Who doesn’t love a good chase?
Whether we’re seeking buried treasure, ancient artifacts, or chocolate-filled Easter eggs, we all get a thrill when we’re challenged to chase something down or seek something out. (We just can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet, feeling of anticipation.)
That’s one reason why virtual scavenger hunts have the power to capture anyone’s attention. They get people chasing items and following clues, experiencing the rush of mystery and the satisfaction of resolution on repeat. We find one item and then we can’t wait to find the next. It’s the perfect recipe for escalating fun and also for one memorable virtual event.
But these events offer more than just thrills and entertainment; they can also bring people together.
“In a world of uncertainty, we wanted to bring joy back into the homes of people all around the globe. This new scavenger hunt is educational and interactive for the participants, but it is also a way to virtually connect with friends and family that you aren’t seeing right now, due to social distancing.”
Yes, virtual scavenger hunts provide a way to connect.
Many virtual scavenger hunts get players moving around, interacting with their environments, and competing against (or collaborating with) one another across any distance. These shared adventures create a powerful impression of togetherness that has no spatial awareness. (They also give people a much-needed adventure in the midst of what can seem like never-ending sameness.)
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What Is A Virtual Scavenger Hunt?
A virtual scavenger hunt is an online experience based on the traditional game that challenges players to find specified items. In our virtual world, a scavenger hunt can be any game that prompts players to complete some sort of challenge, including things like taking photos, finding and collecting items, answering questions, solving clues, and more.
Aside: The name scavenger hunt was inspired by a scavenging animal’s erratic, sometimes frantic, search for food. This may seem odd but just participate in a hunt to truly understand the nomenclature. (As you scramble around to be the first on your team to find every single thing on a list of household items, you might understand why squirrels get so frantic about their acorns.)
You might not have realized you were beginning a hunt when you started reading this post, but guess what? Your scavenger hunt for the perfect virtual scavenger hunt starts now. Launch your quest with the virtual scavenger hunt ideas below. They all make wonderful team-building activities, birthday parties, and more.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt Themes For Team Building
Add personality and whimsy to any structure or type of scavenger hunt you select with the themes below. Use them to inspire your costumes, clues, decor, and even music choices.
1) Indiana Jones
Add a dose of epicness to your virtual scavenger hunt with a theme that pays homage to the ultimate silver-screen explorer, scavenger hunt extraordinaire if you will, Indiana Jones. (You can even write “theater of the mind” style traps that will activate if players misinterpret your clues.)
2) Toilet Paper
The COVID-19 pandemic has made toilet paper everyone’s unofficial favorite household product of 2020. See which of your hunters can make the best TP balloon animal or who has the most rolls stashed.
3) Sights of the City
Get your guests out and about by sending them on a hunt to find (and capture via photo) some famous sights of your city. Write your clues as riddles or brain teasers to extend the fun and also the length of gameplay.
Pro-Tip: Absolutely nail this idea with Let’s Roam’s scavenger hunt app. Simply have everyone download the app and Let’s Roam will take care of the rest, leading you through an unforgettable scavenger hunt/tour around your gorgeous city.
4) Gone Girl
Another dark take on the scavenger hunt, this theme will get all your team members having fun as they channel the twisted genius of fictional Amy’s fifth-anniversary scavenger hunt.
5) Super Mario
Swipe this classic Nintendo game’s point system, levels, and hidden challenges (giant beanstalk, anyone?) to create a themed scavenger hunt that will have everyone feeling like kids again. Put on some of those classic game tunes, bust out those overalls, and maybe even make some delicious mushroom snacks.
6) Macabre Mystery
Create a pleasantly dark scavenger hunt by sending players on a mission to solve an ancient puzzle, unravel an unexplained phenomenon, or maybe even crack a murder mystery. (Now that’s a new kind of team-building exercise.)
Pro-Tip: Call in the experts to make your macabre mystery an event to remember.
Outback Team Building’s virtual clue murder mystery combines video conferencing and a specially designed app to make every aspect of solving the mystery, from examining clues to reviewing case files, flow perfectly.
Pause an episode and send guests on a race to find in their own homes the items they can see in Seinfeld’s apartment. (Honestly, you could do a scavenger hunt based on his cereal boxes alone!)
Can your hunters properly identify all the trending videos you’ve referred to in your clues or will they fall down the rabbit hole before they can complete your challenge? The clock is ticking…
This classic board game lends itself perfectly to a scavenger hunt theme. You could even combine your scavenger hunt with a virtual game night for a double dose of fun games.
