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Among Us
Cartoon astronauts in colored spacesuits floating through space. A bright light and many stars are visible behind them. In front of them are the words "Among Us", with the "A" replaced by an astronaut.
Cover art since June 15, 2021
Developer(s) Innersloth
Publisher(s) Innersloth
Designer(s) Marcus Bromander
Programmer(s) Forest Willard
  • Marcus Bromander
  • Amy Liu
Composer(s) Marcus Bromander
Engine Unity
Release date(s)
  • Android, iOS
  • June 15, 2018
  • Windows
  • November 16, 2018
  • Nintendo Switch
  • December 15, 2020
  • PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
  • December 14, 2021
  • Party
  • social deduction
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Among Us is a 2018 online multiplayer social deduction game developed and published by American game studio Innersloth. The game allows for cross-platform play; it was released on iOS and Android devices in June 2018 and on Windows later that year in November. It was ported to the Nintendo Switch in December 2020 and on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S in December 2021. A virtual reality adaptation, Among Us VR, was released on November 10, 2022.

Among Us takes place in space-themed settings where players are colorful, armless cartoon astronauts. Each player takes on one of two roles: most are Crewmates, but a small number are Impostors. Crewmates work to complete assigned tasks in the game while identifying and voting out suspected Impostors (who appear identical to Crewmates) using social deduction, while Impostors have the objective of killing the Crewmates. The game was inspired by the party game Mafia and the science fiction horror film The Thing.

While the game was initially released in 2018 to little mainstream attention, it received a massive rise in popularity in 2020 due to many Twitch streamers and YouTubers playing it during the COVID-19 pandemic. It received favorable reviews from critics for fun and entertaining gameplay. The game and its stylized characters have been the subject of various internet memes.


In this gameplay screenshot of the original map, The Skeld, the white Impostor has killed the blue Crewmate. White's vision of the pink player has been partially obscured by the wall. Any player, including the killer, can report the dead body and trigger a meeting.

Among Us is a multiplayer game for four to fifteen players. Up to three players are randomly and secretly chosen to be the Impostors each round. As of 2023, five playable maps are available: a spaceship called "The Skeld", an office building called "MIRA HQ", a planet base called "Polus", "The Airship", a setting from Innersloth's Henry Stickmin series, and the Fungle, a mushroom jungle map. The Crewmates can win the game one of two ways: either by completing all assigned tasks or by ejecting all Impostors. Impostors can likewise win in two ways: either by killing or ejecting all Crewmates, or by sabotaging a critical system on the map (provided the Crewmates do not resolve it in time). At the start of the game, Crewmates are assigned "tasks" to complete around the map in the form of minigames, minipuzzles, and simple toggles, mostly consisting of maintenance work on vital systems such as fixing wires and downloading data. Impostors cannot complete tasks but may pretend to perform "fake" tasks to feign appearance as legitimate Crewmates. Impostors, however, can perform sabotages, ranging from minor (such as disabling lights, limiting the Crewmates' vision) to critical (such as disabling oxygen generators), requiring immediate counteraction by Crewmates to prevent their deaths. Impostors may enter and traverse ventilation ducts (commonly known as "venting"), and kill nearby Crewmates. To help Crewmates identify Impostors, there are various surveillance systems on each map, such as security cameras on The Skeld, a door log system with sensors in MIRA HQ, and a vitals indicator in Polus that shows the living status of all players. In addition, certain "visual tasks" provide animated cues, such as scanning oneself in the Skeld's medbay. As Impostors cannot perform tasks, Crewmates can use visual tasks to confirm their identity to nearby Crewmates.

Any living player may call a group meeting by reporting a dead body, or by pressing an Emergency Meeting button. During meetings, players discuss—via the in-game text chat or an external voice chat application such as Discord—who they believe to be Impostors based on available witness testimonies, with Impostors lying to hide their identity or falsely accusing other players. Impostors can be identified beyond reasonable doubt if they are seen venting or killing a Crewmate, but ultimately players must weigh the veracity or value of each other's statements. Players then vote for who they believe is an Impostor; if a plurality vote is obtained, the player who received the most votes is "ejected" from the game. Players who are killed or ejected become ghosts, which can still perform tasks (Crewmates) or sabotages (Impostors) but are otherwise unable to be seen by or interact with living players. Effectively, spectators and ghosts may see and pass through walls, follow players or other ghosts, and chat with other ghosts.

