How Does OkCupid Work? (A Beginner’s Guide)

If you want to try online dating, then OkCupid is one of the best dating apps to get started.

The fact that OkCupid has been around for 15 years now and still growing speaks for its credibility. So if you've had any doubts regarding how OkCupid works and if OkCupid works or not, then it's time to throw these doubts out of the park.

This guide will help you learn step by step, how to use OkCupid and how can you add that 1+1 to the next wedding you attend.

Need More Proof?

Our Senior writer, Melissa, met her man through OkCupid and got married to him last year. You can read her story in the OkCupid review article.

How Does OkCupid Work?

Once you completely set up your OkCupid profile, OkCupid algorithm looks at your preferences, and how you answer match questions, to find the people perfect for you. Based on the answers matched, each profile will show your compatibility score. Then, based on this information you can decide whether to swipe right on a profile or not. This algorithm ensures that you’ll only see people who are looking for you, too!

Getting Started on OkCupid:

1. Setup up OkCupid Account

How Does OkCupid Work 1

There are two ways to do so, either you can download the application or visit the OkCupid dating site and pick it up from there. Upon installation, you will very politely be asked to enter your name. 

Do not enter made-up names, the ones that you are prompted to do so on several social media platforms. Stay true to yourself even if your name is Buniduct Combirbatch. It is what it is. 

You can also set up the account by connecting it with Facebook or even by your email address. 

In this step, you'll be asked for basic information like Name, Gender/Sexual orientation, Age, Location, etc.

After the sign up your account will be created and from here on starts the real work.

2. Upload Your Photos

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The whole hullabaloo around OkCupid dating app is that you should be seen by others as interesting and someone with whom the other person can associate themselves. 

So what can you do to enhance your personality in a manner that excites the other person?

The answer is making an amazing OkCupid profile. Well, OkCupid allows you to add up to 6 photos to your profile. Don’t go for filters and all, like this, if you two meet on a date, the whole excitement of your date will drain down in Niagara. 

Be confident with who you are, no matter the shape or the size. Add a couple of full-body photos, and make sure to add one or two pictures of this beautiful and mesmerizing face. If you don’t have one, click it and then add them to your profile. 

You must have heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Well, this is the perfect opportunity to bring the phrase to reality. Add one or two pictures when you are either hiking, skating, or even swimming.

The point is to convey your hobbies via pictures. Isn’t that a great idea?

3. Write Your OkCupid Bio

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On dating apps, bios are the second most important element to get more matches.

It increases your profile attractiveness and gets you more potential matches for long-term dating or something casual.

Don’t go all Martin Luther here and start reciting “I have a Dream”. 

Keep the bio succinct enough to be a kind of mystery for the other person to unravel. Be honest, and finish it off in a few sentences. Add your interests, hobbies, likes, and dislikes. 

The most important thing is that you stay TRUE to yourself. 

Again, be precise and as short as possible.

4. Answer The OkCupid Questions

okcupid questions for compatibility

OkCupid asks you a series of questions called OkCupid Prompts.

They use these answers to narrow down your profile enough so that you are only able to match with the right person. 

Some of these questions are a bit personal and may touch upon a sensitive topic. But the point is to personify your true self with the help of the profile. 

These questions also have another purpose, and that is to calculate your compatibility rate. Take these 15 questions as a test that will analyze your profile against the whole OkCupid database and then rate the profile as per the other profile’s answers. 

Hey, hey relax. These are not your SATs. These are simple questions based on politics, cleanliness, sex, religion, ethical views, your dating choices, and a few others.

So, all you have to do is answer in Yes, No, or Maybe. That’s it. 

And at the end of it when you get that first ‘ting’ confirming that you have matched with someone, that moment will be “Legen… Wait for it…. Dary. LEGENDARY. 

Before we move forward know that, initially you will be asked up to 15 questions and it is not at all mandatory to answer them all. 

And down the line, OkCupid will ask you many more such questions.

5. Start Matching by Sending Likes

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On OkCupid, you will come across a whole lot of profiles. And these profiles are provided as per your answers and your profile bio. Therefore, it is always better to answer more and more questions so that, OkCupid can narrow down your profile matches before showing them to you.

You can adjust the location in your setting to find people near you or worldwide.

OkCupid will show you individual profiles of your most relevant matches. On your phone, tap anywhere on the profile page of anyone you like and it will take you to the specific profile.

On the web, however, you need to click on “View Profile” and then dig into another member’s profile and look for things that you both have in common.

From there, you can send like to the profile/s.

Swipe Left: By swiping left on a profile, you'll pass on the person. It simply means that you're not interested in the person.

Swipe Right: By swiping right on profile, you'll send a like to the person. Then that person will get a notification that someone liked them.


OkCupid works like a quid pro quo system. Even if you like someone, you cannot start a chat until and unless your preferred match also likes you.

So, either you swipe in either direction or even send a direct message, the end result will depend on what the other person thinks about you. 

6. Start The Conversation With Your Matches

how to send messages on OkCupid

Scroll up and down the profile list before sending a direct message. I like this method better because it gives you a chance to tell what you like about the other person which increases the chances of a mere acquaintance into a romantic conversation. (A life hack that I discovered only recently).

After you like a person, you can send them an introductory message.

You can send a witty or any sort of message judging the other person’s nature through the profile bio, photos, and answers (which are visible in the premium version). 

For instance, if you notice a girl’s picture at a music concert or at a comedy show, you can start the conversation with a joke or by asking about her song preferences. And to do that you need to be smart enough to gain enough info from the picture and then proceed. 

Plus, as soon as you notice that things are going well, ask your match on a date. Never hesitate. They are also here to find their match and not just chat through an application.

And if in case you are not getting any likes or matches, there are a lot more questions to answer and further narrow down your profile.

Is OkCupid Worth Paying For?

When it comes to OkCupid, paying to get the premium version will surely be noticed better than freeloaders. You will get an unlimited number of likes, and higher visibility, make use of the advanced search filters, and search for profiles with reference to variables. The ads will be removed. All of this is available with the basic paid version.

Coming to the premium paid version, where your profile will get a boost. This will trampoline your profile to the top and help you get noticed more frequently. More than this, you can also check out the answers to the other profile. 

Isn’t that cool?

You will get a secret entry into the life of someone’s life via their profile and then you can curate the best ice breakers and turn it into a deal breakers. OkCupid cost varies depending on the subscription type and time-period you get it for.

In premium membership, you get access to features like OkCupid double take, a list basic, and a list premium.

All dating sites and dating apps have premium functions that allow you to get an advantage over free users. No mainstream dating sites and dating apps are completely free.

About Mary J. Gibson

Mary J. Gibson, director of, is a renowned love and relationship coach whose expertise is widely acknowledged across the industry. Her insightful guidance and profound understanding of romantic relationships have earned her features in prestigious publications including Bustle, AskMen, Cosmopolitan, and Elite Daily. Committed to staying ahead of trends, she continually broadens her knowledge by conducting incisive interviews and forging dynamic relationships with emerging dating services, ensuring her advice remains relevant and impactful.