Every Way Phasmophobia’s Apocalypse Update Makes It More Terrifying

Phasmophobia has quickly become one of the most popular horror games on PC, and with its new Apocalypse update, the terror is being turned up significantly to make it more scary. Already applauded for its intense atmosphere and the chances for hilarious moments between friends, developer Kinetic Games has continued to update the game as it passes its second anniversary. The Apocalypse update comes with various changes and additions to upgrade gameplay while providing quality of life changes to make player lives easier.

Currently, Phasmophobia has 24 unique ghosts for players to investigate; each one comes with its own unique strengths, weaknesses, and proof of existence. This makes the game highly replayable and has been a crucial part of its longevity, along with the dedicated support from the developers, and with the Apocalypse update, Phasmophobia is showing no signs of slowing down on that front.

The Apocalypse update has two new features for Phasmophobia fans, along with plenty of quality of life and mechanic changes to smooth out gameplay. The two new additions come in the new Custom Difficulty options, where players will get to create everything about how their ghost hunt will work, and the new Sunny Meadows Mental Institution map. Other notable changes in this update include a rework of how ghosts interact with their environment, a completely remodeled lobby, and new ways to make money while gathering evidence of ghosts. Overall, Phasmophobia‘s Apocalypse update has significant overhauls and additions as it looks to polish the game (and up its fear factor).

Phasmophobia Custom Difficulty Brings Controlled Horror To Players

Arguably the most significant addition in Phasmophobia‘s Apocalypse update is the new Custom Difficulty, which allows players to create hunts that are as easy or challenging as they want, perfect for players looking to add difficulty to their games or those who would like things to be more manageable. Another boon of Custom mode is that it comes with a reward multiplier meaning players can still earn XP and money from playing. Custom Difficulty allows players to alter all aspects of the game, starting with themselves: how much sanity they begin with, how fast it drains, and how many pills they have to restore it can all be changed. Along with that comes the ability to alter player speed, sprint duration, sprint recharge, and even toggle off sprinting altogether. Aspects of the hunt can be changed as well, including every from how long players have to set up to what the weather will be like, or even completely turning off the Sanity and Activity meters in the van. All of Phasmophobia‘s Cursed Possessions are also an editable feature, allowing players to decide how many and which will appear. These options will let scare-focused players create far more tension in their games overall, radically changing the feel of the game on the player side.

Custom Difficulty also allows players to change various aspects of how the ghosts will act, however, offering a second tier of scare-inducing options. Players can change a wide variety of ghost behaviors, including how active they’ll be and how fast they’ll move, changes that will add another level of variety of gameplay that will help keep things spicy. Phasmophobia‘s ghosts were already scary smart, and the outcome of these Custom Difficulty options looks to be hunts that are scarier and more tense for everyone – unless, of course, players opt to dial things back.

New Map And Ghost Changes Add More Atmospheric Encounters

Screenshot of new Phasmophobia map Sunny Meadows.

The other significant change of the Apocalypse update is the reworked Asylum map Sunny Meadows Mental Institute. This map is a daunting maze of 69 rooms that will make expert ghost hunters work to find their target. However, Sunny Meadows also has a restricted map version, in which players will get one of five wings to explore. Each wing is still large enough to pose a frightening challenge while not putting players through the troubles of the entire map. Both versions of Sunny Meadow are a significant upgrade over the comparatively bland Asylum and provide atmospheric terror around every corner. Players, in groups or using Phasmophobia‘s offline single-player feature, will always be met with a bloodied and messy church room as they enter the building. At the same time, the wings will vary from the disheveled Hospital where screams ring out to the overturned common rooms where spirits hide. Every room is a threat to the player, and each wing comes with its horrific ambiance to instill fear even before the ghost is found.

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The changes to the ghosts overall have been minimal, but ultimately serve to increase the likelihood of interactions and moments of fright. All ghosts now have a more substantial throw power, increased range and height, and increased chances of objects being thrown during hunts. To go along with this, a handful of ghosts got their sanity drain increased, and the Demon will have an increased chance of triggering its hunting ability. All of this contributes to the likelihood a ghost will interact or provide evidence for Phasmophobia players to find, adding to both the atmosphere and jump-scare fear factors of the game. Phasmophobia is not a horror game that thrives on jump scares, but the inclusion of sudden ghost events is the payoff for all the atmospheric buildup. In increasing these moments of sudden fright and the constant feeling of suspense, players should be kept in more suspense during the minute-to-minute gameplay, improving Phasmophobia‘s already strong atmosphere.

