As you're probably well aware, all escape rooms feature locks to be opened, challenges to be overcome and lots of brain taxing puzzles to solve. Each player must try and complete a part in order to go forward and eventually escape from the room, before the clock ends their session. You will fight all sorts of styles, narratives, and decoration across a massive number of different escape room game themes. Yet one thing that remains the same in all of them is that you'll always come across locks. On the whole, every escape room will tend to use the same type of locks. Below we've listed a number of the most common ones, so that you'll have some idea of how to deal with each one, when you come across them.

Types Of Locks

Unsurprisingly, many escape room games will feature old fashioned style locks of the type you are used to seeing in everyday life. Probably the four most commonly used locks are numerical locks, padlocks with keys, directional locks and word locks. Of course, there are probably many more, but being familiar with these four types is going to help you considerably, and save a lot of valuable time. 

Padlock And Key

Without doubt, the simple, basic padlock and key is going to be the most common lock your come across. This has been built to stand the test of time and it's a super popular option, particularly because it's very affordable and easy to find. As a player, you will discover that the problem with padlocks is that there are two parts to the: the padlock itself and the key. In order to make life even harder, you may actually have multiple padlocks distributed around the room and then you'll discover which key goes with which lock. On the whole, a single key will typically open just a single padlock and can only be used once. In order to save time, and to stop other people from retrying the same lock, it's good advice to leave the key that fits a lock within it. This will help stop getting keys mixed up along the way.

Padlocks With Numerical Codes

Once again, an incredibly common lock for escape rooms. Similar to the padlock with keys, these are affordable, easy to access, and durable and cheap to buy in the local store. Most of these locks will need some sort of numerical code in order to open them. And these can be hidden in all sorts of places around the escape room. Maybe you'll solve a riddle that ends in a date ,and when you reverse the date this is the code to unlock the padlock. There may well be four completely different puzzles that you have to solve, with each one giving a separate number. Once all the numbers from all four puzzles are put together you have the solution to unlocking the padlock. 

Finding the answer for this type of lock requires much more teamwork than finding the answer to a simple padlock and key. So it's going to be much faster if everyone puts their heads together to figure out which numbers might be correct. 

Padlocks With Word Codes

These are very similar to padlocks with numerical codes. In fact, they look and function in exactly the same manner,  but in this case a word code is needed to unlock, with between 4 and 6 letters. Once again, there are a great  number of places to hide the needed words in an escape room. It may well be within a specific book or you may need to discover the missing word from a poem or even unscramble a word and solve a riddle. Teamwork is going to be your friend as these types of locks require the attention of the complete team.

Combination Padlock

These are the same locks that you find on your school locker. Normally they require a 3 number code to open them and each individual lock will need to be spun in the correct direction when you input the numbers. As many escape room games are played in very dimly lit conditions, it's important that you ensure that the arrow is perfectly lined up with the dash on each number. Even if you are a tiny bit out, the lock will not function correctly. So if you have the correct numbers, they may still not work.

Make sure you remember how to reset the combination lock by rotating the combination wheels to the right individually for 3 whole rotations. This will save you time if you failed to find the correct numbers in the first place and need to return to it later in the game.

Directional Locks

You probably will not come across directional locks in your day-to-day life. We must confess they are pretty tricky to operate as they are opened with a series of up and down, left and right clicks. The real problem is there's no limit as to how long a lock code might be. So it's very common that players lose their place when trying to work out the pattern in a directional lock. For simplicity's sake, you'll find that the clues for directional locks will often be in this up/down, left/right fashion. For example on a map with locations north/south/east/west. 

Although cracking this code is going to be a head scratcher, the resetting of this lock is super difficult as well. The main issue is that you cannot tell if the lock has been reset by simply looking at it. And this inevitably leads to a problem, whereby a player is constantly inputting new codes, but because the lock has not been reset each time, then these coats are always going to be incorrect. As a lock, these are probably one of the most frustrating ones you will come across in any escape room game

Diversion Locks

If you're looking for diversion locks, then it can be difficult to identify. That's because they're often disguised to look like a lamp or book or even a rock. You'll be surprised how creative escape room game masters can be when it comes to hiding locks within objects. On the whole, if you find some keys by solving puzzles or cracking riddles, then probably go to open diversion locks. Normally the diversion lock itself will contain an item or object that's essential to advance the narrative and bring you closer to escaping the room.

Magnetic Cabinet Locks

These are similar to the locks you'll find in most modern kitchen cabinets. In truth, these are not locks at all. Magnetic cabinet locks will hold a door or cover against a frame and can be opened by lightly pushing the lock once. Upon which the door will spring open. Magnetic cabinet locks are a great inclusion for escape room games, simply because they are very hard to find. Yes they're very easy to open once you find them, but you will not spot them by just looking over the room itself.

Cryptex Locks

This is the type of lock you might see in a spy movie. It's a great addition to escape rooms, particularly if there's an old-fashioned theme. That’s because this type of lock really suits the aesthetic. Essentially, it has 5 to 6 rings, which each have the full alphabet on them. The players will need to solve several different puzzles in order to figure out the word that will finally unlock the Cryptex lock..