How to Play Minesweeper 101

Minesweeper is one of those classic games that has perplexed, frustrated, and entertained people worldwide for the better part of 30 years. Why is minesweeper so popular? Perhaps it’s the fun of untangling a seemingly impossible puzzle game, or maybe it’s the thrill of clicking the correct box and escaping the minefield. Either way, it's thrilling.

Minesweeper is great for increasing your problem-solving skills, kill time, and show off your high score to your friends. If you’re tired of getting blown up by mines in minesweeper and ready to learn how to win, we're here to help.

In this guide, you will learn: - The objective of Minesweeper - The different versions of Minesweeper - Step-by-step instructions for playing Minesweeper - Tricks and tips for winning - Where to play Minesweeper on your phone

Continue reading to learn more.

The Objective in the Game of Minesweeper

The objective of Minesweeper is to reveal every square that doesn’t contain a mine as fast as possible. That includes numbered squares and blank squares. The moment you click on a square containing a mine, the game is over.

There are three difficulty levels in the game of Minesweeper. Each has a different size board and contains varying numbers of mines. They include: - Beginner: 10 mines. The board can range from 8 x 8, 9 x 9, or 10 x 10. - Intermediate: 40 mines. The board can range from 13 x 15 to 16 x 16. - Expert: 99 mines. The board is always 16 x 30 or 30 x 16.
If you’ve never played Minesweeper before, it's probably best to start at the Beginner level and work your way up.

However, if you’re up for the ultimate challenge, feel free to dive straight into the Expert level.

Step-by-Step Instructions For Playing Minesweeper

Minesweeper is like a mix between Solitaire, Rummy, and Sudoku. The connection is that they are all relatively simple and involve some luck but require a thorough plan before making a move. Before you start playing, here are a few terms you should know. - Flag — Players should put a flag in boxes where they’re relatively sure a mine exists. - Question Mark — You can put a question mark in spaces where you’re unsure whether a mine is present. - Smiley Face — Click the smiley face if you want to reset your game and start over.

Step One: Locate the First Mine

Finding the first mine begins by clicking a random square. Generally, you can click anywhere, but most minesweeper experts recommend starting in the middle. That way, you have less of a chance of getting stuck. It’s important to note that the numbers revealed when you click a box shows how many mines are in adjacent squares.

For example, if you see the number two, you know that two bombs are located in two boxes surrounding that number. Further, if there are only two unopened boxes next to that square, then you know that you should place a flag on them because they are mines.

If you’re playing on a PC, you’ll need to left-click to uncover a box and right-click to place a flag. If you’re playing on your phone, you’ll need to press and hold to place a flag and press one time to uncover a box.

Step Two: Find and Clear the Other Mines

Once you’ve uncovered the first mine, the goal is to find the others. If it’s a timed game, you have to do so quickly, or your time will expire. However, don’t move too quickly. Doing so may lead to mistakes and a game that ends faster than you like.

Step Three: Make an Educated Guess

In many cases, you’ll come across situations where it seems like guessing is the only option, but that’s not usually the case until you reach the last few mines. For the most part, if you use the numbering system wisely, you should find 80 - 90 percent of the mines using basic deduction skills.

Step Four: Minesweeper Strategy

Once you’ve played around with Minesweeper a bit, you should begin to incorporate strategy in your games. Two of the most common techniques include the 1-2 pattern strategy, the mass production strategy, and the sprint strategy. Learn more about each below. - 1 - 2 Pattern — Suppose you uncover the numbers one and two, and they are adjacent to a wall of blocks. In that case, it’s recommended that you uncover the box next to number one that’s not within the common field of the other boxes. - Mass Production — This strategy involves flagging all of the mines you can without opening any more boxes, then start opening boxes without more mine-marking. - Sprint — The sprint strategy requires you to make one move to clear a box and then one move to mark a box. Do this in an alternating fashion until you complete the level.

Minesweeper Tips

Listed below, you will find tips to help you improve your Minesweeper gameplay. They will come in handy whether you’re just getting started with Minesweeper or you’ve been playing a while.

  1. The question mark is mostly useless. In timed games, using it can waste valuable seconds.
  2. You finish a Minesweeper game when you’ve opened all of the safe boxes, not when you’ve flagged all the mines.
  3. While on a PC, if you accidentally click on a mine, you can continue to hold your mouse button down and slide your cursor away. Most of the time, it will not set the mine off.
  4. Don’t mark mines if they can’t help you uncover safe boxes. If you must guess, make a guess that has the least risk.
  5. Start from the middle of the board. Starting on the sides can make the game more difficult than it should be.

What is The Trick in Minesweeper?

Minesweeper is a pretty straightforward game. However, learning basic Minesweeper patterns can help you make moves while thinking less. Further, it’s basically a logic game. The revealed numbers are clues. Your goal is to find the location of the mines that are consistent with the clues the game gives you.

Is There a Pattern in Minesweeper?

Multiple patterns in Minesweeper have been studied and explored for decades. The most common number patterns in the game of Minesweeper are the 1-2-1 pattern and the 1-2-2-1 pattern.

The Different Versions of Minesweeper

Depending on your operating system (e.g. Microsoft Windows, iOS or Android) and desire for a challenge, many variations of Minesweeper are available to play. Other than the classic version of the game, different versions of Minesweeper include but are not limited to:

  • Minesweeper Arbiter
  • Minesweeper X
  • ViennaSweeper

Where to Play Minesweeper Online

Now that you’re more familiar with the game, you’re probably ready to test your skills and play Minesweeper. Check out Minesweeper Guru from your phone today to test your skills in unique head-to-head challenges against real people for real rewards. We’ll see you on the minefield!

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