Absurdle (Game Like Wordle): What Is It, Where and How to Play, Rules [Explained]

Word games are notorious for their ability to get you addicted. The most wanted on the list, at the moment, is but of course Wordle. But, when a game becomes a habit, it also brings in the uninvited elements of predictability and familiarity

A diabolical twist in the fundamental mechanism is essential to keep a guessing game at its peak point of interest among the players. If you are looking to play Wordle but with the added spice of unpredictability, Absurdle might be the answer.

What is Absurdle?

Absurdle is a Wordle variant that is turning heads for its unconventional rules and gameplay. When you begin the game, the system doesn’t have a mysterious word of the day prepared and waiting; instead, it decides on the mystery word depending on the words you enter as guesses. When you play against a system that leads you on indiscriminately, you are forced to fish blindly in dark waters in a protracted game of wits and perseverance. 

The creator, Sam Hughes, calls Absurdle “an adversarial version” of Wordle; when the Wordle system cues you with hints to help you arrive at the mystery word, Absurdle tries to engage you in an enduring game by leading you astray with little or limited feedback. In essence, Absurdle works against the grain of Wordle by dueling with players in a push-and-pull style.

Absurdle is all about manipulation– you begin the game at a disadvantage (lack of information about a mystery word that doesn’t even exist). The condition to emerge victoriously depends on your ability to catch the system in its own trap and brute force it to make your guess the mystery word of the challenge.

Related: How to Play Nerdle? [Guide]

Where to play  Absurdle?

Absurdle is a quirky Wordle spin-off that is hosted as an online game on creator Sam Hugh’s website (published under his pseudonym — qntm) at www.qntm.org/files/absurdle/absurdle.html. It is a web-based came accessible from web browsers on Desktop/PC or smart devices (Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, etc.).

Related: 31 Games Like Wordle!

Absurdle rules explained

Even though Wordle forms the basic framework of Absurdle, the gameplay takes a total 180-degree in the latter. Here your guesses are still 5-letter words, but there is no limit prescribed to the number of guesses. 

Even though you cannot max out on guesses, as you start engaging with the system, it becomes evident that a traditional cap of 6 guesses, if imposed, will shrink the odds of your solving the puzzle.

You begin with a blank row with five columns;  an additional row gets added with every new guess you make. Keep in mind that the only objective of the system is to make you hit give up. To achieve the goal, it migrates to the word pool with the maximum “accepted” words with each guess you make. As a result, your first few guesses are highly probable to come up all “gray”.

Tip for the lazy players: If you are too lazy to come up with guesses on your own, click on the random guess button at the bottom-right of the virtual keyboard to allow the system to input randomly chosen five-letter words for each row. You can even continue the “random guess” -ing for as long as you want. Once you get five-unique letters, figuring out the solution should go without any hitch. If you are really lucky, one of the random guesses might even hit the jackpot.

Related: Wordle Game Rules: List of Every Rule in Wordle [Explained]

How to play Absurdle?

Each game begins as a blank slate for the game system, and the letters in the input guessed words act as the feedback it uses to curate a word pool of probable answers. The game itself revolves around your ability to force the system to shrink the word pool to the word that you have pinned down — but it is not exactly as easy as it sounds, and nor does it work in such a linear fashion.

Absurdle is about beating the odds, hence you need to set the stage first with a clear set of workable letters. The beginning works just like Wordle, you start with striker-words that sweep unwanted letters off the table…except, on Absurdle, there is no unwanted letter in the beginning as there is no mystery word in the game equation.

Related: Wordle: 5-Letter Words With the Most Vowels

As there is no upper limit to chances available for use, channel your attention to introducing unique letters (without any special bias towards letters or words). Notice the variety in letters in the words entered in the screenshot below — no letter is repeated, yet none of the unique letters is given positive feedback (green or yellow highlight) by the system.

This means that, from the 2000+ “solution” words in the Absurdle solution word list, the system has deliberately chosen to exclude all the words that contain the greyed letters. In effect, this is good news for the player because the pool of both “solution” and “accepted” words has been significantly condensed in the process.

Gameplay logic: How to corner Absurdle game system?

To outsmart the system, make your follow-up moves also follow the same rule of incorporating variety. For instance, even if you received positive feedback on a letter in the previous guess, you ought to besiege the system with unused letters to dwindle the “probable” answers to the lowest figure possible.

Observe the screenshot to see how the insistence on variety played to the player’s advantage in the challenge to beat the system. When playing against the Absurdle game system, imagine yourself as the cat in a cat and mouse chase.

