Phasmophobia: A Beginner’s Guide to All Items

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Phasmophobia provides you with a wide variety of items designed to make your life as a ghost hunter easier, but figuring out how to use these items to their fullest potential is its own challenge. In this guide, I’ll show you how to effectively use all of the items, as well as which items you should prioritize and which items to avoid.

EMF Reader

The EMF reader is an important item that allow you to detect the ghost’s presence, traces of it’s presence, and general ghost activity. To use the EMF reader, keep it in your hand while searching the location and make sure the light is on. Whenever the ghost is nearby or interacts with its environment, the EMF reader will show levels ranging from 2 – 5. The more ghost activity there is, the higher the reading will be. If you find an area that is consistently giving EMF readings, it is most likely the ghost’s room. After determining the ghost’s room, the EMF reader loses most of it’s utility, but you can still place it around the location to help you track the ghost’s movement. Additionally, the EMF reader is used to collect EMF level 5 evidence. All ghosts will give EMF readings, but only specific ghosts will give EMF 5 readings, so only record EMF level 5 evidence into your journal if the EMF reader clearly reached level 5.


The crucifix is an extremely important item that prevents the ghost from entering its hunting phase. You will need this item to stay alive long enough to collect the evidence you need, especially on higher difficulties where the ghost can begin hunting you almost immediately. The way the crucifix works is that it creates a bubble with a radius of 3 meters, (5 if it’s a banshee), and if the ghost attempts to enter its hunting phase while in the bubble, it will fail and the ghost will not hunt. It should be noted that an individual crucifix can only prevent a hunt twice before disappearing, and holding a crucifix in your hand does absolutely nothing, and it will only work once it has been placed. The most effective way to use the crucifix is to place it in the ghost’s room, as that is where the ghost will be 80% of the time, giving you the best chance of preventing a hunt if it attempts to do so. It is also a good idea to bring two crucifixes as you will be able to cover a wider area, which is especially important with larger ghost rooms.


The thermometer is a very simple but useful item that allows you to find the ghost’s room as well as collect freezing temperature evidence. To use this item, just search the location while watching for any significant drops in temperature, and any readings below 10 degrees Celsius means you have most likely found the ghost’s room. If the thermometer reads below 0 degrees Celsius at any point, then you can record freezing temperatures as an evidence. The thermometer is one of the most consistent ways to find the ghost’s room, so you should always bring one when entering a location.

Video Camera

The video camera can be placed anywhere in the location, giving you a live video feed that can be seen from your van. Placing the video camera in the ghost’s room will allow you to see ghosts orbs from your van as long as the lights in the room are off.


The video camera can be attached to the tripod, and makes setting up the camera easier. This item is nice to have, but it usually isn’t necessary as with a little creativity, you can find plenty of places to put cameras. If you have the money, go for it, but the tripod is at most a minor convenience.

Photo Camera

The photo camera is your biggest money maker and you will need it maximize your profit. Taking photos of certain paranormal objects/activities like dirty water and fingerprints will net you a lot of bonus money, especially with the difficulty multipliers of intermediate and professional. Here is a list of things you can take a picture of for extra cash:

  • The Ghost
  • Dirty Water
  • Fingerprints
  • Bones
  • Ouija Board (Activated)
  • Dead Bodies
  • Voodoo Dolls
  • Anything the ghost has interacted with

Flashlight and Strong Flashlight

Phasmophobia gives you two options for flashlights: a weaker, starter flashlight and a brighter, strong flashlight. Flashlights can be used while holding another item by pressing T. Once you have the money to afford a strong flashlight, buy it ASAP as you will appreciate the extra visibility it gives. Also, flashlights can be very useful for knowing when a ghost is hunting as they will flicker for the duration of the hunt.

Smudge Sticks

Smudge sticks are a useful items that allow you to calm down the ghost, as well as buy you some time before a hunt. To use them, you must have a lit lighter in your inventory, and while holding the smudge stick, press F to light it. The smudge stick won’t last for very long, so place it down quick. Also, it is usually best to use smudge sticks mid to late game as if you light them up too early, it can be difficult to find the ghost’s room and gather evidence, wasting you a lot of time. If you manage to light a smudge stick during a hunt, it will give you few more seconds to hide before the ghost starts attacking you, so it can be a potential life saver.


