Wordle, the addictive online word-guessing game, has taken the internet by storm. Players from all over the world are competing to find the best strategies for cracking the code. And one crucial element to master is the starting word. From information content versus hit rate to mathematical approaches and expert opinions, this article explores the best word to kick off your winning streak. Soare you ready to uncover the secrets behind the best Wordle starting words?

A Surprising Triumph

Contrary to his intention, Wardle didn't set out to create a global sensation. He simply revisited his Wordle concept in early 2021, creating a game that he and his partner could enjoy during their leisure time. For months, they were the only ones playing. However, when their family members discovered the game, Wardle decided to offer it on his personal website in October 2021, for free and without any advertisements. From there, Wordle's popularity skyrocketed. By November 1, 2021, there were already ninety daily players, and by January 1, 2022, the game had amassed a staggering 300,000 users. And just a week later, that number grew to an impressive two million players.

In January 2022, the New York Times made headlines with its acquisition of the rights to Wordle for a substantial seven-figure sum. This further expanded the game's reach. By March 2022, tens of millions of people across the globe had already experienced Wordle at least once. An interesting feature of the game is the ability to download the color code from your game (representing the colored playing fields) as an emoji, which can be shared on social media for comparison. On average, most players need about four attempts to solve a Wordle, anything less is deemed a success.

If you've ever tried playing Wordle, you know that the outcome greatly depends on the word you choose to start with. For example, selecting the word "start" may not be the wisest move, as it contains the letter T twice. This means that you've wasted one of the five positions that could have provided valuable information about other letters. Of course, you might get lucky, and the solution word could also contain two Ts. However, in all other scenarios, you won't gain any meaningful information. According to the New York Times, the most popular starting words are "adieu" or "audio," as they consist of multiple vowels, making it easier to determine the letters in the solution word. But is this really the optimal choice?

Content Information versus Success Rate

Perhaps it would be better to start with a word like "Texas." If the solution word happens to contain the rare letter X, you would immediately eliminate a significant number of the 2,309 potential solutions. However, there's a high probability that the solution word does not include an X, rendering that particular information nearly useless. Knowing that the solution lacks an X only reduces the possibilities from 2,309 to 2,272. Therefore, players must consider whether they value gathering information or having a higher probability of correctly guessing a letter.

The relationship between information and probability is not a new concept. Mathematician Claude Shannon, the founder of information theory, recognized this connection and developed a measure of information content based on it. Suppose you have a space with potential events, in this case, the 2,309 possible solution words in Wordle. One bit of information corresponds to feedback that halves the solution space, such as the presence of the letter S (approximately half of all solutions contain at least one S).

With two bits of information, three-quarters of the solutions can be eliminated, as in the case of the letter T. And with three bits of information, only one-eighth of the words remain. This demonstrates that the more likely a letter is to appear in the solution, the lower its information content becomes.

Graphic illustrating that each bit of information divides the possibilities in half.

For each bit of information, the possibilities are halved. For instance, if a Wordle solution word contains the letter S, half of the potential solution words are eliminated. Credit: Spektrum der Wissenschaft/Manon Bischoff

This concept can be expressed mathematically. The probability (p) of finding a word with a specific property, such as the letter A, can be calculated by dividing the total number of words containing A (represented as MA) by the total number of words (M). Thus, p = MA / M. Simultaneously, the information (I), which states "The word contains an A," reduces the space of all possibilities (M) by a factor of ½I. This can be expressed as MA = ½I x M.

By combining these equations, we can derive a formula that combines information content and probability: p = ½I x M / M, which simplifies to p = ½I. This formula can also be rearranged and solved for I: I = -log2p.

Shannon made this remarkable connection between probability and information content in 1948. As per an article published in Scientific American in 1971, he initially pondered what to name this new quantity, considering calling it "information." However, he decided on "uncertainty" because the term "information" was already heavily used. Upon discussing it with John von Neumann, a renowned computer scientist, physicist, and mathematician, von Neumann proposed the name "entropy" for two reasons. Firstly, the concept of uncertainty had already been used in statistical mechanics under that name. Secondly, and more importantly, as von Neumann believed, "no one knows what entropy really is," giving Shannon the advantage in debates.

