How to Play Wordament

WordamentTM is a unique kind of word game—a word tournament—where you are competing with the whole internet to be the best word searcher in every game. Every player is competing on the same board, in real time, to get the highest score. Will you be the Wordament champion?

Object

Be the player that finishes with the highest score in a 2:00 game of word search by finding as many high scoring words as you can. Score points by creating words from a 4×4 board of letters and your final score is tallied by adding together the sum of your individual word scores.

Playing the game
 board-synopsys
At the beginning of each round, you will be presented with a board consisting of 16 tiles (4×4), each containing either a single (e.g. “A”) or double letter (e.g. “Qu”). Each letter is assigned a point value ranging from 1 – 10. Start searching the board for words in the puzzle. A word consists of any connected sequence of letters, in any direction, but you may not use a single tile more than once for a single word.

To add a word to your word list, touch the first tile of the word and proceed to drag your finger across the board touching each connected tile, one at a time, spelling out a word. When you have completed a word, lift your finger off the last tile. As you pass over each tile it will highlight and you will see the word you are building shown above the game board. When you lift your finger, the word will turn green (a correct word), yellow (an already found word), or red (not a legal word). If the word is new and correct, your word count and score will automatically update. Keep collecting words as fast as you can until the clock runs out. Creating longer words and using higher value tiles will result in higher scores.

Examples of play

Words may be collected by placing your finger on any letter that starts a word and then dragging to each adjacent letter until you’ve completed the word. For examples of legal plays, consider the following sample board:

sample-board-01

First, consider the legal word S-P-E-D, along the left side. You would put your finger on the S, followed by dragging down through the P, E, and D, and then lifting your finger. SPED is a common word and worth 14 points.

sample-board-02

Next, let’s find the word P-L-A-Qu-E, which is worth 46 points:
sample-board-03
Now, let’s look at a couple of illegal plays. The first is the word A-Qu-A, which is shown below:
sample-board-04
You cannot reuse any tiles in a single word. In the case above, the player attempted to select A, drag to Qu, and then drag back to A. What actually happens in this case is that the Qu becomes unselected, because we assume you are trying to “undo” your move by reverting to an earlier letter in the word.

Last, let’s consider the word D-I-M-E. It cannot be created in the board, even though there are two ways to imagine how you could:

sample-board-05

The first way is to imagine “wrapping around the board,” by moving diagonally up and to the left from the D. This would get you over to the I, and then you could trace out the M and E. Wrap around is not legal.

The other way is to imagine lifting your finger off the screen and putting it back down on the I, then tracing out the M and E. This is also illegal. All plays must be made in one continuous gesture by touching only adjacent tiles.

For fun, try finding these words in the puzzle above:
•A-L-I-E-N (30 points)
•A-N-E-M-I-C (40 points)
•E-Qu-A-L (24 points)
•M-E-A-L-I-E (32 points)
•S-Qu-E-A-L (38 points)
•P-L-A-Qu-E-S (52 points and the highest scoring word)

Time remaining

Although each round of Wordament lasts 2:45, the actual word search portion is two minutes. The remaining time is dedicated to showing your individual results following by the rankings for everyone that participated in a given game.

Sometimes, you will notice that when you start you first game in a session, you will start with less than two minutes. What happened? Wordament is an always on, 24×7, game where every player gets the same board at the same time world-wide. Because of this, it is possible to enter a game that’s already in progress. When you do, you will have at least 20 seconds to “warm up” and practice before your first full game begins. Don’t fret about getting a low score in practice games. You didn’t get the full two minutes.

Tiles and words

Wordament has 26 tiles, one for each letter of the alphabet, except that Q is given as Qu. This increases the likelihood of being able to create more than one word with a Q, although it comes at the consequence of not allowing you to create “Q without U” words, like QAT, QAID, or TRANQ.

Words must be at least three letters long, not three tiles. This means that word Qu-A (composed of the two tiles Qu and A) is a legal word. One and two letter words are not acceptable.

Words in the game have been checked for legitimacy across a variety of English dictionaries and no words are illegal. If you can find the word on the board—and it’s a real word—you will receive points for it.

