FoldIt:Quarantine Edition

Created June 22, 2021, 3:08 p.m.
Updated June 22, 2021, 3:08 p.m.

Foldit is an online puzzle video game about protein folding. It is part of an experimental research project developed by the University of Washington, Center for Game Science, in collaboration with the UW Department of Biochemistry. The objective of Foldit is to fold the structures of selected proteins as perfectly as possible, using tools provided in the game. The highest scoring solutions are analyzed by researchers, who determine whether or not there is a native structural configuration (native state) that can be applied to relevant proteins in the real world. Scientists can then use these solutions to target and eradicate diseases and create biological innovations. A 2010 paper in the science journal Nature credited Foldit's 57,000 players with providing useful results that matched or outperformed algorithmically computed solutions. In this edition of FoldIt you can help researchers discover new antiviral drugs that might stop coronavirus! The most promising solutions will be manufactured and tested at the University of Washington Institute for Protein Design in Seattle. The latest information about top solutions for COVID-19 can be found on the FoldIt YouTube channel


Foldit attempts to apply the human brain's three-dimensional pattern matching and spatial reasoning abilities to help solve the problem of protein structure prediction. 2016 puzzles are based on well-understood proteins. By analysing how humans intuitively approach these puzzles, researchers hope to improve the algorithms used by protein-folding software.[12] Foldit includes a series of tutorials where users manipulate simple protein-like structures and a periodically updated set of puzzles based on real proteins. It shows a graphical representation of each protein which users can manipulate using a set of tools.

How to participate

We recommend that new players start with the Foldit Intro Puzzles. To get started playing Foldit, download and install the game using one of the links on this page Here are the rest of the instructions to get you started If you haven't already, create a Foldit account. Your Foldit account lets you log in to the web site and the game. Please consider the Foldit Community Rules when picking a user name! ( To get familiar with the game, read about Foldit at and the FAQ at After some practice, move on to the Science Puzzles and try out the Beginner: Coronavirus puzzle. We also have an advanced puzzle NEW advanced puzzle where you can try to design an antiviral protein from scratch! To meet other players, check out the Foldit Discord channels. Note: Foldit is an interactive computer game and not a distributed computing project.

Needed equipment

Windos, MacOS or Linux on a computer or laptop

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