Phasmophobia is the latest hit horror game that has the player assuming the role of one of up to four ghost hunters tasked with finding and identifying different types of ghosts across several maps of varying sizes, and this is accomplished with the help of different ghost hunting equipment they have access to.
If you’d like to read about the different ghost types, you can find an article dedicated to that subject here, as this one will be focusing on equipment and how it is used. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
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First up, we have the starting equipment, i.e., the free equipment that the group has access to automatically at the start of each session. This is also the primary means by which players can detect the key pieces of evidence needed to identify a ghost.
First, we have the ol’ reliable, the staple of most horror games and the integral part of every ghost hunter’s arsenal: the flashlight. It is used to illuminate the player’s surroundings when held or mounted on the shoulder but it can also be turned on and left on the floor to illuminate a specific area. Moreover, the flashlight flickering is one of the telltale signs that a ghost has started a hunt and that it’s time to hide.
The Spirit Box is a small handheld radio that many ghosts will use to verbally communicate with the player when they pose certain questions.
In order to use the Spirit Box, the lights need to be turned off, and like the flashlight, the Spirit Box can be turned on and will be fully functional when placed on the floor. Moreover, shy ghosts will only talk through the Spirit Box if a player is alone in the room.
The player can ask a range of questions, although the most useful responses are those that have to do with the ghost’s location, as it can help narrow down the location of the ghost room in larger areas. Plus, if the ghost’s responses are hostile, it could also be a sign that it is about to start hunting.
Short for Electromagnetic Field Reader, this tool is used to detect all sorts of ghost activity in proximity to the player, be it activity that’s currently underway or activity that has happened recently in the area. There are five levels of activity it can detect:
- The reader is turned on and nothing is detected
- Minor activity such as objects being moved or electronics being interacted with
- Medium activity such as objects being thrown
- High activity, meaning that the ghost will or has manifested as an apparition
- Extremely high activity, only occurs when specific types of ghosts are nearby
As before, the EMF Reader can be turned on and left on the floor and it will be fully functional.
A portable DSLR camera with a night vision mode that can be used to monitor specific areas remotely, be it when it is set up or when a player is holding it. It is one of the few pieces of equipment that can detect ghost orbs. Moreover, larger maps also have sets of surveillance cameras that can be used to the same end.
Notably, the Video Camera can be used to view certain pieces of evidence remotely, mainly the Ghost Writing Book and the EMF Reader.
A small flashlight that doesn’t do a great job at illuminating the player’s surroundings but is the most effective way to collect fingerprint evidence.
Fingerprints and handprints are mainly found around objects that the ghost has interacted with but keep in mind that, while all ghosts interact with environment objects, not all leave prints. Moreover, even those that do leave them don’t do so every time.
Ghost Writing Book
A simple notebook with a pencil that can be left close to the ghost in order to have it write something in it. The book is used exclusively to gather that specific piece of evidence and has no other uses.
Note that a ghost might not write in the book immediately but might only do so later on as activity increases. On top of that, the writing and drawings it might leave are completely random and not in any way indicative of the ghost type.
Finally, there’s the photo camera that, while not used to gather any specific type of evidence, is a great way for players to gain more money by taking pictures of evidence of paranormal activity such as fingerprints, footprints, bones, dirty water, voodoo dolls, ghost interactions, a manifestation of the ghost itself, or even a player’s dead body.
Next, we have various pieces of equipment that are not available at the start of a mission but can be purchased and added to the arsenal once the player meets the prerequisite level and can afford them. Keep in mind, though, that any extra equipment added on top of the starting kit will be permanently lost if the player dies.
The location of the equipment at the end of a mission is not important, i.e., if the player dies and the equipment is brought back to the van by the other players before leaving, it will still be lost, and if the player is alive, they won’t lose their equipment if they don’t bring it back to the van.
Amateur and Intermediate difficulties will refund players 50% and 25% of the lost equipment’s value respectively in case the player dies, but the Professional difficulty has no such safety net.
A crucial piece of equipment (no pun intended), the Crucifix can be used to prevent the ghost from hunting. In order for it to work, it needs to be dropped on the floor close to the ghost before it starts hunting, usually in its room, and it is effective in a 3-meter radius (5 meters for Banshees). When the ghost decides to hunt, it will simply return to its passive state if it is in range of the Crucifix.
