The Complete List of Trivia Question Types

April 5, 2024

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So…you’re planning a trivia party and all 40 of your questions look like this: “What is the heaviest animal in Africa?”. I don’t know how you got here, but you got here. Breathe a sigh of relief because we’re about to show you how to spice up your trivia game by creating different types of questions.

This list of trivia question types is similar to using ChatGPT to create trivia questions and our free list of 100 Trivia Questions & Answers (Medium/Hard Difficulty).

Let's get to it!

List of Trivia Question Types

From Question & Answer to Sorting to Anagrams, and everything in between, here is our comprehensive list of trivia question types.

1. Question & Answer

Many pub trivia questions follow a classic (and simple) question-and-answer format, where the host asks the question and the contestant writes down the answer. This is fine! There's nothing wrong with the classics, as long as it's not the only game in town.

  • Example: “What year did the Titanic sink?” (1912)

2. Fill In The Blank

This fun question type puts the answer right into the question! The host reads a sentence or quote but leaves one word or phrase out — it's the contestant's job to guess what you left out. Dole out bonus points if the contestant treats this like Mad Libs and fills in the blank with something gut-bustlingly ridiculous.

  • Example: “The RMS ________ sank in the early morning hours of 15 April 1912.” (Titanic)

3. Audio/Video/Image (Multimedia)

In this variant of numbers 1 & 2, here you don't just ask the question, you show it! Display an image, or play an audio or video clip, and have the contestants write down what it is or where it's from. Just make sure the clips are either large or loud enough for the entire room to see or hear.

  • Example: What was the name of the sister ship of the RMS Titanic and RMS Britannic; the only one of the trio that didn’t sink? (RMS Olympic)

4. Range

A range question is a great way to make a difficult question just a little more accessible. If the answer is a specific year or quantity, you can accept an answer if it falls within a specific range or you can give different amounts of points depending on how far off the answer is. This question type is great for any answer that is a number.

  • Example: “What year did the Titanic sink?” (1912)
    • +3 Points for the exact year
    • +2 Points if within 3 years before or after
    • +1 Point if within 5 years before or after

5. Multiple Choice

Multiple choice questions were great in school because the answer was right in front of you (along with a few wrong ones). Reintroduce that feeling in your trivia games — ask a question and let the players decide which of their 3-5 options will award them sweet, sweet points!

  • Example: “How many lifeboats successfully made it into the water before the Titanic sank?
    1. 10
    2. 14
    3. 18
    4. 21

6. This or That

A derivative of the multiple choice, this is a fun 50/50 type of question where players need to pick which of the answers is correct! This is nicely paired with a fill in the blank as a way to complete a statement.

  • Example: Newton’s Second Law states that…
    • The acceleration of an object depends on the mass of the object and the amount of force applied OR Whenever one object exerts a force on another object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite on the first.

7. Sorting

With this question type, all given answers are correct — the contestant simply needs to sort them into the right order. It can be oldest to newest, largest to smallest, or something specific like "Sort these Game of Thrones characters in the order in which they died." You can score all or nothing or award partial credit for sorting some answers in the right order — whatever feels right for the room that night!

  • Example: Sort the following events in order from oldest to most recent.
    • The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
    • The release of The Beatles album debut album, Please Please Me
    • The day Apollo 11 landed on the moon
    • The sinking of the RMS Titanic
    • The start of the Korean War

8. List

Have contestants channel their inner Santa Claus by making a list and checking it twice! Your question could be a list of 8-10 whatevers, and contestants list as many as they can think of. Award one point for each correct item on their list. This question type is amazing for end-of-game bonus points!

  • Example: List 3 of the Top 10 albums on the Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
    • Award 1 point for each correct answer.

9. Matching

The good ol' match game! For this question type, contestants will see multiple images on their paper. They then choose the image that corresponds to the hint you give them. Or, if you'd rather not deal with images, you can match other things. For example, "match X inventions to their inventor," or "match the title of X hit song to their singer."

  • Example: Match the following capital cities to their county:

10. What's Missing?

This one's a combination of listing and fill-in-the-blank and it's great fun. Simply name part of a large group and the contestant then answers who or what's missing. Here's a sample question to start: "Sneezy, Dopey, Bashful, Doc. Name the other three dwarves."

  • Example: Sneezy, Dopey, and Doc. Which dwarfs are missing? (Happy, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy)

11. Anagrams

Want to really challenge your contestants? Throw them some anagrams! Here, you describe two things, both of which are answered by the same word forming different anagrams. This could either be an entire category unto itself, or just a fun question type within a category!

  • Example: A mutant with cold powers and another word for a movie theater. (Iceman & Cinema)

Final Thoughts

Great trivia masters know that the difference between good and great in trivia comes down to the experience that you create for your participants. By using different types of questions, your game will become less binary and more likely to get your participants talking, debating, and working together...and that connection they forge with their teammates, more than anything, will shape how they feel about the experience regardless of whether they win or lose. So - do your participants a favor and start thinking differently about your trivia questions!