The Easy Way to Complete Sliding Tile Puzzles

The Easy Way to Complete Sliding Tile Puzzles

A short guide to complete sliding tile puzzles QUICKLY and EASILY. This method is guaranteed to work every time, with puzzles of any size.

What is a Sliding Tile Puzzle?

A sliding tile puzzle is a small handheld game, in which the objective is to slide a number of pieces into a certain order or configuration. Usually, each tile represents a number or part of a picture in a square, where the player must un-jumble the tiles to place them in numerical order, or put the picture back together. What makes this so difficult is that the tiles can not be removed from the game board, and there is only one free space, so often moving one tile into place will disrupt many others.

This guide will show the quickest way to complete a sliding tile puzzle of ANY SIZE, in the quickest time possible. I myself have tested this method with puzzles ranging from 3×3 to 7×7, and have always had quick and easy success.

The Method

Now that you know what a sliding tile puzzle, why not try one? If you don’t have one on hand, there are plenty all over the internet for you to play with. If you’re using a picture puzzle, it may help to have a copy of the completed image on hand that you can draw lines through, so you know the content of each square.

For this guide, I’ll assure a numerical puzzle is being used. To begin, move the number one into its place in the top left of the puzzle. Continue along the horizontal top row, putting into place all pieces except the one on the right. You should be able to do this without any trouble, and without disrupting other pieces you have already placed. When you come to the last piece of the row, it becomes slightly trickier, and this is where most people tend to get stuck. Begin by placing this piece on the square below where you want it to end up, and make sure the empty space is directly below it. Now, follow this order. This is the most important thing you can learn, so memorise it if possible.

Down, down, right, up, left, up, right, down, down, left, up.

If you followed this order, the entire first row should be done! Don’t worry if you disrupt other pieces along the way, this is perfectly normal.

You should continue to follow the above steps until you have only two rows left. At this point, you will need to turn your puzzle 90 degrees to the right, so the number 1 is in the top right corner. Now you have two vertical rows left to solve. To start with, move the new top left (old bottom left) piece into place. After this, we have to put into place the tile to the right of it (the one that used to be above it). For this, we’ll use the method we originally used to place the tiles at the end of each row. Again, remember that the tile you need to place should be below where it needs to be, with your empty square below it.

Continue this until you’re down to just a 2×2 square. This is the easy part! Simply keep rotating the pieces until they pop into place. Congratulations! If you followed this method, you’ve just completed a sliding puzzle in what I believe to be the quickest way possible. Now, if you’ve memorised the method, amaze your friends and family with your new found talent.

50
Liked it
59 Comments
l, posted this comment on Mar 31st, 2007

what about a 3×3 whats the magic numbers for that like in Trace Memory

Soldeed and Fibuli, posted this comment on Aug 16th, 2007

Hi! My son and I were having trouble solving a 5×5 sliding block picture puzzle at the end of a clue scroll on Runescape. I think the first random configuration we got was unsolvable, but we tried again with your method and solved it in no time.

We’re very impressed with your method – my son thinks you’re a genius and a legend. He finally has the reward from the clue scroll too and now won’t be frightened of doing more.

Thanks again!

Dave, posted this comment on Nov 21st, 2007

I tried using your technique but got stuck with the last 2X2 square. The remaining tiles were configured like this:

11
12 15

No matter how many times I rotate the tiles, I don’t get the correct result of

11 12
15

Zak, posted this comment on Jan 23rd, 2008

i wrote one thats better..

Oh Sweet Jesus YES!!!, posted this comment on Feb 13th, 2008

I worked this for over an hour getting nowhere! (Also playing Runescape but instead of a cluescroll it was Monkey Madness Quest)Thanks to you I got this finished in less then 10 minutes and that’s only because my computer is slow

Brandon, posted this comment on Mar 19th, 2008

When you say that you need to get the last piece in a row in place, you said that you needed to do “Down, down, right, up, left, up, right, down, down, left, up.” Sorry for sounding dumb, but what piece are you supposed to move?

Brandon, posted this comment on Mar 19th, 2008

Never mind I get it now, thank you for your help.

Caroline, posted this comment on May 4th, 2008

I’m confused on how to do the last 2 rows.

rohan, posted this comment on May 14th, 2008

im confused, in the first step do you leave the top right out the do the code or can u show some sort of picture?

John, posted this comment on May 17th, 2008

That wasn’t very nice…

And, fyi, this WAS helpful. Thanks.

Helping Hacker, posted this comment on May 17th, 2008

…Wow. Just, wow.

They should really make this commenting system so you have to log in. There are so many people who just spam crap.

It’s sad the way people like the above ^ act.

Helping Hacker, posted this comment on May 17th, 2008

Really? I’m pretty sure you’re just a random person who spends all your time on the Internet. You probably don’t do anything else, thus you probably don’t have much of a life.

I wouldn’t be talking if I were you. I could easily give your computer a virus right now. I have tracked your IP, and lots of your personal info. Now, who is the one in danger? YOU.

