Codenames Board Game

How To Play Codenames

Codenames Game Rules (PDF Instructions)

2 - 8
Play Time
15 MIN
In the game Codenames, you are trying to correctly decode and locate your agents without landing on any opponents agents. You'll be working as a team to try and complete the challenge. There are also different variations of how to play based on if you only have two or three people playing.

When playing Codenames, two teams are formed, with each team having one spymaster. The spymasters receive a 5x5 grid of words, with each word representing a secret codename. The spymasters take turns giving one-word clues to their team, trying to help their team guess as many words as possible in one turn. The team has to guess the codenames by giving word choices. If a word is guessed correctly, it is covered with a card to indicate it has been guessed. If a word is guessed incorrectly, the other team has a chance to guess. The game continues until one team has correctly guessed all of their words or until all words have been guessed. The team with the most correct guesses at the end of the game wins.

Codenames is an intriguing game that keeps you thinking like a spy or detective. Each game is drastically different so there are always new challenges to overcome. The other good thing is it doesn't take forever to complete the game - it only takes around 15 minutes. You'll want to play this game over and over so check out Codenames today!
The game Codenames should come with the following components. These are based off of the original game and don't include components from any expansion packs or different editions.

  • Codenames Comes With 16 Agent Cards
  • 1 Double Agent Card
  • 7 Innocent Bystander Cards
  • 1 Assassin Card
  • 40 Key Cards
  • 1 Card Stand
  • 1 Timer
  • 200 Cards With 400 Codenames
  • Official Codenames Game Rules And Instructions
How to Win
If you can get all your words covered then your team will be the winner.
How to Win
Please keep in mind that the official Codenames rules and instructions could be different depending on the game version you have. The rules below are some of the exact directions that came in the original packaging and will teach you how to play Codenames. Download these original PDF game rules or print them for later use.

Share with us your comments, funny stories, tips, advice, strategies, creative ways to play, questions about how to play, problems with the directions or anything you want about Codenames. All submissions will be reviewed within 24 hours.



Human Question:
Which game starts with the same letter as Mancala: Chess, Uno, Monopoly, Battleship or Rummycube

Hadley says:

Wow, I really liked this game. We played it as a group of friends last night and it was a blast. I came here to check out the game rules since I had a few questions on how I can beat my friends next time.
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