Wondering whether you can take your phone inside the escape room – and whether you can capture some killer shots for your social media accounts?

Want to find out whether you can carry personal belongs like bags and jewelry and even food and drinks inside the game room?

Searching for escape room “Do’s and Don’t’s” guidelines?

You’ve come to the right place!

Allow Escape2Win escape room in Virginia Beach to unpack what you need to know about escape room etiquette, to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience not just for you and your team but also for future groups of intrepid adventurers.

Let’s get started!

Why escape room etiquette matters

An escape room is a social activity where you can bond with family and friends, and team-build with coworkers and loved ones.

It’s easy to get carried away “in the moment” and do things that disrupt and spoil the experience for everyone…

Not just in your team, but also groups who were looking forward to experiencing the same adventure that you’ve chosen.

This is where escape room etiquette and do’s & don’t’s come in – to ensure a great time for everyone!

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Trust us; you don’t want to be “that person” who ruins the experience for everyone else!

What you SHOULD do in an escape room

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The game master is your main point of contact with the room. He or she can tell you what to do (and what to avoid) and also help you out if you face any problems.

This is why the two most important things you should do are – listen to the game master and respect the room, especially the props and puzzles.

Follow the rules and instructions provided by the game master

  • Trust and respect his/her directions.
  • Pay attention during the pre-game briefing.
  • Ask questions if you need clarification.
  • Follow the game master’s guidance throughout the game.

Respect the game props and puzzles

  • Handle them with appropriate care. Avoid excessive force.
    • For example, if a key doesn’t fit, you probably have the wrong one. Don’t try to jam it in.
  • Don’t dismantle or break them. In particular, avoid turning furniture over.

Before entering the room…

To ensure a smooth experience for your teammates:

  • Make sure you have what you need (like your glasses) and aren’t carrying anything you’re not supposed to (like a lighter).
  • Visit the washroom.
    • Yes, you can leave the room mid-way for a bathroom break, but it can be a mood-killer.

These avoid unnecessary disruptions to the game.

What you SHOULDN’T do in an escape room

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Turn up under the influence

While it may seem that a little “Dutch courage” can add that extra fizz that you’re looking for to the experience…

Trust us when we say that alcohol and escape rooms don’t mix well. More in this in a while…

And if you turn up intoxicated, you will be asked to leave.

Scroll ahead to the Frequently asked questions section for a surprising bit of information on this!

Disregard “Do Not Touch” and other signs

Often you’ll find certain objects inside the escape room with signs like “Do Not Touch”. Please do NOT see those as a “red herring” invitation to move or manipulate those objects.

They’re meant to be followed, for health and safety reasons.

Ask the game master if you’re unsure what to do.

Use electronic devices inappropriately

Many escape rooms allow you to carry phones and cameras inside the game room.

But that does not mean that you should start using them inappropriately.

Keep your phone on silent or switched off to avoid disrupting the experience.

And absolutely do not use your camera to capture the action. If you do, you will be asked to leave.

Carry food and drink into the room

You need to be alert all 60 minutes (or whatever the time limit is) you’re inside the escape game room.

Food and drinks will hardly help with that.

Moreover, as you’ve rightly guessed, it can lead to splashes, spills, and greasy surfaces inside the room.

Disrespect the game master or other members of staff

Remember that they are there to help you have a fun and challenging experience. In most cases, they’re escape room enthusiasts themselves, and they want you to have a great experience!

Treat them with kindness and courtesy, and they’ll be more likely to go above and beyond to ensure that your game runs smoothly.

Disrupt other teams’ gameplay

Other teams are there to have an enjoyable experience, just like you. It’s not a competition between you and them.

So respect their space and time in the room.

How to handle personal items

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Here are some of the personal belongings that we get asked about the most:

  • Phones: If you carry them inside the room, make sure they’re switched off or on silent.
  • Cameras: Avoid using them during the gameplay. 
  • Glasses: Remember to have your reading glasses with you!
  • Bags: Avoid carrying heavy or large bags into the game space.
  • Lighters: As you’ve guessed, they are a potential fire hazard so you shouldn’t have them on you.
  • Jewelry: It’s easy for jewelry – especially small pieces – to get lost inside the room. We suggest avoiding them. As you can see from our escape room outfits blog, you don’t really need jewelry to have a good time.
  • Keys: Just like jewelry, you can lose your keys inside. Don’t keep them on you.
  • Watches: Avoid smartwatches or ensure they won’t distract players. Old-fashioned watches are fine.

Many escape rooms offer lockers to store your valuables and belongings. Ask the escape room beforehand about that.

If lockers aren’t available, leave these things in the car or at home.

About alcohol…

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As a social event, an escape room may seem the ideal place for a drink. Plus, many folks think a little “Dutch courage” gives them the extra edge they need to crack the puzzles and accomplish the mission in time.

Here’s the deal, though.

Escape rooms are all about thinking logically and creatively. Whereas alcohol impairs your ability to think rationally.

Moreover, intoxicated players may damage props or become a safety risk.

This is why alcohol is a complete NO at most escape rooms.

Tip from Escape2Win: Once you finish your game, ask the game master for nearby restaurants or bars where you can enjoy a drink – they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!

