Learn how to play Wordle in 5 easy steps

Wordle emerged as one of the world’s most popular word games in 2022 after gaining a cult following which led to it being purchased by The New York Times. If you are looking to begin playing Wordle and do not know where to start, this guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to play the game, along with a live demonstration of solving the puzzle.

How to play Wordle

In its essence, Wordle is a very simple game – you have to guess a 5-letter word within 6 attempts. As you make each guess, the game tells you which letters you’ve guessed or misplaced and which letters don’t belong to the mystery word.

When you visit the Wordle puzzle page, you’ll notice that it consists of 6 rows, each containing 5 boxes. Each box represents 1 letter, and your task is to fill these boxes with letters to make up a 5-letter word.

Here is a step-by-step process of how to play the game and solve the daily puzzle with the fewest possible attempts:

1. Start by typing the first 5-letter word

You start the game by guessing the first 5-letter word by putting the letters in their respective boxes. You can play any word from the list of 12,966 words with 5 letters from the English dictionary.

Tip: If you’re not sure what the best word to start with is, we’ve got you covered. Our analysis of the best starting Wordle words says that words like CRANE, SLATE, STARE, or SAUCY will give you the best chance to win the daily puzzle in as few attempts as possible.

Let’s start with one of the most commonly used first words for Wordle – SLATE. It contains some of the most frequently featured letters in Wordle solutions and gives us the biggest probability of guessing a couple of letters right after the first try.

2. See which letters are part of the today’s solution

After you’ve made your first guess, the submitted letters’ boxes will change colors from white to one of the following colors, depending on whether the guessed letters are a part of the solution or not:

  • Grey-colored letter boxes suggest that the guessed letter(s) is/are not a part of today’s solution.
  • Yellow-colored boxes highlight letters that are a part of today’s solution but are not in the correct spot within the word.
  • Yellow-colored letter boxes display letters that are both part of today’s solution and in the right spot.

In this case, 2 letters from SLATE are in our solution, T and E. Both letters are misplaced, so in the next step, we need to make sure we try a word that contains both T and E, while not containing S, L, and A.

3. Make the next guess.

Based on the information gained from the first guess, play the next word, making sure that green letters are on their correctly guessed spots, yellow letters are included in the next word but in different positions, and grey letters are not part of the next guess.

Going back to our example, let’s try with a word that contains one more vowel alongside E. Our second guess is DEPOT, as it matches all the requirements set with the first guess.

Things are now much clearer—our solution starts with D, followed by E, and ends with T. It also doesn’t contain either of the remaining letters we guessed in the first two attempts.

4. Repeat the process to solve the puzzle in 6 attempts or less

The game gives you 6 chances to solve the daily puzzle, so make sure you take the most out of each clue. There are some tips and strategies you can use to make sure you’ve maximized each guess, and we’ll discuss them later in this article.

Our next move is to try with DEBIT, as it matches all the requirements based on the previous attempts.

Almost there! We now know the positions of 4 out of 5 words for our solution, and it’s not hard to come up with the next guess as our choices are really narrowed down. We’re pretty confident that our solution must be DEBUT.

We’ve solved Wordle’s puzzle in 4 attempts, which is the average number of attempts people make to solve the daily puzzle. Now that we’ve gone through this example together, you’re ready to try playing Wordle yourself.

5. Analyze and share the results

After success or failure, the daily Wordle solution will be revealed, and players will be able to view Wordlebot, the game’s automated assistant. This helpful tool will show you how many games you have played, your win percentage, your current streak, and your max streak. 

In addition, the Wordlebot will show you how many guesses you took to beat or fail the level. Players are even able to see their guess distribution, detailing how many turns they have taken to beat each stage played.

Fun fact: The average number of attempts to solve Wordle’s daily puzzle is 4.1, meaning that most Wordle players solve their daily puzzle on their fourth try. So don’t be worried if you’re still not there after 3 guesses, especially since only 2.92% of Wordle players fail to solve the puzzle within 6 guesses.

6. Come back tomorrow for the next round

Wordle resets its daily puzzle every 24 hours, meaning you can try to solve one Wordle puzzle per day and need to come back tomorrow for the next one. Wordle resets the puzzle right at midnight according to your time zone, so the new puzzle will be waiting for you as soon as the next day begins.

