Escape room tips are tactics for solving difficult puzzles within a limited time. Usually, the task is to escape a locked room within 60 minutes by following clues and solving puzzles placed strategically in the room. You do not have to be Sherlock Holmes to navigate an escape room, but being strategic successfully will go a long way in getting you out of the rooms.
These tips can help with VR escape games, online escape rooms, digital escape rooms, escape games on the iPad and with escape room alternatives.
This article includes:
- Escape room tips for beginners
- Escape room tips for teams
- Online escape room tips
- Escape room hints and tricks that work
Here we go!
Escape Room Tips for Beginners
Playing the escape room game as a first-timer can be slightly nerve-wracking, especially when in a room with strangers. As scary as this situation might be, the point of the game is to have fun by solving puzzles. There are several ways to play the escape room game like a professional, even as a newbie.
With these useful tricks, playing becomes a lot easier. Here are some helpful escape room tips for beginners.
1. Play with a positive mindset
As someone just playing the escape room game for the first time, it is normal to be a little nervous. However, the best way to enjoy the game is to have a positive mindset that the activities are just for fun. It does not matter if you end up winning or losing; the point is to have an adventure.
Acting too scared, jittery, or negative can be a huge problem, especially when on a team. You do not have to be so focused on winning that you forget to have a great time. In most cases, people who play the game with a positive attitude while not being too fixated on winning end up being the winners.
2. Play with people you know
One handy tip for playing the game escape room as a beginner is to play with people you know. Escape rooms are usually more fun when played among friends, and familiarity eases the feeling of nervousness. However, if you are playing the game with strangers, it is generally advisable to acquaint yourself with some other players before the game begins. Making acquaintances brings a feeling of familiarity and makes the game progressively easier.
3. Listen carefully to the rules of the game or the narrator
One of the most overlooked yet essential tips to winning escape room games is listening attentively to the narrator. There are several reasons why listening to the rules is an extremely great idea. First of all, paying attention to the narrator or game rules gives you an idea of what to expect and an overview.
One secret discovered over time is that narrators sometimes give subtle clues and hints in their narration. While this scenario does not occur often, listening carefully to the narrator at the start of the game might eventually help you figure out decisions.
4. Ask questions
A step towards excelling at an escape room game is to throw away your ego or shyness and ask questions where necessary. If any point is vague or slightly confusing, ask questions. You can speak to your team leader if specific hints or clues appear weird or different. Asking questions makes it easier to play the game since you are sure of what you are doing.
Escape Room Tips for Teams
As stated earlier, one of the best ways to win the escape room game is through teamwork. Victory does not result from picking just any team and getting lucky. More steps go into the process and while the idea is to have fun, having the right team makes the gaming process more exciting.
Very few people understand the importance of teamwork in the escape room game. Having a team collaborating increases the chance of winning the game. If you eventually find yourself a team leader and winning is a top priority for you and your teammates, you would find escape room tips for teams valuable.
5. Pick the right team
Building a good crew transcends beyond physical appearance. Often, it is common to find folks choosing team members based on how strong or smart they ‘appear.’ This approach is not advisable because escape room games mostly games challenge the mind and intellect. When preparing for an escape room game, wise decisions are crucial. Mr. A might love reading mystery novels, but that does not automatically make him the right teammate for solving puzzles.
A successful way to know who will make a good teammate is to engage in intellectual rapport with players before the games. Not only does the conversation help you figure out each person’s strengths and weaknesses, but it also warms the group up to each other. Another helpful tip is to keep your team as small as possible. Having two to six members is quite enough and makes it easier for communication to flow.
6. Plan with your team
It is quite understandable to want to dive right into the game once the facilitator or narrator finishes instructions. However, a few minutes of strategizing with your team does not hurt. Having a plan gives you a rough idea of steps to take that you do not search aimlessly.
Once every member on the team has an idea of a plan, the games become slightly more coordinated and time-saving. It would be a terrible way to lose if all your team does is run around aimlessly. For this reason, players should come in a few minutes earlier before starting the game.
7. Delegate roles to each teammate
The best way to work effectively when playing escape room games is to delegate different roles to teammates. A great way to delegate roles and responsibilities is to break down the team into two groups of solvers and seekers.
Certain players are great at paying attention to the tiniest details and fishing out items that others seemingly overlooked. On the other hand, other participants are simply fantastic at solving problems that no one else understands. If you aim to win, dividing your team into groups of seekers and solvers saves time and makes it easier to discover hidden clues.
