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How to Play Werewolf Tag

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Alex Stevens as a werewolf from Dark Shadows

Alex Stevens as a werewolf from Dark Shadows

Playing Werewolf Tag

What is Werewolf Tag?

Looking for a fun outdoor game to play at night? Then Werewolf Tag is the game for you. In my humble opinion, you can never be too old to play Tag. As long as you have safe place away from cars or other dangers, plenty of imagination, and a few other supplies I will get into later, Werewolf Tag is guaranteed to be a blast.

Werewolf Tag is basically like your regular, old fashioned game of Tag, with a twist. The basic game of Tag involves deciding who is "it" and then having that person chase others, each taking a turn being "it" when they are tagged. In order to avoid being "it," other players must avoid that person at all cost, sometimes determining a safe place or "base" where they are safe from being tagged if they reach it before the person who is "it."

Regular Tag typically begins when the player who is "it" is determined by using a counting out game, such as "eeny, meeny, miney, moe." Once this is decided, they cover their eyes and count to a predetermined number (usually ten), while the other players disburse and try to hide to avoid being "it." The game can continue indefinitely until all players decide to stop or, in some versions, ends when all players are tagged.


There are many other variations of Tag or games that are very similar, other than Werewolf Tag, including:

  • Ball Tag
  • British Bulldogs
  • Duck, Duck, Goose
  • Kiss Chase
  • Last Tag
  • Shadow Tag

Regular Tag and Werewolf Tag

Now that you know the basic game of Tag, learning how to play Werewolf Tag should be easy. Both games are very similar and follow the same basic concept. The two major differences between Werewolf Tag and regular Tag is that it is played in the dark and it just a little more complicated. To begin with, there are a few basic supplies necessary to play this game:

  1. A safe space outdoors
  2. Nighttime skies
  3. Players (at least three, the more the merrier!)
  4. Pen and Paper (cut into slips)

Once you have all of these ready, the first thing you will want to do is gather your players and find a place to play. I would recommend someplace away from cars and potentially dangerous objects that are difficult to see. You want a dark space outside, but not so dark that you absolutely cannot see.

Yet another major difference between playing Tag versus Werewolf Tag is that the darkness means that you may not actually run as much as you would with the basic game. Find an environment where you can not only run around safely, but also where you have hiding spots to sneak around.

Fields are great places to play Werewolf Tag, as long as you have hiding spots.

Fields are great places to play Werewolf Tag, as long as you have hiding spots.

Supplies for Werewolf Tag

Glow sticks and name tag stickers are just a couple of optional supplies to help make the game a little more fun. Of course, any glow in the dark objects may make hiding just a little more difficult.

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Werewolf Tag

Playing Werewolf Tag during a full moon can help make seeing in the dark a little easier.

Playing Werewolf Tag during a full moon can help make seeing in the dark a little easier.

How to Play Werewolf Tag

There are many different versions of Werewolf Tag, but all of them share some basic rules for how to play. Once you have the players and location you need, you will want to use the pen and slips of paper (enough for each player to have one slip). With these, you will write out slips, one labelled "werewolf," one as "hunter," and the other one or more slips as "villager." No matter what version of Werewolf Tag you want to play, you will have to have some sort of system for labeling players before you start.

The three labels mentioned are the very basics to have when playing Werewolf Tag. There are also a few additional players that can be added, according to what version you would like to play. Here are the descriptions for each type of player in Werewolf Tag and how they function in the game:


The "werewolf" in Werewolf Tag functions as the person who would be labeled as "it" in regular tag. In the beginning of the game, when slips are drawn and each person is assigned a role in the game, the werewolf starts by counting down to a certain number (usually somewhere between 10 and 30) and then goes out to find all of the villagers and hunter in order to make them werewolves too.

The main goal of the werewolf is to tag everyone to "infect" them and make them werewolves too, all the with the same goal. When/if the werewolves infect everyone, they win. In one version of the game, the werewolf reveals them self at the get-go, in others, it is a secret. In this version, called Secret Werewolf Tag, the werewolf hides just like everyone else and secretly goes around tagging everyone until they are all werewolves.


The "hunter" is the person in the game who can also tag people. They have the special ability to "un-tag" a werewolf to make them a villager again. Their basic goes is to make everyone into villagers so that the villagers win. Beware that a hunter can also be tagged by a werewolf.


The "healer" in Werewolf Tag can "heal" a werewolf just like the hunter, but they can only do this once. They can also be tagged and made into a werewolf. This is an optional type of player since they are basically the same as a hunter. They are also a bit complicated, since they can only heal someone once, which involves keeping track of who has already been healed.


As you've probably already guessed, the villagers are just regular players, with no special powers of tagging or un-tagging in Werewolf Tag. All they can do is stay hidden and keep away from the werewolves to avoid being tagged.


Of course, almost nothing involving werewolves these days can go without a vampire in the mix, including Werewolf Tag. In yet another version of this game, a player may draw a slip labeling them as a "vampire." The goal of the vampire is to make as many villagers into vampires as possible. Once all are vampires, they win. They can't tag werewolves and werewolves can't tag them.

There are two versions of Werewolf Tag involving vampires. In one, they are immediately revealed to the group as everyone takes their slip, in another, everyone's roles remain secret.

Werewolf Tag Players

LabelActionsGoal to Win


Tag other players to make werewolves

Make all villagers into werewolves


Tag werewolves to make villagers and avoid being tagged

Make all werewolves villagers


Avoid being tagged by werewolves/vampires

Maintain villager status


Un-tag a werewolf only once and avoid being tagged

Make a werewolf into a villager


Tag other players to make vampires

Make all villagers into vampires

Secret Werewolf Tag

Understanding how to play Werewolf Tag can seem a bit complicated, with all the versions and roles to play. Whether you decide to play regular Werewolf Tag or Secret Werewolf Tag (the version where everyone's roles are not initially revealed before going off to hide), or decide to use vampires or healers, it is important to remember that, there is no set way to play. Like any outdoor game intended for children, Werewolf Tag can be molded to whatever you desire and rules can be bent or changed as needed.

Tag has many different versions and can be played at any age. As the video to the right shows, even a dog can play it, according to their own rules.

Just remember to be safe and have fun!

© 2013 Lisa


Nancy Snyder from Pennsylvania on July 13, 2013:

Hi Lisa, thanks for posting your game. We have a yearly Halloween party every year, and I am always looking for fun games to play outside in the dark. Your game is simple enough for children to play, yet complex enough to keep the adults engaged. I will definitely save this game to try at this year's party!

Firoz from India on July 02, 2013:

Nice review on Werewolf Tag. Voted up.

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