Like other popular word games, Wordament does not allow abbreviations (e.g., USB or HDMI), internet shorthand (e.g. BTW, FWIW, IMHO), or proper nouns (e.g. capitalized words, brand names, or people and pet names).

If you think we are missing words, please let us know and we will consider inclusion of the word. Please give us feedback and be sure to tell us the word, the meaning, and how you learned about it. We love getting constructive feedback.

Scoring

Your final score consists of the sum of your individual word scores during play. Each word is scored in two parts: the value of the individual tiles used and a word length multiplier. When you collect a word, the game adds up the value of each tile. Then, that score is multiplied by a word length bonus as follows:

  • Words with 4 or 5 tiles are worth one-and-a-half more
  • Words with 6 or 7 tiles are worth double
  • Words with 8 or more tiles are worth triple

Individual results and leader board
At the end of each round there are about 30 seconds of time before the next round begins. During this time, we show you your individual results, followed by the top 250 players’ results for that round.Individual results
In the individual results, we show you all of the words you found and all of the words you didn’t, along with the scores for words you didn’t find. Use you time between games to look for and learn new words to make yourself even better for the next round!
High scores
If you tap on a word in either the found or missed sections of the word list, it will highlight both in the list as well as on a small version of the game board. This can be useful to see how individual words can be hidden on the board.

In the final ten seconds before the next round begins, you will be shown the leader board. This is a list of the top 250 results from the last game. If you are in the list, congratulations! Your name will be highlighted to make it easier to find yourself.

Gameplay tips

  • For highest scores, look for words with high value tiles and long words first.
  • The Qu tile counts as two letters, making it easier to make long words, meaning a higher bonus multiplier.
  • Every tile on the board is possible to use in at least one word.
    Singular and plural versions, as well as different tenses, prefixes, and suffixes of the same word each count as independent words, so rack up word variants, when possible (e.g., JUMP, JUMPS, and JUMPED are each considered unique).
  • Heteronyms–words spelled the same but with different meanings or pronunciations (e.g., BASS the fish vs. BASS the instrument)–are only counted once.
  • Every game board has at least 45 common English words and as many as 200 total words, included rare, obscure, or slang words.
  • Guessing is penalized with a one second delay in accepting new words. A guess is defined as attempting to enter multiple incorrect words in a row.

Cheating

Cheating in Wordament is pretty easy with the help of a word game puzzle solver. Please don’t cheat. It’s neither interesting nor fun to have cheaters around. If we find cheaters that are abusing the game, we reserve the option to take corrective action. Please enjoy the game and play honestly. Thanks.

Give us feedback!

Thank you for playing–we appreciate you and want to hear your constructive thoughts, comments, and feedback. You can contact us here.

Like the game? Please rate our app and recommend us to your friends!

86 Responses to How to Play Wordament

  1. kat says:

    I totally love this game, and find myself not wanting to put it down. Saying, ok just 1 more time, trying to beat my last score.. Oh, so addictive!

    lots of fun, thanks!
    KAT

  2. Sirish says:

    Hello,

    This is indeed a very addictive game. Thanks for this wonderful app. One suggestion for improving this even more is to provide a way to look at words that can be formed using a given letter. For ex: I want to know what words are formed using the letter ‘k’ in the current game. This will help the analysis better. A way to do this is to let user select a letter on left and highlight the words on right in the post game analysis view.

    • Wordament says:

      This is a great idea, and I have put it on our feature list. We’ve also had requests for offline analysis of puzzles and this is a key feature there too. Thanks for taking the time to play and give us feedback!

  3. chief_tech says:

    I heard you guys are using Google Apps for the cloud. Any plans to move over to an easier-to-use and administrate Azure cloud? Would be awesome.

    • Wordament says:

      Happy to talk to you further about this, but last we looked, Azure is more expensive, less functional, and requires a dedicated ops person to manage scale. App Engine makes ops trivial. There are definitely hard problems with AppEngine, but it’s meeting our needs very nicely. Happy to be educated otherwise… Send us mail: wordament@live.com.

      • skimcobb says:

        thought you guys were Microsoft employees?

