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How to host a virtual pub quiz: All the best tools, tips and tricks

Lockdown has forced people to get creative with their socialising – and it looks like home-made pub quizzes are overtaking HouseParty as the social trend du jour, so we’ve put together our guide on how to host a virtual pub quiz.

Hanging out with your pals on Zoom is great, but when you’ve been stuck inside for a month you might run out of things to discuss. Enter the humble pub quiz, which gives you a chance to get silly (and competitive) with pals and provides you with something to talk about as well.

It’s not always easy to guide a big gaggle of people through 25 rounds of questions though, so here are some tools that might help you out.

Choose an easy-to-use video app

By now we’re all familiar with Zoom for work purposes, but it also has some neat settings that translate well to quiz-based activities too, such as the screen-sharing capabilities and the clear visual layout. It’s a good tool for quiz nights, but the free version of Zoom only allows you to connect for 40 minutes before you need to start a new meeting. If that sounds like too much faff, you might want to go with a different (free) option.

Google Meet has just started allowing people to use it for free, and allows up to 100 people to join a chat. WhatsApp allows up to eight people to join a call, while Facebook allows 50 people to dial in at once. You can also create one-click meetings on Skype, without any participants having to sign-up or download the app. This latter option allows you to invite up to 50 people too, in case your pub quiz is wildly popular.

Related: How to use Google Meet for free

Try these tools for general quizzing

The easiest way to do a bare-bones pub quiz is by setting up a call, prepping some questions and asking everyone to grab a pen and paper. But if you want to host a really memorable virtual pub quiz, there are some neat extras that will make your quiz a little more interactive and stop people cheating to boot.

You can build simple multi-choice quizzes using tools like Mentimeter or MyQuiz, which allow you to set a timer on each question so the overall session doesn’t drag. These tools are also handy because they add up points and create a leader-board when you finish.

Alas, there’s no built-in video conferencing option here, so you’ll need to have Zoom or something similar open in the background.

Use Zoom for your music round

If you blast music out of your laptop speakers, your fellow quizzers are not going to hear it. This is because your mic is tuned to ignore background noise, so it will focus on your lovely voice and fade out the jovial screams of Jon Bon Jovi.

Zoom has an easy way around this, which is buried in the screen sharing section. If you click on ‘advanced’ screen-sharing options when you’re on a call, you’ll see a ‘share audio’ button. This means you can play music directly from Spotify or YouTube and your other fellow quizzers should hear it, clear as a bell.

Just make sure you’ve chosen to share an unrelated tab for the visuals, otherwise, your set of answers will be laid bare for everyone to see.

Related: How to use BBC Together

Play with Google Maps for your geography section

Admittedly there are easier ways to host a geography quiz, but playing around with Google Maps adds a new element into the mix.

Try sending over a link to a famous street view, to see if your friends can guess where the image was taken (no zooming out allowed!) or screenshot the strangely angled photos that people have taken of famous landmarks and ask your friends to guess if it’s the Colosseum or a random image from the net.

Create and share images for the picture round

No pub quiz would be complete without a sheet full of blurry images of celebrities as children or famous dogs from Disney movies.

If you want to honour this time-old tradition, you could share pictures via an online cloud storage system like G-drive or upload the photos directly into the group chat. Most video conferencing apps also let you share your screen, so you could share the photos that way as well.

You can easily personalise this round by stealing pictures from your friend’s Instagram and editing them into famous images. You don’t need Photoshop to superimpose them into Edvard Munch’s Scream painting for your art round either – use something like Microsoft Paint or an online editor like Pixlr to whip up something silly.

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