You select reta using an onscreen keyboard and you can also use your device's keyboard if it has one. When you have filled a row press Enter ↩ to see if your guess is correct. If there are any problems with your kupu you will see a message displayed in the message box at the top of your screen.
If you press Enter ↩ without entering a valid kupu, Panga will start offering you suggestions for kupu you can use, based on the reta you have entered. Like autosuggest on a phone. So even if you have a small Te Reo vocabulary it is still possible to play Panga with the suggestions and thinking strategically. Panga is like a combination of the games Hangman and Mastermind.
When you start playing you see an empty grid of reta tiles. Each row is for one guess. Press the reta that spell your kupu guess.
Our first guess is whenua. Notice that wh is a single reta. After pressing Enter ↩ the colour of the tiles change to show how close our guess is to the secret kupu.
Grey means the reta is not present in the secret kupu.
Yellow means the reta is present in the secret kupu but in a different place.
Blue means that reta is in the same place in the secret kupu.
Here we see wh, e and n or not present in the secret kupu. u is present but in the wrong place. We know it's not the 4th reta in the kupu. a is in the secret kupu and in the right place.
Notice that the keyboard is updated with the same colour codes. This is very helpful when keeping track of reta you have eliminated or know something about. Note that you can still use any reta, including e, n, and wh in later guesses. Sometimes you might want to use a strategic guess that you know is not the correct answer, but helps you eliminate reta.
Our next guess is hauma. Wow! That was lucky. We know now all the reta except one.
Notice that even though there was a second a in the kupu our first guess only told us that I had one a in the correct location. Reta can be repeated in a kupu, and you need to repeat those reta in your guesses if you want to identify them.
But now I can't think of any kupu to guess. I'll have a go with hauwa. A message appears at the top: "Kei riri mai, I don't know that kupu hauwa." That's not a real kupu. But it didn't use up any of my guesses. So it's safe to have a go.
But oh dear, I still can't think of a kupu that fits. I press Enter ↩ again. I press it again. Panga now notices I need some help. At the top of the screen is the message: "Do you meant hauwha". But I already know wh is not in the kupu. The suggestion is just a suggestion. It's not going to solve the panga for you. I press enter again. "Do you meant hauwhā" - still not a good suggestion. I know that a in the last place is correct so I don't want to use ā. The next suggestion is "hauaa" so I will try that. Still no good.
I remember that nga is a common syllable at the end of a kupu and try that. Success!
Notice that the n in the first guess did not show as present in the kupu. Isn't it in ng? No. These are two different reta. Ng and wh are a single reta making a single sound, but represented by two letters in writing (a digraph). So whawhai is only five reta long!
ō is a different reta from o. keke means cake but kēkē means armpit. The straight line over the vowel is a tohutō (macron), meaning the sound of the vowel is longer when spoken. Every vowel can have a tohutō so Te Reo has 10 vowels. You can use the on-screen keyboard to select the vowels with macrons. If you have a physical keyboard you can enter vowels with macrons as you normally would, which depends on your operating system. Windows, for example, may require you to enable a Māori keyboard. But there is an easy way without changing your settings.
Panga lets you press the tilde (~) key followed by the vowel to enter the vowel with a tohutō.
This information is only stored on your device. If you play on a different device your statistics do not transfer. If you share your device to play Panga you will need a different browser profile to store your statistics separately. You can always play in private (incognito) mode on your browser but then no statistics are saved.
You should think of Panga as a personal challenge. Some kupu will take more guesses than others. THat doesn't mean you are getting worse. Don't compare yourself to others. Different kupu guesses lead to different paths to the solution. Those with more extensive te reo vocabulary can find it harder because they have more kupu to choose from, especially if they don't play strategically to eliminate more than one reta in each guess.
But if you must compare yourself, the Panga Power Rating is a single number to summarise how well you have been playing Panga so far.
After you finish your panga, the bottom of the screen has two buttons. Press 'Copy to Clipboard' and then you can paste your result grid into Facebook, email etc. If you press 'Share Your Panga' your device (especially phones) may give you an option to paste the result grid directly into the app of your choice like Twitter.
Above those two buttons are:
All just a silly bit of fun. You do not have to share your results. Some people find it very annoying when they see these results in their social media feeds, although it is very easy to block any post or tweet that contains Panga (or Wordle) results.
Always watch out for people who share spoilers on social media. Don't be that person.