The full list of additions and changes coming in Phasmophobia‘s Apocalypse update are as follows (which can also be accessed via Steam):

  • Camp Woodwind, a smaller version of the Maple Lodge Campsite map
  • All hunting and event sound effects volume will now drop to 0% when at least 20m away, instead of just being quiet. Note: This should also make the Myling strength more noticeable
  • The singing sound caused by the music box playing will now drop to 0% volume when over 20m away
  • Throws now have a minimum ‘Throw Power’, to avoid small throws
    • 1 – 3 Power (previously 0.1 – 2.5 Power)
  • Objects are now thrown higher, resulting in much more consistent throws
  • During hunts, objects are thrown more often
    • 50% chance to throw an object in range, every 0.5 seconds
    • Poltergeist – 100% chance to throw an object in range, every 0.5 seconds
  • The Oni super throw has been moved to Poltergeist, as it is more thematical
    • 2 – 6 power (previously 0 – 5 power)
  • Oni has received additional traits:
    • Oni will now drain double the sanity of a normal ghost during ghost events
    • Oni can now be seen for longer periods when flickering during hunts
  • Demon’s rare ability to hunt above 70% will now happen more reliably
  • Jinn’s sanity drain ability has received adjustments
  • The ability will now trigger if you’re in the same room, or within 3m of the ghost
  • The ability will now create EMF at the fuse box if any player is drained, not just the host
  • Player reports will be reviewed by our team and punished accordingly, depending on the offense
  • Bans are progressive and increase in duration for multiple offenses, some offenses may start further in the chain than others
    • 2 days
    • 7 days
    • 30 days
    • Permanent
  • You may also be banned from abusing the reporting system, e.g. spam reporting players
  • To report a player, open the new ‘Recent players’ tab in the journal, and click the report icon next to that player’s name
  • If banned, you will still be able to play single-player games
  • Due to paranormal entities appearing in our base of operations, Ghost Huntin’ Distribution has moved everyone into a new office! A warehouse has been converted with a shop, new investigation boards, access to the truck, and a staff room (coming soon)
  • Player ID cards have been added
  • A ‘Detailed Statistics’ page has been added to the post-game screen
  • A long-term stat tracking page has been added to the journal for various player and ghost stats
  • You will now connect to the last region you were in instead of connecting to your best ping region
  • The journal is now usable in the Main Menu room
  • Steam users can now view and add friends through the new ‘Recent players’ journal tab
  • Weekly challenges have been added More will be added with the Progression Update
  • Shortcut buttons have been added to jump between the Location Selection, Main Menu, and Shop screens, additionally you can use the keyboard arrow keys for navigation
  • The whiteboard in the Truck has been replaced with a progressively updating Investigation Board
  • New collectible cabinets have been added to the lobby, try to fill them both!
    • The first time you use a Cursed Possession, it will be added to your collection
    • Collecting each type of bone will add it to your collection, some need to be collected twice! More collectibles will be added, closer to the full release of the game
  • The shop has been moved to a separate computer in the lobby
  • Players can now create loadouts for their equipment Additional loadouts will be added with the Progression Update
  • You can now view Daily and Weekly challenges in the Truck
  • Equipment items are now placeable back onto the truck’s equipment wall
  • You can now take photos of new interactions to gain extra rewards
    • D.O.T.S. ghost
    • Used Crucifix (1 or 2 uses)
    • The salt pile (when a ghost steps in it)
    • Ghost Writing will now display as ‘Ghost Writing’ instead of ‘Interaction’
  • When the ghost attempts to hunt but is blocked by a crucifix, it will now create an EMF 2 reading
  • Added a house candle to Grafton
  • Arabic now has text and voice recognition support
  • VR players will now see a loading screen to help with loading jitters
  • Save files will now create a backup and automatically restore if they corrupt
  • Controls for equipment have changed to become consistent
    • If an object is placeable, it will always use the secondary button (default: F)
    • If an object is usable, it will always use the primary button (default: Right Mouse)

    Note: This means that smudge sticks are now used with Right Mouse! Don’t forget it!

  • Collecting the bone will now grant more rewards when playing on larger maps
    • Large – $30
    • Medium – $20
    • Small – $10
  • The photo ‘point’ system has been removed, instead, players will receive a set amount of money and XP per photo they take. This also allowed us to even out the rewards for photos, so that getting a certain ghost type won’t become a “feels bad” moment for what photos you can take
    • $5 – 3 star / $2 – 2 star / $1 – 1 star
      • Dead body
      • Interaction
      • Fingerprints
      • Footsteps
      • Cursed possessions
      • Salt pile stepped in
      • DOTS ghost
      • Ghost writing
    • $10 – 3 star / $5 – 2 star / $2 – 1 star
      • Used crucifix
      • Dirty water
      • Bone
    • $20 – 3 star / $10 – 2 star / $5 – 1 star
  • The photo priority system has been improved
    • Items are “scored” by distance and how close they are to the middle of the photo. The top “scoring” item will give rewards
    • Ghosts will always take priority over other items
    • The reliability of the system has been improved

    Note: This also means that you will always get interaction photos before fingerprint photos, get those UV lights back out!

