These Phasmophobia speedrunners are scarier than the ghosts they're hunting

Phasmophobia - A player holds up a voodoo doll
(Image credit: Kinetic Games)

Nearly two years after its early access launch, I'm still playing Phasmophobia with my pals and we're pretty efficient ghost hunters. Compared to speedrunners though, we're just a bunch of teens poking around haunted houses. Twice-annual charity marathon Games Done Quick is on this week and a group of four totally pro ghost hunters spent thirty minutes bullying ghosts out of six different houses.

The Phasmophobia speedrun was commentated by one of its participants, Brossentia, joined by Peace Egg, FlannelKat, and NPC_Lives. They showcased an Any% Small Maps run, meaning that they were attempting to identify (successfully or not) ghosts in all six of Phasmo's small size maps. As Brossentia put it, "We do not randomly guess. Instead we are doing it based off of evidence and based off of deduction," since selecting a ghost at random would be very fast but also very boring.

SGDQ hasn't uploaded the Phasmo run on its own, but you can hop to the beginning of it via the clip right above.

I've actually never watched a Phasmo speedrun before and it turned out to be my favorite kind. I massively enjoy learning about the cheats and tech that runners use in other games, but this crew of co-op ghostbusters did the purest of speedrunning: knowing Phasmophobia's quirks and details so completely that they could ID a ghost and scamper out faster than I knew what was happening.

All four ghost hunters rushed into their first contract at the tiny Tanglewood house, immediately calling out evidence like "Five in the garage!" and "Summoning circle! Summoning circle!" and rapid-fire interrogating the ghost with the tried and true "How old are you?" question spoken into their spirit box. Trying to watch all four perspectives at once feels like chaos, but all four of them know exactly what they're doing.

Phasmo has so many different ghosts now that I check my journal throughout every contract to remind myself which evidence combinations point to each type of ghost. You can narrow down which you're dealing with by finding common evidence like a maxed out EMF reading, freezing temperatures, and spirit box chatter, but some ghosts have their own unique tells that I've never quite memorized.

Brossentia explains in the first house that putting salt on the ground is a surefire wraith test. Like other ghosts, wraiths will leave footprints when they walk over salt piles, but unlike other ghosts they won't leave behind a glowing green footprint detectable with a UV flashlight.

The team IDed the wraith in under two minutes, packed up the van and headed to the next house by about 2:15. They tackled more ghosts with more "the more you know" ghost tricks for me to memorize across all the rest of the haunted houses in just 29 minutes.

I bow to the ghost pros. I really am just an amateur poking around in the dark. Their process is an impressively coordinated assault on haunted houses that goes a little something like this:


♬ When Pros Play Phasmophobia - DippedinDopamine
Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.