Codename Rules | How to Play Code Name Game

Codename is the most popular and top-rated board game. It is actually an interesting party game with best-simplified game rules, winning strategies, and play modes with 2 or 3 players.

Here is a brief guideline on how you play the Codenames board game with all clear instructions.

Codename Board Game | Rules, Instructions & Strategies

There are two teams who compete with each other, and each has a “spy.” The main aim of the spy is to provide clues of one word. He can quote multiple words on the board.

Other players in the team try to guess the words of their team and avoid the words of other teams.

Codename Rules How to play

If you are the person in charge of a spy network, you should try to provide a word clue to some of the words that your team is trying to guess.

If you think you have a good clue, you are supposed to speak up. You also need to say a number that tells your teammates how many codenames your clue is associated with.

How Do You Play Codename?

The game moves around the spy, code, and secret. Your goal is to be the first team to use the clues of the spymaster to contact all of his agents without facing the assassin.

This  Game has an air of a cooperative, teamwork environment. The instructions are carried out through dictation/ verbal communication.  Mostly it accommodates 2 or 3 players.

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Game Setup

  • The players are divided into two equal teams.
  • Each team selects the person in charge of the spy network.
  • The leaders/spymasters of each team sit next to each other but on the opposite side of the team.
  • All the other players are the agents on the team.
  • Shuffle the tiles with code names and place 25 of them face-up in 5 x 5 squares.
  • Then you shuffle the “key” cards and place one of them in the “key” square. This is a secret for all agents in the game.
  • This is a “secret” key that shows the identity behind the code name.
  • The secret agent has never seen the secret key.
  • The blue square represents the blue agent that the blue team should contact.
  • The red square represents the red agents that the red team must contact.
  • The white or neutral square represents the viewer or bystanders.
  • The black square represents the murderer.
  • The indicator lights around the square key code indicate which team goes first.
  • The team that enters first will get its 8 agents and dual agent cards and face the spies of the team.
  • There are also 8 special agent cards handed over to the second team and the spies of that team.
  • The remaining bystander and assassin cards are placed between the two spymasters.

Game Strategy

  • Each group takes turns seeking to guess the secret identities of their own agents, working off of a single word clue from their spymaster.
  • The spymaster may also only say a single word as a clue and a number.
  • The number that they will say is the number of playing cards on the board that this clue applies to.
  • For instance, if there are codenames like  “pig” or “farm”, then the spymaster may use the words like “livestock:2”.
  • The spymaster is not allowed to show gestures about the clue and deliver no other clues.
  • The spymaster may also use zero to suggest that “none of our phrases use this clue”. Here the agents are allowed limitless guesses.
  • The spymaster may additionally use “limitless” as their number. This additionally lets in limitless guesses.
  • The downside is that the agents won’t recognize what number of words related to the clue that was simply given.
  • Agents try to guess which codename(s) correspond to the prevailing or preceding clue(s) given.
  • Once the agents of that group determine on a single tile, the agents tap it with their fingers.
  • After that, the spymaster tests their answer against the key.
  • Then he places the corresponding card (agent, murderer, bystander) over the top of the codename.
  • If the clues show your personal agent, then your group has guessed efficiently and can guess again. However, now no longer acquire every other clue.
  • They may also guess as much as the limit imposed by the spymaster however may also constantly add one greater guess.
  • The agents may additionally determine now no longer to pick a card and skip the turn.
  • If the agents touch the incorrect color, then the turn passes and the agent is revealed for the other group.
  • If a bystander is found out then the turn is passed.
  • If the murderer is found out then that group loses instantly and the game is over.

Invalid Clues

  1. Invalid clues will be punished by automatically showing the opponent’s agent and ending your round.
  2. Invalid rules must be recorded and retrieved at the spot. Otherwise, they become effective.
  3. Invalid evidence includes the head of the spy network providing body language or signals to the agents.
  4. The spymaster can only give you a key and a number.
  5. Your clue should mention the “meaning” of the word.
  6. You cannot provide hints about the spelling or arrangement of letters. You cannot use numbers as part of a clue.
  7. You cannot use a foreign language to recognize the word.
  8. You cannot use the word that is an active codename in the play.
  9. Exceptions to proper names, homonyms, compound words, abbreviations, acronyms, and rhyming words as clues must be decided before the game starts.

The hourglass

  1. If the team takes too long, the hourglass included in the game will be used to stop the round.
  2. This is not required for all rounds, but if the player thinks that the round took too long, a timer can be started.
  3. If you want a more regulated game, there is an app for that game.
  4. It keeps the timing correct or you can use the included hourglass timer.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can we play codenames with 3 players?

The game usually consists of two teams, each team has at least two players, but it can also be played by two or three players, with only one person simply acting as a “spy” for the other or two people.

2. Can you use proper nouns in codenames?

The proper names are always valid clues. Your team may agree to treat the distinguished name as one word.