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You’ll find a bunch of boxes, drawers, doors, and more locked up when first starting your game.  For the uninitiated, the challenge in an escape room should NEVER be about figuring out how the escape room locks operate. Rather, the challenge should be in solving puzzles and riddles to figure out the correct code for the lock.

We have written these escape room tips to explain the different types of locks that The Escape Effect uses. In doing this, we hope to make sure everyone can enjoy an escape room instead of fighting with locking mechanisms. We hope that these tips can give you some insight into how the locks work so that you can focus on the fun parts of the games.  And don’t worry, even if you forget how to open one of these escape room locks while in the game, your host is there to help.

Our escape room tips will help you with this lock. A Master Lock barrel lock.
A Master Lock barrel lock.

Barrel lock

This is one of the more common escape room locks. These locks will have numbers, letters, and sometimes symbols on the tumblers.  At The Escape Effect we usually use letters and numbers. Here, if a lock is filled with letters, it will always spell out a full word.  To open the lock, rotate the tumblers so that the correct combination is lined up with the “Master” logo, then pull down on the lock.

Direction lock

This escape room lock can be a little tricky to those that haven’t seen one before. The disk on the front can slide up, down, left, and right.  The code to open will be a series of directions (at The Escape Effect, the combination may have up to eight).  Before entering a code, be certain the clear the lock. To clear the clock, press the shackle down into the lock at least twice.  Take care not to press the shackle into the lock while entering the combination or before opening the lock, or else you’ll have to enter it all over again.

A Master Lock directional lock.
A Master Lock directional lock.
A Master Lock luggage lock.
A Master Lock luggage lock.

Luggage lock

These escape room locks are your basic TSA locks.  The locks have three or four tumblrs arranged in a vertical line.  There is usually a line drawn on the side to indicate where the numbers should line up. When you find the correct combination, line up the appropriate code from top to bottom. Pull down on the lock and twist the shackle to open it.

Push-button lock

Push-button locks can come in 6, 8, and 10-button varieties.  At The Escape Effect, we only use the 10-button version.  Similar to other escape room locks, the buttons on this lock are labeled with numbers.  However, unlike other locks, it does not matter which order you press the buttons in. It only matters that you press the correct buttons.  Once the proper buttons are pressed, squeeze the switch on the bottom of the lock to pop the shackle.

A push-button locking mechanism.
A push-button locking mechanism.

These are the locks that you see in 99% of escape rooms in Orlando.  We use them in the first three games we have built – At Odds With The GodsSherlock Studies, and Encore.  Our newest room, Fright Before Your Eyes, also uses normal locks. However, for A Knight To Escape, we have replaced these locks with custom-made pieces that fit the time period.

To make sure you understand the locks, your host will cover how to operate any locks that appear in the game before you begin. If you have any questions during the game, feel free to ask your host! They’ll gladly help you through any problems that you have to make sure you have the best experience.

Ready to put these escape room tips to use?

To book a room, click the button below or give us a call at (855) 426-3372.

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