      • Wordament says:

        We are, we have been, we will be. Wordament was originally a collaboration between myself and my partner John in the moonlighting wee-hours of the night. We were like a garage band that got together to jam. It was and still is… awesome. The only difference now, is that our day job and our night job is Wordament.

  4. Bindu says:

    Love this game!! Very addictive. A stress buster too:)

  5. shay says:

    Thanks for this fantastic game but just a question ..the rules say you get 2.00 mins to find words but mine has never been set at anything other than 1.59 ..any way I can change this please.

    • Wordament says:

      The game runs on a single global timer. Everyone on earth starts the game at the same time and finishes at the same time. We will jump to the game board when there is exactly 2:00 minutes of play. In doing so, sometimes the first clock update happens at 1:59. You are getting as close to 2:00 minutes as your phone will allow and no one else is getting that extra second. :-)

  6. Sparky670 says:

    I love this game. Hard to put it down before bed. My only complaint is that I can’t seem to find out what the yellow and blue stars next to the words mean. Could you please tell me? Keep up the great work!

    • Wordament says:

      Absolutely!

      Gold star words are amongst the best words in that game (6 letters or longer). The accent colored words (blue if you are using the blue theme), are special words that use the Digraph when it appears — so if there is an ER, and you spell DEER, then you found one of the themed Digraph words. In our latest update, we moved to just colored stars as opposed to colored words, because we think it looks cleaner and it (believe it or not) improves the performance of the game.

  7. Dean Rowe says:

    How do I change my name? I got a second phone and gave my first phone to my wife. Now for some reason when I go into the game on both phones they both show up with the same name so you only see one score when you get to the you vs internet page.
    Thanks
    Dean

    • Wordament says:

      Your name is currently tied to your Windows Live ID on the phone. Is there any chance you can put your wife’s Live ID on her phone? That would resolve them problem (though you’d have to uninstall Wordament and reinstall). Sorry for the hassle. That feature was created to avoid the hassle when folks have to hard reset their phone for any reason. Sounds like you found the case where it hurts. :-(

      • Dean Rowe says:

        Unfortunately then she would have to buy her apps again. I hope you add an option to decouple it from the live id in the future.
        Thanks for the quick response though.

  8. Wordament says:

    What’s your screen name? Our anti-cheating system caught someone named danial. Is that your screen name?

  9. Mike says:

    I hope this comes out on Android soon so I can use my new Trophy. My Wife plays Wordament on it every chance she gets and I can only play when she is not around!!

  10. ~Tari says:

    I am also addicted to and love this game. “Just one more!” is my mantra. I only wish that there was more time for the word lists so that I can study the words more. 20 seconds for the leader board is too long. In your instructions it says it’s only 10, but it is 20 for me and takes time from the word lists.

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Tari,

      We’ve made the game longer as we’ve play-tested it more and it’s become more popular. The game portion lasts 2:00 minutes, and the results screens last :45 seconds (combined), :23 seconds for Individual Results, and :22 seconds for Game Rankings. It’s really hard to strike the perfect balance here. People fall on all ends of the spectrum–some just want to play, others want to go deep on the analytics. For now, we are working to make the game as enjoyable to everyone as possible, so the timings we’ve picked seem to strike the best balance. We are interested in deeper analytics, but just haven’t gotten to that yet.

  11. barban says:

    Love this game. Very addictive. Can play for hours.

  12. Rich says:

    Great game. Very addictive. Can you clarify in the directions the scoring? For instance, where does the Brat play bonus as it appears to be, come from?

  13. barban says:

    Would like to spruce up the screen graphics. A few extra options longer word list timer. But, addictive. Don’t like putting it down. And please do not disturb me when I’m playing.

  14. Paul says:

    Great game! My wife and I compete as do the kids. My 12 year old daughter is very hard to beat!
    I’ve moved countries so is there any way to change the country I am registered in?
    Thanks for the frustration of a great game. :)

    • Wordament says:

      Thanks Paul! What country would you like to represent? Tell us your screen name and we’ll set you up!

      • Paul says:

        Thanks!
        It’s ShakeyCan and Australia for the country thanks!
        It’s very annoying when my 12 year old daughter beats me – but also veyr pleasing that she can find so many words.

