How To Play Minesweeper

Maddy Marcus / April 9, 2020

Learning how to play Minesweeper is all about using your educated guesses. Everyone is familiar with a Minesweeper board. You’ve probably even clicked your mouse around the grid, without really giving it a thought. 

Approaching a new Minesweeper board is a little daunting. When the board is blank, it can be a little unnerving when deciding what square to click first. Each square on the board hides either a number or a mine. To find out what is hidden behind each one, you must simply click on them. 

The good news is: your first pick is essentially a free hit. It could come up blank or numbered, but it will never be a mine. It’s best to dive right into the middle of the board. Starting off with a square in a corner could lead you to being stuck early on. Once you reveal a number, it’s up to you to work out what mines might be in the adjacent squares around that number. If the number you reveal is a 2, you’ll need to flag two adjacent squares where you think mines are.

Minesweeper Tips

Stay vigilant. When you click a square and a number is revealed, you need to pay attention to the adjacent squares. If your square reveals a one, and it’s only touching a single uncleared square, then it simply must be a mine. The same can be said when the number is two or three. And while this is the very crux of the game, it can be something that is forgotten when you are scrambling around for the next square to click. You need to keep your head on a swivel because the board is bigger than you think.

Look for the patterns. The more you play the game, the more you’ll spot the patterns on the board. For example,  if you have a row of squares numbered 1-2-1, with squares above and below this being clear. You know that you can go ahead and flag the two squares next to the ones, simply because there cannot be a mine next to the two as there would be no other place to play the mine. You can even extend out the numbers to 1-2-2-1 and it’s a similar rule.  The more clicks on the board, the more patterns you’ll discover.

The Benefits of Playing Minesweeper

It might not seem like it, but there are some benefits to kicking back with a game of Minesweeper. It’s a game rooted in logic and problem solving, so as you progress in the game, you are improving your logic skills. You are learning how to plan ahead and consider the next moves to successfully complete your puzzle. This is a truly beneficial skill to tune and apply to so many other day to day situations. 

Playing Minesweeper just also keeps your brain active and this is an important tool in maintaining memory function. Studies have found that cognitive training can improve some aspects of memory and thinking, particularly for people who are middle-aged or older. Playing games like Minesweeper also focuses the mind and helps players deal with stress and worry. By focusing the mind on a game like this, it can help bring a sense of calm when other areas of their life may be causing them strife. 

Where to Play Minesweeper

The best thing about Minesweeper is that you can play it for free! It’s a game as old as computers themselves and no matter what seems to change, Minesweeper remains and people still play it. It’s a game for the ages.