So you’ve decided that you want to play an escape room and don’t know how to be an expert at it just yet. That isn’t a problem, as we have compiled the best 35 tips we could think of to help you be the best you can be!
Pick a group that works well together
The best way to maximize your fun, and chances of escaping, is to have a group that all know each other well, and work together well. Have it be either co-workers, friends, or family!
Have less than the maximum
While most escape rooms have a maximum capacity, you should never aim to fill all of those spots. Typically the best size is to take the maximum number and subtract two to three spots, and that’s the sweet spot.
Select the correct difficulty for your experience!
So all escape rooms have varying levels of difficulty. If you have never played one before, you should always debate doing the easiest one. Escape rooms use a different type of logic than someone uses day to day, so even if your group is very smart, you may wind up having a very difficult time in even the easiest room!
If there is an option to book private, do it!
If you are able to book private, you should absolutely do so. It saves you the headache of having to play with strangers, and will make your teamwork much more intuitive!
Escape rooms are actually pretty intensive work. You will inevitably work yourself up playing a room, either having to look around the floor or rush around. The best thing you can do for yourself is to wear something nice and comfortable.
If possible, designate a leader
If one person can take charge when everyone starts getting confused or frustrated, then that will help mitigate situations. If everyone can look to one person for help in the room, it saves everyone from floundering around at times.
Know your strengths beforehand
Some people are excellent at observing things, some are good with logical thinking, and some are perfect for math-related problems. Know who is good at what before you go in, as then you can set the right people up with the right puzzles for their strengths.
Ask about lock types
On your way into the room, you should ask your game master for what kind of locks you can expect in the room. Some rooms might have magnetic locks, digital locks, or just turn key locks! It never hurts to ask.
Listen to your game narrator
When you get in the room, chances are your host will walk you through the rules for that room. It is important to listen to that as you will be able to find out what is a part of the room, and what isn’t a part of your room.
Start as soon as possible
Once your timer starts running down, don’t waste time. The second it starts everyone should immediately get to work on the room.
The first thing for any room is to search high and low for any loose items, what can and can’t be accessed, where puzzles are, and what can be worked on.
Locate all available locks
After you find everything you can at the start, find out what kind of locks there are. Take note of what kind of locks you will need to open, some might need keys, some might need numbers, and some might need letters. Keep track of those so you know what to go to when you find a code or key.
Figure out if there’s one room or multiple rooms
While you look around you should see if there’s any obvious next room. A door that can’t be opened yet, a suspicious wall, things like that. Chances are that there will be, and if there is that means you can’t waste all of your time in the first room you start in.
Divide and concur
When everything has been discovered and you can finally start solving some puzzles, make sure not everyone is crowding around one single puzzle. When possible, you should have everyone working on different things. On average you only need one to three people on a puzzle and shouldn’t have every player standing around looking at the same thing. Beware however, as not all rooms are so non-linear and you may only have a single puzzle you can work on, in which case everyone should try to help out with that one puzzle.
Organize your stuff
If you have a lot of keys or notes or general clutter, it can start to confuse people. The best thing you can do for your group is to have designated areas for certain categories of things you find.
Don’t brute force locks
This one should be pretty self-evident. You have paid to be inside that room and to figure out puzzles, why deprive yourself of that by just guessing passwords? Plus later on you may cause confusion, not knowing if what you skipped is a part of this new puzzle or if it isn’t.
Discard used items
Once you have used a key, or a small item for a puzzle, make sure to put it in a place that won’t be confusing for those not working on that one puzzle. Such as leaving keys inside of locks, that helps people know that key has already been used!
Keep items in mind for later
Sometimes you will solve a puzzle and get an item as a reward that doesn’t seem to have a purpose at that exact moment. Make sure to keep that item in the back of your mind for later! If you got it from solving a puzzle, you can bet that it isn’t just a useless item to distract you.
Let everyone know what you’ve found
Once you solve a puzzle or find an item, make sure to shout it out for your group. There might be something that the other people need to solve something, and if you found it and don’t speak up then they will work on that puzzle for far longer and make no headway on solving it!
Don’t let distractions stop you
Being able to differentiate something as a scenery prop and part of the puzzle is very important. If you see something that seems to serve no purpose other than making you feel like the room is more realistic, chances are you won’t have to waste too much time trying to mess with it.
Don’t try to solo the room
The worst thing you can do is try to tackle every puzzle by yourself. I know the bragging right would be nice, but remember that everyone is there to solve things and have fun!
If everyone is stuck, get a new person on the puzzle
Sometimes a group will hit a wall when trying to solve a puzzle and nobody can figure out what to do with it. Getting a new pair of eyes on the problem might be just what you need to see that one element that you missed that will make the rest of the puzzle fall into place!
Try to not get too frustrated
Once the group starts getting frustrated and anger with each other is when your chances of escaping start dropping rapidly. If you find yourself getting too frustrated, take a step back and breathe for a second before hopping back in.
There is a logical solution to the puzzle
If you are playing at a good location, then every puzzle should have a logical solution. The way that you arrive at the end of the puzzle should make sense, so if you think something sounds too ridiculous to be the solution, then there’s a chance that you might be right about that!
Look around a second time
If you seem to be missing one thing for a puzzle, take a second look around the room real quick! The thing you may need could be sitting right behind you and you didn’t even know it!
Don’t ignore or over think the obvious
Sometimes the easiest solution is the correct one. If you think that the writing on the wall could be the solution, and then try it out!
Think like an engineer
When working on a puzzle and you’re unsure if your way of going at it could work, then just try to think of if it could have been built to be solved that way. Such as if you find a crank, chances are that it isn’t going to be used to hit a box or be used as a magnet. That crank will probably raise or lower something, as that’s how the puzzle was built to work.
Ask for hints
If you’re stuck, and have no clue on what to do next, don’t be afraid to ask for help! The employees are there to help you escape, they aren’t working against you.
Stay calm, worry about time later
If you are entering the second room with roughly half of your time left, then chances are you are doing just fine on time and shouldn’t start to panic.
If you enter a second room, the first things you should do
Once you get into the second room, everyone should repeat what they did at the start of the game and start searching everything and calling out what they find
Don’t forget that the first room exists!
Once you enter the second room, it is entirely possible that some of the things you do in there will affect the first room in new ways! Make sure to consider this when progressing forward!
Step back and see the big picture
Sometimes the puzzle you are working on isn’t just a one-off puzzle. It might be connected with other puzzles around the room! You may want to step back and consider if this puzzle will affect something else besides just itself.
Save the “celebrations” for after the room (aka drinks)
We know that it sounds like a fun idea to come into an escape room drunk, but trust us, you will not have as much fun as you would if you were sober. Escape rooms require full use of your brain!
Make sure to enjoy how the room looks!
Sometimes the most enjoyable part of an escape room is just how great it looks! Make sure to take a moment to enjoy all of the work that went into making it feel like you’ve entered an adventure instead of just a regular room with four walls and a roof!
It sounds a bit cliché, but honestly you paid to be a part of this experience. Make sure to at least enjoy yourself so you don’t get so singularly focused on escaping that you just get stressed and don’t have any fun! Escape rooms are meant to be fun, so enjoy yourself!
Well there you have it, 35 tips of the best tips you will find on how to best almost any escape room that you go to! If you enjoyed this article, feel free to check out our other works, or feel free to come in and try out some of the best escape rooms in Florida!