Tips on how to solve puzzles in escape room

What is an escape room? A place where a group of friends, colleagues, or any group of people gets locked into a space to play puzzles. You have to solve puzzles, complete tasks, and find clues, all with the sole goal of “escaping” the room. You have one hour to solve the puzzles and leave the room.

No matter if you are an experienced gamer, or you are just entering the world of escape rooms, you will find these tips on how to solve puzzles in escape room helpful.

We will show you a couple of tips, strategies, and tricks to employ when figuring out the puzzles in an escape room. You will learn how to organize your clues, and maximize the time spent. And of course, some hidden tricks like spots you should always check.

Strategies for solving an escape room

Choose a project manager

You can call this person project manager, team leader, or however you like. His main goal is to make sure communication is at the top of the key. Assign a project manager who will not spend a lot of time looking for clues. He might not even look for clues at all. His goal is to collect information. Everyone else comes to him with new information, and he shouts what you are looking for.

One benefit of choosing a project manager is that you are looking at the broader picture. Way too often people get stuck on one individual puzzle. But if you have a project manager, he will keep track of the broader picture, which involves figuring out all of the small puzzles.

Looking for common codes

There are some common codes you will often find in an escape room. Those include the Morse code, bold numbers, simple shapes, or digital-display style numbers. One thing to keep in mind, you just have to recognize there is a code. Nobody expects you to know the braille system. Instead, you just have to recognize it as something different, and probably important. The game master will guide you and help you along the way. If you can recognize the code, you will be able to find it elsewhere in the room, and that is the trick to solving the puzzles.

Do not play with full capacity

You are probably wondering why? Two heads are better than one, right? Well, not always. When it comes to an escape room, playing at full capacity usually means physical crowdedness, and spending extra time on getting everyone up to speed. The best way to solve puzzles in an escape room is to play with 60-80 percent of the maximum capacity. That means if the game master recommends 4 to 8 players, playing it with 6 is the sweet spot. You have enough people for dividing and conquering tasks, but not too many to be crowded inside.

One downside of playing with less than full capacity is that the room will be costlier. Basically, you have to divide the price between fewer players.

Call for help

Working together is the key to solving puzzles in an escape room. A lot of times you might get stuck on a puzzle. You are staring at it for a while, but you still cannot figure out the solution. Do not hesitate to ask for a team member to help you, or even switch. Ask him/her to take over the puzzle. This way, not all puzzles are forgotten, and there are enough eyes on each unsolved puzzle.

Just remember, if you switch, switch, and still cannot figure out the answer, you probably do not have all of the information.

Dont throw away ideas

Always listen to your teammates. They might have a crazy idea, and it might sound bad in your head. But listen to it, and try it. Even if you think it is a bad idea, encourage your teammates. If the idea is reversible, it might just move you closer to the final solution. And if nothing more, it will be fun trying.

Yell when you find something

When you enter an escape room, things can escalate quickly. And they can get chaotic in a matter of seconds. Everyone is obsessed with something different. The goal, as mentioned, is to work together. The key to winning, or escaping if you like, is how quickly two team members who find related items match them together. Those two things can be a key and a lock, a pattern, a code, and a key, or anything similar. Therefore, because things can get chaotic, anytime you find something, yell, so people can hear you.

Divide and conquer

The best strategy for finding all the clues is working on what other people are not. Spread your team, and have each member being at maximum efficiency. That means different members on different puzzles, keys, clues, and more.

At the beginning of the game, you can split the room into sections, and assign a different team member to each section. This strategy helps you examine the room thoroughly. If you have time, you can even rotate team members, ensuring two sets of eyes look for clues in one area and prevent anything being overlooked.

Leave keys in their lock

One thing you will notice in an escape room, there are too many keys. And they can get chaotic. But remember that the rule is “a key is almost never used more than once”. Therefore, to avoid chaos, leave the keys in their lock. This will prevent someone from trying to use the same key over and over again and making a pile of keys.

In the same spirit, you can also make a pile of used and not used items. Make sure to tell team members which pile is for “used items”, and which one is for “unused”. This will prevent team members from examining the same objects over and over again. And you can also connect unused objects by placing them in close proximity.

How to organize objects

We mentioned before that escape rooms can get chaotic, both physically and mentally. And it is important to keep the room tidy. This will allow you to find what you need. Organizing is a crucial skill in an escape room. Here are some ideas:

  • Put all unused keys in one place
  • Place loose objects on the table
  • Stack related books together

Understand what to ignore

Experience will help you understand what to ignore, but there are some common things that are almost never important. For example, random numbers written in black marker on furniture or old books, power outlets, or something else. And of course, never try to look behind a drop ceiling tile or touch the ceiling. Not only you are wasting time, but you might also cause an accident as well.

Try combo solutions

Some people advise against this strategy, others say it is one of the best. Basically, you can skip the last digit or letter. If you need to enter a code with 4 numbers, and you have three of them, just cycle through the last option. You can use the same solution for letters and words. Think of it like solving a crossword. You have a 5-letter word, and you have the first two and the last letter. Try to think of something that can be in between.

Solving the puzzle

At the end of the day, in order to solve the puzzle, you have to understand the story. One of the best tips on how to solve puzzles in escape room is to think like a writer. What is an escape room without a plot? There has to be a plot, a story, and an interesting journey. Try to understand and uncover the flow of the game, which you can do by reading the information manual you get before starting.

Escape rooms are designed and produced by different creators, but they often follow many of the same rules and principles. Once you know them, you will be able to solve puzzles quickly and efficiently.