How to play the Factitious 2018 news game

Thanks for your interest in the Factitious news game. This article describes the game including how to play, how to get higher scores, and some of the details of the scoring system.

We reorganized the game levels in December to give you six different options from easy to hard levels.

How to Play Factitious

The new version retains the same simple game play of the original Factitious game. There are three basic steps:

  • Read the article
  • Swipe to the right if you think it’s a real story
  • Swipe to the left if you think it’s fake

That’s it for basic rules. Maybe that’s why more than 800,000 people have already played the game (as of 1/11/19).

Factitious Tips

Here are some basic tips for scoring higher in the game.

  • Read enough of the article until you’ve figured it out, then swipe.
  • If you read to the end of the article to figure it out, you’ll get a small bonus for your reading.
  • Click the Show Source button to view the article’s source — who wrote and posted it. This often provides a helpful hint for real and fake articles.

Diving Deeper

Here are some other tips and suggestions for spotting fake news.

  • Does the article have a lot of flamboyant adjectives? Most real news articles don’t.
  • Does the article include any quotes from identified sources? A lot of fake stories don’t.
  • If the article quotes a source, do the person’s words seem to match their title? Some fake articles have started putting words in the mouths of respected officials.
  • And, of course, check the source. Is it an organization you recognize?

Scoring Details

The revised Factitious game has a new scoring system that provides bonuses for reading and checking the source.

  • Correct Answers are worth 40 points each
  • Clicking the Show Source button will add 2 points to your score
  • Reading the entire article gives you a 1 point bonus.

Here’s a sample game with explanations for all of the scoring.

  • The player had 12 correct answers (12 x 40 = 480)
  • They viewed the source info 6 times (6 x 2 = 12)
  • They read 6 articles all the way through to get 6 points (6 x 1=6).
  • Total score = 480 + 12 + 6

Why are only your first play of each game level shown on the High Score and My Scores table?

We only count your first plays because you would always score higher on the second play (you’ve already seen the articles and whether they’re real or fake). The High Scores table shows how well people score when they don’t know what’s coming.