Tipping at escape rooms

To begin with, tipping is not customary at escape rooms. That being said, if you the staff have gone above and beyond to ensure a great experience for you, you can certainly go ahead and show your appreciation!

However, you should know that some escape rooms discourage tipping. So ask before you tip!

Other etiquette tips to follow

  • Arrive on time: Late arrivals can disrupt gameplay and delay other teams.
  • Use the bathroom beforehand: Escape rooms can last an hour or more. Avoid having to leave mid-game for a bathroom break.
  • Respect others’ ideas: Remember, an escape room is a team effort! Don’t disparage your teammates’ ideas.

Frequently asked questions about escape room etiquette

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From general queries like what not to do in an escape room to specific questions about whether food and drinks are allowed, here are some of the most common questions about escape room do’s and don’t’s.

Can you take personal items inside an escape room?

You can take some personal belongings inside the room, provided they don’t interfere with the gameplay, or be used to record or cheat (like Googling for answers).

Here are some of the items we’re frequently asked about:

  • Phones: It depends on the escape room; some allow them while others don’t.
    • However, no establishment will allow you to use it during the game.
  • Cameras: Most escape rooms don’t allow cameras inside the game space.
  • Lighters: Lighters are a potential fire hazard and should not be taken inside.
  • Bags: Keep your bag out of the gameplay area to avoid distractions.
    • Fanny packs may be allowed inside.
  • A watch: Yes, you can wear your watch inside the room to keep track of time.
  • Food and drink: No food and drink are allowed inside escape game rooms.
  • Jewelry: While you certainly can wear jewelry inside, please note that with multiple small and hidden panels and dark spaces inside the room, your jewels may get lost.

Here at our Virginia Beach escape room, for example, we allow phones inside the room but prohibit them from being used.

Pro tip from Escape2Win: Contact the escape room ahead of your visit and ask them whether they have lockers to deposit your stuff before you begin your game. If they don’t, keep things like lighters and cameras in your car or leave them at home.

Are phones allowed inside escape rooms?

Phones are generally discouraged inside escape rooms, but whether you can carry them inside or not varies from facility to facility. Some escape rooms have lockers to keep your phones during the game.

Here at Lost Reality, for example, we will allow you to have your phone with you inside the room, but ask you not to use it.

Escape room etiquette demands you keep the phone switched off or on silent to avoid disruptions during the game.

Can you take pictures in an escape room?

Most escape rooms prohibit pictures or recordings inside the game room to preserve the experience for future players.

While escape rooms are highly Instagrammable experiences, you should take pictures and videos before and after the adventure.

Ask the game master for further guidance.

Can you take food and drinks into an escape room?

Food and drinks are typically not allowed inside an escape room for the obvious reason they would interfere with the game.

Plus, they could lead to spills, splashes, and greasy surfaces in the adventure area, spoiling the experience for subsequent teams.

Is alcohol allowed in escape rooms?

We haven’t actually run any surveys, but we’d be willing to bet that 99.9%* of escape rooms do NOT allow alcohol.

Neither should you arrive for your adventure “under the influence,” nor should you carry alcohol inside the game space.

* One of the very few exceptions is a Dallas escape room which allows players to have a drink inside, but only from adult sippy cups.

Should you tip at escape rooms?

If you’ve had an enjoyable experience and want to show your appreciation, go ahead and tip, but ask the escape room whether it’s allowed. Some escape rooms allow tipping, while others don’t.

Escape2Win Adds: Tipping isn’t necessary at Escape2Win, but the staff will be grateful if their work is appreciated.

What are some rules you need to follow in an escape room?

Follow these guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both yourself and subsequent teams:

  • Follow the game master’s instructions.
  • Respect game props and puzzles.
  • Don’t touch or manipulate anything labeled “Don’t touch” or “Don’t move”.
  • Don’t open windows.

What should you NOT do in an escape room?

Some things you should avoid doing in an escape room are:

  • Arriving “under the influence”.
  • Carrying prohibited items (phones, cameras, lighters, food & drinks and so on) inside.
  • Disrespecting the game master or other members of staff.
  • Trying to brute-force anything.
  • Revealing solutions, which will spoil the experience for future teams.

Do you need to take anything to an escape room?

Some items you should take along to an escape room:

  • Photo ID: Some locations may require photo ID for booking purposes.
    • This is especially crucial if you’re availing of certain discounts (like veterans’ discounts).
  • Credit Card: Did you part-pay/book by deposit? Are there more people on your team than you booked for?
    • Carrying your credit card avoids last-minute hassles.
  • Your Glasses: If you use glasses, better remember to have ‘em on you!

Can you take your bag into an escape room?

This depends on the escape room.

While small fanny packs should be allowed inside, larger bags may not, to avoid distractions.

Some escape rooms provide lockers or designated areas to keep your belongings during the game; contact the escape room about this prior to your visit.

Escape2Win Adds: The weight of a bag tugging on your hands or shoulders will certainly distract you from the gameplay. So we advise you to leave heavier bags in the car or at home if you’re not sure whether your escape room has lockers or not.

Time to go on your escape room adventure!

Now that you know what to do and what to avoid in an escape room, it’s time to put your skills to the test!

Choose a game and assemble your team.

Select a date that’s convenient for everyone, and book your escape room!

You’re in for an unforgettable adventure!

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