What is the difference between difficulty levels in Phasmophobia?

The level of difficulty players choose will drastically change their experience.

Image via Kinetic Games

Kinetic Games’ investigative and interactive ghost hunting game Phasmophobia grants players a truly immersive and terrifying experience. Players can play solo or alongside up to three friends while using various types of ghost-hunting equipment on a variety of maps with the ultimate goal of survival and correctly determining the ghost type.

The many aspects present in Phasmophobia, such as the ability to communicate with ghosts and the terrifying first-person point of view perfect for jumpscares, make the game quite challenging and come with a bit of a learning curve. Luckily, there are various difficulty levels that players can choose from to make their ghost hunting experience easier and something that they can improve upon over time.

Image via Kinetic Games

There are four difficulty types that players can choose from after they have chosen which map they want to play on. These four types of difficulty are Amateur, Intermediate, Professional, and Nightmare. Each of the four levels of difficulty comes with its own perks and drawbacks.

Here’s a breakdown of the features and differences between each difficulty mode.

Amateur

The easiest difficulty level in Phasmophobia is Amateur, which is the suggested level for all beginner Ghost Hunters. The features of the Amateur difficult level are as follows.

  • Players have a fairly long setup time of five full minutes. This means that as long as players don’t use any cursed items, the ghost will not be able to hunt or kill them during the setup period.
  • Players will receive normal cash rewards for completing tasks and taking photos.
  • A normal amount of experience will be gained by players upon completing a ghost investigation.
  • Ghost hunts will have a short duration. Depending on the size of the chosen map, the hunt will last between 15 and 40 seconds.
  • Players will have a five-second grace period at the beginning of every hunt where they cannot be killed.
  • Ghost activity will generally occur very frequently to allow players to gather evidence with ease.
  • Sanity pills will restore 40 percent of players’ sanity.
  • When any player dies they will receive a 50 percent compensation for the ghost hunting equipment they lost.
Screengrab via Kinetic Games

Intermediate

The next level up, which is described as the basic, standard ghost hunting level, is Intermediate. This difficulty level is intended for players who feel fairly comfortable with their Phasmophobia skills.

  • Players will have a setup period that is half of the Amateur difficulty setup period. The Intermediate difficulty level allows players a two-minute-and-30-second safety period to set up their equipment before a ghost can attempt to hunt them.
  • Players will receive double the cash rewards from these investigations.
  • Experience will be gained at 1.5 times the regular rate.
  • Ghost hunts will have a medium duration. Hunts will last between 20 and 50 seconds.
  • A four-second grace period will be granted at the beginning of every hunt.
  • Ghost activity will be common, but not as frequent as it is in Amateur mode.
  • Sanity pills will restore 35 percent of players’ sanity.
  • Players will receive only a 25 percent compensation for their lost items if they die.
  • Players will lose sanity at 1.5 times the regular rate.
  • Some doors around each map will start open, which will add a layer of confusion for players as they try to locate the ghost since they will not know which doors were already open and which ones a ghost may have interacted with.
  • The fuse box will begin already turned off.
  • Some hiding spots available in Amateur mode will now be blocked off, which means that players will have fewer spots to hide during hunts.
Screengrab via Kinetic Games

Professional

Players who feel they are fairly experienced and are completing both Amateur and Intermediate with ease will want to advance to the Professional level of difficulty. This mode is intended for those who feel confident in their Phasmophobia knowledge and skillset.

  • This mode is not unlocked until players have reached level 15.
  • Professional mode has no setup period at all, which means that players can be hunted at any given moment.
  • Cash will be gained at three times the normal rate.
  • Experience will be gained at two times the normal rate.
  • Ghost hunts will have a long duration. The hunting period duration will last between 30 and 60 seconds.
  • The grace period before a ghost can kill during a hunt will be three seconds.
  • Ghost activity will be uncommon, which means that players will have a harder time collecting evidence and finding the ghost.
  • Sanity pills will restore 30 percent of players’ sanity.
  • Players will receive no compensation for their lost items if they die.
  • Players’ sanity will drop at two times the regular rate.
  • The fuse box will begin already turned off from the start in this mode.
  • The objective board, which usually provides players with certain essential information, will not tell players if the ghost will respond to everyone or only those who are alone.
  • The ghost room may rarely change to a different room entirely.
  • Many of the doors around the chosen map will start already opened.
  • Most hiding locations on the chosen map will be blocked off.
Screengrab via Kinetic Games

Nightmare

The highest level of difficulty in Phasmophobia is Nightmare, which is an intense challenge intended only for the best of the best. It is also mostly intended for use as an occasional challenge and not really meant to be a regular game mode for any players because of its intense difficulty.

  • This challenging mode is not unlocked until players reach level 20.
  • It features no setup period just like in Professional mode, which means that players can potentially be hunted immediately.
  • Players will gain cash from this mode at four times the regular rate.
  • Players are granted a 2.5 experience gain rate.
  • Ghost hunts have a long hunting phase. This hunting period is the longest of any difficulty level and each hunt will last between 30 and 60 seconds.
  • Players will only have a two-second grace period following the start of a ghost hunt.
  • Ghost activity will be uncommon.
  • Sanity pills will only restore 25 percent of sanity.
  • Players who die will receive no compensation for their lost equipment.
  • The fuse box and thus the map’s power will be out at the start of the game.
  • As is the case in Professional mode, Nightmare mode also will not tell players of the ghost will respond to everyone or only those who are alone.
  • The ghost room will change occasionally.
  • The Sanity Monitor and Site Activity Monitor located in the van will be broken and thus display random information.
  • Almost every single hiding spot will be blocked off.
  • Most doors around the chosen map will begin already opened.
  • The location of the fuse box will not be indicated on the map inside the van.
  • The ghost will hide one piece of evidence from players.
  • If a ghost successfully kills any player during a hunt, the hunting phase will then be extended as the ghost attempts to kill once again. This means that multiple kills can occur in any hunt.
Screengrab via Kinetic Games

Ghosts are notoriously unpredictable in Phasmophobia gameplay and even the best of the best will likely find that they need to bounce back to the lower levels if they die regularly. The average Phasmophobia player will probably regularly play at each difficulty level type even if they have been playing for a long time and feel that the Amateur mode is too easy since they will need to play lower levels to regain money and equipment if they die.