Whether you win or lose, trivia games are a fun, competitive form of entertainment. You can run your own virtual trivia games using Zoom, sharing the experience together from the comfort of your own home! So this article will help you run the perfect virtual trivia night over Zoom.
What is covered in this article
To make sure you – and your guests – have the most fun, we’ll give you the best tips for how to use Zoom for a trivia game night. By the end, you’ll know how to use Zoom, what features are best to use for perfecting your trivia game, and then tools to help you find trivia questions.
How to set up a Zoom meeting for trivia
Before diving into using Zoom for trivia, we’ll cover the basics of how to sign in, download the app, and schedule a meeting.
Sign up for Zoom
- Go to Zoom.us.
- In the top right corner, click Sign Up, It’s Free.
- Input your email address, and click Sign Up.
- You should receive an account activation email. Open the email from your inbox, and click Activate Account.
- This will prompt the Zoom app to open. Input your first name, last name, and password.
- Next, you will be given the option to invite other contacts. Input their email address and click the “I’m Not a Robot” checkbox. Then click Invite to send out invitations.
You can invite participants at any time, even after this stage. You can skip this step now by clicking Skip This Step.
- You’re all set! Your account will be set up and you can sign in.
Download the Zoom client
- Go to the Zoom Download Center.
- Find “Zoom Client for Meetings” at the top of the list. Click Download for the latest version of the Zoom app.
- Choose the folder to save the download file to. Then access the “ZoomInstaller.exe” file, open it, and the installation will run. Follow the instructions that are given to complete installation.
Schedule a Zoom meeting
The following are simplified instructions for scheduling a Zoom meeting. We have a post on how to schedule a Zoom meeting for a more comprehensive and detailed list of instructions.
- Open the Zoom app on your desktop.
- From the Home screen, click the Schedule button.
- Set the parameters for your meeting using the Schedule Meeting window. You can add a topic, set the date and time, include a password, and configure other meeting settings.
- After you’ve set up all meeting details, click Schedule at the bottom of the window.
- You will then be given the option to add the meeting to the calendar of your choice. Follow the instructions using the calendar app to finish this.
- You are all done! The meeting will be scheduled and you can now invite participants to join the call.
4 tips for running trivia via Zoom
These aren’t exactly specific to trivia only, but these are great general etiquette tips for any Zoom meeting. They are sure to make your trivia night run smoother, making it more enjoyable for those on the call – and much easier for the host.
1. Use gallery view to see all participants
To see all participants in the meeting while playing, switch to the gallery view. This is good for the host, as they can see all players (and make sure they aren’t using their phones to search for answers). It’s good for groups as well, as you can see your group members while playing the game. Switch to gallery view when playing for the best experience.
2. Factor in network lag and delay
By their nature, streamed video calls can have network lag and minor delays. When on the call, remember that these delays and technical issues can slow the conversation down or cause interruptions. Be conscious of this and give people time to answer – or troubleshoot – if they aren’t responding.
3. Schedule meeting and send out invitations ahead of time
Even if it’s just a game with friends and family, send out the invitation in advance of the trivia session. You want users to be able to access the meeting easily – and figure out how to do it ahead of time if they haven’t used Zoom before. This way, they have all the information and won’t be worried about how to operate the meeting.
4. Mute attendee microphones when they join
It’s a good idea to have participants mute their microphone when they aren’t speaking. You can even set the meeting room up when scheduling it so that participants who join will automatically have their microphone muted. This way, people don’t interrupt when joining the call.
7 best Zoom features for trivia
To make the most of your online trivia meeting, you will want to leverage Zoom to get more functionality. Zoom has a lot of incredible features; below are the best features to use for running trivia over a Zoom call.
1. Share Screen
The Share Screen feature lets the meeting host – and, with permission, participants – share their screen, a portion of their screen, or a specific application. This tool is incredibly useful for collaborating with other people on the call.
This feature is a must for trivia. You’ll want to not only read questions, but display them for participants so they can refer back to them. At the bare minimum, you’ll want to have a list of questions and display them, one at a time, using screen-sharing. You can also get more creative and develop a virtual game board, scoring, rules, and more to display.
2. Virtual hand-raising
The virtual hand-raising feature lets meeting participants raise a virtual hand within the Participants window. This way, the meeting host (and participants, too) can see when someone has a hand raised.
The hand-raising tool is great for indicating when you want to talk. This helps the meeting run smoothly by limiting people talking over each other. For trivia, the hand-raising tool can be used as a virtual buzzer to indicate that you want to guess next. It’s a great tool that can be used in different ways for a trivia game to make it easy for participants to follow along. Consider figuring out other ways of working it in!
3. Breakout rooms
The Breakout Room feature allows the host to create separate miniature meeting rooms within your call. Meeting participants can then be assigned and sent to these breakout rooms, where they can have a private discussion. The host can then bring participants back, or participants can voluntarily return to the main meeting.
This is a great feature for trivia if you’re playing with teams. You can separate teams for each question and give them a couple minutes to discuss their answer privately. The trivia host can even go in and see what each team is saying (without giving any clues).
4. Virtual backgrounds
The Virtual Backgrounds feature lets you use a creative computer-generated background for your background on a call. Using technology much like a green screen, it will turn a single-toned background into a virtual image that you choose. Simply enable this setting to have a virtual background display behind you.
This is a great tool for hiding a cluttered, messy background when showing your camera. For trivia, you can take it further, mimicking a game show background or a typical trivia setting. If you’re doing themed trivia, use a background that fits the theme. You can even ask participants to get creative with their own backgrounds that fit the theme as well!
The polling feature lets the host create a poll for meeting participants. This helps foster engagement and interaction on the call, and makes it easy for the meeting host to get feedback from participants.
