Common Sudoku Terms

If you want to take playing Sudoku Conquest more seriously and go beyond easy Sudoku games, it’s important to learn the terminologies known by the community. These terms are not just practical to know for your solving techniques, but they help in learning from and interacting with the more experienced Sudoku players.

Once you know the words and phrases used for certain parts of the game, solving it can be done much faster when you understand the terminologies used in guides and forum discussions.

That said, here are the most common terms and other Sudoku tips you should learn!


Sudoku Grid
Sudoku Grid

This is the Sudoku game itself. A grid is typically a 9x9 square and made up of 81 cells with nine subgrids. But there are other iterations of Sudoku, with smaller or larger grids, like 2x2 or 16x16. Some variants are not just plain squares, like gattai-5 or Samurai Sudoku as well.


Sudoku Box
Sudoku Box

A box is another name for a subgrid. There are nine boxes in the grid, and each box is a 3x3 square of nine cells. Some formats have them labeled out 1 to 9, starting with the upper left corner and ending with the bottom right corner.


Sudoku Column
Sudoku Column

Refers to the vertical cells that should hold numbers 1 to 9 without any repetitions. There are nine columns in a Sudoku puzzle. Some formats also have them labeled with numbers above and/or below the grid to make identification and navigation easier.


Sudoku Row
Sudoku Row

Refers to the horizontal cells that should hold numbers 1 to 9 without any repetitions. There are nine rows in a Sudoku puzzle. Some formats also have them labeled with numbers on the right and/or left side of the grid to make identification and navigation easier.


Sudoku Cell
Sudoku Cell

Cells are the spaces inside the grid where numbers are written. There are nine cells in a box, and 81 cells overall in a grid.


These are the numbers already provided in the Sudoku game you’re going to play. To new players, they seem to be randomly scattered, but some Sudoku grids usually have a particular way of how they’re built.

A good example of this is the “fully symmetrical Sudoku puzzles”—which are grids that can be flipped in any way and still have the same numbers in the same places.

With that said a game with more givens is generally easier to solve, while harder ones have fewer givens. However, the skill level needed to solve a set doesn't rely on the number of givens. From easy Sudoku to medium Sudoku puzzles, there is always variance in the number of givens.


This refers to the numbers you would pencil into cells—meaning they are possible or “candidate” digits. Before free online Sudoku puzzles became common, it was mostly played on sheets of paper. Pencil marking was used to make temporary notations on the sheet, which could be erased as players eliminated more and more candidates to solve the game.

Sudoku Conquest has a feature in every cell where you can press a cell and fill it with more than one number.


This is the name for a trial-and-error logic technique used on a cell with only two candidates, and the player can know which of the two is correct by determining possible conflicts with that digit in any row or column.

Number/Letter Coordinates in Free Sudoku Puzzles

If you’ve already jumped into a Sudoku discussion forum or read some Sudoku guides on a site, you might see some code-like words like r3c5, c5r2 or b1. Don’t get confused, as these are just numbering systems for a Sudoku puzzle. The “r” stands for “row”, “c” means “column” and the “b” means “box”. The number each means the label of the box (subgrid), row or column to pinpoint the cell you’re looking for:

  • Row 1 is the topmost row and row 9 is the bottommost row.

  • Column 1 is on the leftmost cell and column 9 is the rightmost cell.

  • Box 1 is the upper left corner subgrid, and the count continues rightward, with box 3 as the upper right corner subgrid, box 5 as the center subgrid and box 9 as the lower right corner subgrid.

With this information, we can now know that the cell r3c5 is in row 3, column 5. We can also say that b1 is box 1, and is made up of r1c1, r2c2 and r3c3. This helps players immensely, especially when looking for a specific cell to fill or eliminate.

This is very similar to how Chess players call out their moves, like “knight to c6” or “pawn to g5”, or that time you were in school plotting angles using the X and Y axes.

Proper Sudoku Puzzles

A proper Sudoku puzzle means that it has only one answer. Some custom-created ones can have multiple answers, but a “well-formed” or proper puzzle has one definitive solution. However, with every difficult Sudoku game you complete, it's also advisable to take notes regularly.