Actual Newbie Guide


dark saturday
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
lazy cucks who were supposed to do this never did


Village vs Mafia Setup

So you joined a game labeled Village v Mafia on our subforum. This means there is, usually:
1, off chance of 2, Village team
1 or 2, off chance of 3, Mafia teams
0 or 1+ Neutrals, who may be broken down into Harmful (eg werewolf) and Harmless (eg survivor)
You will be placed onto one of the teams, it would be very rare for you to be assigned a neutral in your first game, but you could be RNGed as one OR have to contend with one in the game

The village comprises the majority of the votes. The mafias can kill at night but cannot win the lynch when the game begins. Your objective is to eliminate every other harmful team/player who does not share your win condition.

Let's look at a game that took place and break down what you should do as a member of each:

In this game:
1 Village, the Electros, who all had electricity-themed roles
Mafia 1, the Aquanauts, who all had water-themed roles
Mafia 2, the Mad Magmas, who all had fire/magma-themed roles

1. Go to and UNTICK "Show your online status" - this allows people to stalk your profile to see if you are PMing people. If you are new to Smogon/not very involved in other sections yet, if someone notices you are viewing conversations frequently, they will suspect you are mafia and PMing your teammates.
2. Read this thread about Gmaxing. This is when an experienced player attempts to find flaws in your actions/secrecy to reveal you as mafia. Such as, if you are using a Showdown anonymous alias, not using Incognito mode and accidentally joining all your regular channels, or leaving the alt online too long and it disconnecting when you do.
3. Read this thread to learn some basic terms.
4. Join the Smogon Social Forums Discord server and hang out in the #circus room, our chat hub. Here, you will find fellow players in the game as well as possible mentors who due to their schedules are not playing. Now you may talk to people and interact with them.
5. Be prepared to know what do about your claim:

What is your claim? This is what was PMed to you at the start of the game. It contains your name, role name, flavor, role action, win condition. Let's take a look at zorbees' role PM in our example game, color coded:

Dear zorbees,
You are Lux.

HeeheeheeheeehahahahAHAHAHAHA AAAAAHHAHAHAHA heheheheheeheeheee AHAHAHAA

Every other night, you may PM Yeti with “NX - Light Bind USER”. USER will be hit by your Light Binding and be unable to complete an action.

You are allied with the Electros. You win when all threats are eliminated.
zorbees was Lux the village hooker. His flavor paragraph was Lux's iconic laugh. His role was that every other night, he could use Light Binding and stop another player from performing their role.

Note that actions may or may not be flavored. It depends on the host. For instance, in this game, if zorbees had hooked LightWolf, LightWolf would have received the following as a night result:

You were unable to complete your action(s) because someone snared you with Light Binding.
If the game had no flavor on actions, LightWolf would have received this night result:

You were unable to complete your action(s).
There is a difference when flavor is given or not in how you play the game. If flavor IS given, you will have a much harder time faking a role if you do not actually possess the flavor. If it's not, and you are a mafia hooker, you can claim to be village hooker and nobody will know.

But in this game, if Eagle4 had claimed to be village hooker, and used his role on askaninjask, he would have been revealed as mafia when askaninjask got a water-themed hook instead of electric.

Now, obviously, if you are mafia, and your role (name) is very obviously mafia, you want to give a fake claim. Claiming Splash Plate Arceus or Groudon would have instantly revealed you as mafia in this game. We will discuss how to fake later... and no, not in bed.


Someone or someones are going to state they are clean, and/or begin asking for claims. This person is stepping up to be the village leader and organize the town, compile the claims of every person in the game, root out scum, and coordinate actions most effectively.

Now, this person may or may not actually BE town! Let's review.

In ELECTRO, UncleSam stepped up to lead the village. His role was to prematurely end the day whenever he chose, so he could very easily prove that was his actual role. It also 'felt' like it would be town, as if mafia could end the day early, they would control the lynch and this could be a broken role. He proved his role Day One and then received claims.

In the sequel to ELECTRO, UncleSam again stepped up, but that game he was mafia.

How do you tell? Well, sometimes you can't. Or at least, not in the first couple cycles. Here are situations someone would try to lead the village and receive claims:

1. They have a day role that can prove itself (rare)
2. They have a village night role that can prove itself to other villagers via certain flavor or results (uncommon)
3. They were targeted by an inspection role and cleaned as town* (common)
4. They are Twins with another villager and one of the twins steps up (rare)
5. Nobody else has stepped up yet and they feel the desire to (uncommon)
6. They are mafia and lying about one of the above in order to infiltrate the town (uncommon)

*Note that there exist many varieties of deceptive, mole roles, that can return false cleans on inspection. Or as seen in this game, ginganinja was Paranoid and would ALWAYS receive a "Bad" result, barring other circumstances.

