The 4 Most Popular Codes & Ciphers Found in Escape Rooms

Thu, 12 Sep, 2019

Most Popular Codes & Ciphers Found

A common feature of escape games is the use of codes and ciphers that must be cracked using all the nuance and skill that you can muster. It must be said that nothing beats feeling like a real-life secret agent after a successful code break. To help you out, here are the most popular codes that you’re sure to encounter at least once!


Braille is the reading and writing system used by the blind and visually impaired. It was originally developed by a French Army Captain named Charles Barbier, which enabled his officers to read battle commands without the use of candlelight. The technique was later refined in the 1800s by Louis Braille. Used by touch rather than sight, various combinations of raised bumps form a complete alphabet, the braille that we know today can be transcribed in a multitude of languages.


Indexing is the most common type of code/cipher that you’ll find in an escape room. To put it simply, indexing is the way we get a shortened message from a long one. To do this, count a specific number of letters into each word, for example, three letters, and take these extracted letters to form a single cipher.

Look behind the sofa for the clue
  O         H        E     F     R    E      U


Binary code is a coding system that consists of two symbols and is typically represented by 0’s and 1’s – but any two symbols can be used as long as the system stays consistent. The most common form of binary code uses eight digits, or ‘bits’, to form one character. The beauty of binary is the endless amount of possibilities that it can form.


Pigpen is another common escape room cipher, which uses a simple substitution method of exchanging letters for symbols that have been fragmented into a grid. Pigpen is also referred to as the Freemason’s Cypher, as it was originally used by the incredibly secretive fraternal society in the 18th century to keep out meddling eyes.