Phasmophobia: Gameplay Basics, Game Items, Tips & Tricks

This covers many of the early game items, as well as including some tips and tricks along the way. This is by no means an all inclusive guide, or 100% accurate. It is a quick and dirty rundown of what I know about the game, have learned about the game, and what I’ve found works best for me.


This guide will cover early game items, their uses, how they work, and some very basic strategies on how to play. I will not be covering specific maps or ghost, or how to tackle them. This game is early access and is constantly evolving. I will attempt to keep this guide as up to date as possible, but some of the information in here may simply be inaccurate or dated. I monitor the discord, and will mark anything I’ve seen as dev confirmed with a ***. I also will not be covering all items, as I have only reached level 5. I just wanted something very basic for people just getting into the game as no other guides are out. Alright, lets get into it!

Gameplay Basics

Alright, so you just loaded onto your first map, what do you do.

The Truck

Take a look around the truck, get acquainted with your surroundings. You will notice a few things.

1. You will notice a monitor. This is the CCTV system and will allow you to see the cameras you have placed, as well as on the map.

2. There is a whiteboard that will list your objectives, as well as give info on the ghost such as name, or if it reacts to everyone or only people who are alone.

3. There is a map for the layout of the building. There is a square button you can use to cycle the floors. Most important thing to note here is a green battery. This is where the locations power source is located.

4. The EMF chart. Confusion here, this chart is not used for the EMF evidence. This is simply a reading of the total activity within the location.

5. The shelves house the equipment you bring in!

After you are ready, click the keypad to leave. Once you open the door to the location, your timer begins.

The Location

Your goal is to find the ghost and gather 3 pieces of evidence to determine what it is. Personally, what has worked best for me is to take out your EMF reader and walk around the location quickly saying “*insert name here* can you give us a sign.” Listen for doors opening, objects falling, humming, croaking, moaning. Watch to see if a light turns on, or see if a radio kicks on. Asking the ghost to give you a sign increases the chances of all these things and can help you quickly hone in on where it is at. Once you get a spike on the EMF reader, that is the room your ghost will haunt*(see below). They will remain in this room about 80% of the time***. Keep that in the back of your mind as we go over several of the items. After 5 minutes of entering the house, your sanity will begin to drain. It drains much quicker in the dark. The lower your sanity is, the more likely the ghost will attack, or that paranormal events will occur. Note, the Ghost can attack at anytime, even within the first 5 minutes***.

*Probably the room your ghost is haunting. There is a chance they may have roamed out of it into a nearby room. Use other items covered in the guide to help you pinpoint the ghost if that was the case.

From here, you will want to deploy your cameras, ghost writing book, turn off all the lights and do a spirit box session. Are you able to see your breath? Take a UV light and check any doors, windows, lightswitches and see if you can find anything. Once you have 3 pieces of evidence, mark it in your journal and get out! (Note, in my experience getting the 3rd piece of evidence can be a pain in the butt. Just be patient!

You will also be presented with 3 other objectives chosen at random. Things such as prevent a hunt using the crucifix, use smudge sticks, witness a ghost event, etc. These are worth getting if possible for the extra income!

The Hunt

So, you’re setting up your cameras, book, etc. Suddenly, your heart pounds, all the lights begin to flicker, and your flashlight is malfunctioning. You need to react, and quick, the ghost has begun what’s known as the hunting phase. Do not run to an exit, the door will be closed and locked. You need to break line of sight with the ghost, and hide! Closets, lockers, bathrooms, you will have about 5 seconds before the ghost begins coming for you. Stay quiet as well, they can hear you through your mic! If you’re in multiplayer and someone is in the truck, they will notice the location activity will be spiked at 10 during the hunt. The hunt can last anywhere from a few seconds, to minutes from what I’ve seen. Wait it out, stay quiet, and pray.

The Video Camera

The Video Cameras act as a static item that you can place around the map. They are then viewed from the truck. You can use the mouse to cycle through any cameras you have placed, as well as any static cameras that are placed by default on the map itself. (Note, if the locations power is off, the map cameras will be disabled). These cameras are used to gather the Ghost Orb evidence. You will see bright orbs that fly by the camera. To see these orbs, you will need to place the camera in or near the room that the ghost is inhabiting, and ensure that the lights are off.

Cameras can also be placed on tripods if you so desire.

The Still Camera

This guy is going to be your money maker in the start! You will only get 5 pictures on each, so here’s the things to take pictures of that I have discovered so far.

1. Bones on the Ground
2. Fingerprints on doors.
3. The ghost itself!!!
4. Dirty water in sinks.
5. The EMF reader spiking.
6. Writing in the ghost book.

There may be more items to take pictures of, but this is all I have discovered so far. Some of these may not be accurate either, as they feel inconsistent on whether or not I am awarded money.

The Ghost Writing Book

The Ghost Writing book is rather straight forward. Place it in the Ghost’s room and wait to see if you get anything. That’s about it, nothing else special to this item. Might be worth buying a second one to speed up the process.

