Phasmophobia Getting Started Guide: The Paranormal Knowledge Needed

Phasmophobia is a ghoulish PC game brought to life by Kinetic games for your co-op horror enjoyment. As you might imagine, ghost hunting can be a dangerous endeavor that requires a particular skill set and personal resolve. Additionally, you’ll need the unique tools of the trade to progress and perceive the spirit world easier.

Phasmophobia was a welcomed title added to my horror list with hours of eye-widening fun. The tutorial wasn’t the best, but that’s relatively common with Indie games. That’s why I’m the ghost expert you can count on to help you get a better understanding before stepping into the unknown.

Watching other players encounter rare and terrifying spirits is fun because the reactions are entertaining and expose you to new apparitions. I’ve always adored psychological thriller games that center around poltergeists and hallucinations, from Luigi’s Mansion to the mind-bending Amnesia games. It’s even more fun to hunt for ghosts with friends and aid in the removal of aggressive spirits from haunting yet memorable locations.

Jumpscares are inevitable, but it’s comforting knowing you aren’t alone. It would be best if you got started under my guidance, and I’m here to assist you through the unknown so you can become a professional paranormal investigator. You must be shrewd and cunning to detect and identify ghosts without getting killed, and the information you collect is handed to the removal team to restore balance. If you’re new, I’m excited to give you this Phasmophobia Getting Started guide and walk you through your first assignment so you can execute your spooky search with the proper knowledge and ghost gadgetry!

Before You Begin Ghost Hunting

phasmophobia ghost hunt

Here are some things to note before executing your first hunt. Surviving with friends in Phasmophobia involves working together in various haunted locations to gather evidence and uncover the secrets of each ghost. However, you can also choose to play in single-player mode.

Honestly, this game shines more when playing with friends because of the ability to speak with ghosts through your mics and unique commands. There are even swear words that can aggravate the ghosts. Using your equipment is essential for success because it reveals the key traits of any given spirit and allows you to identify them and sell this vital information to the extraction team.

Prepare for the unexpected as you venture into haunted domains with aggressive spirits who mean business. This psychological experience makes each area daunting due to imminent dangers. Still, you can escape by being prudent and bringing the truth to light in each haunted spot with the right tools and a high-tech mystery van that puts Scooby Doo to shame.

Never quit on your mission; don’t lose heart if you die because it’s all about learning when to retreat and hide. Remember to have fun and enjoy the adrenaline thrills with unique paranormal activity at each location!

Your First Day As A Paranormal Investigator

You won’t be catching any ghosts with a Pokeball or anything in Phasmophobia, even though you probably fondly remember when you acquired your first Gastly. Instead, you will be the preemptive strike of the operation by analyzing the area and collecting critical information.

Your main objective from day one forward is to visit the haunted locations and gather enough evidence to identify various specters. If you’re a rookie, then not knowing what to expect is a part of the experience, and some spooky surprises lurk within so embrace them!

Of course, this bold occupation comes with all sorts of threats and dangers that lurk around every corner. Staying alive can be tricky, and even the most experienced players die sometimes. However, if you follow this guide, then it will happen less frequently. Completing the main objective will earn you more money and experience.

You can progress to more advanced gadgets for complex assignments that yield greater rewards. Every level is different, and it’s gratifying to conquer the main objective together despite the growing phantasmal challenges. Your first day should be about familiarizing yourself with the essential equipment and objective while preferably playing with someone more experienced.

Phasmophobia getting started

Core Mechanics Guide: Tools To Find Ghouls

Before you start any mission, you will be greeted with the equipment screen where you can buy or add items to use during an investigation. While part of a four-person team, you must manage what you add wisely. This is because if you die, all items will be permanently lost. It’s best to examine what your teammates are bringing so you can choose the right things.

The beginning of any investigation starts with your sanity level at 100%, but this will decrease if you’re in the dark or witnessing disturbing activity. This core mechanic requires balance because you must disturb the ghost in some way to obtain clues. Monitoring the ghost’s activities on the bottom-right of the screen will let you know if you should provoke or lay low.

There are different classes of items. First, you have your starter equipment which every new player can access. You can purchase optional tools, too, like the thermometer. Van & bonus equipment are also available to help you. Take note of cursed items you can find that help you discover ghosts, such as the Quija Board, and they can only be found at specific locations for a photo reward.

