Among Us is a great game, but you need to control the group and the settings to get the most out of it.

20:00, 16 Sep 2020

Seemingly out of nowhere, the PC and Mobile Game Among Us by InnerSloth has taken over first Twitch.tv, and later the entire gaming world. The mafia-style game is the perfect social game, especially if you haven’t gotten into a fight with your friends recently but are craving a good argument. Available on Steam, iOS, and Android, the best experience has proven to be whatever platform allows you to communicate with your friends (and soon to be foes) via voice call.

Among Us Beginner's Guide - The Basics

Among Us is a five-ten player game, though “the more the merrier” most definitely applies. At the start of a round, players will be randomly assigned a role, either becoming Imposters or Crewmates. While the latter’s goal is to either finish their tasks or to find all Imposters, the former has to kill Crewmates until only the same amount of good and bad guys are left, or to have the timer on a Sabotage run out - more on that in a moment. 

Imposters receive special abilities to accomplish that task, as they are allowed to use the ventilation system to travel between exits and rooms, as well as trigger Sabotages. Depending on the map you are playing, “vents” have different power levels, as some maps have incredibly interconnected systems, while maps like “The Skeld” only allow you to travel between two or three exits. 

There are several different Sabotages ranging from win conditions like Reactor and Oxygen to information disrupting ones like Communications and Lights. Moreover, Imposters can close doors of different rooms. On some maps, Crewmates can open these doors by solving a puzzle, on others they will have to wait out the duration.

Crewmates apply pressure to the Imposters by doing tasks which fill the top left taskbar. Once completely filled - the Crew wins. The Crew can also win by voting out the imposter during each voting segment, which can either be trigger via pressing the red button in the spawning room, or finding a corpse and hitting the horn on their bottom right UI. A powerful tool to find out if someone isn’t an Imposter is to have them do “visual tasks.” Tasks such as shooting the asteroids in weapons will trigger an animation that only Crewmen can activate. If you want this to be part of your game, you have to switch them on in the settings. We will show you how.

Among Us Beginner's Guide - House rules

The first step to a fun experience will be to set house rules as each group tends to play Among Us a little differently. Proven and universally accepted rules are as follows:

- Do not talk outside the voting times. Try to mute yourself

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- Don’t stack on top of each other too much (it makes winning as Imposter impossible)

- Do not stream snipe the people you are playing with

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- Avoid screaming over each other

Other points of discussion will be whether or not you allow “metagaming”, that is if someone can accuse another based on the sound of their voice, or finding their in-game behaviour out of the ordinary. In our experience, meta-gaming gives a great flavour to the game experience and makes every group unique. Some also like to discuss if it is okay to slack on tasks, or if players should be allowed to slack on them based on their ability to play “sheriff” for the town.

Among Us Beginners Guide
Example settings for a lobby of 10 advanced players

Among Us Beginner's Guide - Settings

Once you have decided on your house rules, the host of the lobby has to create a game. Here, the rules are once again highly flexible, though the goal of them should generally be to maintain an Imposter to Crew win rate of 50%. Therefore, the optimal settings don’t exist and have to be adjusted based on your group size and the metagame state that your group is under.

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The recommended settings are a good start, but generally play very slowly. You will soon find out what works best for your group, but the most effective values to play around with are discussion time, kill cooldown, vision range, and the number of tasks the crew have to solve. Be aware of what the different values do to the communication of your group. Less discussion time will mean that people will get more frustrated in not having had an opportunity to share their information - but too much information also shuts down Imposters too hard if the crew can keep on top of it.

The most important value will be to find the right ratio of Imposters to Crewmates. We recommend having one Imposter up to seven Crewmates. Only at eight have we found two Imposters to start being fair. At ten players, two Imposters are generally considered enough. 

For a fun time, the most important aspect is to have someone, or a couple of people, who keep track of the flow of the game, and adjust values as they come, who should preferably be the lobby leader. A lot of fights can be minimised by deescalating in-game values and simply starting the next game so players can’t fight in between matches. A lobby host that has the finger on the pulse of the players will contribute a lot to the enjoyment everyone will be getting out of Among Us.

Image via InnerSloth

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