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How to beat 2048

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Gabriele Cirulli, the 19-year-old Italian developer behind 2048, probably didn’t know what he had when he was getting himself into when he first introduced his freemium weekend project to iOS and Android devices in May. Though essentially an open-source knockoff of similar titles — most notably the recently-introduced Threes! — the simple puzzle game garnered more than 8,000 reviews in a matter of months, quickly catapulting it to the top of both digital retailers and spurring a slew of varied incarnations. The object of the game is to slide numbered tiles about a 4 x 4 grid, merging like numbers in a nonstop effort to achieve a single tile with the score of 2048 (hence the game’s title). To make matters even more complicated, either a 2 or a 4 tile randomly appears on an empty spot with each turn, with the game ending when there are no available spaces or moves to make. It’s the kind of game you can sink your life into — brutishly addicting and mercilessly enthralling — but it can be beat. That is, if you can utilize algorithmic logic with a little luck.

Here is our suggestive guide on how to beat 2048, err, at least some tips for trying. It’s by no means a foolproof methodology, but a few suggestions can go a long way. Afterward, check out our picks for the best iPhone and Android games.

First tip: Keep calm.

Humans often have an unfortunate habit of moving as quickly as they can at any given moment. However, 2048 is a game anchored in logic and math, with early moves substantially impacting the later ones to follow. Take the time to think about how your tiles — not just one — will stack up before sliding them about the board. Think about their relative positioning and your potential next move before you swipe, taking into account the next few tips as you do. Try not to haphazardly swipe even in the beginning stages. It may seem like the board is completely open in the beginning, but it fills up incredibly quick if you’re not careful.

Second tip: Pick a side.

Much like similar puzzles games, 2048 is often about picking a side and sticking to it. Start aligning the high-value blocks on the top, bottom, left-hand, or right-hand side, swiping the correct direction to move the lower-value tiles to the side before collapsing them into one another. The key thing is to always swipe your high-valued tiles the same direction. For instance, refrain from swiping downward if you’ve been making an effort to concentrate high-value tiles at the top. Doing so can prove utterly catastrophic when that 2 tile randomly appears at the top, disrupting your entire method in the process. It’s also not a bad idea to build a foundation of lower-value tiles by continually swiping to one side or another in the beginning stages of the game.

Sides 2048

Third tip: Stick to the corner.

Four distinct corners anchor the outer edges of 2048‘s grid-like playing field. As you begin to high-value tiles on a particular side, you also want to focus your attention on a set corner. Line sequential numbers on the sides, and once you have a few in a row, swipe them in succession. Once you move your highest-value tile in the corner, leave it there at all costs and begin swiping tiles toward the corner base keeping the previous tips in mind. Tiles should decrease in value the further away you get from the corner, allowing you to position high-value tiles in a conveniently cluster around the corner.

Corner Tip

Fourth tip: Build those chains.

It should go without saying, but 2048, is a game founded in addition. You want to methodically chain numbers such a 64, 128, and 256 in order to create high-value tiles, which you can then combine with even higher-value tiles in the turns to follow. Building large chains doesn’t impact your score, but it will get you closer to achieving your goal. Again, think about your next move before you swipe, taking into account you’ll never know where that next 2 or 4 tiles will appear on the board. It’s not about focusing on an individual tile, but how it fits with the bigger picture.

There are, arguably, many suggested methods for beating ‘2048.’ Which did you use to beat the infamous puzzle game? Let us know in the comments below.

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Brandon Widder
Brandon Widder is a multimedia journalist and a staff writer for Digital Trends where he covers technology news, how-to…
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