The duration of the setup phase depends on the difficulty:
In training, the game is always on setup phase.
Countdown of the setup phase is shown on the timer in the van above the computer, and will only begin when any entryway to the building is opened. During the setup phase, a player's sanity drop due to darkness is slower, the player's sanity cannot go below 50%, and the ghost cannot initiate a hunt on its own, regardless of its abilities. Other than these, the setup phase mostly does not change the ghost's behaviour or other game mechanics. When the time runs out, the ghost will be able to initiate a hunt, depending on the ghost type and the players' average sanity.
The setup phase can be ended early by activating or using any cursed possession.
- The setup time is valuable for newer players in setting up equipment, looking for evidences, and scouting hiding spots before the ghost is permitted to hunt.
- Having the setup phase end does not mean that the ghost will immediately begin hunting, as whether ghosts can hunt is generally dependent on whether the average team sanity is below a certain threshold. Most of the time, this threshold will not have been met by the time the setup phase ends.