# The latest game to go viral is a surprisingly simple, yet wildly difficult, word puzzler called Wordle — here’s how to play

• Wordle is the first big game of 2022, and it’s a free game that exists only on a website.
• The viral puzzle game has exploded in popularity, with over 2 million players last weekend.
• Wordle is simple to learn, but surprisingly difficult to master — the perfect combination.

Have you been seeing strange messages on social media? A bunch of colorful blocks, then a message with a fraction?

If so, you’re following someone — or, more likely, several someones — who plays Wordle. The messages are how Wordle players share their daily successes (and failures) with the world.

You don’t need a PlayStation 5, or even a smartphone, to participate. And there is no app version of Wordle, or any software to download — it’s solely a web-based game.

To play Wordle, you need only go to the Wordle website: Here’s a direct link to the game.

From there, the game’s basic premise is explained.

Every day there’s a new five-letter word to guess. With each word you guess, the game tells you how many letters from your guess are in the solution. If they’re colored yellow, then they’re in the solution but in the wrong place. If they’re colored green, they’re in the solution in the right place. And if the letters are all grey, then none of the letters are in the solution.

It’s a relatively simple puzzle concept with vast potential for depth.

Immediately, the mechanics of the game become clear: It’s a process of elimination of the English alphabet, within the constraints of five-letter words and the placement of each letter.

Moreover, you’ve only got six chances to guess the correct five-letter word of the day. This is where those social media posts come into play once again: They visually express how a particular Wordle player solved that day’s puzzle.

The colorful blocks are a map of their guesses, and the fraction is a reference to how many tries it took for them to solve the game. The other number, currently in the hundreds, corresponds to which Wordle puzzle was solved.

The game has been around since November, but began picking up steam through digital word of mouth in late 2021. It got so popular by early January that it spawned copycats on the iPhone App Store, one of which even used the name “Wordle” directly. They were purged from the App Store by Apple this week, Variety reported on Tuesday

Wordle was created by one guy, named Josh Wardle, who’s no stranger to creating viral internet work. He previously created a hit Reddit April Fools’ Day gag back in 2015 called “The Button.”

But with Wordle, Wardle’s created something far more intriguing: A truly great puzzle game.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email ([email protected]), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.