I just want to share my perspective and preferences; after that, I'm going to offer some gameplay strategies I have found to be effective as both Crewmate and Imposter.
After 100 hours logged in Among Us, I find I can no longer play in lobbies that use the standard ruleset. Specifically, the first things I look for are that Confirmed Ejects and Visual Tasks are OFF; otherwise I look for a different lobby. Let me explain why.
I am a player who sometimes gets called "Sherlock." Among other reasons, one thing that sets my gameplay apart from others is that I play on a PC, and I literally keep a notebook open in front of me.
In each match, I keep three different lists; if I see a crewmate scan, they get added to a list. The cool part about non-visual tasks is that, yes, I can see a crewmate standing on the scanner for 10 seconds and be 90% sure they are safe, but I can't be 100% positive, and that is a lot more fun for me than watching half the crew scan and immediately narrowing down the list of suspects to 4 or 5 people.
There's also the fact that if I have to do the scan task myself, I can try to scan while someone else is scanning; if it says, "You must wait for Player X," then I can confirm that player is a Crewmate. So in that case, visual tasks don't even make the game any harder, if you're paying attention.
For the record, I have yet to see an Imposter actually get away with faking a scan. It's damn hard to land right in the center of the scanner, and if someone else were to come up and scan while you're faking it, you're done for.
Anyway, without that element of uncertainty, it feels like a game with "kiddie rules" for me. Among Us Lite, if you will.
I keep a second list for crewmates I believe to be safe. I might watch somebody task, and see the task bar get filled, and then I will add them to that list. If I watch Homeboy standing in Weapons for 20 seconds and the task bar fills right as he walks away, I can be relatively confident he is a Crewmate. However, I can't be 100% positive he is safe, and that little difference makes the game so much more flavorful. I may also add somebody to that same list if they get an imposter ejected, or if I am alone with them for a while and they don't do anything off-putting.
The last list, obviously, is for crewmates that do something suspicious.
I also sometimes track votes during critical mid-game meetings, and that alone is often enough to reveal an Imposter.
This is where Confirmed Ejects become game-breaking for me. Example: Player A says Player B vented. So we eject Player B. Player B is confirmed imposter; now there's only one imposter left and I know that Player A is a crewmate. It's practically a Crewmate victory already. Now I'm just bored, feeling safe, walking around tasking, waiting for the game to end.
However, without Confirmed Ejects, if I eject Player B, then I am choosing to take Player A based on faith alone. I am not confident. After some time, I can probably deduce whether Player B was an imposter or not; if kills are still happening rapidly, then Player B was innocent, and Player A was either lying or just wrong. If kills are slow, then Player B was probably an Imposter, and I can probably trust Player A; again, that lack of certainty keeps the game so much more interesting.
When playing in these lobbies with slightly more challenging rulesets, I have found that not only are the games more interesting, but in general, the players attracted to these games tend to be more cunning, and actually friendlier. I have hosted or played in the same public lobby for hours and retained the same core group of 4 or 5 strangers. You begin to learn how each other play, you develop a chemistry, and then the games become that much more dynamic; you develop expectations for each other, only to have them shatter and evolve.
We develop a loyalty to the lobby because the games tend to be balanced and fun, and when all is said and done, we are all kind towards one another.
Whereas when I play in a lobby with basic rules, the conversation tends to be brief and predictable. It's more just running around, plagued by accusations without explanations; fast-paced games with little dynamism or surprises. These lobbies also tend to be more toxic.
So if you haven't yet, I encourage you to try a game with Confirmed Ejects and Visual Tasks off. Just wanted to share my feelings on that.
To complement those rules, I like to have the movement speed relatively slow (about 1.25) and the number of tasks relatively high. What this does, is it allows the Imposters some leeway to be patient and play a sneakier game. If there's only 4 tasks for each player to do, and they're moving at lightning speed, then they will win by tasking in a minute or two flat, and it forces the Imposters to go on a killing spree, which will inevitably result in sloppy kills.
When the Imposters have the option to take their time, it allows for more nuanced gameplay. The Imposters can choose whether to kill people fast, or spend some time blending in, earning the trust of Crewmates, and making for a much more surprising reveal at the end of the game. I love being able to congratulate the Imposters on tricking me. It feels good. That's just my two cents. Now I'm going to lay out some of the tactics I have learned from others and developed myself, as a bonus for you for reading this far. You probably know about most of them, but maybe there are one or two strategies you have not tried yet.
#1: Take notes. I already described my system before, so I won't explain again.
#2: Playing on a PC is a massive advantage. You can look at the map or sabotage while moving (mobile players often can't). Some tasks are much easier to perform with a mouse. And perhaps most importantly, a keyboard allows you to type much faster. Whether you're Crew or Imposter, being able to effectively and quickly communicate will make you a more valuable player than someone who is only able to type at a fraction of your speed.