Your hunters can play their own favorite characters as they race to find your list of things and be the last one standing.
11) High School
From finding embarrassing pictures of their high-school selves to recreating stereotypical high-school photo ops and hairstyles, the challenges that stem from this relatable theme are absolutely endless.
12) Treasure Island
Your scallywag crew may have marooned you, but not before you swiped their treasure map. Now you’re off on the ultimate treasure hunt, to decipher their cryptic clues and strange drawings, all to find that buried treasure before they realize what you’ve done.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt Games & Apps For Team Building
These games and apps make your scavenger hunts even more fun by making them as easy as possible for you. Their platforms and features ensure an engaging hunt that goes smoothly and enjoyably for absolutely anyone participating.
13) Let’s Roam
Let’s Roam plans scavenger hunts that have led happy players to uncover hidden layers of fun in their own home towns. Now, with their in-home virtual scavenger hunt options, players uncover hidden layers of fun right within their own homes. A proprietary app makes it easy to romp around your home completing challenges while your competitors do the same.
You can even talk to the team about creating a customized virtual team building fun just for you.
TerraClues is a scavenger hunt platform that works with Google Maps to bring a thrilling dose of realism to your scavenger hunt adventure. They have hunts ready for you to join right now. You simply need to crack the clues and then pinpoint, right in Google Maps, the mystery location.
Perfect for large groups, Goosechase’s location-independent scavenger hunts create the experience of togetherness without the need to actually be together. Their memorable adventures send you on a wild chase to solve puzzles, check into locations, and more. You can even keep tabs on your competitors by using their real-time activity feed and opponent tracking features.
Instantly download the instructions you need to play 6 quarantine-ready games, including a virtual scavenger hunt of course. Keep the instructions for repeat plays and even spread the fun by sharing with your friends.
Part scavenger hunt and part enthralling history lesson, this virtual event will have you chasing clues straight to knowledge about world-changing women from history.
Now players can immerse themselves in a virtual race around the world from the comfort of their own homes. Racers complete a variety of travel-related trivia questions and challenges, all in hopes of being not only the first to win the race but also the first player with the most points to finish.
This vendor’s scavenger hunt lists, featuring items like childhood photos and favorite hats, will have you cracking up as you learn new things about your friends. Consider this hunt the “comedy over competition” offering.
Actionbound actually lets you create your own interactive online game that your guests can complete right within an expertly designed app. Fill your game with interactive features, including quizzes, maps, and videos.
Get scavenger-hunt style fun as you follow clues to escape a mysterious cabin. This experience comes along with chapters and enough engaging background lore to help you get lost in the mystery.
Treat yourself to a remote scavenger hunt that comes complete with a Zoom event host to handle all the details. Your adventure will last for almost two hours, ensuring you have plenty of time to make lots of memories.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt Ideas For Team Building
Browse the virtual scavenger hunt ideas below to find a challenge that speaks to you. Would you rather have your hunters talking silly selfies or heading out into nature? The choice is yours.
23) Easy DIY Selfie Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Simply send all your players a list of selfies to take. Make up your own or download a free indoor version, featuring challenges to take pics with breakfast foods or wearing your favorite outfits, or an outdoor version that challenges players to snap selfies with trees or cars.
Pro-Tip: If you’re open to outdoor adventures, then you should explore what Let’s Roam has to offer in your area. These events are expertly and digitally guided and include exciting experiences such as ghost tours and, of course, scavenger hunts.
This online platform makes it easy for you to create scavenger hunts and push clues out to mobile phones. You can even pick one of their pre-designed hunts and launch an adventure on your mobile phone immediately.
25) The Zoom Virtual Scavenger Hunt
This virtual scavenger hunt is perfect to play on a videoconferencing platform like Zoom, where you can organize a fun virtual event using simple items in your home.
- Break your Zoom call participants up into teams.
- Create a list of 10 unique items for people to locate in and around their homes. This is a great way to be creative and choose some options that take some time to think about. Ideas include: “Find an item that you’ve owned since you were 16” or “Find an item that can be used to defend yourself during a zombie apocalypse.”
- Give your teams 10 minutes to scour their homes for the correct items.
- At the conclusion of the 10 minutes, the team with the most correct items is awarded the winner.
