If you haven’t heard of Wordle yet and you love to solve puzzles, you’re missing out on an enjoyable and addictive word game. This popular puzzle can be played on any device with a subscription to the New York Times crossword puzzle. The game is fun to play, and not always as easy as it looks. Like the NY Times crosswords, Wordle can only be played once a day and a new puzzle is available every 24 hours.
How Wordle is Played
When you log into the Wordle app, you are presented with a blank grid and a letter keyboard. The premise of the game is simple. You have six attempts to correctly guess a randomly selected five-letter word. Once you enter each guess, your letter tiles will be color-coded as follows:
- Gray – the letter is not present
- Yellow- the letter is present but not in the correct square
- Green – the letter is present and in the correct square
There’s no time limit. Everyone has the same word, so you can challenge your friends to see who can get the right word with the fewest guesses. The game refreshes at midnight each day.
The prototype of the web-based game was created by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle in 2013. He designed the game for his partner, Palak Shah, drawing inspiration from the color-matching game Mastermind, which you may be familiar with from your childhood. Originally Wordle could be played unlimited times and had a list of 13,000 possible 5-letter words. Josh tweaked the game to make it more user-friendly based on feedback from Palak.
Eventually, the Wordle word list was trimmed down to 2,000 more recognizable words. Josh completed the prototype in 2014 and put it on the back burner for a while. When the pandemic struck and Palak began to play the NY Times’ Spelling Bee, Josh blew the dust off Wordle and redesigned the puzzle to suit online play. After sharing the website with his friends and relatives, Josh realized how popular it was becoming. By late 2021, after another tweak, the game went viral on Twitter. Josh sold the game to the NY Times in 2022. Currently, Wordle has around 3 million players, though this number has been declining since the NY Times took over the game.
What Wordle Statistics Are Available?
If you want to gen up on statistics related to Wordle, there are several ways you can do so. Available online data includes personal stats, statewide stats, and global stats.
Although Wordle does not have a leaderboard, there are several ways you can check your own progress and streak within the game. Your personal statistics include:
- Games played: the total number of Wordles you have completed.
- Percentage: how many games you have won overall.
- Current streak: how many games you have won in a row.
- Maximum streak: the most games you have won in an unbroken streak.
- Distribution: the number of guesses you make to solve your Wordles.
Although overall analysis of Wordle games is currently still quite limited. According to Twitter’s Wordle community, fewer than 5 percent of players guess correctly in only 1 or 2 tries. Most players within the group complete the game within 5 attempts. Bear in mind, because these stats are self-reported by Twitter users, this only encompasses a small percentage of total Wordle players. However many guesses it takes, you’re still a winner if you solve it within 6 attempts.
Wordle Player Statistics
- Player success rate: On average, Wordlers guess the correct word on their first try in only 0.02% of games.
- Number of tries: Surprisingly, the most common number of tries to find the solution is 4.
- Wordle failure rate: Though most players find the correct word within 5 moves, players fail to find the correct word in 2.92% of games.
- First guess success: Strange as it may seem, on the first guess, most Wordle players (11.75%) get the fifth letter correct. As for guessing the other letters correctly on the first pass, 10.62% get the third letter, 9.28% get the second letter, 8.32% get the first letter, and 7.95% guess the fourth letter correctly.
- Most failed guesses: Wordle players most commonly guess the third letter in the wrong spot (30.59%). 29.72% of players get the fifth letter in the wrong spot, 28.73% of players put the second letter in the wrong spot, 27.75% misplace the fourth letter, and 23.69% of players fail to put the correct letter in the first square.
- Least guessed letter: The least guessed Wordle letter is the first with a surprisingly high 67.99%. Next in line is the fourth letter with 64.31%. In third place is the second letter with 61.99%. The third letter has a fail rate of 58.79% and the fifth letter has 58.53%.
United States Wordle Statistics
WordTips – a popular site that helps people with puzzles like Scrabble and Wordle – extracted information from over 195,000 tweets containing #wordle and analyzed the data by user locations in city, state, and country. After crunching the numbers, they came up with the following:
- States with the fastest result: North Dakota wins with an average of 3.65 tries per game. Delaware takes second place with an average of 3.70 attempts. New Hampshire is third with an average of 3.70 attempts.
- Cities with the fastest result: St. Paul, Minnesota takes the lead with an average of 3.51 attempts, followed closely by Reading, Pennsylvania, with 3.56 attempts, and Ann Harbor, Michigan, with 3.59 attempts.
Global Wordle Statistics
Thanks to WordTips, we also have a bigger picture of Wordle players’ data. After analyzing game scores from more than 140,000 Wordle-related tweets, the WordTips team came up with the following statistics:
- Best performing countries (English as a second language): Sweden is home to the most successful Wordle players. Our Swedish friends complete the daily puzzle in an average of 3.72 guesses. Second place goes to Switzerland with 3.78 guesses and third place to Poland with 3.79 guesses.
- Best performing countries (English as a first language): Though not the highest scorers overall, Australia and Belgium came in overall fourth place and joint first out of countries who have English as their primary language, with a score of 3.8 guesses.
- Best global cities:
- Canberra, Australia: 3.58
- Jerusalem, Israel: 3.63
- Malmö, Sweden: 3.66
Unfortunately, the United States didn’t quite make the world’s top ten fastest Wordle-solving countries. The average score for U.S. players is 3.919 guesses. Canada just pipped them to the post with a score of 3.90. With 2,308 possible solutions and 12,545 permitted guesses, only 18.40% of guesses can possibly be correct. Algorithms suggest that the best possible score is 3.42.
Fun Facts About Wordle
- What’s in a name: Wordle’s name is a play on words of the last name of creator Josh Wardle.
- Wordle words: The puzzle uses a database of 2,315 words. If you’re curious, you can see them here. This should enable the game to last for six years without a word being repeated.
- Mind your language: Wordle uses American English, not British English.
Tips For Solving Wordle
Need a little assistance to improve your Wordle skills? Here are some tips and tricks to help you:
- Your first guess counts: To make the most of your first guess, use a word that contains popular letters, such as vowels, S, R, or T. The word SALET is considered the best starting word. It’s also a good idea to start the game with the same word every time.
- Make your second guess count: Using completely different letters for your second word can help you correctly guess more letters. You can aggregate your green and yellow letters on your third guess.
- Take your time: You’re not on the clock. You have twenty-four hours to solve your Wordle, so there’s no need to rush.
- Doubling letters: You can use the same letter twice.
Have fun with Wordle, and if you have time, tweet your results with #wordle, so the data can be updated.