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How To Win at Minesweeper: 15 Tips, Strategies, Hacks & Cheats 

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Minesweeper is a video game released in the 1980s in which, usually, one person plays at a time. The video game aims to clear an area with hidden mines or bombs in a rectangular grid while ensuring none detonate. Contrary to popular belief, Minesweeper is a game of strategy and some luck. You’ve likely come across this difficult game and wondering how you can win. 

When playing Minesweeper, you need to understand the principles behind the game. You need to know what the numbering means and use that information. It is important to learn the patterns of the game and understand the basic ones. With practice, you will get better at it.

Minesweeper is a somewhat difficult but fun strategy game. Let’s look at different tips, strategies, and tricks you can use to help win! There are even cheats you can use to win at Minesweeper.

1. Ensure You Understand The Principles Behind Minesweeper

Every game starts the same. It has a grid of squares that are all unmarked. You need to click on one of the squares to start the game. After clicking on a square, some will disappear and remain blank, and others will have numbers on them. 

To figure out which blank spots have mines, you need to use the numbers to see which are safe to click. You need to know what the numbers mean. The numbers indicate the number of mines that are touching that specific square. The game is over if you click on a square with a mine. You only get one life. 

2. When Playing Minesweeper, Your First Click Can Be Anywhere

Your first square will never have a mine or bomb underneath it, no matter where your click. So don’t spend time worrying about your first click. You can click anywhere on the board.

3. Play Slowly When Just Starting With Minesweeper

Do not go too fast if you don’t have a strategy or recognize a pattern. You will quickly lose if you do not understand the game’s mechanics. So take your time to figure out your next move. Advanced players usually play for time, but if you’re a beginner, first try to get the feel of the game before playing for time. Look at the numbers and the patterns to see if you can figure out where a safe square is. 

4. Avoid The Walls In Minesweeper At First

First, focus on clearing the center of the rectangle before clicking on the walls. 

5. Master The Patterns Of Minesweeper 

By playing Minesweeper, you will often start recognizing the placement of the mines by simply familiarizing yourself with the number patterns. You will see certain combinations often. It would help if you learned how to interpret the pattern, It can take a long while to notice it, but after spending enough time playing the game, it will come easy to you.

There are basic and advanced patterns that you can learn to spot as you keep playing the game. You can also watch tutorials or gameplay walkthroughs to learn patterns.

6. Think Before Using The Flags in Minesweeper

Suppose you use the flags in Minesweeper, double-click by pressing both of the mouse buttons simultaneously. This technique will open all squares near a numbered square depending on whether you have indicated the location of the mines surrounding that numbered square. 

Also, don’t just put flags everywhere. Put them where you think there is most likely to be a mine underneath a square. 

7. Understand Minesweeper’s Basic 1-2 Pattern

You will frequently come across a flat row of squares with the number “1” next to the number “2”. There may be two uncleared squares underneath the numbers, but neither can be mines. Focus on the “2”. One of the adjacent mines must be on the outer square. The third square over will always be a mine. 

8. Understand Minesweeper’s Basic 1-1 Pattern

If you start from the edge and see a 1-1 pattern, the third square over will be empty. This is because the 1 is touching two squares, and one of them must contain the mine. The second 1 is also touching a third square which will be empty. 

9. Make Use Of Minesweeper Tutorials Or Gameplay Walkthroughs

If you want to get better at Minesweeper, go online and look at tutorials or gameplay walkthroughs on YouTube. A tutorial will help you learn the basics of the games. Gameplay walkthroughs are where you watch other people play the game. You can easily find them by searching on YouTube. This will help you identify strategies and adopt new techniques.

10. Press Both Buttons To Depress Squares In Minesweeper

One of the easiest strategies is to press both buttons on your mouse simultaneously on a number to depress the squares it is connected to. Doing this will show you the number of squares connected to the number.

11. Practice Minesweeper Frequently 

Practicing Minesweeper will make you better at recognizing patterns. Thus, practice as much as you can to get the hang of it. Remember, as a beginner; you will lose many times. The only way you will become a pro at Minesweeper is if you keep playing. You will start developing your own strategies and seeing patterns as you play. This will make you a better player. 

12. Cheat At Minesweeper By Using Freeze Time

There is a cheat code you can utilize to stop the video game’s time so you can complete each puzzle. You do this by starting a new game and then simultaneously clicking the Windows button and the “D” key. This will minimize the game. Maximize the game once again, and the clock will be permanently frozen.

13. Cheat At Minesweeper By Revealing The Mines

You can use a cheat to reveal all the mines to you. Using this cheat can be useful in learning how to play Minesweeper. While your cursor is inside the game’s window, type XYZZY, then press Shift and Enter. Doing this should cause a white dot to show in the upper left corner. When this white dot turns black, your cursor is on a mine. This cheat is an easy way to start figuring out patterns.

14. Use The Elimination Method When Playing Minesweeper 

The minesweeper game is like a puzzle you have to unravel. One of the best strategies to use is the elimination method. For every square you decode correctly, you have eliminated that option. You can repeat this until you uncover the last safe square with no mine, and you will win the game. 

15. With Minesweeper, Sometimes You Need To Guess

Be sure to open a square with the least chance of containing a mine whenever you are forced to take a guess. In other words, your guess must be the one where the risk is minimal. The guess should aid you in your game if you turn out to be correct. When you are forced to guess, look at the possible outcomes. 

For example, if you have two numbers like 1 and 3, and they’re both adjoined by eight uncovered squares, pick the square touching the 1. The odds of there being a mine is 1 in 8 and better than the odds of hitting a mine near the 3. Otherwise, click and hope for the best. 

Conclusion

Minesweeper is a fun strategy game and will keep you focused until the end. Remember, it takes practice to get the hang of it. The more you play Minesweeper, the better you will get. These tips, tricks, and strategies will surely help you get better at Minesweeper.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.