One of the great things about the world's favorite new word game Wordle is that you can only play once each day, thus keeping the experience fresh. (You can, however, now play the Wordle archives.) But that's also one of the worst things about Wordle: you therefore have to wait a whole day for your next fix.
One solution is to play another word game while that Wordle timer counts down, but where to start? After all, there are approximately 70 bazillion Wordle clones and alternatives out there now.
As a committed Wordle addict, I've played almost all of them and can tell you which ones are worthy of your time. So read on for my list of the best Wordle alternatives and clones, including a selection of non-Wordle-style games that also involve solving word puzzles.
You might also find some Wordle tips and tricks to be helpful — I’ve played every Wordle so far and lost only once, so I've got plenty to share.
The best Wordle alternatives
A Wordle alternative for those who find the original too easy, Quordle has you try to guess four words at the same time, and with only three more chances to succeed. As with Wordle, yellow squares indicate the correct letter in the wrong place, and green squares mean you have the right letter in the right spot. However, you do get three more chances per round. Like Wordle, Quordle is free to play and only has one game per day, but there is also a practice mode. But don't worry if you find it too tough — we can help you find today's Quordle answers.
Guess what? Octordle is like Wordle but eight times harder (or like Quordle but twice as hard). Here you get 13 guesses to find the eight words, which makes for some interesting strategy decisions. Do you try to complete them one by one from the start? Or use as many letters as possible? Or try to guess words that will tell you something about more than one answer? That's up to you.
The logical extension of all this? Kilordle, in which you play 1,000 games of Wordle at once. Yes, really. Except not quite, because you don't really play them all at the same time as you do in Quordle or Octordle — that would be stupid. Instead, you guess your five-letter word and Kilordle will turn any letter in the right place in any of the words green. But you needn't guess the specific word — you just have to turn all five letters green at some point.
Example: the answer to one of the 1,000 puzzles is SPOIL and you currently have SPOI- but not the L. In order to clear that puzzle, you could indeed play SPOIL — but if you play QUELL you'd still solve it, because that would give you a green L in the fifth spot. The challenge here isn't so much to guess all 1,000 words, but rather to solve them all in the fewest possible guesses. I've heard of someone doing it in 43 — but my own 'record' is 105. Good luck with this one!
Heardle is like Wordle for pop music — and if that's not a compelling pitch then we don't know what it is. But sensibly, rather than just make you guess music-related five-letter words such as artists and songs, Heardle plays you the first few seconds of a pop song then tasks you with identifying it. That's harder than you might imagine — you only get one second on your first guess, and two on your second, although the clips do get longer as you play. There's certainly every chance you'll end up searching for today's Heardle answer.
The featured tunes come from Soundcloud and are "the most streamed songs in the past decade," so chances are you'll recognize many of them. It's a great twist on the Wordle formula and well worth checking out.
If you thought Wordle was hard then just wait til you try Redactle — it might take you upwards of 100 guesses to solve it! Less a Wordle clone and more an entirely unconnected game that has a similar sounding name and once-a-day restriction, it's nonetheless included here because of how good it is.
Your challenge is to uncover a random Wikipedia page by guessing words that might feature on it. Uncover enough and you should be able to work out what the subject is and complete the puzzle before you go mad through trying. It's very tough, strangely addictive and well worth checking out.
If you spend more money on cinema trips than food and consider the Oscars to be the greatest night of the year, then Framed could be the Wordle clone for you.
This new game tasks you with guessing a movie based on six stills; each incorrect guess reveals a new one and progressively gives the game away. There's just one game each day (of course) and it's entirely free to play via the Framed website.
Whereas Quordle and Octordle make you play multiple Wordle puzzles at once, Hurdle tasks you with playing five in a row. The twist here is that the answer to one becomes the start word to the next. That's true of the first four at least, but the fifth go is where it gets really tough: all four previous answers are placed in the grid, leaving you just two guesses to find the final solution. It's another neat twist on the original, albeit a fairly stressful one!