Get off now before I seriously mess your computer up.

Helping Hacker, posted this comment on May 17th, 2008

See what I mean? You have no life at all.

Also, Let’s just see you try. I use proxies, so you can’t track me. Since this is anonymous posting, I doubt you have any way of finding me, or even knowing who I am for that matter.

Enjoy life, trash! =D

Oh, and all other posters, I hope you enjoy this comment system without him, as I pretty much messed up his computer. I doubt his PC will still work in a few hours.

Happy_Zappy3, posted this comment on May 17th, 2008

Wow, thanks :) great puzzle help, Wookeh!

Random person (I).(I) , posted this comment on May 18th, 2008

Lol helping hacker

What did u do?!!? spike his computer??

I was laughing so hard I was crying when I was reading those posts!
Dude ur awesome!
Btw do you play runescape?

rangerman718, posted this comment on May 21st, 2008

did ureally like blow up his cpu?

hahaa, posted this comment on Jun 3rd, 2008

sounds like your both geeks ”i use proxies so you cant track me” hahahahah get a life losers

rs player, posted this comment on Jun 15th, 2008

I don’t get it!!!!!!!!!!!! can some expain it to me in a little simpler.

rs player, posted this comment on Jun 15th, 2008

LIke which square is no.1 on a picture 1

rs player, posted this comment on Jun 15th, 2008

And how do u go to the right if ur all the way to the right already

rs player, posted this comment on Jun 15th, 2008

I went to a diferent site that had picture to solve made it much easier

hi man, posted this comment on Jul 28th, 2008

hi

Rs player 2, posted this comment on Aug 22nd, 2008

thank you omg i love u so much rofl! u got me 3rd age u are the man omfg i wanna give u money

EdM., posted this comment on Sep 14th, 2008

Unfortunately, as Dave pointed out, this method doesn’t work. At least it doesn’t ALWAYS work.

Emonquente, posted this comment on Oct 20th, 2008

I always end up with 11,12,15 and a blank, two of them are -always- switched after 20 tries using this method on a 4X4…any ideas here?

Btw.. currently

11 15
12 blank

t1tch05 , posted this comment on Nov 19th, 2008

im gettin really confused with this doesnt make any sence to me need a picture or sumfin this rs puxxle is annoyin me now

t1tch05, posted this comment on Nov 19th, 2008

haha woot woot done 1st roe :) you deserva a medal :)

123abc, posted this comment on Dec 31st, 2008

help i cant solve this on can any one show me how to solve it step by step please :(

9 2 8 3 5
1 E 24 14 17
6 7 19 10 18
13 12 21 15 4
11 16 22 23 20

123abc, posted this comment on Dec 31st, 2008

i meant ”cant solve this ONE”

Ann, posted this comment on Jan 4th, 2009

Thanks for this. Excellent guide. Will help with various computer games when we come across these in future. Cheers.

Lord dracon6, posted this comment on Jan 21st, 2009

Thank you very much. I used it to solve the puzzle in Monkey Madness in Runescape. I spent hours on it before i saw this guid. Thanks!

mort..., posted this comment on Jan 29th, 2009

this puzzle is making me mad… if it wasn’t i wouldn’t be here lol like others i’m a rs player and i have the castle picture for anyone that know what im talking about. i have everything but the last right bottem cornet done and i cant figure it out.its like this if it were a number puzzle:

1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 24
21 22 23 20

i have tried everything and everything i can any help p[lease?

mort answer, posted this comment on Feb 2nd, 2009

Dear mort, you have an illegal board. For any posible initial disposition of the numbers only half are legal.
The legal ones can be properlly reorder. The illegal ones would have the last 2 numbers swapped and there is no way to put them in order. In your case you can get up to:
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20
21 22 24 23
but you could never swap 24 and 23.
By the way how to get to my disposition: from your board move 20,23,18,19,24,20,23,24,19,18,24,23.

Jason, posted this comment on Mar 28th, 2009

\”I tried using your technique but got stuck with the last 2X2 square. The remaining tiles were configured like this:

11
12 15

No matter how many times I rotate the tiles, I don\’t get the correct result of

11 12
15\”

I also had this same problem and had now ay of silving it

Me, posted this comment on Apr 19th, 2009

wow, thank you.
I finally got that part of my clue scroll done. Very helpful method.

Trevor, posted this comment on Apr 25th, 2009

This is a bad method unfortunately. People keep getting stuck at the last 2×2 square with an impossible swap. DO NOT FOLLOW THE PART WHEN YOU GET TO THE LAST, THERE’S A CHANGE YOU CAN GET STUCKED WITH AN IMPOSSIBLE EQUATION. You should solve it like this: KEY: 1= first to solve 2 = second to solve 3 = last to solve S= previously solved

SSSS
SSSS
1233
1233

Trevor cont., posted this comment on Apr 25th, 2009

You can solve it this method by just playing around with the pieces. It should’nt take moe than a minute to solve it my method.

