10 Best Starting Words for Wordle to Improve Your Success Rate

Picking an ideal starting word in Wordle, the popular online game, can often be the difference between a triumphant victory and a frustrating defeat. As Wordle enthusiasts look for strategies to improve their performance, many have turned to mathematics and computational algorithms to uncover the best initial words. So, let’s dive deep into the realm of Wordle and unravel the mystery behind the best starting words, guided by experts in the field.

The Programmer’s Perspective: Tyler Glaiel’s Approach

Tyler Glaiel, a renowned programmer and game designer, utilized a scoring system in his strategy to determine the ideal Wordle starter. He meticulously evaluated each of Wordle’s 12,972 possible guesses and assigned them a score ranging from 0 to 2. This scoring was based on the word’s presence in one of the 2,309 possible Wordle answers and whether the letters were in the correct positions.

The top three contenders that Glaiel’s algorithm deemed best were:


Upon delving into the complexities of his method, Glaiel asserted that ROATE is the prime starting word for efficiently eliminating potential answers. However, since ROATE isn’t a part of Wordle’s answer list, it wouldn’t yield a perfect score. Therefore, Glaiel suggests starting with RAISE as a practical alternative.

A Second Opinion: Bertrand Fan’s Analysis

In a parallel study, programmer Bertrand Fan echoed Glaiel’s methodology and produced a strikingly similar list of Wordle starting words:


Factoring in that the top three words don’t make an appearance in Wordle’s answer list, Fan’s analysis proposed STARE as the statistically optimal Wordle starter.

STARE: A Common Consensus

Interestingly, the team at Tom’s Guide had independently chosen STARE as their preferred starter long before these research studies came to light. This decision was rooted in the understanding that S is the most frequent first letter in Wordle’s answers, A is the most common third letter, and E is the most prevalent fifth letter. Coupled with T and R being the two most frequent consonants in the game, STARE seemed like a logical choice.

A pair of MIT researchers put forward SALET as an alternative, which incorporates five of the top 10 letters in Wordle. However, STARE still retains its superiority due to R being the third most used letter, compared to L which is the sixth most used.

WordleBot’s Insight: The Perspective of the Wordle Custodians

WordleBot, a tool developed by the creators of Wordle, offers a unique perspective on the best starting words. The computational wizardry behind WordleBot involves considering the average number of remaining solutions after playing the word, the mean steps required to solve the puzzle, and several other metrics. According to this measure, CRANE emerges as the leading Wordle start word.

Surprisingly, CRANE outperforms STARE in WordleBot’s rating, scoring 99/100 compared to STARE’s 97, even though STARE fares better in terms of the average number of solutions.

Here’s the list of WordleBot’s top 10 starting words:


STARE, although not at the top, holds a respectable 12th position on WordleBot’s list. This reaffirms its standing as a strong candidate for the best Wordle start word.

To sum it up, choosing the ideal starter word in Wordle can vastly improve your game. Whether it’s RAISE, STARE, or CRANE, incorporating these algorithmically determined words could give you the edge you need to conquer your next Wordle challenge.

Written by Lucas Beaumont

Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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