People are going crazy over Wordle, the simple word game created by Josh Wardle. But you won’t find it in the App Store—Wordle is easily accessible on the web, but the Wordle copycats that came out on the App Store and were eventually taken down by Apple show that people want to install it on their phones.
The New York Times bought Wordle from Josh Wardle, who was paid “in the low seven figures” to bring Wordle into The Times’ catalog of games including Spelling Bee and The New York Times Crossword app. The Times operates a separate subscription app for its games but has thus far kept Wordle as a free web app.
It’s unclear how long it will stay web-based and free, but until the NYT changes it, there is a way to get the Wordle app for free on your home screen—it involves using a feature that’s long been in iOS, save a web page to your home screen. It’s really easy to make, and once you do, the Wordle icon will appear on your home screen and in your App Library and function just like an app.
One caveat about creating the Wordle web app: if you’ve already been playing via Safari, your current streak won’t carry over to the web app, just as if you started playing on a new device. So you’ll have to start a new one.
When you’re ready to play (or when you can, since there’s only one Wordle game per day), you can just tap the “T” icon on your Home Screen and the game will launch. Good luck!
If you launch the Wordle web app on a new day and a new game didn’t load, the NYT version of the game has a reload button in the upper right corner. It’s the counter-clockwise circle arrow. Tap it to reload the game. If that doesn’t work, try relaunching the app. Don’t worry about your streak—it will be maintained.
The New York Times has made its acquisition of Wordle, so if you go to the original Wordle location at https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/ it will redirect to the new NYT version at https://www.nytimes.com/games/wordle/index.html.
During the transition, The Times had an issue with a player’s streak information being reset. According to The Verge, The Times recommends that to restore your streak, open Wordle using the old URL at https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/. This will cause your browser to redirect and your streak information will be brought to the new site.
If you created an “app” using the “How to save Wordle an ‘app'” instructions above before the NYT transition, the app should direct to the new URL when you launch the app.
If you go to the NYT version directly, your streak will not carry over. Also, if you are not using the same browser or device that you used previously, your streak will not continue.
The Wordle game is extremely easy to play but difficult to master. You’re given six chances to guess a five-letter word, with each correct guess getting you closer. Letters turn yellow when they’re in the word but the wrong spot and green when they’re in the correct spot. Here are some tips:
Wordle runs in a browser and the game’s code and words are essentially within the webpage itself—it’s not pinging a server or needs to access anything online. So you can save the Wordle website on your device and play it from there instead of on the web. Wordle has over 2,000 words and since it’s played once a day, you should have over six years’ worth of games if you play daily.
However, if you’ve been playing online and decide to play this way, your streak will end and you’ll have to start a new one. Here’s how to save it on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad in Safari.
Opening the file: When you first open the file to play the game, you may get a warning that says the file can’t be opened because macOS can’t verify that the file is malware-free. To open the file, right-click it and select Open. Instead of the malware warning, you’ll need to confirm that you really want to open the file. Click Open and you should be good to go.
On the iPhone and iPad, you can save Wordle to Safari’s Reading List. To be able to access Wordle offline, you need to adjust Safari’s settings. Go to Settings > Safari, then scroll down to the Reading List section at the bottom. Turn on the switch for Automatically Save Offline.
Here’s how to add Wordle to your Reading List.
When you want to play Wordle, tap the Bookmarks icon in Safari’s URL bar. Then tap the eyeglasses icon, which will take you to your Reading List, where you’ll find Wordle.
The New York Times has taken over Wordle and if you try to go to the original Wordle website at powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle, you will be redirected to The Times’ site. But there are several fans who have found a way to play using the original URL, either by downloading the game (see above) or by leaving a browser window open of the original URL.
However, since the two sites aren’t associated with each other, it’s possible to get two different solutions for the daily game. In other words, The Times’ solution will be different from the original site. And they will always be different.
The Times has also made adjustments to the possible solutions, as noted in the tweet below by ABC News reporter Michael Slezak.
Wordle has only one game per day and each day is numbered. For example, Wordle on January 27 was game number 222. Wordle itself doesn’t have a way to play past editions, but there is a site that allows you to access past Wordles.
Created by Devang Thakkar, the Wordle Archive lets you play old Wordle editions. The site provides buttons so you can access a specific puzzle—you can even replay Wordles you have already solved. (Update March 16: The Wordle Archive has been shuttered at the request of the New York Times, according to the site’s creator.)
No, we’re not advocates for cheating in a game that we enjoy, but maybe you just need a little help. Or maybe you’re tired of seeing Wordle scores on social media and you want to post a few “high” scores of your own to get back at them. Whatever your reason, we’re not here to judge, we’re just here to direct you to an article and video by our sister publication, PCWorld, on how to cheat at Wordle.
This Google Easter egg will make you smile. All you need to do is type “Wordle” into the Google search field (or the address field on your iPhone or Mac if you have Google set as your search engine) and press Return. The Google logo at the top will turn into a mini Wordle in tribute to the game. It’s cute, so check it out!