what a wonderful wordle

A Guide to Wordle, Twitter’s Favorite Game

Graphic: Vulture

If you’ve been on Twitter recently, you’ve seen the phenomenon that is Wordle. Some have embraced the game by posting their daily scores in emoji-filled tweets, while others have prided themselves on never playing the game. Wordle is a free game where you have six guesses to try to figure out the five-letter word of the day. Its simplicity has taken over the internet like other word games before it, with celebrities like Schitt’s Creek’s Dan Levy and Jimmy Fallon playing and sharing their scores.

So far, Wordle’s influence has inspired several iterations, including Letterle, where you guess a single letter that is random for every user and is based on chance, and Absurdle, an “adversarial version” of Wordle that avoids giving users the correct answer. Then there’s Queerdle, like queer Wordle, which describes itself as the “yassification” of the popular word game. Copycats have popped up in the App Store with advertisements and paid options; however, the original creator of the game, Josh Wardle, prides himself on keeping the game accessible and free. As wholesome as the game is, that blank screen and keyboard can be intimidating, so we made a quick how-and-hacks guide for the Wordlecurious. Keep calm and Wordle on.

First: The Rules

The rules of the game are pretty straightforward. You can play the game once a day, and everyone gets the same word. Each guess must be a five-letter word in the Wordle dictionary (essentially, an English dictionary of five-letter words), and the game will tell you once you submit if it is not an eligible guess. Once you submit your guess, the letters will turn either green, yellow, or gray. Green means the correct letter is in the correct space; yellow means the correct letter is in the incorrect place; and gray means the letter is not in the answer.

While the game is hosted on a co.uk website, it uses American spelling for its answers, not British. You only have six guesses to figure out the word of the day. Worried you won’t get it in six? Read on for a few tricks you can use to keep your streak going.

Double Your Vowels

Start with a word with a lot of vowels, like “peach,” “would,” or “stole.” Some people suggest using the same starting word in every game (words like “adieu” or “arise” are popular choices). If you prefer variety, there are plenty of five-letter vowel-heavy words to choose from.

Ch-oose Words With Digraphs

Words with digraphs like “sh-,” “ch-,” and “st-” can also help eliminate incorrect letters that can narrow down your word-choice options. Letter combinations like these can be found in either the beginning or end, so if “s, h” are highlighted in yellow, try it in a different part of the word.

Warning: Letters Can Be Used Twice

I repeat, letters can be used twice! If you choose a word with repeating letters and only one letter is either green or yellow and the other is gray, it means the letter only appears once. However, if the second letter is yellow or green, then the letter appears twice in the answer. “Banal” and “abbey” have been recent correct answers in the Wordle dictionary.

Relax — Take Your Time

Photo: Alejandra Gularte

There is no time limit for the game, so if you need a break to recoup after getting stuck on a word, feel free! As seen above, I needed a minute to try to figure out other words that started with “shi” (while also yelling “SHIT!” after seeing that dreaded gray tile).

Tweet Your Victory (or Loss)

Once the game is over, click the green “Share” button. You can either “copy” and tweet it out yourself or click the Twitter app and tweet from there. If you’re feeling extra-boastful — maybe you solved it in two guesses — you can send it via text to your group chat.

Try Hard Mode, If You Dare

If you want to try “Hard” mode, click the “Settings” button on the top-right corner. Hard mode means once you reveal a letter in a green spot, you must use a word with that letter in the same spot for future guesses.

A Guide to Twitter’s Favorite Game