It has been a while since a horror game has made waves in the gaming community as much as indie game Phasmophobia has. Made by a one-person gaming studio in the UK, many are left enthralled yet terrified of the game.
With only a month’s worth of reviews coming in, many wonder if Phasmophobia is worth the hype streamers and Youtube gamers give it credit for.
New players, on the other hand, know all too well that there is so much more to the game than what people see. From characters to ghosts, up until tips and tricks, this article dives into those too.
What Is Phasmophobia?
Horror games are making a comeback this Halloween season with Phasmophobia. This is a one to four-player co-op “psychological horror” game that finds you and your teammates seeking out ghosts yourselves. By doing this, you have to solve puzzles, face jump scares, and strategize your plans of attack together.
Meaning an “intense fear of ghosts,” Phasmophobia doubles down on its horror tone by letting you visit paranormal locations in the dark. In catching ghosts, you have a set of equipment that you can use. These come with different side effects. Some will leave your characters on the verge of a mental breakdown, others anger ghosts even more.
The ghosts themselves are different levels of terrifying. They have backstories that correspond to how they can harm you and your team. What makes this game special is that you don’t necessarily avoid them, because you need evidence that they exist. With VR compatibility, you can face these ghosts head-on and even talk to them with your actual voice.
You also do not have a choice, because they can hear whatever you are saying. Yes, not what your character is saying—you.
Phasmophobia is a fresh take on a beloved game genre, perfect for giving everyone their spooky fill this October.
It seems like 2020 is the year for independent game studios to flourish. Phasmophobia, the internet’s favorite new horror game, is under the hands of Kinetic Games. This company is run by one person, focused on creating games especially for virtual reality. You can learn more about Kinetic Games on their official website.
This is not the first time an independent company succeeded in adding mystique and stakes to a game. Popular games like Five Nights at Freddy’s and 2020 favorite, the Among Us game, show us that independent game studios are not afraid to stick their feet in the mud. There are at least 20 best indie games you are probably sleeping on, and Phasmophobia is the 21st.
Release Date and Development
Phasmophobia has been available for download on Steam since September 18, 2020. Since then, it has blown up on gaming communities in Discord, Twitch, and Youtube. Regardless of the influx of downloads, this game is still in its “early access” version. The official release of Phasmophobia is in 2021.
Think of early access as beta testing. Kinetic Games wanted people to get their hands on Phasmophobia as the company was fleshing out its smallest details. By doing this, Kinetic Games ensures the quality of their co-op horror game.
Feedback and suggestions from the Phasmophobia community are welcome. With this population growing every day, Kinetic Games hopes to address all the bugs of Phasmophobia. The company plans to add many details to the game too.
As of now, the version you can download has over seven maps and 22 ghost hunting pieces to choose from. Expect these numbers to grow by Phasmophobia’s official release.
However, you should also expect its price to rise by then.
Even in its early access, Phasmophobia is not a free game. It also does not have a free-to-play mobile version, which is the case for another independent game darling Among Us.
With all its features, from cross-plays to voice recognition, Phasmophobia is available on Steam for $13.99. This is the game’s affordable early access price. Kinetic Games has since revealed plans to raise it higher by Phasmophobia’s official release. You can buy this game using your Steam wallet now. With your Steam wallet, you canadd funds, buy games, and more.
There are no other add-ons after purchasing. You will be getting a VR-compatible co-operative horror experience instantly.
System Requirements for Phasmophobia
Phasmophobia’s features are top-notch. VR is one of the best ways to milk the most out of a horror game experience. Phasmophobia doubles down on this through their gameplay. Still, like every other game, there are system requirements that make sure you are getting the best version of Phasmophobia possible.
At the very least, to play Phasmophobia you will need a Windows 10 OS with an Intel Core i5-4590 64-bit processor. You can also use an AMD FX 8350.
As for your memory, you will be needing 8 GB RAM and 13 GB of available storage space. Graphics-wise you will at the very least also need an NVIDIA GTX 970 or an AMD Radeon R9 290.
To make the most out of your Phasmophobia experience, Kinetic Games still suggests you use a Windows 10 OS with an Intel Core i5-4590 64-bit processor. However, you can opt to use greater processors or the AMD Ryzen 1500X.
Memory requirements are still the same with at least 8 GB of RAM, but it is best to have 15 GB of available space on your device. For high-quality Phasmophobia graphics, you can go higher than the NVIDIA GTX 970 and the AMD Radeon R9 290.
Those who plan on braving through Phasmophobia in VR will need the same system requirements as above. Additionally, they will need a standing space or play area to move around the world of Phasmophobia. To interact with the game’s objects, they will also need tracked motion controllers.
