Given that HQ Trivia came back from the dead in March 2020—less than two months after the app had appeared to have died with the layoff of 25 staff members and an epic ‘final’ show with drunk hosts teeing off on the lack of investment in the project—it is pretty ironic that the extra lives feature is a big part of the game.
Basically, it’s exactly what it sounds like. An extra life in HQ Trivia will allow you to keep playing when a wrong answer would normally have you eliminated from the contest. Given that HQ Trivia pays out cash prizes, the correct use of an extra life can be the difference between being part of the prize pool and going home—figuratively—early.
The first need-to-know piece of information about extra lives is how they work. You can use one extra life per game—it would be a bit silly if you could extra life yourself all the way to the final without getting a question right, after all—and you CANNOT apply that extra life on the final question. When your extra life is used, it disappears from your stockpile.
It is also worth noting that the extra life is applied automatically when you get that first question wrong. There is an opt-out option that requires the user to tap the “Not Now” prompt before a countdown timer expires, so keep this in mind if you get knocked out in an early round and don’t think that it is the correct time to use what is essentially a free pass to the next question.
Here are a few extra life tricks to consider when playing the game.
Ways to Get Extra Lives
The most obvious way to get extra lives is simply to buy them. This requires a two-part process in the HQ Shop, which we will break down here. The first thing you will need is coins. You can earn these can simply by playing the Daily Challenge or the various events, or—to save time—you can buy coins in the shop for varying amounts of real-world money. These break down as such:
500 Coins – $4.99
1,750 Coins – $14.99
3,000 Coins – $19.99
6,500 Coins – $34.99
10,000 Coins – $44.99
15,000 Coins – $64.99
The next step is to buy the extra lives also in the HQ Shop. Their prices are:
1 Extra Life – 400 Coins
3 Extra Lives – 1,000 Coins
5 Extra Lives – 1,500 Coins
The value is clearly better if you spend more money. Buying one extra life after buying 500 coins basically gives that life a monetary value of $4. Buying five extra lives after spending a whopping $64.99 on 15,000 coins—the biggest available value of each commodity—makes each of the five lives value around $1.30. Make sure you are aware of all this when spending money on the game.
HQ Extra Life Hacks
There have been rumors about extra life hacks for the existence of the game. Given their cost—and their use when you are facing a tough question in a late round while in competition for the prize pool—this only makes sense. It made even more sense during the first iteration of the game, especially because back then the prize pool was out of control with the jackpot reaching as much as $250,000. With that much ‘free’ money on the line, it only makes sense that players were trying to hack their way to more extra lives.
One of the big hack rumors was that opening the app and swiping up on the screen with two fingers quickly multiple times would reward a user with a one-off extra life. If this was/is true (I never got it to work), then it is likely more of an Easter Egg thrown into the game by the developers than any kind of hack or mistake. Either way, there doesn’t seem to be any harm in trying this a few times if you haven’t already.
A very simple way to pick up extra lives is through inviting friends. They give every player of HQ Trivia a referral code and if you have a friend, family member, enemy, or anyone, really, sign up with that code, then when they play their first game you will see a free extra life credited to your account.
While it is a onetime bonus per friend, there is no limit on the number of friends that can sign up with your referral code. This means that if you have enough friends—and they can even add the code after they have played if they forgot to use it initially—you could technically have a free extra life in every game that you take part in.
Extra Lives Disappeared
There are a few things to remember if you think your extra lives have disappeared. The first is that the automatic application of a life upon losing makes it very easy to not realize that your life was activated and is gone simply because it was used to keep you alive.
The system runs as it does because the extra life decision needs to be fast to stay with the flow of the game—which is why it is up to the player to deny the life rather than take the time to apply it—but it is a system that can be seen as being a little backwards.
The other thing to remember is that extra lives—according to the company, at least—don’t expire. This means that if you don’t play the game for eight months and come back, your lives should all still be sitting there waiting for you.
If you think your lives have disappeared for no reason—and remember that one criticism that has always been aimed at HQ Trivia is that it is buggy—then contact the support team for further information.
Can You Get Free Extra Lives?
The bottom line is the only guaranteed and consistent way to get free extra lives is through either grinding the Daily Challenge over time for coins or to have several friends use your referral code when they sign up. This might be ideal for anyone on a sports team—or perhaps with a large forum presence—as a friend literally can play one game and delete the app for your extra life to still appear.
It is also always worth checking the HQ Trivia socials—be that Twitter or Facebook, for example—because there are sometimes codes thrown out on there, or hints for later questions, that make everything a little easier in what can be a very challenging, albeit fun, contest.