FAQ | Rules | Vocab | Tips | Technical | Updates

Frequently Asked Questions


Why isn't my word recognised?

A common mistake is trying to play names, such as for months, days of the week, countries, cities and brands. Almost any combination of letters could be the name for something or someone, so names are not allowed. If a word can only be spelled using a capital letter, you can't play it (German nouns excepted).

That said, if you want to be able to override the game's default word list and play whatever words you believe are valid, just select the "Flexible" vocabulary option.

What are the 'Strict' and 'Flexible' vocabulary options?

Not everyone agrees which words should be allowed. If you've selected the 'Flexible' vocabulary option and you try to play an unknown word, the computer will ask if you want to allow it anyway. You can also disallow words which are played by the computer. If you can't resist deliberately cheating, select 'Vocabulary:Strict' instead.

Why does the computer make up words?

It doesn't. All languages contain many obscure, archaic and unlikely looking words. If you don't recognise a word, try swiping along its length to see a definition. Also, if you want the computer to stick to the more common words, avoid the top skill level.

How can I shuffle my tiles?

Double-tap your rack.

How do I resign?

Press the Android 'back' button or the Windows 'Esc' key. You'll be returned to the main menu where you can either start a new game, or resume the one you just left.

How can I zoom the board in and out?

Double-tap the board (or on a touch screen, pinch it). To stop the board zooming automatically when you place a tile, see the Options menu.

How can I skip my turn?

Press the 'swap' button, then 'pass' without selecting any tiles.

What is the 'Tile Allocation' setting?

This setting determines which tiles are drawn from the bank when a player's rack is re-filled:

  • 'Random' (best for hardcore players) - tiles will be allocated entirely at random. This can be challenging as you will sometimes get lots of vowels or lots of consonants.
  • 'Balanced' (recommended for most players) - the computer will try to issue a good mix of both vowels and consonants. However, it doesn't take your existing tiles into account, so you must still choose your words carefully to avoid accumulating too many letters of the same type.
  • 'Helpful' (best for newbies) - the computer will help your luck by choosing a mix of letters that complement the tiles you already have. Your rack will have fewer duplicates, and a more consistent mix of vowels and consonants. When swapping, you will also be less likely to re-draw tiles with the same letters.
How do 'hints' work?

You can allow yourself as many hints per game as you like. When you tap the 'hint' button, the computer will suggest a word you could make. How it displays the word depends on the type of hint you've selected on the Options menu:

  • 'Position Only' - you are shown where to place tiles, but not which letters to use.
  • 'Full Word' - you are shown the full word and your tiles are placed on the board.
  • 'Position + Word' - you are shown where to place tiles (but not the actual letters), and then if you still need more help, given the option of viewing the full word (choosing both costs two hints).

Note: the computer won't always recommend the highest scoring word. Sometimes, it will suggest another word instead that is strategically better. Also, unless you're playing the top-level computer opponent, the computer will avoid the more obscure words.

How does the timer work?

If you like a little extra pressure, turn on the timer option and choose how long it should be. When the timer expires, you get a 10 point penalty and the timer resets. If you want to pause the timer, simply exit the board screen (e.g. by tapping the player scores).

What is 'Tile Stacking' mode?

It lets you drop new tiles over old ones (e.g. change SCRAMBLE to SCRABBLE).

Why does the computer keep the best tiles for itself?

It doesn't. Tiles are allocated in exactly the same way for both human and computer players. The aim was to produce a fun game, not an unbeatable opponent, so giving the computer any unfair advantage would have been entirely counter-productive.

The computer can find every possible word on the board in a split second. This alone makes it stronger than 99.99% of human players so it has no need for any unfair trickery. In fact, only the top-level opponent uses the computer's full strength.

Part of the game's challenge is to manage your rack so as to avoid accumulating too many difficult tiles. The computer is quite good at this, but you can improve your own strategy by following our Top Tips. Alternatively, just select the 'Helpful' Tile Allocation method and your luck will magically improve.

How many tiles are there?

It depends on the language and board size. The total number of remaining tiles is shown at the bottom of the screen. Tap this to see the totals for individual letters.

How can I see previous moves and other statistics?

Press the scores area in the bottom-left of the game screen.

The PRO version also records statistics for previous games. First, create a named player, then select that player when starting a game.

How can I change the menu language?
How can I reduce battery-drain?

If you're using a mobile device, the screen is usually the biggest drain on the battery. With certain screen types (e.g. AMOLED), you may be able to significantly reduce power-usage by selecting one of the darker board styles available in the PRO version.

Where can I find the PRO version options?

Most of the PRO features are accessed by tapping 'NEW GAME' / 'Change Settings'. For example, to change the board, tap the 'Board Layout' button (you can also change the style of the board on this screen).

To name your player and keep ongoing statistics, from the main menu, tap 'PLAYERS' / 'Create New Player'. Then select your newly created player when starting a game ('NEW GAME' / 'Change Settings' / 'Player 1').


