Phasmophobia – Guide to All Items (How It Works)

A description of the items in Phasmophobia and how exactly they work.

Items Guide

All credit goes to h4mx0r | natchan! PROFESSIONAL!

EMF Reader

This is the little white remote control looking thing. It detects the area a few feet directly in front of you. If there is any ghost activity in this area, the EMF reader will give off a continuous beep and a strength reading on the LED lights. If you see the ghost interact with an object, you can wave the EMF reader over it get a reading.

Ghosts that give off EMF 5 readings will not always give off a 5. They often need to be provoked to get the 5 result. Please keep in mind that if you do get an EMF 5, it doesn’t necessarily mean the ghost is about to attack, but often times it is pretty agitated by that point and may manifest itself.

Flashlight (and Strong Flashlight)

The Flashlight is self-explanatory. The Strong Flashlight is simply a direct upgrade. You can bring 4 of each. For KB+M players, the default button to activate the flashlight when not in your active slot is ‘T’. This only works if the flashlight is in your inventory.

Normal Flashlight:

Strong Flashlight:

As you can see, the strong flashlight is noticeably better. It’s not a requirement to have but increases in value as the maps get bigger.

You cannot carry both a regular and strong flashlight at the same time.

Tip: You can turn on flashlights that are just laying around. All flashlights will flicker during a hunt, meaning you can leave extra flashlights around the house to act as a warning signal in the dark. Especially if you opt to not carry one because your hands are full with something else.

Photo Camera

A standard digital photo camera. Each camera has 5 shots of film. You can bring up to 3 of them.

The main purpose of the photo camera is to get you more money. There are many things you can take a photo of for cash. You can check the last few pages of your Journal to see the photos taken so far in an investigation. If a photo counts for money, it will be labeled with a category like “Fingerprints” or “Ghost”. If it is unlabeled then the game did not count it as anything.

Keep in mind that sometimes taking a photo is a little fickle, so check your Journal to see if the photo registered as anything.

If you are alone and trying to take a photo of fingerprints, you just need to illuminate it with a UV light and then quickly switch to the photo camera to take a photo. There is an in-game cooldown to when you saw the fingerprints so it’ll let you register it as a photo.

Short list of things you can take a photo of:

  • Fingerprints.
  • Footprints.
  • Interactions (ghost activities like ringing a phone or shutting a door).
  • Oujia Boards.
  • Voodoo Dolls (these appear on Farmhouse and are labeled as Interaction).
  • Dead Body (a player who was killed by the ghost).
  • Ghost (The shadow of the ghost can be enough).
  • Bone.
  • Dirty Water.

The camera can also be used to ward off the Phantom-type ghost. Taking a photo of it will cause it to disappear. It is the only ghost that is sensitive to photos.

If your funds allow it, I recommend bringing the maximum number of photo cameras, as this will let your team be able to take lots of photos and minimize the chance of missing the ghost.


The lighter offers a meager amount of illumination. It’s main purpose is to light candles and smudge sticks.

Light candles and smudge sticks with ‘F’ once the lighter is activated. Alternatively if it’s in your inventory, you can light candles or smudge sticks in your active inventory slot.

Doesn’t really serve any other purpose.


A decent source of illumination. It doesn’t have the range of a flashlight but gives off a warm glow around you.

The candle will never extinguish in your hand, but if you drop it on the floor it can be blown out over time. You can relight it with a lighter or another lit candle.

The candle has a unique property where it prevents/slows sanity drain in the dark as long as you are holding the candle in your active slot.

UV Light

The UV Light works just like a flashlight but gives off a purple light instead of white. It’s usually good enough to help you navigate the darkness, but unlike a regular flashlight, you cannot use it as a shoulder light with ‘T’.

The main purpose is to reveal ghost fingerprints and footprints.

UV Lights will also flicker during a hunt, so it can ask as a warning system much like regular flashlights.


The Crucifix’s main purpose is to prevent the ghost from entering it’s hunting phase.

It cannot stop a hunt once it has begun.

