Your Amazon Alexa smart speaker might seem pretty basic if all you do is ask it for the weather. There are hundreds of different commands that you could use to get the most out of Alexa, but you’ll need to know what they are.
To get you started, here are eleven secret Alexa commands you might not be aware of.
1. Change Alexa’s Wake Word
“Alexa” is the universally recognized wake word for Amazon’s voice assistant. But maybe you’re bored of sticking to the original wake word or just so happen to live with someone called Alexa and keep accidentally triggering your Amazon device all the time.
Whatever your reasons, you can change the wake word for Alexa whenever you like. To do this using your voice, just say:
“Alexa, change the wake word”
Alexa will then give you a list of alternative wake words you can use. Once it says the wake word you want to use, just say that wake word, and Alexa (or whatever it’s now called) will let you know that its name will be changed in a few seconds.
Bethesda’s sprawling RPG set in tough but beautiful arctic kingdom has featured on every major games console since it came out in 2011. Now you can (kind of) play Skyrim on Alexa too!
Just say “Alexa, play Skyrim,” and the voice assistant will open Skyrim: Very Special Edition for you.
Naturally, this isn’t the full-blooded version of Skyrim, but instead a spoken roleplaying adventure in the style of Zork, where Alexa describes scenes and events around you, giving you a choice on how to progress through the game.
It’s surprisingly detailed, and also quite relaxing, as you can just close your eyes and envision the fantasy world around you while speaking your way through an adventure.
3. Guided Meditation
One of the better functions of Alexa is the ability to teach it new skills. One of these is Guided Meditations, which will accompany you on a journey of mindfulness and calm as it soothingly talks you through a meditation session. The command is:
“Alexa, ask Guided Meditations to play meditation”
Each meditation session is three to eight minutes long, and there are over 60 such exercises to choose from in total. If you want to skip a given meditation exercise, just say “play next” to move onto the next one.
It’s a perfect command for those who need a little help in finding those moments of peace in a busy world.
4. Learning Facts with Alexa
Alexa is the ideal platform for learning new facts on the fly, thanks to its quick recall commands. Start by asking Alexa a fact. For example:
“Alexa, tell me an interesting fact,” or “Alexa, tell me a random fact.“
If you’re unsure about whether Alexa is an intellectual or not, you can ask it directly. Say “Alexa, are you smart?” to find out for yourself.
You can get Alexa to give you information on everything from dictionary definitions to the capitals of the most remote nations on Earth. Just give it a try yourself.
5. Getting Alexa to Perform
Of course, Alexa isn’t just a walking, talking encyclopedia. If you want to do something a little more exciting with Alexa, you can get it to start performing for you.
If it’s your birthday, for instance, state “Alexa, sing Happy Birthday for me.” It’ll be left up to you to judge how good a singer Alexa is!
Otherwise, “Alexa, sing me a song” should get you a random tune or two out of the smart speaker. If you want something a little more exciting, ask “Alexa, can you rap?” or “Alexa, can you beatbox?“
6. Finding Recipes and Cooking Instructions
Your Alexa smart speaker can become a helpful companion in the kitchen. You can find recipes, as well as specific cooking instructions, from Alexa.
If you want to know what temperature you need to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, for instance, you can ask “Alexa, at what temperature do I need to cook a turkey in the oven?” to hear the information.
If you’d rather find a recipe for dinner, Alexa can handle it with a simple “Alexa, find me a recipe for dinner.“
7. Making Alexa Play Games
If you want to play games with Alexa, you can. You can find new games to play by adding new Alexa Skills to your Alexa account, listed under “Games & Trivia.”
To start with, however, try an old classic. Alexa doesn’t have hands, but “Alexa, play rock, paper, scissors” will give you a choice out of the three for this classic children’s game.
8. Asking Alexa Out
Feeling a little lonely? Alexa will talk with you, but it won’t be a replacement date if you’re stood up.
If you still want to give it a go, “Alexa, do you love me?” will give you the “it’s not you, it’s me” response you’re looking for.
“Alexa, will you be my girlfriend/boyfriend?” will push the boundaries even further, but you’ll see how far you get (spoiler: not very far).
9. Making Friends with Google Home
Alexa might not be ready to be a romantic partner for humans, but what about the other smart speakers?
“Alexa, what do you think of Google Home/Siri?” should give you a taste of Alexa’s loyalties. You can even get the two to speak to one another, but expect the unexpected if you try.
10. Stand Up with Alexa
There’s no need to visit a comedian with Alexa around. Try out a few dad jokes to keep yourself entertained.
Use “Alexa, knock, knock” to kick things off. You can also try “Alexa, why is six afraid of seven?” or “Alexa, tell me a shark joke.“
If you can’t think of any jokes yourself, let Alexa take over with “Alexa, tell me a joke.“
11. Alexa and Sci-Fi Commands
Alexa has the same tastes as its developers, which is why there are quite a few sci-fi-related joke commands included.
For Star Wars fans, “Alexa, speak like Yoda” or “Alexa, use the Force” will prove to be pretty entertaining. You can also try “Alexa, I am your father.“
Don’t forget to ask “Alexa, who shot first?” to hear the correct and only answer on the subject.
Other sci-fi universes aren’t neglected, either. “Alexa, set phasers to kill” and “Alexa, live long and prosper” will help keep Trekkies entertained.
Have Fun with Amazon Alexa
Alexa is your cooking companion, your game partner, your teacher, and your rejected love interest, all rolled into one. If you have an Alexa smart speaker, don’t forget to have fun with it with some of these secret Alexa commands.
Have your own Alexa commands you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments section below.