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Wordle: Best Starting Words To Use And Other Game Tips

Finding the best Wordle strategy can feel lucky, but the best starting words put the odds in your favor.


Wordle is one of the biggest games of the year, and it remains incredibly popular as we move further into 2022. As people have gotten better, they've developed their own strategies to get words the quickest. But just what is the best starting word in Wordle? Or is there more than one?

Well, it depends on who you ask, but using a combination of our own Wordle-obsessed staff and a bit of computing, we've come up with this list of the best Wordle starting words so you can improve your score each day. Use this list to best your friends and family and chase those coveted two-or three-guess solutions, making you look like a genius to your family and friends. Here are our picks for the best starting words for Wordle, as well as some top tips from our most enthusiastic players.

Wordle: best starting words

If you prefer a list of the best first words for Wordle, we recommend starting any given day with these. If you'd rather hear directly from some of our Wordle-obsessed editors, be sure to check out their more specific strategies below. The key is often to quickly find vowels or common consonants that belong in each day's word. From that starting point, we've identified these words as some of the very best first words for Wordle:

  • React
  • Adieu
  • Later
  • Sired
  • Tears
  • Alone
  • Arise
  • About
  • Atone
  • Irate
  • Snare
  • Cream
  • Paint
  • Worse
  • Sauce
  • Anime
  • Prowl
  • Roast
  • Drape
  • Media

My go-to strategy with Wordle is two-pronged: Concentrate on the vowels and then narrow it down with the most common consonants. I'll start with a vowel-heavy word like ADIEU, which usually identifies at least one letter (two if I'm lucky). Based on that first try, I'll then try and find a word that incorporates consonants like T, S, and R on the second line, and if I'm feeling particularly smart, I'll try and fit in the vowel O somewhere as well. This strategy usually leads me to a solution by line 4 (85% of my wins in the last two weeks have been at 4), although it has led me astray once (damn you TIGER). -- Randy Ramsay

I’ve loved word games for just about as long as I’ve been able to string words together, so a lot of what I pull from when I strategize in Wordle is the undisputed classic among them: Scrabble. Scrabble assigns point values to letters based on how commonly they appear in the English language, with the lowest-scoring letters being the most popular. If, like me, you’ve invested far too much time into that game, try to think of which letters have the lowest value and make sure you can squeeze ‘em in your first guess. I tend to find "ATONE" and "IRATE" are good first tries--you manage to check the puzzle for three vowels and a couple of commonly used letters in locations they typically appear in. Another tip: think in pairs as you continue. If you know an “h” is the second letter, try getting both an "s" and a "c" in your next guess, since they commonly go in front of "h." -- Jessica Howard

The premise is simple, and that's helped make Wordle a viral sensation.
The premise is simple, and that's helped make Wordle a viral sensation.

When I first started playing Wordle, I was all over the place. I would repeatedly try letters I knew weren't there, and it took me a solid week to remember that letters could be repeated (seriously, Wordle needs some kind of indicator for repeated letters). As a seasoned player going on three weeks now, I've finally got my strategy. I start with ARISE, a solid word that knocks out three vowels and two common consonants. I aim to get vowels placed as quickly as possible because for some reason my brain can work around those foundations easier than consonants. I don't understand why either, but since I've implemented that strategy, I typically guess the word in three or four goes and haven’t missed a single one. -- Lucy James

My advice is at odds with what you'd probably expect: Don't stress too much about it. I'm eager to guess the day's word in as few tries as possible, but I'm mindful of not turning Wordle into a chore by trying to min/max my way to that goal. While I do try to think of words with vowels and more common letters (I stay away from X, Z, and Q), I try a different word every day and just go with the flow. I initially lamented that Wordle doesn't let you go back and replay old puzzles, but I've quickly grown fond of its one-per-day-and-that's-it structure. Over-aggressive tweeting from fellow players aside, it's remained a relaxing treat by not taking it too seriously or worrying about using the perfect word right from the get-go. -- Chris Pereira

My approach to Wordle, and many of life's big challenges, started by looking to a group of people that I have often sought guidance and advice from, and believe to be enlightened thinkers that are unmatched by any other scholars. As expected, they gave me exactly what I was looking for: a versatile starting word that, thus far, has yielded excellent results. Of course, I am talking about the legendary Staten Island-based hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan and, naturally, the word I always begin with is C.R.E.A.M. As we all know, track eight on Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) posits that "cash rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dollar dollar bill y'all." Time has proven this adage correct, but within the context of Wordle, CREAM also gets the solution. Dollar, dollar bills y'all. --Tamoor Hussain

If all else fails and you think your current strategy just doesn't work no matter what, you could always go the route of this devoted player:

Good luck with your next puzzle, fellow Wordle nerds!

Mark Delaney on Google+

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