Phasmophobia is compatible with the following VR headsets: VIVE controllers, the Oculus Touch, the Oculus Rift, Windows MR Controllers, Valve Cosmos, and Valve Index, and the HTC Vive.
If you do not have a VR headset but are planning to get one, now is a good time to begin searching. Phasmophobia is the ultimate VR game, and this is best enjoyed with the best VR headset models for immersive gaming.
With horror games, the less you know the better. Thus, expect Phasmophobia to give you the creeps through dark lighting and rickety old aesthetics. Each map provides its own horror value, from farmhouses to old high schools. The game’s tones tend to stay on the cooler side, as your gameplay is always at night.
The graphics for Phasmophobia mimic that of another independent horror game, Five Nights at Freddy’s. While more detailed than Five Nights, Phasmophobia has an art style split in the middle of cartoonish and realistic. It is also quite grainy, adding an effect of mystery and novelty. The only thing illuminating your gameplay is your flashlight, but this in itself is a great creative decision: it adds to the fear factor of the game.
Do not expect this game to be loaded with moving graphics or bright color schemes. As with any horror game, Phasmophobia leaves a lot to the imagination because fear is best when it is self-made. This does not mean Kinetic was stingy in development, though.
While the game is dim and few details are always seen, the maps are intricate and thought out. High school maps, for example, are huge and loaded with graffiti. In-game interactions are kept high, with even minimal details staying interactive.
Phasmophobia is an online horror co-op that can be played by a maximum of four players. While single-players are allowed, it is in the online multiplayer that Phasmophobia shines best. Horror games, much like horror movies, are ideally experienced with other people. Phasmophobia gives you this privilege.
In the game, you and your team are paranormal investigators visiting as many haunted locations as you can to get evidence. You earn money from each mission, with conclusive evidence like photos costing more.
The game has a minimum of seven maps to choose from and 22 pieces of ghost hunting equipment to use. These are not limiting factors, as hauntings change with each round. You never know where you will find a ghost, or how you will find them. Also, you can talk to them with your actual voice. Taunting ghosts or mentioning their names trigger them to appear but also attack you.
Each round of each map begins in your van, where game objectives and the ghosts’ names are written on your whiteboard. You can opt to stay in the truck and help your teammates navigate the haunted maps through tracking CCTVs and motion sensors. However, for the full immersive experience, a lot of players choose to enter the haunted places themselves.
As of the early access version, your team can hunt over 10 types of ghosts. You will know their types once you list down the evidence you find in your book.
Phasmophobia has a simple premise: visit many haunted locations with your team of ghost hunters. Do this and earn money by collecting evidence. There are many creative ways to get the evidence you need, from cameras to ouija boards. A guide to these will be found later in the article.
This game is currently on its early access version, so any additions to its story and lore will be revealed in 2021. Backgrounds of playable characters are not yet fleshed out, but the game’s roster of ghosts have their own distinct personalities and origin stories.
Phasmophobia’s story is less concerned with their ghost hunters and more with their ghosts. The game centers itself on getting to know ghouls that haunt specific places, at the end of the day.
As you uncover clues and solve puzzles while trying to keep your team alive, you will remember why Phasmophobia is a detective game at its core. This game is a culmination of detective and horror tropes, and the story is what you make it; it is not forced on you.
A co-op game like Phasmophobia has the advantage of not tying itself down to a tight-woven story. Because of this, the game is very fun to play over and over again.
As with any other video game, the longer you play, the harder it gets. In the beginning, you may notice that ghosts are easier to catch. They are also less likely to attack you, as long as you and your team play it smart.
Though the game has been out for a month, many players talk about how the ghosts get increasingly scary and aggressive as you play on. The ghosts get much closer to you, leaving whispers in your ear and baiting you into many jumpscares.
These ghosts and ghouls are also designed to play with your senses as gameplay progresses. One moment they are there, and the next you are a spirit as well.
Phasmophobia is very replayable. You get something different with each round, and it gives you a lot of ways to collect evidence, progressing into scarier gameplay.
Because this game has high replayability and top-notch horror content, it is no surprise that it is also very valuable. It has been a while since an independent horror game has taken the gaming community by storm. Phasmophobia is so good that even the biggest gaming YouTuber, Pewdiepie, had to join in on the fun.
Those who know him would know that his content has shifted in the last years. He began in the gaming genre, and while remaining there, has shifted to producing commentary videos too. Phasmophobia brought him back to his horror gaming roots; he even called it the Best Horror Game of the Year.
