How to Play Minesweeper – Step By Step Instructions


Minesweeper has been around forever. It was first created in 1989 and has been included as a game in every version of Microsoft Windows since then. This is an oldie but a goodie. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to play minesweeper and minesweeper strategy!

Game Settings

If you’re ready to start playing, click the “New Game” button. The game will begin with the default settings.

You can change the game settings at any time by clicking on the “Settings” button in the top right corner of your game board (which is located just above where it says “Minesweeper”).

The settings menu will have several options:

  • You can change how many mines are on your board, or if there are any mines at all! You can choose from 1 – 50 mines per level. If you want a really challenging game then choose 0 mines!
  • You can play with squares that are either 3×3 or 5×5 in size (this will make it easier for younger children). Older kids and adults tend to like playing with bigger boards because they enjoy seeing how much more territory there is for them to explore as well as having more space for their fingers when dragging around pieces of land during gameplay!

The goal of the game is to clear a minefield without detonating any mines.

The goal of the game is to clear a minefield without detonating any mines. In other words, you want to collect as many flags as possible without blowing up. If you do set off a bomb, then it’s game over and your score resets back to zero.

The goal is not only to clear a minefield as quickly as possible but also for accuracy—for instance, if you are on a level where there are 10 mines in 10 locations with 9 mines that are easy to spot and 1 well-concealed mine which requires some guesswork (or luck) then it would behoove you not only to make sure that all 9 mines were properly identified but also take some time before making any guesses.

To start, you have to set the size of your board and the number of mines that you want to include.

First, you have to set the size of your board and the number of mines that you want to include. The game can be played with a 9×9 grid (which is how it was originally designed), a 16×16 grid, or a 30×16 grid. You can also choose to have 10 mines, 40 mines or 99 mines hidden in the grid.

If you choose 80 cells for example (10×8), 2 rows will contain 8 empty spaces each while 1 row and 2 columns will contain 7 empty spaces each. This means that if you click on one cell with an empty space nearby then there’s an 80% chance that another blank cell would be in its vicinity which means that there’s only 20% chance it’s actually not surrounded by other open spots so start digging!

These settings can be tweaked at any time during a game.

When you first open the game, you’ll see that there are only 10 mines and a small field. That’s the default setting for Minesweeper. You can change this at any time during your game by clicking on the menu button in the top right corner of your screen.

  • Click on Options > Game Options
  • Change Number Of Mines to increase or decrease how many mines are hidden on the board (from 1-30)
  • Change Size Of Board To make it easier or harder to find all of them (from 3×3 to 9×9).

On novice mode, there are 9 columns and 9 rows, with 10 mines. On intermediate mode there are 16 columns and 16 rows, with 40 mines. And on expert mode there are 30 columns and 16 rows, with 99 mines.

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This is how your game starts out looking when you’ve selected novice as your level of difficulty.

This is the game board when you first start playing minesweeper. It’s a blank slate, with no mines or flags placed on it yet. The next click you make will determine where your red flag goes, which reveals more of the board and shows whether there are any mines adjacent to that spot.

You’ll want to click on as many empty spaces as possible before revealing any mines by uncovering them with flags, because this will help you figure out how many minefields exist in the grid without having to mark each square individually.

There will be one red flag that indicates which square you clicked first on the left column in the middle row. But this is not always guaranteed because sometimes the mine generator will randomly place a mine under that space and thus changing where the first click was. You should never click this original square again. Other than that red flag, the rest of the squares are blank.

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Laying Down Your First Move

The first step, of course, is to click on the first empty square in your top row. It doesn’t matter which space in that column you choose; just pick one. The same goes for the middle, bottom and left columns:

Move your cursor over each square in turn and watch its number change from a dark green “0” (indicating it’s safe) to an orange “1” (indicating a bomb). When all four numbers have turned orange, use your mouse or trackpad to click on them all at once — this will clear them out of danger status and reveal any remaining bombs beneath them.


Start playing Minesweeper on a basic level to get the hang of it. Then, increase the difficulty setting or field size as you improve your skill. You can also read through these instructions again and follow along in game-time with our video walkthrough!

  • If you enjoyed this article be sure to check out our other tutorials on how to play Sudoku
  • Or try playing some free online games like Minesweeper, Tetris or Connect Four

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