How to get better/faster at minesweeper
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How to get better/faster at minesweeper
Updated 3 years ago by Cytruss

Welcome to my minesweeper guide! Before we be begin I would like to mention, that this guide will not be of much help if you're a complete beginner to the game, and if you are I would just recommend playing the game for yourself and picking up the basics! Start with easy and after you get a hang of how the game works move onto medium.

Now that you've got at least a basic understand of how minesweeper works I will now go through some of the ways you can get faster at the game.

Chording

I'm putting this at the top of the list since it's super easy to do and will help you get a lot faster. Now, you might be wondering what cording actually is, so here's the definition straight from the wiki :

[quote]When an uncovered square with a number has exactly the correct number of adjacent squares flagged, performing a click with both mouse buttons on it will uncover all unmarked squares; This is called a Chord.

Using the middle mouse button will also cause a chord. [/quote]

So If you haven't been already using this technique you should be! As stated above you can either do this by clicking both mouse buttons at the same time or by using the middle mouse button (which is pressing down on your scroll wheel). On mobile you can just double tap on a number (with the correct number of flags around it) and it will chord. It will take a bit of getting used to but once you do get used to it, it's great! This allows to clear large areas quickly without having to click every square individually, and will speed up your clears exponentially. Using the chord can also help you check if there's the right amount of bombs around a number without having to count them individually. In general it's a really helpful and relatively risk free technique which will both help you clear faster and reduce your missclicks.

More advanced thinking

Now I am by no means an expert in this field, but I am going to link an external video guide (not made by me) which helped myself when i first started out with minesweeper: He talks about a lot of useful tricks and ways of thinking for when you're playing minesweeper. After you watch the guide I recommend going into a difficulty with more bombs like hard, and just taking it slow. Try to think about everything and how it will go. You first want to get a hand of how to think and then how to do it fast. The more you practice the faster you get. Speed will come with time, I promise you.

Recognizing patterns

Another way of becoming faster is recognizing certain patterns and being able to immediately being able figure out how it's solved. You'll be able to recognize more of these as you play more.

Here's a couple examples of very common patterns you'll find

the 1-2-1 pattern: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741639460202086471/a8qz3Ov.png

This pattern will always be solved like this: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741639555601399858/a27b2VV.png

A lot of the time you'll find multiple of these in a row, where you'll be able to apply the same logic https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741639686694502461/fpj0WVb.png

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741639747604185138/KH1o7Dg.png

The "flat" 3:

Not very sure how to call this one but it's when there's a 3 on a flat row. Example: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741639895742677083/xm4IZRf.png

And they're always solved like this: https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741639945285926972/5StwqGC.png

Just like the previous one if there are multiple in a row you use the same logic https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741640006732349501/z86N1NR.png

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/534091303911424000/741640069026152539/WELJnjn.png

There's obviously tones of other bigger and smaller patterns which you'll slowly get accustomed to as you play! I just wanted to showcase a few, so you yourself can start noticing recurring patterns that will show up in your boards.

Taking 50/50's

Minesweeper is obviously a game with a certain degree of luck attached to it, which you'll have to deal with. A lot of the time the game will come down to a 50-50 chance of winning or losing which becomes quite infuriating. Although most of the time you can work around a 50-50 by looking at your remaining bomb count, while going fast you don't have the luxury of doing that. I personally (and a few other runners I've talked to) like to take 50/50 chances early on in the run instead of thinking more in depth and wasting time, because if it's still early in the run you don't care as much if you lose the run as it's still basically at the start. I would not recommend doing this for the entirety of the run (especially the later parts) since you have the risk of losing a well paced run to what is basically luck. So taking 50-50 chances can be helpful but also dangerous.

Flagging vs not flagging

A lot of times you'll come across situations where you can basically skip out on flagging some squares. Because you can technically beat the game without flagging any squares, flagging is like a waste of time all together right? Wrong, this combines with the chording point which was mentioned above, since you need to have flags around a certain square in order to chord, a lot of the time actually putting down the flags is faster.

But not always. You can skip out on flagging some squares if they're isolated for example. You'll need to strike a balance between flagging and not flagging. So you need to be able to play with minimum flags without actually slowing yourself down, since not flagging squares will most likely confuse you. When you start out I recommend flagging basically everything and trying to not flag unnecessary squares as you get better at the game.

Conclusion

Minesweeper is a really fun game to play and improve at! There are many ways of getting faster but at the end of the day, the best way of improving is just playing more! Practice makes perfect. So good luck on your runs, and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask me or any other runners at the discord: https://discord.gg/7MXyJHs

  • Written by Cytruss
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