The candle is a light source that is not dependent on electricity, so it will provide light even when the lights go out. This item isn’t really particularly useful, and it can be very difficult to place down properly unless you are playing in VR. You are better off just using flashlights as they provide much better visibility.


The lighter is used to light smudge sticks and candles. Pretty straightforward.

Spirit Box

The spirit box is used to communicate with the ghost, allowing you to collect spirit box evidence. To use this item, the lights must be turned off and you must be within 3 meters of the ghost. If both of these conditions are met, then asking questions through the spirit box will give a response from the ghost, (assuming it is a ghost that responds to the spirit box). There are many different questions you can ask the ghost, but to list a few:

  • Is there anyone here?
  • Are you male or female?
  • Give us a sign.
  • Can you speak to us?
  • I am scared

If you aren’t getting any responses, don’t give up too quickly. It can take a while for the ghost to respond, especially if you haven’t yet pin-pointed its location.

UV Light

The UV light will allow you too see fingerprints and footprints that have been left behind by the ghost. The best place to search for fingerprints are on doors and light switches. Keep in mind that only fingerprints can be counted as evidence as any ghost can leave footprints.


Like the UV light, the glowstick allows you to see fingerprints and footprints, but it has a much shorter range than the UV light so it is by no means a replacement for it. It is best to throw these on the ground near salt piles so you can easily see any footprints the ghost may leave behind. Otherwise, you won’t be using this item very much.


Salt can be placed on the ground and if the ghost walks over a pile, it will leave a visible mark. Once the ghost has stepped on the salt it will leave footprints that can be seen with a UV light, allowing you to track the movement of the ghost. Also, if you notice that you are not seeing any footprints, there is a very good chance you are dealing with a wraith.

Ghost Writing Book

The only purpose of the ghost writing book is to gather ghost writing evidence. To use it, just place the book in the ghost’s room and wait, and if the ghost writes in the book, you can record ghost writing as an evidence. If you don’t want to stay in the room while waiting for the ghost to write, just place the book in front of a camera and you can watch for writing from the safety of your van.

Motion Sensor

The motion sensor can be placed on a wall and will activate whenever a ghost or player moves in front of it. You know the sensor has been activated if the green light turns on. The motion sensor can also be seen from the van on the map screen, giving a beep whenever activated. It is best to place the motion sensor where the ghost is likely to walk by, like staircases and doorways.

Infrared Light Sensor

The infrared light sensor functions identically to the motion sensor, except it cannot be seen from the van. Also, it emits a bright light when activated, making it easier to tell when the ghost has passed it than with the motion sensor.

Sound Sensor

The sound sensor is very useful for finding the ghost’s room, particularly on larger maps, as it can cover very large areas. To use it, just place it on any wall in the location and it will create a square area of effect, and any sounds that occur within this square will be picked up by the sensor. If a sound sensor does pick up a sound, it very likely means that the ghost room is within its area of effect, (which can be seen on the map).

Parabolic Microphone

The parabolic microphone is pretty much a portable sound sensor. To use it, walk around the location and continuously ask the ghost “Can you give me a sign”. If the ghost does end up tipping something over or making some kind of noise, the parabolic microphone will pick it up and tell you the how loud the noise was via the number display. The only problem with the parabolic microphone is that it can be inconsistent at times, and will sometimes give false positives, so if you are to use this item, it is only worth it on larger maps.

Sanity Pills

Sanity pills are very important for staying alive, as the lower your sanity is, the more aggressive the ghost becomes. When exploring larger maps, it is best to bring the max of 4 sanity pills, as you will be spending a lot of time searching for the ghost. On use, sanity pills will restore 40% of your maximum sanity, making them pretty effective, but you should still be sure to use them sparingly.

Head Mounted Camera

The head mounted camera is as it sounds; a camera that can be worn on your head. This item is entirely optional, and you will mostly be using it to watch your friends get toyed with by the ghost while you hide in the safety of your van.

Thanks for reading this guide on all of the items in Phasmophobia, and I wish you great success in your future ghost hunting endeavors!

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