If you love horror games and all things spooky, then you are probably interested in Phasmophobia. The indie game created by Kinetic Games that lets you team up with your friends and hunt ghosts! The game is a blast, but the biggest drawback is that the tutorial the game provides is unintuitive and can feel like a waste of time. That’s why we created a Phasmophobia beginner’s guide so you can get your ghost hunting off on the right track.
This isn’t Ghostbusters. You won’t be capturing any ghosts. Your job is to investigate haunted houses and collect evidence without dying. The more evidence you collect, the more money and experience you will earn. You then use the money to buy advanced equipment, which can allow you to complete even more tasks. As you progress, you will unlock more difficult levels that offer higher payouts.
Before starting your mission, you will need to choose your equipment. After you load into a lobby, you will see this image.
To buy equipment, you select the ‘Buy’ button (makes sense). But to add the equipment you want, you need to click the ‘Add’ button which will let you add and subtract items.
One important thing to think about here is how to divvy up who brings what with your teammates (if you are in a party). If you die in the game, you lose all your equipment. So you may not want to add items that someone else is already bringing.
A separate guide is needed to explain every piece of equipment but just know that when starting a mission, the team needs at the very least these items.
- 1 EMF Reader
- 1 UV Light
- 1 Video Camera
- 2 Photo Cameras (preferably more)
- 1 Spirit Box
- 1 Ghost Writing Book
- 1 Thermometer
- Enough Flashlights for each person
To the Mystery Van!
After you start your mission, you will spawn in the back of a decked-out van. The first thing you should do is grab the key next to the computer. That way you can get inside the haunted building.
While you are there check out the computer. You will use this to look at the feed from your cameras. If you click the mouse, it will sort through the cameras you have set up along with at least one that is already installed at the front door. You can select the spacebar of the computer to toggle the night vision.
Opposite the computer is a whiteboard that gives information about the house. Such as the name of the ghost and if the ghost prefers people who are alone. It also lists the optional objectives for the mission.
The first objective will always be to identify the type of ghost in the building.
The three other objectives will be random. They are self-explanatory for the most part. A few objectives can’t be done unless you have certain pieces of equipment. This is fine, you don’t have to complete them all. If you ever feel you can’t finish anymore, it’s best to just leave. Once again if you die, you will lose all your equipment and won’t gain as much money. To leave a mission, press the numpad by the van’s exit, you also use this numpad to open the van.
You can grab the equipment on the racks on the other side of the van. You can only carry three items at a time. Always have your flashlight as one of your items. You can turn it on by pressing ‘t’ on the keyboard. Fortunately, Phasmophobia lets you use your flashlight while holding another piece of equipment.
Finally, we have four monitors that provide you with valuable information.
The top left monitor gives you the layout of the building. The most important piece is the little green light. It is the location of the circuit breaker. If the power goes out, you will need to turn it back on manually.
The top right lets you know how much sound is in the house. This panel is the least useful.
The bottom left lets you know each player’s sanity levels. Your sanity level drops the more you are in the dark and experience paranormal events. If it drops to zero the ghost will start behaving erratically. So it’s always good to turn on lights if you plan on being in a room for a while.
The bottom right shows the levels of paranormal activity. If it gets to level 10 that means the ghost is looking to kill someone.
Let the Hunt Begin!
It’s time to get to the fun part. Open up the van by pressing the keypad and head to the building. If you didn’t grab the key, you will have to go back and grab it. Use your mouse to select the door and then drag it up or down to open. The mechanics are a bit funky, so it’s not always easy.
Once you enter the house, the first thing you will want to do is find the area where the ghost is staying. I find the best way to do this is to use either the EMF reader or thermometer. If the EMF reader jumps to 2 or higher, or if the temperature drops a significant amount, then the ghost is near. Now it’s time to get to work.
These are the 6 types of evidence you can collect on the ghost.
Types of Evidence
- EMF 5- The EMF reader reaches level 5. Anything less than 5 is a sign of a ghost but doesn’t count as evidence.
- Fingerprints- A handprint is seen when using the UV light.
- Freezing Temp- The Thermometer reading drops below zero. If it’s low, say 5 degrees, it means the ghost is near but doesn’t count as evidence.
- Ghost Orbs- You set up a video camera and using the computer in the van you see little light orbs floating around. Need to have night vision on to work.
- Spirit Box- You hear the ghost speak through the spirit box.
- Ghost Writing- You set down the Ghost Writing Book and find writing on it.
There are 12 types of ghosts in Phasmophobia.
Each ghost will exhibit 3 of the 6 evidence types above. All of them have a unique combination. So once you have three pieces of evidence, you will know exactly what you are dealing with.
For example, a Phantom will reach a 5 on the EMF, will have freezing temps, and will have ghost orbs.
When you discover evidence, you need to put it in your journal. Get to a safe place and press j. Go to the last page and enter in the evidence. Once you have all three, the only option available under “Ghost Type” will the answer.
To earn points, you must have the type selected in your journal.
If you want to draw out the ghost for a picture (which will always give you money), you can do so by saying their name repeatedly. The game uses your microphone and the ghosts can hear everything you say. Be careful though, because if you make them too angry they may attack.
What to do when the hunter becomes the hunted
If this job were easy anyone would do it. Alas, this is an extremely dangerous profession. In Phasmophobia the ghosts are not friendly. If you anger them they will attack you. We call this ‘hunting’.
A sure sign that you are being hunted is that the lights will start to flicker and you may hear strange noises. As soon as this happens it’s time to run and hide. The doors leading outside will lock (I learned this lesson the hard way).
As you run turn off your flashlight and stay quiet. Once you are at a safe distance, try to find a closet or at the bare minimum a corner to cower in. Wait about 30 seconds and turn on your flashlight again. If it’s not flickering, it’s safe…for now.
If the ghosts grab you, you are dead and will spend the rest of the round watching your friends from the spirit world. You won’t be able to interact with them, but you can follow them around and hear what they are saying.
Congratulations! You now know enough to begin your first hunt. There are plenty of small tricks that you will learn by playing the game, but this is all you need to start off. If you still haven’t bought Phasmophobia but are interested, you can buy it on Steam. If it seems too intense, you can check out the list of horror games on Xbox Gamepass.
Happy hunting, everyone.