10 Things Parents Need to Know About Among Us

The hottest game in town involves killing. Is that a bad thing?

What to Know

  • Among Us is the latest fad in video games, released in 2018 by InnerSloth but gaining mainstream popularity in 2020.
  • The game is on Steam for $4.99, and there is a free ad-supported mobile version on iOS and Android.
  • The idea is a group of people has an unknown impostor(s) among them who is "killing" the other players.

This article explains the game Among Us and what parents should know before letting a child play it.

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Work As a Team, But Beware the Impostor

A round of Among Us begins at this start screen


Among Us has up to ten players working together in the same environment, all working as "Crewmates" towards the same goal to complete a number of small gameplay tasks assigned to each individual player. However, one to three players, depending on player settings, will secretly be "Impostors," and they will sabotage the environment for the Crewmates and be able to kill them while they pretend to do tasks. It is up to the Crewmates to either finish all of their tasks or to successfully deduce who the Impostors are.

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The Tasks Are Bite-Sized Minigames

The card swipe task in Among Us


Crewmates are these small, round, cartoon-like astronaut-looking figures. They will run around the environment to different rooms, such as a laboratory, a navigation room, a communications room, and so on. All of these rooms will have small tasks, such as emptying the garbage chute, reconnecting wires, or checking oxygen levels, for example. These come in the form of simple minigames. There are no explicit instructions for these minigames, but they should be easy enough for anyone of any skill level to figure out. Even if your Crewmate dies, you can still complete your tasks as a ghost.

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Text Chat Is Essential for Voting

The voting screen in Among Us


Upon finding the dead body of a Crewmate, players can report it. There is also an "Emergency Meeting" button that can serve the same function. This will stop all ongoing activity and end the current round. Players are then meant to explain the situation and discuss who might be responsible for any deaths. There is a text chat for people to share information, and players are expected to share their locations and their thoughts and suspicions. Players will then vote on who they think the Impostor will be, and any player with a majority vote will have their Crewmate ejected from the map.

Should you enter a public game, you will be essentially chatting with strangers who may use inappropriate language. It is possible to create private matches only with people you know, however. Players can also use third-party applications like Discord to voice chat with their friends.

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The Violence Is Grisly, But Cartoony

A killing animation in Among Us


Impostors have the unique ability to kill Crewmates. From the perspective of the player having their Crewmate character killed, the animation can be slightly startling. There is an ominous music cue, and the Impostor can off the Crewmate in a variety of ways: a neck snap, several backstabs, a gunshot, and even a monsterous tongue stabbing the Crewmate through the head. What is left of the Crewmate is their bottom half with a bone sticking out. It sounds violent on paper, but with the cartoony nature of the art style, it is more so played for laughs. However, some may still be sensitive to even comical and unrealistic violence.

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Play Dress-up with Paid DLC

Promo art of the DLC pets in Among Us

One of the cute and wholesome aspects of Among Us is the ability to customize your Crewmate. There are a handful of default skins available for Crewmates, most of them being hats to wear. However, some of the more elaborate and desirable customization options come in the form of paid downloadable content. These pieces of content are generally $1.99 to $2.99. Additionally, players can also buy little pets to follow their Crewmate around, including alien dogs, brain slugs, and a hamster in a ball.

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Three Maps to Play In

Artwork depicting the Polus map in Among Us

There are three maps for Among Us players to explore, each larger and more complicated than the previous one. The map players will be most familiar with is The Skeld, which is a somewhat small spaceship. Next is Mira HQ, a tall headquarters building that contains a greenhouse. Lastly is Polus, a snowbase with a laboratory and a lava pit. The size of the latter two maps may be daunting for beginners, but luckily, there is a free play mode that lets players explore the map by themselves and practice tasks while also familiarizing themselves with the environment and layout.

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A Number of Settings for Accessibility

The lobby in Among Us


Game sessions of Among Us are highly customizable, with game hosts able to set the number of tasks needed to be completed, the number of Impostors, cooldown times, and even how much time is allowed for discussion and voting. As the game continues to receive updates, more options concerning accessibility are making their way into the game settings. For example, one task involves putting wires together based on their color, but Among Us included an update that adds symbols to these wires for colorblind players.

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There's a Large and Charming Fandom

Among Us Halloween 2019 artwork


Ever since Among Us became a mainstream hit, fans of the game have taken to the internet and social media to express their appreciation for it. Most of this has come in the form of fan art and memes involving the Crewmates and Impostors. Players have added these little round characters, even making their own "Crewsonas." Additionally, the term "sus," which players use shorthand for "suspicious" in discussing possible Impostors, has been a more frequently used term by players as a result of the game.

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The Game Is Rife with Cheaters and Hackers

Artwork for Among Us depicting an accusation


Unfortunately, as with any popular video game, cheaters run amok in Among Us. Joining public lobbies does contain a chance of encountering these cheaters who look to ruin everyone's fun. These people may be sharing information regarding the Impostor and working around the usual systems and discussions of the game, or they may be hacking the game to give themselves an unfair advantage. Anti-cheat measures may be possible through developer updates to combat these bad faith players.

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There Will Not Be an Among Us 2 (As Of Now)

A gameplay screen of Among Us


After the initial explosion of popularity for Among Us in 2020, developer InnerSloth excitedly disclosed to fans that a sequel was in the works. However, InnerSloth reversed their decision months later, stating that they would instead work on improving the first game with a number of updates. As such, expect Among Us to improve and add even more content in the coming months and years.

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