Phasmophobia – Basic Tips for Nightmare Mode Gameplay

Phasmophobia – Basic Tips for Nightmare Mode Gameplay 1 -
Phasmophobia – Basic Tips for Nightmare Mode Gameplay 1 -

Tips to help players go into nightmare mode and decipher which ghost you have. As well as some general nightmare mode tips to prolong your life.


There has been quite a lot of discussion about the new nightmare mode, a lot of misinformation, ill-informed players, and others that don’t offer any real help. The goal I seek to achieve is to hopefully explain certain ghost behavior, traits, abilities, and tells. Along with it give a detailed list of every possible combination of ghosts you can get with two evidence pieces. If we understand how the ghosts work and which ones can be tested for then we can alleviate some of the current problems with nightmare.

First and foremost, the wiki is your friend in nightmare. – []

This is where I will primarily be drawing most of my information from. Playing in nightmare will requrie a bit of metagame knowledge, or at the very least knowing it will make playing in nightmare all that much easier. So I suggest that if you haven’t, you should look through it as it contains quite a bit of useful information about the game systems.

Nightmare Mode

As stated in game, the nightmare difficulty does the following.

  • Ghosts will hide one type of evidence
  • The ghost’s room will sometimes change
  • No setup time
  • Short hunt grace period
  • Long hunt duration
  • Kills increase hunt duration
  • Sanity pills restore much less sanity
  • Fuse box starts off
  • Almost no hiding places

The first and second points are probably the most important to pay attention to here. The ghost will only give you two pieces of evidence on nightmare, and it will change its favorite room quite a bit. Meaning you will have to rely on secondary information about ghosts AND you will have to find your evidence while the ghost is not only roaming, but also changing its room. Because of these two facts you should NEVER eliminate any evidence you have in the journal. Due to the fact that there is always a missing evidence, you will never know which one is the hidden one. Once you have chased the ghost down, and found the two pieces you need is where the next part of nightmare kicks in.

Before we go on to that, a few things to note that isn’t directly told to you in game. Due to the new patch, a few things have changed, you may have noticed them already, but for the sake of clarity I’ll list them as well.

  • Fingerprints last only 60 seoncds AND are not 100% guaranteed to spawn
  • Ghost events now effect all your electronics, meaning they will resemble a hunt
  • On nightmare, your sanity and activity board is disabled
  • The fuse box does not appear on the truck map screen
  • Weather is a slight difficulty modifier, and can change every map
  • Ouija board has been altered, a correct question hurts your sanity more than a failure.
  • All ghost’s base speed and acceleration when chasing a player has been slightly increased
  • Ghost hunt duration has been lowered on small and medium maps


Primary Evidence

So there are 20 combinations of 2 evidence for nightmare. This is what I’ve put together as I understand their abilities from streamers talking about them, the wiki, and personal observations. Of those 20, there are 6 combinations that have trouble being solved in solo. The rest can be eliminated or proven fairly reliably even if one of the problem ghosts is in their grouping; thanks to the way their secondary evidence works. Use of candles, lights, smudges, cams, sensors, speed tests, activity, ect will solve every other combination.

I will be defining them based on their paired evidence below.

The combinations are as follows:

EMF Reader = R

Fingerprints = F

Ghost Writing = W

Freezing Temperatures = T

D.O.T.S Projector = P

Ghost Orb = O

Spirit Box = B

  • R+F = Myling / Obake / Jinn / Goryo
  • R+W = Spirit / Myling / Shade
  • R+T = Jinn / Shade / Oni / The Twins
  • R+P = Raiju / Wraith / Oni / Goryo
  • R+O = Raiju / Obake
  • R+B = Spirit / Wraith / The Twins
  • F+W = Poltergeist / Demon / Myling
  • F+T = Demon / Hantu / Jinn
  • F+P = Banshee / Phantom / Goryo
  • F+O = Banshee / Hantu / Obake
  • F+B = Poltergeist / Phantom
  • W+T = Demon / Revenant / Shade
  • W+O = Mare / Revenant
  • W+B = Spirit / Poltergeist / Mare
  • T+P = Yurei / Oni
  • T+O = Revenant / Yurei / Hantu / Onryo
  • T+B = Onryo / The Twins
  • P+O = Yokai / Raiju / Banshee / Yurei
  • P+B = Yokai / Wraith / Phantom
  • O+B = Mare / Yokai / Onryo


Secondary Evidence

Now that was a whole lot, so let me explain what I mean when I say they can be solved. Each ghost has a secondary evidence, traits unique to them. Traits that are supposed to help the investigators determine the ghost they are dealing with if they should have trouble finding evidence in normal gameplay. Knowing these traits, and how they work is VITAL to playing nightmare. Thus I have provided all that I can think of below to show how I come to the conclusions that I do.

