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I like to play minesweeper at Minesweeper Online. Both "standard expert" mode and and "no guessing mode hard" have the settings 30 x 16 tiles and 99 mines. However...

I've noticed that my fastest times for "standard expert" are much faster than for "no guessing mode hard". And when I'm playing, "no guessing mode hard" just feels harder. I'm not sure if this is an accurate observation. Perhaps "no guessing mode hard" forces the player to calculate more than "standard expert".

Question: Standard expert vs. no-guessing hard: which is harder?

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  • The only difference I am seeing is no guessing forces you to click a specific tile to start the game, which I don't understand.
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 19:58
  • Are you asking whether the generation algorithm for no-guessing hard is more difficult than standard exprt?
    – Corsaka
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 9:32
  • Hmm, yes, that's basically what I'm asking. Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 10:06
  • @TimmyJim well, it's "no guessing" indeed. I think that, if you start from that specific tile, the game ensures that you'll never find any 50-50 choice which can't be solved without actually guessing.
    – pinckerman
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 13:48
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    @TimmyJim I can guarantee that that's a lack of knowledge rather than the game being wrong. There's dozens of hidden techniques for clearing one or two tiles that makes no-guessing possible without guessing at all.
    – Corsaka
    Commented Jul 3, 2023 at 15:56

1 Answer 1

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This isn't conclusive evidence but it's the best we've got:

On the minesweeper.online leaderboards, you can see Expert has a top time of 29.461 seconds, with 1.1 billion games played. Hard no-guessing, meanwhile, has a top time of 37.815 seconds, with 49.6 million games played. No-guessing has about 5x more wins than expert, however.

The sample size is roughly (20/5=)4x smaller, but I think it's fair to rule that yes, Hard NG is slightly more difficult than Expert.

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  • One can make this argument a little more rigorous by looking not only at the number 1 time but at the top 100 times or something like that. The result is the same, expert times are a few seconds faster than hard no-guessing times.
    – quarague
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 12:20

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