What is Wardle What is Wardle

What is Wardle? Rules, strategy and everything you need to know

It’s now over a year since Wordle exploded onto our phones as the biggest puzzle phenomenon since, well, ever. In that time, it has garnered millions of daily players, inspired countless headlines, been bought by the New York Times, and endured multiple controversies.

So, what is Wordle as we enter 2023? Is it still a fun way to spend a few minutes, or something much bigger?

We’ll attempt to answer that below, as well as explaining what the Wordle rules are, what makes the best Wordle start words, what WordleBot is, and much more. And if you just want some hints for the latest game, then check out our Wordle today page for clues and the answer.

What is Wordle?

Wordle is a simple game in which you have to guess a new five-letter word each day. You get six guesses, learning a little more information with each guess, and eventually narrow your guesses down to find the answer. Or at least that’s the theory – because while it is a simple game at heart, it’s sometimes surprisingly tricky to find the solution. More on that below.

It’s played online via the Wordle website or the New York Times’ Crossword app (iOS / Android), and is entirely free – though you can pay to access the NYT’s WordleBot helper tool. There’s also been speculation that the game itself will eventually go behind a paywall, but so far the NYT has resisted the urge to scratch that potentially lucrative itch.

Crucially, the answer is the same for everyone each day, meaning that you’re competing against the rest of the world, rather than just against yourself or the game. The puzzle then resets each day at midnight in your local time, giving you a new challenge, and the chance to extend your streak.

What are Wordle streaks?

Wordle tracks your games via the browser or app, and gives you a running score of your wins and losses. Each time you win, you’ll be extending your Wordle streak.

Lose a game and your streak resets to zero, of course. What’s more, if you miss a day, your streak also resets – so if you won 100 games straight, then missed a day, then won your next game, you’d have a streak of 1, not 101. Unfair? Maybe – but it certainly keeps you playing.

One potential issue here is if you’re traveling. Some people have lost their streak through playing in another time zone, so be careful out there.

Why is it important? Well, avid Wordlers get very protective of their streaks. It’s a badge of honor or a sign of commitment – and something to brag about if you’re that way inclined.

Is Wordle still worth playing in 2023?

Undoubtedly! The New York Times purchase didn’t get off to the best start, with some people losing their streaks in the handover, and many players convinced that the NYT immediately made it harder. It didn’t, though: Wordle’s answers were hard-coded into the game when Josh Wardle created it, with a different one assigned to each date. Though the NYT removed a few controversial words, and changed the order of a couple, it’s essentially the exact same game that launched in 2021.

In fact, the NYT’s influence has mainly been positive. The addition of a free account option gives players a way to save their progress across devices and makes it far less likely that streaks will be lost. It remains free to play and mostly free of ads. Yes, you can pay for WordleBot and yes, you will be pushed towards trying other NYT games such as Spelling Bee, but overall Wordle seems to be in safe hands.

Beyond the NYT takeover, Wordle continues to provide millions of people with a fun five-minute breather from the hectic pace of daily life. The numbers playing it may have declined slightly, but as our US Editor in Chief, Lance Ulanoff, wrote late last year, Wordle is steadily becoming an institution, a daily ritual that many people enjoy simply for the connection it gives them to family and friends.

If you’ve been playing for a while you’ll know all that of course; and if not, there’s no reason why you can’t start today.

Wordle tips and tricks

Wordle win

Playing Wordle is easy, but mastering Wordle is hard. We’ve got a separate guide to how to win at Wordle, but here are a few things to bear in mind:

1. Play vowels early

Vowels help to define the sound and structure of a word, so you’ll want to identify them as early as possible. You should probably include at least two in your start word – probably A and E, as they are by far the most common. Depending on what happens on that first go, you’ll then want to rule out O and I soon after; U is less common. Don’t forget Y, either – it sometimes acts as a vowel, for instance in words such as GLYPH or NYMPH, which don’t contain any of the standard five vowels.

2. Play common consonants early

This is pretty obvious too, but there’s far more chance that the answer will contain a T, R or L than an X, Z or Q. Use the most common letters early and you’ll have a better chance of success.

3. Don’t repeat a letter until you need to

Repeat letters do crop up in Wordle pretty often – think the double-O in BLOOD or FLOOD, or the double L in SKILL or SHALL. They don’t always go together, either – PIXIE, which was the answer a few days ago (game #569) has two Is, and BELIE (#566) has two Es. That said, you probably want to hold off on including a repeat letter until you have a good idea that there is one. Wordle is all about information really, and guessing as many new letters as possible will generally give you more of it than repeating one of them.

