Different Words With Friends Versions: A Deep Dive

alternate words with friends logo versions

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There are multiple versions of Words With Friends games, but how are they different? At first glance, they all look basically identical. While it is mostly true that there aren’t any major changes between the different game versions, you still can’t treat them all the same. The various Words With Friends versions have enough distinguishing features that are worthwhile to study further.

Words With Friends 2

Think of Word With Friends 2 as the “premier” version of the game. It has the most features and receives updates before the others do. It is also the most heavily promoted of the Words With Friends versions, which means it has the largest player base and the most activity. If you’re new to Words With Friends and are looking for people to play with, your best option is to start with Words With Friends 2.

Since Words With Friends 2 is the largest version, the updates go beyond simple changes. Often, the latest special events and the newest game modes show up in this app first. For example, Word Wheel — a Wordscapes-style minigame — might be an event in Words With Friends 2, though it may not be immediately available in the other apps.

This game also gives you more incentives to invite friends to play. For every person who downloads the game based on your recommendation, you earn a prize. These can be things like coins, power-ups or new letter tile designs.

Words With Friends

Words With Friends was the original (and only) version of the game before Zynga, the company that develops the apps, released Words With Friends 2 in 2017. Rather than abandoning the older app, Zynga opted to keep it as a secondary option.

Essentially, Zynga kept this version of Words With Friends for people who aren’t interested in moving over to Words With Friends 2 but want to keep playing. There is far more activity in Words With Friends 2, but friends can still play against each other across apps. No one has to worry about being forgotten.

The differences between Words With Friends and Words With Friends 2 are probably the least noticeable. In general, the changes between versions are cosmetic. The most prominent example is the more simplistic menu design in Words With Friends. And, almost all updates to the sequel game eventually make their way to the original too.

Words With Friends Classic

Words With Friends Classic is what you probably think it is: It’s a remake of the original, early version of Words With Friends. The game has grown and evolved a lot over its 11-plus years on the market, with many new updates, features, modes and customization options popping up. These are all well and good, but some fans still appreciate the chance to return to their roots.

With this version of the game, the features, game modes and general user experience are purposefully simple. Your account still works, so you still have your same friends list and all your coins, power-ups and custom tiles. This app is a chance to escape the excitement of the other two versions for a while and simply focus on playing normal matches.

Words With Friends on Facebook

Of all the digital Words With Friends games, Words With Friends on Facebook is probably the most distinct. It’s also the simplest. Yes, even more so than Words With Friends Classic. Since this game is built into Facebook, Zynga opted to forgo all the events and other bonuses. Instead, they focus on what people come to the game for: competition with friends (and strangers).

Log into Words With Friends through Facebook and click the “play game” button near the top. It will take you to a new page and immediately present you with people to challenge. You can also visit the store, check the leaderboard and view your profile. The game knows, of course, that you probably just want to get to the matches.

There are also no extra modes or events available for the Facebook version. The only game you can play is the main one. For Words With Friends on Facebook, simplicity is key. The ability to play on your desktop or laptop computer is helpful too.

Words With Friends Board Game

Now, we come to the most peculiar of the Words With Friends games. The Words With Friends board game, which some fans might not even know about, is Zynga’s attempt to take their Scrabble-inspired game to the table as well, rather than just on the screen.

This version of Words With Friends is the most similar to Scrabble. You keep track of your scores yourself. You also need to consult the Words With Friends dictionary rather than relying on the game to check your words for you. Plus, the board can accommodate up to four players, just like traditional Scrabble.

The difference between the Words With Friends board game and Scrabble lies in the board’s layout, the letter tile quantity and values and the word list. These are all unchanged from the original, digital version of Words With Friends. As the word list is different from Scrabble and you need to keep track of scores yourself, it’s a good idea to have the WordFinder app ready on your phone. It can help you instantly check the validity and value of every word anyone plays.

Learn More Words With Friends Essentials

The many Words With Friends versions might not be terribly different, but they are unique enough to justify their existence. If anything, they offer players choices and variety, which is always welcomed. This helps the game appeal to new and veteran players alike. If you haven’t played much of Words With Friends before, you now know what you have to work with. And, if you want to learn more, WordFinder's comprehensive Words With Friends quick start guide can help you get started and put you on the right path to becoming a pro at the game.

Zac Pricener has been a content creator for the past eight years. He’s a bit of an all-around nerd, and he has a bad habit of working movie and TV show references into conversations whenever possible.


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