Phasmophobia is one of the latest indie games taking Twitch by storm, as thousands of players flock to this ghost hunting experience. Revolving around a team of people attempting to identify what type of entity is haunting a location, this game can be rather cryptic at times. This makes it a little challenging to new players and that’s without even considering the murderous demons, banshees, and spirits you’ll encounter. Thankfully, there are some ways to ease your stress levels and help you turn a profit. If you’re a Phasmophobia beginner, here are eight tips you’ll need to know before stepping into your first haunted house.
1. Using Your Flashlight
Our first tip is one that seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people miss this. Normally, when you are holding a flashlight you hit left click to turn it on and off. Unfortunately, the flashlight turns off when you swap to another item. This can be rectified by pressing the T key when you’re holding any other object to turn your flashlight on or off. Doing so allows you to have a cone of light while taking photos, setting up equipment, or just using any piece of gear you’ve brought with you! The only catch is the flashlight has to be in your inventory, but you should almost always be carrying one anyway.
2. Understanding Sanity
Sanity is another mechanic that’s only vaguely explained, yet crucial to your survival. At the start of each mission, everyone on your team will have 100% sanity. This decreases by standing in dark areas, seeing the ghost, witnessing paranormal events, using the Ouiji Board, or looking at a Phantom. As your sanity gets lower, the ghost will become more aggressive and initiate hunts. Keep in mind, the spirit looks at the average sanity of the entire team, not just a single person. To mitigate your sanity depletion, you’ll need to take Sanity Pills which restore up to 40% of your lost sanity. These are unlocked at level 5 and you can only bring in a maximum of four. You can also light candles or sit in the truck to help reduce sanity loss.
3. Surviving the Hunt
Regardless of how good a ghost hunter you are, you’ll eventually need to hide from these spooky specters. A hunt is when a ghost actively becomes hostile and attempts to kill a player. You will know when a hunt begins because your flashlight will rapidly flicker, the radio will only give off static, and the activity meter in the truck will spike to 10. When this happens, you will want to hide in a closet, locker, or small room that has had little to no activity. Once inside, shut the door, stop talking, and face the floor or corner. If you are fast enough, the ghost won’t catch you and drag your ass to the underworld. Always have an escape route in mind when you enter a building — especially if you’ve been antagonizing the ghost or have a lower sanity.
4. Identifying the Haunted Room
One of the most important steps you’ll want to accomplish early on is discovering which room in the building the ghost is haunting. To do this, I suggest using the digital thermometer and EMF Reader to scan every single room for any early warning signs. You are looking for any spikes on the reader or lower temperatures that will indicate where the entity resides. These can give you an early signal as to where the ghost is, allowing you to set up your equipment to monitor this area. Alternatively, you can place multiple cameras in high traffic areas such as living rooms, hallways, or large kitchens. If your ghost isn’t shy, there’s a good chance you may see some objects move or lights flicker on and off.
5. Be Efficient
Now that you’ve identified the ghost’s location, it’s time to start running tests. Since players can hold up to three items at any time, you can bring multiple objects into the room at once. This will minimize your exposure to the entity while preserving your sanity. Also, consider the placement of your gear when you go into a room. Since items work when you toss them down, I like to put the EMF Reader and ghost writing book in front of the video camera. Doing so allows me to safely watch for any activity from the truck since most ghosts won’t care if you’re there or not. That being said, some ghosts are shy and may take a bit of provocation to induce some activity. If this is the case, make sure to have an escape route already in your head.
6. Money, Money, Money
While identifying the ghost is the ultimate objective, you shouldn’t ignore the various side missions shown on the whiteboard. These always reward extra cash, which is crucial when you’re just starting out and need to purchase better gear. Additionally, you can get extra money by taking photos of voodoo dolls or bones, which can be found hidden throughout the level in different rooms. Even though all of these are completely optional, attempting to complete these will see your pockets filled much faster than solely discovering what the ghost actually is.
That being said, some objectives will be impossible to complete right away since they are tied to specific items. You’ll also encounter scenarios where it’s simply too dangerous to actually go into the building. Sometimes the risk is not worth the reward. Whether you have enough sanity to endure looking for dirty water in a sink or capturing a photo of the ghost is entirely based on your playthrough.
7. Stop. Saying. Its. Name.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for using the ghost’s name in Phasmophobia. However, I see a lot of new players just spouting the ghost’s name right away in an attempt to make it appear. Doing this, especially right away, could have disastrous results. If you are dealing with a demon or oni, there’s a good chance it will become increasingly more aggressive, initiating hunts almost right after the timer hits zero. I suggest only using the ghost’s name if you’re having trouble locating its room or making it respond to any piece of your gear. Remember, even if you aren’t pressing down to talk the ghost is still listening. So avoid saying its name entirely, whether to your team or by yourself. It’s better to not even acknowledge this unless you’ve reached an impasse and absolutely need to provoke it.
8. Start Small
Regardless if you’re a solo player or working with a full team of four, it’s always better to start on the smaller maps. This is because the ghosts are easier to locate, allowing you to hone your investigation skills. Even when you unlock the high school and asylum, I don’t recommend doing them until you are at least level 10. There are pieces of gear such as the parabolic microphone that are critical for these locations. Until then, focus on cutting your teeth on farmhouses and nice suburban homes. You’ll get a better handle on how to identify ghosts, deal with hunts, and use the various pieces of equipment.
That’s not to say you cannot play the bigger maps, but you may have a far more difficult time. They can be extremely overwhelming, to new players since there is so much ground to cover. If you do decide to go big, make sure to play with others so you can cover more ground to locate the ghost. I recommend purchasing glowsticks to help you find your way back to the truck or nearest exit.