Among Us is an online multiplayer social deduction game. The game takes place in a space-themed setting, in which players each take on one of two roles, most being Crewmates, and a predetermined number being Impostors. The goal of the Crewmates is to identify the Impostors, eliminate them, and complete tasks around the map; the Impostors' goal is to covertly sabotage and kill the Crewmates before they complete all of their tasks. Players suspected to be Impostors may be eliminated via a plurality vote, which any player may initiate by calling an emergency meeting (except during a crisis) or reporting a dead body. Crewmates win if all Impostors are eliminated or all tasks are completed whereas Impostors win if there is an equal number of Impostors and Crewmates, or if a critical sabotage goes unresolved.
While the game was initially released in 2018 to little mainstream attention, it received a massive influx of popularity in 2020 due to many well-known Twitch streamers and YouTubers playing it. In response to the game's popularity, Among Us 2 was announced in August 2020. However, the planned sequel was canceled a month later and the team shifted their focus to improving the original game. Among Us has also inspired internet memes and achieved a large following online.
Among Us is a multiplayer game for four to ten players. Up to three players are randomly chosen to be the impostor(s) each round. A round can take place on one of three maps: a spaceship called "The Skeld", a headquarters building called "MIRA HQ", or a planet base called "Polus". A fourth map, "The Airship", was announced on December 10, 2020 and is planned for release in early 2021.
At the start of the game, Crewmates are assigned "tasks" to complete around the map in the form of minigames, consisting of maintenance work on vital systems such as fixing wires and downloading data. Impostors are given a fake list of tasks to blend in with Crewmates. However, they are unable to actually perform any task. Impostors can sabotage vital systems (such as the ship's oxygen supply), covertly travel through vents, and work with other Impostors to kill Crewmates. If a player dies, they become a ghost. Ghosts can pass through walls, spectate other players, and chat with other ghosts. Living players have a limited cone of vision, but ghosts do not have this limitation.
Ghosts help their living teammates by completing their tasks (as a Crewmate) or performing sabotages (as an Impostor). The Impostors win when they kill enough Crewmates to be equal in number, or when the Crewmates fail to resolve a major sabotage. The Crewmates win by completing all tasks, or by identifying and ejecting all Impostors. Games can also end by players quitting the match if doing so fulfills any win condition (if a crewmate quits the game, their tasks are automatically considered completed).
To help the Crewmates identify Impostors, there are various surveillance systems on each map, such as security cameras system on The Skeld, a doorlog in MIRA HQ, and a vitals indicator in Polus. Crewmates may also confirm their identity through visual tasks, which cannot be faked by Impostors. Any living player may call a group meeting by reporting a dead body, or by pressing the Emergency Meeting button at any time.
During a meeting, players discuss who they believe is an Impostor based on the available evidence. A plurality vote is held, and the chosen player is ejected from the map and they become a ghost. Players can communicate in a text chat, but only during meetings, and only if they are alive (though ghosts can speak with one another at any time). While the game does not have a built-in voice chat system, it is common for players to use external programs such as Discord.
In each game's lobby, various options can be adjusted to customize aspects of gameplay, such as player movement speed, the allowed number of emergency meetings, number of tasks, if there will be visual tasks, or whether or not an impostor is revealed after being voted off. There are also many cosmetic options, including spacesuit colors, skins, hats, and pets, some of which are paid downloadable content.