Phasmophobia players will get what they paid for with the game. Its monetary value in streaming is high, but it also is a great way to hang out with your friends. This builds teamwork and funny lasting memories with people. If you want to play it alone, though, that is good too.
At the end of the day, Phasmophobia is an intricate horror game centered on detective tropes, puzzles, and interactivity. It is immersive and leaves a lot to the imagination, which is a fairly scary place to be in, as proven by Phasmophobia.
There are eight characters to choose from on Phasmophobia. They do not have special skills. These people move at the same pace and can only carry up to three items. Because of this, those in teams have to plan who carries what equipment and what player does what.
All characters are capable of the same tasks, so everything comes down to the skills of each individual player. In a larger sense, the characters’ usefulness boils down to the team. There must be a routine and format to how the members interact with one another, as some ghosts target those who are weak and alone.
Still, you can choose between these characters when playing Phasmophobia:
Types of Ghosts on Phasmophobia
The real fun of Phasmophobia begins with the types of ghosts you never know you are going to encounter. Some are big on teasing you, while others will kill and attack the moment they get the chance.
Your team can bait ghosts by using different equipment, though a lot of streamers taunt them by saying their names. Again, Phasmophobia can hear you. The ghosts can hear you, so triggering them verbally is an easy way to catch evidence.
These are the known ghosts as of Phasmophobia’s early access release. Expect this list to expand with each game update. Kinetic Games revealed plans to add on to their maps and ghosts by Phasmophobia’s official release next year.
*Those with asterisks are more dangerous and aggressive ghosts.
Yurei ghosts make people’s sanity levels go extremely low. You can learn more about the importance of these sanity levels in the next part of this article, but for now, as with real life, one’s sanity is important.
Going back, Yurei ghosts make you vulnerable to many ghost attacks. They are very dangerous because of this, but you can combat Yureis with Smudge Sticks.
You will know you are dealing with a Yurei when your evidence is ghost orbs, ghost writing, and freezing temperatures.
More often than not, playable characters on Phasmophobia can outrun and hide from ghosts. What makes Wraith ghosts dangerous is their ability to fly and travel through walls. With these capabilities, your running can be moot.
The Wraiths are hunters, making them one of the most dangerous ghosts on Phasmophobia. Stand a chance against them by bringing salt with you. By using this, you keep these ghosts at bay.
You will know you are up against Wraith ghosts if your evidence is fingerprints, freezing temperatures, and a spirit box.
When you start playing Phasmophobia, you will most likely first encounter a spirit. These are simplistic ghosts and one of the most common in the game. There is nothing particularly notable about them, though they do still attack you. The most effective way to combat them is with Smudge Sticks.
You know you are dealing with a Spirit if your evidence is a spirit box, fingerprints, and ghost writing. As another quick trick, Spirits often emerge after unexplained deaths.
Like the Wraith, Banshee ghosts are hunters that target single or lone players. Best not to split up when around a Banshee, though if you cannot help it, having a Crucifix will help a lot. Crucifixes can compel Banshees even from long distances.
You will know you have a Banshee on your hands if the evidence is EMF level 5, fingerprints, and freezing temperatures.
A less dangerous version of the Banshee would be the Shade ghosts. They attack single or lone players for no other reason than their shyness. Because of this, while they are still scary, Shades remain as one of the game’s most basic ghosts.
Getting Shade ghosts to appear may require you to explore your locations alone, though.
You will know you are being haunted by the Shade if your evidence is an EMF level 5, fingerprints, and ghost writing.
Jinn ghosts are harmless unless threatened. These ghosts are territorial and are not keen on showing themselves. They do, however, travel fast from room to room. Limit this ability of theirs by cutting off all the power of your location.
Your evidence in being around Jinn ghosts is a spirit box, ghost orb, and an EMF level 5.
Mare ghosts love the dark because they are most powerful in it. You will know you have a Mare on your hands if lights continuously turn off when you try to turn them on. By doing this, Mares can trip breaker boxes and destroy all light sources. To add to the creepy factor, Mares are the source of all nightmares.
You know you dealt with a Mare if your evidence is a spirit box, ghost orbs, and freezing temperatures.
Like Jinn ghosts, Oni are known for their agility. They are fast, hopping across rooms and players during a round of Phasmophobia. These ghosts especially love it when players are near them, and this makes them dangerously faster.
The upside of this is that Oni are easy to find and identify. You know you are up against Oni if your evidence is an EMF level 5, a spirit box, and ghost writing.
Easily the most dangerous Phasmophobia ghost is the Demon. These are aggressive creatures out to maim and kill, with no fear of communicating with you. When dealing with demons, ghost hunters can use an Ouija board without any risk of losing their sanity.
