If you thought you could play Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes without hating your friends by the end, you're probably wrong, but here's a few tips to make sure you still have a good time.

How to Diffuse a Bomb Without Losing All Your Friends

If you thought you could play Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes without hating your friends by the end, you're probably wrong, but here's a few tips to make sure you still have a good time.

So you’ve got a lot of friends but not a lot of games to play. You’re tired of Cards Against Humanity, and you can’t sit through another round of [insert popular FPS here]. You don’t wanna browse the shops for more games, and you don’t want to leave your house for an activity because, ew, outside. 

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Maybe the best solution to your problem is Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, a multiplayer VR game in which one person wears the headset and sees a bomb and whoever else is in the room (e.g., your friends and loved ones) sees a manual. The one diffusing the bomb describes what they see, and the people reading the manual describe what the bomb diffuser must do in order to diffuse the bomb before time runs out and everybody explodes. 

I don’t even have to tell you how this game could cause actual, literal explosions — of rage and confusion and overall mayhem. GameSkinny has already mentioned this is a game to destroy a relationship. 

Instead, this article aims to give you some tips so that you can survive the first few bombs without losing your mind — and everyone you love and cherish. 

First thing to remember? 

Don’t be a jerk. Just keep repeating that to yourself over and over as the night progresses. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t say, “How are you not seeing this? How are you not understanding this? It’s right in front of your face?” 

That isn’t productive. That isn’t going to help. It’s going to shut the whole operation down, and everyone is going to die. Don’t say degrading things out loud to your friends while you play a game. That should be a rule in every multiplayer game. 

Don’t be a jerk. 


Second general piece of advice? 

If someone hasn’t played this game before, but you have, don’t act like you know everything. Let them discover the wonders of diffusing a bomb on their own. Keep your mouth shut. Remember the reason you started playing this game in the first place: because you want to have a fun game night with your friends. Not because you want to show off how smart you can be and how much better you are at this game than they are. 

If you start acting like you know everything and say things like, “Oh, just give me that, I’ll do it,” or “Just listen to me and stop listening to everyone else,” tension is going to rise immediately. 

Okay, now that the general “don’t be a jerk” tactics are out of the way, here are just a few tips concerning some of the modules that show up a lot and confuse even the most veteran players. 

On the Subject of Wires

If you are diffusing the bomb, do not start telling the people what color the wires are. And if you are reading the manual, do not ask what color the wires are. 

Just don’t. It doesn’t matter. The easiest way to get through this module is to ask how many wires there are — and that’s it. Here’s a scenario:

The diffuser says, “There are six wires.” The manual reader should then begin reading down the list for six wires, top to bottom, until they find their answer. Most of the time, you don’t even have to read the whole line because if the manual reader says, “If there is only one black wire–” and the diffuser cuts them off to say, “There are no black wires,” great. Move on to the next line.

Same with On the Subject of The Button. Don’t worry about what the diffuser says. Just go down the list (in the exact order the list goes in), until you find what matches. Do not skip the order, because if there is a match earlier on the list than the line you skipped to, you are going to mess something up and earn yourself and all your friends a strike. 

On the Subject of Wire Sequence 

Yay, more wires! But this one is a little more complicated. And the first couple of times you do this one, you’re gonna have a bad time. Because now you do need to say the colors of the wires. 

But wait! Stop! Don’t tell the manual reader how many wires and what colors and what they’re connected to immediately. Instead, go one wire at a time, top to bottom. The diffuser should only worry about the color and number occurrence of the wire; the manual reader is in charge of telling them if they should cut the wire. 

For example, say your module looks likes this:

The diffuser should say, “First occurrence black,” as the first wire is black and it’s the first time we’ve seen a black wire. The manual reader will then look at their manual and say to the diffuser “A, B, or C.” Diffuser, because this wire is connected to a B, cut it, then move on. The manual reader is only going to say the letter corresponding with the wire if it should be cut.

For example, when the diffuser moves on to the next wire and says, “Second occurrence black,” the manual reader will say, “A or C.” If that black wire had been connected to a B, don’t cut it, and don’t waste everyone’s time by saying, “But it’s connected to a B!” If it’s connected to a B, don’t cut it, and move on. “First occurrence red.” “C.” Great. Don’t cut the red wire, and then move on. Remember that when you press the down arrow to move on, the occurrences travel too, so the next black wire you see is going to be, “Third occurrence black.” 

Eventually, you’ll be powerhousing through that one, bing-bang-boom–err, I mean, no boom. 

On the Subject of Memory

I saved the worst for last. Okay, so maybe the Morse code one is the worst, or the Venn diagram one, but I’m here to give you the basics, not the whole game guide (though if you want it, I’ll be here all week). 

Are you ready for the best advice of your life for getting past this difficult module? Okay, well, here it is:

Dude, just write it down.

This is a team effort, so utilize the team. The diffuser says what stage number it is, the manual reader reads the hint, and then the diffuser should say what position and number they just pressed. And then someone on the outside should write that down. Then, the diffuser, who already has enough on their plate, doesn’t have to remember everything. 

But maybe you have more fun with the struggle. Maybe you prefer things to be diffucult, and that’s okay. Or maybe you don’t have asshole friends and never had to worry about losing friendships while playing this game, and that’s okay too.

But just in case tensions do run high and suddenly everyone hates each other by the end of the night, these tips can hopefully ease some of the strain off your suddenly fragile relationships. 

Or maybe you should just stick to Card Against Humanity. 

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