Bonus points can be rewarded for the most creative item for each category. Let us know in the comments below if you found a better zombie apocalypse weapon than Tyler’s clarinet from the SnackNation Marketing team!
26) A Social Media Virtual Scavenger Hunt
It’s easy to send guests on an immersive virtual scavenger hunt (and also a trip down memory lane). Just come up with a list of posts or pics people need to search their feeds and posts to find. For example:
- Find a pic of one of your friends talking a selfie with a goat, cow, or horse
- Find a Tweet from someone with a rhyming first and last name
- Find a picture from the last wedding you attended
- Find a picture of yourself from last Thanksgiving
And the list could go on and on.
Use this online platform to try out the real-world scavenger hunt outdoor enthusiasts have enjoyed for years: geocaching.
28) Virtual Scavenger Hunt + Trivia
To win this scavenger hunt game, players must properly answer trivia questions before they get the next clue that tells them what to find. Consider this DIY idea a fun way to make things just a little more challenging.
29) A Nature Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Simply download a free printable checklist from Doing Good Together and you have everything you need to send yourself and your fellow adventurers into the great outdoors to find flowers, fallen branches, and so many other delightful natural treasures.
In this idea from SessionLab, you hunt IMDB to find a celebrity with the same hometown as everyone in your group.
31) The Food Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Give everyone a selection of food riddles and challenge them to solve the mind teaser and then find in their own homes the food each riddle refers to.
32) The Netflix And Chill Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Select your favorite Netflix show and then create a list of objects, colors, and words. Group stream a few episodes or as many as it takes for someone to find each and every item. (You’ll find few virtual events as easy and low-key as this one.)
33) A Colorful Virtual Scavenger Hunt
Come up with a list of bright or uncommon colors. Your players have to find scavenger hunt items around their homes (or in their yards) to match every color. Make this game more challenging by insisting on an exact match.
How To Host A Virtual Scavenger Hunt For Work
Follow these steps, and even repeat them for different hunts, to become everyone’s favorite virtual game master.
1) Select a scavenger hunt vendor, such as Let’s Roam, or a DIY idea from the ideas above.
2) Choose a theme from the ideas above. This is especially fun if you’re doing a DIY idea. For example, you could combine a “toilet paper” theme with the selfie scavenger hunt to get plenty of pictures of your friends wearing their best toilet paper fashions.
3) If you’re going the DIY route, then practice the scavenger hunt and then choose a reasonable, yet challenging, time limit.
4) If you’re going the DIY route, then select your medium. Will you simply email your clues and collect your pictures or will you gather everyone together on a video conferencing platform such as Zoom, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, or Houseparty?
6) Define “winning.” Will it be the first person to finish or the first person to finish and also meet all your criteria (answering all the trivia correctly or matching all the colors, for example)? Will you award any bonus points?
7) Send invitations! (Let everyone know there will be prizes so they know to put on their game face for your upcoming virtual holiday party.)
8) Send a surprise Caroo snack box to make all your hunters feel like winners before you even get going.
9) Send reminders about your event and also how to participate.
People Also Ask These Questions About Virtual Scavenger Hunt Ideas
Q: How does a virtual scavenger hunt work?
- A: During a virtual scavenger hunt, individual hunters race to find items, crack clues, or solve challenges they can complete within their own homes. [For example, taking selfies with various household objects.] Usually, the event host will share the challenge list at the same time and the competition begins, with each person competing with a larger group, each hunting from a remote location.
Q: What are some good virtual scavenger hunt ideas?
- A: Some good virtual scavenger hunt ideas include a social media scavenger hunt, which sends players on a mission to find a variety of posts. Find even more ideas for players of all ages in this roundup.
Q: Can I give my virtual scavenger hunt a theme?
- A: Absolutely! A virtual scavenger hunt theme is the perfect way to tie an event together and even determine the challenges and list of items you create for hunters to find.
Q: What do I need to host a virtual scavenger hunt?
- A: To host a virtual scavenger hunt, you need only some guests, an internet connection, and a list of items, challenges, and clues. You can simply share the hunt list via email or during a video call, let your players scramble, and then reconvene afterward to debrief and name winners.
Q: How do you make a virtual scavenger hunt?
- A: Make a virtual scavenger hunt by developing a list of items players need to find, actions they need to complete, or clues they need to solve. Unlike an in-person scavenger hunt, you must design a virtual hunt in a way that hunters can complete it in their own homes or independently outdoors.