12 Minutes: How to Beat the Cop

He'll win every face to face fight, so how do you get rid of him?

by Diego Perez
12 Minutes Willem Dafoe Cop

The cop is the main antagonist of 12 Minutes, and figuring out how to beat him is one of the main puzzles the game has to offer. There are multiple ways to deal with the cop both lethally and nonlethally, and the correct route will depend on how much information you have and what you’re trying to accomplish. You can’t beat him in a straight fight, so you’ll have to think outside the box to take him down. Here’s how to beat or kill the cop in 12 Minutes.

How to Beat the Cop in 12 Minutes

The cop will win in every face-to-face fight. You cannot beat him head-on. Instead, you’ll have to use the apartment to your advantage. The light in the bedroom is faulty and will shock whoever uses it. The first shock is minor, but the second time the bedroom lights turn on, the switch will knock someone unconscious. You can use this to defeat the cop. Just follow these steps to knock out or kill the cop:

  • Dissolve the sleeping pills in a mug of water
  • Give the water to your wife to put her to sleep
  • Use the bedroom light switch once
  • Hide in the closet until the cop arrives
  • Wait for the cop to shock himself with the bedroom light switch


In order for the cop to enter the bedroom and use the light switch, you need to remove your wife from the equation. When the loop begins, grab both mugs. Then, greet your wife and go into the bathroom. Grab the sleeping pills from the medicine cabinet. Close the door so your wife cannot see you, and then drag the mug to the sink to fill it with water. Next, combine the sleeping pills and the mug to make a mug with pills.

After you’ve dissolved the pills in the mug, go out into the living room and drag the mug with pills onto your wife to offer her a drink. She’ll take a sip and eventually head to the bedroom and pass out. When she’s out cold, flip the light switch on and off in the bedroom once if you haven’t already. The second shock will knock someone out, so be careful that you don’t turn on the lights twice.

With the light switch primed and your wife asleep, hide in the closet and wait for the cop to arrive. Don’t worry, your wife won’t wake up when he knocks and shouts. He’ll let himself inside and start to look around. When he reaches the bedroom, he’ll turn on the light, shock himself, and pass out. Now is your time to strike.


Exit the closet and you’ll find him out cold on the bedroom floor. You can click on him to access his inventory. He’s carrying a revolver, two pairs of handcuffs, a phone, and a knife. You can take the handcuffs and use them to tie him up, or you can use his knife, the kitchen knife, or his gun to kill him.

The first knife blow will be nonlethal, but the second attack will kill him. Do what you will with that information. If you tie him up, you’ll be able to question him. If you kill him, you can explore freely until the loop resets. There are other ways to speak with the cop in a non-hostile way, but you won’t be able to go that route until much later in the game.

12 Minutes is full of puzzles like this one. In our 12 Minutes review, we pointed out that some of the puzzle solutions can be a bit obtuse, and this is one such solution. With this hurdle out of the way though, you can continue your search for the Pocket Watch if you haven’t found it already.

12 Minutes is available now on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

- This article was updated on August 19th, 2021

About The Author

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Currently serving as an Associate Editor at Attack of the Fanboy, Diego Perez has been writing about video games since 2018, specializing in live service games like Destiny and Final Fantasy XIV. His work is featured at publications like Game Rant and The Outerhaven, but Attack of the Fanboy is home to his best work. When he's not editing or writing guides, he's yelling about Ape Escape or grinding Lost Sectors in Destiny. Plus, he has a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication Media Studies for Texas A&M University.