These are necessary items if you plan on completing the game entirely. They aren’t mandatory to discover if you’re starting. Here is the starting equipment you’ll need to be an effective ghost hunter.

Standard Starter Equipment

  • Spirit Box
  • Ghost Writing Book
  • UV Flashlight
  • Flashlight (Enough for everyone)
  • EMF Reader
  • Photo Camera (Carry two or more in the group)
  • Video Camera
  • DOTS Projector

Optional Store Equipment

  • Thermometer (Advised)
  • Candle
  • Crucifix (Advised)
  • Lighter
  • Head-mounted Camera
  • Glowstick
  • Parabolic microphone
  • Motion sensor
  • Salt Shaker
  • Sanity Pills
  • Sound Sensor
  • Tripod
  • Strong Flashlight

Cursed Items

  • Haunted Mirror
  • Bones
  • Quija Board
  • Music Box
  • Tarot Cards
  • Summoning Circle
  • Voodoo Doll

The Ghost Hunting Van

When you’re done selecting your equipment at the initial lobby screen, you will then travel to the van, where you will grab a key by the computer to gain access to the haunted building. Now it’s time to check out the computer and get familiar with the layout before starting a mission. Here you have access to the feed from any cameras set up in the area. Clicking the mouse will allow you to sort through the different spots, including the front door, and pressing the space bar activates night vision. You’ll often use the computer during paranormal investigations, and it’s easy to grasp.

You also have a whiteboard that actively displays information about the house you’re investigating. You can discover small details like the ghost’s name and their preferences for intruders. Each investigation will have optional missions to help you thrive and gain more experience. However, the first objective will always be accurately identifying the type of ghost haunting the location.

Remembering a simple piece of information like the ghost’s name can prove valuable in provoking it to anger and stimulating paranormal activity. You don’t have to complete the optional objectives listed on the whiteboard; some require more advanced equipment. If you’re starting, do your best with the primary goal and then go from there. You can carry three pieces of equipment simultaneously and actively use the flashlight while operating something else.

phasmophobia van equipment
Image from Phasmophobia Wiki Fandom

Van Equipment

  • Site Map (A detailed overview of the site location)
  • Objective Board (Displays mission objectives)
  • Sanity Monitor (Keeps track of player sanity levels)
  • Computer (Monitor cameras)
  • Site Activity Monitor (Informs on ghosts activity)
  • Sound Monitor (Connected to sound sensors)

The Four Monitors

It would help if you kept an eye on these monitors and your sanity level so it doesn’t drop too low. The monitor on the top left gives you awareness of any space and serves as your map of the whole area. You may notice a small green light, which will become necessary if the building loses power. From there, you must flip the switch manually at the breaker.

This sudden darkness is a shivering feeling, knowing there’s probably a ghost looming nearby for an ambush. It’s a spontaneous element of horror that works well for Phasmophobia and requires you to act quickly. The monitor on the top right will give you information on the sound levels of any house. The bottom right segment reveals the level of paranormal activity and serves as a safety gauge.

If this reaches level ten, you’ve become the hunted, and a ghost is trying to take your life. The bottom left area shows the player’s sanity levels, which decrease when you spend too much time in the dark with potent paranormal activity. You can only stay sane in the presence of evil spirits and dark energies. Therefore, it’s wise to keep a room lit to ensure safety.

Starting Your Hunt & Locating The Ghost’s Room

Once you leave the van, you’ll travel to the creepy building to begin your paranormal investigation. Again, ensure you have that key next to the computer because it’s your ticket. Doors take some time to get used to, and the mechanics aren’t the best, but click and drag up or down to access the building. Once you enter, you’ll want to accurately find the ghost’s room which can be challenging without using the right tools. Thankfully, you’re well-equipped with the EMF reader to help.

Pay attention to the equipment and traverse the area until you notice the number jump to two or higher. This indicates that a ghost is in the area, and you effectively have its location confirmed. The thermometer is also an excellent tool to use alternatively. If there is a significant drop in temperature, then it is a surefire sign the ghost is near, so stay on your toes because you have a job to do instead of darting out of the house like a spooked cat! 