Game Rules

Start SquareStart Square / Double Word Bonus
Double Letter BonusDouble Letter Bonus
Triple Letter BonusTriple Letter Bonus
Double Word BonusDouble Word Bonus
Triple Word BonusTriple Word Bonus
  1. At the start, all tiles are held in the 'Tile Bank'. Each tile is marked with a letter and its value, except for two blank tiles, which can represent any letter. Each player is randomly allocated 7 tiles from the Bank. One player is chosen at random to start the game.
  2. Players take turns to place their tiles on empty board squares to form new words. The tiles must be in a straight line without any empty squares between them. At least one of the new tiles must be on a start square or next to an existing tile.
  3. If 'Tile Stacking' is allowed, new tiles can also be placed on top of existing ones so long as they represent different letters.
  4. Words must be at least two letters long and can be formed either horizontally (left to right) or vertically (top to bottom), but not diagonally or backwards.
  5. Most words found in a standard dictionary are allowed (including inflections), except those requiring a capital letter, hyphen, apostrophe or full stop. See the Vocabulary section for details.
  6. If you attempt to play a word that turns out to be invalid, and you've enabled 'penalties', the word's value will be subtracted from your score. You then re-take your turn.
  7. Moves are scored by adding up the tile values for all the new words formed. If a tile is placed on an empty Double or Triple Letter Square then that tile's value is multiplied accordingly. Similarly, the scores for all words covering a Double or Triple Word Square are also multiplied.
  8. Players earn a 40 point 'bingo' bonus if they play 7 new tiles at once.
  9. After each turn, the player is allocated new tiles from the Bank.
  10. Instead of placing a word, a player can pass or swap tiles on their rack with random tiles from the Bank.
  11. The game ends when a player has used all their tiles and the Bank is also empty, or when both players have passed twice. Any tiles remaining on a player's rack are deducted from that player's score.
  12. The winner is the player with the highest score.


CrossCraze's vocabulary has been compiled from many different sources. As there is no definitive guide to any language, it's inevitable that there will be some disagreements as to which words should be allowed.

Words which can only be spelled with capital letters or punctuation marks are not allowed. This rules out names and other words such as 'TV', 'Thursday', 'July', 'London', 'Pepsi', 'Sarah', 'ex-wife', and 'etc.'. Abbreviations are only allowed if they can be spelled without punctuation (e.g. 'phone').

All languages contain many obscure, archaic and unlikely looking words, which strong players love to exploit (e.g. 'aa' is a type of lava). If you don't think they should be allowed, don't play them. If you don't want the computer to play them either, avoid the top level computer opponent.

Special cases

  • In German, nouns are allowed even though they require a capital letter.
  • In Swedish, you can choose whether or not to allow inflections.
  • In Spanish, you must use the special 'CH', 'LL' and 'RR' tiles rather than combining two separate tiles.
  • Norwegian has an exceptionally large number of possible words. The game's vocabulary can be considered complete for all words of up to five letters, but some longer words may be missing. Selecting the 'flexible' vocabulary option will allow you to play these unrecognised words.

Don't agree with the computer?

You can override the default vocabulary by selecting 'Vocabulary:Flexible' at the start of the game. If the computer plays a word you don't like, simply press the 'disallow' button. If you attempt to play a word which the computer doesn't know, you will be given the option to allow it anyway. Banned and added words are cleared at the end of each game.


The vocabulary does include some lewd, offensive and derogatory terms. Like it or not, these are a part of all languages. Where possible, these words have been isolated to prevent the computer from playing them, but you can still use them yourself if you want.


Just swipe along any word on the board to view its dictionary definition. See here for details.

Top Tips

  • The more tiles that pass through your rack, the more likely you are to get the really useful and higher scoring tiles. Play longer words!
  • Try to play words that leave you with a roughly equal number of vowels (A,E,I,O,U) and consonants. If you have multiple copies of the same letter, use them up quickly. This may mean playing a lower-scoring word, but it will give you more opportunities in your next turn. ✽
  • Don't give your blank tiles away too cheaply. Save them for high-scoring words. Likewise, in English, the S is particularly valuable as it can often be added to the end of one word, while forming a second word in the other direction.
  • Don't just look for words on your rack. Instead, work backwards from any easy-to-reach bonus squares. Try to match the high value tiles on your rack with the double and triple letter squares. Forming two words off a bonus square (horizontally and vertically) lets you use the bonus twice.
  • You should only swap as a last resort, when you have almost no usable tiles. Exchanging just a few tiles is risky because you may end up no better off. If you must swap, then exchange all, or most, of your tiles. If you do keep any tiles, hold on to an equal number of vowels and consonants. ✽
  • Don't pass your turn if you can swap your tiles instead.
  • At the end of the game, the value of any tiles left on your rack will be deducted from your score. Use up as many of your tiles as possible, but especially the higher-value ones.

✽ Less applicable if you're using the 'Helpful' Tile Allocation option.

Technical Support

Need help running the game? Select your operating system:

Help us make CrossCraze even better

Spotted a bug or got a suggestion. Your feedback is always welcome. If you're fluent in any of the game's non-English languages, please let us know what you think of the game's vocabulary, good or bad. Perhaps you'd like to see the game's menus and prompts translated to your language too? See our feedback page.

Why Go PRO?

If you enjoy CrossCraze, please show your appreciation by purchasing the full 'PRO' version. Your contribution will help fund further development and you'll get access to all these exclusive features:

  • No ads
  • 10 skill levels
  • 12 different board styles
  • 28 board layouts, from 15x15 squares up to 21x21
  • 'Tile Stacking' mode (place new tiles over old)
  • Named players with ongoing statistics
  • Pass-and-play with a friend