Phasmophobia, a terrifying online co-op ghost hunting game, is Twitch's latest surprise hit

Phasmophobia online co-op ghost hunting game
(Image credit: Future)

Looking for that true-to-life ghost hunting experience without needing to face the true horror of leaving the house this Halloween? Phasmophobia is just the game for you. The latest Twitch streaming star—where it's currently one of the most watched games—Phasmophobia lets you and three friends hunt a twisted menagerie of spooky ghouls, ghosts, and demonic ne'er do wells.

Phasmophobia, from developers Kinetic Games, is currently being streamed to more viewers than Call of Duty: Warzone, Genshin Impact, and Among Us, and has a weekly average of over 80,000 viewers (according to Twitch Tracker). That's verging on FIFA 21 viewers, so how come this online co-op is surging to the top of the charts?

It's probably the fact this game is just simply excellent at what it does: scaring the bejesus out of you. The game sees you drop into a heap of locations, from haunted houses to spine-chilling schools, with a vast array of ghost hunting tools. You've got your EVPs, spirit boxes, black lights, and much more to help you uncover clues as to the paranormal spirit that may be living in the walls.

The locations change, and so do the ghosts. Well, sometimes they're ghosts, sometimes they're terrifying demons that want nothing more than to hurt you. Your job is to face the fright and use all your senses and tools to determine which particular paranormal poltergeist you're dealing with before getting the heck outta dodge in your van—every ghost hunter has to have a van.

It's also a fully-VR compatible title, meaning those spooks can be right up in your face. Great.

But perhaps the most innovative feature of the lot is the built-in voice recognition. Not only will a visitor from the other side know when you're speaking to your fellow ghost hunters, it will also listen out for key words or phrases. Some tools may require you to ask the spirit for a sign, just like you've seen in your cheesy ghost-hunting shows, or perhaps a particularly demonic energy will be angered if you call out its name.

I've briefly tried the game out for myself. Well, I say I've tried it out, I actually strapped a VR headset to my flatmate and chucked him in head first. From my brief time in the game, I can say it's frightening, eerie, surprisingly in-depth, and only a little rough around the edges in VR. For $13.99, it's a great pick this Halloween.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.