A November 2021 update added additional specialized roles to the game: Crewmates can also be Engineers, Scientists, as well as normal crewmates. When a crewmates dies, they can be a guardian angel. The guardian angel role is not given at the beginning of the game. Engineers can traverse vents like Impostors, albeit to a limited capacity. On the other hand, impostors can stay in the vent as long as they want. Scientists can check vitals at any time to see if any player has been killed this round. Ghosts of Crewmates can become Guardian Angels, which can temporarily protect living players from being killed. Impostors likewise can be Shapeshifters, allowing them to temporarily morph into other players and assume their color and appearance. However, they might leave evidence behind depending on the game settings.

An alternative "Hide and Seek" game mode was added in December 2022. There are no meetings or ejections, and a single Impostor (whose identity is known to the Crewmates) attempts to kill all Crewmates within a fixed countdown timer. Crewmates must hide or flee from the Impostor and can complete tasks to roll down the timer, as well as enter vents for a brief time to hide from the Impostor. Impostors cannot sabotage or vent in this mode. Crewmates are also given a display showing their proximity to the Impostor as well as the number of remaining Crewmates. Near the end of the game, they get the "seek" button allowing them to see where crewmates are.

Before each game, various options can be adjusted to customize aspects of gameplay, such as player movement speed, the allowed number of emergency meetings, number of tasks and visual tasks, or whether or not an Impostor is revealed after being voted off, allowing participants to manually balance the game's settings to their desires. Players may modify their own appearances with cosmetics, including skins, hats, visors, and pets, some of which are purchasable as microtransactions.

Development and release

Early development

Release timeline
2018 iOS/Android
2019 "MIRA HQ"
2020 Nintendo Switch
2021 "The Airship"
  • Among Us VR
  • Hide-and-seek mode
2023 "The Fungle"

Among Us was inspired by the live party game Mafia, and the science fiction horror film The Thing. The idea for the concept was originally given by Marcus Bromander, co-founder of Innersloth, who had played Mafia since he was a kid. In the original game, function cards were dealt and players wandered around a house, aimlessly, while another person secretly killed the players, drawing a finger around their neck. Most of its mechanics were still present in Among Us, but the team wanted to "alleviate the need to create an interesting home model and have someone wandering around in a boring environment". So, they decided that the game would be space-themed and also added tasks, which, according to Forest Willard, programmer at Innersloth, "changed several times during development".

Development began in November 2017. The game was initially intended to be a mobile-only local multiplayer game with a single map. Bromander paused development on Innersloth's other game, The Henry Stickmin Collection, in order to build Among Us' first map, The Skeld. When they began developing the first map, they intended that the ship was always in crisis and that the Impostors could do tasks. However, they found this setup "stressful" and decided that it "[would not leave] much time for detective work and informed meeting conversations". Willard described playtesting as painful and frustrating, as the game would break down during sessions forcing him to send playtesters new builds off of Google Play. The team tested the game with 8 of their friends and never tested the game with 9 or the maximum of 10 players. The game was developed using the Unity engine.

The game was released in June 2018 to Android and iOS under the AppID "spacemafia". Shortly after release, Among Us had an average player count of 30 to 50 concurrent players. Bromander blamed the game's poor release on Innersloth being "really bad at marketing". The team nearly abandoned the project multiple times but continued work on it due to a "small but vocal player base", adding in online multiplayer, new tasks, and customization options. The game was released on Steam on November 16, 2018. Cross-platform play was supported upon release of the Steam version. Originally, the game had no audio to avoid revealing hidden information in a local setting, and Willard mixed sounds from numerous sound packs to compose the SFX during the game's Steam release.

