The Minesweeper Basics




In this instructable, my first one, I will show you the how-to's, the ropes, and the basics, on winning your classic Minesweeper game... without the cheat codes. All you need is a little stroke of luck (needed on the first part of the 'ible) and some good logic.

Step 1: The First Part

This is what you'll need for the first part:

1. Patience
2. Luck

Your first goal is to reveal a good lump of 'safe' squares with just a few clicks, depending on the difficulty you are on. If things got good (see picture 1), proceed to step 2.

But I bet you won't be getting the same good lump the 2nd time around, so you'll still be reading the following procedures. Here comes your patience. Yes, patience is a virtue. And you need it for you to win any games out there, including Minesweeper. If things didn't get good (see picture 2), restart the game and repeat clicking until you get that good lump of squares.

Luck is when you get that good lump.

Step 2: Here Goes Your Logic...

This is what makes Minesweeper 'hard' for a simple game - the scary numbers. This actually is just a small on/off-pattern-based game system, only with a timer.

A square, unless touching a side/corner, has 8 other squares neighborng it, therefore:

If you click the square and see a '1' in it, it means that one of the other 8 squares around it contains the bomb;

If you click the square and see a '2' in it, it means that two of the other squares around it contains bombs; and so on.

If you click the square and see the mine in it, you have no choice but to repeat the game from the start.

Step 3: Number Combos

To conquer more and more squares successfully, you should also observe other numbers that is near the square you are focusing to click to.

Example (see Picture 1): All the five '1s' sitting on the bottom-right corner of the Minesweeper box. Based on my observation, you can only put the flag (double-right click) on one of the 4 blank squares, since putting the flag on the other 3 will contradict to the rest of the '1's in that area. So, in order to fill in the problem, I put the flag right in the square that will make the logic, of all of the five '1's there, true.

Picture 2 shows a basic number combo.

Tip: If you are already sure that the n squares you flagged around a numbered square contain the bomb, feel free to click the remaining squares. This might contain a blank square or another numbered one.

Step 4: Voila! the Smiley Had Its Shades On!

After several trials, you should have had a little grasp on how to beat Minesweeper. Practice more, and you'll find that your reasoning and observational skills have become a little deeper.

Tip: Some Minesweeper tricks.

@Picture 2:

Once you see a '1' situated in a corner, as shown on image notes, immediately flag the square diagonally adjacent to it.

Any other number greater than '1' cannot be situated in a corner.

A frame of '1's always happens (see bottom-right); the three blank squares are also '1's and at the center is the bomb.

@Picture 1:

Two '2's situated diagonally against each other often share the two same bombs.

The higher the number, the greater amount of bombs are placed around it. This may be easy, if and only if you carefully observe other numbers situated near it, or that the number itself is '8'.



    • Classroom Science Contest

      Classroom Science Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest
    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest

    14 Discussions


    2 years ago

    hanks for posting


    2 years ago

    thanks for posting nice information about how to play minesweeper

    It is actually impossible to get a mine on your first try because of the way the game is programmed but it is possible to get a mine on you second click.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    If you want to become a real fast pro, use the L+R click, turn off the "?" marks, so you only flag or unflag with a single click, and leave squares that you know definitely have mines unflagged unless flagging them helps with the L+R click rule. Any unflagged mines will automatically flag if all empty or number suares have been cleared. You should be able to get below 180 seconds on expert. Luck still plays a big part, and zen. Once you are in the "minesweeper zone," you'll have finished without realising how long it took you, and be surprised at your time!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    This happened to me today. Frankly I find it insulting that after the last 700 or so seconds of frantically applying logic and ensuring no bad clicks, it comes down to a 50/50 guess.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    uh oh duh pic is too small... I just got 661 seconds on minesweeper on expert


    10 years ago on Introduction

    It seems you have missed a useful tool in minesweeper, the left-right click. if you left click and hold then right click on a cleared tile all tiles adjacent to that tile will clear unless one or more has a bomb, in which case no tiles will change.

    1 reply