Despite what people might think, The New York Times has not made Wordle harder. But it does want people to level up their Wordle game — and it's got a new tool to help you do that.
WordleBot analyzes your most recent game and gives you feedback on how well you did, using math to tell you whether your choices were good ones and what you could have done differently.
It even gives you a daily score — so yes, there's now yet another thing to get competitive about on Twitter. It's all part of helping you to get more from Wordle — and presumably to stop you searching for today's Wordle answer.
As with Wordle, WordleBot is accessed via a web browser (opens in new tab). You'll generally want to use the same device you played your last game on, as it will then import your results and get on with the fun task of telling you how you could have done better.
But that's not the only way to use it; helpfully, you can also upload a screenshot of a previous game and have it analyze that instead. This process is incredibly slick — you simply drag some crosshairs around the word grid and it'll seamlessly pull in the game in question.
I tried it with yesterday's game, #292, and was given a 'Skill score' of 89 against an average of 75. This is apparently based on how well you "minimize the expected number of turns it would take to solve the puzzle."
You also get a 'Luck' score (I didn't fare so well here) and a 'Steps' score, which is a simple measure of how quickly you found the answer compared to the overall average — 4 for me yesterday, against an average of 4.4.
Subsequent pages then take you through your guesses one by one. The first guess is apparently not taken into account when calculating your skill score, but WordleBot does also analyze this.
My choice of the best Wordle start words has long been STARE, which WordleBot rates as 97/100. However it appears to prefer CRANE (99/100), which is also a fine pick but definitely not as good as mine, whatever it says.
There's a huge amount of data to delve into if you choose, with the tool telling you how sensible each guess was, what else you could have played and how many possible solutions remained after each go. It's really well done and absolute catnip to a Wordle junkie like me.
It's also free, but you do have to register with the NYT in order to use it. This is a clever move by the media giant, which splashed out a low seven-figure sum to buy Wordle back in February and which has so far left it entirely free to play and free of adverts.
The NYT was always going to want to recoup that cash, but was presumably mindful of the inevitable bad reaction that would greet any kind of monetization of the game itself. Regular players may well like the sound of WordleBot — I'll definitely be using it again — but because registering instantly signs you up for a morning newsletter, the NYT will hope to convert some Wordlers into paying subscribers down the line.
There's a lengthy explanation of exactly how WordleBot works (opens in new tab) on the NYT, together with information about what each score means and how WordleBot can improve your game.
“We hope the bot’s advice will help you think about Wordle more analytically, which will help you get better at solving the puzzles in the long run,” the piece's authors Josh Katz and Matthew Conlen write in the article.
I'd imagine it would do just that, but I'm also arrogant enough to point that I've played every Wordle so far and lost only once, so I'll continue to share my tips every day too.