Since then, the quantity I, defined above, has been referred to as entropy.

Now, let's return to Wordle. Entropy can guide us in selecting an appropriate starting word. The greater the entropy of a word, the more information it provides. However, high entropy also means a lower success rate. Therefore, a balance between these two factors must be struck to choose the best possible starting word.

Mathematician Grant Sanderson calculated the expected entropy value for all potential inputs in his YouTube channel, 3Blue1Brown. He accomplished this by determining the frequency of color patterns that could arise based on the 2,309 solution words for each of the 10,000 possible input words. For example, there may be 250 instances where five gray squares appear (indicating all incorrect letters), while a green square followed by four gray squares (suggesting the first letter is correct and in the right position) may only occur 15 times.

Graphic demonstrating that entering the word 'soare' into Wordle can yield various color code responses.

Entering the word 'soare' into Wordle can yield various color code responses. Credit: Spektrum der Wissenschaft/Manon Bischoff

To determine the average information gained from an initial word, one can calculate the entropy for each associated color code and weigh it with the probability of occurrence. Essentially, this involves calculating an expected value. Interestingly, the word "soare" (which is an obsolete term for a young hawk) performs exceptionally well with an expected value of 5.89 bits. This means that starting with the word "soare" reduces the space of possible solution words to an average of 2^(-5.89), or about 1.7 percent of the total possibilities. Consequently, there are approximately 22 potential solution words on average.

Begin with "Soare" for Optimal Results

Wordle consists of multiple guess attempts rather than just one. By carefully selecting consecutive words, it's possible to narrow down the number of potential solutions more effectively than starting with "soare" alone.

Sanderson applied this approach as follows: Suppose you input "soare" and receive five gray boxes. This means you know that the letters S, O, A, R, and E are not part of the solution word. Sanderson then determined the possible color patterns that could emerge after inputting "soare," calculated the expected entropy for the second word, and selected the optimal choice. For instance, if all fields turned gray after "soare," the best second choice would be "clint" (which refers to a hard rock).

This process of finding the most suitable second word can be repeated for other color patterns that may arise after "soare." For a green square followed by four gray squares, the optimal second word is "thilk" (another obsolete term meaning "that" or "this"). By weighing the entropy of the second words with their corresponding probabilities, the overall value amounts to 4.11. Consequently, starting with "soare" yields an average information gain of 5.89 bits, and selecting the optimal second word contributes an additional 4.11 bits. In theory, if one were to play Wordle perfectly, an average of 10 bits of information could be obtained after two attempts, resulting in a reduction of the solution space by a factor of 2^(-10) and leaving an average of 2.25 potential solution words.

Graphic demonstrating that the optimal second word after entering 'soare' depends on the color code received.

The optimal second word after entering 'soare' depends on the color code received. Credit: Spektrum der Wissenschaft/Manon Bischoff

Considering Wordle Starting Word Strategies

Let's consider a holistic approach to Wordle starting word strategies. The English alphabet comprises 26 letters, of which five (or occasionally six when including Y) are vowels, forming the foundation of most words.

At a basic level, any five-letter combination that helps rule out more vowels early on will significantly narrow down the range of potential answers.

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Keeping this fundamental reality in mind, a few ideal starting words immediately come to mind. While other options exist, ADIEU, AUDIO, and OUIJA all involve four vowels. Although you won't know if any letters will appear yellow or green twice, as is the case with words like "sweet" or "radar," you can identify some crucial letters right from the start.

A smartphone screen displaying the rules page for 'Wordle'.

Image Credit: Brandon Bell / Staff via Getty Images

Opting for vowel-heavy words is usually sufficient to gain an advantage in Wordle puzzles. However, it's not that simple, as not all letters are equally common. While vowels appear in almost every word, their frequencies vary. The same applies to consonants.

Another consideration is the Wordle dictionary. Although the game recognizes over 10,000 words as permissible guesses, only a subset of a few thousand qualifies as potential solutions. Following its acquisition of Wordle, the New York Times even narrowed down the list of valid solutions. Therefore, while you could use a more obscure word like AUREI (the plural form of aureus, an ancient Roman gold coin), as a guess, it's unlikely to be the solution for the day.

