Minesweeper Strategy

Minesweeper is a game well-known to most people; it has been a mainstay on Microsoft operating systems since 1992 and has provided PC users with hours of sometimes enjoyable and sometimes frustrating gameplay.

The overall aim of Minesweeper is to locate mines on a grid without directly clicking on them. The concept is easy and the gameplay is straight forward, however, the game cannot be completed with a skillful strategy and a large slice of luck is needed.

Playing the game

Playing a game of Minesweeper begins with luck. The player will start their game by selecting a tile at random from a grid sized depending on the difficulty of the game (the more difficult the game, the larger the grid). The first tile will reveal either a blank square, numbered square or a mine; you will want to avoid the latter. A numbered square will tell you how many mines are touching that particular square, for instance, a number 3 will mean that there are 3 mines within immediate proximity numbered of the square. It is your job to identify the mine using logic (where possible) and place a flag on the specific tile. All mines will need to be found to successfully complete a game.


You will need to decide when playing Minesweeper whether you intend your strategy to be to play against the clock or play to win. In an ideal world you will do both; however, minesweeper is anything but ideal. Playing against the clock will mean increasing the possibility of mistakes, while playing to win will result in a slow time.

Start at a corner

A good tactic when playing Minesweeper is to click on a corner square. Top left is always a good starting point, if it reveals in number, it can determine you next move along the grid. The number will be a 1, 2 or 3. If you see a three you will know that each square touching is a mine, you can then flag them and move on.

Identify easy mines first

Many of the bombs can be identified easily, you should flag these first - this will allow you to concentrate your efforts on tougher mines. If you are struggling to identify a mine, move on to another area and flag some simpler mines and return to it later, a fresh approach often helps.

How many bombs are left?

The amount of bombs left on the grid is shown at the bottom or top of the game. Knowing how many are left can help you to center efforts on a particular configuration. Some configurations may lead you to think there are more bombs there than is actually left on a grid, knowing your numbers will narrow down combinations.


You are going to need a guess to win at Minesweeper. Some people prefer to use calculated guesses at the end of a game when it is easier to estimate where a bomb may be, others favor guessing at the beginning of a game when there are more tiles and less chance of hitting a mine. Guessing is one of the elements of Minesweeper that makes the game so popular.