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8 Strategies to Win Connections Game

About Connections Game

One of the hardest games offered by the New York Times is Connections. Nevertheless, it is feasible to promise victory (almost) every day. After you have mastered the Connections Game, it is time to discover some effective techniques that will enable you to win every time you play.

1. Recall that you conflict with an NYT editor

Avoid viewing Connections as an opponent to the puzzle itself. Instead, keep in mind that you and the New York Times editor who set the game are engaged in a conflict of wills. The initial word placement and selection of the 16 words that comprise the day’s Connections puzzle belong to them.

Since you’re up against another human, this simplifies things in a way. Thus, you have an advantage if you can tune into the same frequency as they do. And this is where consistently finishing Connections each day shows its value since it’s the most effective method of identifying the tactics the NYT employs to mislead you.

2. Before guessing, always shuffle the words

A grid of 16 words measuring 4 by 4 appears when you first launch Connections. It’s quite simple to believe that each word’s placement is arbitrary. It is improbable, though. The more likely scenario is that the NYT editor purposefully arranged each phrase to entice you to type incorrectly.

Consequently, shuffling the words before making your initial guess is the wisest course of action. Examining the words before shuffling doesn’t hurt, but don’t strive to find a group of four before pressing Shuffle. Try again if you are unable to identify at least one possible grouping after shuffling once.

3. Seek out four groupings, but No More

Everyone is aware that you need to locate four sets of four words to defeat Connections. But in every single Connections puzzle, there are more than four similar words. Certain words might even fit into three or more of the final groupings that you create.

Consequently, overcoming Connections necessitates focusing on both distinctions and similarities. If you see six terms that theoretically fit into the same category, you should consider what separates them. Which four fit together the best? Which four, if there isn’t another option, can only sit together?

4. Rather than hitting and hoping, plan and execute

Matching Connections demands a methodical approach. Therefore, don’t just hit and hope that the four words you choose will work. Rather, carefully consider your strategy and carry it out logically.

Similar to chess, where players can utilize these mobile applications, you should plan out your moves in advance and consider all four possible groupings instead of just the one you are about to submit. Even if you may be sure of the four terms you have chosen, make sure to check the other words to make sure they can and will function well together.

5. Examine the Subjects of Earlier Puzzles

Try to mentally remember the kinds of connections that were involved each time you play (and beat) Connections. Even with all of the variants on those subjects, the NYT can only investigate so many themes in total.

A straightforward explanation that fits all four of the words in that grouping is the most prevalent topic or genre. For example, there are four different words for “backside” (see screenshot above). Other recurring motifs, though, are items you’ll need for a specific task and four words that go well together to form frequent phrases.

6. Refrain from falling for the “One Away” Tease

If you predict four words correctly and one is incorrect, Connections will notify you that you are “One away!” The natural tendency for most people is to try again after replacing the incorrect response with one that might work. But that’s a really big mistake.

It is possible to make an accurate prediction by replacing the one incorrect response with the one correct one. However, the deck is stacked against you—especially in the early going. One in four times, you will select the incorrect response that you need to eliminate, and one in twelve times, you will select the right word to substitute it with. So, to prevent your mistakes from getting smaller, start over.

7. Consider Working on the Puzzle Offline First

Before even thinking about speculating, the more serious Connections players might want to think about taking a break from the game. After writing the 16 words down on paper, return to the Connections website and attempt to identify the most likely groups of four.

While working on Connections offline will help you see the problem from a different angle, this may sound a bit drastic. Working on paper makes you truly consider each word’s definition and how well the 16 words you have in front of you fit together.

8. Accept That There Isn’t Always a Chance of Perfection

Not to mention, keep in mind that perfection isn’t always achievable. It also makes no difference. It’s okay if you make three errors when working through Connections. The secret is to figure it out without making the fourth error and failing the entire day.

Playing Connections Game flawlessly is pleasant, but other than giving you bragging rights over friends you share a high score with, it’s not any better than playing the game with errors. Therefore, avoid being obsessed with trying to play the ideal game. Just have fun, play the game, and try to beat Connections each day.

Making connections can be a difficult game. However, you may make it easier to win the game each time you play it by using these strategies. And even if you still don’t succeed, don’t worry, there will be another chance in a day or two.


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