My basic description works, but if you want to know more about them then I encourage you to check it out!


  • Can target a single player to cause an early hunt. Will target one specific player, and attack only them if they are in the house.


  • Can hunt at 70% sanity, and Ouija board responses have a lesser effect on your sanity.


  • Can only be seen on DOTS through a camera if no one is nearby, will rarely move far from its favorite room.


  • Moves faster in the cold, moves slower in the heat.


  • Travels faster if you are far away, and turning off the fuse box will disable its ability. The ghost will NOT turn the fuse box off. (Lights blowing the fuse box is different.)


  • If the room the Mare STARTS a hunt from is dark, it can hunt at 60% sanity. If the room is fully lit by all lights within, it cannot hunt till 40% sanity. Likewise the Mare will NOT turn on lights.


  • Mylings will give more whisper sound effects when you use a parabolic microphone. During a hunt their footsteps can only be heard from a close distance. If they are far away from you, you will see your flashlight flicker a bit before you hear their footsteps.


  • Rarely leaves a trace when interacting with the environment, sometimes leaves behind unique evidence. Such as a claw shaped hand print.


  • The more players nearby, the more active it is, and the more easily identified it is. Can throw objects a great distance farther than other ghosts.


  • Throwing a lit candle on the ground near the ghost will anger it and cause it to hunt, is afraid of sustained flames and will be less aggressive if you carry a candle.


  • Phantoms will ‘blink’ slower during a hunt, making them much harder to see. Taking a photo of it will cause it to disappear in the photograph and turn invisible briefly.


  • Can throw multiple objects at once.


  • Moves faster near electrical devices, but constantly disrupts electronics.


  • If they spot you during a hunt they will sprint towards you, without a target they will move very slowly.


  • Is harder to find and get evidence for, if multiple people are around it is less likely to hunt.


  • Smudging near a spirit outside of a hunt will add 3 minutes of time before the spirit can hunt again, which is double that of other ghosts.

The Twins

  • The Twins usually interact with multiple objects at the same time, sometimes in separate rooms, but they are for more aggressive and hunt more often.


  • Wraiths will step in salt, but will not leave any footprints. Stepping in salt also makes them more active, they may also randomly teleport to the player.


  • Talking near it will anger it and can cause it to attack you, during a hunt however they track players from a significantly shorter distance.


  • Smudging it inside a room prevents it from wandering for 90s, has a random chance to lower sanity of players.


Some Examples

Now that’s a lot of information, especially with all the combinations of ghosts you could have. How could they all but 6 be solved you ask? Well, let me show you.

Let’s see, our first example…

“R+W = Spirit / Myling / Shade”

Knowing what we know about these ghosts, how can we figure out which is which? Particularly in solo. First of all, as a solo player we are going to throw Shade out the window for now. We cannot test for this on our own. But, we can test the other two. With proper sanity management through both pills and holding candles we can get all our evidence before ever being hunted. Once we have been hunted once, and we know where the current ghost room is, we can grab a smudge and lighter to lock the ghost out of hunting for a time. You don’t even need to use a timer for this either, the handheld video camera has a clock on it.

This is best done at low sanity to increase the chance of hunts. Once you are ready you should get hunted, and either run or hide till the end of the hunt. After it concludes head straight to the ghost room, and smudge where you know it will be. Now have your timer ready, once 90s have passed you need to pay attention. If it does not hunt for the next 90s you can congratulate yourself. You’re dealing with a Spirit.