Trevor cont.(2), posted this comment on Apr 25th, 2009

I found out that when using this method in a 4×4 puzzle, if you get stuck at the last 2×2 square, you will enter a paradox. Every time you mix it up it will be unsolveable unless YOU UNDO EVERY SINGLE MOVE TO UNDO THE PARADOX. IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY, TRY TO UNDO THE ALGORITHM OR YOU’LL BE STUCK IN A TIME AND SPACE CONTINUOUS PARADOX. IF YOU FORGOT WHAT YOU HAVE DONE, TRASH THE PUZZLE. Luckily, this method can still work with the 5×5 puzzle. Even if you get stuck, I believe you can scramble and redo the puzzle, you won’t enter a paradox. So Runescapers, you can still follow this method(not recommended) and not worry. 4×4′ers…Trash your puzzle. You screwed it up.

yamahito, posted this comment on Apr 27th, 2009

No, They didn’t ’screw it up’.

Read here for more info:
http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/~mdr/teaching/modules04/java2/Tiles.html

Ipku Aod, posted this comment on Jun 27th, 2009

Wow…also playing runescape this helped a ton on monkey madness! lol i had tried for hours and then reset the puzzle and used this method and boom, done in like 5 mins. Thanks!

um wrong, posted this comment on Jul 19th, 2009

this still doesn\’t work im doing a 5×5 and your sratagy does not work thanks for trying but it doesn\’t

ZeroZen, posted this comment on Sep 21st, 2009

Thank you very much, after much trouble i finally managed to solve a frustrating puzzle in the game \”Avalon Code\” for DS, all thanks to you

confused runescaper, posted this comment on Feb 23rd, 2010

I am really confused, if you are using a 5×5 sliding numerical puzzle, starting from the top left corner to the top right corner, and you are moving the piece that you want to end up in the top right corner, how would you move it down, then down again and then RIGHT? this would move that piece off of the puzzle, which doesn’t make any sense. I’ve been trying to get your algorithm to work and it’s confusing me more.

any help?

Ben, posted this comment on Apr 26th, 2010

A method I found to work with 4×4 puzzles is to get the top row first so it looks like
1 2 3 4
? ? ? ?
? ? ? ?
? ? ? ?
(the question marks can be anything)
then do the first coloum
so it looks like
1 2 3 4
5 ? ? ?
9 ? ? ?
13 ? ? ?
Them do the next coloum
1 2 3 4
5 6 ? ?
9 10 ? ?
13 14 ? ?
The rest should be self explanitory

(sorry for spelling mistakes typed on iPod)

Andy, posted this comment on Apr 26th, 2010

Thank you so much. Worked perfectly on a puzzle I’d tried over and over again!

Ben, posted this comment on Apr 26th, 2010

Anyone tried my method yet?

Ben, posted this comment on May 3rd, 2010

Oh u can get the same error in 4×4 as 5×5 my method works best lol

Ben, posted this comment on May 11th, 2010

And for the top right cornor make it look like
1 2 3 ?
? ? ? 4
? ? ? ?
? ? ? ?
Then move number 4 down so it looks like
1 2 3 ?
? ? ? ?
? ? ? 4
? ? ? ?
Then move 3 right and 4 up so it looks like
1 2 ? 3
? ? ? 4
? ? ? ?
? ? ? ?
Then 3 left and 4 up and you should be done,
with that row

Ben, posted this comment on May 16th, 2010

Note to get 3 above 4 move the blank space right of 3 then 3 right.

Then move the blank space down then right.

4 up and finish it

Pat, posted this comment on Aug 31st, 2010

Dino balls

Dharsan, posted this comment on Sep 17th, 2010

Your post was WOW!!! Really hats off to you man!!!

OMG, posted this comment on Oct 16th, 2010

What about pictured slider puzzles? I’m stucked since i-don;t-know-when. Really getting on my nerves! May just give up! Haha! :D

Some Malaysian, posted this comment on Nov 3rd, 2010

WOOW!! Your instruction actually work! Tqs a lot!!

ATK, posted this comment on Jan 28th, 2011

This is fantastic!

Slu Gi, posted this comment on Feb 13th, 2011

how do you solve a one that goes like this:

1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16
17

kPen, posted this comment on Feb 19th, 2011

Just a quick comment to say \”thank you very much\” for this key to solving slider puzzles.

Sorry to say that I bought the solution for \”Monkey Madness\” cuz I had not yet found this solution. But since then I have been able to solve literally hundreds of them in clue scrolls.

Believe me, it works!

Tenno, posted this comment on Jun 2nd, 2011

How do you solve
1 2 4 3
5 6 7 8
9101112
13141516
Tried for ages :(

JC1806, posted this comment on Jun 30th, 2011

I need a 3×3 solution, anyone….anyone?

jay, posted this comment on Jun 30th, 2011

if your trying to solve the last piece on the right for the first step, how can u move it right if it is already along the right side

Leave a Response
comments powered by Disqus