How to Play Town of Salem: Tactics for Investigative Roles

If you are looking for a guide on how to play Town of Salem as one of the Investigative roles (and always win), you are at the right place!

Below are the tactics and a few tips on how to catch the Mafia and Neutral Killing roles as fast as you can.

Investigative Roles ToS

Investigative roles in Town of Salem (excluding Coven) are Investigator, Sheriff, Spy, and Lookout. You want to stay lowkey at the beginning to avoid getting attacked and then come out later on when you have some info.

How to Play Town of Salem as Investigator?

tos investigator

If you are an Investigator, you can check out one of the players each night, and you’ll see three roles they may be, one of which is right. For example: Your target is a Vigilante, Veteran, Mafioso, or Ambusher.

Make sure to record your results in your Last Will and try and catch the liars! Your Will should look something like this;

  • N1 (player’s name) - Vig, Vet, Maf, Amb
  • N2 (another player’s name) - Framer, Vamp, Jester,
  • N3...

To catch the bad guys as quickly as you can, look for subtle cues: People who are the first to vote up someone are usually evil. Random voting is also a good hint you should investigate somebody.

And when you get the search results, if there’s anything iffy about someone, whisper them first. If you don’t know how to whisper in Town of Salem, it’s pretty easy. Just type the following: /w (player’s number) (your message). For example: /w 9 what’s your role?

How to Play Town of Salem as Sheriff?

tos sheriff

I won’t lie; Sheriff is one of my least favorite roles in ToS. You only get to see whether your target is suspicious or not suspicious during the night, and you don’t even see the Godfather (GF) (he appears as “not suspicious” (NS) to a Sheriff.

But again - if you know where to look for - you will help out the Town a lot. Check those people who are constantly voting up someone or are giving off that “try-too-hard-to-be-good” vibe, and there’s a high chance that they will be suspicious!

Your Last Will should look like this:

  • N1 (player’s name) - NS or GF
  • N2 (player’s name) - SUS
  • N3…

How to Play Town of Salem as Spy?

tos spy

As a Spy, you’ll be able to see Mafia’s visits and bug people’s houses at night to see what’s happening (whether they got healed, role blocked, etc.).

A long time ago, a Spy could see whispers and read Mafia conversations, but those features are long gone now.

This is the only investigative role where you should come out from day two and post your Will. Spy claims, later on, are most of the time Mafia in disguise (because, obviously, they know whom Mafia visited).

In your Last Will, you should keep track of both your bugs (B) and mafia visits (MV). It should look like this:

N1 B: (player’s name or number and if anything happened to them), MV: (names or numbers of people mafia visited). On a concrete example: N1 B:1 transported, MV: 3, 5, and 7.

By posting daily, you’ll help Town separate the good and the bad guys. Also, if no one gets killed during the night, Spies come in handy because they know who was attacked by the Mafia but remained immune. And if Mafia didn’t attack or visit anybody, they possibly were jailed or role blocked!

How to Play Town of Salem as Lookout?

tos lookout

Lookouts get to see who visited their target at night. You should write all of the visits in your Will.

For instance:

  • N1 (name of the player you watched) VB (meaning, “visited by”) (name of the player(s) who visited)
  • N2 (name of the player you watched) NV (short for “not visited”)
  • N3…

When Jailor reveals, you should watch them for one night so that you find possible Town Protective roles who will likely visit them. If a Doctor or a Bodyguard is still alive, then stay on them: Mafia won’t go for Jailor until they kill the Town Protective roles.

At the start of the game, when no one is still confirmed, you should stay on players that kinda stand out with their names. Those who use caps or have a provocative name are more likely to get attacked first than someone who went with a generic name like Thomas Danforth.

Final Words

As you hone your skills, it’ll become easier to spot the Mafia and Neutral Killers miles away. Follow these tips in the meantime and good luck with your Town of Salem investigations!

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