Phasmophobia: Game and Systems Guide

2020’s Phasmophobia is a horror game that has taken the internet by storm and has thousands of concurrent users playing it every day. If you are reading this, then you are undoubtedly someone who has jumped onto the game’s pain train, or you’re thinking about climbing onboard. 

If you want to play Phasmophobia for real and not just for scares, then this article is sure to  help you. My name is Ben, and today at MGN I’ll be showing you how I play this game. 

It should be noted that this article and attached video is intended for new players, or players who have no idea what they’re doing. If you know how to play this game you might pick up some tips, but most of the information in here provides the basic essentials for new players. Ok with that out of the way let’s begin.

Be sure to test your audio before playing

The first and most important action that you can take when you start up the game is to check your microphone. When I launched the game for the first time it did not detect the right microphone, and I wouldn’t have realized that had I not used the in game microphone test. I can’t stress this enough, playing this game without a mic is not nearly as fun, and if you plan on playing this game alone, not having a mic should be a deal breaker for you. This game absolutely requires a microphone.

You can inspect and change your equipment from the lobby

Once you’re satisfied with your equipment, select your mission location and load in.After the settings you’ll hit play and after selecting your game type, be introduced to the lobby. On the right you can see the equipment that I will be bringing in. I notice that there’s only one flashlight when in fact I’ll be bringing my friend Brad with me, so I hit the buy button, and purchase another light.

You will find that some equipment is level locked, which just means you’ll need to play the game more before getting unlocking it. As for money, playing the game and completing objectives will earn you that. Every objective in this game is optional, you can leave the mission at any time. The more objectives you complete, the more money you earn. The more money you earn the more equipment you can buy, and the more equipment you have available to you, the more objectives you will be able to efficiently complete. It’s a snowball effect.

Your van is the Base of Operations

This van is your base of operations. Here you will gather your equipment, watch the security cameras, and observe sanity and paranormal activity readings. The first part of the van you should always give your attention to is the whiteboard. 

The Whiteboard has your objectives and advice

The whiteboard contains a list of all the objectives available to you, as well as some advice. The first objective is straightforward, and is always the most important of the list. Find out what type of ghost you are dealing with. The other objectives will often require extra equipment that as a new player you will most likely be unable to complete.

The ability to complete these bonus objectives should be something new players strive towards, as the money you will earn from them will generous. Finally on the whiteboard, there is the advice.

The ghost we’re dealing with responds to the name of John Martinez, and becomes angered when people speak his name. He also has a tendency to contact those who are alone. Our goal is to gather as much evidence as we can about him, and risking our lives is all part of the game.

The next step is gathering your equipment. Every piece of equipment that you bring will be sitting on the shelves. You can only carry three pieces of equipment on you, so the more people you have, the more gear you can carry.

The TV screens will give you vital information

There are four large TV screens, the top left illustrates a detailed map of the home, the bottom left shows our sanity, the top right monitors sound equipment, and the bottom right records any paranormal activity. It records from left to right, the higher the number, the larger the reaction from the ghost and is a potential sign of its anger.

The timer gives you five minutes of grace.

Finally there is this timer. From the moment we begin this mission, we will have 5 minutes of grace. Unless we provoke the ghost, it cannot become angry with us for that time, allowing us to freely navigate the home without any hindrance. 

Now you are ready to begin. 

Brad and I will use this time to transport all of the equipment from the van to the building. Five minutes is more than enough time to go back and forth a few times and it is extremely convenient to be able to access everything you need inside the home instead of going outside to the van or asking your friend to come and bring something to you. 

The secondary objective we have for this time is to locate the fuse box. Not only will you see the ghost turn lights on and off, but it can trip the fuse box, preventing you from turning on the lights at all. If that happens, you will need to go to the fuse box and reset it, and if you are suddenly caught in the dark with no idea where the box is, you will have the unpleasant experience of trying to explore the dark house with an active ghost in order to find it.

Finding the box at the start of the game just makes sense. If the map is large, or you don’t want to physically look around for the box, you can use the map in the van to locate it. It will appear as a green rectangle. Click on the white switch beside the screen to cycle through the floors until you find it.

After we find the fuse box, our third objective will be to find the board. The ouija board is not guaranteed to spawn every time you play, but if found it can make determining the identity of the ghost all the easier. The majority of the five minutes that Brad and I spend will be on locating this board. 

When the setup phase is done, it is time to properly begin the investigation. Brad is going to stay in the van and keep me updated on my sanity levels, the amount of paranormal activity that is happening, and will let me know if he sees anything on my camera. It is also important to note that with this particular ghost, it likes to show itself when people are alone, so for this mission I will need to be in the house by myself.