Each Crucifix has two “charges” and can stop two separate hunts. However, a Crucifix will not stop an ongoing hunt, regardless of whether it is being held or is thrown towards the aggressive ghost.
A simple lighter that emits a very low amount of light and is mainly used to ignite Smudge Sticks and Candles.
These are bundles of incense sticks that can be burned using the lighter or the flame of a lit candle in order to calm a ghost down and prevent it from hunting for 90 seconds. The effect has twice the duration when used on Spirits (180 seconds) and will temporarily confine a Yurei to its favorite room, preventing it from wandering the house.
During a hunt, burning Smudge Sticks can repel the ghost for a few seconds, potentially buying valuable time for players to hide, although they can’t outright stop an ongoing hunt.
Candles can be used to several ends. They can be used as emergency light sources to light rooms and slow down Sanity drain in locations with no lighting or when a ghost decides to trip a fuse and disable all electronics. On top of that, they can also be used as markers to help the players navigate the larger, more confusing maps such as the High School or the Asylum.
Moreover, after a recent update, ghosts can also blow out lit candles. In addition to contributing to general spookiness, this feature makes candles useful as a means of detecting whether the ghost is nearby.
In addition to being purchasable, Candles can also spawn in maps.
An extremely useful piece of equipment that can be used to find the ghost’s favorite room, as all ghosts drop the temperature of the room that they’re in (below 10°C/50°F), though not all of them drop it to freezing. The thermometer is not necessary for detecting freezing temperatures, as the player’s breath will be visible if the temperature is that low.
However, the thermometer has received some important changes to make it less powerful in narrowing down the location of the ghost room. Namely, the temperature in the ghost room will decrease gradually as the game progresses, and all of the rooms will cool down if the power is turned off.
As the name suggests, this is simply a stronger version of the regular flashlight that offers much better illumination. The increased luminosity is particularly obvious in larger locations and while it is not necessary per se, it can help with navigation and player morale.
Glow sticks shine with UV light and are a secondary way to detect fingerprints, handprints, and footprints, although they are more useful as a means of helping the players navigate or mark points of interest in larger locations, similar to candles.
Salt comes in a salt shaker that can be used to place piles of salt on the floor, and each box has three “charges.” Placing piles of salt in doorways and chokepoints can help narrow down the location of the ghost room.
Moreover, salt is particularly useful against Wraiths, as it will stop them from hunting if they interact with it. Detecting UV footprints in an undisturbed pile of salt is also a clear sign you’re dealing with a Wraith and it can make an investigation much easier. On the downside, “salted” Wraiths also become more aggressive afterwards.
Sanity Pills, as you might guess, can replenish a player’s Sanity when consumed. They are particularly useful for larger locations where the players will be spending a lot of time in darkness, as well as on higher difficulties, especially when dealing with some Sanity-draining ghosts. Each box has one charge that will restore 40% of a player’s Sanity.
A simple camera tripod that Video Cameras can be mounted on. It allows players to get a better angle on their cameras, which is particularly useful if they have to set one up in rooms with little to no furniture. A tripod occupies an inventory slot but it cannot be stored in the inventory, and switching to another item while holding the tripod will lead to it being dropped on the ground automatically.
The Parabolic Microphone is a useful, if somewhat unreliable tool that can detect even the quietest sounds across distances as long as 30 meters in a 6-meter wide cone. As such, it can be a good way to get the general direction of the ghost room on larger maps, but since it can also detect sounds created by other players, it’s also important to coordinate properly in order to avoid false positives.
Much like the Parabolic Microphone, the Sound Sensor will pick up sounds through walls, although it is not a handheld device. Rather, it needs to be mounted on a wall, after which it will detect sound in a large area around it, and much like the Parabolic Microphone, its main purpose is to help players narrow down the location of the ghost room on larger maps.
The data picked up by the Sound Sensor can be monitored from the van. It will also detect sound made by players.
Similar to the Sound Sensor, the Motion Sensor is a wall-mounted piece of equipment that will detect a ghost passing in front of it, thus helping the players detect it in its room or track it on the map. When detecting movement, the green light on the sensor will light up and it can also be monitored from the van, on the area map. It will also detect players, be it alive or dead ones.
Infrared Light Sensor
The third and final type of wall-mounted sensor currently in the game is the Infrared Light Sensor. Much like the Motion Sensor, it will light up when a player or a ghost passes in front of it. However, it can’t be read from the van, but it is also a much more powerful source of light than the Motion Sensor.