8 best strategies to use in every Wordle game

Before playing a new Wordle game, it is worthwhile to have some key strategies in mind to maximize your chance of winning or solving the level in a lower number of turns. While each player has their own way of approaching the game and each daily puzzle requires a slightly different approach, there are some things you can do every time you play Wordle that will help you most of the time:

  • Utilize the best starting words list – As with most games, starting strong can have a huge positive impact on your chance of winning. Playing one of the recommended starting words will maximize your puzzle-solving potential, giving you more useful information for upcoming turns. 
  • Identify vowels – Vowels are some of the most common letters in Wordle and as there are only 5 of them, it makes sense to identify them early on. When these are revealed, they can give the player a better sense as to the structure of the solution.
  • Use common letters – The Wordle dictionary shows that certain letters are much more frequent than others. The letters “E”, “A”, “R”, “O” and “T” are the most common letters found in Wordle solutions, so combinations including these will result in more hints over the long run.
  • Avoid duplicate letters – Although there are words that contain duplicate letters, they are less frequent in Wordle than words that do not contain them. Players should only look to play duplicate letters when they have a high likelihood of being in the solution, which is often in later turns.
  • Learn already solved words – As a new word is selected each day from a limited word bank, yesterday’s answer will never appear again. Knowing this, players can attempt to play words that haven’t already been played, increasing the odds of solving the level in fewer turns.
  • Never reuse gray letters – After a letter has turned gray, it signifies to the player that it is not present in the solution and should not be used again. Instead, players should maximize the 5 letters they can use in each turn to find new hints that can give them more information about the solution. 
  • Avoid common word endings (hard mode) – When playing in hard mode, identifying common word endings can turn a game of strategy into a game of luck. Instead, players should focus on identifying first and last letters as soon as possible before finding letters that form part of a pattern.
  • Take your time – Finally, players should always keep in mind that each challenge lasts for 24 hours. As there is such a long timeframe to complete each level, players should not feel pressured by time constraints and can carefully consider each turn.

Need more help with Wordle?

Solving a daily puzzle can be challenging sometimes, and you need a bit of a push to come up with the next guess. It’s not easy to hold almost 13,000 words with 5 letters in your memory, so it’s not bad to have a place to go through all of them, filter them out by letters you guessed, remove the ones that are not part of the solution, etc.

Luckily, we have all the Wordle help you need – from lists of 5-letter words from the dictionary to Wordle Solver and Today’s Wordle Answer pages. You can also take a look at a list of previous Wordle answers so you make sure you’re not guessing a word that has already been a solution.

Normal mode vs. hard mode in Wordle

Playing Wordle in Normal mode allows players to guess any word of their choice from the Wordle dictionary at any time, maximizing the possibility of finding a hint. For those used to playing in normal mode that find it too easy, playing in hard mode will give players a different way to play the game.

To toggle Hard mode on, select the settings icon and switch the “Hard mode” toggle from gray to green, before closing the settings screen. Players should note that in order for this to apply, it must be selected before the first guess is made.

When toggled, Hard mode forces players to use any hints revealed in subsequent guesses made. Green letters must be played in their revealed spot, while yellow letters must be played, although they can be in any position.

When playing in this mode, additional thought needs to be taken before playing each move, ensuring common word endings such as “ATCH” or “OUND” are not identified before finding the letter in position 1. If these types of endings are found first, the game can be reduced to a game of luck between a large selection of words, potentially wasting guesses and causing a loss. 

How many words are in Wordle’s database?

When it comes to words that can be considered potential Wordle puzzle solutions, we need to distinguish between the list of words that Wordle allows as guesses and the list of words that Wordle allows as answers. The former is much larger and basically takes into a consideration every 5-letter word from the dictionary, while the latter is much smaller.

So, how many 5-letter words are in Wordle’s database? You can guess any of the 12,966 words with 5 letters from the English dictionary, and Wordle will accept them as valid guesses. However, only 2,309 of these Words made it to the list of potential Wordle solutions.

If you want to get familiar with both groups of words, we’ve got you covered. On our 5-letter words page, you can find all 5-letter English words that Wordle accepts as guesses, and our Wordle Dictionary page contains a list of all 2,309 words that can become a Wordle solution. You can bookmark and come back to these pages whenever you need a bit of help in solving the puzzle.

Did you know, Quordle and Octordle are both based upon Wordle but contain multiple solutions per level? The rules of each game are largely similar, although the difficulty is increased to provide a bigger challenge to fans of word games!

Why is Wordle so popular?

People play Wordle for a multitude of reasons but in particular they feel the game can stimulate their brain and provide mental health benefits. The competitive element when playing in single-player or when comparing scores against others can also make the popular word game even more enjoyable.

Keep brain active63%
Enjoy word games60%
Compete against self36%
Feel accomplishment35%
Learn new words26%
Relieve stress22%
See progress21%
Compete against others16%
Keep streak going15%
Share results on social media3%

A chart is given below to show the top 5 reasons for people to play Wordle:

How to play Wordle on iPhone or Android?

One key factor that has enabled Wordle to maintain its playability across generations is its availability across portable and non-portable devices. For mobile or tablet players:

  1. Navigate to the App Store (iPhone) or Google Play Store (Android) on your mobile device.
  2. Search for “Wordle” in the search bar.
  3. Download the official “NYT Games: Word Games & Sudoku” application.
  4. Open the application.
  5. Choose to create a new account, login to an existing account or play without an account. 
  6. Find Wordle in the “games” tab and tap the icon to begin playing.

Note: Having an account in the official app allows players to track their progress, check a variety of game statistics and compete against other players through score sharing.