Here's how to download Wordle and play it for free forever – maybe?
Just in case the New York Times decides to get any ideas about charging.
Fans worried that Wordle, the popular word game you've no doubt seen on social media, might disappear behind a paywall after its recent buy-out can rest easy. A simple download hack means it shouldn't be going anywhere.
The internet has been wrapped in the world of Wordle since October 2021, with the simple online word game going from strength to strength and causing more and more people to pull their hair out each day.
It grew from a handful of players to 300,000 in January and now millions.
Then the news hit - the immensely popular online game would be handing over the daily puzzling reins to the New York Times (NYT) in a deal estimated to be worth over $1m.
Its creator, Josh Wardle, informed his legions of inadvertent fans that his fun little project - which he created as nothing more than a love letter to his partner - would be sold, admitting that it has become a "little overwhelming" and that the offer felt like a natural next step.
I want to acknowledge the folks who have supported me along the way.@chrisdary, @marcprecipice, @gooeyblob, @I_am_Dan_Ellis, @spladug, @madlymattlee, @bassett_green, @waxpancake, @ttwardle, @irihapeta and the NZ players #dailywordleclub and of course @PakLocknDropit
— Josh Wardle (@powerlanguish) January 31, 2022
While he assured fans the NYT version would remain "free to play for everyone", fans started to fret as to whether this would be the case, given that the publication's subscription and paywall is standardised across the bulk of its content.
The outlet said in a statement that the game "would initially remain free to new and existing players" but naturally, the choice of language here has caused uncertainty among players.
However, technologist Aaron Rieke and his informative Twitter thread shows that whether the NYT tries to monetise Wordle or not, you should still be able to play for free thanks to its simple web design.
So you could save copy of the website right now, *unplug your computer from the internet,* and play Wordle every day for years.
— Aaron Rieke (@aaronkbr) February 1, 2022
In short, because the webpages can be saved and Wordle itself runs on client-side code, you can right-click, hit "save as" and download a complete copy of the game (all the words are already uploaded and automated).
Like any other web files you might have saved, all you need do is double-click to open it back up in your browser and play as you normally would - you can ever still use the share function to boast your score and/or annoy your mates.
The only downside is you can't see your streak anymore; that being said, it's a perfectly easy thing to keep track of manually and it's likely someone will figure out a way around that soon too.
So rejoice, whether you're opting for the vanilla version or hoping the NYT edition doesn't get any ideas about charging, your word a day isn't going away.