If the hunt has begun (flickering lights, ghost stomping/flying/coming at you) the crucifix will do nothing to protect you. Some people have claimed it to help but they are often confusing a hunt with the ghost manifesting for a scare.

Here is how the crucifix works:

  • The crucifix has a range of 3 meters for most ghosts, and 5 meters for the Banshee.
  • The ghost is roaming around randomly in the house at all times, but generally stays near the ghost room.
  • When the ghost initiates the hunt, it checks to see if it’s in range of a crucifix. If yes, the hunt does not begin and the ghost keeps doing whatever it was doing.
  • If the ghost is out of range of the crucifix (perhaps chilling in an adjacent room), it can initiate a hunt, and you must evade and/or hide.

The best way to use the crucifix is to drop it on the floor in the center of the ghost room. If the room is too large (for example on High School), you can drop two crucifixes in the room and space them out for maximum coverage.

Some people report that they like to carry the crucifix out in front of them and that it’s worked in their hands before. Personally I have not been able to confirm this and find it very ineffective. However, if it works, it’s probably still not a good idea and this is why:

Holding the crucifix out means you have one less hand to be holding something more useful like Smudge Sticks or a Photo Camera.

Because the ghost is not technically rooted to one spot, and you’re probably walking around all the time, it is fairly easy for the ghost to start a hunt outside of your crucifix range. Once again, if a hunt begins, your crucifix will do nothing to stop it. You are better off denying certain areas so the ghost cannot spawn in those spots.

Crucifixes can only prevent two hunts each, meaning if you bring two Crucifixes, you can prevent a maximum of FOUR hunts. When a crucifix is fully expended, it will disappear. If the crucifix disappears, and you confirm nobody picked it up, it’s time to leave or get ready to hide.

Video Camera (and Tripod)

A standard video camera with NightVision capabilities. Can be mounted on a Tripod (sold separately). You can bring up to 6 video cameras and 5 tripods.

The tripod is useful as it lets you place the camera at a good height no matter where you want to place it in the room.

Don’t forget to turn on the video camera after placing it by left clicking on it or pressing F while holding it (The red light means it’s off. Green light means it’s on.).

Holding left click will spin the camera before you place it so you can angle it the way you want.

Place it in corners or on cabinet shelves for a good angle of the room you want to monitor. Ghost Orbs will only show up in night vision. Make sure to turn off the lights when you leave or are monitoring.

Tip: You can place a video camera on the floor in front of an EMF reader or Ghost Writing Book to monitor them safely from your truck. The EMF reader option works but may not be as effective since the ghost may not be doing things next to it.

Spirit Box

The little black radio looking thing. Lets you talk to ghosts.

Technically you can talk to the ghost whenever you want, but you won’t get a verbal response unless you have the Spirit Box on you.

For the Spirit Box to work, you need to meet these requirements:

  • Make sure your Voice Recognition is working in the audio settings.
  • Make sure the lights are off in the room you are attempting to use it in.
  • Check the whiteboard in the truck: does the ghost respond to everyone or people who are alone?
  • Make sure it’s turned on (there are numbers on the screen).

The number frequency on the screen is meaningless. It just shows that the spirit box is scanning every frequency. If you speak into it and the screen changes to “Nothing Detected” that means the ghost has heard your question but did not have an answer. If nothing happens to the spirit box then the ghost did not hear you.

If the ghost responds through the spirit box it will come in the form of a monotone robotic male voice. Generally what it says will not be of importance, just the fact that it talked to you is good enough for evidence.

Only ghosts with Spirit Box as a piece of evidence will respond.


A bottle (can?) of salt. You can bring up to 2.

Each bottle/can of salt lets you place three piles of salt each. Place them at choke points around the suspected ghost room. Ideally at door ways, but if you have extra salt you can set them in hallways too.

If the ghost steps on it, it will create a foot print which you can snap for money. Wraiths don’t leave footprints on salt.