Six Types Of Evidence

  • Ghostwriting– A book that you set down for a ghost to write on
  • Spirit Box– An apparatus the ghosts can speak through 
  • Ghost Orbs– Observe orbs through the camera with night vision
  • Fingerprints– Observing a handprint with the UV light
  • Freezing Temp– Only counts as evidence if it drops below 0
  • EMF-5– Must Reach level five to count as evidence

The 24 Ghost Types

Every ghost will show three types of evidence when investigating, each with a particular combination. Once you gather them, storing the information in your journal is essential. Log the evidence on the last page, and once you retrieve three pieces, the answer under “Ghost type” will be shown to you. Your role as a ghost investigator is critical in setting the stage for the ghost removal team.

There are many different ghosts to hunt, each with a unique evidence combination. They are all menacing beyond belief and are incredibly diverse for an Indie game. An exciting feature is utilizing your microphone to say the ghost’s name.

This will provoke them to appear for a picture, and you can get more money from this trick. However, please don’t overdo it because they will eventually attack you mercilessly. Here are all the ghost types to discover in Phasmophobia, and they’ll keep you busy!

  • Oni
  • Spirit
  • Wraith
  • Yurei
  • Phantom
  • Poltergeist
  • Jinn
  • Banshee
  • Mare
  • Revenant
  • Demon
  • Shade
  • Deogen
  • Goryo
  • Hantu
  • Moroi
  • Myling
  • Obake
  • Onryo
  • Raiju
  • Thaye
  • Mimic
  • The Twins
  • Yokai

Precautions For Hostile Paranormal Attacks

phasmophobia ghost attack

The dangers of ghost hunting as a profession are well-documented, and the stories of the consequences of investigating the paranormal are ominous. It can be thrilling and rewarding, but sometimes the hunter becomes hunted, which could happen to you. These ghosts are not a nice variety and can seriously threaten the ill-prepared. They can be easily angered and provoked into aggression, resulting in death if you get grabbed by any of them. 

They often haunt the areas without singling any human out, but their temperament can change in a blink as they choose to hunt you. It would be best if you prepared yourself for this mentally, and the first sign you’re under attack is when the lights start flickering, and you hear chilling noises but can’t tell where they originate. In this situation, don’t let fear petrify you. Run and hide or die! It’s that simple.

Never stand in the middle of the room in fear, or it will cost you your life. This adrenaline-pumping aspect of Phasmophobia will make you come back for more. You can buy a crucifix from the shop to make things easier and deter ghosts from hunting you for a set time. This is certainly a horror game for thrill-seekers who want company. Additionally, It’s good to turn off your mic if a ghost is hunting you.

While running, turn off your flashlight as it blatantly reveals your location to the spirits. However, some players keep it on and get away with it. Keep your eye out for a closet because it’s your safest bet, but you can also get away with hiding in corners while remaining quiet in the dark. 

You can wait up to a minute until the noises have ceased and then turn on your flashlight. If it’s not flickering, you’re in the clear for the moment. Rinse and repeat for missions, but the difficulty level will increase as you progress to keep you challenged!

Tips We Wish We Knew

phasmophobia mounted flashlight

An Item Can Be Used With The Flashlight

Phasmophobia allows you to wield the flashlight and one other item, but it took me a moment to discover this. This feature can come in handy when dealing with spirits. Both items allow more flexibility in-game because they make collecting evidence efficient while keeping track of the ghost’s location. If you notice they are heading your direction, then it’s easier to get out of there.

Understand The “Sprint” Mechanic In Phasmophobia

This aspect of Phasmophobia confused me at first, and I honestly thought I needed a new keyboard initially. You would normally be able to discern between walk and sprint in standard games, but with this game, it’s more of a slightly faster walk.

This adds to the suspense of the experience and limits your ability to retreat from a ghost on the hunt. Despite it being a slower mechanic, it’s still necessary to use for finding a place to hide.

Pick Up The House Key In The Van

This is something that most people forget when leaving the van because you were most likely a bit overwhelmed by all the information and monitors to observe. It’s easy to get distracted as a learner and forget that you’ll need a key to access the building. It’s next to the computer, so don’t forget that little bugger, or you’ll make a second trip back to the van like me!

Don’t Turn On Every Light, Or The Power Might Shut Off

So you enter a spooky house with haunting vibes and perceived paranormal activity disrupting the atmosphere. Everyone’s first inclination is to turn on all lights, but this can have drastic consequences if you go overboard. I realized this quickly after flipping the switches out of fear. The building lost power for the rest of the game, and I was deeply disheartened by this mistake and took note not to do it again!

