Scattergories Game Rules & Instructions

Scattergories is a group game for two to six players, where players earn points for identifying objects within categories that begin with a given letter within a certain time frame. The game is based on the traditional game of “Categories,” which was published by Milton Bradley in 1988.

How to Play Scattergories

In Scattergories, players get points by naming objects that start with a certain letter. They have to do this within a certain amount of time, which two to six players can play.

Scattergories Game Rules

The idea of playing the Scattergories game is to score points in the given time frame by naming objects that fall into categories that start with a given letter. The task is to create a list of fresh words that fall into a random category and start with a selected letter; the one with the highest score wins.

Scattergories Game Rules

Setting up

For setting up, pick the three lists to use during the game, and pass each player a piece of paper with the lists in the same order.

Playing the game

  • Roll an alphabet die or use a generator to find a letter for the round, with a timer of three minutes.
  • Now, players fill the spaces in each column with words that relate to the category by starting with the appropriate letter.
  • When a player is unable to find an answer that starts with the key letter, they can write an answer that starts with any other letter, as long as the answer fits the category.
  • Each player can only fill in one column at a time, and players must immediately stop writing once the time runs out.
  • The members take turns reading their number one answers in loud voices and receive one point for each unique answer. 

Scoring in Scattergories

In order to score points in Scattergories, players need to come up with unique answers, and they get points if no other player matches their answer. In addition, extra points can be awarded for multi-word answers that may begin with a letter.

Additional Scattergories Rules

The words that begin with an (A, An, or The) may not be used at the beginning of a letter. The word following the article counts as the beginning letter. The maximum number of words in the answer is allowed if the first word starts with the correct letter. However, giving a false answer is still better than giving no answer because the group playing may accept it.

How to Play Scattergories

To play Scattergories, first, separate the category cards into six sets of lists from 1 to 12, and give each player a play folder. Set up the lists inside each folder on the left side, and set a blank answer sheet on the right side of each player’s corresponding folder.

How to Play Scattergories

When they arrive at the beginning of the round, all players quickly fill in the first column of their answer sheets with answers that fit the category and begin with the key letter rolled on the die. The players must repeat the roll if the letter on the die has already been used during the game.

In this game, players attempt to find an answer that begins with the letter on the die for each category. Next, choose the number from the list, then clip that card into the folder so that it is facing you, and make sure each player is using the same list number. 

Press the stop side of the timer button, and one player rules the 20-sided letter die. At the start of each round, select a random letter, and assign each player a fixed amount of time to think of words that fit each category on the card and start with the chosen letter. Players are supposed to write down their answers, one for each category.

When time is up, players take turns reading their answers, and the person with the highest point by figuring out the correct words wins the game. 

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