How to Win at Wordle (and Wordle Alternatives to Try if You're Obsessed)

Your Wordle starting word may be the secret to your success.

Your social media feed is probably littered with grids of gray, green, and yellow squares. And if you haven't already gotten sucked into the Wordle fun, it's a simple (and addicting) word-guessing game created by Josh Wardle to play with his partner. It's kind of like Hangman—you get six guesses to try to find a five-letter word. Letters turn green if they're in the puzzle and in the right spot, yellow if they're in the puzzle but in the wrong spot, and gray if they aren't in the word.

wordle game

You can only play Wordle once per day, and everyone gets the same puzzle to solve each day, which makes it a fun and friendly competition you can have with your friends and coworkers. (And creates a lot of debate as to best strategies you should use to win.)

Whether you're a Wordle newbie or a seasoned player, here are a few tried-and-true Wordle strategies to get you started on the road to mastering the game.

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Choose the best Wordle starting word

There are various strategies people use for picking their initial words—using words that include lots of vowels and common consonants tend to be the best for getting (or eliminating) letters right off the bat. ADIEU, ORATE, or RADIO are great if you want to eliminate a lot of of the vowels—or try words like YEAST, DREAM, or TEARS (which are some of the favorites amongst Real Simple Wordle fans).

Some nerdy types have run algorithms to find the best Wordle starting words—and words like SOARE, SLATE, SAUCE, and RAISE are among the options they project will bring you to the winning answer fastest.

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Don't be afraid to take a step back

Once you get some of those green and yellow squares, you might be tempted to keep trying to use the letters you found and shuffle them around. But other Wordle gamers recommend playing a second word that uses a lot of popular letters that weren't in your first word, so you can get a better sense of what letters might be in your big win. (In fact, one algorithm suggested using RAISE, followed by OLDEN, as your opening words to get to your solution faster.)

Note: If you play Wordle in hard mode (you can pick it under the settings icon on the top right of the screen), you will have to use any letters you discover in every guess after that, so you can't use this strategy.

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You can cheat at Wordle if you're desperate

If you're totally stumped (and super competitive), there are ways to make "solving" the puzzle easier. Most people aren't posting the solutions, but you can definitely find each day's answers out there with a quick Google search.

( posts clues and lets you scroll down to see the solution, if you want, and a Twitter account called Wordlinator was suspended for spoiling the games before they even went live.)

If you're looking to get a little bit of help—but not the solution—you could use Scrabble word finder tools, which allow you to filter based on starting and ending letters, or put in any letters you've found with a couple of wild cards, too.

And you can the game first on one device or web browser to make sure you have the winning word before you play it on your "real" account.

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There are other Wordle-like games if you can't get enough

Wordle is kind of perfect for gamers who get time sucked into multiple matches of Words With Friends or other games—there's only one puzzle per day, so you're limited in what you can do.

But if you can't get enough, you'll find several different Wordle alternatives out there to try:

Word Master — Basically, it's Wordle, but without the one-puzzle-a-day limit, for people who want to practice their skills.

Hello Wordl — This one lets you play as many games as you'd like, so you can sharpen your skills. You can also use the slider at the top of the screen to increase (or decrease) the challenge by solving longer or shorter words, rather than the standard Wordle five.

Sweardle — If you have a dirty mouth, this version lets you use all those four-letter words that likely won't show up in the original puzzle.

Seven Wordles — Speed and accuracy are both important in this version, where you see how long it takes for you to complete seven Wordle puzzles. (Note that you have to tap letters on the screen, so this works better as a mobile game than on a computer.)

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