2048: Top 7 tips and tricks to help you stack your way to a higher score!

2048: Top 7 tips, hints, and cheats to help you stack your way to a higher score!

How to work the board and plan your moves to achieve your best score in 2048 yet!

2048 is a matching game where your job is to combine matching tiles to create larger numbered tiles. When there are no more moves left and the board is full, the game is over. If you want to get to the mythical 2048 tile, you'll have to think strategically and plan your moves carefully. Here are some tips and cheats on how to work your way up to a better score each and every time in 2048!

1. Understand how the board moves

2048: Top 7 tips and tricks to help you stack your way to a higher score!

In 2048 you only have 4 main gestures and they are up, down, left, and right. Every time you swipe, every tile on the board moves in that position as far as it possibly can. If multiple cards can combine at once, they will do so. Keep this in mind and understand how moves work before swiping a tile that may or may not end up where you thought it would.

2. Don't chase large tiles

2048: Top 7 tips and tricks to help you stack your way to a higher score!

Sometimes it's really hard to resist temptation and chase larger numbered tiles across the board in order to combine them. This almost always puts you in a worse position than a better one. Instead, focus on combining smaller tiles and worry less about a specific set of tiles. They'll almost always meet up at some point, or you end up making a tile that ends up right next to it.

3. Work your way towards the corners

2048: Top 7 tips and tricks to help you stack your way to a higher score!

Staying in the corners assures you have more of the main game board to bring in new tiles. I've found that keeping tiles grouped into the corners works the best. Bring new tiles into the middle area when you can and then you can swipe them to the corners in order to combine. Sometimes I start off in the upper left hand corner but see an opportunity to make larger combos by moving the entire board to the bottom left or diagonal. Working in the corners makes a shift in strategy a lot easier.

4. Plan ahead

2048: Top 7 tips and tricks to help you stack your way to a higher score!

This somewhat goes along with my first tip, but seriously, plan ahead. Look at everything you have on the board and what bringing a 2 or 4 card in will do to change it. Perhaps you see a match right now but bringing a 2 down on the other side would create multiple matches in one move. That's what you want to do.

5. Slow down and think

2048: Top 7 tips and tricks to help you stack your way to a higher score!

Sometimes it's hard to tell what the absolute best move is, and if we don't make it, that's okay too. 2048 gives you lots of opportunities to recover from a bad move as long as you have empty spaces on the board to work with. If you really aren't sure what the best move is, re-evaluate where cards are on the board and whether or not you need to change their position before worrying about new cards.

6. Always make moves where multiple tiles merge first

2048: Top 7 tips and tricks to help you stack your way to a higher score!

If you come across an instance where you can merge multiple stacks of cards at once, take it. The more spaces you keep open on the board, the better flexibility you have when bringing in new cards and getting them where you want. With single moves you're basically replacing a card you stacked with a new one. When multiple cards can be combined, you're only bringing one new card onto the board but you're getting rid of more than one. And that's always a good thing.

7. Check out our tips for Threes!

If you like 2048, why not check out the game that "inspired" it, Threes! While Threes! and 2048 aren't played exactly the same way, they are very similar when it comes to game play strategy. Our very own Simon Sage put together a killer guide on Threes! a while back and a lot of his tips apply to 2048 as well, so be sure to check it out!

Your tips and tricks for getting a high score in 2048?

If you play 2048 regularly on your iPhone or iPad, what tips or tricks can you share? Be sure to let me know in the comments! And if you want, let us know what your high score is so far!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

2048: Top 7 tips, hints, and cheats to help you stack your way to a higher score!


I have to say, I was a bit surprised to see this on iMore when you clearly know it is a ripoff of Threes.

only someone who has never played it would say that. Also I'm pretty sure there were web based games like this before Threes made it to the App Store

I have played it before, begging your pardon. I believe you know it's a rip-off as well hence the scare-quotes you put around "inspired" when you mention 2048's relationship to Threes!