  • The placement highlight mechanic has been reworked
    • You will only see the highlight when holding down your designated placement key (PC: default ‘F’ / VR: Trigger) and release to place
    • Moving the mouse left/right whilst the F key is held, will rotate the highlight object
    • You can now place and rotate the tripod
    • Various equipment’s placeable areas have been adjusted
  • The fuse box has received a new design, when in house and farmhouse locations
  • Sanity drain for “Hide and seek” is now 0%
  • The key in the truck has been moved to hang next to the door keypad, instead of on the desk
  • Increased rewards for all Daily Challenges
  • Rewards for playing on medium and large maps have been increased
  • You can now view 10 photos in the lobby room (increased from 6), from your previous game
  • To improve performance, objects will no longer render when behind closed doors
  • Adjusted the visuals for skyboxes, for each weather, so that they are more realistic
  • Improved the heavy rain and snow effects and performance
  • The main menu options screen has been removed, and is now accessible only in the Journal
  • Some locations have been renamed
  • When dead, players can now see doors, but walk through them
  • The volume of the guitar being played and camping stove toggle, has been lowered
  • Ghosts will no longer see you through the trees by the cabin in Maple Lodge Campsite
  • Ghosts can no longer set these rooms as its favorite in Maple Lodge Campsite:
    • Entrance
    • Central path
    • North path
    • North East path
    • Picnic area
  • Rebaked occlusion in Maple Lodge Campsite which may improve performance
  • The Journal default button on a gamepad is now “select” instead of D-Pad up
  • Room names for the Sound Sensors will now be in the room they are placed in, instead of the room you were standing in when you placed it
  • Candles will now extinguish when placed into your inventory
  • Ghosts now use the sprinting footstep sound when hunting on dirt floors
  • Reduced RAM usage for fonts, this is significant in languages with many characters
  • Adjusted several lights bloom values
  • Adjusted campfire particles and bloom
  • Fixed long-distance roams, chance is now:
    • High – 30% when wandering
    • Medium – 20% when wandering
    • Low – 10% when wandering
  • Fixed ghost changing favorite room’s chance, for example:
    • If a ghost long roams and ends up in a new room, do a chance check
    • Low – 33%
    • Medium – 66%
    • High – 100%
    • Then do a check based on insanity (e.g., 30% sanity = 70%)
    • If successful for both chances, change favorite room
  • Goryo will now have half the chance of other ghosts to long-roam instead of double
  • Myling will now decrease the audible range of its hunt audio, instead of only footsteps.
  • If you have less than 16% sanity when lighting the last Summoning Circle, the ghost will now hunt instantly after being summoned
  • When the summoning circle is lit, the ghost’s position will now sync faster for non-hosts
  • Fingerprints on camping lamps will now be the correct size
  • You can no longer place objects on the truck ceiling
  • Fixed a rare issue where the voice recognition would not work due to an empty voice models file
  • Picking up a tripod with a camcorder attached by someone else, will no longer break the camcorder
  • You are no longer unkillable when hiding under stairs or similar objects in some locations
  • The hiding spot next to the cabin will no longer get you killed
  • Grafton’s upstairs locker can now be blocked
  • Bleasdale’s workshop locker can now be blocked
  • Having ALT as your push-to-talk button will no longer keep your voice active after alt-tabbing
  • The toilets upstairs in Edgefield now flush
  • Ghosts will no longer affect the living room collider when standing on the basement stairs in Tanglewood
  • You can no longer glitch behind the small tents to access safe spots
  • The Mare will no longer stop attempting to do its light switch ability after you use the light switch several times
  • Doors will no longer spin when closing for a hunt

While the highlight of this update has to be the Custom Difficulty addition, allowing for all sorts of frighteningly creative experiences, the changes to the ghosts also show a commitment to increase uptime in ghost events, making each mission a mix between setting buildup and the payoff of a good ghostly jump scare. Phasmophobia, already a scarier multiplayer horror game than many on the market, has now become even more terrifying, making it a perfect addition to any Halloween game rotation.

Source: Phasmophobia/Steam

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