ELECTRO was #1, its sequel was #6. The village lost the sequel game due to nobody bothering to question UncleSam despite results implicating he was lying, so there are some dangers to blindly claiming to the leader!

What should you give to the village leader?

Until they prove something, honestly, nothing.

In a game like ELECTRO where your role name is not tied to your role, you can offer up role name. Upside could have PMed UncleSam on Day One and told him "I am a Magnetic Field." In a game where your role name is very strongly linked to your role, such as being "the Hooker" or so forth, like in Dead Mafia, you may not want to claim role name until the leader has 'proven' things.

The sooner you DO get your claim in, the better, though. Once a successful lynch/proof has gone off, if you are quicker to claim than others, the leader will be less suspicious you are mafia still working on your fake claim. After UncleSam ends Day One early and verifies his role, you would want to claim to him, unless you are very suspicious he is actually mafia.

The people suspicious of someone who says "I was cleaned by an inspector" almost always turn out to be mafia stalling. There have been very few games where a mafia member pretends to be cleaned and steps up to lead.

You get your claim in, and now it goes on the sheet. This is a player-created Google Docs spreadsheet that resembles the host's sheet linked above. One big difference, though, is that the mafia will all be listed under fake role names and roles they have claimed.

You will then receive your action for each night once the day ends. The village leader will tell you who to target.

If you are something like a roleblocker/hooker, it will be a suspected/confirmed mafia.
If you are an info role, it will most likely be a very suspicious claim on the sheet or someone the leader wants to clean so they can add them to sheet access quickly.
If you are a protective role, it will probably be an important village role like inspector.
If you are a different sort of role like a rogue, it will be on a suspected shady or clean person, depending.

Then you will vote in the lynch once a target is given. But remember not to sheep too hard! If something about the evidence or lynch feels off to you, please question it. You may catch out a mole or save the town from a mislynch.

If/when the village leader dies, someone else who has the sheet should step up in their place. Ask them for your claim as listed on the sheet, previous targets, etc to verify they were actually informed. Note that this person COULD be a mole, if circumstances led the leader to falsely trust enough people or receive bad results.

An example of this is vonFiedler, who could doctor how PMs appeared upon death flip. He posed as an inspector and lynched off his own teammate, getting himself onto the village sheet, and then caused mislynches by giving false inspection results to UncleSam, who, of course, were actually villagers, but upon their deaths, a faked mafia PM appeared.

If you are village, then you should be on IRC, observing and participating in the channel discussion about the game and speaking with the village leader. There is no reason for you to remain an idle sheep and watch the game go by. Complacency breeds failure in mafia.

I think my leader is a mole, what do I do?

You can confront them in the game thread or sleuth around on IRC and message others to get their input. Maybe a more experienced player has also voiced skepticism, you could message them. If you suspect the leader is not actually village, don't mindlessly go along with them! Try and figure out the truth. If you die for it, well, most people do die in mafia games.

If you survive long enough, you may see the game through to the end. Endgame can be tricky, because while sometimes you know who the remaining mafia are, other times one is hiding among the village hoping to not be revealed. And it can be tricky to know which mafia is better to lynch at what point in the game. Just ask experienced villagers for advice and guidance.

The Magmas were eliminated fairly early on, but UncleSam had miscalculated the number of Aquanauts left due to vonFiedler's role. Eventually, the two remaining, which he thought was one, were on right at the start of the day to prevent him from voting and ending the day before one or both of them could also vote. It is interesting to note that von's play, while extremely bold and skillful, did not result in his own team winning. Instead, it allowed the other mafia to slide under the radar and come out with more people than the village expected. It is such sabotages to the village you want to try and help avoid as a newcomer. Trust your gut!

Most importantly, talk to your team! If you refuse to ever speak, use your action, or claim to someone, you will very likely be the subject of a mislynch or misvig. This is when the village either lynches one of their own or uses a vigilante shot on one of their own, thinking they are mafia. This has often happened and sometimes is by design by giving the village suspicious/hard to prove roles as game balance. Refusal to claim is usually indicative of lazy mafia, not paranoid town. If you will not speak with the leader, or if you suspect they are a mole, find someone else who seems village and oppositional to them, you will likely be hindering your team.