Wraith specific: Salt helps to antagonize the wraith, causing more ghost activity, which will eventually help you get more out of it. (I got this information from a moderator on Phasmophobia discord)

Smudge Sticks

Smudge Sticks are a defensive item against ghosts. You can bring up to 4 of them. You need a lighter in your inventory to activate with the default button of ‘F’

Here is how they work as of the current version:

  • When a hunt begins, if you use the Smudge Sticks, it will briefly *confuse* the ghost for a few seconds, which buys you precious time to find a hiding spot or evade the ghost.
  • It does not end the hunt (this was the function in older versions of the game and is obsolete).
  • Using smudge sticks before a hunt begins might delay the ghost a little bit from starting a hunt, but I have yet to confirm that.

There is also sometimes an optional objective to use smudge sticks near the ghost. You must activate a set of smudge sticks IN the ghost room and walk around a bit (I like to start in the ghost room, wave it around, and hit the adjacent rooms just in case). It’s also a great way to confirm you have located the ghost room.

Motion Sensor

A wall-mounted motion sensor. You can bring up to 4.

If a ghost or player passes in front of it, the light will turn green. When it detects movement, it will notify the truck with a beep, and the indicator on the map will change color briefly. It has the range of approximately a doorway.

I recommend putting it facing inside the room instead of a doorway. It tends to pick up ghosts better if they’re concentrated in the room.

Sound Sensor

These little white boxes are the sound sensors. You can bring up to 4 of them. Place them on a wall and it will cover a large area of the house (You can see the area it covers on the map in the truck).

It can detect sounds through walls, so it will cover the entire area.

It can detect player sounds, so keep in mind if players are messing around in the affected area.

If you place them around the map and one of the sensors is picking up the most noise, you can use that to narrow your search for the ghost room. If none of the sensors are picking up any noise, you can perhaps exclude those areas from your search.

Tip: The Sound Sensor chart will display the name of the rooms that the sound sensor is placed in. This can be useful to identify which room they detecting. However, maps like High School just call all the class rooms “Class Room #” and none of the rooms are actually labeled. Because of this, it may be easier to place some of them in hallways or bathrooms or offices, to help differentiate the labels.


It’s a point and detect thermometer! Just point it where you want to test the temperature and you can see the temps! You can change between Fahrenheit and Celsius in your game settings.

To get an accurate reading, enter the room you want to check, and just point it at a few different surfaces in the room. (Point it around the room a bit because the temps might fluctuate a little)

I personally use Celsius, so normal room temps will be anything around 14C and above. If you can find a consistent reading of 13C and BELOW, you have most likely located the ghost room or are right next to it.

The Thermometer may actually be the best detection tool in the initial search. EMF readers may not initially detect anything if the ghost doesn’t interact, Spirit Box may not respond, and there may not yet be fingerprints for the UV light. Bring an assortment with your team anyways though.

Tip: You don’t need a Thermometer to detect Freezing Temperatures. If you stand in the ghost room for a bit and can see your own breath, that is a solid indicator that you are in freezing temps. (Make sure no one is waving around a smudge stick, because I’ve seen people mistaken that for freezing temps. They have the same smoke/breath effect)

Sanity Pills

Restores 40% sanity when consumed. Disappears after being consumed.

You can bring up to 4 of them.

Ghost Writing Book

A book for ghosts to write in! You can bring up to 2.

Sometimes the ghost won’t immediately write on these, but just place them in the room early on and go about your business. At some point, the ghost may write in it for evidence. What the ghost writes or draws in it is random.

Tip: Place the book somewhere where a video camera can see it. That way you can safely verify ghost writing from the comfort of your truck.

Infrared Light Sensor

Basically a cheaper motion sensor.

It does not relay any information back to the truck. It does not count for the motion sensor optional objective.

It gives a bright blue illumination when triggered by movement near it, by both players and ghosts.

Parabolic Microphone

It’s a long-distance microphone that can hear through walls. When it picks up sound, the number on the screen will rise. The higher the number the louder it is. You can use this on larger maps like High School to catch subtle noises in a direction. This may help you find the ghost room.

It’s no guarantee though. If the ghost isn’t moving stuff around, it’s not going to pick up any noises.


The glowstick doubles as a little bit of illumination and as a UV light. You can only bring 2 of them.