While it's clearly inspired by Wordle, the crossword-like Waffle is a game that can almost stand on its own. You start with a grid of letters in the right and wrong positions, and it's up to you to get them into the right places — with just 15 moves to pull off the task. Each Waffle puzzle is solvable in 10 moves, and the closer you get to that magic number, the more stars you can earn. It's that twist in particular that will keep you coming back for more, as you try to improve upon your performance.
Wordle is a relaxing experience — albeit a frustrating one sometimes. Squabble is anything but relaxing — and still frequently frustrating! Essentially, it's a competitive version of Wordle that pitches you against either strangers or friends. You deal damage with each correct guess, and take damage for a wrong guess. Oh, and there's a timer that also deals damage for each second — so you'll need to act quickly.
Games play out in a frantic, frenzied fashion and it's superb fun, if incredibly stressful at times.
If you fancy yourself as something of a geography expert, then look no further than Worldle. Its name may only be one letter away from Wordle, but this is a very different game that tests you to identify a country from its silhouette alone.
After each guess, you're told how close your choice is geographically to the target country, and in which direction it lies. For instance, if you guess Denmark and the answer is Czechia, you'll be told it's 824km away and in a south-east direction. You have five goes to get it correct, and can play just once a day (of course). Just be warned — you might need some help to find today's Worldle answer.
Who Are Ya? (Free)
Love the beautiful game? Then the soccer-themed Who Are Ya? is the Wordle clone you've been waiting for. This surprisingly tough online game challenges you to identify a current professional footballer using a limited number of clues.
Like the original, you get a set number of attempts (eight in this case), with each one revealing some information about what your guess has in common with the target player. For instance, if you guessed Messi and the answer was Neymar it would tell you that they are a different nationality and age, but play at the same club in the same league and are both forwards. It's surprisingly tricky, but well worth a go if you're a soccer fan.
Finally, a chance to give that AI quizmaster a taste of its own medicine. In Adverswordle, instead of having to solve the puzzle, you're the one coming up with the word for an AI opponent to guess. The point isn't to stump the AI — with the entire dictionary loaded into its virtual brain, that task might prove impossible — but to make it take as many guesses as possible. Game play is a lot like Wordle itself, where you change the tiles green or yellow depending on the quality of the guess. Like Wordle, you can play Adverswordle once a day, making this alternative feel more like the genuine article.
If you love the idea of Wordle but find it a bit easy (maybe you're really brainy), give Absurdle a try instead. It's an unashamed clone that challenges you to guess a five-letter word, but the difference here is that the target word changes as you play. Essentially, you're competing against a malevolent AI which uses your guesses to narrow down the possible answers, discounting anything that contains a letter you've used. It requires an entirely different strategy and is well worth a look.
You'll need the Force to be with you to master SWordle, because this Wordle clone is a Star Wars-themed masterclass in frustration.
The rules are essentially the same as those for the original game, but you can also use numbers for droid-related reasons. And there are a few nice touches, such as the Millennium Falcon-shaped delete button.
You'd expect it to be easier than the original, given the reduced number of possible solutions, but in reality it's tougher than a Sarlacc, with some pretty obscure answers making for a tricky game. But if you're a Star Wars megafan, this is the Wordle clone for you.
Hello Wordl (Free)
Part of Wordle’s appeal (for me at least) is that you can only play it once a day. But if you’re craving a more regular fix, Hello Wordl is essentially exactly the same game except that you can play it as often as you like. Oh, and you can also choose to solve puzzles with anything between 4 and 11 letters, rather than the 5 in the original game. In one sense it loses some of the real thing's appeal, but it's free and is certainly a good way to get in some practice.
Swap Wordle's letters for numbers and you get Mathler — an unashamed clone of everyone's favorite word game that instead tests your math skills. The mechanics are almost identical, from the design to the way you share results on social media to the fact that it's free to play and without adverts. But unlike Wordle, you're given the answer up front and instead have to work out what equation leads to it. It's tricky, but good fun if you're good with figures.
