# 2048 Strategy

2048 is a highly popular Math/Puzzle game that can be played on the computer or on mobile devices. The game is about adding two tiles together until you get the number 2048.

The link for the desktop version is: http://gabrielecirulli.github.io/2048/

Like most fun games, the concept of 2048 is deceptively simple, even a 5 year old kid could play it. However, it is hard to master it, and getting the coveted “2048” could prove quite tricky. Do not despair, for after reading this strategy guide, you have a much higher chance of winning the game!

## Strategy Guide / Walkthrough / FAQ

The 3 Top Priorities for 2048 game:

1) Keep your highest tile in the top left corner of the grid. This is your top priority.

2) Do not let low tiles, especially 2’s or 4’s, clog up the upper two rows. This is your second priority.

3) Keep your top row in the following order, from left to right, $2^{n+3}, 2^{n+2}, 2^{n+1}, 2^{n}$. An example would be, 512, 256, 128, 64.

The reason for Priority 1 is that this immensely increases your chances of successful merges of two higher numbers into 1. It synergises with Priority 3 to create a chain-effect. For example, imagine you have 512, 256, 128, 64 on the top row. After merging another 64 with the 64 on the top row, you will have 512, 256, 128, 128. The two 128’s can merge together, making 512, 256, 256. The two 256’s can merge together, making 512, 512. And then, we have a 1024!

The reason for Priority 2 is that letting 2 or 4’s clog up the top rows is very bad. It greatly reduces your mobility (the top 2 rows clogged up with even a single ‘2’ is hard to move). The 2 or 4’s up there have little to no chance to get merged since most of the numbers at the top are high numbers.

Top 3 Guidelines for 2048 game:

1) Press up and left arrows only. Only press right when the upper row is full. Press down only when you have utterly no other choice.

2) Keep the top row filled up, as far as possible.

3) Your general aim is to target the lowest tile on the upper row, to set up the chain effect described above.

Reason for Guideline 1: Pressing right when the upper row is not full has the chance of introducing a new tile on the upper left corner, so now your highest tile is no longer on the upper left corner. This is not good. (Violates Priority 1)

Reason for Guideline 2: Keeping the top row filled up enables you to press “right” without fear of introducing a new tile on the upper left corner.

Reason for Guideline 3: After reaching the late game, we need to think a few steps in advance, and think of which is the best move in accordance to the Top 3 Priorities, and also can target the lowest tile on the upper row to set up a chain effect.

Top 3 Time Saving Quick and Fast Tips for 2048 game

1) The first few steps do not require thinking. Just spam up and left until you get a moderately high number like 128 or 256. There is no harm done about this as the board is uncluttered and there is little chance of losing. You only need to start thinking deeper during the later part of the game, when your highest tile is 512 or more.

2) If Priority 1 is violated, i.e. your highest tile is no longer in the top left corner of the grid, try a few steps to see if you can salvage the situation and get it back to the top left corner. If no, it is better to quit and start a new game to save time. Same for Priority 2, if there is a 2 or 4 clogging the upper row, try a few more steps to see if you can salvage the situation, by merging to make a higher number. If no, we can restart to save time. Priority 3 is less crucial, if the numbers in the top row do not form $2^{n+3}, 2^{n+2}, 2^{n+1}, 2^{n}$, no need to restart. But keep it in mind and keep trying your best to achieve the ideal order.

3) When there is only one possible move, make that move without thinking to save time. (No other choice anyway)

This is the best video on youtube about 2048 Strategy. (Note: They put the highest tile on the bottom right instead. Should be no difference due to the symmetry of the board)

Note: Even the expert maker of this video only has a 30% winning rate! 2048 has some element of luck (the tiles arrive randomly). Personally, I took quite some time to beat the game too.

Good luck! 🙂

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