For trivia, the polling feature can be used to collect answers during the game. This is efficient if scores are determined only by correct responses, as opposed to who submitted them the fastest. You can also use this to vote when deciding what the topic(s) of trivia will be.
6. In-meeting chat
During any Zoom meeting, participants can use the chat feature. This lets participants chat as a group while the conversation goes on.
For trivia, participants could use chat to submit their answers, so there is a written record that’s easy for the host to keep track of. The host could also type questions out in the chat, so that participants can re-read the question if they need to.
7. Enable or disable the waiting room feature
The Waiting Room feature funnels meeting participants into a waiting room when they attempt to join the call. The host can then admit them one at a time, or as a group. For a small game of trivia with personal friends and family, you can likely disable the waiting room feature. That way, you won’t have to go through the extra step of admitting them when starting the meeting.
For larger group trivia events that include people you aren’t familiar with, you may want to enable the waiting room feature. This will give the host a bit more control over the meeting, as participants can be screened for admission as they join. You can then restrict access for people who shouldn’t be there.
12 online trivia apps and solutions
Now that you know how to manage your trivia game over Zoom, we’ll give you a few ways to bring trivia to life and enhance your game!
Below are some of the best online trivia apps and websites to create your own trivia nights with friends and family!
1. DIY (Do It Yourself!)
You can always create your own trivia with nothing but Zoom’s video conferencing. Simply write your own trivia questions out on paper. Read them out to participants and use some sort of scoring system to keep track of who’s in the lead. You can also leverage other software to enhance the experience, keeping score and adding questions in a simple text-based program like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. You can also use PowerPoint or other design programs to create a more engaging trivia game for meeting participants.
Random Trivia Generator offers a collection of trivia questions labeled by category at the bottom of the card. Simply click the card to view the answer. Have the host use Zoom’s Share Screen feature to display the Random Trivia Generator site so participants can read the questions, or read them out one at a time. Then reveal the answer when you’re ready, and keep score to stay competitive.
There are other similar random trivia question generator websites that will provide questions for you. The host can use the site and give questions to participants playing.
Paid (Participants can join for free as long as one person owns the games)
Jackbox Games is an online service that lets you play a variety of games online using their software. Download the game packs with the games you want to play, and then play them with your friends. The games need to be hosted on a desktop computer, with participants signing in on their phones to participate.
While these games aren’t designed to be played over a virtual Zoom meeting, they certainly can be. Get online together with your friends, have a person who owns the game packs host the session, and have everyone else sign in and play using their phone. Most games have audio, but we recommend muting them after playing them once or twice and figuring out how they work. This will allow you to easily communicate with people on the call, rather than listen to the game noise.
TriviaPlaza contains a wide assortment of playable trivia games, sorted by category. While this is designed for individuals to play trivia, you can use this to enjoy a pre-made game of trivia with friends or family over a Zoom call.
The best way to play this over Zoom with friends would be to have the host open the TriviaPlaza website. Then they can share their screen over Zoom so other participants can see the questions and, when appropriate, the answers. This way, the host can play as well. Have meeting participants answer when the question is first presented, then the host can answer last before revealing the correct answer.
LovattsPuzzles.com features a range of crosswords, puzzles, games, riddles, and more. They also have an online trivia game that you can play as an individual. You can also make this work over a Zoom call, using this is a pre-made trivia game.
Simply have the host run the Lovatts online trivia game while sharing their screen to other participants. Participants can submit their answers, and then the host can submit a guess to find out what the correct answer was. You can then keep score and play through to see who does the best.
FunTrivia is a popular, easy-to-use trivia website that combines fun and education! They have thousands of trivia games, sorted by categories (and subcategories) so you can find the exact theme you want.
Have the trivia host open the FunTrivia website and play a trivia game that the group chooses. Participants can submit answers first, and then the host can click an answer once everyone has submitted. The correct answer will be revealed, and the host can record scores before advancing to the next question.
AbsurdTrivia provides online trivia quizzes for free, all created by the community that uses it. Choose between a wide range of categories to find the trivia theme that you want to play with your group. The host can screen-share the trivia game over Zoom, and participants can play along.
TriviaMaker lets you create beautiful, game-show-quality trivia displays for online trivia over video meetings. There are four different game styles you can use, including grid, list, multiple choice, and wheel. This allows you to create a variety of different trivia games. Use TriviaMaker in a browser, on iOS, or on Android, and then stream it to a screen or Zoom meeting to play with friends.
By streaming the TriviaMaker game you’ve made over a Zoom meeting, participants can play virtually together. With an intuitive interface, it will run smoothly and be accessible for all players.
Freemium (Paid for groups over 50)
myQuiz is a multiplayer quiz game that allows participants to join in and play via their mobile phone. Use a code to join a unique quiz room and play a game together over the app. To have the most fun, enjoy this game over a Zoom call so you can enjoy each other’s company while playing. Grab a snack, join a meeting together, and then compete in trivia over the call.
QuizWitz is a party quiz game that pits participants against each other in fun competitive games. Participants play for free using a smartphone or tablet, answering questions together. There is even a leader board to track scores against all other users, upping the level of competition.
PopcornTrivia is a movie trivia app available in the App Store and Google Play. You can play single player or multiplayer (because it’s always fun to play with friends!). Join a Zoom call together, create a PopcornTrivia game, have participants join, and play together over the call!
This Audience Engagement Platform allows you to create a unique virtual event that participants can engage with via their mobile devices. Create a personalized entertainment event using customizable templates. You can add questions, answers, images, and more to make each experience unique.
Well, what are you still doing here? Go play some trivia, test your skills, and learn something new! When you can’t meet in person, take your parties online and run your virtual gatherings through Zoom. We have articles covering tips for how to use Zoom for a virtual party, family game night, and even for work.