The strategy-based word game Wordle hit the internet like a bomb cyclone storm this winter. Nobody was safe. Either you’ve since become hooked enough to find ways to slake your word-thirst in between games, or you’re part of the inevitable backlash.
Anyone in that first camp, though, will probably appreciate the Redditor who recently hacked their way into finding the 10 most-used letters in the game.
Wordle is, for the somehow-still-uninitiated, a solo Hangman where the word is always five letters long and the player only gets six guesses to reveal it. Along the way, the game helpfully fills in with green the right letters in the right place, and fills in with yellow the right letters in the wrong place, so players can make better informed guesses as they go along.
Those first couple guesses are crucial for rooting out the answer in the fewest possible terms, which is of course the goal for competitive players or those trying to impress on Twitter. The more green and yellow letters a player uncovers right away, the less sweaty the deductive reasoning that follows. Knowing the most common letters in the answer won’t quite enable anyone to cheat at Wordle, and shame on those who would want to, but it just may lead to seeing more color in the first and second turns.
So, how did someone find those letters?
“One of my coworkers today told me that all of the words that Wordle will ever use are apparently all served to your device whenever you visit the webpage,” writes Redditor ghillieman18. “The game only shows you the word for the current day however. So, I decided to loop through all 2000+ words and plot the most frequently used letters. I used Python (specifically numpy and matplotlib + seaborn) to make the plot in a jupyter notebook which you can find in the GitHub repo linked [here].”
As for the letters themselves, many of them will not be very surprising. Of course, four of the five vowels are in the top 10, with the fifth at number 11. Seeing them laid out in the order of usage, however, should both confirm some suspicions and open some new doors.
A strategy-minded player might look at the above and start using five-letter words from the top 10—such as STARE, IRONS, CLONE, TRAIN, and RACES—for future first turns, and follow up with another word made up of the top 10’s remaining letters.
Maybe not, though!
Each Wordler must chart their own course toward victory or defeat. Consider this a nudge in the right direction.