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Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed Tips For Beginners

Learn how to bust ghosts and haunt busters before diving into Spirits Unleashed


Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is the latest asymmetrical experience to grace our gaming libraries. Acting like a sequel of sorts to the most recent film, it features a ton of fan-favorite references. It also sports the typical PvP elements this genre is known for. The player controlling the ghost will need to haunt a given location while avoiding their proton pack-carrying rivals. The four Ghostbusters, on the other hand, will need to work together to trap the ghost player in a manner that doesn’t result in major property damage.

Whether you’re looking to scare the pants off NPCs or hunt down ghosts with friends, victory doesn’t come easy. Ghosts have a nice arsenal of tricks to contend with. The same goes for the Ghostbusters and their upgradable equipment. The players that learn how to utilize these items/abilities at the right time will usually come out on top. Below are a few tips that’ll help you get through the beginner stages of Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed.


Coordinate attacks

Like other games of this ilk, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed encourages teamwork over going rogue. It’s obvious, based on the four-player set up, that each ghostbuster should do their part to help trap the ghost. What isn’t so obvious is how one should go about working within the group; crossing the streams is only half the battle.

There are multiple factors to reckon with during a given match. One thing you’ll need to remember early on is that it takes a decent amount of time to swap between your P.K.E. Meter and proton pack. Because of this, it can be tricky to tether a ghost with your beam once they’ve been located without help.

Teamwork is key in catching ghosts.
Teamwork is key in catching ghosts.

The P.K.E. meter is used to hunt down the ghosts and their rifts--portals that allow them to respawn after being captured. It can also be used to stun a ghost, knocking them out of a possessed person/object, essentially making them vulnerable for a few seconds. Manually switching to your proton pack takes too long as the stun will wear off before you can start tethering. Tossing out your trap first speeds up the process because that action auto-switches your held item to the pack. But neither option is as quick as letting someone else toss out a trap or start blasting with their pack; it’s possible to trap a ghost within seconds of stunning them if everyone is properly prepared to do their part. Basically, you’ll want to coordinate your attacks whenever you can.

Share the stream

In Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, there are some aspects to the tethering system that aren’t explained during the tutorial. The main one being that the first person to tether a ghost is in charge of their movement.

In order to tether a ghost, you’ll need to shoot them with your proton beam long enough to wrap them up. It’s at that point that you can start guiding them towards a trap to be captured. The first person to tether the ghost is the one moving them around. The others are there to offer support by increasing the time in which the ghost is tether; they basically make it harder for them to escape. This is important to know for two reasons. The first has to do with your team composition. It’s easier to guide the ghost to a particular trap if you know who is controlling them. If teammate A is the first to tether the ghost, I know that I should toss my trap towards them and not teammate B.

The other reason has to do with overheating proton packs. You can only continuously blast the ghost for so long before needing to vent your pack. This will release the ghost if you’re the only person there. However, if you were the first person to tether them and another player joins in, you’ll be able to pass the reins over to that teammate by letting go. The main tether is passed on to the next player(s) based on the order in which they started shooting, allowing you time to “reload.”

Remember the gear cart

It’s important to remember the gear cart. Located near the starting position of a given map, the gear cart is where you’ll find extra items, namely replacement traps and powerful secondary gadgets.

The main reason you’ll want to remember the equipment cart is because of your traps. If a ghost destroys one during play, the only way to get another is to trek back to the cart. This can be a pain on some of the bigger maps, especially when you’re first starting out. Making sure to mentally mark the location is key early on.

Some gadgets will need to be unlocked before becoming available.
Some gadgets will need to be unlocked before becoming available.

The other reason you should prioritize the gear cart is because of the game’s secondary gadgets. These items can significantly improve your chances of catching the ghost. The V.A.D., for example, is a grappling hook that can quickly pull you up to a higher floor while The Ionizer Pods can slow ghosts that are caught in their particle clouds. Using them in tandem, it’s possible to prevent a ghost from fleeing before a teammate (using the V.A.D.) can quickly ascend to your location.

Calm NPCs

In Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed, it’s a ghost’s job to haunt a place. This is done in several different ways. One of which is scaring NPCs enough to send them running from the building. In order to counter this, the ghostbusters will need to reassure these people that everything will be okay.

Let them know you're on the job!
Let them know you're on the job!