#3: The Follow-the-Imposter meta. If there are still quite a few crewmates left, don't try to get someone ejected unless you see them vent or kill; instead, follow them, and let everybody know that's what you're doing. Example: I am suspicious of the Red Player because I think they were faking a task. Now if I choose to try to get them ejected, it sucks ass if I'm wrong, because we lose an innocent Crewmate and now I look suspicious. It's smarter for me to say something along the lines of, "Hey guys, I think I saw Red faking a task. I don't want to eject them. I'm just letting you all know that I am going to follow them from now on. If I get killed, eject them."
After that, one of two things is going to happen. If they are a Crewmate, it is going to be obvious to me pretty quickly. I will see them doing tasks, and by the time another player gets killed, I can confirm that they are safe–suddenly the Red Player, who I was most suspicious of, is now my ally. At the next meeting I can tell everybody they are safe and either keep tagging along with them, or go do something else.
Or, I might see Red start to run around like a chicken with its head cut off. He either never stops to do any tasks, or he obviously fakes them. Maybe he tries to run away from me. Red doesn't know what to do anymore; he can't kill anybody because I'm watching him, and he can't kill me, because the rest of the crew will know it's him and will eject him. It's a win-win situation for me, even if he kills me.
If I am slightly suspicious of somebody, I will wait for a meeting to announce that I am going to follow them. If I am extremely suspicious of somebody, I might call a meeting just to do so.
This "follow the imposter" tactic is extremely effective. The only way it can backfire is if someone else manages to kill me and Red doesn't see it happen. This has only happened to me twice, and I just laughed; it was very well played. It takes some skill and luck to pull it off, and if someone can make it happen–props.
Tips for Imposters:
#1: Be patient. The easiest way to lose is to make a sloppy kill. Spend some time faking tasks with the crew. In the mid- to late game, I can often sniff out who the imposter is simply because I have barely seen them, and any time I do, they are running around by themselves. Staying in the vents all game can be an effective strategy in a fast-paced game, but in the long run, it is the player nobody has seen who is the most suspicious. As Imposter, I try to stay out of the vents except for immediately before/after kills.
#2: Select your targets wisely. If possible, target the more helpful players and leave suspicious players alive. If Yellow and Blue keep accusing each other, leave them both alive. Instead, kill me; I'm purple, and I'm out here going Sherlock on your ass. A clever Imposter tries to kill the most clever Crewmates as early as possible.
#3: Make friends. As Imposter, I like to win a crewmate or two to my side, someone who will tell the others that I'm safe and defend me against accusations. Maybe I do this by tasking with someone alone for a while, and then telling everyone they're safe. They will never see it coming when I save them for last and slit their throat at the end of the game.
#4: The social game is critical. In many cases, it's not smart to defend your fellow Imposter, especially if they've been caught red-handed. There are exceptions to this rule, especially in end-game scenarios, but typically, it's best to keep your hands clean and vote Black, cause that mother-fucker is sus. It's better to have an imposter ghost friend handling the sabotages for you, than to be the one guy who didn't vote for the Imposter. To that end…
#5: Be a model Crewmate. You usually don't want to be the person slinging accusations and ejecting innocent Crewmates; at the same time, you don't want to be silent either. Be vocal and involved without being too helpful. When I'm a crewmate, I am always most suspicious of the guy who says "Where?" and then has nothing more meaningful to add to the conversation. This guy is an easy way to make yourself seem like a good little detective, too. "Has anyone seen Lime?"
#6: Sabotage constantly. A well-executed reactor sabotage in the late game can be a game-ender.
One last general tip: Don't be afraid to call a meeting. I do this often just to "count heads" and see if anyone has been killed since the last meeting. The sooner you do this, the sooner someone may be able to trace back where they were and figure out which players had an opportunity to kill someone.
If the game has been going on for thirty seconds or more and no one has reported a body, I will often head for the button, because I want to know who's dead–and if no one's dead, then the Imposters are probably trying to be sneaky, and if that's the case, I want to know that, as well.
The flip side to this is, as an imposter, calling a meeting cleans away all bodies. It is better to call a meeting than to let someone find a body that can be traced back to you. For this very reason, and to keep trolls from being able to delay the game, if I am the lobby host, I only allow each player 1 Emergency Meeting.
That's it, everyone. Thanks for reading! I have a lot of love for the game (I love all social deduction games), and I just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings on it. Feel free to add any tips of your own, ask questions, or drop a comment if you want to play together. My steam account is Mushyheaded, and I play in-game as Mushy.