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In Phasmophobia, the Hunt is a phase when the Ghost starts roaming around the location in order to kill a player. For the duration of the Hunt, lights in the Ghost Room will turn off, the Exit Door(s) will become locked and all electronic equipment in the vicinity will malfunction; this includes loss of the video feed on any nearby cameras and disruption of the Global chat (which will only transmit static noise). The Hunt ends when either the Ghost manages to kill a player, has been successfully prevented from doing so or has hunted for over a set period of time (in seconds — see below).

Requirements

A Ghost can only initiate a Hunt after the round's Setup Phase has ended; on Professional, this means that the Ghost can hunt as soon as sanity levels are sufficiently low. The Setup Phase can be ended early using a Ouija Board, which will end the phase early if the Ghost is angered by a question; this occurs roughly one third of the time.

Hunts will happen more often at lower Sanity levels. Hunt frequency is also influenced by the type of Ghost:

  • Demons are stated to hunt more often than any other Ghost type.
  • Mares hunt more often if the lights are turned off in the Ghost Room.
  • Yokais have a greater chance to hunt whenever players are speaking nearby.

If there is a Crucifix within a 3 meter range of the Ghost (or 5 meters for a Banshee) when it attempts to hunt, the Crucifix will stop the Ghost from hunting up to two times. You can identify if a Crucifix has been used if there is a piece of the side missing. After two uses, both sides of the Crucifix will be missing. Each time a Crucifix successfully blocks a Hunt, there is a 5-second delay before the Ghost will attempt to hunt again. The Crucifix itself can either be held by a player or dropped at a certain location. However, it will not affect the Ghost if a hunt has already started, as it can only prevent a hunt before it happens.

Lit Smudge Sticks can also prevent a hunt from occurring in the Ghost Room if they are brought or dropped there. They have no effect if the Ghost is roaming and starts hunting elsewhere. Activating the Sticks in proximity to the Ghost will cause it to wander for 5 seconds, giving players the chance to escape. Like the Crucifix, they will not stop a hunt which has already started.

Every time a Hunt has been successfully prevented, in addition to electrical surges stopping, you will hear a blowing breath "sigh" effect. The same effect is also heard if the Ghost has killed a nearby player (it is not heard by the victim who sees a choking animation instead).

How It Works

Difficulty Duration of Setup Phase Duration of Hunt
Amateur 5 minutes 25 seconds
Intermediate 2 minutes 35 seconds
Professional None 50 seconds

After the Setup Phase ends, the Ghost can initiate a Hunt at random. A Hunt is partially determined by the average of all player's sanity as well as the "hunting modifier" of a Ghost. Dead players do not count towards the average team sanity. Its chance to hunt follows the formula:

The possible hunting modifiers are as follows:

Ghost Condition Hunting Modifier
Demon Always 20
Mare Lights turned off at Ghost's room 10
Lights turned on at Ghost's room -10
  • When the Ghost's idle timer ends, there is a 50% chance to check for :
    • If is less than 50, the Ghost cannot initiate a Hunt.
    • If the resulting is between 50 and 75, the Ghost has a 16.6% (1/6) chance to initiate a Hunt.
    • Otherwise, if the resulting is equal to or greater than 75, the Ghost will instead have a 25% (1/4) chance to Hunt.
  • The activity level of a Ghost does not increase the chance of a Ghost initiating a Hunt. However, for the Hunt to start, at least one player must be inside the building when occurs. If nobody is inside the building at that time, Ghost Activity Monitor will show 10 for about a minute.

Note: The Banshee follows these rules ONLY if their target is outside. See Banshee for details if the target is inside the building.

When the Hunt starts, there is a 4-second "grace" period before the Ghost actually appears and starts chasing players. The Hunt will end shortly after the Ghost successfully kills a player or when time runs out. The Ghost will chase one player at a time in its line of sight, except the Banshee, who targets one specific player.

The ghost also has a 50% chance to remember where it last saw a player during the last hunt and will search that area in the next hunt. This includes players a ghost killed, making it unwise to hide where someone has died.

Provoking the Ghost

Certain player activity can provoke the Ghost to initiate a Hunt regardless of abovementioned statistics:

  • Saying the Ghost's name out loud several times while inside the building (whether you're in the Ghost Room or not)
  • Saying some trigger words like "die", "kill", "hunt", "fear", "afraid", "scared", etc.
  • Using the Ouija Board or the Spirit Box repeatedly
  • Taunting or insulting the Ghost

Dying


When the Ghost kills a player, grotesque hands will appear on the player's screen before they are teleported into an otherworldly room alone with the Ghost. The dead player will then return to their location with their entire screen covered in bright fog and cobwebs. Any items in the dead player's inventory will drop on the ground around them. Dead players are reportedly still able to see the Bone Evidence if it has not yet been picked up.