We were unable to find a board during the setup time, so I will need the ghost to communicate with me by using the spirit box or the ghost writing book. It interacting with this equipment is far more valuable than it turning lights on and off, because only certain ghosts will use this gear. If I am unable to successfully communicate using this equipment, then I will be forced to make it angry increase its activity and confirm 100% that it cannot use my spirit box or book.

Finally during our setup time, we noticed that freezing temperatures were present. This was indicated by our breath appearing before us in a foggy manner. We hit “J” to open our journal, then added freezing temperatures to our list of evidence.

Alone in the house, I will begin my investigation, and ask questions using my equipment. Each question I ask will begin with the ghost’s name in order to increase the chance of a response. Speaking of equipment, this is what I used in this mission.

E.M.F Reader

The E.M.F Reader

The E.M.F Reader has five lights, with four of them having significant meanings.

If the Reader is turned on, then it will have one green light on at all times. This is the device’s default state. If the second green light is on, this is a sign that the ghost has interacted with an object, such as turning the lights off or closing a door. If the third light which is yellow turns on this means the ghost has thrown an object, and if the fourth orange light turns on, the ghost has manifested itself in the home. The fifth light, which is red only turns on for some ghosts and is considered evidence towards identifying the type of ghost.

The Spirit Box

The Spirit Box

The Spirit Box acts like a radio and can only communicate with certain ghosts. The device is used by activating it, and asking a question. If the ghost is compatible with the device, you will receive one word answers such as “close” or “death”. If you receive no answer and you’re sure the ghost is in the vicinity, then stop using the Spirit Box and use that information as evidence for the ghost you’re trying to identify.

Video Recorder

Video Recorder

There are two cameras in the game. One takes pictures, and the other records a live feed that is linked to the computer in the van. In my mission I had a the camera that recorded videos. It is mainly used for allowing the player in the van to see inside the house, as well as observing rooms that people inside are not in.

Ghost Writing Book

Ghost Writing Book

The Ghost Writing Book is only compatible with certain ghosts, and is used by placing it on a surface. If the ghost is able to write in the book, it will do so without you needing to be beside it. Use the ghost’s use or ignorance of the book as evidence in figuring out what type of ghost you are dealing with.



Pretty self explanatory, the flashlight is used to see in the dark, and can be used even while holding another device by using the assigned keybind. By default it is “T”.

UV Light

UV Light

The UV Light is used to detect handprints and can detect footprints in sand. Only some ghosts will leave this evidence behind so if you find something with the UV Light you can tick several ghosts off your list of potentials.

When I began my investigation, I set up the video camera in a spot where Brad could get a good view of the room. After I placed the book down on a surface I began asking the ghost questions using the Spirit Box and E.M.F Reader, always making sure to begin the questions with the ghost’s name. The ghost flickered lights, but did not interact with any of my equipment. 

I eventually figured out that the majority of the activity was coming from a specific room, which I decided was the “hot room.” The hot room is the room where the majority of the paranormal activity takes place in, and you will have the best chance of the ghost using your equipment in that room. I moved everything to the bedroom where the activity was coming from, and immediately saw a spike in activity. 

I set up the equipment once more, and continued asking questions. It was clear the ghost did not want me there, as it turned on the fuse box a total of two times, and manifested itself once. As a result of how Brad and I used our setup time, I knew where the fuse box was, and so when the lights went off, I was able to calmly walk to the location and reset it.

In the end I was unable to get the ghost to interact with any of my equipment, and my actions resulted in the ghost initiating the event known as a hunt. When the ghost decides to attack, it will begin a hunt. Players inside the van will know when a hunt has begun by the paranormal activity consistently reading as a ten, and for players inside the building the front door will become locked, and the lights will turn off, and their flashlights will turn on and off. You will be locked in the building with the ghost, and it will attempt to kill you. In order to survive you must do one of two things, run or hide.

The player is faster than most types of ghost, so will be able to simply outrun it. Hiding involves walking into a room and closing the door, or hiding in a cabinet. You will know a hunt has ended by the front door being unlocked and the paranormal activity no longer reading as a ten.

In my hunt, I decided to run, but unfortunately ran in the wrong direction. I died, and returned to the van in ghost form. 

By observing the camera I had placed in the room from the van, Brad and I were able to spot ghost orbs, evidence which can be used to identify a ghost. We opened our Journals using “J”, and adding ghost orbs to our list of evidence. Two pieces of evidence narrowed the list of ghosts down to three potential candidates, and we decided on the Wraith. We returned to the lobby and discovered it was in fact a mare. We still earned money from the evidence we discovered from our investigation, and were better equipped to handle our next mission.

This mission was a typical run for Brad and I, and I am sure that our strategy and knowledge of the game and its systems will help you in your investigations when you play. If you want more Phasmophobia content from me simply leave a comment, and if you want to see more of my work you can find me on the MGN Destiny 2 website and Youtube Channel. My name is Ben, and I hope this helped you!

Leave a Comment