I agree Threes is better but many games are based off others. Matching games, games like these, etc. you do realize we write for what people are currently into right? And 2048 is at the top of the App Store. Kind of makes it hard to ignore it on an iOS site? Sorry you don't approve. I still disagree it's a ripoff. As far as ads go, you can pay $1.99 to remove them. Or don't.

Sent from the iMore App

I love threes, but 2048 is worth a look as well. The mechanics do work differently, and I actually like the gameplay a little better. Threes did a better job with design and interaction though.

A horrible game. Very poorly made. Full of annoying loud noises, and advertisements galore. There is really not much to recommend this game.

One, how is it poorly made? I have played it for quite a while without a single issue.

Two, you can turn the sounds off. Options > tap speaker in upper right.

Three, there are no more ads than any other app that uses iAds.

Nice article. Sadly, didn't really unveil any new knowledge unto me. Current highscore is 76,000, and trying really hard to get that 8196 tile! I'm so close, it's driving me insane!

Heres a neat trick - (only tested on safari browser on imac) load up a game (google 2048 and top link) and get to your highest comfortable tile without dying ensuring the board is clean (all highest numbers at the top) - Then load a new tab and load up the same website - Your board will load in that new window. Now go back to the old board and continue till you're at a better tile and still have a clean descending order board - Close your 2nd tab (the one you havent played) and reload again to put your new highest board in your unused window. this is basically a way of saving your game - every time I start I start with the 4096 tile minimum and continue from there !

My technique gets me quite far every time - You always want to have the largest number top left then slowly snake it down like so 2048 >1024 >512>256
16 < 32 < 64 <128
8 > 4 > 2 > 2
blank blank blank blank

In order to get this far you must focus on making the next number in the sequence half of the biggest. With the above board you close it left left left up right right right up left left left and end up with the 4096 tile and random 2's now you fill the top row so it doesnt move and focus on making the number next to the 4096 tile big- the number next to it half as big and so on - There are "never go this way" moves dependant on where you are in the snake - For eaxmple if you want to make the top right corner bigger you must never move left ! because moving left could replace your big number with a two and your back at square one - Some times you must never move Right for the same reason so you MUST lock in the rows that you don't want to move with 4 tiles different numbers so your free to move left or right sometimes. NEVER GO DOWN. sometimes you need to do a "banned move" like down or left /right but you MUST go back in the opposite direction once ! straight away in the hope this fixes things

I have got to the 2048 tile many times and my trick is: Never swipe up, and only swipe left if you absolutely have to. Build up a pattern like this:

This game is great.
Thank you for all these tips!
However, I prefer to play Ademio version that is more varied ;-)
Only on Android :-(

I'm now little bit over 76000, I got 4096 (the tile is black on coolmathgames site!), 2048, 1024, 256... and... board full. I won't use mcshoebox trick (which is actually a smart one), just want to get to 8192 in a clean way.
However it would be good to have a let's say only 2 moves back in case you accidentally touch the screen and do an unwanted move (it hurts when you done 4096 and mistakenly lifting the tiles...).
To the right strategies found on this page I would add:

1. try to keep a 'reserve' move for whenever you find yourself forced to do 'the lifting' (so if you choose right-down corner as an accumulator, try to always have 2 tiles with the same number adjacently horizontally to do a left-to-right move when no up-to-down available.

2. For the same reason, to avoid lifting tiles, make sure always have at least 2 'worker' rows, so if one gets filled when the game serves another tile another one can still move left-right. This means sometime to not be greedy and instead of accumulating create more worker rows.
...so... SwimSwim, let's do it up to 8196! :)

Done it, another black tile, 8196!
Time to delete it from favorites, spent a lot of time...
Maybe luck, maybe not, but close to the end I got 128-256-128, from experience I knew is quite hard to put 2 tiles together when another one in between, so I decided to take the risk and do another 128 with only 6 or 7 empty squares instead of moving them around, and it worked.

I would not agree with 6. Sometimes it is better to fill a row if it'll prevent the next move from forcing you to move the high numbers out of the corner. Especially once you get close to 8192.