For those who desire greater coverage of common consonants in addition to vowels, starting with the word RAISE is ideal. It encompasses the three most common vowels and the two most frequently used consonants as defined by dictionaries.

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The Optimal Wordle Starting Word: An Analysis

For those who seek the perfect starting word in the game of Wordle(opens in a new tab), here is a deeper exploration of the subject. The strategies and methods discussed earlier provide an advantage in solving the daily puzzles for most players. However, those who wish to delve further into the intricacies of the game will find great value in a fascinating video by Grant Sanderson(opens in a new tab), a mathematician and computer scientist known as 3Blue1Brown on YouTube.

Sanderson, employing his expertise in "information theory," deciphered Wordle using coded testing programs that analyze factors like letter frequency. This methodology aids in determining the best possible starting words. Although Sanderson's dense 30-minute explanation heavily revolves around mathematical discourse, his amiable demeanor and commitment to elucidating complex concepts make it a captivating watch.

In Sanderson's initial video (for those who thought the journey would be as simple as a single video), the ultimate conclusion arrived at is the word "CRANE" as the finest starting word in the game of Wordle. However, it is not as straightforward as it seems. Sanderson's breakdown is centered around letter frequency, making CRANE merely the initial step in gathering information. To achieve the best outcome, one must utilize the knowledge gained from the first word to inform subsequent guesses.

Perhaps your head is spinning at this point, and you may be regretting not stopping after the first section. You are not alone in this feeling! But brace yourself, for we are not yet finished.

A week after the aforementioned video, Sanderson released another one titled "Oh, wait, actually the best Wordle opener is not 'crane'...." It turns out that his original testing program had a minor bug. He clarifies right from the start that the bug impacts only a negligible percentage of cases and does not undermine the core lessons from the first video.

Without delving into the intricate mathematics, the bug specifically revolves around solutions with repeated letters and how Wordle handles them. Sanderson felt compelled to publish a second video because while the core content of the original video remains mostly unaffected, the conclusion regarding the optimal starting word is impacted. The caveat mentioned previously still holds true: an optimal starting word is only as useful as the subsequent guess that employs the information obtained from the first word.

Contextualizing this, Sanderson's revised ideal starting word is "SALET" (an alternative spelling of "sallet," a medieval helmet). However, "TRACE" and "CRATE" also serve as excellent options, especially given the fact that all three are potential Wordle answers.

One of the crucial takeaways from these mathematical explorations is the concept mentioned earlier: the strength of your initial guess lies in its relation to the guesses that follow. In essence, Wordle is a game where each guess provides you with valuable information used to narrow down the possibilities.

But hold on! We are not finished yet. Another approach to solving Wordle exists, deviating from the conventional method of utilizing previous guesses to inform the next one. Instead, this alternative approach focuses solely on letter frequency, aiming to eliminate the most common letters (both consonants and vowels) upfront, regardless of any hints obtained.

This strategy effectively consumes the initial set of guesses by making predefined choices meant to narrow down the pool of potential letters to work with. However, note that this particular approach does not work in "hard mode," where each subsequent guess must include confirmed letters from the previous guess.

The Strategy Behind Optimal Wordle Starting Words

Seasoned Wordle players recommend choosing words with a high vowel count as the opening guess. The rationale behind this is simple yet effective–there are only five vowels in the English alphabet, and most words contain one or more of them. By discerning which vowels are present, you can swiftly limit the range of potential solution words.

Wordle puzzle on a smartphone

According to this line of reasoning, words like "ouija," "adieu," "audio," and "raise" seem ideal as starting guesses in a game of Wordle. However, a more scientific approach to Wordle solving argues against the vowel-first strategy. The sheer multitude of words containing vowels does not significantly contribute to solving the given day's Wordle puzzle. Moreover, some players opt for consonant-heavy words such as "nymph," "fjord," "waltz," "gybes," and "quick" to eliminate as many letters as possible within the six guesses. Yet, even this approach falls short, as Wordle answers often feature repeated letters, for instance, words like "trite" or "runny."