The EMF Reader

In my opinion this is the most important gear you have. You will use it at the start of a game to track down the ghost, and later in the game if you have a few extra’s purchased (Which I highly suggest) you can even use them to track the ghost’s movement around the location. The reader has 5 levels. When you’re near a spirit, the reader will begin to beep, as well as display a number of lights. If all 5 lights are on, you have another piece of evidence!

The Flashlight

This is your savior. In VR, you can place an activated flashlight on your hip and it will still function. Get creative with this, lay it on railings or tables and illuminate an area hands free!

The Spirit Box

My least favorite item by far. I hate this thing. Truly. First off, it seems to be a bit picky on if it will work or not. Pay attention to the whiteboard and see if the spirit responds to everyone, or people alone. Pray it’s everyone. You will need to turn on the spirit box in the Ghost’s room, with the lights out. Begin asking questions such as “where are you” or “how old are you”. I usually give it about a minute, and if I get no response I’ll just toss it on the ground while it is still on and not worry too much about it.

The UV Flashlight/Glowstick

The UV flashlight can be used as an emergency flashlight if needed, but isn’t too terribly bright. It’s primary use is to shine on light switches, doors, and windows to see if you can spot a handprint. If you see it, check off fingerprints in the journal as evidence!

I’ll also include the Glowstick in this section, as it serves the same purpose. It will detect fingerprints nearby (you have to have it VERY close). Once activated, it will last forever, and makes for good emergency lighting, or just drop it for a light source. Be creative!

Both of these items also reveal footprints. I honestly do not know much about foot prints, but is an easy way to track exactly where the ghost is and walking. They are temporary though and disappear after a bit.

The Smudge Stick

Use a lighter on smudge sticks inside the ghost room and you will halt it’s activity for a small amount of time. Or use it when you feel a little extra scared, and you’ll feel better!

The Candle

It’s a candle! Use a lighter on it to well…light it! Once lit, it will provide light in a small area, and can be used to light other candles or smudge sticks. Careful, the ghost can and will blow it out.

The Lighter

Another Essential item. You will need it to light candles and smudge sticks. Be careful when dropping or placing it, it can often times glitch out the physics and fly across the map!!

The Thermometer

This Item is used to detect the temperature of a room. A sudden drop in temperature indicates the ghost is nearby. Can be useful in determining the Ghost’s room, or tracking them as they move about, but not required for the Freezing temperatures evidence. Seeing your own breath is enough for that.

The Crucifix

The almighty Crucifix!!! Or…your downfall. This guy prevents the ghost from entering into it’s hunting mode. The catch, it must be near the ghost to function. If you’re holding one 2 rooms away, don’t expect it to work! To make the best use of it, drop it somewhere inside of the Ghost’s room. Since it stays in there 80% of the time, it will likely prevent a hunt. If you’re already being hunted, it’s too late, God can’t help you now. Hide. HIDE!

Also, though I have not tested this, you can apparently use the crucifix to shunt the front door open and prevent it from locking during a hunt. Try at your own risk!

Try not to rely on this item too much. Just don’t.

The Salt

Salt is used to track the movements of the ghost. You will see a footprint appear in the salt as a ghost move’s past it. This is useful to see the outerbounds of where the ghost is roaming to, or to help confirm what room it is in. It also is useful against wraiths, who cannot be tracked via footprints.

Tips and Tricks

This will be a slightly unorganized section where I throw things in as I think of them.

1. Be smart with camera placement. You can gather up to 4 pieces of evidence from the truck with a single camera! Place the camera in the ghost room. Try to place it facing a door. Use a UV light or a glowstick to illuminate the door so you can see fingerprints. Next to the door, lean an EMF reader and a ghost writing book up against the wall. This will allow you to see, all from one camera, fingerprints, EMF reading, ghost writing, and ghost orbs. I have not tested it yet, but you may even be able to drop an activated thermometer in front of the camera and get a reading for freezing temperatures. Just be creative!

2. Lay salt in doorways, not in hallways.

3. Prep your items next to the locations door for quicker access.

4. EMF readers can be used as an alternative method to tracking the ghost. If you have several, you can lay them on the floor much like salt. When it beeps, you know the ghost is there.

5. Candles and flashlights do not count as light sources for things such as the Spirit Box, Mare, Jinn, or cameras***.

6. I would avoid tripods if you are playing mouse and keyboard. You cannot place them nearly as accurately or as well as you can in VR. Which leads me into number…

7. This game is best experienced in VR. I play in VR 95% of the time, for more reasons than just the scare factor alone (the game is scary by itself, 1000x moreso in VR.) In VR, you are able to hold 4 items vs 3 (2 on your belt, and 2 in your hands). In VR, you can more easily manipulate objects to lean them how you’d like, or place candles and other items more precisely. Lighting things with the lighter is also 10x easier in VR.

Written by: DaAinGame


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