Normally, this is done by walking up to a scared NPC and talking to them, prompting a quick-time event. All you have to do is talk to them for the duration. If you time your button presses so that the bar is activated over the green areas of the wheel, however, you’ll give that NPC a bit of shielding. This temporary layer of protection will make it harder for them to be scared in the future.

The great thing about this feature is that you don’t have to wait until a given NPC is about to lose their cool. You can speak to them when they’re completely calm, granting them the shield from the start.

Complete side hustles

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed has an account progression system. A lot of the items (and ghost variants) are locked until you’ve leveled up. While most of your XP will come from how well you do in matches, there are ways to help speed up this process, one of which is the activation of contracts known as Side Hustles. Separate from daily challenges--only one can be activated at a time--these side ventures often require you to complete multiple steps before they’re done. That said, they offer a lot of XP. Some even give cosmetic rewards as well.

Another way to speed up the leveling process is by collecting spores, mold, and fungi found scattered around the game’s maps. Collecting these easy-to-find but often overlooked items will net you bonus points at the end of a match. The more you collect, the more you’ll earn. What makes this worthwhile, though, are the collection-based thresholds. Once you hit 25%, for instance, you’ll get a one time bonus of 10,000 XP.


Read the room

When playing as a ghost, it’s your job to fully haunt a place. This is reflected in two haunt meters located at the top of the screen; one is for the entire building and one is for the room you’re currently in. The goal is to get the building to 100% haunted and escape the premises before the ghostbusters can catch you.

There are few different ways to accomplish this goal. Scaring NPCs and haunting furniture--making them move on their own--will certainly do the trick. The thing to keep in mind, though, is that the overall building percentage is tied to its individual rooms. You can scare random folks all over the map and slowly move the needle. Or you can scare everyone out of a given area, significantly speeding up the haunting process.

Fully haunted areas will fill with ectoplasm.
Fully haunted areas will fill with ectoplasm.

This, of course, is easier said than done. With the ghostbusters chasing you about, focusing on one room can be dangerous; you’re going to have to flee the area from time to time. To combat this, make a note of the room’s percentage and leave. Haunt somewhere else. Just make sure to come back to that room to finish up. Again, it’s better to fully haunt one or two rooms at a time as opposed to randomly scaring NPCs scattered about the map.

Break line of sight

Thanks to the ghostbusters’ P.K.E. Meter, it can be hard to hide from them. They’ll track you all over the map. The good news for ghost players though, is that this gadget isn’t as accurate as you’d expect. It has some limitations, mostly notably the inability to differentiate between floors.

The P.K.E. Meter will lead the ghostbusters to your location eventually. If you manage to get away from them, the best thing to do is to break their line of sight and then change floors; either go up to the second story or down to the basement level. The P.K.E. Meter will note the direction you went in but not what floor you’re on. This will give you much needed time to fool your pursuers. By haunting a few items--making them give off your essence--before leaving the area, you’ll send the ghostbusters after random objects instead of you after reaching the correct floor.

Don’t panic

It’s important not to panic when you’ve been ensnared. There are quick-time events that can help you detether yourself, one of which activates right before you’re sucked into a trap. Make sure to pay attention to the onscreen prompts. The last thing you’d want to do is to wildly button-mash any and everything as you’re being attacked.

Another thing you can do, once you’ve broken free, is to steal a ghostbuster’s trap. If you’re fast enough, you’ll be able to snag it and escape with it in tow. Once away from your attackers you can then destroy the trap, forcing that player to return to the gear cart for another.

Protect the rifts

If the ghostbusters do manage to capture you, all hope isn’t lost. As a ghost, you’re given three rifts to use as spawn points per match. Meaning you have to be captured four times before you go down for good. Unless of course the ghostbusters find and destroy your rifts before you can use them.

Your rifts are your lifeline.
Your rifts are your lifeline.

Each rift is hidden in a different object located somewhere on the map. It’s possible to move them to another object even after being exposed by the busters. Obviously, it’s important that you protect them as they’re your only lifeline. If you get captured after all of your rifts have been destroyed/used up, it’s game over.

That’s not the only reason why you’ll want to protect your rifts though. The other reason is because they cut down on your escape time. When you fully haunt a place, the ghostbusters will get one final chance to capture you. All you have to do is stay away from them for a certain amount of time. Any remaining rifts will cut into that time, dropping it significantly if all three are present. Basically, having as many rifts as possible at the end will make it easier for you to escape.

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