Phasmophobia Guide II: Gameplay Tips

So you’ve read the review, played the game a bit, checked the basics guide and now it’s time to move on to higher difficulties and bigger maps? Say no more! I have tips that will help your transition into a fearless* paranormal investigator.

Before you read, I want to repeat the advice I gave on the first two articles: Don’t just read about the game. Experience it yourself, most ideally with a single partner. You can go to the game discord to find people and you can advertise as “Looking for another new player” or “Looking for someone to explore the game” and I’m sure you’ll find someone — worst case it could be an experienced guy who doesn’t just explain everything.

If you don’t care about that or if you explored enough, you have my blessing for the guide. Let’s start, shall we?

This game has taken so much of my time and I’ve zero regrets

There are roughly four parts of a game:

  1. Choosing contract and buying items
  2. Sweeping the house for the haunted room
  3. Finding evidence for the ghost type
  4. Wrapping up unfinished objectives

I’ll divide tips according to this, except joining 3 and 4 since those are intertwined.

Contract and Buying Items

Talking about contracts, there are no tips to make you “better.” It’s more about expectation management. You need to think about what kind of experience you want and go for that. In short:

  • Difficulty goes up: More money to be had, less time to “safely” sweep, risks starting earlier
  • Map size goes up: Sweeps may take longer, less sanity left by the time sweep is over
  • More people make sweeping much faster, especially on bigger maps

So if you are learning the game, stick with Amateur-Intermediate and house maps. If you know your stuff and looking for a quick buck, go for a Pro Tangle. If you are 2 people looking for a challenge, go for a big map etc. If you just wanna chill, don’t feel bad for playing an Amateur Tangle.

Buying items is more objective. Following are my mental lists, that suits my playstyle. You may have different ways to approach it of course.

Essentials — I will always add these

  • Strong Flashlight per person
  • All the items required for objectives (You can find them marked on my first guide)
  • 1 sanity pill (+1 for bigger maps +1/2 for higher difficulties.) Technically you don’t need them and they can make things a bit too easy but they might really help when facing something like a yurei or phantom

Non-Essentials — I end up picking these up anyway

  • 1 Extra Video Camera: Just to have different angles/rooms. Ghost Orbs DO show in rooms and floors other than the haunted ones and for some rooms, good angles can be harder to catch with a single cam
  • 1 Extra Photo Camera: Accidental pictures happen (UV moving right before you take the picture) and sometimes they don’t register (trying to capture a blinking ghost). Plus you may have multiple evidence pictures, so having an extra one just takes off that pressure. It also allows two people to handle them, which makes it easier to catch entity apperances.
  • 1 Sound Sensor: I made a habit of grabbing one and just placing it somewhere close to the entrance, then continuing the sweep in other parts of the house. Keep in mind I usually play duo.
  • 1 Salt: If I don’t pick up a sound sensor, I usually get salt (in addition to a flashlight + emf/thermometer). I try to place them around suspicious spots to help sweep and track ghost movement
  • 1 Extra Crucifix: Place one in the room and one right outside. If it’s a large room, you might want to drop both of them inside. If it’s a REALLY large room (like the attic in the farmhouse or the court in the high school), you might want to drop them both around an exit so you know for sure that the entity won’t materialize there so you can make a run for that exit as soon as the lights start flickering.
  • 1 Tripod: It’s good to have one tripod as having an elevated camera has benefits and not every room allows a good elevated angle.

Situational Items

  • Parabolic Microphone: We are discovering this item. Not so useful for small maps (farmhouses could benefit from it), but it can help in bigger ones.
  • Head cams: If the team is ok with me being a van guy, then I buy one for each of them. Otherwise, I don’t really care for them.
  • Glowsticks and Candles: I bring one nowadays to find good use. They may move to my non-essential usual pickups, I use them to mark hide spots and drop glowsticks near salt.
  • 1 Extra EMF: This is close to being a non-essential usual pickup as it helps to drop one EMF right in the haunted room or at its door. This way you know when the ghost is around for things like the Spirit Box
  • MORE MORE MORE: You can technically max out everything. I usually start with maxing Smudge Sticks, then add more cams (both types), maybe another tripod and after that, it’s really a waste.
Feels like a picture of this dude should pay more than 10 bucks

Sweeping

This phase is mostly walking around the house trying to spot ghost activity. Here is what I suggest:

  • Everyone needs EMF or Thermometer. In smaller maps, you can make two teams with each gadget taking different sides or floors. In bigger maps, you can also consider splitting up completely at the start and probably asking for a sign. Currently, the thermometer is usually an easier way to find rooms but it also bugs occasionally. Plus you never know when you get an EMF5 reading!
  • Item pick-up priorities at the start: EMF/Thermometer>sensors>photo camera>others
  • Learn the sensor coverage. The better you understand how sound and motion sensors work, the better you can place them. Drop your sensors fast so when you go to the truck to pick up more stuff, you can check activity.
  • Don’t assume you have the room as soon as you have the first reading, especially with EMF. Entities can roam leaving EMF prints outside their rooms. When you have a roamer, you might also not get a low temperature reading right away. That said, if you see temps below 10 degrees consistently in a room that’s pretty much a guaranteed find.
  • In my experience, rooms are not simply defined by walls. For instance, in Tanglewood, the room next to the living room is divided into two: The part around the table is the dining room and the part around the counter is the kitchen. Likewise, the living room starts with the couch facing the TV. This means that simply checking the kitchen part or the hallway with a thermometer is not enough, you need to check those particular parts.
  • The parabolic microphone has a bit of delay. If you want to use it, make sure to stay motionless for a few seconds to check for results.
  • Ouija board used early can help you identify the room quickly at the cost of sanity. Make sure to keep an eye out on your sanity for a demon check.
  • You can ask the entity for a sign, to show itself or to make a noise without saying its name. Use the name only when you want to provoke it.
Crucifixes are good but large rooms decrease their efficiency greatly

Evidence and Objectives

  • Leave the Spirit Box open if you haven’t got a response. Sometimes they will talk even without asking a direct question, even when someone isn’t in the room (Not sure if this is intended or bug) and you can hear it as long as you are around. As mentioned above, you don’t need to say its name to get a response from Spirit Box either.
  • Bringing a crucifix early (once the room is spotted of course) is usually a good idea. There is a loop in the game where you have low sanity and attract a hunt. To survive, you hide in the dark, further decreasing your sanity; attracting hunts even more. This is especially annoying when the haunted room is not close to the door, making it hard to move there. An early crucifix can help you avoid that cycle.
  • You may need to ask or tell the entity to write on the book. To be perfectly honest, I’m not 100% sure if it works or if we had coincidences but I did see it happen. By the way, ghosts can write while you hold the book. Everyone needs to experience that once.
  • Dropping or keeping up an EMF is the best way to check for Ghost Writing and Spirit Box. Especially for the wandering types, you don’t want to talk when the entity isn’t around then decide it didn’t work.
  • Some things are different on everyone’s screens. The most important is the ghost orb — it’s better if multiple people can check for it. The exact locations of a fingerprint also seem to differ so if you want to take a picture of it, make sure you coordinate.
  • Once you get two pieces of evidence, check what types are left and what their evidence types are. E.g If the filtered entities don’t have Fingerprints, you don’t need to look for them. You can even identify Poltergeist with two pieces of evidence! (It’s the only entity with Fingerprints and Ghost Orbs)
  • Make sure to check the behaviour of the entity. If it’s really aggressive when you enter a room, suspect a Jinn. If it doesn’t attack you despite having low sanity, maybe it’s a Shade and you’ve been moving together. If someone went to the van after a hunt and it’s not attacking anymore, it could be a Banshee that is waiting for that player. Sometimes the behaviour can help you identify with little to no evidence, which then allows you to look for a specific piece of evidence to test your theory. Sometimes you can also test behaviour — such as trying to see if you provoke attacks on a lonely person or someone in the dark etc. That said — don’t just decide on the behaviour. Any non-roaming ghost may feel like a Jinn or any ghost attacking often because of triggers or low sanity may feel like a demon.
  • If your sanity is too low and you suspect you might die, you might want to skip some objectives — losing your items and reducing all your gains is not worth a single objective. Dirty sinks can be notoriously annoying. We’ve had games with no dirty sinks even when the haunted room was a bathroom!
  • Once you are done with checking fingerprints, drop the UV Light somewhere close to the door, turned on. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and catch footprints.
  • If you are looking for EMF reading for the objective or evidence, make sure you keep one handy. As soon as you see the ghost or see it interact with something, rush over to get a reading.
  • Take pictures of voodoo dolls and bones. Pick up the bones afterwards.

I think these cover most of the things we learned playing the game and with these in mind, you should have a good shot at any map at any difficulty. I hope you enjoyed the guides and found them useful. Next, I’m going to write about some ideas I have about the game’s future.

*I made up the fearless part. In fact, I hope you’ll never be fearless as getting scared is half the fun.

Gamer, gaming industry wanderer, development and design enthusiast. Current WIP: TBD

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