Fancy yourself a budding meteorologist? Then here's the Wordle alternative for you. Cloudle challenges you to guess the five-day forecast for a city that could be anywhere in the world. As with it's puzzle game inspiration, you are given helpful clues along the way to make narrowing down the correct forecast a little bit easier. You don't need to be a professional weatherman to win either, because Cloudle gives you each day's location before you even begin guessing you've always got a good basis to start formulating your forecast.
Play Cloudle online
5-Letter Classic (free)
5-Letter Classic used to be Wordle Unlimited, but now has a new home and name, presumably due to NYT complaints. It's essentially Wordle, but you can play as many games per day as you like. There's also a 6-letter variant, or you can play 5-Letter Daily, which really is identical to Wordle.
Other word games
SpellTower (Free with in-app purchases)
Take a little Wordl, mix in a little Jenga, and you get SpellTower, an addictive game from mobile gaming great Zach Gage (Flipflip Solitaire, Really Bad Chess, Ridiculous Fishing). The premise is easy enough: build words by tracing your finger around adjacent letter tiles. Strategy, though, comes in when your tower of letters comes crashing down a little with each word you pick out. How many of the words will you find? Will you place on the day's rankings? That's on you. — Henry T. Casey
Kitty Letter (Free)
Almost certainly the only word game that involves detonating (virtual) cats, Kitty Letter stems from the inspired mind of Matthew Inman (aka The Oatmeal). If you’ve ever played his superb card game Exploding Kittens, you’ll know what to expect: a clever concept intertwined with very funny gags.
The objective is to form as many words as you can from a given set of letters while your opponent does the same; the twist is that your words are carried by exploding kittens who gradually overwhelm your opponent’s defenses if your word is longer. There’s a one-player mode with a free Oatmeal comic, plus online multiplayer against friends or strangers, and it’s entirely free to play and free of ads.
Letterpress (Free with IAP)
Half word game, half Risk-style strategy, Letterpress is a deceptively simple thing that draws you in and proves maddeningly addictive. You play against either a bot or another human online, with the objective being to control as much of a 5x5 board as possible by using letters close to the other person's selection. It rewards long words, so you’ll need to bring your mental lexicography game, and there’s a real ebb and flow to it that makes every contest a real challenge. There are ads, but they’re minimal and can be removed for $4.99.
Semantle dispatches with the usual guesses based on spelling, and instead has you guessing a word based on semantic similarity. That means how likely a word is to be used in similar contexts.
For every word you guess, Semantle will tell you whether you’re hot or, if you’re outside of the top 1,000 closest words, cold. It will also provide a number informing you of the closeness of the word: 100 indicates the word is identical, so you can tell if you’re moving in the right direction.
The game’s dictionary is based on the 5,000 most popular English language words (with hyphenated and capitalized ones removed) and not all of them are nouns.
Spelling Bee (Free with NYTimes digital subscription)
Before Wordle, the New York Times’ Spelling Bee was the primary way wordsmiths would brag about their prowess on Twitter. Each day, Spelling Bee presents you with a hexagon of six letters arrayed around one center letter; it’s up to you to find as many words as possible that use the center letter. There’s only one game per day, but it typically takes longer than Wordle to complete. If you get stuck, there are some handy hints available, which makes it easier — but not too easy — to figure out the remaining words. If you guess all the words, you get a Queen Bee badge, which you can show off to your friends.
You can play for free up to certain point, but you'll need a $39.95/year subscription to all of the games (which includes the NY Times crossword) to complete it. If you want to read the Times online, you’ll have to pony up for an all-access subscription, which costs $325 per year.
Typeshift (Free with IAP)
Another game by the makers of SpellTower, Typeshift challenges you to make specific — but unknown — words from a pre-generated selection. Like Wordle, it's a very simple game to pick up: you just swipe letters up and down in the various columns to form words, which turn green if they're correct. But it doesn't take long before the permutations mount up and you'll soon be wracking your brain for all the possible words that could end AS or whatever. Also like Wordle, there's one main puzzle daily, but you can play a selection of others in various sub categories or buy more and get rid of ads for between $0.99 and $3.99.