Similarly, some players rely on words like "train," "roast," "irate," or "roate" due to their inclusion of frequently occurring letters. However, on days when the answer turns out to be something like "jazzy" or "khaki," this strategy proves ineffective.

So, what works then, if these strategies do not?

Expert Recommendations for the Best Wordle Starting Words

A cursory glance may lead one to assume that mathematicians and data analysts wouldn't find word games particularly enticing. However, Wordle's probabilistic nature has attracted precisely this type of crowd.

Various theories have been put forth to determine the optimal starting word in a game of Wordle, and the results are intriguing. Here are some of the best starting words recommended by experts.

1. Crane

Popular math YouTuber Grant Sanderson, renowned for visually explaining "higher mathematics" through his YouTube channel 3Blue1Brown, claims that the best Wordle starting word is "crane." Sanderson provides a lesson on information theory by simulating different words using the Wordle answer sheet. Through this simulation, he determines that "crane" yields the lowest average number of follow-up guesses. The result may seem somewhat anticlimactic, considering the mathematical effort invested, with more unusual words like "waltz" or "fjord" expected. However, it seems that there is something magical about simplicity.

The New York Times' WordleBot, an analytical tool that offers tips for improving gameplay, also includes "crane" among its recommendations for the best Wordle starting words.

2. Salet

Another mathematician, Alex Selby, asserts on his website that "salet" is the optimal starting word in Wordle. Selby's findings are based on an algorithmic strategy.

Selby's algorithm determines that "salet" leaves an average of the fewest remaining possible solutions, with an average of 3.42 attempts to reach the correct answer. Grant Sanderson of 3Blue1Brown corroborates this result in a subsequent analysis, emphasizing the same word as the best starting choice in Wordle. At the time of writing, WordleBot's current top pick for a starting word is "slate." Though the letter arrangement is slightly different, it shares similarities and possesses similar chances of narrowing down the remaining solutions.

3. Trace

Machine learning researcher Daniel Kats, who studied the Wordle answer sheet and documented his discoveries on GitHub, asserts that "trace" is the starting word that results in the fewest remaining possible solutions. Kats determined that, on average, players would require 3.58 attempts to reach the correct answer after initiating the game with "trace" as their first guess. "Trace" is also among the top starter words recommended by WordleBot.

WordleBot's Recommendations for Best Wordle Starting Words

In addition to "slate," "crane," and "trace," WordleBot suggests other words such as "slant," "crate," "carte," "least," "trice," "stare," "leant," "saint," "lance," and "crone" as suitable options for the opening guess. To access the full list of recommended starting words and gain insights to enhance your Wordle skills, a subscription to the New York Times, priced at $2 per month, is required.

The Best Overall Wordle Starting Words

Which Words Are Best to Start Wordle?

According to the "official" WordleBot, an AI tool developed by the New York Times to aid Wordle gameplay, the best starting word is "SLATE." WordleBot rates "SLATE" as 99/100 in terms of skill, the highest score awarded. However, the same rating is given to "CRANE," "CRATE," "SLANT," "TRACE," and "CARTE," indicating that any of these six words would be an excellent choice as a starting word.

On the other hand, researchers at MIT have calculated that the optimal word for starting Wordle is "SALET." For more details on this, you can read further below.

Best Wordle Starting Words: A Mathematical Perspective

Analyzing the 2,309 answers available in Wordle paints a clearer picture of why WordleBot selects the aforementioned six words. This analysis was undertaken by myself while working on Tom's Guide, TechRadar's sister site. Based on this analysis, I explored Wordle's code and identified patterns among the solutions.

One noteworthy finding was the most common letters used in the game, listed in descending order: E, A, R, O, and T.

