Jeremy enjoys gaming (both board and electronic) and occasionally helps playtest new titles.
What is "Among Us"?
An indie game that exploded in popularity, Among Us utilizes the traitor mechanic of board games like Mafia and Werewolf, but in video game format. Not only is this a great way to safely game during covid quarantine, it's fast, convenient, and unique.
Innocent color-coded crewmates work together to complete tasks (automatically winning if all are finished), while the imposter masquerades as a crewmate while eliminating their shipmates and avoiding drawing suspicion. Among Us is free for mobile gamers, but doesn't offer much of a tutorial to help newbies adapt—how can you triumph in the depths of space? Here are five tips for both crewmates and imposters in Among Us!
1. Prove Yourself Using Tasks
To keep defeated players engaged, deceased crewmates can silently complete tasks to contribute towards a team win; however, think carefully before performing "prover" tasks (ones with a visual component) as a ghost. You can't be seen or interact with survivors, so it's often best to leave allies the ability to ascertain someone's innocence; go far common tasks with no visual aspects that won't deplete your team's options.
However, once someone's innocence is proven, they become a strong target for imposters, so be careful not to isolate yourself, bringing us to our next tip:
2. Travel in Groups
If there's only one imposter in your game, you ideally want to move in squads of three or more, which makes it difficult for imposters to kill since there will be eyewitnesses. Moving in pairs is risky; if your "partner" is the imposter, you'll be dead once the coast is clear.
So, bunch up where possible; however, sometimes it helps to just remain within eyesight but not be right next to each other, so the imposter can't "cluster kill" (see imposter tips for more information).
You can't use the chat until a body is found or someone calls an emergency meeting, so you can't say something like "if I die, black did it". But still, the chat is very much a crewmate's best defense...
3. Communicate in Chat
When a body is found or someone calls an emergency meeting, that's your only chance to discuss your findings. Even if you don't know who the imposter is, your information could be useful, especially if you were with another player the whole time (be careful, as any gaps mean they could have briefly ran off and killed). Saying "was with red in electric" helps players know that you two can vouch for each other. That said, be wary of games with multiple imposters; even if you were with red the whole time, she could still be evil if it was her imposter partner that struck.
If there really isn't any solid information, sometimes skipping your option to vote someone out is best, but don't be afraid to vote even if you're not sure—far more crewmate victories come from guessing the imposter than from finishing all tasks.
4. Standing Bodies are Fresh
Here's a small but useful detail that new (and even experienced) players often don't realize: if you come upon a dead body that's still standing, it was recently murdered. The killer is nearby (unless they vented out of the area), so if you just saw someone running away, odds are good that's an imposter.
On the other hand, if a dead body is on the ground, some time has passed since they died, so players seen leaving the area aren't necessarily responsible (though still pretty suspicious). Also remember that whoever announces the body could still be the culprit, an imposter tactic called "self-reporting".
5. Offer to Sacrifice Self If Accusation is Wrong
Let's say you see the imposter stab a crewmate or slip into a vent. Both are definitive proof of the traitor, so now your job is to survive until you report the body (sparking a discussion) or call an emergency meeting. Once you're in the group chat, arguably the best way to convince fellow crewmates to vote is to martyr yourself if the guess is wrong. "Guys, I saw white kill orange; if I'm wrong, vote me out".
Obviously, you probably don't want to try this unless you're sure, but when you are, it almost always successfully persuades your allies to vote out the imposter.
1. Sabotage Lights for Your Kill
Imposters have various sabotage abilities that, like their kill, require a cooldown before using again. You can trigger one at a time from any location; by far the best is the light sabotage, which drastically restricts crewmate vision, making it incredibly hard for them to see your kills. Also, crewmates can't call emergency meetings while the lights are out, making this a prime opportunity to strike.
Of course, don't ignore your other sabotage opportunities; you can close doors to temporarily trap players, hinder communications to block security footage, and deplete oxygen to force crewmates to fix it or suffocate. Dead imposters can also assist you by sabotaging, leaving you free to focus on kills.
2. Vote With the Group
Theoretically, imposters always want groups to vote out innocent players. However, if you're too aggressive with accusations, it'll only make you look more suspicious, so listen to the bunch and adjust your plan accordingly; if the team is leaning towards skipping the vote from lack of information, go along with them.
But if they think someone is guilty, agree to vote—not only does this help you blend in, it'll get you one kill closer to winning.
Usually, imposters don't want to report their kills, leaving them time to flee the scene, fake an alibi, or even kill again if their cooldown resets before the body is found. However, occasionally self-reporting your own victim can be a useful tactic to gain trust, especially if crewmates are already suspicious of someone else.
Or, if people are starting to question you, you can cast doubt on someone else by suggesting that another is self-reporting as the imposter.
4. Accuse Other Imposters
In games with multiple imposters (you can have 1-3), outing your fellow conspirators is risky since some will, in retribution, out you. However, teams win as a group, meaning that even if other imposters are revealed and cast out, they can still triumph, which entices them to stay silent.
Still, it's usually best to only accuse fellow imposters when their goose is already cooked—someone witnessed them murder or vent. In these cases, trying to defend them may only reveal you as their partner, so it 's likely best to suggest them as the culprit. Plus, even if they do out you, you might be able to spin it as them lying to try to kill a (supposedly) innocent crewmate as a final blow.
5. Cluster Kill
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you're facing an experienced crewmate team that knows to stick together, you might have to resort to a risky "cluster" kill. This is when so many players are close together that even when one dies, anyone nearby could have been the perpetrator.
Again, risky since you'll be one of the potential suspects, but with two (or more) other players nearby, groups often elect to skip the vote, or simply guess wrong. I wouldn't do this more than once (or twice if you're really pushing it) per game, but it's a good ace up your sleeve when crewmates are nearing task completion.
Maps in "Among Us"
In addition to today's tips, learning the three maps in Among Us will guide you to success; here's a quick run-down to get you started:
- The Skeld: the first and most commonly-played map, with an intermediate size
- MIRA HQ: A smaller map, offering less stealth and more mayhem
- Polus: A huge map with the unique "vitals" security system, letting crewmates monitor vitals to see whose vitals are (and aren't) increasing at proper times
Practice makes perfect, so don't be discouraged if you struggle with your first few rounds, but for now, vote for your favorite playstyle and I'll see you at our next gaming review!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill