Wordle: What is the viral Powerlanguage game, how do I play it and why has it become so popular?

There’s a new online word game taking the world by storm – but what is Wordle and how can you play?

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 13th January 2022, 4:35 pm

The game, created by software engineer Josh Wardle, has recently become an internet sensation.

Thousands of users have taken to Twitter and other social media sites in recent weeks to post their results from the guessing game.

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In fact, at the moment it is quite hard to scroll down your timeline without being bombarded with colourful graphs and boasts about how many guesses it took each person to find the word of the day.

You may also receive requests from friends, inviting you to come and have a go at trying to beat their score.

Although it only appears to have gone ‘viral’ since the start of 2022, the game has been gaining momentum since October last year and now has more than 2.7 million players online.

This is why Wordle has become so popular - and how you can play. Photo Illustration by Brandon Bell/Getty Images.

But what is it and how does it work? Here is everything you need to know.

What is Wordle?

Wordle is an online guessing game which is played once daily.

Every day there is a new word which you must try to find in six guesses or less.

Each time you submit a guess, you are told whether each letter is correct and in the right place, correct but in the wrong place, or whether it is not in the word at all.

Reddit software engineer Josh Wardle originally created the game for his partner but made it publicly available in October.

He then made it possible to share your results on social media and the game quickly became a viral sensation, with people scrambling to share their colourful graphs with their followers.

How can I play Wordle?

You can play Wordle online by going on the Powerlanguage website.

You start by typing in any five letter word and submitting it, and then you are told which letters are correct and which ones aren’t, before being given five more guesses.

How often can I play Wordle?

Unfortunately, as addictive as it is, Wordle is only designed to be played once daily, with the correct word changing every day.

Who is Josh Wardle?

Former Reddit software engineer Josh Wardle is originally from Wales but now lives in New York.

When he first created the puzzle it was to play at home with his partner, who loves word games, but he quickly realised that it may be of interest to other people around the world.

In October he launched it publicly, before coming up with the ‘share’ option for social media which saw it really take off.

In an interview with the New York Times, he said: “I think people kind of appreciate that there’s this thing online that’s just fun.

"It’s not trying to do anything shady with your data or your eyeballs. It’s just a game that’s fun.

“It’s something that encourages you to spend three minutes a day. And that’s it. Like, it doesn’t want any more of your time than that.”

But he told The Guardian that the game going viral made him feel ‘a sense of responsibility for the players’.