How to Play Mafia on Zoom
Mafia is a party game that involves finding out who the killers, or mafia, are. Players have to decide who to vote for and kill and if they can trust each other.
If you’re wondering if you can play Mafia on Zoom, this is the guide for you. We’ll tell you everything you need to know and also answer any burning questions you may have about Zoom and Mafia.
What Is the Mafia Game?
Mafia was created by Dmitry Davidoff of the Moscow State University Psychology Department. This was back in the 90s, so the game has been around for a while and is still widely played today.
The objective of the game is for players with the mafia role to kill the civilians. Conversely, the civilians have to try and guess who the mafia members are and kill them off too.
In a game of around 15 people, there might be three mafias, two detectives, a doctor, a narrator, and eight civilians. The number of mafia and detectives can differ according to the host since this isn’t always set in stone. Normally, the number of mafia members is a third of the current number of players.
The roles all have abilities attached to them. For example, the narrator isn’t a real player, but they are the ones setting the pace and location. They have to be unbiased and allow the game to be played fairly.
The mafia members are the villains of the game; whose objective is to kill silently. They get to kill at night when the narrator tells them to. During the day, the mafia blends in with the civilians, trying to convince them to kill other civilians so they win.
The doctor is a civilian with the power to bring another civilian back to life. At night, the doctor can open their eyes and point at a person suspected to be a mafia victim. If they’re right, the victim is saved.
The detective plays an important role in helping the civilians. They have the power to identify who the mafia are. At night, they can point at a person and ask for their identity.
The narrator will nod if the person is mafia and shake their head if the person isn’t. In the daytime, the detective has to help civilians kill mafia members. Since they have powers, civilians tend to trust them more, but this can be a burden sometimes.
Civilians are the ones conducting votes on who to kill. The vote happens by a majority, and if they agree to kill someone, the person will die. They are only active during the day and play the most important role in hunting the mafia down.
Civilians have to ask each other if they’re mafia or not. If the mafia is skilled, they can evade detection. They’ll have to work hard to stay hidden and avoid execution.
Playing Mafia on Zoom With Family, Friends, and Coworkers
Since you’re playing Mafia on Zoom, some changes will have to be made. The narrator will inform everyone via a private message what role they’re given. This information must be kept secret from everyone else other than the mafia communicating with each other.
After all of the players know their roles, the narrator will start the game. As with all Mafia games, the round starts at night. Everyone closes their eyes.
On the first night, the mafia decides who to kill. They will let the narrator know, and then the doctor is roused from sleep next. The doctor will try to guess who the mafia is going to kill and let the narrator know.
Next, the detective wakes up and privately tells the narrator whose identity they want to know. In an online environment, the narrator will text back privately “yes” or “no”. The narrator must say “(role name) wake up” or something similar.
The first night then ends, and the narrator will tell the city or village to wake up. Now, the civilians can open their eyes. If the doctor doesn’t manage to save the victim, the victim must mute their microphone.
If they’re saved, the narrator doesn’t let the intended victim know. However, this means that the doctor has saved a life. The civilians have a better chance of winning now.
Daytime is when civilians talk among themselves and deduce who the mafia are. They must work together with the detective and find out the identity of the killer. The mafia can also sow confusion by voting for innocent civilians.
This will repeat day and night until either the mafia outnumbers the civilians or the civilians successfully kill off the mafia.
If you were killed, you’re only allowed to watch. Your microphone is muted and the camera may also be deactivated. However, you can see everything happening since you’re not obligated to close your eyes anymore.
At night, you can see the mafia doing their dirty work. It’s quite fun to watch everything unfold in front of you too. Even if you’re dead, you can spectate for as long as you like.
There is an online community called Daily Mafia, where people play Mafia on Zoom. It was started by Chris Stottle back in 2013. Originally, he only wanted to play with friends and acquaintances.
However, the community grew immensely. The software they used in the past wasn’t very effective for large groups. Besides, around 30 to 50 people wanted to play for almost the entire week.
Because of this, Chris had to look for better software, and he found out about Zoom. Zoom displayed the names of participants. They didn’t have to use video editing to put names on players’ windows when they played.
Further testing revealed that Zoom outperformed the previous video call software in audio and video quality, so they could produce better content.
This community is proof that everyone can play Mafia on Zoom. All you need is a Zoom account, players, and knowledge of how to play the game.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take to Play Mafia on Zoom?
A cycle of day and night usually lasts for five to ten minutes. This will continue until the game ends. Because the mafia will try to hide, a game of Mafia can last for more than 30 minutes.
Is Mafia Also Called Werewolf?
Yes. The werewolves function the same as the mafia, killing at night. The villagers and civilians will have to deduce who’s the werewolf. Some versions have detectives replaced with seers and there won’t be doctors.
Do Your Need Cards for Zoom Mafia?
No, you don’t. Cards would make it easy for players to cheat. Instead, Zoom Mafia relies on private messaging to tell players their roles.
Cards can be seen if a player decides to open their eyes. Even if it’s by accident, the civilian will have gained an unfair advantage. This is why cards aren’t recommended for Zoom Mafia.
Not everyone has playing cards at home either. However, on Zoom, everyone has access to the private messaging system. This makes it all the more relevant and accessible.
Is Zoom Free to Use?
The basic plan is free to use, and one-on-one calls are free and unlimited. However, group meetings can only last for 40 minutes before ending.
It might be good for smaller Mafia sessions, but not so much for larger ones. Because of this, if you plan to make Mafia night on Zoom a regular thing, you’ll have to pay for the better plans.
The good thing is that the basic plan allows you to host up to 100 participants, so you don’t have to worry about having too many people. 100 players are too many for Mafia anyway.
Can Your Record Zoom Mafia?
Yes, you can record your Zoom meetings, as long as the host does it or grants you permission. You can choose to save the recording onto your computer or to a cloud service you prefer.
You can record your screen with Zoom’s built-in function or using third-party software. The latter can be done without permission since it’s not connected to Zoom at all. The host can also use third-party software if desired.
Are You Mafia?
Playing Mafia on Zoom allows you to enjoy the game with friends and family located elsewhere. Not only is it effective, but you can record everything if you wish. You can watch back later and laugh at the highlights.
Do you like playing Mafia on Zoom? Do you call the game Werewolf or Mafia? Let us know in the comments section below.