In addition to playing casually, some people also treat Minesweeper as a sport. There exist world rankings of the best Minesweeper players. Below you can watch an old video with a previous world record on Expert difficulty (currently, it is 26.59 seconds):
You need to know several things if you want to compete and be included in the rankings. First, you cannot play with just any Minesweeper version. For example, you cannot play using Microsoft Minesweeper because it is known to have bugs that allow players to cheat. And none of the online versions of Minesweeper are appropriate for competitive play, either. Instead, you have to download one of the following programs (which, unfortunately, are available only for Microsoft Windows): Minesweeper Arbiter, Minesweeper X, or Viennasweeper. These programs automatically save videos of your gameplay. You can then submit these videos at Authoritative Minesweeper (after registering) and join the rankings.
Sometimes you get fortunate and solve the board with just one click. This happens quite often, especially on the Beginner difficulty. Therefore, limits have been set to prohibit the results obtained with too easy boards. How do these limits work? To understand them, you need to understand what 3BV is.
What is 3BV?
3BV is the minimum number of clicks required to win the game.
3BV tells you how easy the Minesweeper board is. If 3BV is 1, you can solve the game with just one click. To limit the use of too easy boards, currently, the smallest allowed 3BV for the Beginner difficulty is 2, for the Intermediate difficulty is 30, and for the Expert difficulty is 100. You can find more about 3BV in its article on Minesweeper Wiki.
You can read more about the global rankings on the Minesweeper Ranking Rules website.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the current rankings? You can find them on the Authoritative Minesweeper’s World Ranking page. After entering the page, click the box with “*Ranking*” inside and choose “Time” from the drop-down menu to see the main rankings.
- What is NF? NF stands for No Flags. Some players play without placing any flags on the board. Instead, they try to remember where the mines are. No flags also means they cannot open multiple fields with just one click.
- What is IOE? IOE is 3BV divided by the player’s total number of clicks to solve a Minesweeper board. The closer it is to one, the fewer unnecessary clicks the player has made.
There are more statistics with complicated names used in the Minesweeper community. Still, they are beyond the scope of this simple introduction. You can watch them in this video of a Minesweeper grandmaster beating a world record on Expert difficulty while all the statistics are calculated in real-time:
Good luck beating this time!