Most Common Letters in Wordle Overall:

  • E (1,230 occurrences)
  • A (975 occurrences)
  • R (897 occurrences)
  • O (753 occurrences)
  • T (729 occurrences)
  • L (716 occurrences)
  • I (670 occurrences)
  • S (668 occurrences)
  • N (573 occurrences)
  • C (475 occurrences)

Furthermore, the most frequently used starting letters are S, C, B, T, and P. I also investigated the most common second, third, fourth, and last letters in an answer. Here are the top five letters for each respective position:

Most Common Starting Letters in Wordle:

  • S (365 occurrences)
  • C (198 occurrences)
  • B (173 occurrences)
  • P (149 occurrences)
  • T (141 occurrences)

Most Common Second Letters in Wordle:

  • A (304 occurrences)
  • O (279 occurrences)
  • R (267 occurrences)
  • E (241 occurrences)
  • I (201 occurrences)

Most Common Middle Letters in Wordle:

  • A (306 occurrences)
  • I (266 occurrences)
  • O (243 occurrences)
  • E (177 occurrences)
  • U (165 occurrences)

Most Common Fourth Letters in Wordle:

  • E (318 occurrences)
  • N (182 occurrences)
  • S (171 occurrences)
  • A (162 occurrences)
  • L (162 occurrences)

Most Common Ending Letters in Wordle:

  • E (422 occurrences)
  • Y (364 occurrences)
  • T (253 occurrences)
  • R (212 occurrences)
  • L (155 occurrences)

What do these findings reveal? Simply selecting the top letter in each respective position does not yield meaningful results, as it would result in the non-existent word "SAAEE." However, if we disregard these fabricated words, "SLATE" emerges as the best choice.

Why is this the case? The total occurrence count is calculated by summing up the number of times each letter appears in each respective position. "S" has the highest count at 365, with "L," "A," "T," and "E" following suit. Accordingly, "SLATE" attains the highest total score of 1,432 using this method.

Even without an affinity for mathematics, the logic behind this choice is evident. "S" is, by a significant margin, the most commonly used starting letter, and the other letters frequently appear throughout the game.

Personally, I prefer words that include an "R" over those with an "L," as the former is common in "-ER" words. "STARE" has been my preferred starting word for much of my Wordle experience, and WordleBot seems to appreciate it as well.

Does it work? Well, in my case, it certainly does, as I currently boast a streak of nearly 500!

Top Wordle opening terms - the verdict from MIT

While I don't claim to be a mathematical prodigy, I relied on the expertise of true authorities to discover the most effective words to begin Wordle. For instance, a group of scholars at MIT have presented a document in which they assertively affirm that the optimum word to commence a game of Wordle is... SALET.

If, like me, you were unfamiliar with the meaning of SALET, you are not alone. Apparently, it refers to a helmet from the 15th century. However, what is more important is that Wordle accepts SALET as a valid guess.

According to the researchers, SALET outperforms SLATE by 1% when it comes to narrowing down the possible options in Wordle. This leads to a greater likelihood of solving the puzzle within the allotted six attempts. In fact, they contend that on average, individuals who start with SALET solve Wordle in just 3.421 guesses.

However, it is worth noting that choosing SALET as your starting word each day will never yield a perfect 1/6 score, as it is not one of the 2,309 potential answers in Wordle. Similarly, CRATE, SLATE, and TRACE have all been revealed as answers in previous instances of the game, so it might be wise to avoid them for the same reason. Oh, and CARTE is also not a valid answer.

Taking all of this into consideration, perhaps the most promising choices for starting Wordle words are SLANT and CRANE. Both receive a score of 99 from WordleBot, and neither has been a previous answer.

Best opening terms for Wordle - focusing on vowels

An alternate approach favored by many players is to include a significant number of vowels in their initial Wordle word. This strategy has its merits, as nearly all Wordle answers contain at least one of the vowels A, E, I, O, or U. Identifying these vowels early on can assist in determining the potential solution.

Words like AUDIO, ADIEU, and CANOE are commonly selected when employing a vowel-heavy strategy, and they are all reasonable choices.

However, from a mathematical perspective, there are superior options. The MIT researchers specifically single out AUDIO, stating that it reveals only 1.320 colored tiles in the first move, whereas SALET typically uncovers 1.683 of them.

That being said, it is strongly advised to avoid starting with words such as OUIJA, EQUAL, or QUEUE. While they contain three or four vowels, they also include infrequently used letters like Q or J. In fact, J is the least commonly occurring letter in the game, present in only 27 answers. Therefore, utilizing those letters would be wasteful and counterproductive.

Just say no to these options.