4. Don’t rush!

Sometimes you’ll think you know what the answer is on the second guess and triumphantly play it… only to find that you’d forgotten another 10 possibilities, and are now staring down the barrel of a 4/6 score or worse. Take your time. Think through the options. Even use a notepad if it helps. (Or don’t bother with all that and just play as you wish, it’s your life!)

Can you cheat at Wordle?

Yes, you can cheat at Wordle. But really, you’ll be cheating yourself. Come on, it’s word game that takes about five minutes to play – is it really worth losing all your self-respect over that?

Assuming your answer to that is “yes,” then there are a few obvious ways to cheat at Wordle and ensure you keep your streak even if it’s teetering on the edge. Our Wordle cheats article goes into detail on the main methods, but in short:

Play in incognito mode. Your browser won’t update, so you can play and lose repeatedly until you get the answer right, then switch to your actual account and score a 1/6.

Use a crossword solver. These can give you options for the letters you have and help you narrow down the possibilities ahead of your guess. No more wracking your brains for a five-letter word that starts with C, ends with T and has an A in the middle.

Past answers

Remembering previous Wordle solutions can definitely help you win each new game by narrowing down the options you have left.

However, with 587 games now completed and a new one coming daily, it’s no easy task to recall every previous answer. To help you out, here are the past 50 answers, not counting today’s.

Wordle #586, Thursday 26 January: BEEFY

Wordle #585, Wednesday 25 January: MAIZE

Wordle #584, Tuesday 24 January: COUNT

Wordle #583, Monday 23 January: ELUDE

Wordle #582, Sunday 22 January: MATEY

Wordle #581, Saturday 21 January: BLURB

Wordle #580, Friday 20 January: ALTER

Wordle #579, Thursday 19 January: MUCKY

Wordle #578, Wednesday 18 January: CHARD

Wordle #577, Tuesday 17 January: ADOPT

Wordle #576, Monday 16 January: FROCK

Wordle #575, Sunday 15 January: SPIRE

Wordle #574, Saturday 14 January: KOALA

Wordle #573, Friday 13 January: HUMAN

Wordle #572, Thursday 12 January: LEAPT

Wordle #571, Wednesday 11 January: SEDAN

Wordle #570, Tuesday 10 January: GRIMY

Wordle #569, Monday 9 January: PIXIE

Wordle #568, Sunday 8 January: OPERA

Wordle #567, Saturday 7 January: LEMON

Wordle #566, Friday 6 January: BELIE

Wordle #565, Thursday 5 January: SLEEK

Wordle #564, Wednesday 4 January: LAYER

Wordle #563, Tuesday 3 January: ANTIC

Wordle #562, Monday 2 January: SKIRT

Wordle #561, Sunday 1 January: WHINE

Wordle #560, Saturday 31 December: MANLY

Wordle #559, Friday 30 December: MOLAR

Wordle #558, Thursday 29 December: HAVOC

Wordle #557, Wednesday 28 December: IMPEL

Wordle #556, Tuesday 27 December: CONDO

Wordle #555, Monday 26 December: JUDGE

Wordle #554, Sunday 25 December: EXTRA

Wordle #553, Saturday 24 December: POISE

Wordle #552, Friday 23 December: AORTA

Wordle #551, Thursday 22 December: EXCEL

Wordle #550, Wednesday 21 December: LUNAR

Wordle #549, Tuesday 20 December: THIRD

Wordle #548, Monday 19 December: SLATE

Wordle #547, Sunday 18 December: TAPER

Wordle #546, Saturday 17 December: CHORD

Wordle #545, Friday 16 December: PROBE

Wordle #544, Thursday 15 December: RIVAL

Wordle #543, Wednesday 14 December: USUAL

Wordle #542, Tuesday 13 December: SPOKE

Wordle #541, Monday 12 December: APPLY

Wordle #540, Sunday 11 December: NAIVE

Wordle #539, Saturday 10 December: KNOCK

Wordle #538, Friday 9 December: BRAID

Wordle #537, Thursday 8 December: INFER

Final thought

There are also geography-themed versions, math-themed versions, soccer-themed versions, Marvel-themed versions, movie-themed versions, and many more. We’re also big fans of the x-Wordles-at-once clones, such as Duordle, Quordle and Octordle, and the battle royale-style Squabble. We’ve rounded up some of our favorites in our games like nytimes Wordle feature.