Phasmophobia’s Nightmare update introduces many new elements to this fantastic indie horror game.
Just in time for Halloween, the Phasmophobia development team released the latest (and possibly the scariest) Nightmare update. Horror gamers and Twitch streamers alike flocked to the game in search of exciting new jumpscares and holiday scares in the new update.
Since the launch of the co-op horror game in September 2020, the Phasmophobia development team prides itself on keeping the content fresh and new, and the Nightmare update was no different. The new update included everything from rebalancing difficulties to new ghosts, and even a new camp map to explore. enhancing various in-game effects, such as images and sound, to immerse ghost-seeking players in their worst fears.
Maple Lodge campground is the new mid-size map
The most obvious new addition to Phasmophobia is the new Maple Lodge campground map. A medium-sized map with a log cabin, a haunted lake, and several large tents scattered throughout the site, is the first outdoor map included in Phasmophobia..
With improved visual quality for greater realism, the new camp map also contains picnic areas, an outdoor generator, and games that both dead and living players can interact with. While the ghost hunter’s van is still off-limits to ghosts, it brings with it a chilling realization that there may be options to include outdoor quests for other maps in the future.
Difficulties have been reworked …
All the original difficulty levels (Amateur, Intermediate and Professional) have been revamped to make each contract feel more unique and take into account players of all skill levels. This has come with a variety of differences, such as the doors already open for some difficulties (as opposed to just the ghost room).
Other changes to the difficulty levels include whether the fuse box is on or off at the beginning of each contract, how much sanity is recovered from sanity pills, and how many hiding places are available to players during the contract. In Professional mode, ghosts can now also move their preferred room after moving (although this should happen on rare occasions).
… And Nightmare mode is available as a new difficulty
The addition of the Nightmare difficulty to Phasmophobia struck terror into the hearts of even the most experienced ghost hunters. Designed as a more challenging mode for adrenaline junkies and ghost hunting professionals, Nightmare mode brought some unexpected features never before seen to the game..
The new difficulty includes new challenges, such as longer hunts, fewer hiding places, and a reduced ability for Sanity Pills to restore sanity. The most difficult features include the possibility of second deaths during a single search, withholding one type of evidence to determine the type of ghost, as well as some monitoring equipment that starts out broken from scratch.
Four new types of ghosts to find
There are now a total of 20 different ghost types to identify in Phasmophobia thanks to the new Nightmare update. The Onryo, known as the ‘wrathful spirit’, is terrified of fire, but is deadly once it is quenched. The Twins, as their name implies, appear as a pair of ghosts, but can separately wreak havoc on different parts of the map.
The Obake is known as a shapeshifter and has been known to leave unique evidence, such as a six-fingered handprint. The final bonus ghost, the Raiju, uses the power of the players’ team to harness their powers, making them a formidable foe to face.
The weather affects your game
Each new contract now introduces a weather element to the gameplay of Phasmophobia, which can affect player experiences in unique ways. Thick fog can reduce a player’s visibility and make ghost evidence difficult to detect. Changes in snow temperature can affect how evidence of freezing temperature can be found.
Perhaps scariest of all, heavy rain, wind, and thunder can impede the player’s hearing, as well as interfere with equipment such as the parabolic microphone. This different weather cycle in each game adds an interesting additional challenge to the game.
Sound Reviews for Ghosts and Gamers
With greater realism, several modifications have been made to the sound design of the Phasmophobia Nightmare update. For example, the ghost’s rumbling footsteps are only heard when the ghost is actually moving, making it more difficult to tell when the hunt has started or ended from sound alone.
Phantom sounds, such as croaking, singing, and player heartbeats, will also appear and disappear, with a lower volume to amplify the fluence factor. Other jumpscares have also been updated, such as window knocks, so they can be heard on the parabolic microphone.
Visual changes for fingerprints and bone evidence
Bad news for any gamer who just does a quick sweep with a UV flashlight before returning to the safety of the truck; now there is a slim chance that ghosts will not leave fingerprints when interacting with the environment. In an extra cruel twist, fingerprints now disappear after 60 seconds, so ghost hunters must be quick with the camera or risk losing vital income.
The bone evidence, while previously a standardized chicken bone-like model, now has updated images. It can now appear as a random bone in the human body, from the hip bones to the entire spine.
New ghost behaviors for a normal game …
There has been a complete review on many of the ‘usual’ ghost behaviors during a contract. The Ouija boards have been revamped so that players’ sanity is penalized less for failed communications, but can greatly drain their sanity if they receive a response.
Ghosts will now have a greater impact on equipment as well, disrupting electronics when visible, opening showers in places, and putting out lighters and candles. Roaming behaviors have been reduced so that ghosts don’t stray too far across a map, and all ghost events last a minimum of one second.
… And new ghost behaviors while hunting
The hunts have also been adapted to suit a more challenging game. Ghosts respond best to electronic equipment during hunts, as they are attracted to walkie-talkies, thermometers, and EMF readers. Walkie-talkies also play static sounds when players are in close proximity to the ghost.
While phantom speed has been increased when chasing players, it’s nice to see that the developers are throwing players a bone. To help newer players a bit, the duration of each ghost hunt has been shortened on small and medium maps.
Player lobby, diary, and map improvements
The behaviors and difficulties of ghosts are not the only thing that has received a great reform. Fortunately, the developers have included a much-needed refresh to the user interfaces in the latest Phasmophobia update. Average sanity is now accurate, rather than random. The truck map screen has received refreshing new icons, as well as the ability for players to choose any contract on the map screen from the start.
The map description has been modified to describe the difficulty instead (which players may be most concerned about!), And the contract difficulty will always default to the one previously played. Gone are the days of the accidental pro round for unsuspecting newbies!