The best Wordle starting words

Wordle
(Image credit: Josh Wardle)

Looking for the best starting word to crack today's Wordle (opens in new tab)? For many of us, Wordle has rapidly grown from cute social media novelty to a daily habit; the popular word guessing game is as much a part of our everyday lives as fresh coffee, spam emails, and the burning desire to buy a dozen games in the latest Steam sale we will never quite find the time to play.

The allure is its simplicity. Every day one new puzzle is posted, giving everyone on the planet just six goes at guessing one five-letter word. Each guess must be a valid US English word—you can't enter "AEIOU" to easily find out which vowels are present, or "SSSSS" to nail the location of a slippery consonant—and once a word has been submitted, each letter is flipped to reveal one of three coloured boxes: A green square lets you know you've got the right letter in the right place, yellow that the right letter in the wrong place, and grey that the letter isn't present in today's Wordle at all.

That said, one of our top Wordle tips (opens in new tab) is to find the best word on which to use your first guess. To make sure you continue your winning record, here are the best starting words in Wordle.

How to choose

How to choose the best Wordle starting word

A solid first guess contains two vowels and three consonants. Every Wordle is virtually guaranteed to have at least one vowel, so if your opening guess contains two of the five then there's a good chance you've already found the right one. If not there are now only three others to choose from. 

As for the consonants, pick words containing commonly-used letters such as "S", "R", "T", and "N" as this is more likely to return a positive response in the least number of guesses, which in turn rules out thousands of incorrect answers. Think about it: even if you only know today's Wordle contains an "R" in it somewhere, you can immediately rule out answers like "SLICK", "POLES", and "CLIMB".

Next, follow up your starter with a secondary guess that's been specially selected to avoid every letter your previous entry got wrong, while still adhering to my above advice. At worst you should be left with one remaining vowel to nail down (unless today's word is one of those that decides to go with "Y"), and a reasonable selection of consonants with which to make a series of educated guesses.

Starting word list

(Image credit: Nurphoto via Getty)

The best Wordle starting word list

There are thousands of words that qualify, but below you'll find my personal top ten lists of useful starters and complementary second words to help make your daily Wordle a breeze. I've listed the secondary words in the order they best support my suggested starters for easy pairing. Mix them up as you like, though, as any "good" word that doesn't tread on the toes of your opener will always be a step in the right direction:

Starters

  • ALOFT
  • CLEAR
  • GUILT
  • INTRO
  • OPENS
  • PRONE
  • SLIME
  • STAIN
  • TREAD
  • UNDER

Secondaries

  • SWIPE
  • POINT
  • ADORE
  • DUELS
  • TRIAL
  • LIFTS
  • URBAN
  • RULED
  • SOILY
  • FOAMY

What's more, I update our Wordle section (opens in new tab) with a helpful hint as well as the complete solution for each daily puzzle, so you're only ever as stumped at today's hottest puzzle game as you want to be.

When baby Kerry was brought home from the hospital her hand was placed on the space bar of the family Atari 400, a small act of parental nerdery that has snowballed into a lifelong passion for gaming and the sort of freelance job her school careers advisor told her she couldn't do. She takes care of PC Gamer's daily Wordle (opens in new tab) column and has somehow managed to get away with writing regular features on old Japanese PC games (opens in new tab). Much of her free time is spent writing about old, imported, and weird games for her terribly named site (opens in new tab), giving herself a headache trying to code another short text adventure in C64 BASIC, or saying "Wow, I forgot I had this!" whenever she stares at a bookcase stuffed with games.