The Ultimate Word to Start Wordle

From a statistical standpoint, CANOE is the most effective word to begin a game of Wordle.

However, if you're inclined to explore other 5-letter words with comparable statistical efficacy, you have a variety of choices, including ROATE, CRANE, RAISE, and TRACE. It wouldn't hurt to give each of them a try at least once, right?

Statistically best Wordle starting wordsStatistically best Wordle starting words

In alphabetical order, the most optimal initial words to play in Wordle are:

  • Canoe
  • Carte
  • Crane
  • Crate
  • Raise
  • Roate
  • Slate
  • Slant
  • Stale
  • Trace

These words have consistently demonstrated themselves to be the most advantageous choices, as confirmed by various sources such as The New York Times' WordleBot and the fan-made Startle tool, both of which we will delve into further.

Both WordleBot and Startle feature Wordle analysis tools that help determine the value of a Wordle word. Once you have identified your initial word or word pair with their assistance, you can utilize our Wordle solver to select the subsequent words and ultimately deduce the correct answer for the day.

Top Wordle Starting Words Based on NYT's WordleBot

To aid players in improving their skills and achieving uninterrupted Wordle victories, the New York Times introduced WordleBot as an automated assistance feature. After completing a daily Wordle puzzle, this bot thoroughly assesses your performance and evaluates your proficiency.

However, the most crucial role of WordleBot is to review the words you played, step by step, and suggest superior alternatives based on its advanced algorithms. This begins with selecting the finest word to start Wordle with.

Going beyond the usual favored words, the NYT's WordleBot provides additional words that rank highly according to its proprietary scoring system. For the initial move in normal mode, WordleBot considers any of the following ten words to be the optimal choice for your best Wordle starting word. Each word is assigned a rating from 1 to 100, with 100 denoting the absolute best word possible.

Top starting words for WordleTop starting words for Wordle

  • Crane (99)
  • Slate (99)
  • Crate (99)
  • Slant (99)
  • Trace (99)
  • Lance (98)
  • Carte (98)
  • Least (98)
  • Trice (98)
  • Roast (97)
  • NYT's WordleBot can also suggest the initial word to try in Wordle's hard mode. Similar to normal mode, each Wordle starting word is assigned a numerical rating from 1 to 100.

  • Dealt (99)
  • Tripe (95)
  • Tails (94)
  • Shalt (94)
  • Slant (93)
  • Petal (93)
  • Slate (93)
  • Tales (93)
  • Trace (93)
  • Plane (93)
  • The Optimal Wordle Strategy According to Startle

    If you lack a New York Times subscription to access WordleBot or prefer to utilize an alternative analysis tool, Startle is a reliable option. Created by software engineer Steve Hodges, Startle simulates over a billion Wordle games daily to ascertain the best words to use in combination with your winning Wordle strategies.

    Startle provides percentage scores indicating the likelihood that a Wordle first word will uncover at least one green letter or at least one yellow letter. For instance, playing "arose" is expected to reveal at least one green letter 39 percent of the time.

    Employing a five-letter word with an abundance of vowels is an effective Wordle strategy. While the vowels may not be in their correct positions, they can assist in determining which vowels are part of the Wordle answer. A Wordle starting word with three or more vowels can unveil valuable insights.

    Recommended Wordle starting wordsRecommended Wordle starting words

    • Arose: 39% Green | 80% Yellow
    • Atone: 37% Green | 81% Yellow
    • Canoe: 43% Green | 79% Yellow
    • Irate: 40% Green | 80% Yellow
    • Orate: 40% Green | 80% Yellow
    • Ourie: 36% Green | 82% Yellow
    • Raise: 44% Green | 81% Yellow
    • Roate: 44% Green | 80% Yellow
    • Serai: 35% Green | 84% Yellow
    • Soare: 50% Green | 76% Yellow

    Wordle Starting Words With Prominent Consonants

    The other viable option for the best Wordle starting word is to combine vowels with common consonants, including letters like S, R, T, and N. Interestingly, words featuring the letter C are also quite common. The advantage of these Wordle starting words lies in the fact that these frequently used letters are typically found in common positions.