As such, the Infrared Light Sensor can be useful for lighting up the ghost room when the power is out, and it can also help with navigation, as well as being useful as an emergency light source.
Head Mounted Camera
Just as the name implies, the Head Mounted Camera can be worn by players without taking up an inventory slot, and they are particularly useful in situations where one of the players stays behind in the van to monitor the map and ghost activity. They are also a good way to detect ghost orbs without having to deploy regular Video Cameras, provided that there’s someone in the van to monitor the live feed.
The Ouija Board is a unique piece of equipment that cannot be bought and only has a 33% chance of spawning on every map. Should the players find it, it can provide very useful information, although using it also carries a big risk.
Namely, asking a question has a 67% chance of the ghost answering and a 33% chance of it becoming angry and more aggressive. Not only that, but each successful question asked will also lower the player’s Sanity by 5-10% (unless the ghost is a Demon) and angering the ghost via the board will cause a massive 40% Sanity drop (even if the ghost is a Demon).
That said the Ouija Board is a high-risk, high-reward item that can greatly help or hinder a mission, and it’s always a gamble as to which of the two outcomes using it will lead to.
On missions, the ghost hunters’ van is much more than just a safe space—it features a number of useful sources of information that players can use to help with the investigation, especially when one of the players remains behind to relay said information to the others.
The upper left display shows the site map, and the players can cycle through different floors via the white switch next to the screen. In addition to showing the overall layout of the building, the Site Map shows entrances/exits as green lines and windows as red lines on the walls.
Moreover, it shows the location of the fuse box and it displays the players as green dots, showing their movement and location inside the building in real time. On top of all that, it also shows the location and range of motion and sound sensors, as well as the locations of surveillance cameras and which one of them is currently in use.
Located below the site map, the Sanity Monitor tracks each individual player’s Sanity, although it is not perfectly accurate and will always oscillate slightly. As the players’ Sanity drops, the ghost becomes more active and aggressive, so it’s obvious why this data is important.
In addition to letting the players know when they should expect ghost activity to start increasing and when to take Sanity Pills, the Sanity Meter can also help identify certain types of ghosts who affect Sanity more than others.
For example, Sanity draining faster than normal without players witnessing any activity directly could indicate a Yurei or a Poltergeist, a higher-than-usual sanity drop after seeing an apparition could indicate a Phantom, the lack of a Sanity drop upon successfully using the Ouija Board could indicate a Demon, etc.
Sound Sensor Monitor
The display in the upper right displays the data picked up by the deployed sound sensors, showing it on a vertical chart that goes from 0.0 to 1.0. As mentioned above, sound sensors cover a considerable area and are a great way to narrow down the location of the ghost’s favorite room.
Of course, as mentioned before, it will also detect sound created by players, so in order to get accurate information, players need to steer clear of a sound sensor’s detection range.
Site Activity Monitor
Located in the lower right, the Site Activity Monitor displays the sum of all EMF activity inside the house, ranging from 0 to 10. The different activity levels are not bound to any specific type of activity, so the Site Activity Monitor is only really useful to give the players an overall idea of how likely they are to encounter ghost activity inside the building and how aggressive the ghost is.
The one exception to this is when the ghost starts hunting, as the monitor will display a constant 10 for as long as the hunt goes on. However, activity jumping up to 10 doesn’t necessarily mean that a hunt has begun, although such high activity does mean that one could start soon.
The Objective Board is a simple whiteboard that isn’t so much a piece of equipment as it is a way for the players to learn some key information, mainly the ghost’s name (which can be used to provoke it) and whether it responds only to people who are alone or to everyone. It also displays the four objectives, i.e., the main objective, which is identifying the ghost type, and a set of three additional random objectives.
The computer in the van is used to access cameras, including deployed video cameras, head-mounted cameras worn by the players, as well as a building’s own surveillance cameras. Interacting with the keyboard will switch between visual and night vision modes while interacting with the mouse will cycle through all of the cameras that are currently online.
And so, that would be it – all the equipment currently featured in Phasmophobia! Kinetic Games will be adding more items soon, as evident from the official roadmap on Trello, and we’ll be sure to expand the article when those are added.
In the meantime, be sure to check out our ghost guide and our full review of Phasmophobia!