        Keep up the great work. Love the blog as well.

  15. jeanette says:

    Can you explain why some words are in purple and others yellow with stars next to them?

    • Wordament says:

      Yes! Every puzzle has words of length 6 or more. Those words get “Gold stars” to represent the best words in the puzzles. The Colored stars represent “themed words” in themed puzzles. Today we have two kinds of themed puzzles: Digram puzzles (with tiles using 2 letters, like TH) and Hidden word puzzles (containing 6 – 10 words within a given category, like food or birds).

      Colored stars have an additional +10 point bonus + 5% additional value.

  16. robert says:

    i’m flabbergasted at the number of words that are physically made, that is how accurately they are fingered without tripping up the letter adjacent. There are some awesome scores that are way beyond anything I could possibly do. So how do they do it?

  17. ravi says:

    Great game. I was sick of being addicted to Angry Birds.. now I am addicted to this one :-) Really great, because you not only increase your vocab, but also your pattern recognition>
    I am currently at around 50-60 percentile, but i know that many people are cheating – this is not to console myself, is it humanly possible to formulate an average of 6 characters at a speed of 1.2 seconds..? Or am I being a frog in a pond?

  18. Patrick says:

    Which dictionary does Wordament use? I am confused by it accepting words like “saned” that are not in any standard English dictionary.

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Patrick,
      This is a tough one. Neither Encarta, Dictionary.com, or Oxford English Dictionary (the ultimate arbiter of the English language) accept this as a word. The Wordament lexicon is our own IP that combines indexing of electronic books, custom curation, and using actual play data in the game. The word is in our Lexicon per Chaucer’s Parson’s Tale:

      For, as seith Ierom, by fasting be saned [Skeat prints saved; Pseudo-Jerome (Migne xxx. 616) has sanandæ] the vices of flesh, and by prayere the vices of the soule

      Per the correction from OED, above, it appears that SANED should have been SAVED.

      For reference, Scrabble.com, Words with Friend’s lexicon, and many others accept SANED. We’re leading towards removing it based on this review.

  19. dharmatech says:

    Fantastic game. It’s one of the Windows Phone 7 killer apps. ;-)

    It would be nice to have an “unlimited time” mode where you work on a board without competing. In this mode, an interesting optional feature would be to remove a square if all the words using it have been found, giving the user a sense of progress :-). Maybe also show a tally of remaining “common words”, etc.

  20. ron says:

    Will the game run 24/7 in the background even when i have left the game?

  21. Deanna says:

    My daughter and I love this game.The only thing I’d like to see is a different color star for the obscure word, so I can know I found one versus a common word with a high point value.

  22. Wasabi says:

    My girlfriend and I both have windows phones and enjoy playing against eachother a lot. She’s German and I’m Dutch so its kind of extra challenging/rewarding for us non-native speakers to end up around the top half in the score lists.
    While awaiting versions in other languages – would it be possible to include a game option to filter out scores of native speakers? Perhaps you could include a checkbox in the welcome screen?

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Wasabi,

      Unfortunately, we don’t have this information! We know your country code, but that doesn’t tell us whether you are or aren’t a native speaker. We have plenty of native English speakers around the globe. The best way, I guess, would be to compare yourself against country codes outside of USA, GBR, CAN, and AUS. Sorry for any English-speaking-first nation that I missed (Ireland). :-) We are always highly impressed when we see players from other countries owning us.

  23. Ram says:

    Your game is ONE BIG REASON I’m going to buy another WP7 phone for my wife.
    Keep the great work going!

  24. Ram says:

    Can you PLEASE exclude plural forms of a word in the game?
    Example – C A R T is a valid word but C A R T S should be disallowed.
    I think plurals do not contribute to increasing the diversity of the words found. Also, players end up with better scores but not necessarily a better word-recognition.
    This might also give us mortals a better chance to fight the amazing speedster(s!) :-)

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Ram,

      I appreciate what you are suggesting: you want more recognition for the number of unique words. Given that we are a word finding game, though, ruling out plurals wouldn’t work for most people. Also, where do you draw the line? Do you eliminate past or future tenses? They just add a “D” in most cases, for past tense. Do we only accept root words? BARK wouldn’t allow BARKS, BARKED, BARKING? There would be revolts if we did this.