    • Heart: 36% Green | 80% Yellow
    • Dealt: 38% Green | 78% Yellow
    • Canoe: 43% Green | 79% Yellow
    • Carte: 42% Green | 76% Yellow
    • Cones: 35% Green | 76% Yellow
    • Haste: 36% Green | 76% Yellow
    • Horse: 39% Green | 76% Yellow
    • Lance: 39% Green | 75% Yellow
    • Least: 37% Green | 81% Yellow
    • Roast: 40% Green | 76% Yellow
    • Stale: 42% Green | 76% Yellow
    • Stare: 41% Green | 76% Yellow
    • Store: 40% Green | 75% Yellow
    • Trail: 36% Green | 79% Yellow

    To assist you in identifying the finest words to begin Wordle, we conducted extensive testing on hundreds of words to determine their average scores. Based on our analysis, the top Wordle words yield a green letter at least 35% of the time and a yellow letter at least 74% of the time. All of the aforementioned starting words surpass these averages. If you require additional guidance, a few daily Wordle hints certainly wouldn't hurt.

    The Top Word Options for Wordle

    The most optimal choices for beginning a game of Wordle are clear, but if you don't immediately find the solution, you'll need to explore other words that are worth playing. This brings us to a significant question: What is the ultimate choice for the second word in Wordle?

    Achieving victory in Wordle requires employing various strategies, ensuring that all your tactics work harmoniously. This primarily entails selecting words that complement each other, bringing you closer to unraveling the daily puzzle.

    Screenshots of Wordle's initial correct word

    Choosing the Perfect Second Word for Wordle

    By leveraging our knowledge of effective word combinations and utilizing Startle analysis, we can follow a reliable pattern to select the best words for Wordle consistently. Here are a few examples demonstrating how to select a valuable second Wordle word:

    • Start with "ourie" as your first Wordle word and follow it up with "badly" on your second turn. In just two turns, you'll have played all the vowels along with the letters B, D, L, R, and Y.
    • Begin with "roate" to make a strong start. Then, play a word that has no overlapping letters, such as "funds."
    • Play "stare" or "store" to test the common positions of each letter in both words. Afterwards, try something like "blimp" or "finch" to introduce five new letters.

    Selecting a fantastic second word in Wordle holds even greater significance in Wordle spinoffs like Quordle and Octordle, where you must guess multiple words. Utilize the insights you gain to tackle multiple words with fewer attempts, aided by our Quordle solver.

    Unveiling Your Second Wordle Word Through WordFinder

    If you're playing in normal mode and find yourself in need of guidance to select the ideal second Wordle word, our Wordle solver can provide you with plenty of options.

    Here's how to utilize the solver's features effectively:

  • After playing your initial word, input all its letters into the "excludes" search field. The solver will generate a list of words that do not contain those letters.
  • If there's a specific letter you want the generated words to include, such as an unused vowel, add it to the "includes" search field.
  • Tap the search button.
  • Review the resulting word list to find an exceptional second Wordle word.
  • Avoid Repeating Letters in Your Wordle Words

    If you've noticed, one common feature among the top words for Wordle is the absence of duplicate letters. Examples of words with repeated letters include "funny," "hello," and "sorry."

    A pressing question that often arises for new players is, "Does Wordle allow letters to be repeated in its answers?" As these players quickly discover, the answer is "yes." However, during the initial turns, including the second word in Wordle, it's wise to steer clear of word options with repeated letters. The best approach is to select words that reveal as many different letters as possible, thus narrowing down the possibilities.

    Insights from Startle Creator Steve Hodges

    As we delve into the best starting words for Wordle and utilize Startle to determine the ideal second word, we reached out to Steve Hodges for his expert insights into how players should approach solving a Wordle puzzle and why pairs of starting words hold more value than a single starting word.

    Playing a single, solid starting word statistically doesn't yield as many correct letters (greens) or partially correct letters (yellows). It leaves players wondering, "Now what? Which word should I play next?" On the other hand, employing two complementary starting words allows you to utilize 10 unique letters, significantly increasing the likelihood of finding greens and yellows right away.

    Typically, the best word combinations result in three or more yellows over half the time and at least one green 62% of the time. In contrast, starting with a single popular word like "caret" only results in three or more yellows in a mere 10% of games and a single green in just 46% of games! Consequently, using two strong starting words brings you much closer to the solution.