Alternatively, if it hunts before 3 minutes have passed then you either have a Myling or a Shade. On to step two. To test a Myling all you need to do is grab a flashlight and get the hell away from it as it hunts. Throw the flashlight on the ground in front of your hiding spot while it’s still on, once the Myling gets close you’ll see the flashlight start to flicker, however; you will not hear footsteps for a few more moments. If it works then congrats, it’s indeed a Myling. If you have tried both methods, and neither worked, then also congrats. You found out it is a Shade.

(You could also try the parabolic to test a Myling, but that method is less reliable.)

Okay that one was easy, so let’s try something a little harder…

“W+B = Spirit / Poltergeist / Mare”

Well we already know what to do with Spirit, so let’s move straight to Mare as Poltergeist can be… difficult. Easiest way to do this one is to just keep track of the lights during the job, did any ever get turned on by the ghost? Then it simply cannot be a Mare, do your Spirit test and see what you get. Now if no lights have been turned on we’re either going to have to wait and observe to see if any do, or we’re going to have to get a little crafty. Mares can hunt early, if the room is dark they will hunt you sooner than the other two here. “But I can’t see my sanity!?!” indeed, that is unfortunate, but we have another trick to try.

Candles are great, while holding a lit one you will not have any passive sanity drain, while next to one your sanity drains pretty slowly. You can use this to your advantage by turning off all the lights and waiting next to a lit candle on the ground till the ghost hunts. Grab the sucker and book it to a safe spot, once the hunt is over it’s time to move out. We need to turn on every light in a 5 mile radius of the ghost room, make sure to keep that candle lit in your hand. Once done make sure to keep your eyes and ears open, if it turns off any light around its ghost room you need to flip it back on. (make sure not to turn TOO many on or you’ll blow the breaker) Try your best to stay alert and watch out for a hunt. If you kept that candle on you, and it starts a hunt in a lit room, and you haven’t had any other reason to have lost 10%+ sanity then you got yourself a Poltergeist.

If you’re just not that sure after all this, and you’re out of pills and sanity, there’s a final option… find a bunch of items for the ghost to interact with, throw them in a pile somewhere near the ghost, and wait… that’s all you can do now. Unless it happens to turn a light on.

I hope you’re getting the idea here, so for our final example…

“T+O = Revenant/Yurei/Hantu/Onryo”

This is a special one, it can be a little tricky. Revenant you can test the hunt speed for, only Hantu can confuse this, but if you’ve had the breaker on they’ll be rather slow even while chasing you. So Rev is easy enough to test for. How about Onryo? Well, yeah actually, just repeatedly throw(not place) a lit candle on the ground near the ghost. It should blow out when you do this, if you’ve kept your sanity high and it starts a hunt after you do this a couple times then it’s a Onryo. If not that, or a Rev…

On to Yurei then. Smudging a Yurei will prevent it from leaving the room, but a ghost that isn’t a Yurei may simply decide to just not move. it may just want to sit in the room for 90s which just further muddies the process. All I can say is hold on to your smudge sticks, and once you can trap it keep a timer of it, and refresh the smudge once or even twice. Surely the ghost SHOULD leave in a 270s time window if it isn’t a Yurei. We should avoid testing a Hantu as the speed buff/nerf is hard to notice unless you’ve had a lot of experience with them.

Quick Examples

This is going to be quick and brief.

“R+B = Spirit / Wraith / The Twins”

Next is Wraith, slap som salt under its feet and observe when it steps in it with a UV. If you got UV footprints, and Spirit test failed, it’s The Twins.

“F+P = Banshee / Phantom / Goryo”

Phantom! Get a picture, did it show up in the picture? If yes, then no Phantom, if no then it’s a Phantom. Not Phantom? Goryo test, watch DOTS in same room, no DOTS? Then go to the truck and try again. Set up a choke point outside ghost room if you think it wanders, DOTS now? Goryo, if Phantom failed, and you get DOTS inside the room it’s a Banshee.

“W+O = Mare / Revenant”

You know what to do.

“R+P = Raiju / Wraith / Oni / Goryo”

Test Wraith, Test Goryo, if fail then Raiju. Raiju go fast when electronics are on, if no fast then Oni.

