How to use Incense in Phasmophobia

It's one of the best pieces of equipment you can use.
The player using Incense in front of a ghost trapped in the Summoning Circle.
Screenshot by Dot Esports

There are many powerful pieces of equipment you can use in Phasmophobia, but one of the most important and often overlooked is the Incense, which was previously known as Smudge Sticks.

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Incense is divided up into three tiers with each one having its own unique abilities to master. Compared to some of the other gear you have at your disposal in Phasmophobia, Incense can be rather tricky to use, and what it actually does won’t be obvious unless you are aware of how to use it and what benefits it provides.

What does Incense do in Phasmophobia?

Incense can be burned to stop the ghost in two ways. It can be used to stop a ghost hunt from happening for a period of time or to temporarily deter a ghost during an active hunt.

When Incense is used outside of a hunt, ghost activity will also increase slightly. Incense is a very powerful tool once you learn to master how it can be used since it can offer you protection from ghost hunts and may also help you gain some evidence.

There are three different Tiers of Incense with each one having slightly different abilities.

  • Tier I: A small bundle of black sage falling apart, previously referred to as a smudge stick.
    • Emits smoke for: Five seconds
    • Effective range: Three meters
    • Unlock: Level 14
  • Tier II: A sizeable bundle of white sage tied together with a string.
    • Emits smoke for: Six seconds
    • Effective range: Four meters
    • Unlock: Level 42
  • Tier III: A fancy holy incense burner containing a special mix designed specifically to ward off paranormal beings.
    • Emits smoke for: Seven seconds
    • Effective range: Five meters
    • Unlock: Level 85
All three tiers of Incense in Phasmophobia.
It takes a long time to unlock the higher tiers, but you can test them in some challenge modes. Screenshot by Dot Esports

How long does Incense last in Phasmophobia?

Generally, Incense prevents ghosts from hunting for 90 seconds if this resource is used before a hunt has started. However, there are two exceptions to this rule.

  • Demons will only be deterred by Incense for 60 seconds.
  • Spirits will be stopped by Incense for 180 seconds.

If you are using Incense during an active hunt to temporarily deter the ghost, the ghost must be within the correct range for the Tier level of Incense you are using, and it will then be stopped for five seconds. There is one exception to this rule.

  • The Moroi will be stopped for 7.5 seconds.

How to use Incense in Phasmophobia

Regardless of which tier level of Incense you’re using, you must also have an Igniter in your inventory for it to work. Any type of Igniter will do, but you will only be able to light and use the Incense when you are also carrying around an Igniter.

How to use Tier I Incense in Phasmophobia

To use Tier I Incense, you’ll want to get within three meters of the area the ghost is in, hold the Incense in your hand, and select the Primary Use button, which defaults to the right mouse button, to use the Igniter and light it. If you’ve done it right, the Incense will start smoking and burning away until you’re left with just the stump of the Tier I Incense.

You can only use each Tier I Incense once, but you can head back to your truck to grab more if you brought more than one along.

A player using Incense by a circular table.
If you’re worried about a hunt starting soon, use some Incense to buy more time. Screenshot by Dot Esports

How to use Tier II Incense in Phasmophobia

To successfully apply Tier II Incense, get within four meters of the ghost area, hold the Tier II Incense in your hand, then click the Primary Use button, which defaults to the right mouse button, to activate the Igniter on it. The Tier II Incense will slowly burn down to a blackened stump you can then discard.

Each Tier II Incense can only be used once, but like Tier I, you can use as many as you have available to you in the truck.

How to use Tier III Incense in Phasmophobia

To activate Tier III Incense, make sure you are holding it in your hand and that you are carrying an Igniter. Position yourself to be within five meters of the ghost then press the Primary Use button, which always defaults to the right mouse button, to use the Igniter and light it.

Unlike the other levels, Tier III Incense is not a consumable, so you won’t see it slowly burn away since it is an actual lantern rather than just a collection of sticks. Because of this, you’ll have to watch for the smoke stopping as an indicator of when the Incense is done burning.

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Author
Kacee Fay
General Gaming Staff Writer at Dot Esports covering a wide array of topics including Minecraft, Disney Dreamlight Valley, Phasmophobia, general gaming, and streaming. She has been avidly writing and gaming her whole life and now spends her time combining the two. Kacee graduated from San Diego State University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Certificate in Creative Editing and Publishing. She then joined Dot Esports as a Freelance Writer in 2022 before transitioning to a Staff Writer in 2023. In her spare time, she enjoys buying more books than she can read, gaming alone or with friends, drinking too much tea, struggling to keep up with all of the streamers she loves to watch, attending concerts, fangirling over movies and television, listening to music, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets, who are the most important parts of her world.