When to Ask for a Hint in an Escape Room header image

When to Ask for a Hint in an Escape Room

Posted on February 25, 2022
by Faith Neece
Escape rooms are full of complex puzzles that are designed to be challenging. So most escape room companies allow players to ask for hints to help them solve the room.
At Breakout, we allow unlimited hints without any penalties. It’s up to you to control the difficulty level by asking for more or fewer clues. We’ll never force you to use a hint or give you the direct answer. We’ll just give you a push in the right direction if you ask for it.
But that begs the question, when should you ask for a clue? How can you take advantage of hints so you’re closer to breaking out while still challenging yourself enough to have fun? Here are our suggestions of when to ask for a hint in an escape room:

The 5-Minute Rule
One of the hardest things in an escape room, especially if you haven’t played one before, is pacing. How do you know if you’re close to escaping or not? 
We suggest using the 5-minute rule: if you haven’t solved anything new in 5 minutes, it’s a good idea to ask for a hint.
Expert tip: Don’t be afraid to ask for a clue early! A lot of groups mistakenly believe that the first part of the room should be the easiest and that the puzzles get progressively harder as you go. Not true! Sometimes getting started is one of the hardest parts and it would actually benefit you to ask for a clue earlier on. 
So don’t feel bad if you want a hint towards the beginning of the game. Go ahead and ask!

Getting Stuck
Sometimes you might get to a part of the room where your whole group feels pretty stuck. You might have tried several different ways of solving a puzzle, but you’re running out of ideas. 
Sure, you might be able to figure it out eventually, but remember, you only have 60 minutes! So if you ever feel really stuck, we suggest going ahead and asking for a clue. You’re here to have fun, not feel frustrated. And asking for a small push could be the difference between escaping or not. 

Some Scenarios…
When to ask for MORE hints: 
When to ask for FEWER hints:

Remember, you’re the boss!
No matter what, the number of hints you decide to use is up to you! Remember that using clues is NOT cheating, and using them also doesn’t mean that you’re not smart enough or good at escape rooms. But still, at Breakout, you’re always in charge of your own experience. We won’t force you to use a hint, but if you want one, we’ve got you covered!

Want more escape room strategies? Check out our top 5 tips.