Phasmophobia: PC Controls and Beginners Guide

Get to know all of the basics of Phasmophobia, including the controls and how the game works, right here.


Phasmophobia has already found fame despite still being an early-access title. While the horror game ticks the boxes of being enjoyably scary, it has been found to be a bit confusing for beginners.

Below, you can learn all of the basics of the game, including the Phasmophobia PC controls, the equipment that you can use, and how to avoid getting killed by the ghost.


Phasmophobia PC controls

These are the Phasmophobia PC controls that you’ll need to get to grips with as a mouse and keyboard player. It should be noted that in VR mode, the controls are different.

ActionPC Controls
MoveW, A, S, D
Look AroundMove Mouse
Activate Item in HandRight-Click
InteractLeft-Click
Pick-Up ItemE
Place ItemF
Throw Item in HandG
Toggle Flashlight while Holding ItemT
Change Held ItemQ / Mouse Wheel Scroll
CrouchC
Speed WalkLeft Shift (hold)
Open JournalJ
Proximity ChatV (hold)
Radio ChatB (hold)

For more specific information on how to use specific items, go to the Equipment section of the game screen.

How to use Phasmophobia proximity and radio chat

The proximity chat will increase in volume the closer that you are to another player, but if they are too far away, you won’t be able to hear them at all. Furthermore, proximity chat can’t be used between inside and outside players. So, if you are inside of the building, a player outside of the door will not be able to hear your chat.

If you want to be heard over a greater distance, or wish to communicate with a player who is inside the building while you are in the truck, you will have to use the radio chat. However, you should note that during a hunt, the radio chat won’t work as it’ll be blocked by interference.


How to play Phasmophobia

The goal of Phasmophobia is to identify the ghost of a haunted location. You will have to collect three pieces of evidence to determine the type of ghost that you’re hunting. To do this, you’ll need to use the different equipment available, such as the EMF Reader and UV Light.

The difficulty in the game comes from the ghost being hostile. So, you will have to keep your sanity and safety in mind as you play, such as by hiding in a closet to avoid detection and survive the hunt.

Phasmophobia can be played solo or multiplayer; if you wish to play with your friends, you can create a private lobby from the main menu. For people to be able to join your lobby, you’ll need to send them the lobby code, which can be found on the top right of the lobby board. You can also create a public lobby to play the game alongside a group of random players.

With your lobby or solo run set, it’s time to pick a job contract and hunt down a ghost. Here’s a step-by-step guide of what to expect from the next stages of Phasmophobia gameplay.

Commence the ghost hunt by picking a contract

When in a lobby to start a game of Phasmophobia, you’ll first be tasked with picking a job contract. This is done through the Contract button on the lobby board. Once you’ve opened a contract, you’ll see a map with different locations.

Click on one of the contracts to see more information about the area, such as the recommended number of players for the location, its difficulty, and some more general information. Currently, there are three difficulties in the game: amateur, intermediate, and professional.

In the lobby, all players can buy and add equipment to the list of items that you’ll bring with you on the job. You will start out with seven different pieces of equipment in Phasmophobia, with each one having different uses – see equipment details further down.

After you’ve picked a contract, all of the players in the lobby will have to ready-up before the lobby leader presses start. Once you’ve loaded into the location, you’ll find yourself in a truck.

The main objectives of Phasmophobia

There will be four objectives for you to complete on a Phasmophobia job: the first will always be to identify the ghost type that is haunting the location.

Next, you’ll have three more objectives to complete, each of which will earn you some money and fade the task text from your objectives board. These further objectives can take multiple forms, such as to take a photo of the ghost.

What do you do in the truck on Phasmophobia?

In the truck, you can pick-up your equipment: you can carry three items at one time. It is strongly recommended that you have a flashlight with you at all times. The EMF Reader is also a good item to have on you when you’re trying to locate the ghost.

In the truck, you’ll see a board with all four of the job’s objectives shown. Below the objectives is a description containing the ghost’s name and if it’s an ‘everyone’ or ‘alone’ ghost. If the ghost is listed as ‘alone,’ only one player can be in the room while trying to complete the objectives.

On the same wall as the objective board, you will also find a map of the house: players in the house will be shown as green marks on the map. Below the map is a screen that shows the player’s sanity. If the sanity drops too low, there will be a higher risk of the ghost hunting.

To get into the building, pick-up the key found on the desk by the computer screen. With your equipment selected and key picked up, click on the keypad by the truck’s rear door to exit. Go up to the building and click on the door to unlock it and commence the ghost search.

Using the journal in Phasmophobia

For the first objective, you’ll need to find three types of evidence. To keep track of these, open your journal and go to the last page, the one titled ‘Evidence.’ Here, you can use the arrows to input the evidence that you’ve found, as well as note at the bottom the suspected ghost type.

For every piece of evidence that you find, the number of different ghost types that it could be becomes smaller. You can the remaining possible ghost types that your one could be by going through the ghost types at the bottom of your journal.

Within your journal, you can also find more details on each type of ghost in Phasmophobia. Under each ghost, you can read about their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what evidence is needed to identify each one. It’s a good plan of action to see which possible ghosts yours could be on the evidence page, and then check on the last pieces of evidence needed to identify them, helping to narrow down the equipment that you should be using.

What to do in the house on Phasmophobia

Inside the house, you’ll be working against the clock and your dropping sanity. You can click on the light switches on the walls to turn on lights, but be careful not to turn on too many as it will make the breaker go off.

While the breaker can go off if you switch on too many lights, it can also be disrupted by the ghost. In either case, you can turn it back on at the location marked by a green square on the map.

Roaming around the house, use items like the EMF Reader to locate the room or corridors that the ghost is haunting. You can also listen for doors opening and closing, phones ringing, objects being thrown, and other paranormal activities to find the precise location.

