EteRNA offers several different types of puzzles: tutorials, challenges, player puzzles, player projects, and labs. Solving puzzles adds to a player's point total.


Tutorials are a set of special puzzles that introduce the general principles of the game. Players start with a partially completed puzzle and are presented with limited options to solve it. Each tutorial illustrates a different aspect of play.


Several hundred challenges are puzzles supplied by the EteRNA developers. These puzzles are based on the secondary structures of natural RNAs. Most challenges have multiple difficulty levels. Higher levels have more demanding restrictions, but award more points when they are successfully completed.

GU ChallengesEdit

GU challenges are a specific type of challenge puzzle where players are encouraged to maximize the number of GU pairs they incorporate into their solutions.

Impossible PuzzlesEdit

The Prevotella alabensis series, HgcG RNA, and Arthropod 7sk each have secondary structures that are impossible to satisfy with the current energy model.

Player PuzzlesEdit

Main Article: Puzzle Design

Player puzzles are similar to challenges, but they are created by players. These puzzles vary wildly in their size, difficulty, and theme. Hundreds of player puzzles have been created, and new puzzles are added every day. All player puzzles are worth 100 points.

Lab PuzzlesEdit

Main Article: Lab

The target structure for labs are player puzzles chosen from the pool of lab candidates. They are generally easy to solve; however, the goal of labs is not merely to solve a puzzle.

Difficulty RatingsEdit

Players can rate the difficulty of puzzles on a scale of one to five stars. Ratings are not available for all puzzles, however. The simplest way for newcomers to assess the difficulty of puzzles is to check the number of players who have previously solved the puzzle.

Puzzle-Solving StrategiesEdit

The most common strategies for solving puzzles involve boosting, blocking, and the use of GC closing base pairs. Strategies have also been developed to deal with certain tricky shapes, such as zigzags and tight multiloops.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.