The Among Us app is a multiplayer game that quickly rose to online gaming fame in 2020. It involves teamwork, betrayal, and mild violence. Since kids (and adults!) can play Among Us with friends or strangers, there are some risks parents should be aware of.
What is the Among Us app?
- It’s a social deduction game, like Clue and Werewolf, where players attempt to uncover each other’s hidden role or team allegiance
- Among Us is played online with 4-10 friends or strangers
- It became extremely popular during the pandemic when TikTok influencers and YouTube gamers posting videos of themselves playing
- The Among Us app is free on iOS and Android devices
- It costs $4.99 to buy the PC version on Steam
Where is the Among Us app available?
- Apple App Store: 9+
- Google Play: E (Everyone 10+)
- PC Version on Steam
- Developer’s Website: InnerSloth.com (Based in USA, Owned by InnerSloth LLC)
Who can play?
- There is no age verification required to download or play the game
- Anyone can join a public game with random strangers or create/join a passcode-protected local game with friends
How do you play Among Us?
- The app designates 1-3 players as “imposters” and the rest as “crewmates”
- Tasks are assigned to crewmates, which they try to complete in different rooms of the spaceship, sky headquarters, or planet base
- The goal is to discover which crewmate is “an impostor bent on killing everyone!”
- Players call emergency meetings (in the chatbox) to report each time they discover a body. They also vote on who they think is “sus,” which means the most suspicious
- Players win by completing all tasks or by discovering and voting off the impostor
What should parents know?
- Chats in Among Us are unmoderated but can be censored for profanity (in the game’s settings)
- Players create their own usernames which could include racist, sexist, or homophobic language
- Some players may ask to connect on another platform, like Discord, where they can voice or video chat
- Imposters kill other players during the game. The graphics are very cartoonish, but parents should be aware that weapons and blood are depicted on screen
- In-app upgrades are available, ranging from $.99 to $2.99
- The app collects data to use for advertisements and video ads play after games unless you pay $1.99 to remove them
“The game revolves around murder, so obviously it can be violent at times… There’s an unsupervised chat component…. There’s an option to pay for upgrades.”Popsugar
One player’s warning about bullying on Among Us
Among Us app in the news
[One player] says his hacks have allowed him to kill players at will, impersonate other players, teleport around the game, walk through walls, supercharge his character’s speed, control the movements of other players, obtain paid in-game items for free, ban players without being the host, or remove a ban on himself.Wired
The codebase of Among Us 1 is so outdated and not built to support adding so much new content,’ [the developer said.] ‘However, seeing how many people are enjoying Among Us 1 really makes us want to be able to support the game and take it to the next level… All of the content we had planned for Among Us 2 will instead go into Among Us 1.The Verge
What can parents do?
- Download Among Us and play it before deciding if you want your kids to use it
- Play the game, together as a family, to understand how it works and why it’s so popular
- There is no way to disable public gameplay, but you can set rules and teach your kids two ways to avoid chatting with strangers on Among Us:
- Play only local games with people who share the same Wi-Fi network
- Create or join a private online game and only share the code with people you know in real life
- If playing the public option of Among Us, remind teens to never share their contact info (including usernames for other apps) with other players
- Go to Settings and turn “Censor Chat” to on, which will show **** instead of profanity
- Discuss the differences between trying to trick or deceive someone while playing Among Us versus lying in real life
Among Us was downloaded more than 217 million times worldwide by October 2020, according to VentureBeat.com. That means a lot of kids, and adults, are now using it. Since there is no way to disable the public gameplay and chat option on Among Us, younger students should always be supervised while playing.