Attracting the Ghost

What attracts the Ghost
  • Being seen by the Ghost.
    • If the Ghost has seen you and has not switched to a different target thereafter, it is chasing you. In this case, hiding within an area where its eye contact with you can be made easy (such as a big room or a long hallway) is useless, as it will gain on you and kill you regardless. You must either try crossing several doors and hallways (if possible) before finding a hiding spot, or try to loop the Hunt (if the room you're both in allows it — see tips section below).
    • If the Ghost has stopped chasing you, you will hear the footsteps and the death rattle stop for a number of seconds (usually 5 to 10). This does not mean you're safe, but if you then hear footsteps and death rattle fade - then you might as well just be, because the Ghost has finished searching for you in a certain area and has moved away from your location to where it has originally spawned (or where it last saw another player active).
    • Certain places like windows or cell doors in Prison do not block its view of you, however the glass doors on Willow Street House will block line of sight.
  • Any noise through the microphone.
    • During the Hunt, Ghosts can hear players talking normally as close as 20 meters away and whispering as close as 10 meters. The Yokai is the only Ghost for whom both these parameters are equal at 10 meters of distance, however it can start a Hunt if players are talking around the same location, disregarding statistics.
    • Talking on a different floor than the Ghost (usually) bears no consequence to being heard or seen by it, as Ghosts do not travel through building partitions vertically, only horizontally.
    • In singleplayer the Ghost can always hear you but in multiplayer it will only hear you when pressing the push to talk button, or if you have open mic enabled.
  • Electronic equipment.
    • The Ghost will be attracted by any electronic equipment held by players within 8 metres of it during a hunt, considering the distance your electronics will flicker is 10 metres from the Ghost, there is a small window where you can turn off your equipment without the Ghost noticing. Items that do not make any noise such as flashlights or thermometers will still attract the Ghost. Do not forget to turn off or put away any electronic equipment when hiding to not inadvertently attract the Ghost, you can also drop equipment on the floor and the Ghost will not be attracted to it. (Note: prior to v0.3.0 - August Update Patch - electronic equipment, even the one that made noise, was NOT attracting the Ghost in any way.)
What does NOT attract the Ghost
  • Footsteps;
  • Door, closet and locker noises;
  • Electronics on the floor, even when enabled;
  • Crucifixes on the floor (not held);
  • Lit Smudge Sticks;
  • Candles and Glowsticks, even when they're lit;
  • The static from the global chat radio.

Chase Mechanics

Once it spots a player, the Ghost will chase after them until it either kills them or loses line-of-sight. It will check locations that are near where it last saw the player it was chasing in order to find them again. There is no maximum distance at which the Ghost can see the player. Caution should be taken in long hallways during a hunt as the player might not notice the Ghost coming at him from the very end of the hallway.

Non-Revenant ghosts become increasingly faster as they chase a player, and loses this speed over time when line-of-sight is broken; if line-of-sight is broken twice in quick succession, they return to their default speed. Additionally, Hantu are faster in colder rooms (1.8 m/s), and slower in hotter rooms(1 m/s). The player walks at 1.5 m/s and can sprint at 3 m/s for 3 seconds with a 5-second cooldown. The Ghost has a maximum speed of 2 m/s, however, unlike the player it doesn't have to open doors in order to pass through them and certain types of Ghosts can "teleport" through the walls.

Surviving a Hunt

The Hunt mechanics were changed in the most recent patch. The strategies below need to be re-verified and likely also altered.

Investigators can survive the Hunt in several ways:

  1. Hiding in a room or closet and closing the door.
    • After the Ghost room has been located, the player should plan an escape route to a hiding location, such as a locker or behind a large piece of furniture to not be taken by surprise in the event of a hunt. Sometimes, more than one route should be planned in case the Ghost happens to be initiating a hunt in the way of the player's escape.
    • All Ghosts can pass through doors as if they do not exist; they only serve as line-of-sight blockers. Ghosts can open closets and lockers during a hunt. Holding the closet/locker door closed can prevent the Ghost from opening it, however holding room doors has no effect.
      • Impromptu hiding spots can be made with doors that open into a room by fully opening the door and hiding behind it (this should only be used as last resort and is very risky).
      • When hiding inside a room with no closets or lockers, try to use its environment to the fullest and also hide behind furniture, as it could give you about 5-10% more chance of survival. Standing in the middle of the room or opposite to the entrance wall has about 80% chance of dying even if the Ghost is out of sight.
    • Lockers and closets are safer than isolated side rooms because you holding room doors shut cannot save you and is totally pointless. The Ghost will only go inside a locker or a closet when it has direct sight of you (i.e. the door has been opened and it had time to choke you before you could close it back). Ghosts will try opening these doors periodically, meaning that at this point you have to hold them shut until they stop hunting.
    • All Ghosts have a small chance to open both closet doors at the same time during a hunt. It will open both doors if it can hear you, and know where you are. Hold both doors shut is better done by two players hiding in the same spot.
    • All Ghosts can hear players if they speak during a hunt, regardless of their hiding spots, and will follow the location of the player's voice. In singleplayer, the ghost will always hear the player.
      • If players keep talking inside a locker or closet and the Ghost knows they are in there, it will fully open both closet or locker doors on its second attempt, even if the doors are being grabbed shut. However, you can shut them back if you're quick enough. Once again, this is better done by two players at once.
    • Holding doors shut will prevent the ghost from interacting and opening them, but it will not prevent the ghost walking through them.
  2. Hiding behind furniture.
    • Almost all furniture blocks line-of-sight between the player and the Ghost, meaning that there are much more possible hiding spots than a closet or distant side room. This fact is especially important on Willow Street House, a map which specializes in using the present furniture for cover. As a general rule of thumb, if the head of the character can remain hidden (as the Ghost will target the player model's head when searching for victims) it should be a viable hiding spot. Be aware though that the Ghost has a 50% chance of remembering where it last saw the player during the previous hunt and search this area when starting the next hunt; the player may need to change its hiding spot multiple times during a mission.
      • Every Ghost has the same view height regardless of their size or posture. This means crawling ghost models can still see the player if they crouch behind low furniture such as coffee tables or beds; In the same manner, all player models stand at about 5ft6 and crouch at about 3ft.
      • It is also important to remember that the width of spaces between furniture can play a role in better hiding, as when the Ghost moves its perspective of the room will change and you may be revealed horizontally (instead of vertically). So, the narrower the gap between furniture, the better.
      • Generally speaking, furniture elements with no collisions such as curtains or plants will not hide the player from the Ghost.
  3. Lighting a Smudge Stick near the Ghost, while not ending a Hunt, will cause the Ghost to stop chasing and wander for 5 seconds before resuming. Beware that the ghost can still wander in the direction that it was pursuing, making it lock back onto its original target provided it can still see them. The Ghost will also be unable to kill you in this duration allowing you to freely walk through it, this can be useful if you get trapped in a room with the Ghost and cannot hide or go around it.
      • Remember that a single set of Smudge Sticks can only be used once and will only repel the Ghost once. Trying to light them again won't work and keeping them in your hand after they've burnt out is pointless.
      • If lit Smudge Sticks are dropped on the ground during a Hunt, the Ghost will be repelled by the 3-meter area around them for exactly the same duration.
  4. Running.
    • Although survival rates are low if a player is caught out in the open with no hiding places nearby, it is still possible to outrun most Ghosts without sprinting at the start of the hunt. This should only be used to escape to a safe location, and not your only strategy, as the Ghost will quickly catch up to the player in a foot race.
    • Use the sprint ability strategically, as it will only allow the player to outrun every Ghost for 3 seconds before requiring a 5-second cooldown. It can either be used whenever a Hunt starts to gain a head start on the Ghost to quickly reach a hiding location or to quickly break line of sight if the Ghost happens to spot the player during a Hunt.
      • The player should refrain from sprinting around the Ghost Room, especially large, vast rooms to not be caught off-guard if a Hunt suddenly starts.
    • The Revenant is the only ghost that can outrun the player completely at normal walk speed. The Jinn moves faster to catch up, but at 3 meters, holds the same pace as you for a moment, before gaining more speed, making it more dangerous as hunt progresses without breaking line of sight. When facing a Revenant or a Jinn, the player should use their sprint ability to quickly break line of sight and from there reach a hiding spot while the Ghost still has to catch up to the player's last seen location.
    • Against slower Ghosts, breaking line of sight by turning corners and closing doors can help to escape. A player must be ready to either run or hide the moment the Ghost starts a hunt.
      • The Ghost will follow your last seen location—instead of wandering away—when breaking line of sight. This means turning one corner may not be enough to be safe.
    • It is also possible to exploit the location's geometry and furnishings to run in loops, especially where the sight line of the Ghost can be broken (e.g. doors and corners, or by crouching behind a large piece of furnishing such as cars or kitchen islands). One zone where this strategy function is Grafton Farmhouse, in which one will loop from the Dining Room to the Kitchen to the Foyer Loop, taking advantage of the speed fall-off after the Ghost loses line-of-sight twice in short succession by closing doors on it.

