The game that took the internet by storm can be a lot of fun to play with coworkers.
Among Us is a game that seemingly came out of nowhere. It was originally released in 2018 by 3 developers who make up Innersloth and has recently had a surge in popularity due to the streaming community playing it frequently. You need at least 4 players to play, but the best games are had when playing with 10. Sometimes it can be a challenge to round up 10 friends to play, but that's why this game works well to play with coworkers in your free time, or even as a company event. We’ve recently started to carve out 30 minutes or so out of the workweek to play, and it’s become a staple that everyone looks forward to.
A quick summary of the game – You’re on a spaceship with a crew who need to complete maintenance-type tasks around the ship. Once all the tasks are done, the crew wins. However, there are 1-3 impostors “among us”. Their task is to kill the rest of the crew without being noticed or to sabotage the ship and cause it to fail. Nothing is visually different about these impostors, so the rest of the crew has to keep their eye out for strange behavior, keep track of who goes where, or find a dead crew member to deduce who the impostors are.
The rounds are fairly fast-paced, with the crew trying to do tasks as fast as possible, and impostors trying to kill in secret. At the end of a round (triggered by finding a dead body or pushing the emergency button), there is time for discussion for everyone to share their thoughts and throw “sus” (suspect) on other crew members. The discussion time ends with either voting someone off the ship, or skipping and moving onto the next round.
The rounds continue until enough crew members are dead, the tasks are completed, or a sabotage completes.
At the time of writing, you can play Among Us on mobile (iOS, Android), PC, and Nintendo Switch. It has a planned release for Xbox in 2021. The game is cross-platform supported, so as long as you have one of these systems, you’ll be able to play the game together.
The simplest (and cheapest) way to play is on mobile. Visit the App Store on iOS or Play Store on Android, search for “Among Us”, and select it to install.
Start by creating an account on Steam. Download the Steam client and sign in to your account. Search the store for “Among Us”, purchase, and start your download. You can select the option to add a desktop shortcut if you’d like, otherwise, you can start the game from Steam.
Open the Nintendo eShop and search for “Among Us”, select the game, and press “Proceed to Purchase”.
Among Us comes with a built-in text chat system to use to communicate during discussion times. This works well if you don’t have an option to voice chat, but voice chat is preferred. We use a Microsoft Teams channel meeting (with video disabled), which seems to work well. Other options could be a Zoom meeting, Discord Channel, or any other service your organization uses.
There’s one important rule when playing Among Us: No talking during the rounds. You should only talk during discussion times. The best way to prevent slip-ups here is to mute your microphone during rounds.
For groups larger than 10, one option to keep from having to create a meeting per group would be to utilize the new Breakout rooms feature in Microsoft Teams. This would allow you to create however many rooms (games) you want, and either automatically assign users to each, or assign them manually. Once again, the more the merrier in these games. Try to keep your games as close to 10 players as possible.
So everyone has the game downloaded, you’ve set up a meeting/channel to voice chat in, now you just have to set up the game for the group to join. Designate one person from your group to create the game. From the main menu, this play needs to select “Online”, and then select the option to Host (Create Game). Don’t forget to set a name for yourself before selecting.
Next, there are some options they need to set. Right now there are 3 maps available to play on. For first-timers, we’d recommend The Skeld. Next, you need to select between one, two, or three impostors. We recommend one impostor if you have less than eight people, and two impostors for eight or more. Choosing three impostors makes the game very difficult for the crew to win, so proceed with caution there. Lastly, set the Max Players, and you might as well leave this at 10 since you’ll keep the code/game private.
Once that person confirms, they’ll load up into the pregame lobby. Along the bottom of the screen will be a code. They need to share that code with the rest of the group, who should then also select “Online” from the main game menu, then enter the code in the bottom “Private” section. After submitting the code, they’ll join the game.
It can be fun to play with the names you set for yourself before joining the game (we use names like “Impostor” or “Me” – just to throw a little confusion into the game), as well as customizing your appearance. If you approach the computer in the pregame lobby and select “Customize”, you can select a color, hat, pet (need to pay for these), and skins (again, paid).
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