Among Us has taken over. A two-year-old, little-known game has caught fire and is now one of the biggest things on Twitch. Its $5 price point (free on mobile) and completely addicting social game play has made it the much-needing gaming hit we all needed to feel connected.
It’s a great way to virtually hang out with your friends and play a game together, but it’s also a competition. You want to win, and I’m here to help. Unfortunately your friends may hate you in the process, but that’s the price you pay to be the best.
Available on PC and mobile, Among Us is a social deduction game. You are a member of a team trying to run a space ship and keep its mission on course. There’s just one problem: There are impostors among the crew. The only people who know the impostors are other impostors, and their job is to sabotage the mission or kill the other players without being noticed.
When someone finds a body, or a twice-per-game emergency meeting is called, players debate over who they think the impostors are. They share information about what they saw, who was absent and if anyone has been acting suspiciously. At this point there’s a vote, and if it passes with a majority a player is ejected into the cold expanse of space. The crew wins if they achieve all their tasks, or eliminate the impostors. The impostors win if they successfully sabotage the ship, or eliminate enough crew members there can no longer be a majority to get rid of them.
If this game sound familiar it’s because it is. Social deduction party games like Werewolf or Mafia have been around for years, but bringing the core concept into a video game, paired with the lack of body language to gain information from makes Among Us an incredible experience.
Now, let’s break down some tips if you want to win this thing.
From game to game you need to act even-keeled. If you’re a typically vocal person, then remain vocal — whether you’re a crew member or an impostor. If you’re calculating and measured, stay that way. Drastically changing your personality is a dead giveaway that something might be up.
It’s also critical to know when it’s time to play off type. If you’re a generally quiet person then when you decide to be vocal could be the difference between a win and a loss. Unexpected fervor will sway people more than a player who talks non-stop every single round, and as long as you don’t play this card too often you can really use it to your advantage.
Gain knowledge of the tasks on the ship, and how long they take to complete. You won’t be an expert off the bat, but impostors are definitely going to be faking successful tasks to throw you off their trail. Watch people who spend too much, or too little time at a terminal. This can be your key to spotting a crew member from a faker. It’s not enough to argue for exile off the bat, but it could give you insight on who to watch closer.
Pay attention to voting. Remember there’s an overarching goal to the game for the other crew members of eliminating the impostors. There should be a logical line that moves round-to-round that supports this. Too often impostors will forget this fact, and work towards influencing a vote that may benefit them, but doesn’t follow a logical through line. Beware of people who swing between targets round-to-round, seemingly without reason.
Groups might feel safe, but beware a group of three. There’s generally a feeling of safety in numbers when running around the ship, which can be true — but it also leaves too much room for the impostors to avoid the group and pick up stragglers. However, if you find yourself in a group of three early in the game be afraid, be very afraid. You may be tempted to feel like an impostor can’t reveal themselves in this scenario, but there’s an even chance you could be walking around with both impostors, waiting to find a secluded place to kill you in. Remember: They know they’re both impostors. You won’t … until it’s too late.
Identify a partner and stick to them. People tend to lock in to working out who the impostors are, but sometimes it’s more valuable to work out who your friends as first. Not only are the odds on your side, especially early game, but it gives you a sounding board during voting and someone you can trust. If they saw something you can rely on it, whereas a random person could be an impostor.
Don’t report dead bodies immediately. The natural inclination might be to report as soon as you find a corpse, but in doing so and moving immediately to the discussion and vote costs you the opportunity to gain valuable information. Sure, you might have discovered the body late — but there’s a chance you could find someone fleeing the scene. You can always double-back and report the body, you can’t gain anything after the report.
Don’t rush for the revenge kill. There’s going to be a time where people are onto you, and the key is not to freak out. If someone unsuccessfully tries to vote you out, don’t turn around and immediately try to kill them. Sure, you might eliminate the person ratting you out — but you’ll also give yourself away in the process. Instead of trying to kill instantly, wait and try to win the accuser over. Act like a crew member, make them question their own thought process, and eliminate you in the process.
Instead of getting defensive, be smart. When accused, you’re going to want to defend yourself in the vote. It’s human nature. Instead of professing your innocence, instead focus on the reasoning behind their accusation and poke holes in that. If their logic involves you retreating from a room where a body was found, justify why you were. Think on the fly and use that as your defense, rather than pointing the finger somewhere else. As long as you’re in a reasonable group that uses logical reasoning they’re more likely to side with you.
Turn the tables on your overly vocal friends. People being loud is your window. It’s so easy to flip the script on someone accusing others endlessly by simply saying “You keep accusing people, maybe you’re the impostor.” This mere mention will drive them up the wall and make them super defensive. Remember what we said about being defensive? It makes you look guilty. Now, you can’t use this every game or people will be wise, but it can get you out of a jam in a tight spot.
Use major sabotages as a way to isolate stragglers. Whenever there’s a major sabotage, like an oxygen leak or reactor meltdown people tend to do one of two things: Freak out and rush to the site, or assume someone else has it. It’s the latter you need to prey on. If your fellow impostor starts the sabotage use it as a chance to check the outskirts of the ship and get a quick kill, then make your way to the sabotage site and act like you were completing a task before being on your way to address the larger issue.
Don’t be afraid to throw your friend under the bus. Remember, you both get the win if the impostors win — even if one is ejected. There might be times your fellow impostor does something extremely dumb and can’t be saved with an argument in the vote. Don’t hesitate to jump on board and get them booted. Your goal is to remain undetected, and the safest way to ensure survival is blending in. If you’re quiet when everyone is overwhelmingly going to kick an impostor then it’s a dead giveaway you’re in on it.
Use logic, not emotion — in all cases. It might be against your nature, but people don’t respect emotional pleas the same way they do pure logic. Establish and break down arguments without resorting to asking for people to believe you, or trust you. Instead discuss in things in terms of how it benefits or hurts the team, rather than only benefiting you. Then you can sway over more, get people on your side, and make you fight for you — rather than against.
Also, have fun. Fun is important. I guess.