Tips for Surviving a Hunt Based on Map Size

On smaller maps:

  • Active EMF readers left around the Ghost Room can make for a good "early warning signal" for far away players, as they will give out a series of random tones during a Hunt when the Ghost is in the vicinity. (Prior to v0.3.0 - August Update Patch - EMF was a bad indicator for the Ghost's location as it would malfunction no matter where the Ghost was during Hunts and would have given totally random readings.)
  • Turning enough corners has a chance of causing the Ghost to lose track of you and to stop chasing you.
    • As mentioned previously, the Ghost will go to the location where it last saw you and start searching around it.
    • After turning enough corners, take the opportunity to hide, preferably inside a locker or a closet (the smaller the hiding spot is - the smaller there is a chance for the Ghost to come in, provided you don't do anything that attracts it). But remember: having 2 or more players hide in the same spot increases the risk of the Ghost coming in there, even if they're not talking and have their electronic devices turned off, because it narrows down the Ghost's potential search area.
    • Sprinting is especially useful on those maps as the player can easily break line of sight and reach a hiding spot with a single run.
  • Players must remain silent since the Ghost can hear players during hunts and go to their location. Yokai, although cannot hear you as well, can still hear you provided you are speaking loud enough and are within range.
  • Electronic equipment must be turned off or put away after reaching a suitable hiding location to not attract the Ghost, including flashlights.
  • It is possible to run around in circles on the first floor of Grafton Farmhouse. It is also possible to run around on the kitchen counter or around the car while remaining crouched in the garage in certain maps. This is called "looping the hunt".
  • If you're not playing alone, try splitting up once the Ghost knows the general area you're in. This would prevent it from searching in restricted areas and lower the chance of finding out your hiding spot.

On larger maps:

  • When Sanity levels are low, tap the global chat key from time to time, especially when far away from the Ghost Room. Whenever a Ghost Hunt starts, the global chat radio will give out static, alerting the player that it is time to hide and turn off any electronic equipment!
  • Assuming that you do not get cornered, the only Ghost in the game that will be able to catch you at regular speed during the early parts of a chase is the Revenant.
    • You walk a little bit faster than all but two Ghosts; the Jinn is the only Ghost other than the Revenant that can catch up to you, but unlike a Revenant, a Jinn will slows down to Ghost's default speed when it gets close enough to you.
  • Sprinting at key moments may pull out the player from difficult situations, especially if the Ghost happens to be a Revenant or a Jinn. Sprinting can be used to gain ground on the Ghost to get out of its sight and have a little time to hide or break line of sight again (i.e, when nearing a corner or a door). Remember that the sprint ability has a 5-second cooldown, sprinting at the wrong moment can prove to be fatal to the player.
  • Knowing the layout of Brownstone High School, Prison, and Asylum, specifically knowing how to avoid dead ends or vast, empty areas while running (such as by running circles around the map) will allow you to not get caught by every Ghost except for the Revenant, which is why it is considered the most dangerous Ghost on these maps.
  • Whether a player is standing or crouching, they will walk and sprint at the same speed. The same is true whether the player is running forwards or backwards (or even running backwards while crouched).
  • The closer you are to the Ghost, the more intense your heartbeat gets.

Identifying a Ghost by its Hunting patterns

Taking a photo of a Phantom with the Photo Camera will make the Phantom disappear, but it will not stop a Hunt or end a manifestation (the ghost will continue to manifest, as evidenced by the sounds that it will continue to make, although it will become invisible after a photo is taken). Phantoms are also known to disappear for longer than other Ghost's during hunts, and can be identified based on the time in-between each blink. Phantoms will flash every 1-2 seconds, while other Ghost's flash every 0.3-1 second.

At the start of a Hunt, a Banshee will wander to a location close to its target (if its target is not outside), so the Ghost starting a Hunt near a player and far away from its Ghost Room may indicate that it is a Banshee. However, Ghosts are allowed to 'wander' away from their Ghost Room (which happens especially-often at the start of the game, before the first Hunt) so such an occurrence is not a guarantee that the Ghost is a Banshee. If the Ghost responds to the Spirit Box then this indicates that the Ghost is within a few meters of it. Such information (as well as other information like seeing items being moved in a particular room) can be used to more confidently conclude that the Ghost did in fact teleport far away and consequently, that it may in fact be a Banshee.

Sanity and Hunts

As of the current patch, average sanity is calculated from all alive players, whether inside or outside the building. It is possible to prevent all but the most aggressive Ghost types from ever hunting by keeping the average sanity above the threshold. This can be achieved by having only a single player enter a building while the other players (in a group of three or four) stay in the van to preserve their sanity at 100%. Note that if the Ghost is a Banshee, the target player must be outside for this trick to work. Note that whenever a player dies, the average Sanity will drop by 25%.

Trivia

  • Hunts do not count toward witnessing a Ghost Event.
  • The maximum distance a player can hear ghost footsteps during a hunt is 20 meters, adjusted for volume fall-off. Starting at 10 meters its croaking voice ("death rattle") will be heard and the heart will begin pounding if the Ghost sees you.
  • When a Hunt is complete the ghost will be teleported back to its favourite room.
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