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The card swiping task in Among Us is Satan's mini-game

Among Us swipe card
(Image credit: InnerSloth)

When playing a Crewmate in Among Us, I'm similar to Harry when he writes that performing menial tasks is his favourite part of the game. I love running around the ship ticking off my checklist and watching the neon green bar go up. The undercover murderer on the loose is a slight hindrance, but up until the moment when my neck gets inevitably snapped, I'm in blissful, task ticking ignorance. 

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(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

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Clearing the leaves out of the ship's O2 filter, emptying the garbage chute, and matching all the coloured wires together is pretty satisfying. I don't even mind the suspense found in the file download task where you're essentially just a sitting duck waiting for the imposter to strike. But there's one mini-game that makes my blood run cold. The card swiping task.  

It's a fairly simple task in concept. All you have to do is take your employee card out of your wallet and swipe it through a scanner. The scanner will blink green when your card has been read and you can go happily bouncing on your merry way. But this scanner is a devious machine, an apparatus designed by Satan himself to cause as much upset and frustration as possible. 

The timing of the swipe is what makes this task cursed. You can't swipe too fast or too slow because then the card won't register, and it will ask you to try again. If you do it wrong, you're met with a short buzz and the reader will tell you why you have failed, "too slow" or "too fast," and requests that you try again. 

This task has found infamy within the Among Us community, its fussy nature dooming many to a bloody fate. The machine cannot be moved by your perilous situation or swayed with heartfelt pleas. It's cold, cruel verdict is final, and you'll have to keep swiping away until the deed is done.

This task has gotten such a reputation that there are even Among Us card swiping guides, specifically telling players how to handle the finicky machine. Even if you do get the timing right, there's a chance that you didn't completely swipe all the way across, leading to a "bad read, try again" screen. If you're lucky, it will take you three or four swipes to get it correct, but often more than not you end up stuck in an ill-fated swiping loop for minutes at a time. A cruel fate indeed.

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Too slow, try again. Too fast, try again. Too slow, try again. Bad read, try again. Too fast, try again. Too slow, try again. Too fast, try again. Too slow, try again. Too fast, try again. Too slow, try again. Too fast, try again. Bad read, try again. Too slow, try again. Too fast, try again. When will my torment end?

With murderers stalking the halls of the ship, it's pretty difficult to keep your cool. When doing tasks you're vulnerable to a stealthy attack, so mini-games that are short and simple contribute to your survival rate. The longer you spend dawdling on a task, the more susceptible you are to being stabbed in the back. You could be mindlessly swiping away with your card but then BAM! You've been unceremoniously stabbed to death, the wallet photo of your weird space bean family the last thing you see.  

With a task that requires precise timing, combined with the pressures of being murdered, trying to keep calm and collected is a lot to ask. The times when I've seen another crewmate enter the chamber from the corner of my screen, I've quit the mini-game plenty of times out of fear, only returning when I know I'm alone and can tackle the beast head-on. This behaviour is pretty sus, so I wouldn't recommend it, but it's better than certain death.  

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Speaking of death, even in the afterlife you've not been freed from the sweet release of task ticking. The card swiping mini-game is still there, expectantly waiting for you, ready to gobble up your card and your last shred of patience. 

Patience, persistence and a bit of luck are the keys to conquering the card swiping mini-game, and when you do finally get it right and those beautiful words 'Accepted, thank you' appear on the screen, it's a blessing like no other. Just wait until you swipe and get it accepted on the first try, it's euphoric. 

Rachel Watts

Part of PC Gamer's UK team, Rachel loves a good ol' detective mystery, story-rich adventure games, and weirdly wonderful indies. Her proudest gaming moment is the one time she kept her virtual potted plants alive for a year.