The 21 Questions Game is basically a way of getting to know someone better. At its core the the game is just asking and answering questions.
So if you want to simply ask and answer the questions below, that works. But if you would like to gamify the questions, below are some different ways to play the 21 Questions Game.
How to play the 21 questions game
First of all you need two or more people. There isn’t really a limit on how many people can play the 21 Questions Game but I wouldn’t recommend any more than five people. It gets a little boring for those not answering or asking questions if there are more than five people.
Someone volunteers or a person is randomly chosen to be the first person to answer the 21 questions.
The rest of the group takes turns asking that person a total of 21 questions. Your group can choose whether follow questions to their answers count towards the 21 questions total.
OPTIONAL: The person can pass on two questions.
To choose the next person to answer the 21 questions there are several options. The person who just finished answering the questions can nominate the next person, a person can volunteer, or a random person can be chosen.
If it’s just two people, person A will ask 21 questions and person B will answer. After person A asks 21 questions, the roles are reversed and person B asks 21 questions.
Person A chooses a question to start the round. Person A asks person B the question. Person B answers. OPTIONAL: Everyone in the group can ask follow up questions to person B about their original answer.
Person B then chooses a question and asks someone else besides person A their new question. The round continues with everyone asking someone new a question until everyone including person A has answered a question.
No one can be asked twice until everyone has answered a question in that round. To start a new round the last person who answered a question chooses a new question to ask someone.
OPTIONAL: Everyone gets two passes. If a person uses one of their passes, they don’t have to answer the question.
Obviously, if it’s just two people, they will just be asking each other questions back and forth.
Round and round
Sit in a circle (or face to face if it’s just two people). Person A chooses a question, the person to the right of person A answers the question, then the next person in line answers, and so on until it gets back to Person A. When it gets back to person A, they answer. OPTIONAL: Give time for follow questions to people’s answers.
After person A finishes their answer, the person next to them asks a question and it goes around the circle again.
OPTIONAL: Everyone has two passes that they can use if they don’t want to answer a question.
If it’s just two people, they will take turns choosing questions that both of them will answer.
Some things to remember
Don’t worry if the game breaks down into a conversation. That is the whole point of the 21 Questions Game is to facilitate conversation and find out new things about a person. So if a lively conversation gets going, don’t worry about getting back to the game. You can always start up again after the conversation dies down.
21 Questions list
Here is our list of questions for the 21 Questions game. I hope you enjoy them!
What is the TLDR version of your life?
This question will help you understand what they think is important. If their answer gets included in the highlight reel of their life so far, it must be pretty important to how they see themselves and their place in the world.
What should they teach in school, but don’t?
They might answer a couple of different ways on this one. Is it a subject they feel is often neglected? Is it a set of controversial beliefs or facts that they feel get left out? Perhaps it’s the more practical skills that get over looked? You’ll learn a little more about how they view the world after this question.
What inscription do you want on your gravestone?
While some of the other questions focus on what has happened in the past, this question let’s you know how they want their future to play out. When they look back on their life, what do they want to have accomplished.
What is a cause that is worth dedicating your life to?
What are they passionate about? What do they think is most important? This question will help you figure out the answer to these questions and more.
What should parents stop teaching their children?
Depending on where the person is in their life, you might find out what they didn’t like about their parents or perhaps you’ll get a glimpse into the type of parent they would like to be.
Is it okay to sacrifice one life to save ten?
This is straight up an ethics question. You can see how close you both are in your ethical beliefs.
Follow up question: If you said yes, would you change answer if the one life was a friend’s life and the ten were strangers? If no, why not?
The bit about a friend’s life is for getting an idea of how much they value their tribe vs. those outside of it.
How much do you change when you know no one is around?
We all put on masks for different social situations. Sometimes those masks resemble who we are underneath and sometimes they don’t. Hopefully this question will help you get a glimpse of who the person truly is.
How useful would you be in a zombie apocalypse?
I just thought this was a fun question. You could get any number of answers that might help you understand more about what kind of person they are. But mostly it’s just because it’s a fun question to answer.
How much do you know about the world outside your country?
This is a great one to see how much they pay attention to the broader world, but it can also be a good gauge of how nationalistic they are. It can also tell you where they think their focus should be, themselves, family, their community, their country, or humanity as a whole.
Which movie or book do you think is ridiculously overrated?
Not everyone rides the hype train. Find out more about what they like and if their interests coincide with your own.
Who would you most like to sit next to on a 10 hour flight and why?
I like this one because it’s broad enough for them to pick a type of person (quiet or talkative) or a specific person (famous or influential individual). And either one they choose can tell you a lot about what they are interested in or what they value.
What are two things you know you should how to do but don’t?
This is a fun question because you can commiserate if it’s something you don’t know how to do, joke if it’s something silly, or learn more about them if it’s something serious.
What is something you’ve done that you wish you could undo?
We all have regrets. With this question you can learn more about what they regret, but also what kind of values they consider important. Because, let’s be honest, you probably wouldn’t undo something you didn’t think was important.
What do most people think about you that is absolutely not true?
Another one that attempts to get a look at the who the person really is. It’s up to the person whether that their answer is about stereotypes, their public face, or gossip that has been spread about them.
What is something that can’t be taught and can only be learned with age?
This will hopefully lead to some thoughtful introspection. How much have they learned from their life so far and how much do they acknowledge the things they still don’t know.
Do you think the convenience of technology is worth the loss of privacy that comes with it?
Technology plays a big part in this world of ours and it helps to think about the role it plays. Hopefully they will give you more than just a yes or a no for this question, but even if it is a one word answer you’ll know how much they value their privacy.
What are the consequences of everyone having instant distraction at their fingertips?
How addicted to their phones are they? You can find that out. Plus you can find out if they think about how society functions or if they are mostly just focused on themselves.
What makes you say “What was I thinking?” when you look back on your life?
This question is great for bringing out some funny and embarrassing stories. Sharing a laugh over something embarrassing can be a great way to get closer to someone. You might also be able to gauge how serious they take themselves.
If you could live your life again knowing what you do now, what would you change?
Similar to the earlier question undoing something in the past, but this one is aimed more at what they have learned from their mistakes. And how they would take advantage of all the knowledge they’ve gained.
You have $100 to burn, all your friends are busy and you have the whole day to yourself, what do you do?
This question is more about getting at what they really enjoy doing. You’ll be able to see what their idea of a perfect day is and how much you both have in common when it comes to entertainment.
If you could be born again and choose what nationality, gender, and race to be, what would you choose?
Gender, race, and nationality are huge factors in society and individual lives. With this question, hopefully you’ll be able to learn a little bit more about how they view these very important topics.
21 Questions PDF
Here is the link to the 21 Questions PDF, it has all the questions and all the rules. Enjoy!
21 Questions image
Pages with more questions you can use
Here are some other questions you can use for the 21 questions game. All have at least 21 questions and some have more than 21 questions which means you can pick and choose. Most of these can be used for guys or girls despite how they are labeled so you have more than enough questions to choose from.