      For our themed puzzles we don’t always accepts plurals. In the Body theme, for example, we only accept the plural if the body has two. So, you won’t get extra points for LIVERS, just LIVER. But, EYE and EYES are ok.

      This is a good conversation. I think what you are asking for, though, is a bonus for # of unique words.

      – Black Snapper

  25. Ghazanfar says:

    I love this game. I wanted to ask that when I add a frenemy, does he get to see me in his scoreboard on top like I see him.

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Ghazanfar,

      Thanks for the question! The answer is no. Frenemies are personal watch lists of people that you play with. That’s different than, say, your Xbox Live friends which are two-way. There are benefits to both models. The primary emphasis for Frenemies was that we knew we would outgrow the number of results we could show on a phone screen at the end of a round. Frenemies let you decide who’s the most important people to see, round-over-round, regardless of your relative skill sets. For example, when I play with “scruff”, she almost always places a screen above me. Without Frenemies, I’d never see her in the results. In our case, we Frenemy each other (so it can be two-way), but in general, Frenemies are one-way, personal watch lists.

      - Black Snapper

      • Ghazanfar says:

        Well, than there should be something by which we could be shown to our frenemies. That would be more competitive and hence, fun :)

  26. Tegeltje says:

    I love the game. Can’t stop. Q: what is diagram?

    • Wordament says:

      A “Digram” is a single tile containing two letters. It is similar too, but subtly different that a “digraph” which is a pair of two letters that make a single, phonetic sound. Digrams can be any two letters. In Wordament, you will see digrams like: CH, AS, TH, SS, QU, and many more. They make the game fun by adding an interesting secondary goal.

  27. grammypam6 says:

    Squaw is a work. Meaning: a female native American. It is not a proper noun.

    • Wordament says:

      Hi there,

      You are correct. Squaw is a word, but it’s two primary definitions are offensive in nature, so we do not accept the word. We have a relatively small, but important list of filtered words from the lexicon. We just don’t think a family game should have F#$& or N!#%^& or S$!7 or other primarily vulgar / offensive words. Know that the list is heavily reviewed and that words where the primary and secondary meanings are vulgar are acceptable. For example anatomically correct body part words like PENIS or VAGINA are allowed. Similarly, terms like DICK (a private investigator as it’s primary definition) and FAG (a cigarette) are acceptable, even though they have shades of slang / offensiveness. It’s a balance between openness and appropriateness. We take censorship SUPER serious–we are not fans of it–but at the same time, some words are just unnecessary for a family game.

      Hope that helps explain what’s going on.

  28. Orisha says:

    I am from Canada, and same with my boyfriend, and our wordament says we are from the USA….how do we change that? if not, can their be a manual set to location to override the mistake of auto location messing up?

  29. nicole fowler says:

    Hi! Really like the game. I have 2 words to be added to the library:
    Pide – Turkish bread sandwich
    Hoon – slang for a young reckless driver.
    It would b great if these could b included.
    Cheers Nicole

  30. Ram says:

    Another suggestion about words to be added:
    ALMS
    Not sure if ALM is allowed (as a singular).

  31. nataliejnelson says:

    If catholic is allowed, why not jew?

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Natalie,

      Many reputable word games, including Scrabble, have censored JEW because of the negative / offensive connotation around using the word as a verb. We have about 170 words censored from our full lexicon. JEW is on the border, because it is such a good word too. But, we are consistent in our rules: if there is a primary or secondary definition that is racially hurtful or offensive, it is removed from the lexicon.

  32. Ian says:

    please please please for the love of god when you put this game out for WP7 with Xbox integration DONT put insanely ridiculous/challenging leaderboard achievements tied to it. The reason i bought my WP was to gain achievements, and having impossible things like “Be #1 worldwide” or something over the top like that would kill the fun.

  33. Lawrence says:

    Is it possible to change my country in the Windows 8 CP version?

  34. Bryan says:

    I love this game but what do the red and yellow stars next to words mean?

