Illustration of characters from Among Us
Maybe the game's new changes will bring back some of the hype Among Us experienced in late 2020. (Illustration by Molly Posten, Minneapolis College of Art and Design)

Among Us Surprises Players With an Endlessly Entertaining Update

Trick your friends with new player roles, compete to win achievements and purchase cool accessories in the game’s newest version.

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Illustration of characters from Among Us

Trick your friends with new player roles, compete to win achievements and purchase cool accessories in the game’s newest version.

Among Us is a game about cooperation. As crewmates, players must work together to complete tasks around a spaceship. Simple enough, right? Wrong. There’s an impostor among the crewmates, sabotaging the ship and killing off crewmates behind the scenes. Players must keep an eye out for suspicious behavior, finish their tasks and vote the impostor off of the ship to win.

This mafia-style game skyrocketed to fame in 2020, as it gave players a much-needed distraction from the pandemic and a chance to connect with people around the world. Recently, however, the game is starting to lose its luster. Streamers like Corpse Husband, Valkyrae and Disguised Toast have abandoned their Among Us shenanigans, and several others are following suit.

On Nov. 9, Innersloth, the geniuses behind Among Us, called an emergency meeting with their players. Victoria Tran, the community director at Innersloth, is known for interacting with Among Us fans and keeping them in the loop on Twitter about updates and plans. This time, however, players had no idea what surprises were in store for them.

Unlike most game developers who announce their game plans with a scheduled release date, Among Us surprised their players with an update that was available immediately after it was announced. The Innersloth YouTube page released a comical, dramatic video in which a crewmate showcases the highlights of the update. Several of the features announced in the video were on players’ radars since they were promised in the roadmap for 2021, but no one knew they were coming so soon. Those who tuned into the emergency meeting nearly lost their minds, overwhelmed with the number of new additions.

Among Us players were most excited about new player roles. In addition to crewmate and impostor, players have a chance to play four new roles: engineer, scientist, shapeshifter and guardian angel.

The engineer has access to the vents that transport the player across the ship with ease. Vents were a luxury once permitted exclusively for imposters, but now they have to share their space with the engineer. How can you tell the difference between an engineer and an impostor? You can’t. Many engineers are using their privilege to vent openly in front of other players, something an impostor wouldn’t risk doing. Either way, the engineer will have to prove their innocence by completing tasks.

Another new crewmate role is the scientist. Normal crewmates can determine which players are still alive by accessing the vitals screen. This can be found on maps like Polus and Airship. Scientists, however, have access to vitals at all times. Vitals are often used to determine the time at which crewmates die. If an emergency meeting is called very shortly after the player was killed, it might be safe to suggest that it is a “self-report” and that the person who called the meeting may be an impostor trying to act as a crewmate.

The first crewmate who perishes at the hands of an impostor is given the role of the guardian angel. The guardian angel is given the opportunity to cast a protective shield around the remaining crewmates to keep them safe from the impostor. Unfortunately, guardian angels must use their power sparingly. After using a shield, angels must wait for a 60-second cooldown to use another.

The shapeshifter is a role given to an impostor. As a shapeshifter, players can disguise themselves by morphing into any crewmate they desire. They can morph into a different color crewmate and frame them as the imposter by venting, killing and acting “sus” in front of others. They must shapeshift with caution, however, because the effects only last for a limited amount of time and evidence of their transformation will be left behind.

Have you ever pulled off a really smooth kill as an impostor and felt cheated that no one was there to witness it? The game now has your back. As promised back in June, there are 24 new achievements you can now earn in the game. For example, the “SLASHER” achievement is awarded to an impostor for killing all the crewmates. Players can also earn the “IMPOSSIBLE TASK” achievement by completing the card swipe task on their first try. You can now compete with your friends and brag about your accomplishments.

Another way to boast about your Among Us skills is by sharing your level. By earning achievements and winning games, you can earn XP — experience points — to level your character up. So far, the levels only serve as a display, but hopefully, higher levels will provide benefits for players in future updates, such as exclusive clothing and accessories or other unique gameplay options.

Not only can you level up your character with the new update, but you can also play to earn new in-game currencies called beans and stars. Beans can be used to purchase a variety of color options for hats such as beanies, toilet plungers and traffic cones as well as different visor accessories like glasses and piercings. Players can also use beans to purchase the new “cosmicubes” that hold rewards like intricately designed nameplates, fanciful hats, skins and new pets.

Stars, on the other hand, are paid for using real-world currency. Purchasing stars helps to support the Among Us developers and unlocks special bundles of new items and cosmicubes. For players who can’t justify spending money on video games, the cosmicube system can be ignored completely.

The Among Us developers don’t pretend to take your money behind your back. The update video on YouTube poses the question, “This is just to make money, isn’t it?” In big, white capital letters, the answer is “YUP” accompanied by the small print “we live in a capitalist society.” Where does the money go? The video also answers this question as well. It goes toward team wages, costs for new updates and team members’ necessities such as food — specifically boba — and therapy.

What can players look forward to next? The new additions open the door for more roles and bigger cosmicubes. It appears that Among Us is set to release on consoles such as Play Station and Xbox on Dec. 14. There are also plans to finish a new map that has been in the making for almost a year. Finally, the idea of hide-and-seek mode was left out of this year’s update but is likely to be added in the near future.

“We still have plenty of things we want to add into the game,” Tran writes to the players still looking for new content. “But for now, happy venting!”

Writer Profile

Jenna Amore

Oakland University
English

Hello! I’m a senior at Oakland University in Michigan with an English major. I enjoy writing nonfiction and dystopian science fiction. I’m excited Study Breaks is giving me the opportunity to write for them!

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