How to Enable Hard Mode in Wordle to Increase Difficulty. How Does it Work?

We wouldn’t be surprised if you found Wordle to be on the easier side of things. For a game that is made to appeal to all, naturally, its difficulty can’t be Dark Souls-kind, right? Or maybe, you just want to amp up the challenge and kill more time figuring out the word.

Thankfully, Wordle has its own inbuilt hard mode which makes it harder for you to solve the puzzle. Here is everything you need to know about what hard mode is in Wordle, how to enable it, and how it affects the game.

What is the hard mode in Wordle?

Hard mode is a higher difficulty setting in Wordle that tweaks the rules to make you think harder and smarter. Unlike normal mode, hard mode limits the number of words you can guess by forcing you to use every letter you’ve guessed correct in successive guesses. Umm, let us explain.

How does hard mode work?

When you activate the hard mode in Wordle settings, while you’ll be still solving the same word as everyone else, you will have a new restriction — you will have to use any letters you guessed correctly in all successive guesses.

For example. If you guessed ARGON and O and N are highlighted in yellow or green, your next guess will have to use both O and N.

If you had guessed the same word in the normal mode, you didn’t need to use N and O again in the second word — you could use a word like DEITY that has neither N nor O. But in hard mode, you have to use both N and O now as they have been highlighted in yellow/green color.

What happens when you enable hard mode?

Like we said above, hard mode forces you to use every letter you’ve guessed correctly in your next guess. It won’t accept a word guess if it doesn’t have all the yellow/green colored letters.

For example, if you guessed CANDY and got A and N colored in yellow/green, then you will HAVE to use both A and N in your next guess (at any position). Wordle won’t let you submit any words that don’t have all the yellow/green letters in them. This limits you from testing more letters per guess. It makes you play the game differently and approach each answer with more thought than pure elimination targeting.

How to enable hard mode in Wordle

To switch on hard mode, open Wordle on a browser (like Chrome) app of your choice on you device by visiting

Next, click on the gear-shaped icon on the top right corner of the game. This will take you to the options screen.

Now click on the toggle button next to ‘Hard Mode’.

Congratulations! You’ve just activated hard mode on Wordle. Now return to your game and continue playing, with the new hard mode rules. And that brings us to our next question.

Is hard mode very difficult?

Strictly speaking, hard mode isn’t really much “harder” than normal mode. It just has a different set of rules that will have you approaching the game slightly differently. The biggest difference in hard mode is that you have to use any letters that you’ve got correct in one guess, in the next guess as well.

Another reason for the increased challenge is that it forces you to think more. If you guessed two words with all different letters in your first two tries, you’ve cleared 10 letters of the alphabet in two attempts. This makes it easier to think of words in successive guesses.

But if you have 1 or 2 letters that are in the word, either in the correct position or in a different position, that limits the number of letters you can check in each successive guess.

Do you get a badge in hard mode?

Yes! Completing the Wordle of the day on hard mode rewards you with an asterisk on your score. So your Wordle score would read “Wordle 217 3/6*” instead of “Wordle 217 3/6”.

This is your result on normal mode.

And this is your result on hard mode.

It also keeps the game fresh and challenging for those of you who have become just a little too good at it. In a manner of speaking, hard mode isn’t really harder than normal mode, it’s simply different and will force you to take a different approach to the game.

Can someone know if you play the game in hard mode?

Certainly! If you share your Wordle score with anyone, the asterisk next in it will indicate that you played the game in hard mode. Thus, the recognition. Playing the game on normal mode according to hard mode rules, or getting the correct answer really quickly, doesn’t net you the coveted asterisk. Only playing on hard mode will do that.

How to Play Better in hard mode? (Hard mode Tips)

The fastest way to get better at Wordle on hard mode is to play a lot of it, and to read a lot. The broader your knowledge of five-letter words, the better chances you have of guessing the word quickly. Once you have 3-4 of the letters correct you can also run through different five-letter words in your mind, to guess different combinations and eliminate the ones that can’t be possible.

Alternatively, you can also go through our guides on the five-letter words with most vowels, the best starting words, and other ways to improve your score on Wordle. 



  1. If in your first two guesses you use all different letters, you will utilize 10 letters, not 12.

    1. Fixed.
      Thanks a ton!

  2. Hard mode becomes more like a guessing game than a real skill game, though. If a word COULD be light, tight, might or right, then where is the skill in managing to guess the “right” one in three, four, five or six turns? It’s not really what one would call a “smart” game, any more than hangman is smart. But it’s still fun.

    1. This is why I don’t play it in the hard mode. I’m not interested in a guessing game.

  3. It’s harder because I find it harder to think of words where the letters have to be in the exact spot. Definitely makes me think more.
    I also play word master which doesn’t have that rule, and I find it MUCH easier. Probably depends on how our brains are wired. 😵‍💫😬

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