On August 8, 2019, Innersloth released a second map, MIRA HQ, a "tightly packed headquarters roughly the size of The Skeld". A third map, Polus, was added on November 12, 2019, and is set in a research station. The fourth map, the Airship, was released on March 31, 2021, and is based on a location in the Henry Stickmin universe. MIRA HQ and Polus originally cost players US$4 via in-app purchase. Their prices were reduced to US$2 on January 6, 2020, then made free on June 11, 2020. While the map packs are still available for purchase on all platforms, they now only provide the player the skins that were bundled with the maps. According to programmer Forest Willard, the team "stuck with [the game] a lot longer than we probably should have from a pure business standpoint", putting out regular updates to the game as often as once per week. This led to a steady increase in players, causing the game's player base to snowball. Bromander attributed this to the studio having enough savings to keep working on the game even while it was not selling particularly well.

Canceled sequel and ongoing updates

In August 2020, the team shifted focus onto a sequel, Among Us 2. During this time, Forest Willard and Amy Liu continued to update Among Us, increasing the maximum player base, adding four servers and three regions, and implementing longer multiplayer codes to support more concurrent games. On September 23, 2020, the team announced that they abandoned development of the sequel in favor of reworking the original game's codebase, which they described as "outdated and not built to support adding so much new content", so the team made plans to rework the game's core code to enable adding new features. The team subsequently announced their plans to fix the game's server issues and widespread cheating problem, as well as add a system for banning disruptive players. In October 2020, colorblind support for the "wires" task was added to the Among Us beta on Steam, as well as some previously unannounced lobby customization options.

In mid-February 2021, the game added a feature called Quickchat, which replaces the standard chat interface with a series of preset phrases that players must pick from. Players under the age of 13 are required to use Quickchat, but those over 13 are also allowed to use Free Chat, which allows them to type text messages. First announced at The Game Awards 2020, the Airship map was released on March 31, 2021. The Airship features multiple floors, contraptions, tasks, and "more". In addition, Game Awards presenter Geoff Keighley's face was added as a skin. The map itself is based upon the Henry Stickmin series' Toppat Clan Airship. Innersloth also stated that the map would be free to all players. It also features a skin bundle that includes Henry Stickmin-themed cosmetic that can be bought on Steam.

The accounts system was implemented along with the update, and it allows players to report players that are not following Innersloth's Code of Conduct in order to make the game a welcoming and respectful place. Punishment includes temporary to permanent bans. They also stated that reports would be viewed manually and not by bots, that account creations would be required if players want to use Free Chat or to customize their nicknames, and that people under the age of 13 would need their parents' permission to create an account. Implementing an account system also allowed Innersloth to add account linking and a friending system in future updates. Innersloth later revealed on the game's official Twitter account a new color to the game, Rose, which was included in the game's next update along with five other colors: Coral, Tan, Gray, Maroon, and Banana, which were revealed during Summer Game Fest on June 10, 2021, alongside other upcoming content, including a fifth map, new Hide & Seek game mode, and new roles. The new colors, along with 15 player lobby support, new meeting screen and revamp at the game's design, was released on June 15, 2021, during the game's third anniversary.

On July 7, 2021, Innersloth released a minor update that adds a new task, "Clean Vent", which involves the Crewmate cleaning a specific vent, preventing Impostors (and as of the November 9 update, Engineers) from using it, as well as some icon changes. On November 9, 2021, a major update was released that introduced four new roles (Shapeshifter, Engineer, Scientist, and Guardian Angel), achievements, a level system, controller support, custom keybinds, visor cosmetics, cosmetic bundles called "Cosmicubes", various in-game currencies, and a major revamp to the in-game store, which also reveals the names of the costumes. On March 31, 2022, a friending system was added, which allows players to see who they recently played with, send and receive friend requests, send and receive lobby invites, as well as the ability to block people. On June 21, 2022, the game was patched to include colorblind text. At The Game Awards 2022 on December 8, 2022, it was announced that the Hide & Seek mode would be released the following day.

During a Nintendo Direct on September 14, 2023, the fifth map, "The Fungle", was announced. It was released on October 24, 2023.

Console releases

Amid its popularity, Innersloth considered releasing the game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, but encountered a problem in implementing player communication, since standard text-based or voice-based chat seemed unusable. They considered a system similar to the "quick comms" system from Rocket League, as well as the possibility of developing an entirely new communication system for the game. Versions of the game for Xbox consoles were later announced.

