Outspell: Spelling Out the Rules and Unique Features

outspell tips rules features

Created by Beth Wiggins for Wordfinder

Outspell is a Scrabble clone that you can play in any web browser. It’s a single-player experience, making it a great alternative to the multiplayer game that inspired it. It’s also entirely free to play. If you want the fun of Scrabble without needing to rely on another player, Outspell might be the perfect spelling game for you.

The Basics of Outspell

As mentioned, the Outspell game is based on classic Scrabble. The gameplay is essentially the same. If you are an avid Scrabble player, this game will come naturally to you. If you are only familiar with Scrabble, learning Outspell will take no time at all. And if you’ve never played a game of Scrabble in your life, you’ll still be able to figure things out after a couple of games. Outspell is all about being simple, quick and easy to play.

With the similarity to Scrabble also comes a similarity to Words With Friends. Both games have built-in dictionaries that tell you which words are legal. Words With Friends also has a single-player mode. The only major difference is that Outspell doesn’t have a ranking system like Words With Friends does.

Just like in Scrabble, you play the game on a board with (mostly) blank squares. Each turn, you place letter tiles on the squares to create words. Every word you create earns you points based on the letters you use. The goal is to outscore your opponent by creating the best words possible.

Arkadium: The Brains Behind Outspell

Outspell was created by the company Arkadium. Arkadium specializes in casual browser-based games. They’ve been in business since 2001 and have released some popular web games alongside Outspell. Some examples are the Microsoft Solitaire Collection and an at-home version of the Jeopardy! game show.

Spelling Out the Rules to Outspell

Outspell’s rules are worth studying if you aren’t already familiar with Scrabble. The first rules you should understand are the steps for playing the game.

  • Set the difficulty: Before the game starts, you can choose from one of three difficulty settings: easy, medium or hard. Outspell can become challenging, so it’s best to start with “easy” if you are new to it.

  • Make the first move: You always play the first letter tile to start the game. Select two or more of your six letter tiles to create a word. You must create your first word with the board’s center space.

  • Pass your turn: If you don’t want to play a word or don’t see any worthwhile words to spell, you can skip your turn.

  • Exchange tiles: You can exchange any number of your tiles for random replacements from the tile bag. Keep in mind that the game will skip your turn if you choose to swap tiles.

  • Win the game: The game ends once you and the computer use all of the 100 letter tiles or if neither player can no longer spell a viable word with their available tiles. At that point, the player with the most points wins.

Points, Placement and Bonus Squares

The other important rules pertain to the placement of letters and how you earn points.

  • Tile scores: Each letter tile is assigned an individual point value, the same as Scrabble letter values. Commonly used letters are typically only worth one point each. Less common letters are worth more. The letter Z, for example, is worth 10 points.

  • Word placement: You can only spell words in straight lines, and each word must be readable from left to right or from top to bottom. Sometimes, spelling a word alongside an existing word can create other legal words. If you spell any words this way, you’ll earn points for them as well.

  • Bonus squares: The board has multiple blue squares and red squares mixed in with the regular white ones. Each of these squares has an “X3” or an “X2” on them. Placing a letter on a blue square will multiply the points for that letter by the number on the square. Spelling a word on a red square will multiply the points for the entire word by the number on the square.

Where to Play

Being a browser-based game, Outspell has the benefit of being playable on many different websites. Arkadium “leases out” the game, in a sense, to other sites so they can offer their users extra entertainment. Playing AARP Outspell is effectively the same as playing Outspell on Arkadium’s own page

Other sites to get your fill of Outspell include MSN Games and USA Today, as well as The Washington Post. Millions of people visit these sites every day.

Play Scrabble Online as Well

Outspell is a quality supplement for Scrabble. The rules are almost identical. And, being a single-player game makes it good practice if you don’t feel ready to play real people in Scrabble or Words With Friends. However, it’s not the only online option to enjoy tile-based gameplay. Explore some other options for single-player Scrabble to find a game you might enjoy just as much as Outspell.


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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