8. Communicate effectively
Since teamwork is an essential part of solving escape room games, every team member must understand the importance of effective communication. Teammates must pay attention to what the facilitator is saying and provide valuable information that might help the team. Once there is a free flow of information among teammates, winning the game becomes more manageable.
Teammates should be able to share ideas among themselves without necessarily accepting all the decisions of the team leader. If any team member finds a clue or helpful hint, it is crucial to communicate clearly with your teammates. If you speak out and there is no response, it is best to repeat yourself rather than assume they heard you. Once you have searched a place, communicate it with other teammates to avoid repetitive searches.
However, note that searching for a place other teammates might have given up is also a great way to discover something new. While concentrating on the task at hand, ensure that you are still alert to whatever information your teammates share. Missing out on specific details might take your team a few steps back rather than forward. You should also pay attention to the input of every player on the team. It is not advisable to make some teammates more significant than others.
If you suggested an idea that later turned out to be right at the end of the game, you should not get angry at your teammates. Using words like “I said this” or “You all did not listen to me!” is not a nice way to end the game with teammates. You should understand that certain decisions are necessary and if your teammates do not accept your idea, take it as part of the game.
9. Use encouraging words
Solving escape rooms can sometimes be quite challenging, and teammates may start to get frustrated or even angry. If, at any point, teammates start to lose hope, use encouraging words to motivate them. You do not have to be harsh or yell at them to continue searching. Doing this would aggravate the situation, and infighting is the surest and fastest way to lose the game.
You should speak kindly and even praise them once you notice the team’s energy is faltering, as this step will motivate them to try harder to solve the puzzles.
Online Escape Room Tips
Fortunately, there is a virtual version of escape room puzzles where players can engage in the game on the internet. Online escape room tips also work for the physical version of the game. When you are playing online, you also get to play with teammates, and following the same tips for teams applies here too.
However, there are still particular tips that can make the game a lot easier for virtual players, and these are:
10. Test the quality of your video-conferencing platform
Often, most virtual players use video-conferencing platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft MeetUp, to play digital escape games. When downloading any software for an escape room game, test the camera and audio quality right before the game starts. It would help if you encouraged teammates to do the same to avoid technical glitches in the middle of the game.
You should also use a headset, especially if the game involves audio puzzles. Zoom is a highly recommended video-conferencing software for solving virtual escape rooms. Zoom is more common and easier to navigate when playing virtual games with teammates.
11. Plan with your teammates
Whatever video-conferencing software you are using, make sure your teammates have the platforms already downloaded on their computers or smartphones. In addition, you should ensure every teammate has the meeting ID and password about 20 to 30 minutes before the game starts. That way, all teammates can log in successfully before game time.
12. Use a laptop or PC
Although you can play virtual escape rooms on a smartphone, you should use a laptop or computer as these devices are easier to navigate the game room. Since you are playing the game with teammates, using a laptop or PC makes splitting screens during game times simpler. You can easily communicate with team members while still viewing and controlling what is happening on the game dashboard.
13. Give the room a 360-degree scan
More virtual escape rooms offer a 360-degree view of the game room for more realistic and full detail. This scan gives you an idea of the room’s layout and can quickly identify potential hiding places for clues. Scanning also helps you remember what part of the room your team has searched and which ones are yet unsearched.
14. Communicate with your teammates
Just like in physical escape rooms, communicating with your teammates is essential. Being an information or clue ‘hoarder’ will not do much in helping your team solve the puzzle as fast. If you notice an oddity or discover any clue, share the information with your teammates and listen to their input and ideas. Communicating ensures that the team knows everything going on and helps the game progress smoothly. Players can communicate via text chat, preset commands, or voice using headphones.
15. Give clear instructions to your game guide
Since it is a virtual game, there is only one game guide or avatar for your team. When giving instructions, make sure it is clear and easy for your game guide to understand. If, at any point, your game guide seems not to understand your instructions, try using another phrase or word.
Teammates should also try to give instructions all at once as that will lead to confusion and make it difficult for the game guide to follow. Instead, teammates should first agree before relaying an instruction to the game guide. This approach will make searching the room and solving puzzles faster and more effective.
16 Use the Internet
Part of the numerous advantages of playing a virtual Escape room game is that you can use the internet for information. If you come across a clue or hint that needs clarification at any point in the game, you can open another tab on your computer and look for helpful guides. There is no denying that checking online makes the game easier, unlike physical representation, where players will have to leave their phones in a lockbox.