Among Us was released for the Nintendo Switch on December 15, 2020, the same day it was announced during an Indie World showcase. The Switch version supports cross-platform play with the mobile and Windows versions. This port was published by PlayEveryWare. Upon release, the Switch version had an exploit to access The Airship prior to its official release in early 2021. The exploit was fixed two days after release in the Switch version's first update.

Among Us was released digitally for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S consoles on December 14, 2021, along with its release on the Xbox Game Pass for console. These versions support cross-platform play with existing Windows, Switch, and mobile versions. Unique to the PlayStation ports are special customization options based on Ratchet & Clank. Physical releases for consoles were available in Europe the same day, while North American physical releases were released in January 2022.

Among Us VR

During The Game Awards 2021, a standalone VR version titled Among Us VR was announced. Co-developed by Schell Games, Innersloth, and Robot Teddy, the game was released on November 10, 2022, for the Meta Quest 2 and Windows via Steam, with a PlayStation 5 version via PlayStation VR2 planned for the future.

Among Us VR features similar gameplay to the original game, but is played from a first-person perspective. Several of the original game's tasks were recreated, alongside new ones. At the time of release, the only level in the game is The Skeld 2; further content updates are planned, though no details have been announced.


2020 spike

Sodapoppin, a streamer, is credited with popularizing Among Us on the live-streaming platform Twitch.

While Among Us was released in 2018, it was not until mid-2020 that it saw a surge of popularity, initially driven by content creators online in South Korea and Brazil. Bromander stated that the game is more popular in Mexico, Brazil, and South Korea than in the United States. According to Willard, Twitch streamer Sodapoppin first popularized the game on Twitch in July 2020. Many other Twitch streamers and YouTubers followed suit, including prominent content creators xQc, Pokimane, Shroud, Ninja, MrBeast, Disguised Toast and PewDiePie.

The COVID-19 pandemic was frequently cited as a reason for the popularity of Among Us, as it allowed for socializing despite social distancing.

Pyrkon 2022 - Among Us cosplay
A cosplay of Crewmate (left)

Emma Kent of Eurogamer believed that the release of Innersloth's The Henry Stickmin Collection also contributed to awareness of Among Us, and PC Gamer's Wes Fenlon credited Twitch streamer SR_Kaif for "prim[ing] Among Us for its big moment." Fenlon also praised Among Us for improvements over other popular tabletop games that had been inspired by Mafia, such as Secret Hitler. He said other video game adaptations of Mafia such as Town of Salem and Werewolves Within were "just add[ing] an online interface for the basic Werewolf rules," whereas Among Us is as an entirely new take on the concept. Along with Fall Guys and the Jackbox Party Packs, Among Us provided a narrative-less experience that helped to avoid the "cultural trauma" of the pandemic, according to M.J. Lewis of Wired.

The game's popularity continued into the following months. YouTube reported that videos about Among Us were viewed 4 billion times in September 2020, and TikTok videos related to Among Us had over 13 billion views in October 2020. YouTuber CG5 wrote a song based on the game in September 2020, titled "Show Yourself", and gained over 60 million views in four months. In September 2020, the game exceeded 100 million downloads and its player count rose to 1.5 million concurrent players (nearly 400 thousand of which were on Steam), then peaked at 3.8 million in late September. The sudden increase in players overloaded the game's server, which according to Willard was "a totally free Amazon server, and it was terrible." This forced him to work quickly, under crunch time, to resolve these issues.

Memes and mods

TST East Waterfront Podium Garden trash bin
Many internet memes about Among Us reference Crewmate's superficial resemblance to unrelated daily objects, such as this trash can, or a fingernail.

In August 2020, Innersloth opened an online store for Among Us themed merchandise. The game's popularity inspired many original songs, fan art and internet memes, Willard expressed that fan-created content "really is the best part" of making Among Us, and Bromander called it "my favorite thing to see". The game popularized the slang word "sus" (meaning "suspicious" or "suspect"), which had been used before the game's release. Other slang terms as well as internet memes popularized and inspired by Among Us include "sussy" and "sussy baka" (derived from "sus"), "when the imposter is sus" (a meme based on Among Us, usually alongside an edited photo of Jerma985), and "amogus" (a satiric misspelling of "Among Us"). In addition, the meme "Among Us everywhere" is a phenomenon where unexpected objects resemble the Crewmate character. In September 2022, "sus" was added to Merriam-Webster's dictionary.

