Foldit offers Intro Puzzles as a quick introduction to how to play the game.
After completing the Intro Puzzles, new players can work on the Beginner Puzzles.
Beginner puzzles are shown in the Science Puzzles menu, when the "show beginner puzzles" box is checked.
There are currently six beginner puzzles, each of which runs for six weeks. One puzzle expires and then restarts each week.
The Beginner Puzzles are different than the Intro Puzzles in several ways.
In the Beginner Puzzles, players can:
- receive points when the puzzle ends, part of the ranking system
- (only players with less than 150 "global points" receive beginner puzzle points)
- join a group, and play as an evolver
- use recipes
- save solutions and share them
- take advantage of all the Advanced GUI options, especially the View Options
- switch to the selection interface
The available beginner puzzles are listed below.
Easy Mini FreestyleEdit
The proteins in de-novo puzzles are generally known only through DNA evidence, and haven't been solved using automated or "wet lab" methods, making them one of the toughest challenges in Foldit. Foldit tends to have a new de-novo puzzle almost every week.
Mini Arabidopsis Multi-Start PuzzleEdit
In the Mini Arabidopsis Multi-Start Puzzle, the unsolved protein is only 59 segments long. Players can use the alignment tool to mix-and-match parts of five different solutions generated by an automated method.
The alignment tool hasn't been used in recent Foldit puzzles. Players are also free to treat this puzzle as another de-novo and develop their own solutions from scratch.
The Symmetry Design puzzle lets players design a small protein with 40 segments. There are also two identical copies of the protein. The goal is assemble all three copies into a trimer which holds together and scores well.
There are two parts to the Docking Design puzzle. There's a large protein, which is the target of the design. And there's separate section with 13 segments which players can design. The goal is to find a design which fits a specific area of the target protein. Constraints keep the design section from moving too far away from the target area.
In the past, Foldit has had a number of puzzles like this one, targeting diseases like Alzheimer's, Ebola, and AIDS.
Staphylococcus Aureus Electron DensityEdit
An electron density puzzle like Staphylococcus Aureus Electron Density presents a "cloud", which shows where electrons are most likely to be found based on experimental results. Electrons usually hang out near atoms, so it's possible to see the shapes of the protein's backbone and sidechains in the cloud. Players can use bands and other Foldit tool to fit the protein to the cloud.
Foldit has had a number of electron density puzzles recently. Seeing shapes in the ED cloud is often difficult. Based on player feedback, some revisiting puzzles have been presented with electron density added. Other puzzles with especially clear density have been presented to help players become more accustomed to seeing shapes in clouds.
Parabacteroides Distasonis is a Quest to the Native (QTTN) puzzle. Foldit hasn't had any new QTTN puzzles recently, but this puzzle is still a good way to practice using Foldit tools. The known "native" shape of the protein is shown as a translucent guide, and the goal is to fit the protein to the guide. Unlike an electron density puzzle, the guide is crystal-clear, and the sidechains on the guide appear when you hover over the corresponding spot on the protein. Like an electron density, players can use bands and other techniques to fit the protein to the guide.