Ghost hunting simulation Phasmophobia has certainly scared up a rising player base. Despite the somewhat janky quality of its early access version, folks seem to be pretty possessed by the supernatural spooks. It’s been climbing in concurrent Steam players and Twitch viewers this month, leaving even known weenies like me curious enough to consider playing with friends.
The ghost hunting simulation sends you into haunted houses either alone or with friends to suss out what manner of dead jerk is hanging around the place. Armed with a book of notes on the differences between Shades and Wraiths and other spooks, you and your pals wander in with flashlights and crucifixes and other tools to stay safe. The real kicker seems to be the voice recognition the game uses to allow you to holler at ghosts directly. “Yo Robert! Come write your ghostly demands in this journal, you coward!” That’s what you yell right before Robert flips all the lights off in the house, slams the doors shut, and then gobbles your noggin.
Phasmophobia is in early access and it does show. I’ve yet to play myself, but have watched a couple friends blunder their way through the game’s suburban houses. There’s the occasional jank of not being able to pick up items, weird clipping issues, wonky animations, and other standard early access woes.
Spooky misadventures are often best with pals, meaning friends like mine are all currently busy talking their resident cowards like me into playing together. The data seems to show they’re meeting success. According to Steam data tracking sites Steam Charts and SteamDB, Phasmophobia has been climbing higher concurrent player peaks each day so far this month. It topped out at around 26,000 players on October 1st, climbing to over 64,000 yesterday. I suspect it may go on and top that tonight.
Those aren’t unfathomable numbers, but it’s been peaking above other multiplayer favorites like Dead By Daylight and Fall Guys—though that may change when Fall Guys season 2 launches tomorrow. It’s been sitting relatively high in Twitch viewership as well, currently below the other multiplayer phenomenon Among Us but above mainstays Fortnite and CS:GO.
It certainly feels like the kind of game that’s becoming popular in spite of, if not even because of, the silly bugs. That, and people just really love hearing others scream. People like me. This was all a ruse to post some clips of people flipping out. Their muffled screams give me life. Beware of swearing, as that’s what folks tend to do when they’re scared.
Here’s a human sacrifice who’s been absolutely lied to by their friends:
Phasmophobia is in early access on Steam for £11/$14.