How to Play Wordle, the Internet's Most Popular Game

Your Twitter feed is filled with green and gray squares and cryptic conversations about cryptic words. The answer is six letters long: Wordle. The internet is cracking down on online word games that won't drain your time, battery, or melt your brain like Sunday's crossword puzzle. Instead, Wordle only takes up a few minutes of your time each day. Have you played Wordle today? You have to wait until midnight to see the next one.

This neat brainteaser game was created in 2021 by Brooklyn, NY-based software engineer Josh Wardle as a guessing game for his partner. In October 2021, with the strong encouragement of the OG player circle, Wardle released the basic web game to the public. Then, on January 3, the New York Times published a feature on Wordle, and searches for the game went from 0 to 100, according to Google Trends. By the first week of January, more than 100,000 people were tweeting about the game. Even after the New York Times acquired Wordle for "low seven figures" in late January, the game remains popular on Twitter year-round.

How do you play Wordle?

Wordle is easy to play (although winning is another story). First, clear the cobwebs from your mind and channel your SAT word bank, then head to the less flashy Wordle website to check out your daily puzzles. You have six chances to guess the five-letter word of the day.

Use the keyboard to manually enter your first guess. If you answer a letter correctly, it turns green. If you wrote a letter correctly but in the wrong place, it will appear in yellow. If the letter does not appear in the word at all, it will appear gray. If you guess the word correctly the first time, you'll get a notification that you're a genius. There are no clues or hints other than color reactions, so you don't have to be good at crossword puzzles or solving riddles or brain-busting. Everyone has the same advantages (or disadvantages) here.

Unless, of course, you freeze during the scene and can't think of any five-letter words. According to Twitter, this is a fairly common phenomenon.

Wordle hard mode comparison. Easy mode

Everyone has their own Wordle strategy at this point, and one popular method of cracking Wordle involves shuffling five-letter words to get more clues about the final answer - even if they don't contain the solution for the letters you've already revealed. (For example, play "WEANS" and then "GROUT.") Sure, you "waste" a guess, but it will help you keep going if you can't think of another word with a green N and a yellow S.

Well, it turns out the hack only works in Wordle's simple mode. According to Mashable, Wordle has a difficulty mode that only lets you guess words containing previously displayed letters. So, using the example above, you have to guess the word like STINK and use your clues. (Gosh, did this take a while to figure out?)

To turn on Hard Mode in Wordle, click the gear in the upper right corner and then Turn on Hard Mode (top option). When you play on hard mode, you'll see a popup that prevents you from playing a word if it doesn't utilize a clue you revealed earlier. In hard mode, you can still play words using letters that don't exist in the answers you already know, or play yellow letters in the same position as your previous guess. (For example, play "WEANS," then "STINK," then "SCANT.")

How to improve your Wordle skills

You know those days when you get Worlde on your sixth try, which is what you're supposed to do already to get faster, like SHEET? (Those damn diphthongs!) A new tool from The New York Times will help you use Wordle better by analyzing your guesses and suggesting stronger words in the future. The page, called Wordle Bot, scores you based on your Wordle score for the day (!), how lucky your guess was, and then analyzes your word choice guess by guess. If you like crunching numbers, you'll be excited by the bot's analysis, but if not, you'll get lots of new word ideas to play with your Wordle game.

How to share your Wordle game on Twitter

Arguably, the best part of Wordle isn't the experience of playing the game, but participating in public Wordle connections on social media. To add a green or gray square to your Twitter feed, just click the "Share" button once you get the result. This will copy the emoji-filled, spoiler-free link to your clipboard. Click "Paste" on your Twitter draft to see your success in Wordle with emojis.

To avoid ruining the fun for others, please refrain from taking screenshots of the actual game until the next day. If you share the official clipboard link, your Wordle score will be displayed along with the game number and then how quickly you guessed it in six attempts. Because if you don't share your Wordle scores on Twitter, will you even know about 2022?