The game received several mods made by the community, which added roles, game modes, cosmetics, etc. Among Us was featured in Twitch Rivals 2020, an online gaming tournament which was held on December 4, 2020. During the event, players were able to receive an exclusive pet called "Glitch Pet", which is the Twitch logo.


Among Us has done collaborations and cross-overs with other games and studios. The first game they collaborated with was Fall Guys, who added Among Us-themed skins to their game. Characters from Among Us have made cameos in the indie games Astroneer, Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator, Cosmonious High, Samurai Gunn 2, and Fraymakers, and Among Us is referenced in several stickers in the game A Hat in Time. In a major update in collaboration with Innersloth, indie developer Triband added characters and 35 Among Us-themed levels to the game What The Golf? Several Among Us-themed cards are included in The Binding of Isaac: Four Souls Requiem.

Themed skins and cosmetics from other games and properties have been added to Among Us as well: Innersloth and Riot Games crossed-over to bring Arcane themed cosmetics to Among Us. In addition to that, Innersloth has done crossovers with Halo, Ratchet & Clank, and the movie franchise Scream. Cosmetics themed after Benoit Blanc from Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, were made available with the Hide 'N Seek update on December 9, 2022. Cosmetics and pets themed after the game Destiny 2 were added to coincide with Destiny's Lightfall expansion on February 28, 2023.

Outside of the game itself Innersloth has collaborated with BT21, and Among Us-themed posters were used to advertise the movie Free Guy. The "ejected" animation was referenced in the season 2 trailer for the animated series Snoopy in Space, and the Emergency Meeting screen was used in In Space with Markiplier. In the manga series Komi Can't Communicate, one chapter is dedicated to the game, and sees the characters dressed up as Crewmates. Among Us was also featured as a question on Jeopardy! Among Us is seen being played by characters in the 2022 film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.

Epic Games featured a community-created game mode in Fortnite Creative in December 2020 called "The Spy Within", which had very similar mechanics to Among Us, in which among ten players, the others have to complete tasks to earn enough coins within a limited time while trying to deduce which two players are trying to sabotage that effort. Epic later added another (official and internally-developed) limited mode to Fortnite called "Impostors" in August 2021, which was recognized as even a closer take on Among Us, as the same basic mechanics as "The Spy Within" were used, but now taking place within an underground bunker with a layout similar to the Among Us map. Innersloth responded in frustration to this mode, which gave no credit to Innersloth. Innersloth's co-founder Marcus Bromander stated "Is it really that hard to put 10% more effort into putting your own spin on it though?", while studio representative Callum Underwood said that Innersloth was open to collaborations, "Just ask and if you follow some basic rules it's usually fine". In an October 2021 blog posting, Epic Games did credit Innersloth and Among Us as inspirations for the "Impostors" mode. On June 17, 2022, both Epic and Innersloth announced a collab between Fortnite and Among Us, with a "back bling" of a Crewmate in interchangeable colors and the "Distraction Dance" from Innersloth's Henry Stickmin franchise available in the Fortnite item shop. An Among Us-themed downloadable content expansion for Vampire Survivors, titled "Emergency Meeting", was released on December 18, 2023.

Artificial intelligence research

A simplified variation of Among Us called Hidden Agenda is used in the field of multi-agent reinforcement learning to show that artificial intelligence agents are able to learn a variety of social behaviors, including partnering and voting without need for communication in natural language.


On December 28, 2021, H2 Interactive, who publishes Among Us in Japan, announced that a one-shot manga based on the game would be published in Bessatsu CoroCoro's April issue on February 28, 2022.

On June 27, 2023, it was confirmed that an animated series based on Among Us is being worked on by CBS Studios, from Infinity Train creator, Owen Dennis. On March 15, 2024, it was announced that American actors Randall Park, Yvette Nicole Brown, Elijah Wood, and Ashley Johnson would provide voice roles for the series.

See also

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