“T+B = Onryo / The Twins”


“O+B = Mare / Yokai / Onryo”

FIRE? Lights? No? Yokai…

“R+F = Myling / Obake / Jinn / Goryo”

Flashlight… No?… Jinn no turn off fuse box, fuse box go off without you overloading? Then no Jinn. Unsure about Jinn? Speed test with breaker on. Now Obake… look for ‘claw’ fingerprints for awhile, if all normal then Goryo.

“F+B = Poltergeist / Phantom”

Ghost events can be a ♥♥♥♥♥, but you can grab that photo eventually.

“P+B = Yokai / Wraith / Phantom”

Salt? Photo? No? Yokai.

“T+P = Yurei / Oni”

Easy, trap that Yurei in a room then smudge the ♥♥♥♥ out of it.

“R+O = Raiju / Obake”

Raiju used thundershock! It was super effective!

The Others

1)R+T = Jinn / Shade / Oni / The Twins. (Jinn and The Twins can be tested)

2)F+W = Poltergeist / Demon / Myling (Myling can be tested)

3)F+T = Demon / Hantu / Jinn (Jinn can be tested)

4)F+O = Banshee / Hantu / Obake (Obake can be tested)

5)W+T = Demon / Revenant / Shade (Revenant can be tested)

6)P+O = Yokai / Raiju / Banshee / Yurei (Yurei and Raiju can be tested)

Of those, 1 and 2 could potentially be done if you can spot or get an Oni / Poltergeist throw reliably. 3 and 4 if you can spot a slow vs a fast Hantu. 5 is intuition unless in a group to test Shade. 4 and 6 could be done if a Banshee uses its ability, or again to be in a group to test its target.

Yeah, these aren’t as clear cut. As I said, there ARE ways to figure these out, but it isn’t quick nor easy, nor even that viable in solo. Sometimes you can get lucky and get what you need. Other times you’re just gonna have to guess, other times you get 5… ♥♥♥♥ 5. This is where nightmare can become a guessing game, unless you know your Hantus and are willing to wait around for Onis or Poltergeists then, yeah. Yokai can be a pain too, sometimes you can yell at it yet nothing will happen, other times it wants to kill you the moment you sneeze. The Twins is very obvious when it does its weakness, and in my experience it does it frequently, but there’s always the chance it will do nothing.

RNG is unfortunately a heavy part of quite a few of these ghosts. For better or for worse. I love nightmare, and hope to not see it change, as is though a few of these ghosts I feel need reworks. I hope this little guide helped some people work out nightmare mode, while it can be a pain, I’ve seen people complaining about the wrong things. Patience, cautiousness, knowledge, and good use of equipment will see you win quite frequently. On the other hand, I’ve seen people dismiss those that have valid criticism and just tell them to play professional. Neither of these is a good answer, and I wanted to at least try and give people some more clarifying info.


So, here’s where I put my own tips for nightmare. I’ve said it before, but candles are great and you should absolutely use them. Motion and sound sensors are actually quite useful in nightmare as well, placing multiple cameras around the place can let you see a hallway DOTS or maybe even door opening at a certain part of the house. It seems they want you to be more tactful, and spend more time setting up or investigating. Which I quite enjoy.

A few things of note, sanity pills restore 25% on nightmare. I’m sure if you played the mode long enough you would eventually be able to tell if it’s an early Demon hunt. Along with that it is likely that you will be able to ‘feel’ what your sanity should be at, it’s just a new learning curve. If you wanna keep your sanity up you should never look at the ghost unless you plan to take a picture or you need to identify it IE: Obake, idk if it actually changes model yet so this could be a moot point. There will be points when it drops though, a Poltergeist yeet, a Wraith teleport, random Yurei sanity drop, ghost events, ect. Bad luck can lead to a botched run, just enjoy the challenge, and getting the ghost wrong isn’t the end of the world. The pictures and other objectives are just as valuable in terms of cash.

Please let me know if I messed up anywhere here, or give new info so I may further update this. Perhapse there is something I am missing that could further reduce the amount of wildcard ghosts.

Written by PSY

I hope you enjoy the Guide we share about Phasmophobia – Basic Tips for Nightmare Mode Gameplay; if you think we forget to add or we should add more information, please let us know via commenting below! See you soon!

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