How To Play Wordle For Free Forever Even If It Gets Plopped Behind A Paywall

Wordle How-To
There was a bit of a freak-out when it was learned that John Wardle, developer of the viral hit Wordle, sold his word game to The New York Times for a sum in the "low seven figures." While Wardle can now deservedly relish in being a millionaire, the question is, how long with Wordle remain free to play before it gets stuck behind a paywall? Who knows, but you can take matter into your own hands.

Now to be clear, NYT is committed to keeping the game free for the time being. In a news article that appears on its own website, one of the site's journalists wrote, "The company said the game would initially remain free to new and existing players." Qualifying that statement with "initially" doesn't give us warm fuzzies, nor does the latter half of the article extolling the outlet's paywall strategy that's been in place since 2011.

If we had to guess, it's only a matter of time before Wordle is hidden behind a paywall. While it may not incur an additional cost to play, it would be limited to people who pony up for a subscription to the site, if that scenario comes to pass. So, what can you do?

How To Save Wordle To Your PC

While you still can, you may want to save Wordle to your PC. Credit goes to Aaron Rieke (@aaronkbr) for bringing to attention that since Wordle is basically just a webpage that runs on client-side code, saving it ensures you can play it locally no matter what NYT ends up doing with the game.

Wordle Tweet
As he points out, the daily words are stored in the code, and there are thousands of them. So okay, maybe saying "forever" is technically incorrect, but by saving Wordle to your PC, you could continue to play at no cost for many years. Decades, actually—plenty long enough for the next viral hit to emerge (remember when we were all playing Pokemon Go?). And you wouldn't even need an internet connection.

"So you cold save a copy of the website right now, *unplug your computer from the internet,* and play Wordle every day for years," Rieke points out in a follow-up post.

All you have to do is fire up Wordle in your browser, right-click, and select Save as... to save a copy to your desktop. What's also great about this is that it retains the functionality to share your solutions to social media, if you're into that, and everyone else who plays will be solving the same words as you each day.

There are nearly 13,000 words stored in the code, so this trick (if you want to call it that) ensures you can continue to play for free for more than 35 years.

Not feeling it? Well, here are some alternatives...
  • Wordle Archive: Play hundreds of previous games whenever you want.
  • Lewdle: Created by Gary Whitta (Book of Eli, Rogue One, After Earth), it's the same concept as Wordle, but all the words (including the ones you can guess) are "rude" and/or vulgar. This one is NSFW.
  • Absurdle: An "adversarial" take on Wordle, whereby the game will actively try to avoid giving you the answer.
  • Dordle: You play two Wordle clone boards at the same time.
  • Hello Wordle: Wordle clone with more options (like configuring 4-11 letters).
  • Squirdle: Somewhat like Wordle, but for fans of Pokemon.
Happy gaming!
Tags:  Gaming, how-to, wordle