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 of the best 2038 strategy and plan your moves carefully. Here are some tips and tricks on how to work your way up to a better score every time in 2048 on iPhone or iPad!
Six tips for the best 2048 Strategy
1. Understand how the board moves
In 2048 you only have four main gestures: 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
Sometimes it's tough to resist temptation and chase larger numbered tiles across the board 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
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 to combine. Sometimes I start off in the upper left 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
This somewhat goes along with my first tip, but seriously, plan ahead - it's the best 2048 strategy. Look at everything you have on the board and what a 2 or 4 card 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
Sometimes it's hard to tell what the absolute best move is, so it's okay if you don't make it. 2048 gives you a lot of opportunities to recover from a bad move as long as you have empty spaces on the board. If you 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
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. With single moves you're replacing a card you stacked with a new one. When multiple cards can be combined, you're not only bringing one new card onto the board, but you're getting rid of more than one. That's always a good thing.
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 in the same way, they are very similar when it comes to gameplay strategy. We put together a killer guide on Threes! a while back and a lot of those tips apply to 2048 as well, so be sure to check it out!
Do you have any tips?
If you play 2048 regularly on your iPhone or iPad, what tips or tricks can you share for the best 2048 strategy? Be sure to let us know in the comments! And if you want, let us know what your high score is so far!
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Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
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- John-Anthony DisottoHow To Editor