Relying on the internet to help provide clarity or act as a guide when solving escape rooms is perfectly acceptable as long as you are not using it specifically for cheating or finding straight answers to the clue. There is no harm in trying to use the internet when playing virtual escape rooms.
General Escape Room Tips and Tricks That Work
While the escape room game differs according to the puzzle theme or storyline, some general tips and tricks can up your chances of solving the puzzle. Regardless of the type and nature of the escape room game, these tips and tricks will work effectively in ensuring you beat the game.
17. Watch the clock
The point of solving escape room puzzles is to be able to complete the puzzles within a stipulated time. The time limit is usually 60 minutes. As much as trying to figure out clues and hints can be pretty distracting, you should pay utmost attention to the time. Coming into the room with a wristwatch or setting a personal timer during the virtual game allows players to track the time. Planning provides an avenue to curate the next moves to make and the best ways to beat the set time.
18. Pay attention to details
Paying attention to even a seemingly useless item can surprisingly be the answer to the puzzle. Hence, as a player wanting to beat the game, you should pay attention to every detail in the room even before the game starts, as it gives you a photographic idea and layout of the room and every point to start searching. Besides, it would be a huge bummer to overlook a useful clue because you ignored details. You should take note of every number, alphabet, or sign you encounter, no matter how insignificant they may appear, and make sure to communicate that to your teammates.
19. Search everywhere
One common mistake most escape room players make is believing that some parts of the room do not necessarily require searching. You would soon discover that most escape room facilitators and puzzle creators hide valuable clues in parts of the room players are most likely to ignore. Therefore, you should scour every room area. The best way to accomplish this task is to divide teammates into a group of two who would search the room twice. Once one group searches a particular area and moves to the next, the others should also look at the same location to ensure that they have not overlooked hints or clues.
20. Organize your clues
You should note and arrange whatever teammates discover in a corner. Players can even create a box or designate an area for discovered and vague clues. This tip will help teammates note what they have found rather than repeating the same process, which only takes valuable time. At some point, players can then go through discovered clues and uncleared hints and try to draw some correlation from both.
21. Learn the ‘Switch’ rule
The Switch rule is a relatively unknown rule of escape room puzzles. This rule entails that rather than having a particular player trying to figure out a puzzle, they can switch from time to time to give every player a go at solving the clue. Some players can be pretty stubborn and want to spend all their time stuck on solving just one hint. The practical approach is to switch players interchangeably so that others players can give it a go while the rest figure out other clues. This method manages time and increases the chance of solving the escape room puzzle.
22. Know what to ignore
As much as it is important to go through every detail, you should determine what is not worth your time. If you and your teammates have tried every possible solution to solving a clue and it still does not make sense, there is a possibility that it is not an actual clue. One trick most escape room facilitators use to fool players is putting up deceptive ‘clues’ that do not have any actual meaning. At this point, you will have to possess exceptional discerning skills to identify what is worth the effort and what is not.
23. Remember to have fun
Solving puzzles is all just part of the game. The point of every game is to have fun, which you should not forget. As much as winning is a top priority, you should remember that it is just a game and have fun while at it. It is advisable to stay composed and calm while searching for clues and solving your puzzles.
Being agitated or unnecessarily edgy ruins the fun of participating in the game. Whether you win or lose should not be a big deal, as long as you had an incredible time while at it.
According to Keymasters Escape Room, only about 35% of participants successfully navigate their escape rooms. Whether a beginner or an old-time player, you can now solve escape room puzzles like a professional with these escape room tips. Now, you understand the need to strategize and ensure every action goes through careful thinking. With these helpful tips and tricks for escape room puzzles, solving the game becomes a lot easier, and you can also come out of each room a winner.
Next, check out this list of DIY escape room puzzles and this list of the best escape game companies.
FAQ: Escape room tips
Here are some frequently asked questions on escape room tips.
What are the best tips for escape rooms?
The best escape room tips include:
- Choosing the right teammate.
- Communicating effectively.
- Paying attention to details.
- Ensuring that each clue discovered is organized.
Also, you should pay attention to the time to beat the game before the time is up.
How do I improve my escape room skills?
The surest way to improve your escape room skills is to practice and participate in as many escape room games as possible. You can practice with friends as a DIY escape room game for a party or participate in a virtual session. Another way to improve your escape room skills is to read more guides on the internet. These web resources will provide insights into clues and how to improve your skills.