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Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed beginner’s guide: 8 tips and tricks to get started

Illfonic has made a name for themselves in a very specific niche. They are masters of creating asymmetrical games based on big IPs, such as Friday the 13th, Predator Hunting Ground, and now Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed. These games split up the teams into one “monster” that needs to contend with four or more players to win. Each side has their own mechanics and objectives to win, making these types of games extremely addicting and deep.

With Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, the teams should be obvious to anyone familiar with the franchise. One on side, there’s the ghost attempting to fully haunt a given location, while four Ghostbusters are on the hunt trying to capture them. However, that is much easier said than done — no matter which side you’re on. Ghosts have multiple ways to haunt a place — plus, there are other factors to consider — and the Ghostbusters have their own issues to juggle besides just hunting the ghost. Everyone knows not to cross the streams, but here’s a few more important tips and tricks to get started in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed.

Further reading

Stick together

Four customizable Ghostbusters prepare to capture some ghosts in Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Just like most asymmetrical games, the team of multiple people, in this case the Ghostbusters, are only strong as a unit. Just like in the movies, encountering the ghost alone likely won’t end well for you. Even if you do manage to get it caught in your stream, you won’t be able to trap it while also trying to wrangle it.

Not having another buster to watch your back can leave you open to ghost attacks, which vary depending on the type of ghost you’re facing but are never good. Also, there’s far more to do as a buster than point and shoot your proton stream at the ghost. Because it takes time to swap between all your tools, having a dedicated member with a trap and another guiding with the PKE meter will help get a quick catch.

Also, when you are pulling in a ghost, remember that even though multiple busters can help snare the ghost, only the first person to tether it can influence its movement. Everyone else who hits them with their stream will delay how quickly the ghost can escape, but it’s up to the first one to snare it to guide the ghost to a trap. Since all proton packs will eventually overheat, if the initial buster has to release their stream, the control will pass to the second buster to lend their stream to the cause, meaning you can pass off responsibility if you need to cool down your pack.

Find the gear cart

A ghostbuster gear cart.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Before you all start exploring and hunting down the ghost, make note of the gear cart near your spawn point. This basket of goodies contains very important tools, such as gadgets and spare traps if you run out. The traps are the most important, though, since going back to the cart is the only way to restock them.

Secondary gadgets are also super helpful to bring along. Things like the Ionizer Pods let you slow down ghosts that pass through their AoE, while the V.A.D is essential for moving around the map quickly. Communicate with your team and try to take a variety of gadgets to complement each other.

Use your P.K.E meters and hunt down rifts

Three ghostbusters shooting.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Every map will have three rifts that you, as the Ghostbusters, will want to track down and destroy as fast as you can. This can be done in two ways: by locating and destroying the rifts directly or by capturing the ghost itself. These rifts are essentially extra lives (or extra ghost-lives?) for the ghost player. If you capture the ghost and a rift is still on the map, they will respawn there. Also, if the ghost should manage to fill the haunt meter, any remaining rifts will cut down on your remaining time to make one last effort to catch the ghost.

The only way to track down the rifts, and the ghost for that matter, is using your PKE meter. You never know for sure what you’re tracking, but if it’s stationary, odds are it’s a rift. It also won’t tell you if what you’re tracking is on a different floor or not, plus ghosts can haunt items as decoys to set off your PKE.

Rifts aren’t out in the open but hidden inside objects on the map that the ghost can move.

Remember that the PKE also has a small blast you can trigger if the ghost surprises you. This will stun them for a second, which isn’t long enough for you to swap to your proton pack and tether them, but if your teammates are with you, they will have a free shot.

Do Side Hustles

The ghostbuster fire station.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This is kind of the meta-game within Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed that gives you access to other objectives to complete during matches for bonus XP. Normally, this might be seen as a distraction from the core ghost hunting the game is supposed to be about, but leveling up is vital to unlocking new items and ghost variants, plus fun cosmetics to deck out your buster in.

You need to select these Side Hustles before a match while in the firehouse by interacting with a book. Here, you will be shown a few contracts, plus the daily and weekly challenges. These usually have longer requirements or multiple steps, but they’re worth a nice chunk of extra XP each, plus a massive bonus for doing the entire contract.

While not listed as a Side Hustle, another thing to make your XP grind easier is to always grab those spores, mold, and fungi around the maps. Simply collecting them will add some bonus XP when the match ends, but as you reach percentage thresholds for each, you will get bonus XP rewards on top of that.

Haunt a few rooms at a time

Slimer in a library.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As a ghost, you have one main goal but a lot of ways to accomplish it. That goal is to fill up the haunt meter for the building and escape without getting caught, but you will also notice a second meter noting how haunted the specific room you’re in is as well.

While each NPC you spook and item you haunt will add to both meters, the most efficient way to build the overall haunt meter to is fully haunt specific rooms, rather than spread your scares across the map. Naturally, it’s not as simple as that. The longer you stay in one place, the faster the busters will be able to pin down your location and attempt to catch you. The best bet is to pick a couple of rooms you can zip between, ideally on different floors, to throw off the busters, make it take them longer to chase you, and allow you to rotate between them.

Prioritize your rifts

A blue ghost.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As important as it is for the busters to hunt down the rifts, it’s just as important for the ghost to protect them. These, again, are your second, third, and fourth chances to come back if you get caught. Once you get caught and there are no rifts left, that’s it. They also act as mini-teleporters for you to warp around the map with.

As soon as the busters find and start destroying a rift, you will get a message letting you know. Unless you’re about to max out the haunt meter, it is always best to go try and protect it. Aside from trying to fight the busters, which likely won’t go well if the entire team is there, your best bet is to move the rift to a new object.

Stay out of sight

A ghost running from busters.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The busters can see what direction you’re in using their PKE meters, which makes hiding for too long difficult. Even though it can’t let them know what floor you’re on, eventually they’re going to track you down. When this does happen, your first priority must be to break their line of sight. Any tricks you have, like possessing objects to hide, won’t matter if they see you do it.

A great trick is to break line of sight, haunt an object to imprint your ghost essence on it so the PKE meter will pick it up, and then flee to another room or floor entirely.

Disable those proton packs

Image used with permission by copyright holder

While you don’t have a lot of offensive tools as a ghost, you do have some tricks to make their lives harder. Each type of ghost has its own abilities that help with this, such as using slime, but the best option is to sneak up behind them to temporarily disable their proton packs. This is obviously not easy, but cutting off even one of their packs for a little while can mean the difference between getting trapped and escaping.

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Jesse Lennox
Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more…
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