Rules and Strategies for Playing Weapons Drawn

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If you’re trying to figure out how to play Weapons Drawn, the new social deduction and drawing game from The Jackbox Party Pack 8, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find an overview of gameplay, as well as some pro-tips and strategies for playing Weapons Drawn

In Weapons Drawn, everyone is both a detective and a murderer. This means everyone gets to do “the fun part” (whichever part that is for you), and no one has to feel the pressure of being the only one with a secret role. It also means there’s some rules and strategy to keep straight, so consider this your definitive guide to successful killing and sleuthing in Weapons Drawn.

The first thing you’ll do is draw two murder weapons based on the prompts on your device. Each weapon must contain a letter from your own name, which will appear on your drawing canvas. This is your secret “calling card,” and you’ll want to hide it as sneakily as possible. Move and resize your letter using the “MOVE” tab, then draw around it to create the weapon on the “DRAW” tab. You can switch between moving and drawing as much as you want, but remember to get both weapons drawn before time runs out.

Everyone brings a pair of secret accomplices to the party as their guests. Give each guest a name that stands out, but doesn’t give any clues to your identity. Every time the lights go out, you’ll try to murder other guests by guessing which player brought them. If you’re successful, your weapon is left behind as evidence.

As the game begins, everyone has one of their drawings revealed. Take a look at each player’s art style and see if you can spot their hidden letter. Everyone keeps the same letter for the whole game, so if you spot an “R” in one of Grandma’s drawings, and later see an “R” in the murder weapon, there’s a good chance she’s the culprit.

After each round of murdering, you’ll get to vote on which of two cases you want to investigate. If you’re guilty of one of the murders, it’s a good idea to sway the group into voting for the other one. Try having a very loud, confident theory about it, even if you’re just making it up! The best  way to distract from your own crime is to solve another one.

Once a murder is chosen, everyone votes on who they think did it. The one who brought the murdered guest gets a magnifying glass they can move around the screen looking for clues. Talk to your fellow players! If you see a hidden letter or other telltale sign, share it with the room. If someone accuses you, stubbornly defend your honor, even if you’re guilty (this works best if you can find someone else to blame.) It’s always more fun when everyone’s yelling at each other. Whoever has the most votes when time runs out is convicted, and the game will reveal if they were guilty or innocent.

Any murder left unsolved, including those you chose not to investigate, will come back during the Cold Case round, where you’ll have just a few seconds to make one final guess on each crime.

During all these shenanigans, you’ll be earning points in three different categories:

  1. Detective Points when you solve crimes
  2. Murder Points when you kill a guest or fool other players during the Cold Case
  3. Accomplice Points when players try to kill a guest you brought

The first two categories are the most important, but they all get added together to determine who wins the game.

Watch the Weapons Drawn tutorial below.

Pro Tips for Weapons Drawn

Some key things to remember if you want to take your Weapons game to the next level:

  • If you can’t figure out how to hide your letter, try leaving it out in the open. Other players may think it’s an obvious red herring. Similarly, feel free to include extra letters from your opponents’ names to frame them.
  • Each player only draws each weapon once. You can use this to eliminate suspects. If Kevin’s drawing of “a weird sword” is already revealed, then he’s innocent of any future weird sword murders.
  • When you guess wrong during the murder phase, you’ll have to wait a few seconds to try again. During this time you’ll get a small clue to the player that brought the guest you were trying to kill. Act fast and pay attention to what you’ve already guessed!
  • During an investigation, if you’re the first one to cast a vote for the guilty party, you’ll earn bonus points. So lock in your own vote before sharing your theory with the group.
  • Getting a majority vote is important for a conviction, but don’t be afraid to disagree with the group. You get points behind the scenes for picking the guilty party, even when the majority convicts someone else.
  • You earn points each time someone tries to murder your guests, so it helps to give them names that are weird, funny, or otherwise draw attention (without leading back to you.) Try framing another player by writing something they might write. You don’t get rewarded for your guests surviving, so there’s no point in flying under the radar.
  • Each player keeps the same letter the whole game, but they get harder to hide as the game goes on. They may be cursive, lowercase, or just look super weird.
  • While it’s rare, two players CAN have the same letter as their calling card. If you’re caught, try shifting the blame to someone else with your letter in their name! 
  • Think twice before using a player name with an easily identifiable letter like “X” or “Z.”
  • If your player names doesn’t have enough letters, the game may add a title like “Prof.” to the front of it.

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