Escape Room Tips and Tricks to Escape in Under an Hour

Escape Room Tips and Tricks

When it comes to escape rooms, the Game Night Gods are undefeated. That’s right. We have always been able to escape a room in under an hour. Don’t get us wrong. There were a lot of close calls, but we were always able to complete an escape room in less than an hour. Therefore, we want to share our best escape room tips and tricks so that you can complete your next escape room in under an hour and leave victorious!

Escape rooms are fun, but they can be really frustrating if you lose every time. Hey, you may not even want to do them anymore if you never make it out in time. Don’t let the fear of losing keep you from enjoying the escape room experience. 

If you find yourself getting stuck and not being able to complete the escape room in the allotted time, then we are here to help you learn the best escape room tips and tricks to escape in under an hour.

What are Escape Rooms?

Escape rooms are themed rooms that you and your friends get locked in for an hour. You must work together to find hidden clues throughout the room and solve challenging puzzles in order to “escape” the room in under an hour. 

There are companies and buildings designed specifically for escape rooms and you usually have to book a time slot in advance with a group of people. Depending on the company and place, there may be multiple rooms or levels that you must make your way through in order to complete the escape room.

Escape rooms generally last an hour long and the time starts when the game master closes the door and “locks” you in. Mostly everything in the room is fair game to explore and manipulate (unless marked “do not touch” or told not to touch by the game master).  

How to Beat an Escape Room in Under a Hour – Escape Room Tips

Many escape rooms can heavily depend on the knowledge and skill of the group you are working with, but there are many tips and tricks you should know to make your gameplay more efficient and effective. 

Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning to do an escape room.

Tip #1: Make a Team with People You Know

Gather up your friends or coworkers and create a team of reliable people that can communicate well together. You DO NOT want to do an escape room with random people. This can really affect your performance and decrease your chances of making it out in time.

Do not play at maximum team size! This is the amount of people the escape room allows to play at once. This can be anywhere from 6 to 10 people depending on the escape room size and requirements. 

These rooms are small and things can get crowded fast with too many people. Do you know that saying “too many cooks in the kitchen?” Well this holds true when it comes to escape rooms. If you have too many minds working at once, then things can clash and cause all sorts of problems for you and your team. 

We recommend doing an escape room with 4-6 people. Usually the maximum player size of an escape room can be up to 8-10 people. If you plan on playing below the maximum player size, then let the company know so they do not try to add random people into your roster in order to fill up the room.

With that being said, plan a date to do your escape room and put a team together. Make sure everyone is free and be sure to reserve the room for the escape room of your choice!

Tip #2: Work with Your Team Efficiently

It is very important to choose a team of people you know can communicate well and work together in an efficient manner. If someone in your friends group likes to do things their own way and doesn’t communicate well, then don’t invite them. It sounds harsh, but trust me, it will be better for everyone.

Communication is key. You MUST work as a team. There is no “every man for his or herself” when navigating through an escape room. If you do not work as a team, then you will fail. It’s as simple as that.

Here are some things to keep in mind when working with your team:

Don’t be afraid to pass something along to a teammate

If you find that you are spending way too much time on one puzzle, then pass it along to a teammate and try to work on something else. A fresh pair of eyes may be able to catch something on the puzzle that you weren’t able to see yourself. 

Try not to get stuck on one puzzle. You may not have all the information yet or may need to get a hint. If you find that you are spending too much time on one puzzle, then pass it along to someone else and try to work on something else. 

Also keep in mind that the puzzle you may be working on may be incomplete because you are missing another clue that may be hidden somewhere else in the room or locked in a box. Don’t waste time and don’t be afraid to leave something and then come back to it later.

Make sure everyone is working on something different

It’s never advised for everyone to work on the same puzzle. This just wastes time and brings us back to the “too many cooks in the kitchen” saying. 

The max amount of people that should be working on the same puzzle is two. If you see people working on something and there are things that aren’t being worked on, then go over and start working on it!

Some puzzles take longer than others to solve, so if you begin working on one while someone is working on another, then you are making great use of your time.

Noone should ever be standing around doing nothing. Make sure everyone is always doing something. If all the puzzles are being worked on, then someone should always be searching the room, turning over every nook and cranny, leaving nothing untouched or unseen.

Look and listen to your teammates

Don’t have tunnel vision. Yes, you should focus on what is in front of you, but also be aware of your surroundings as another player might find something that can help you out. 

If you are the one searching the room and you find something that you think could be useful to another player, then yell it out. You might just hear someone say “wait, I need that!”

It’s unlikely that you find a puzzle in one place that has all the pieces you need to solve it right then and there. Always keep an ear open to someone who is still searching the room for new clues and puzzle pieces that may be hidden throughout the room. 

Tip #3: Try to Stay Organized with Your Puzzle Pieces

Escape rooms use many different items such as locks, keys, physical clues, puzzles, and more. You should try to keep everything as organized as possible, so you do not get confused on what was used already and what was not. 

Most items are only used once, but they require different items to complete a clue or puzzle. If you think you found something that may be used again later on, then make a note of it and keep it somewhere separate. 

Here are some other things to keep in mind when managing items in the escape room.

Keep used keys in their locks

Items like keys and locks are usually only used once. Once you use a key to open a lock then that key should stay in the lock and put to the side so you know that you already found the key to open that box. 

You do not want to throw the key to the side and then come across it again later. You will just confuse yourself and waste time thinking that the key will open another lock that hasn’t been opened yet. 

Put used items together in a pile

If you find items that you believe will only be used once, then place these items in a separate pile so that you do not get confused later on and try to use them for something else.

You will be able to tell if items can only be used once if they are “destroyed” once you use them or contaminated.

Lay out items that haven’t been used already

Most items you find may need to be paired with something that you might need to find a little later on. Therefore, it is best to keep these items separate and laid out so that anyone can quickly go up to them and see if it is an item they might need to solve what they are currently working on. 

These items can include a blacklight, a piece to a larger puzzle, books with text hidden inside, and more. Escape rooms try to limit the amount of items that are just laying around and are not useful. Therefore, most items in the escape room may have some use in some way in order to solve a puzzle or find a clue.

Tip #4: Search the room thoroughly

If something is not working properly or just won’t budge, then it’s probably not a clue and you should just move on.

Also, keep a look out for notes from the company that say “do not touch.” These are usually real notes that the game masters will tell you to not touch the items they are on before the escape room begins. These can be anything from light switches to fragile decor that the company does not want you touching or breaking. 

Look behind doors, in between books, in every drawer, on the walls. LOOK EVERYWHERE. Search through every nook and cranny. It will be worth it in the end.

Escape Room Tips and Tricks to Escape in Under an Hour

We hope you were able to gain some more insight on how to improve your chances of escaping a room in under an hour. 

As we complete more escape rooms and encounter more clues, we will be sure to update this article on escape room tips and tricks to escape in under an hour.

Please leave a comment below if you have any tips or suggestions!


Hillary is a 28 year old board game enthusiast from New York who specializes in hosting game nights.

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