29 Apr

What are the Types of Escape Room Locks and Puzzles?


Escape games are famous for their immersive themes and gameplay, plus their intricately designed puzzles and locks that serve to challenge every player’s intellect and analytical skills. 

Solving puzzles, deciphering codes, or figuring out the lock combination to escape are just some of the challenges commonly found in escape rooms. All these play fundamental roles in delivering an EXHILIRATING escape room experience.

Understanding the different types of puzzles and locks escape room games feature is crucial for anyone looking to CONQUER their next escape adventure. Doing so gives you an idea of the first thing you must do when encountering them in a scene. 

Are you ready to discover the common types of locks and puzzles in escape rooms? Let us dive right into a comprehensive guide below!

Types of Locks

There are common types of locks players frequently encounter when entering escape rooms.

  • Key padlocks
  • Numerical padlock
  • Word code padlocks
  • Combination padlock
  • Diversion lock
  • Directional lock
  • Magnetic cabinet locks
  • Cryptex lock

While these are the most typical locks in escape rooms, some will surely struggle when tackling these locking mechanisms, especially when trying to unlock them on their FIRST VISIT when they are still getting a feel for the environment they find themselves in. 

Hence, we made a breakdown of these various locks to serve as your guide. Being familiar with each type can save valuable time during gameplay and increase your chances of successfully unlocking them and leaving the room. 

Padlock and Keypadlock and key

A key padlock is the most common type of lock. It is not only popular in escape rooms but in many homes as well thanks to its durable and affordable design.

This locking mechanism only requires a single key. However, the tricky part is finding the corresponding key, which can be hidden in different areas of the room.

It becomes even more challenging when the escape room features multiple padlocks, requiring you to find several keys mixed with other obscure items

You will typically only need to use each key once. Hence, it would be wise to leave both the key and unlocked padlock together in one place to AVOID CONFUSION, especially when dealing with multiple escape room locks. 

Padlocks With Numerical Codespadlocks with numerical codes

You need to figure out the correct code sequence to open a numerical lock

Clues, riddles, and puzzles will often yield codes or conditions meant to open this type of lock. So, you must work well with your team to decipher the numbers and learn the correct number sequence before time runs out. 

NOTE: It is best to write the numerical codes on a piece of paper and try different relevant combinations using these relevant numbers until you unlock the device. 

Padlocks With Word Codes

Word code locks are similar to numerical types, which require you to reveal a 4 to 6-letter word to unlock it. 

Finding clues, solving puzzles, answering riddles, unscrambling words, or identifying the missing word in a poem are the primary solutions to opening locked chests or swinging a closed door with this on wide open.

Combination Padlock
combination padlock

A combination lock is commonly seen on school lockers. It requires players to provide a three-number code by spinning the combination wheel in the correct direction. 

Additionally, a combination lock demands precise alignment. The arrow on the lock must be aligned perfectly with the dash corresponding to the numbers for it to open.

When the first combination does not work, you must FULLY RESET the lock by rotating the wheel to the right thrice. A full reset is required before you attempt to input a new combination. This is sure to raise the pressure in the room when you are working against a tense time limit.

Diversion Locks

A diversion lock is often disguised as an ordinary object, making it the least suspecting among the many forms of locking mechanisms found in an escape room. 

This kind of lock typically comes in the form of a camouflaged lockbox, which requires creative solutions to be discovered and opened. You can also open these through keys concealed in puzzles around the room. 

Once you successfully open the container, you will often  find critical elements that can help you progress through the game. 

Directional Locksdirectional locks

Directional locks are quite uncommon compared to the other types of locks on this list. They are also tricky to unlock.

This type of lock is unique in that it utilizes a combination of left, right, up, and down movements to be opened. 

However, you must know that the number of moves you can perform is LIMITED. It is also easy to lose pace, especially when dealing with a long code that requires a string of directional inputs.

Attempting to reset the lock may also be inconvenient, as it is difficult to determine the directions needed to reset when simply looking at it

You and your team must stay focused when solving this type of lock. It also requires keen attention to detail to successfully tackle it and move on to the next phase. 

Magnetic Cabinet Locks

A magnetic lock is unlike typical types of locks. For one, it secures a door using magnets and DOES NOT require keys or any code to be opened. In fact, it is actually quite easy to operate and unlock. 

While this is the case, the cabinet lock’s disguised nature makes it challenging to find. This type of lock easily blends in while attached to a cover or door sitting against a frame. 

To open a magnetic cabinet lock, you need to apply pressure on it once to release the magnet. 

Remember: Such a lock is easily concealed. Players must practice careful listening and thorough exploration to locate the magnet and apply pressure to the correct area. 

Cryptex Lockscryptex locks

Cryptex locks are usually found in fantasy or spy movies. These locks consist of five to six rings inscribed with the entire alphabet

To open this type of lock, you must solve several puzzles or riddles to learn the correct words or code. You must also utilize any clue you find, as it may lead you to the correct order of letters needed to unlock the device. 

Escape Room Puzzles

Apart from locks, escape rooms feature various types of puzzles that may or may not involve codes. These elements add to the FUN and EXCITEMENT of escape rooms, challenging players’ teamwork and problem-solving skills

Understanding the most common types of puzzles will enhance your ability to navigate the room and finish the game before time runs out


Logic-based puzzles, often combined with locks, require mental leaps and reasoning rather than vigorous physical movements.

Tasks like figuring out the proper order of numbers or discovering the correct pattern enhance the escape room experience, pushing teams to think critically under pressure.



Escape rooms also incorporate basic to intermediate mathematics, like addition and subtraction, in their puzzle types. They require arithmetic calculations to reveal codes, unlock mechanisms, or solve a puzzle.

These locks appeal to numerically inclined players, transforming abstract numbers into tangible progress within the game.

Draw Or Map Out Numbers

This puzzle type requires spatial awareness and the ability to map or draw out numbers by utilizing clues or coordinates

These often lead to discovering new information or areas within the room, engaging players in a hands-on exploration of the game’s physical space.

Jigsaw Puzzlesjigsaw puzzles

Jigsaw is among the most common puzzle types loved by people of all ages. However, in an escape room setting, this classic puzzle is ELEVATED. 

To add a twist to the game, players must rearrange unconventional pieces, such as paper shreds or book titles, to uncover clues.

Mechanical Puzzles

mechanical puzzles

Mechanical puzzles are MORE COMPLEX than other puzzle types, making them challenging to solve. They demand the player to physically manipulate objects within the room, requiring them to interact with their environment.

These puzzles add to the tactile fun of escape games. However, these do not necessarily provide clues or codes for locks but only help you progress in the game.

Light And Sound

Using ambient elements or puzzles may require players to interpret signals, patterns, or sequences from lights and sounds within the room to solve a clue or unlock a mechanism. 

They add a sensory dimension to the challenge, requiring acute observation and often teamwork to decipher.

Key Takeaways on Escape Rooms Locks and Puzzles

Understanding the different types of locks and puzzles in escape rooms would also mean putting your team in a strategic position. This, in turn, increases your chances of winning and getting your name on the Wall of Champions. 

By being familiar with this basic escape room knowledge, you and your friends can confidently tackle challenges and progress more quickly, whether in physical or virtual escape rooms.

At this point, you are WELL-EQUIPPED to dominate the escape game. If you want to implement these concepts, book your escape room adventure with your friends or family! 

NOTE: Distance is NOT a reason not to experience the thrill of escape games because you can play digitally in Escapely’s virtual rooms. Wait no further; e-mail us at hello@escapely.com or call us at 702.747.3009 today!


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