To keep these creatures at bay, many suggest using a crucifix, although this is not always effective.
Your evidence when facing a demon is a spirit box, ghost writing, and freezing temperatures.
The slowest Phasmophobia ghost is probably the Phantom. Phantoms pass through walls and are out to get your sanity away from you. Direct interactions with Phantoms can seriously affect your character’s sanity levels, though taking a picture of these ghosts will scare them away.
You will know you are dealing with a Phantom if your evidence is an EMF level 5, ghost orbs, and freezing temperatures.
The last most dangerous ghosts on this list are the Revenants. These are fast ghosts that hunt to kill. They do not have a pattern to their killing, making them extremely difficult to deal with. The best way to keep these at bay is by hiding from them. This slows them down but does not make them any less ravenous.
You are dealing with Revenant ghosts if your evidence is an EMF level 5, fingerprints, and ghost writing.
Poltergeists are popular ghosts even before Phasmophobia’s release. These have been known by history as playful and mischievous ghosts, and the same goes for their Phasmophobia counterparts.
These move objects around and tend to tease you. However, most of their power comes from these objects. So, getting them in an empty room is a sure way to strip them of their power.
You will know you are dealing with a Poltergeist if your evidence is a spirit box, fingerprints, and ghost orbs.
When dealing with ghosts, there are a few sure signs that they are around your vicinity. If you hear a heartbeat, it means a ghost is right on top of you. When this happens, outrunning ghosts is possible. However, you may want to hide in dark closets for definitive hiding. Some ghosts on this list live for the hunt, so know when to stand down.
For Beginners: Phasmophobia Tips and Tricks
Phasmophobia is easy to pick up on, but these tips and tricks make gameplay more effective. If you are the type of gamer that wants to skip the learning curve and go straight to the action, this list will give you a rundown on everything you need to know.
From the best ghost hunting equipment to fail-safe ways to protect your sanity, this list has got your back.
In Phasmophobia, your home base is your trusty truck. In here you will see how long you have before a ghost is expected to attack, your objectives, and your journal of evidence. Those who choose to stay back in the truck for the hunt will be tasked to monitor teammates through CCTV cameras.
In the truck, you will also have a local radio to communicate with your teammates. Choosing to stay back may not be the first option for many players, but your truck is equipment central. In there, you can guide your teammates into big locations and help them get evidence in a jiffy. You can also monitor their sanities, being the eyes and ears of the entire operation.
A thermometer is a basic piece of ghost hunting equipment that you should have with you at all times. The colder a room is, the more likely it is for a ghost to be in it. Moreover, if a room’s temperature decreases faster than it usually does (about 3x), then it is a piece of evidence for a ghost type.
If temperatures are only indicators for a ghost and not evidence, then the lowest it can get is about 3 degrees Celsius.
Fingerprints are pieces of evidence for many ghosts. Poltergeists, for example, love playing with objects. So, finding fingerprints is key to solving many missions.
These are left on surfaces and objects, which you can only see if you use a UV light or a glow stick. Not a lot of hunters bring this equipment with them, but they are quick to determine evidence of a ghost, while not really determining what they are.
A character’s sanity levels depend on how much paranormal activity they have been exposed to. The lower your sanity levels are, the more likely it is for a ghost to attack you. This would be Phasmophobia’s version of a health bar.
As with any game, there are tricks to keeping your character healthy and sane. To begin with, staying in a group and/or in the light will keep your sanity levels from depleting to 0. Of course, as seen above, some ghosts will never show themselves to groups of people.
When this happens, do not fret. There are other ways to keep you sane. Sanity pills, for example, are quick ways to avoid sanity depletion. You can also opt to run back to your ghost hunting van. There, you can recuperate from any stressors in your location.
Knowing when to leave your locations, even for a bit, is important. While this will not increase your sanity levels, it will give you the break you need to strategize your next hunt. Staying too long in a location can affect your sanity levels, especially if you are in a dark paranormal hotspot alone.
An easy way to collect evidence is through the ghost book, given that this evidence for the particular ghost you are facing. Should a ghost write in this book, then that is conclusive evidence for that ghost type.
Ghost orbs are telltale signs of a ghost, even in real life. In Phasmophobia, these are small orbs that can be seen on video cameras or through a camera with night vision. These are more often than not yellow.
EMF Level 5
A necessity in ghost hunting equipment is the EMF reader. Bring this with you and your team at all times, because you will need it more often than not. The presence of a ghost will read a Level 5 on your EMF reader.
When this happens, it means a ghost is in your presence. They can be interacting with the room or communicating with you through your ouija boards. As basic equipment, this is a common piece of evidence for ghosts.
