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Types of Locks Found in an Escape Room - Blog

Types of Locks Found in an Escape Room

7 min read · by Unity Escape Rooms · on January 13, 2024

If you are a fan of escape rooms, you probably know that one of the most common challenges you will face is unlocking different types of locks. Escape rooms use locks to hide clues, objects, or even the exit door, and you will need to use your logic, creativity, and teamwork skills to crack them open. But what types of locks are used in escape rooms? And how can you prepare yourself to solve them quickly and efficiently? In this post, we will explore some of the most common types of locks used in escape rooms and give you some tips on how to approach them.

Combination Locks

Combination Lock

Ah, the smell of high school locker room gym socks.

Combination locks are locks that require you to enter a sequence of numbers or letters to open them. They can be found on padlocks, safes, doors, or other objects. To find the combination, you need to look for clues around the room, such as numbers written on walls, books, paintings, or other items. Sometimes, you may need to do some math, logic, or word puzzles to get the right combination. Combination locks are very versatile and can be used in any escape room theme.

Key Locks (Padlocks)

Padlock

The simplest and most classic type of lock is the key padlock. You will need to find a key that matches the lock and insert it to open it. Sounds easy, right? Well, not so fast. Escape rooms often use multiple key padlocks, and finding the right key for each lock can be tricky. You may need to search the room thoroughly, solve puzzles, or even use other keys to access hidden areas where the key you need is located. A good tip is to leave the key in the lock once you open it, so you don't mix it up with other keys or use it again by mistake.

Numerical Locks

Numerical Lock

Another common type of lock is the numerical lock. These locks have a series of digits that you need to enter in the correct order to open them. The digits can be anywhere from 2 to 6, depending on the difficulty level of the escape room. To find the digits, you will need to look for clues around the room, such as numbers written on walls, books, paintings, clocks, or other objects. You may also need to solve mathematical equations, riddles, or codes to get the digits. Sometimes, the order of the digits is also important, so pay attention to any hints that indicate the sequence or direction of the numbers.

Word Locks

Word Lock

Word locks are similar to numerical locks, but instead of digits, they have letters that form a word or a phrase. These locks are more challenging because they require you to think creatively and use your language skills. The word or phrase can be related to the theme of the escape room, such as a movie title, a character name, a historical figure, or a location. It can also be hidden in a book, a poem, a riddle, or an anagram that you need to solve. Sometimes, the word lock can have more than one possible solution, so you may need to try different combinations until you find the right one.

Directional Locks

Directional Lock

Directional locks are a type of combination lock that have arrows instead of numbers or letters. You need to enter a sequence of directions (up, down, left, right) to open them. These locks are often used for safes or chests that contain valuable items or clues. To find the directions, you will need to look for patterns or symbols around the room that indicate movement or orientation. For example, you may see arrows on maps, compasses, clocks, paintings, or puzzles that point to different directions. You may also need to follow instructions or clues that tell you how to move from one point to another in the room.

Digital Locks (Keypad)

Keypad Lock

Digital keypads are locks that have a touch screen or buttons that allow you to enter a code or a password to open them. They are usually connected to electronic devices, such as computers, tablets, phones, or cameras. Digital keypads are often used in escape rooms that have a modern or futuristic theme, such as spy missions, heists, or sci-fi adventures. A good tip is to look for patterns or clues that might indicate the logic behind the code.

RFID Locks

RFID Key Card

RFID locks uses radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to detect objects that have RFID tags embedded in them. These objects may be cards, coins, keys, or anything else that can fit an RFID tag (hint: anything). To open these locks, you need to find the right object and place it near the lock sensor. A fun aspect of this lock is that it can trigger light, sounds, other effects, or even open doorways or drawers on the other side of the room.

Biometric Locks

Biometric Scanner

This lock uses a fingerprint, iris scan, voice recognition, or facial recognition to unlock it. This lock is usually found in high-tech or futuristic escape rooms, and it adds an extra layer of security and immersion to the game. To unlock this lock, you need to find a way to bypass or trick the biometric system by using someone else's fingerprint, iris scan, voice recording, or face mask. For example, you might need to find a fingerprint on a glass, scan an eye from a photo, play a voice message from a phone, or wear a mask that resembles someone else's face. Once you have the biometric data, you just need to place it on the scanner or sensor and open it.

Cryptex Locks

Cryptex Lock

A cryptex is a type of lock that consists of a cylindrical container with a series of rotating rings that have letters or symbols on them. To open the cryptex, you need to align the rings in a specific order to spell out a word or a code. The word or code may be hidden in a riddle, a poem, a book, or any other source of text. A cryptex is often used in escape rooms that have a historical or literary theme, such as Da Vinci Code or Sherlock Holmes.


These are some of the most common types of locks used in escape rooms, but there are more that you may encounter in your adventures. Escape room locks are designed to test your skills, knowledge, and teamwork, as well as to provide you with a thrilling and rewarding experience. If you want to challenge yourself and have fun with your friends or family, book an escape room today and see if you can unlock all the secrets!