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Standing In The Middle Of A Room During A Hunt

The last place you want to be during a ghost’s hunting mode is standing out in the open. You don’t want to be in sight, or the ghost will detect and grab you, which results in death. You might feel petrified playing by yourself and make less-than-ideal decisions like this. Finding hiding spots will get easier over time, but sometimes it feels like a game of chance.

Only Running And Not Hiding From The Ghosts

It’s tempting to keep running away from ghosts, but this won’t save you during a pursuit. It’s hiding and staying quiet that will get them off your tail. Beginners often make this mistake because they aren’t aware of the hiding mechanic critical to surviving hostile ghost encounters.

Running won’t get you very far by itself, but it’s a means to an end. Actively search for wardrobes, closets, and bathrooms because the entities avoid those locations when hunting.

Letting The Fear Distract You From Using Your Journal

In all the thrills of investigating, it’s easy to lose sight of your journal. Ensure you’re consistently logging information and referencing it for a better experience. It’s also good to visit the van for more insight instead of avoiding it too much.

Your journal is your main equipment and has essential information on ghosts, the mission, items, photos, and relevant evidence. The more you use it, the better because where would an investigator be without their notes?

Long-Term Goals To Consider

Hunt Every Type Of Ghost

It will take some time to reveal all types of ghosts, but it’s worth the effort to enjoy everything Phasmophobia offers. The developers were meticulous in their design; each has its traits, so you don’t get bored. I guarantee there is a ghost on the list that will give you goosebumps. Hunting each type is a good goal because it will take more incredible dedication and enrich your ghost-hunting portfolio.

Complete Options Mission Objectives

You don’t have to complete all the optional objectives during a mission, but it’s something to aspire to for more rewards and a greater payout. It’s addicting to complete the other goals, and they give some more heft to the experience with new challenges. If you’re starting, it’s wise to play the main objective, but taking on more for extra credit is worthwhile.

Improve At Surviving During A Hunt

This is a long-term goal that every player feels potently after their first death by ghosts, and you will too. It takes time and experience to improve, and it will be rewarding when you entirely avoid a threat through cunning action. Your nerves are your worst enemy and can cause you to panic, but that’s natural with a horror game and will improve once you’ve had some heart-pounding encounters with the spirit world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can the Ghosts in Phasmophobia Kill you?

Answer: Yes, ghosts can hunt and kill you, but they can be avoided if you’re smart and use the environment while shutting off the flashlight and remaining still for a short time. As soon as you’ve been discovered & grabbed by a ghost, this counts as a death. You can hear and watch your friends from there but can’t interact with them until the investigation is over. Even if you die, watching them get spooked is still entertaining.

Question: How do you Discover a Ghost?

Answer: To discover a ghost type, you must gather evidence to reveal their identity. This is stored in the journal as you uncover each unique poltergeist. Every ghost will be matched with three of the six types of evidence which can reveal their nature. Once you get three pieces of evidence, it will indicate the type, and you’re good to go!

Question: What are the Signs a Ghost is Hunting you?

Answer: If you notice the lights starting to flicker by themselves and hear strange noises, get to a safe location. Note that the doors leading outside to freedom will be locked while a ghost is hunting you. You have some time to get out of there before found, and the atmosphere will return to normal. If your flashlight doesn’t flicker after you’ve waited, then slowly move forward and use your ears.

Conclusion: Hunting Ghosts In Phasmophobia Is Hauntingly Fun!

There are plenty of subtleties and tricks to pick up as you survive and investigate with your friends in Phasmophobia! I have enjoyed the wide variety of ghosts and still have more to discover! I guarantee some of them will transcend the game and invade your dreams.

My favorite aspect of this game is the creative designs of the ghosts, but I also appreciate the immersive multiplayer experience where teamwork is emphasized. Planning and using logical item choices while communicating in a lobby is one of the best ways to learn. This is especially true if you can find a more experienced player to join forces.

You now know how to start your first hunt with friends, and I guarantee it will yield some intense moments. There’s nothing eerier than investigating the paranormal; remember you asked for it when dropping the controller in fear. Phasmophobia is an exhilarating & shuddery experience that isn’t for the faint of heart, and there’s no way I would let you go in blind.

We have gone over the basics of getting started, and you’ll get better after each investigation while gaining advanced equipment. You have everything you need to investigate spirits from this introductory guide, and you’ll be a confident and daring paranormal professional in no time!

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