April 12, 2016

Minesweeper Tutorial: Tips for Easy to Expert Difficulties

Minesweeper, a game have been played by many, but most don’t actually play it with logic. This article shows you the detail steps of logical thinking process in Minesweeper, in a way that a geek will do!

how to beat advanced minesweeper

Oh My God! This looks really hard!!

How to Win Minesweeper? Tactics, Logic and Guessing.

Minesweeper seems hard to beat. But it is hard only if you don’t use logic properly to beat the game. In fact, with proper logic and some luck, even advanced difficulty minesweeper is not that hard to beat (or nearly beat without luck, like 80%-95% done). It is much easier than puzzle games like Sudoku.

This article teach you how to win minesweeper, which can be applied to easy and toughest difficulty, since all the strategies and logic behind solving a minesweeper is the same. So believe in yourself and be ready to beat the advanced minesweeper! Maybe soon you will find out minesweeper is too easy!

If you don’t have a minesweeper in Windows 10, you can download it from Microsoft App Store.

Must Learn Technique: Double-Click / Chording

Before start digging into the strategy or logic thing, there is something you must learn first.

Most people know about right click to flag, then right click again to question mark. But there is another important technique that can help you play much faster and avoid misclick or misjudge, it is called double-click (mentioned in the paragraph under “Use Flags Wisely”), or similarly chording.

Opening Tactics: Corners

Why starting from the corner? Because there are only 3 covered squares next to the corner square. So the chance of getting a blank square is much larger. And if the corner square is blank, the surrounding 3 covered squares must be blank too! Also, similar to the corner square, the other covered squares at the border are also more likely to become a blank square too!

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As a result, it often becomes something like this:

how to beat advanced minesweeper

Having an uncovered corner is a good start but yet that’s far from enough. You may uncover a corner to start with, then uncover one more every-time you are stuck, or simply uncover 3 or even 4 corners at the beginning:

how to beat advanced minesweeper

Flags with Logic: This Must Not Be a Bomb

Think about the information you have got. Not only think about the information provided by a single square, but consider information from 2 squares or even more. Then use these information to find out which the square not containing a bomb.

Example 1:

how to beat advanced minesweeperAs you can see, the middle left square indicate there are 3 bombs, and 2 are already located (those 2 squares with flags). So there must be a bomb out of the 2 left squares in the first row (information 1).

how to beat advanced minesweeperThe middle right square indicate there is a bomb within the 3 squares in the first row. Together with information 1, we can confirm that the top right square in the first row must not be a bomb.

Example 2:

how to beat advanced minesweeperThis looks a bit complex, but in fact exactly the same as example 1! There are 6 bombs and 5 of them are located. So there must be a bomb out of the 2 covered squares below.

how to beat advanced minesweeperTogether with the information provided by the square next to the 6, indicating there are 3 bombs and 2 bombs are already located, we can tell that the bottom left square must not be a bomb.

Try to solve this!

how to beat advanced minesweeper

Click Here to see the answer

Flags with Logic: Assumed that…

Scientist always make assumptions and then try to prove whether they are wrong. If you can prove something must be wrong, that is another kind of useful information. And I usually use question mark to assist my thinking when assumption is needed.

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strategies to beat advanced minesweeperThe squares on the second row are hard to solve. The information from the bottom row let us know there are 2 bombs somewhere (or could be even more, depending on the combination), but we cannot locate the bombs yet.

strategies to beat advanced minesweeperSo what if the left question mark is a bomb? Then the 2 squares between the 2 question marks can’t be a bomb (look at the information from the third row if you do not understand). But if the 2 squares in between are not a bomb, then even the right question mark is a bomb, we can’t satisfy the condition of having 2 bombs. (also, it is related to the information from the third row).

strategies to beat advanced minesweeperThis contradiction rejected the idea of the left question mark being a bomb. And that’s why it is safe to uncover it.

Try to solve this!

strategies to beat advanced minesweeperAgain, we try to solve the second row, but we can find out where the bombs are this time!

Click Here to see the answer

Tactics: Solve It later

Somehow, you may find out you are stuck. Why not try solving other squares or corners and come back later? When other squares are revealed, it could help you solve previous unsolvable squares. Trust me, most of the time this tactics works.

Guessing Can Not Be Avoided. But Please Bet Your Luck Wisely with Probability.

Pure logic sometimes not work and you will have to bet with your luck. If you need to guess which square is not a bomb, also consider the probability like: there are 1 bombs out of 3 squares, while there are 1 bombs out of 2 squares. And when you are close enough to solve the puzzle, also take the amount of remaining bombs into your consideration.

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Now, you should learn “How to Beat Minesweeper”. All you need is practice more within the game! Good luck!

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