Glowsticks have infinite duration and do not ever burn out.

You can use glowsticks as a UV light to check for fingerprints. You need to get pretty close to the surface to check. While a UV flashlight is easier to use, glowsticks work in a pinch if you happen to have one on/near you.

Glowsticks are very useful in larger maps like Asylum and High School since they do not burn out. You can drop them at certain locations to mark important areas of interest. Here are some ways I’ve used them:

  • Mark the doorway with the power box. When power goes out, this will make it easier to locate the power box in the pitch black.
  • Mark the pathway leading from the ghost room to the truck. Sometimes the ghost room is very far away and you need to make several twists and turns to get there. The glow stick helps ensure you don’t get lost.
  • Mark the ghost room to easily locate it out of all the identical looking rooms.

Head Mounted Camera

It’s a video camera mounted on the wearer’s head. There’s not much to say about this. Works exactly the same as the regular video cameras except it moves with the player. It’s not terribly useful because a moving camera is sometimes hard to watch. Generally a camera and tripod is much easier to watch (and safer).

You can probably have someone wear it and go camp in a room trying to get the ghost to appear.

Still, if you’re overflowing with cash then you can bring these for fun. It is an extra camera after all.

Ouija Board

In-game spawn. Cannot be bought.

Works very similarly to the Spirit Box. If it answers you, it will slowly move from letter to letter to spell out a word.

If it answers you (a successful question) you will also suffer a penalty to your sanity, so be careful.

When it lights up (use it with F) it is ready to hear your question. If the light goes out, then it heard your question but did not have an answer.

Must be used in the house.

Does not need to be in the darkness.

30% chance to spawn in the house. Look for it in cabinets, drawers, closets, corners, etc. Does not guarantee it is a demon.

Voodoo Doll

In-game spawn. Cannot be bought. Specific to farmhouse stages

These can be found on the Farmhouse stages. They usually spawn on tables or footlockers.

They… do things. Everything surrounding these is currently a rumor. The most popular rumor is that carrying it makes you a prime target for the ghost… but once again it is merely a rumor. Feel free to experiment and report back what you find on the Voodoo Dolls.

One thing I do know is that you can snap a photo of them for “Interaction” money. You may have to move them first to get the photo to count (Also they have weird collision when they are dropped on the floor so they might bounce around a lot).


What Happens to My Items at the End of an Investigation?

It depends on the outcome.

If you die:

  • On Amateur: you are refunded 50% value of the items you contributed via Insurance.
  • On Intermediate: you receive 25% value.
  • On Professional: you get nothing back.

If you did not die and leave in the van, regardless of a successful investigation, you keep everything you brought with you.

If you disconnect from the game, you lose everything.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13928 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.


  1. For the Head-Mounted Camera, VR players can take them off by pulling them off their heads (not sure how my friends say ‘just grab’. Hope this helps. Also, we keep noticing that they sometimes turn off, not sure if it’s ghost activity or it’s an actual part of the game

  2. For the glowsticks: I heard from a stream that they can also reveal the foot steps of the ghost (like how the UV reveals fingerprints) and wanted to try and confirm to see if anyone else has seen that or if that needs to get added to the guide.

    But on another note thank you so much for actually making this guide! There have been so many rumors and misinformation spread around about the items that I’m glad that this source was made so I know how to actually use everything effeciently for maximum hunting B)

  3. Non-VR players can remove a head-mounted camera by aiming at one of the hooks in the car and pressing “F”/Secondary Use button.

    Keep in mind that head-mounted cameras remain ‘on’ after they’re unequipped, so you still have to tab through them on the camera list.

  4. I also recommend this, which is 3 photo cameras with 5 shots each (15 total pictures able to be taken), but make sure you don’t take more than 10 photos, as any further photos will not be logged for the “photos” section of the money breakdown. Although, you can still use the last 5 shots to get the photo objectives done, such as dirty sink and photo of ghost (needs to be further tested if objectives are actually being counted, money for these shots are definitely not being counted), they just won’t be added to you total photo value at game end.

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