    • Wordament says:

      Gold stars are awarded for words of length 6 or more. Accent colored stars are awarded for finding words in a Digram or Themed puzzle. Basically, if you meet the criteria of the theme, you will see an accent colored star. If you are running in the red theme, the accent color is red, and you will get a red star. If you were running in the Blue theme and you find a themed word, then the star would be blue.

  35. thimbro says:

    Playing technique hasn’t really been addressed anywhere, but after watching wicketewok’s video on YouTube and seeing that he uses one hand and his thumb to play, I gave this technique a shot.

    Conclusion: phone in left hand with right index finger as word chooser FTW!

  36. Emma says:

    Quick question (and probably a stupid one) – does playing wordament on my Nokia Lumia use up my data allowance? I have 1gb a month and and seem to have lost nearly 100mb since starting to play wordament a few days ago. I’m wondering if there is maybe a problem with my mobile phone provider or if this is a consequence of playing a game that links my score to others on the internet. Any info would be great as I’d hate to have to stop playing – it’s so addictive!

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Emma, Yes we use data. We believe we use 50k of your data for every game played. So playing 20 games (1 hour) equals 1MB. Hope this helps! If you can play on Wifi, you should since that is free.

  37. blob says:

    Hello Guys, A quick question: Where can I change my nationality for the leaderboard?

  38. boolean10 says:

    both my dad and I love the game, and we constantly challenge each other to see who can get a higher score. last time we played, I won 3 times in a row, but normally he beats the $#!7 out of me!

  39. ubizmo says:

    If I join a game that has already started, does my score count toward my average?

  40. ubizmo says:

    If I join a game that’s already in progress, does my score count toward my average? What about if I leave before the time ends?

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Ubizmo!

      You need to complete a round and play at least 1:50 to have it count towards your average game score. Other games will count toward your totals, but not your averages.

  41. Malcolm says:

    Very enjoyable game, but I feel there are two issues: 1.) I believe there are multiple cheaters. I don’t believe it is humanly possible to hit 90 words, many high-scoring, in a two minute period, so it is very suspicious when I keep seeing the same people reach around that amount time and time again. 2.) If modern slang is not generally allowed, I am uncertain why olde scottish words count.

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Malcolm-
      We have video, and have seen in person people getting over 100 words. The verified record is 130 words in 2 minutes! Those are some fast fingers!
      If you check out our Facebook page you’ll see some videos of some our top players achieving over 90 in our West Coast Championship Tournament- http://www.facebook.com/wordament . Our official arbiter of words is the Oxford English Dictionary. If there are any words that you think should be removed or added please send an email to wordament@live.com and we’ll review them for inclusion. Thanks for playing!

  42. pam says:

    Hi, can you explain what star points are please?

    • Wordament says:

      Hi Pam-
      Gold star words are amongst the best words in that game (6 letters or longer). The accent colored words (blue if you are using the blue theme), are special words that use the Digraph when it appears — so if there is an ER, and you spell DEER, then you found one of the themed Digraph words. In our latest update, we moved to just colored stars as opposed to colored words, because we think it looks cleaner and it (believe it or not) improves the performance of the game.

  43. Crash254 says:

    Forgive my ignorance but what exactly does the percentage represents? It surely isnt the percentage of words found against the number of words to be found. i am totally confused as to what it means.

    • Wordament says:

      It’s your percentage within the rankings. If 100 people play and you are in positions 1 – 10, then you will be in the 90+ percentile. It’s like getting an A in school.

  44. dmrc1973 says:

    love this game, it gets so frustrating but yet so addictive, i’ve seen the videos you have posted on facebook starring discopidgeon, and when i see his name pop up at 1st place consistently i can see why. i try my best, every now and again i get an astounding score, and feel quite chuffed with myself for doing so.

  45. Denise T. says:

    I am addicted!!! I enjoy playing. I think it is improving my spelling!!!

  46. jada says:

    How to put my name or nickname instead of Player 12345..? Thanks

  47. Krista says:

    I can’t figure out how to pause my game. It just keeps running, even when I’m not on there. Help please?

    • Wordament says:

      The game down shuts down when you log-off, however, our service is always running. When you rejoin, you join in progress which is making you think it is always running.

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