The moment you start hearing your heartbeat, be wary. This means a ghost is directly above you if not around you. You can opt to call your teammates for backup, but you can also run and hide in the nearest closet.
Crucifix and Smudge Sticks
Last on the list is a crucifix and smudge sticks. These can lower any chances of ghosts attacking, but never really eliminate them.
Possibly the most interesting feature of Phasmophobia is its ability to let you communicate with ghosts yourselves. With your actual voice, you can taunt ghosts to show up and even ask them questions.
For the taunting, you will not need anything. By mentioning their name and slandering it, you will most likely trigger them into appearing. To get to know them though, you will need a spirit box.
Players that ask questions will get answers from the spirit box. Any answer you get from it is automatically counted as evidence for the ghost type you are facing.
Sample questions you can ask are:
- Is there anyone here?
- Where are you?
- How old are you?
- Can you give us a sign?
- What do you want?
Through the spirit box, you can also tell ghosts to turn on/off lights and close doors. Note that most ghosts do not answer right away, and reading “nothing detected” on your spirit box is a sign that it is working. Do not be discouraged, and keep asking questions.
This is one of the best pieces of equipment you should keep with you at all times.
Besides the spirit box, another way to ask ghosts questions is by using ouija boards. These are wooden boards that you put on the floor, and through a small triangle, ghosts can spell out what they are trying to tell you. If you are lucky, they might even tell you where they exactly are.
Be careful, though. Demons, one of the game’s most dangerous ghosts, love ouija boards. Specifically, these demons love getting angry at them. Moreover, ouija boards are also very easy ways to lower your sanity.
Phasmophobia Pros and Cons
Phasmophobia is a great game for old and new horror fans alike. However, it is not without its fair share of bugs and critique. Before you add this to your library of games, sacrificing a chunk of computer storage in the way, you should consider the pros and cons of the game.
This game is one of the best releases in the horror game genre in a while. It has so much meat to its adaptation of horror; it is not limited to jumpscares and cheap tricks. Phasmophobia knows that there is nothing scarier than the human mind, so it teases you as you hunt for ghosts. You will not always see the ghosts. In fact, getting attacked happens later in your gameplay. The game nudges your head in creepy directions and makes you freak out over minute details.
Its early access price leaves nothing else to be desired, too. As of the 2020 Halloween season, Phasmophobia is an accessible game as long as you have the right specs. This is a great co-op game to play with your friends, and a great way to bond with them in a coronavirus-laden world.
Last but not the least, the game’s features are smart and put thought into. A horror game that can communicate with you and hear your real voice should be a norm after Phasmophobia; this feature works and adds a large layer of horror to the game. This makes gameplay truly immersive.
Before you dive into Phasmophobia’s shortcomings, it is best to remember that the game is still in early access. This time is dedicated for the game to figure out bugs and other areas for improvement. To be fair, there are a few.
Dying on Phasmophobia is not an end-all for players. Those who suffer at the hands of ghosts and ghouls will be able to explore the game as a ghost. Unfortunately, that is all there is to it as of now. One would imagine this feature to have implications like the ability to interact with ghosts, helping your teammates by doing so.
Next is the game’s storyline. As mentioned above, the game’s storyline is not as interesting as its characters. While there is a semblance of a backstory for all the horrific creatures you meet, players know that more can be added to them in the future. As ghost hunters, backstory and lore are important. These give context and meaning to your game, and Phasmophobia does not have that locked in yet.
Last, there are not a lot of missions to choose from yet. As of now, it is all about identifying ghosts and getting evidence that they exist. This in itself is replayable, but Phasmophobia is capable of much more. Beyond these tasks, maybe capturing ghosts can be an option too. Rooting from the former point’s storyline critique, maybe some missions can investigate the stories of these ghosts.
- Immersive gameplay
- Does not resort to cheap horror tactics
- Ability to communicate with ghosts through your voice
- A fresh and new take on the horror genre
- Storyline not fleshed out
- Death of characters also not planned out
- No mission variety
Final Word: Is Phasmophobia Worth the Download?
Phasmophobia is not just good. This game is terrifying: it keeps you on your toes and attacks when you least expect it. Open a door and find a monster’s mouth ready to devour you. Play on VR and feel the ghosts and ghouls creep around you. Talk to these ghosts the way you would in real life. You can do so much on Phasmophobia already, even on early access.
Compatible devices and OS for Phasmophobia are still limited, but if you are one of the few who can get the game on Steam, then do it. This game is very much worth the download and the hype, with YouTube gamer Pewdiepie making a horror comeback because of it.