    Optimal First and Second Words for Wordle

    Now that you understand the importance of playing the best second Wordle word, you must consider which word pairs to use together. While having the best starting word is crucial, employing a consistent word pair whenever you play Wordle can nearly guarantee victory.

    Steve Hodges was also interested in identifying the top word pairings. That's why he designed Startle to evaluate pairs of words as well. This option of using two words allowed Steve to pinpoint, from a mathematical perspective, the best starting words for Wordle.

    The Best Pairs of Starting Words for Wordle

    According to Steve's findings on Startle as of May 2022, "coals" and "niter" represent the statistically superior word pair to start a game of Wordle. However, this isn't the only excellent word pair to play in Wordle. Here's a list of Wordle word pairs that Startle considers the cream of the crop:

    Just like the best choices for the first Wordle word, each pair also comes with an assessment of the likelihood of revealing a green or yellow square during the game. On average, each pair boasts a 64% chance of uncovering at least one green square and a 97% chance of finding at least one yellow square. All these pairs feature the letters A, E, I, and O, while the letter U appears less frequently among potential Wordle answers.

    • Coals & Niter
    • Caner & Toils
    • Canoe & Tirls
    • Carns & Toile
    • Coals & Nitre
    • Citer & Loans
    • Citer & Solan
    • Conte & Rials
    • Hones & Trail
    • Coirs & Laten
    • Cairn & Toles
    • Hosen & Trail
    • Hosel & Train
    • Colas & Nitre
    • Ceils & Torah

    Top Wordle Starting Words for Consonants

    Startle also provides data for words that specifically target consonants within the puzzle's answer. If your Wordle strategy involves prioritizing consonants, try these pairs. On average, each pair has a 34% chance of revealing at least one green square and a 90% chance of discovering at least one yellow square.

    • Darns & Letch
    • Letch & Nerds
    • Letch & Nards
    • Delts & Ranch
    • Letch & Yarns
    • Letch & Syren
    • Cents & Ralph
    • Cents & Redly
    • Hents & Lycra
    • Lycra & Thens
    • Celts & Nerdy
    • Gnarl & Techs
    • Gnars & Letch
    • Cents & Reply
    • Nerdy & Talcs

    Preferred Wordle Starting Words by LoveToKnow Media Staff

    While it's crucial to find the best starting and second words for Wordle, we mustn't forget the element of human enjoyment in the game. After all, games are meant to be entertaining above all else. For many Wordle enthusiasts, the fun lies in selecting their personal favorite words to play.

    We interviewed some of our colleagues at LoveToKnow Media who are avid Wordle fans, asking them about their preferred starting words. Here's what they shared:

    "My kids insist on using 'audio' every time. Then, their strategy for the next word depends on what letters hit. If no letters present in 'audio,' my youngest came up with 'reply.'" – Jennifer Gunner

    "My usual first two words are 'aisle' and then 'round.' It covers all the vowels and some of the most common consonants." – Ash Menon

    "I always begin with 'weary.' Interestingly, I had no idea it was the example word shown when you click the help icon until a friend pointed it out. The word simply resonates with me, and it hasn't let me down yet." – Claudia Boone

    "I often opt for 'raise' due to its abundance of vowels and two common letters." – Carrie Grosvenor

    "I experiment with words like 'tepid,' 'stare,' 'least,' 'audit,' 'learn,' 'ounce,' and 'untie.' However, I sometimes mix it up by using a word with just one vowel, such as 'strap' or 'right.'" – Josh Coady

    In the vast sea of potential word choices in the game of Wordle, finding the perfect starting word can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. However, fear not, for the experts and even the WordleBot itself have spoken, providing us with insights and strategies to up our Wordle game. From the mathematical approach of maximizing hit rate to the trusted verdict from MIT, we have uncovered the absolute best starting words and even the ideal second word to keep those guesses flowing seamlessly. So, whether you're a novice or a seasoned player, armed with this knowledge, prepare to unlock the secrets of Wordle and embark on a dazzling journey of word wizardry. Happy word-guessing!