One Night Ultimate Werewolf (Rules, Roles, Strategy, & Variations)

What is One Night Ultimate Werewolf?  Simply put – It’s Like Mafia, Only Better!

Why is One Night Ultimate Werewolf Better than Mafia 

There are three distinct reasons that make One Night Ultimate Werewolf better than Mafia.  The first reason is all the players are given a distinct role at the beginning of the game and these pieces are distributed blindly on the table. 

The second factor is that during the Night Phase some of these roles will be reversed unbeknownst to the players. 

The third thing that makes One Night Ultimate Werewolf better is the ONE NIGHT.  Because there is only one night the game doesn’t drag on and on. 

The fourth reason also contributes to quick play.  This is the five minute timer that forces players to make a decision to end the game. One Night Ultimate Werewolf plays within 10 minutes which is great.  You can play multiple games in one night, everyone gets a chance to assume different roles, and all players can play different strategies in each new game.   

How to Play One Night Ultimate Werewolf

The first part of playing One Night Ultimate Werewolf is deciding which roles will be used using the game.  The only required roles are the two werewolves.

There should always be three more roles selected than the number of players. 

Then shuffle, or mix up, all of the character tiles.  After the tiles are thoroughly mixed, deal one tile to all players, and then place the remaining three tiles in the center of the table.

Everyone secretly looks at their role and then places their role in front of them near the three center tiles.

IMPORTANT TIP:   In order for the game to proceed quickly, and with the needed secrecy, all tiles need to be easily within reach of all players.

At this point all players close their eyes and the narrator provides the instructions for all players to perform their proper actions at the proper time (the One Night Ultimate Werewolf App is awesome to make this process run smoothly.

You can get the app at

Use the One Night Ultimate Werewolf App

I recommend using the One Night Ultimate Werewolf App. 

After the app is downloaded all you have to do is identify what characters are being utilized in the game and then press Play.

The app will then provide all the necessary narrations so that everyone else can just play the game.

The app also provides some white noise throughout the narrations which is designed to prevent other players from hearing of the movements happening on the table.

Character Pros and Cons


PRO: Villagers are beneficial for learning the game and are also necessary for playing with maximum amount of players.

CON: Once the game is well understood the villagers are bland characters because they have no actions to perform during the night phase.


PRO: The Minion is on the werewolf team.  This is a nice feature to add, particularly when playing with large groups or expert game players.

CON: I would not recommend using the Minion in small games.  Nor would I recommend using this character with beginner/younger players – it can be confusing for them to understand that this player is on the Werewolf team.


PRO: Being the Drunk means that you truly don’t know who you are, because you are forced to blindly change your character during the night.  Having this player in the game crates a quick talking point, because claiming to be the drunk is an easy Werewolf strategy.

CON: The Drunk cannot use any deductive reasoning to actually figure out who they are after the night phase.  So often time the Drunk quickly reveals who they were in order to find the Werewolves.


PRO: The hunter provides the villagers with an extra opportunity to win the game.  The person the hunter is pointing at when the end of the game also dies if the hunter is killed.

CON: The hunter’s caveat is that he has to also be killed in order for his super power to be used.  There aren’t too many games when the hunter will be confused as a Werewolf so the Hunter’s single shot doesn’t usually come into play. 

I would recommend implementing a house rule to use the Hunter’s advantage in every game – Live or Die.


PRO: The Insomniac gets to look at their card again at the end of the night.  This provides valuable information to the Insomniac because they know exactly where they stand when the discussion phase of the game begins. 

CON: The only negative thing related to the Insomniac is that they can undo some of the “mix-ups” performed by the Robber, Troublemaker, and Seer.  This can provide too much of an advantage to the Village Team.   The Insomniac is best played in large games.

Three Important Roles

There are three roles that I recommend using as much as possible.  These roles are the Seer, the Troublemaker, and the Robber.  These roles change everything up enough to require so sleuth work from the Village Team, and also provide some plausible deniability for the Werewolf Team.


PRO: The Seer can either see another player’s role, or choose to see two roles that are in the center of the board.  The seer knows valuable information that can be used to help identify the Werewolves.


PRO: The Troublemaker switches the roles of two other players without looking at those roles.  This means that players can be switched from Village Team to Werewolf Team without knowing it.  This wrinkle means that everyone has to be a little hesitant in revealing too much information.

You may originally be on the Village Team and have information to help them win, but if you share it too soon you may unwittingly help them defeat you (if you became a member of the Werewolf Team by the Troublemaker).


PRO: The Robber also switches cards; they switch their card with another player.  The Robber is allowed to look at their new role and they are play accordingly.  This Robber can really cause problems, especially when they switch teams.  

The Robber knows that they switched to the Werewolf Team, but the person they robbed has no idea – HUGE ADVANTAGE.