An example of this was Metagame Mafia, where I got moled by two mafia healers because BOTH of the village healers either refused to claim their role or speak with me. Feeling this role had to be on the village, I sheeted the healer I trusted most and had proven their role, who was mafia. Denying your team information on role distribution can lead to moles that otherwise would not happen. Similarly, assuming a role MUST both be in the game and on the village can also lead to being moled when you are on the sheet. Communication is vital for the village, as they start uninformed.
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dark saturday
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
this needs the WHAT TO DO AS MAFIA and NEUTRAL parts but its a start

feedback/additions welcome

opinions from newbies on how helpful this is and what else you'd like to see are particularly welcome
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Hello, newbie here.

Very useful guide. Wish I had it back during D1 of weeb mafia, but better late than never. It was my first time ever playing an oc, and I had no idea what the deal with claiming was. Of course, this got me suspected as mafia and misvigged.

Overall, well written and descriptive. Thanks for putting this up.

Do you think you'd ever do a how to noc or multifaction?


dark saturday
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
Twin misvigging you was honestly more his own foolishness than anything you did.

Yeah multifaction was on my List to do after the Mafia part of this guide. I could do NOC as well but I think that one is just "don't idle and don't lie as town" as really inactivity is what hinders scumhunting in Smogon NOCs

And I thought someone cough Walrein was supposed to be writing a guide like this but ayy

MF is a little harder to so easily summarize because of the extreme variations in game designs, MvV always has the same win conditions and 1-3 mafia and usually 1, maybe 2, villages. How to win and play a multi is a bit harder, especially when you are new, because it will most likely be your most experienced player doing all the negotiating. I will write one though!

Andy Snype

Mr. Music
is a Top Tutor Alumnusis a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Community Contributor Alumnusis a Contributor Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnus
On neutrals:

Generally speaking, you are likely to encounter two types of neutrals: hostile neutrals or side-quest neutrals.

Typically in mafia, most neutrals are hostile as wolves (which are generally roles that have the common win condition): You win if everyone else dies. You are usually a party intended to balance the game by being a neutral party interested in killing the village, but as a result, your tools for victory are going to be stronger compared to the mafia, whether it is a kill priority higher than the mafia, which means in a 1v1, you kill the mafia. In a standard NOC mafia game, you are going to want to appear like a villager, so go ahead and pretend you are one and just play normally. However, you should play to a point in which you are not to be killed by the mafia. This doesn't mean that you lay low every night. That could be signaling that you value your survival, which to a mafia indicates that you are a very important villager, like say a bodyguard, or the wolf. Just play as if you're a regular villager and do not be very defensive should anyone accuse you. Attachment to your personal survival only matters if you are a villager with an important role, a mafia, or a wolf, so do not display it because if you come across as an important villager, the mafia will want to kill you, or if you're a mafia or a wolf, the village will want to lynch you.

Off of personal experience, being a wolf is significantly easier in 2-mafia, 1 village games because you have two mafias that clash with each other and the village. Though they also clash with you, there are a lot more ways to balance out a party that has an overwhelmingly large advantage because there are more parties that are opposed to them. You will want to find and reach out to the mafia to collaborate and take down the village (but more importantly, have them not unintentionally killing the wolf). The game then becomes mostly about information gleaming as kingmaker scenarios are very likely. If you can find multiple members of the same mafia, consider talking to all of them at different times to see what information they know or don't know. All it takes is one source of information to reveal information. At the same time, be mindful of other people trying to gleam information off of you, as this can be used to determine strength. This is important as you need to be able to judge the stronger of the mafias at all times because you are the balancing power in the game.

However, kingmaker scenarios can be avoided if a mafia comes across to be in a weaker position than they actually are. Though you may have better tools, the one tool you will never have as a wolf is numbers, which matters more in the daytime. You may be blessed with a lynchproof vest, but since the lynch decides one death each cycle and is decided in agreement based off of players, that will never happen, so you need to take advantage of your other means to win: information and night roles.

i'm cutting it off here to pay attn to the debates atm but go ahead and do w/e you want with this.


tag walls, punch fascists
is a Community Contributor Alumnus
i'm planning on writing a few articles on NOC mafia for the flying press in a month or two so we can link to those

as for multifaction i won't have time for probably about a week so i can do it then, but if you wanna do it beforehand go for it

as for writing this one... i thought everyone was like "ehh fuck it the current one's fine"

at least that was the feeling i got in the other thread
oh yo I wrote this for my homies like a month ago. You guys are welcome to adapt and use it.

I put that timezone thing in for a friend of mine who is the only one not in the US. He was (rightfully) worried he'd get screwed by our friends for it.

EDIT: Oh i should edit out the swearing. Also it's suuuper basic, nothing like what you're writing up. Just thought that if you needed something like that, it'd be helpful
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