Starting a New Game

To start a new game, type "/codenames" and press Enter.

Join a Team

Once the Join Team message appears, you can choose to either "Join the Red Team" or "Join the Blue Team". Once at least two people join each team, a "Start Game" button appears.

To lock in the teams and start the game, press "Start Game".

Start Game

The game has now begun! Continue reading below to find out how the game is played...

New Game

When a new game of Code Names starts, all of the words are randomly assigned to either the Red Team , Blue Team , Neutral , and one is assigned the Assassin .

One person on each team is randomly chosen as the Code Giver for that team, as denoted by the . These two Code Givers are able to see the map of which cards are each color (pictured below).

Game Map

The team who goes first has nine words to guess, the other team has eight. The Code Givers will take turns giving their teammates clues to try to get them to guess the words that are their color.

The Code Giver wants to make sure their clues only reference the words that match their team's color, not the opponents color, the neutral color, or the Assassin.

For their turn, the Code Giver will give a clue that is one word and one number. The single word is related to or references specific word-cards on the game board that are the Code Giver's team's color. And the number says how many of the word-cards that clue applies to.

Give Clue

A team's turn continues until they guess wrong (click on a word that isn't their team's color), until they choose to stop guessing, or until they get their last word and win the game!

Each turn, a team gets the number of guesses their Code Giver defined for that clue, and has the option to guess 1 additional word. This guess is usually used if there were clues from earlier in the game that were not used or passed without a guess.

If you guess one of your opponent's words, that gets them one word closer to winning, and ends your turn. If you guess a Neutral word, your turn ends, but it doesn't help your opponent get any closer to winning.

However, if you guess the Assassin word, the game immediately ends and the other team wins! As a Code Giver, always keep an eye on the Assassin and make sure your clue won't lead your team to it.

As the game progresses, the board will start to show the colors for each word as teams guess them.

In Progress Game In Progress Map

And eventually, one team will get all of their words and win!

Win Game

...Or gues the Assassin and lose!

Lose Game
More Details

More details about gameplay and clue giving

Clues Must Be Related to Meaning of Word

Your clue must be about the “meaning” of the word. You can’t give a clue towards its spelling, letter arrangements, or placement on the board. Example: You can not say "Rhymes for 3", or "Alliteration for 4".

Code Givers Give Clues, Say Nothing Else

While there can be a lot of chatter during a game, the code givers need to stay out of the fray so they don't tip their hand.

You Can't Give a Clue with Any Form of Any Unguessed Word.

Until Break is guessed, you can't give a clue for break, broken, breakage, or breakdown

You Can't Use Compound Words for Any Unguessed Word

Until Horseshoe is guessed, you can't guess horse, shoe, unhorsed, or snowshow.

The Number Can't be Part of the Clue

The number can only refer to the number of words they should guess, and can't be part of the clue.

Guessers Can Trash Talk

Unlike code givers, guessers can trash talk and try to throw off their opponents! Don't be too annoying, but feel free to try and throw them off track!

No Foreign Languages in Clues

You may not use a foreign language to identify the word unless its a commonly used/accepted word in the language being used for the game.

Make Up House Rules!

You can make up house rules! If everyone agrees a hyphenated word is legal, then it's legal!