Co-op ghost hunting game Phasmophobia has enthralled a lot of players and I am one of them. It's a total riot to play with pals—which I've done almost every single night for a week and a half. In that time, I've already progressed from tiptoeing meekly through haunted houses to boldly taunting ghosts by name as soon as I cross the threshold. For those like me, good news then that Phasmophobia is planning some changes to make ghosts a bit scarier and trickier to pin down.
Phasmophobia's most recent update to the main game was at the end of September, but a look at recent additions to the beta branch and notes in the public Trello board tracking its development can give us some clues as to what's coming next.
The spirit box, that radio-like device that some ghosts can talk to you through, is getting a few noteworthy updates. If you activate the beta branch via Steam right now, you should be able to see text readouts on the spirit box's screen that let you know what a ghost says when it answers.
The announcement trailer from a while back makes the spirit box seem quite spooky with a simple "here" relayed in its robotic voice while exploring a basement. In reality, Phasmophobia's chatterbox ghosts much prefer saying "adult" and "E" with the occasional "kill" thrown in for fun. It's a bit silly, but unexpected ghost antics are still part of the fun after I've worked my way from cowardly to confident.
The update notes also say that if your voice recognition is working, "you can no longer get a response on the spirit box just by talking, it will now only answer if you asked a question". If voice recognition isn't working, ghosts "will default to giving a random response by talking". I bet they'll still really enjoy telling you their age either way. The spirit box is just one of many tools you use to track a ghost though.
A bit further out are some interesting changes listed as "in progress". Kinetic Games say that they're working to make ghosts walk to the last place they spotted a player instead of walking away and increasing the chance for ghosts to wander to a new room. At present, ghosts will pick a favorite room at the beginning of a mission. After identifying their haunt of choice, my pals and I have gotten pretty cavalier about stuffing a room with tools for picking up evidence. Forcing us to spread out or follow a ghost to new places while hunting is definitely a step towards making me fear them again.
As ever with an early access game, even features currently being worked on could get tossed or changed. Still though, I'm quite excited to see how Phasmophobia continues developing. It's the kind of game I'll likely put away after October ends, moving on to some other co-op hijinx, but I have high hopes for revisiting a version full of new surprises next year.
Until then, yeah I'm definitely still out here with my spirit box and camera yelling at Betty White (yes, that's the name of a Shade I hunted last night) to show herself.