Benefits Of Word Games

  • Word games are seen as a productive way to spend time by almost 50% of Americans.
  • 35% of children who score the highest grades are encouraged by their parents to play word games.
  • An hour of participation in mentally challenging activities (such as word games) allows people to effectively reason and think for longer periods of time than those who only do so for 30 minutes or less.
  • In addition, cognitive test scores have seen to be highest in those that play word games at least once per day and lowest in those that never play them.
  • When playing word games, participants can lose themselves in the game and forget about the outside world, which releases stress and tension.
  • Dopamine is also released when playing word games, which allows us to feel a large range of positive emotions.
  • The onset of accelerated memory decline in those that develop dementia was seen to decline by 2.54 years for people who play crosswords, when compared to those that don’t. 
  • Word games such as Scrabble and Boggle allow players to interact with each other either in-person or virtually, increasing social bonding.
  • The regular practice of word games activates your working memory and can increase the amount of time you are able to focus on tasks.
  • Word games can help expand your overall vocabulary, improve your spelling and even word pronunciation skills.

Key benefits of word games

Fun to play

One of the key reasons people look to play word games is to enjoy themselves and have fun in a comfortable and welcoming environment. 

  • The competitive element of any word game, whether played with other people or individually, allows us to undertake new challenges and test our skills. 
  • In doing so we force ourselves to think in different ways to find solutions, which we take pleasure in doing. 
  • As with other hobbies, it doesn’t matter whether word games are played in a casual or a high stakes environment, the very nature of challenging ourselves and competing allows it to be an exciting experience.  

Relieves stress

Even though word games can be played at a beginner or an advanced level, the activity of solving word puzzles can provide a form of stress relief to individuals. 

  • When we focus our attention on tasks such as word games, we are able to stop thinking about other worries that may be bothering us in our day-to-day lives. 
  • During the activity of playing a word game, we are forced to focus only on the task at hand in order to succeed.
  • Importantly, word games can be played at any time of the day throughout the year, making them a great tool for people who want to let off some steam.

Aids concentration

Attention and concentration are a must when playing word games in order to understand the current game situation and determine the optimal next move to make. 

  • Many players find that as they play word games more frequently, their ability to focus on the game increases. 
  • During a game, players can enter a flow-like state of high concentration, which increases their chances of finding a solution and improving their overall play.
  • Not only can this be of benefit during a game, but also in other areas of their life.
  • Forcing ourselves to concentrate on word games can build up our resilience to becoming distracted.

Increases memory

When playing word games, the short-term and long-term memory of each individual is tested in multiple ways. 

  • Even just to play a game at a basic level, players must understand and be able to recall its rules. 
  • Beyond that, as part of a winning strategy, players may need to recall vocabulary and demonstrate pattern recognition using their memory.
  • Additionally, players may try to remember similar situations they have experienced when playing the game before, before calculating the best move to make.
  • Constantly testing our memory during word games can even help improve our memory in regular life.

Improves spelling

When rearranging letters to form words in word games, the ability to spell correctly will play a vital role in the success of each turn.

  • Without being able to spell correctly, it is harder to identify words that can be created using anagrams. 
  • However, with consistent play, players should begin to notice an improvement in their spelling ability. 
  • In turn, they can start to play words that are more difficult to spell and earn more points for their efforts, which can create a positive feedback loop.
  • Importantly, improving spelling through word games will be a benefit to players when outside of a game environment.

Expands vocabulary

One of the clearest benefits of playing popular word games is that they have the potential to significantly expand your vocabulary.

  • Players are exposed to a large number of words when playing different word games.
  • Whether word games are played individually or multiplayer, the competitive nature of word games makes it possible to learn new words in different moments throughout the game. 
  • This is especially true in multiplayer games, where paying attention to the words an opponent plays can expose you to words you did not previously know about.
  • Although not every unknown word will be learned right away, regular play can help players accumulate new words in their memory.

If you are looking to find other ways to improve your vocabulary for word games, check out WordsRated’s Word Finder. To begin, enter the letters available to you in your current round and hit “search” to find a list of solutions. You can even filter results to include 5-letter words for Wordle.

Heightens creativity

Players are forced to think in unique and creative ways to come up with the greatest possible solution for an upcoming move. 

  • As many word games are based around anagrams, our brains need to use creative thinking in order to rearrange letters and find patterns that can be used to form words. 
  • The creativity of each player is tested as they are required to visualize and consider a range of possibilities to make the most of a turn.
  • Some word games even involve special points scores for placing letters in certain positions, for creating multiple words within one turn or creating words only using a specific number of letters. 
  • As with all endeavors, placing rules on the solutions we produce can produce even higher levels of creativity and innovation.

Balances emotions

Interestingly, word games have the ability to make us accustomed to feeling a number of contrasting emotions, including relaxation, happiness, relief, stress, frustration and anger.

  • Depending on the stage we are at within each game and our standing compared with the other players we play against, positive and negative emotions can fluctuate greatly.
  • Although extreme, the change of emotion can even take place within the time needed to perform or witness a beneficial or detrimental turn. 
  • In general, the more exposure we have to word games, the more comfortable we should begin to be when feeling these emotions. 
  • Due to this, the amount of control we have over these can begin to increase, which can provide benefits to us in other environments.

Boosts social skills

One of the most appealing things about word games to regular players is the opportunity they give for people to socialize with one another. 

  • Passing time with friends, family or even new players to enjoy a word game will encourage us to socialize and improve our social skills. 
  • What’s more, multiplayer word games have long been seen as something to play in the evening or at the weekend as a lighthearted social occasion. 
  • During these times, we are typically more relaxed and in a better mood for socializing with others.
  • Although there are many single-player word games, many of the most popular word games are multiplayer.

Self-confidence

Whether enjoyed as a casual pastime or in a competitive setting, word games can help each player improve their self-confidence in specific ways. Although single-player and multiplayer word games have effects on our confidence levels, playing with other people in a social setting likely to have the biggest effect.

  • Initially, when a player decides to undertake the challenge of playing a word-game, they demonstrate a level of confidence to even begin competing. 
  • During the game, players must show confidence in their ability to determine the best moves to play. 
  • Once the game has ended, the winning player will receive a boost to their confidence due to knowing they have won the game. 
  • Contrasting this, losing players may become determined to get better at the game and improve their score in future games. 
  • However, both winners and losers can feel a sense of accomplishment for completing the game, for any mini victories they have made within the game and for improving on a previous score.

Retention rates of word games

Not only do word games provide a whole host of benefits to players, they also have above average retention rates when compared to games in different genres. This means that players of word games are more likely to continue playing and reaping the mental, social and academic rewards that result from their regular play.

Game genreRetention rate
All28%
Arcade27%
Board29%
Casual30%
Hyper casual25%
Racing27%
RPG29%
Sports31%
Word29%


A graph is given below to compare the retention rates of word games: