I had no idea when I downloaded that simple little game that it would go on to become such an obsession, but I spent hours and hours trying to get that darn 2048 tile. I saw other people posting screenshots online, with high scores and huge tiles, but I was convinced that I would never figure it out myself. And then I came up with this method for solving the game, and I have never (and I mean never) failed to get to 2048 again.
I’m not going to say that this is the perfect method for getting the highest score possible, because I don’t know if that is true, but I do know that, if you use this method correctly, you will always get the 2048 tile, and often the 4096 tile. And the method can be summed up, in it’s very basic form, as “NEVER GO RIGHT.”
In reality, it doesn’t matter which direction you don’t go, you just need to pick one and stay away from it, because what you are going to do is to create a serpentine line of numbers in descending order, starting from one of the corners. To start out with, you just need to swish around a bit and get your highest number in the corner. I’m going to choose the bottom left hand corner, but again, you can choose any corner you like.
and I build from there. I only go down and left if I can help it. Every once in a while I may need to go up, but I try to do this only when the left hand column is full, to ensure that my base does not move. So I go up when my board looks like this:
Now you will start to see the serpent. My 32 is at the bottom left, and then going up we have the 16, 8, and 4. Going to the right one spot we will see the 2. As the numbers get larger, I am going to build down from there, so the number are always in order going up column 1, and then down column 2.
Now, there will be times that you will have to go up, even when the left hand column is not full. This is okay. There is a good chance that you will be able to go right back down again. But never, and I cannot stress this enough, never go right.
There will be times that you will end up with numbers slightly out of order in your serpent, but this can be fixed easily by going up and down, up and down, and then left when you have the chance. Whatever you do, keep your base in the corner strong, and try to wind your way around in order, so that this:
But now you see I have a problem. I have to go right. “But Tenor Dad!” you are saying to yourself, “you very clearly said to never go right!” Yes, yes, I know what I said, and if I had a choice I would not go right here either. Unfortunately the game has not given me a choice and I must go right. Now I hope and pray that the generated number appears in the upper left corner, leaving me with 3/4 of my base intact. If it hits just under that corner, I’ll still be okay. But if it hits one of the lower two slots in the left hand column, I will need to slightly adjust my strategy. Let’s see what happens…
I’m not quite as lucky this time, but it is still salvageable. What I want to do now is employ the same strategy as before, only using the second column as I had been using my first column before. I need to get that two out of there, which means I need to compress that 2nd column down far enough to do it. I can either work to make that 128 into a 512 and then slide it into column 1, thus winning the game, or I can try to move the 128 down to the bottom, out of the way, and then continue on as before. And really either strategy will work. It just depends on where the numbers fall.
And I can keep going! But wait. It finally happened. I went up, and the game put a dang 2 right under my 2048 tile. I warned you earlier that there was a chance of this happening. My strategy now is the same as it would have been then, which is to reverse directions.
It will be a a lot easier for me to get that 8 and that 256 to turn into a 2048 than it will be with that dang 2. So now I am going to put my base in the top left hand corner instead of the bottom. I am going to turn that 8 into a 16, and then a 32, and so on until I can make it a 256 and then merge those together. At this point I don’t really care about what is going on underneath the 2048. I will get to that stuff later. Just remember…never go right!
The problem begins to be that you are running out of space, and so you are relying on luck and hoping that you get some good tile placements. You can only serpent so long before you don’t have any wiggle room for new numbers. Think about it: 2048 on the bottom, then 1024, 512, and 256 about it. That makes column 2 128 at the top, and then 64, 32, and 16 going down. Put an 8 at the bottom of column 3 and a 4 and a 2 above it, and you see that you are left with only 5 spaces to play with. Once you hit the 4096 tile, you are left with one single row, and no side to side action at all. I did get the 8192 tile once using this method, but it was over quickly after that. So there may be a better way to get higher scores, but if you are just looking to “win” the game of 2048 by getting the 2048 tile, this will do it every single time.