The Right Way To Passively Participate in an Escape Room

If you play a lot of escape rooms, eventually you’ll find yourself in one where you’re a passive participant.

Perhaps you didn’t get enough sleep or work has been hell. Maybe mid-game you suddenly realize that you’re ill.

It’s also possible that you’re going with a group of friends to watch them play through an escape room you’ve already experienced; that has happened before.

Whatever the reason, you’re in the room and you’re putting yourself on the sidelines.

A white skull pillow sitting on a big comfortable orange chair in a dark room.

The good news is that there are only few things that you need to do before sitting back.

Step 1: Choose a campground

Find a place that’s out of the team’s way, but allows you to keep up with the goings on. This is easy if you’ve played the game before, but could be challenging if you haven’t.

Stay out of the way so that you aren’t an obstruction while you aren’t contributing.

Position yourself so you can follow the progress of your team in the event that you perk up. That way you can dive back in should you find the energy. Or if you don’t, maybe you’ll piece something together passively while your team keeps working.

Step 2: Search before you sit

I’m not kidding. I’ve seen some talented escapers take a break only to realize that they are sitting atop a critical clue.

It’s really funny when this happens… but it’s best avoided.

Before you sit anywhere, whether it’s in a chair, on the floor, or atop any other prop, search the hell out of it. Search it more thoroughly than you would if you were actively gaming. If you sit down on a clue, the odds are that your team will need to burn a hint in order to learn that you need to move.

You should also search before sitting even if you’ve previously played the game. Sometimes things change.

If you can’t puzzle hard, then rest smart.


  1. It not happend to me yet, but one of my “escapers” have had it. Somebody with this feeling gets in the way very fast 😉

  2. We’ve played with pregnant girls several times and it is usually no problem as they are often passive (but not always!). The problems arise when someone is whiny or doesn’t let anyone know they are in a subdued state so there are interpretations about the passive person being lazy, passive/aggressive or trying to bring down the “vibe” of the group by pouting or being mad (which can happen if they didn’t get to open the lock or read the clue, etc). Often times it’s just an energy thing but that is not the first thing people assume, because people generally assume the worst.

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