HQ Trivia Is The Future Of Mobile Entertainment

Alex Pedicini
4 min readNov 6, 2017


HQ Trivia is the latest viral sensation app to explode on the scene. Two weeks ago when I started playing there were around 12,000 players per game. Last night (11/05/2017) there were over 48,000 players. The concept is novel and simple at the same time. It is a live trivia game show — where the host asks 12 questions ranging from easy to hard. The winner(s) split a pot of real money. HQ Trivia is quickly becoming the new Jeopardy — and I think they can do it.

To understand the rising popularity and early success of the appI wanted to first look at it through the lens of the Hooked Model.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Triggers

When you first launch the app the only thing you can do is turn on push notifications. This is intentional and sets the stage to allow HQ to remind you when games are beginning. Games are scheduled at 3pm weekdays and 9pm everyday. The notification is sent and you can swipe to enter the game.

A strange this has happened though since I introduced the game to girlfriend. We instinctively remind each other as 9pm approaches to get ready for the game. We have become conditioned to playing — its the equivalent of must-see tv. We know to stop what we are doing and tune into HQ Trivia.

The cash prizes are certainly a strong incentive, and keep me playing time and time again despite lackluster results. But I’m also motivated my competing with my girlfriend and trying to one up my best scores. More than the slim chance of winning the prize is the chance to compete and have fun.


Once the game start the action moves fast. You have 10 seconds to choose the correct answer and the games move very quickly. I’m usually out of the game within 5 minutes.

Variable Reward

The variability of the questions and the increasing level of difficulty keep you on your toes. The fact that you can see exactly how many people are remaining and how many got the questions wrong provides you satisfaction of knowing you answered a difficult question correctly (or incorrectly).

The monetary prize is obviously there as well, which has varied from $250 to $2,500 per game thus far.


Users are incentivized to invite friends and earn an extra life. This keeps you in the game longer and increases your chances to win.

Aside from these factors there are several other noteworthy features that differentiate HQ Trivia from other trivia or gaming products out there today.

Limited Supply

Due to the fact that there are only 12 games per week, each one carries weight and meaning for the user. It’s not simply an app or game I play to waste time — it is something I actively look forward to. I feel regret if I miss a game. This is much the same way one would feel if they missed the airing of their favorite live television show. This FOMO drives me to look forward to the game times that I have been conditioned to remember.

Social Aspects

There are also several unique aspects of the live social gaming format that make it more interesting. There’s an in-app leaderboard which users can view to see who is on top of the weekly or all-time ranks. The host gives shout-outs to a few random participants each game, which has users begging to be included. And they solicit questions from participants for future games which keeps contestants engaged even when games are not being played.

Future Ideas

  • Include more rich media questions — video, audio, vibration, etc that take advantage of unique native features.
  • Individual player stats — be able to see your all-time correct/incorrect ratio, best streaks, top prizes, etc to share and compare with friends.
  • Vertical trivia questions — specific games for sports, media, history, science, etc.
  • Live sports betting — I know this is a legal uncertainty right now but the potential to have live sports betting/prediction is intriguing

If this article has inspired you to check it out make sure you use my code ‘AlexPedi’ so I can get an extra life 😄.