If you start to see your character’s breath, it means that the room has a freezing temperature. This is a type of evidence that can be identified just by experiencing it if you don’t have a thermometer to hand. The freezing temperatures also mean that the ghost is in that room, as does a reaction from the EMF Reader.

When the haunted room has been located, use your equipment to find the three pieces of evidence and decide on which type of ghost you’ve found. However, the longer it takes you, the higher the risk becomes of the ghost starting to hunt you.

What to do when the lights flicker in Phasmophobia

When your flashlight and the house lights start to flicker, it means that the ghost is hunting. When a hunt starts, the doors leading out of the house will close and lock – so nobody can get in or out. During this time, the radio chat won’t work, but you will be able to use the proximity chat.

While the ghost is hunting, you’ll have to hide. It can be hard to get away in time if you are in the room that the ghost has been located in, so always check if there’s a closet or locker in any room that you choose to explore. If there is one, immediately climb in and close the door.

If you find that there aren’t any hiding places, you’ll have to try to get to another room, close the door, and crouch down in a corner. When you’re hiding, be sure to turn off your flashlight and be quiet. Occasionally, you can turn on your flashlight to see if the hunt is over yet.

Should you die during the hunt, you will become a ghost as well, but a friendly one. You can walk around the building and watch your friends struggle while being hunted by the ghost. You’re not just a spectator once you die, though, as you can throw objects around to scare the other players.

If a player isn’t killed during the hunt, it will eventually end on its own, with the duration of these hunts being longer if the job difficulty is higher. When a player dies, all of their items are dropped picked up again, so it’s worth tracking down your fallen teammates.

How to finish a Phasmophobia job

When you have completed some or even or none of the job’s objectives, you can leave the location. To finish the job and depart, all players who are still alive must be in the truck, and then someone will have to press the keypad for you to leave.

Before leaving, make sure that everyone has noted down a ghost in the evidence: you will only get money if you are correct. There will be a final screen where you can see how much you earned for the contract and the correct ghost type present in the house.

Phasmophobia starter equipment explained

As a new player of Phasmophobia, you’ll have several items available to you early in the game. Each piece of equipment can be used to help you track and identify the various ghosts found in haunted houses.

Here’s what you need to know about using the Phasmophobia starter equipment.

EMF Reader

The EMF Reader is used to detect electromagnetic fields in the environment, which is to say that it identifies areas or items that the ghosts have interacted with in the house. In the game, the EMF Reader looks like a white box with LEDs, and it can only detect the electromagnetic fields if pointed directly at the affected items.

When you have the EMF Reader in your hand, use left-click on the mouse to activate the device. After switching it on, an LED light will glow in green. If more lights start to glow, it means that there has been ghost activity in your location. If it reaches level five (red), you can note it as a type of evidence in your journal.

As well as carrying the piece of equipment around, you can also place the EMF Reader down. So, you can strategically put the EMF Reader where you think there might be ghost activity to capture some evidence.

Flashlight

The flashlight is an essential item that will, unsurprisingly, allow you to see when you’re inside the house. You also don’t have to have the flashlight in your hand to use it; instead, while you have it with you and have another item in-hand, you can press T to activate the flashlight.

Photo camera

With the photo camera, you can take five photos and view them in the journal. Various objectives in Phasmophobia will require you to use the photo camera to collect evidence, such as of interactions and bones, which will help you to earn some extra money.

UV-light

The UV-light can be used to detect fingerprints and footsteps. Use the light on doors, light switches, and windows to find these potential pieces of evidence.

Video camera

The video camera is used to find Ghost Orbs, which look similar to specks of dust. It can be tricky to place the video camera, but it is possible to buy a tripod later in Phasmophobia to make it easier.

It is important to make sure that the light on the camera is glowing green when you place it down; if the light is red, it isn’t activated. You can rotate the camera by holding right-click on the mouse, and then place it down with F.

To make the most of your camera’s range, place it in the corner of the room, enabling it to show as much of the room as possible.

When the video camera has been switched on and placed, you can view it through the computer screen in the truck. You can switch between normal and night vision by using the keyboard, and switch between cameras by clicking the computer mouse on the desk.

Ghost Orbs are easier to find when you’re using the night vision mode. So, it’s recommended that you turn off the lights in the camera’s room to make it easier to identify the orbs.

Spirit Box

The Spirit Box is used to talk to ghosts, which counts as a type of evidence, but you will have to be in the room with the lights off to do this. When in the room, ask questions like “give us a sign” or “how old are you.”

You can then use the responses to your questions to gather more information about the ghost. To utilise the Spirit Box, you’ll need to make sure that you use the proximity chat while asking the questions so that it can hear you. While you don’t have to hold the equipment to use it, you do need to be close for it to work.

The Spirit Box looks like a walkie-talkie; once you’ve switched it on, you will hear a static noise and see changing numbers on its display. Note that if the ghost is an alone ghost, only one person can be in the room when trying to talk to the entity via the Spirit Box.

Ghost Writing Book

The Ghost Writing Book can be used to collect evidence in Phasmophobia. While the book is present in a room of the house, the ghost can write in it, providing you with Ghost Writing evidence. You can choose to either place the book down, which is recommended, or hold the item yourself and wait for the ghost to begin to write.

Now that you know the Phasmophobia controls, the steps to playing the game, and the utility of each piece of starter equipment, you’re ready to find evidence of ghosts in the early access PC game.


Tula Eriksson

Tula Eriksson Turtiainen is a writer and narrative designer for video games. Born in the Swedish countryside she draws inspiration from the nature around her. In her free time she loves to play games, read fantasy books and cuddle with her dogs.

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