Phasmophobia's "biggest update ever" surprise launches this week and changes pretty much everything

Watching with a torch and watching a security cam feed in Phasmophobia
(Image credit: Kinetic Games)

Phasmophobia: Ascension, billed as the multiplayer ghost-hunting game's "biggest update ever," is releasing on Thursday, August 17, Kinetic Games has announced.

The update, also called Progression 2.0, changes pretty much everything about Phasmophobia. Don't get me wrong, the foundation is still the same: Gather a few friends together and identify ghosts inside haunted locations using various tools to find evidence. However, almost everything else about the game is being updated and expanded, so much so that progression is being reset at the start of the update.

While you'll start Phasmophobia at level zero just like everyone else, everyone's being pushed to Prestige 1 so you won't have to unlock maps or difficulties you worked hard for in previous versions of the game. Plus, you'll get a nifty little badge to mark where you were before the reset.

As far as the update's actual content, well, where do I start? Character and ghost models and animations are being revamped, the truck you roll around in is being overhauled, there are new tasks and evidence to collect, new locations and interactions to explore, new weather and lighting effects, new ghost types to identify, and new equipment to identify the new ghost types with - just to name a few key changes.

Equipment is being expanded to have three tiers across each equipment type, meaning your flashlight will unlock at Tier 1 and then be upgraded to a much more advanced Tier 3 flashlight as you move through the new leveling system. 

One example shown in an earlier dev preview is the D.O.T.S. Projector, which has been completely reworked. Starting in Ascension, the D.O.T.S. Projector will start out in Tier 1 as a flashlight-like laser-grid pen with a short range and low light intensity, and then Tier 2 will be similar to the tool you're already used to, and Tier 3 will be similar to Tier 2 but with a much wider range that illuminates almost the entire room. No matter the Tier, you'll now have to shine the projector near the actual ghost, as the silhouette you see will be the exact position of the phantom.

Not every piece of equipment is being reworked to the degree the D.O.T.S. Project is, but it'll all be broken down into Tiers in a similar way, which brings the total number of equipment from 20 all the way to 60.

The full patch notes for Ascension have yet to be released, but just from what we know so far, it sounds like a massive shake-up worth checking out if you were ever a fan of this game or have ever been intrigued by it. It's also worth noting that Phasmophobia is still set to make its console debut on Xbox Series X/S and PS5 sometime this month, but a specific date has yet to be revealed.

If you are jumping in for the first time or just need a quick refresher, check out our Phasmophobia tips for beginners.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.