Complex Roles


PRO: The Tanner puts a huge twist into the game.  The Tanner plays for him or herself because in order for the Tanner to win the Tanner has to be killed.  This means that the Tanner is always trying to muck things up for both the Werewolf Team and the Village Team.

CON: Playing the Tanner role is not easy and often times the person with this role doesn’t know what to do.  The Tanner Role is good to implement when playing when playing with experienced players.


PRO: The Dopplelgänger assumes the role of another player.  So playing with the Dopplelgänger can add another Troublemaker, or another Drunk, or another Werewolf.  Using the Dopplelgänger will surely shake the game up.

CON: When using the Dopplelgänger it is important that all players are familiar with the all of the other roles because the Dopplelgänger will need to immediately perform that function after assuming their new role.

Again, using the One Night Ultimate Werewolf app would be helpful when using this complex role.

Playing One Night Ultimate Werewolf as a Beginner

When playing with young, or beginner, players we try to keep the focus on the roles, the role reversals, and the discussion.  In order to do this we have everyone stand up during the night phase.  We also have everyone put their hands over their ears so that they can only hear the announcer.

By doing these two things players can only hear the announcer on the app and they can follow the announcers instructions.  All other potential distractions, or Clues, are minimized.

Playing One Night Ultimate Werewolf as an Expert

Expert game players will prefer to keep the distractions in the game.  Hearing a chair move or feeling another player move is all part of the game.

When playing with experts you will have to wonder if your neighbor is standing because they are the Robber, or are they just trying to throw you off.  Moving chairs and sounds on the table are also all part of the game.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf Strategies

The basic strategy is simple and straightforward.  If you are a Villager then you need to find and kill the Werewolves and if you are a Werewolf then you need to deny and be convincing.

However there are some intricacies to One Night Ultimate Werewolf strategy.

Step One – Use discernment when revealing information about yourself.  One of the great mechanics in this game is the movement of player roles.  So during the course of the game you are not only trying to identify win for your original team, but you are also trying to discover if you may have switched teams – this is very tricky.

Step Two – If you know for sure that you are a Werewolf then you want to make sure you quickly join the conversation.  Talk a lot without saying too much.  Listen to what others are saying and use this information to quickly make a false claim about yourself.

You could say that you were the Troublemaker and explain which cards you moved.  Obviously the real Troublemaker will dispute this, so you will just have to be more convincing.

Another option would be to take the role of the first player that identifies who they were.  For example, “You aren’t the Robber because I was the Robber.”  Again you will have be more persuasive in order to win.

Whatever you do – DON’T BE SILENT.

Step Three – If you know for sure you are a Villager then you may want to reveal as much information about yourself right away and get others to do so too.  Be careful not to be fooled by a deceptive Werewolf.

Or you may want to present some information about yourself and hold some stuff back in hopes of catching a Werewolf.

EXPERT TIP: Do not use the same strategy of game play for every game.  Change your approaches to each game to keep everyone on their toes.  In order to be successful you won’t want other players to find tendencies in your game play.

How to Use One Night Ultimate Werewolf as an Ice Breaker

The great thing about One Night Ultimate Werewolf is that it doesn’t have to be played all night for two or three hours.

The game can be quickly explained and played once or twice as a small group icebreaker.

The game is naturally interactive and is a great way to get people engaged in conversation.  The game also has a predetermined end time so it will not take time away from your meeting time. 

Variation Rules to Use for One Night Ultimate Werewolf

Lengthen Discussion

If players cannot come to a conclusion quickly enough then consider lengthening the discussion time from five minutes to seven minutes.  This may result in a more satisfactory conclusion for more deliberate players.

Deposition Mode

Using the deposition mode would allow each player a predetermined amount of time (30-45 seconds) to ask as many questions to whoever they want to.  Obviously, no one is under oath so honesty to these questions is not a requirement. 

Two Truths and a Lie

Mixing One Night Ultimate Werewolf with Two Truths and a Lie provides some unique diversity to the game.  Instead of having a discussion time all players take a turn sharing three things about their game.  These three things have to meet the Two Truths and a Lie expectation.

Four Roles in the Middle

Adding another card to the unclaimed roles in the center of the table is another variation.  Doing this puts more roles “In Play” and increases the likely hood of no one being the werewolf, which would lead to the unique situation where all Villagers would have to shoot each other in order to win.


One Night Ultimate Werewolf is like Mafia only better because one game can be played in 10 minutes, it has many role changing mechanics, and the multiple different roles provide a lot of replayability.

If you like One Night Ultimate Werewolf you may also like:

One Night Ultimate Werewolf Daybreak

One Night Ultimate Vampire

One Night Ultimate Super Villains

One Week Ultimate Werewolf

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