A small debate has been rolling through various Among Us playgroups about what exactly counts as “fair play.” Chief among these concerns are the way metagaming can affect the play group, but what is metagaming in Among Us, and is it actually all that bad?

What does it mean to metagame in Among Us?

A metagame can be described as the game outside of a game. The best way to understand this would be to look at any game that has a well-known and accepted strategy. Using League of Legends as an example, something as simple as splitting the lanes into a bruiser/tank, spell caster, and AD carry + support with one roaming jungler is so accepted that Riot actually began to use it for matchmaking.

If a team were to alter their strategy specifically to beat this configuration, however, then that new strategy would be a product of metagaming. Metagaming is one of the ways that competitive games advance and new strategies and tactics are discovered, but it isn’t always accepted by all communities.

For people who enjoy Among Us for its more casual gameplay, metagaming can feel like someone taking the game too seriously, or requiring that everyone put a greater degree of thought into the game than they were expecting.

What does metagaming look like in Among Us?

Metagaming in Among Us comes in a variety of forms. Sometimes it can be as simple as announcing a task that confirms your innocence and asking that the rest of the crew follow to confirm. Other times it can involve using specific information in a creative fashion, such as watching who does or doesn’t show up to do a common task, and whether or not the task bar moves up when they do it.

Other types of metagaming gets players to play a certain way, such as moving around the map in small groups, or avoiding specific locations unless you have allies. In general, metagaming is any development in the way people play with the goal of increasing their win chances.

So is metagaming in Among Us bad?

The biggest problem with making any claim about whether or not metagaming makes Among Us better or worse is that everyone has their own ideas about what counts as metagaming. Is it metagaming to wait outside of electrical until a few more people show up? Is it metagaming to call an emergency meeting when the task bar is nearly filled? What about asking suspects about specific tasks that they may or may not have encountered?

What counts as “legitimate gameplay” is going to vary wildly for each Among Us playgroup. The best thing you can do for your playgroup is to simply have a conversation about how you would all like to play. If your playgroup decides to do this, you should avoid making outright rules and instead simply speak plainly about guidelines.

Rules create more problems than they solve, and have the downside of making the game more complicated in the long run. Instead, simply asking that your playgroup avoid doing specific things, like asking new players about specific task puzzles or using a buddy system throughout the map, can go a long way.

Published 18 Oct 2020, 23:46 IST