off. You’ll win the game and be rewarded for your work.

    This is also why Freestyle Solitaire is the most popular version of Solitaire. Almost all games are winnable, but you still have to think about it. You have to work at the solution, but you’re almost always awarded for your effort.

    The fact you can only play a single game per day means you’re anticipating it and you’re not going to burn out on it.

  11. You can set a link to the webpage on your Home Screen via the Add to Home Screen option under the share menu. However, that doesn’t share cookies with Safari, so it won’t track your statistics.

    Well, it resets statistics if you’ve been playing from Safari previously, but it will track statistics going forward. I did the add to Home Screen last week and my stats have been tracked since then.

  12. Lingo does exactly starting with a four letter word and progressing to a five letter word, time limits and other rules add to the excitement/enjoyment.

  13. Although the URL is co.uk, the english used is US (f.i. favor)

  14. Picking a word with 5 different letters is a good way to start. Even better is to pick a word with 5 of the most common letters in words. Here are the frequencies:

    {‘e’:56.88, ‘a’:43.31, ‘r’:38.64, ‘i’:38.45, ‘o’:36.51, ‘t’:35.43, ‘n’:33.92, ‘s’:29.23, ‘l’:27.98, ‘c’:23.13, ‘u’:18.51, ‘d’:17.25, ‘p’:16.14, ‘m’:15.36, ‘h’:15.31, ‘g’:12.59, ‘b’:10.56, ‘f’: 9.24, ‘y’: 9.06, ‘w’: 6.57, ‘k’: 5.61, ‘v’: 5.13, ‘x’: 1.48, ‘z’: 1.39, ‘j’: 1.00, ‘q’: 1.00}

    ‘q’ is arbitrarily assigned a value of 1. The other numbers are the relative frequency compared to that. ‘e’ is almost 57 times more frequent than ‘q’. I used the frequencies in a python program to find words in an online dictionary that score high in the frequency of their letters. It also looks for a sequence of high scoring words that are also disjoint.

    The idea is not that it solves the puzzle (it doesn’t), but that it gives good words to try at the start.

  15. I like it because it’s closer to multiple choice than remembering names or trivia which I’m terrible at. However, I first just put in almost any five letter word I can think of with all different letters. I could always use the same word that I judge to have the best odds, but I don’t. I could easily cheat, but I don’t. I’m painfully slow but I’ve gotten every one so far (since day of this article) in five tries or less. Half of those in four tries or less. Today’s I got in four tries despite my first word drawing nothing (you still gain). I’m prepared for a losing streak now. Good fun. Thanks.

  16. Glad for the creator who has found the phenomenon too hard to handle and, eh, probably would like the ‘low seven figure’ sum.

    It’s got a sustainable basis now. There’s that.

  17. I’m both sad and happy about this. It’s been a fun few weeks now, but I’m happy the developer is getting paid well, sad for the inevitable addition to only the puzzle page subscription availability. Maybe they’ll finally get me to pay.

    Also, the NYTimes will have the ability to take down the rip-off apps that keep popping up. I think Apple took them off the iOS App Store, but I understand there are still many on the Google Play Store.

    I wonder if they’ll put it in the iOS Crossword app now, like the Spelling Bee puzzle?

  18. Also, there is this:

  19. Federico Viticci has made a free Shortcut that lets you save an offline copy of Wordle to play forever.

  20. To save someone else time, I just checked the article and the shortcut works on iOS and iPadOS 15.4 beta only. There is some sort of bug in 15.3 that prevents it from working right.

  21. The NY Times finally got the Wordle game to work on Safari! It was an annoyance to have to switch to Chrome just to play it…

  22. ??? Never played Wordle on anything else than Safari.

Join the discussion in the TidBITS Discourse forum

Participants