The system begins with the upper hand, but you turn the tables by cornering it to give you the desired result. The result accomplished is because of the “knowledge” you gleaned from the letters you input and the feedback received.

Now, don’t underestimate the game’s ability to shake you off along the way. A popular method is for it to lock in on a word pool that has more probable solution words than others. For instance, in the screenshot above, when the player received consecutive greens on all but the first letter in the word “blank-I-L-L-Y”, there is no choice but to fill the blank up with all acceptable “first letters” in the scenario. Absurdle is made with the intention to frustrate players into submission, hence, the system will try any possible means to drag the game on for as long as possible.

Related: Wordle Variants: 31 Games Like Wordle to Play

How to cheat at Absurdle in the game itself

Because the system itself is a trickster, it won’t be too unfair if you take a peek into its list of “probable” solution words, right? Well, if you are in consensus with the thought, there is a quick way to cheat at Absurdle on the game page itself.

Note: This cheat is only possible to be executed by players playing on a Google Chrome browser on a PC or Desktop.

Once you think you have received significant insight into the letters present in the “secret word”, press the F12 key or use the shortcut key combination Ctrl+Shift+I on your keyboard to open the Developer Tools. (You can also access developer tools on Chrome by clicking the Ellipsis button > More tools > Developer Tools.)

In the console, you can see the way the system filters the word pool based on the letters you enter. For each guess, the system chooses and assigns the largest pool to your next guess. If you have most letters already exposed, that means the system has no choice but to shrink the pool further and further to the bare minimum size.

To analyze it with the played-out scenario in the screenshot above, when the player entered the word “STAMP” as the first guess, the system went through 2,312 words to eliminate all the words that contain the letters in the “guessed word” to select a pool that has 532 acceptable “solution words”. It would pick the biggest pool in most cases because Absurdle runs to make you sweat.

The process of “pruning”, as put by qntm, continues till you manage to receive feedback on all the letters on the keyboard, but that could take quite a while if played the wrong way.

Hence, once you ascertain that you have reached that phase of guessing where the workable letters and list of probable solution words are in your favor, you can take a peek into the probable answers list to steal the answers straight out of the system.

The longer the list, the more the system would try to drag out the game by making you use up all the words on the list — hence, it is smarter to use the cheat after you have condensed the answer list.

In the console, you can see that there are only 4 acceptable solution words at the given point in the game. The system might even declare three out of the four words wrong before announcing the last one as the correct word, at this point. However, Absurdle is all about your ability to drive the system to a corner like that.

What are the different game modes on Absurdle?

Absurdle has four modes to moderate the difficulty level of each challenge.

1. Hard Mode: True to Wordle, in Hard Mode, the player is mandated to use all the letters in the previous guesses that received positive feedback in the follow-up guesses. The natural course of action in the game for the system would be to reward you with positive feedback early on, on those letters that frequent the most in the Absurdle word list. So, it will be a battle against you and the word pools in Hard Mode.

2. Challenger Mode: In Challenger mode, you are given a target word that you must force the system to accept as the solution word.

3. Timed Mode: It is a race against time in Timed Out mode where you only get 60 seconds to complete a challenge, or it’s Game Over.

4. Expanded Mode: In the Expanded Mode, the wordlist comprising of 2000+ handpicked Wordlist solution list is broadened to incorporate “obscure” words like AAHED, XYLYL, etc.


Is Absurdle an app?

Absurdly is purely web-based and doesn’t have any app variants available on any app market (App Store, Play Store, etc.) presently. You can play the game on the creator’s webpage, www.qntm.org/files/absurdle/absurdle.html on any web browser.

Tip: How to play Absurdle as an app >> Use our Wordle app guide

Can letters repeat on Absurdle?

Letters may repeat in Absurdle and they are given fair treatment/ feedback reflecting the conventions on Wordle gameplay.

Why do solution words repeat in challenges?

Since the solution word is derived on the basis of your guesses, the repetition of solution words is due to the predictability in the words input as guesses. Try to mix up and go random with the guess words to force the system into a different lane each time.

What is a good score on Absurdle?

Solving the challenge in 4 to 5 guesses in considered as an outstanding feat in the Absurdle universe, One strike wonder is purely a blind-luck moment that happens on moments when the system goes kind on you. The creator says that it is not possible to rule out the possibility of completing the challenge in 2 short moves — however, Absurdle is purely based on probability and the system’s response to your guesses.