2048 is more a game about avoiding trouble and being flexible and less about strategy. There are common mistakes that people make that I will show you how to avoid and I will also share some 2048 strategy secrets too.
1. How to avoid moving all blocks down
This assumes your strategy is to get 2048 in the top row but you could also try to get 2048 on the bottom and reverse all of this advice. The number one reason people have to move the blocks down is that for some reason they move the blocks up whenever they can. Constantly moving the blocks up in the beginning is an ok strategy but towards the middle and end of the game you should be focused on moving everything left or right and then consolidating up. Once you change your strategy slightly you will be amazed because you will no longer have to move the blocks down.
There are only the 2 cases when you will have to move down so do your best not to fill in the 2nd or 3rd row entirely. As long as you are focused on moving everything left for example then you should be able to leave the right side open so that you can move right when you get in trouble.
And finally if for some reason you do have to move the blocks down your very next move should be to move the blocks back up and focus on building the 2 up to a number you can use. One round the 2 popped up above my 1024 so I moved it over and then I had 2 blocks on the top and then it just went out of control from there. Here is a quick video on how to attack a 2 on the top row.
2. No colored blocks in bottom 2 rows
When you have 2’s and 4’s on the bottom it is easy to combine them and move them up, but if you end up with a 64 in the 3rd row it is a little harder to move it up so typically once I get an 8 in the 3rd row or an 8 all the way to the left in the 2nd row (assuming I am moving everything right) then I focus all of my attention to combine the 8 with something else. The video above shows an example of dealing with a 64 in the 3rd row about half way through.
3. Stop making mistakes when tired
Take a break after you get to a good stopping point. A typical game can last 30 min so why not take a break. If your spouse or kid is talking to you then put the game on hold for a few min and come back to it later. There is no shame in spreading the game out over a few sessions instead of playing distracted or tired.
4. Think 2 or 3 moves ahead
This matters most if you are on the bottom row or have an 8 in the 3rd row or are trying to work yourself out of some other situation. In most cases you can move 3 directions (assuming you don’t want to move down). When things get tight you may only have 2 directions or you may be forced to move in only 1 direction. The key is to avoid situations by following the steps above but once you are in them the best thing to do is to concentrate on how the 4’s will collapse into 8’s and the 8’s into 16’s. I typically have them all move up the far left or the far right side. Every move should be towards some goal to either fix a problem situation or to move towards a 512, 1028, or 2048.
5. 2048 Strategy
I think most blogs or people come up with the 2048 Strategy to build a chain – Have a 1024 in the corner next to a 512, 256 and 128 and build into the 128 and collapse them all. The key 2048 strategy and help avoiding common mistakes is to be flexible and focus all of your attention on fixing problem areas. This will give you more room for error when you need it. The other piece of advice covered above and demonstrated in the video below is to constantly move to the right and then consolidate up. This will prevent you from filing in the 2nd and 3rd row and having to move the blocks down.
Happy playing – if you have other good 2048 strategies, tips or common problems then please post them below.