If you have ever played Phasmophobia, a ghost-hunting video game that was released in 2020, you may know that tarot cards have important in-game mechanics.
There are ten different tarot cards in Phasmophobia, and all of them have pretty powerful effects. However, whether the result is positive or negative depends on the card, so it’s important to know what each one does before you play.
In-game, tarot cards are considered a “cursed item,” and only one of these will spawn per match, so you won’t always get to draw from a tarot card deck. If there are tarot cards, you’ll find them on tables, shelves, decks, and bookcases, so make sure to look!
Since they have so many different potential effects, tarot cards are pretty valuable items, so you’ll always want to pick up a deck when you find one.
To make sure you use tarot cards in Phasmophobia wisely, we’re going to explain what each of the ten cards does in-game, as well as the card’s real-life meaning.
A very positive card to draw from the major arcana, The Sun will restore your character’s sanity to 100% in Phasmophobia. As the play encounters ghosts, their “sanity” will decrease over time, but it’s very important to keep that number up.
Much like in the game, if you draw The Sun in real life tarot it is usually indicative of something positive. In a nutshell, the card represents happiness, joy, vitality, and accomplished hopes.
Like the sun shining through after a long cloudy day, The Sun may refer to a moment of insurmountable happiness, usually after a long period of uncertainty or sorrow. This card is an affirmation that all has been revealed, and you have found what you were looking for— dreams come true, with this card.
The Sun can also indicate overall good health. Either in the physical or the mental, this card means that things are starting to happen in your favor. Definitely a good card to receive in any reading!
After hearing what the sun represents, you may expect The Moon to represent something negative, but this card is much more complicated than that.
In Phasmophobia, at least, the rules are simple. Drawing The Moon will instantly drop your character’s sanity to 0%, which is very risky, but has the potential to yield positive results. The Moon won’t kill the player in-game instantly, but it does make them the target of future hauntings, which can be dangerous.
If you find The Moon in front of you during a real life reading, it doesn’t automatically mean something bad. Unfortunately, though, it is one of the more difficult cards to interpret. It can often depend on what card layout you’re using, or what you’re asking.
The Moon card’s basic meaning is all about illusion, and gestation. As the moon shifts through its phases, it appears differently to our eyes than it truly exists. The line between what’s real and what’s not blurs with this card.
It can mean that things are coming to light that were previously hidden— a deception being revealed, an idea occurring to you out of the dark. When reading the meaning of The Moon in tarot, it’s important to take time to consider context.
Another card where the reading can depend on context is The Wheel of Fortune. As the name might suggest, this card indicates a change in luck— good or bad.
Luck also defines The Wheel of Fortune’s function in Phasmophobia. When drawn, it will either add or subtract 25% from your character’s sanity. These cards can be either green or red, which indicates whether your sanity will go up or down.
In real life tarot, many different images and colors can adorn the wheel depending on the deck of cards, but the main meaning remains the same. To draw The Wheel of Fortune means you can expect a significant change in your life.
The kind of change will depend on the card’s direction. Upright, The Wheel of Fortune means that fate is working in your favor and you will have some good luck in what you set out to do.
Reversed, on the other hand, can mean bad luck, but more likely it means that you need to take more agency rather than leaving aspects of your life up to chance. The Wheel of Fortune, when upside down, may indicate that you’re stuck in a bad cycle.
You may not have control over what hand you’re dealt, this card represents, but you definitely can choose what decisions you make from there.
A lot of people may think that drawing the Death card means something horrible is going to happen, and that may be true in Phasmophobia, but in real-life tarot Death is much more metaphorical.
In the game, the Death card will immediately start a “cursed hunt. This mechanic is very similar to a regular hunt, in which the ghost will physically materialize and attempt to kill the players.
During any hunt, Lights flicker, other technology malfunctions, and the doors become locked. Cursed hunts last longer and are caused by cursed items in Phasmophobia, such as tarot cards.
Death represents something far less menacing in real-life tarot readings, however. It indicates life-altering changes and transformation, some aspect of your life “dying” to make room for something else.
It can refer to the end of a relationship, a switch in career paths, or any number of other things. This change could be happening at the time of the reading, or on the horizon. With the Death card, it’s important to keep an open mind. Don’t resist change— sometimes, letting go of the past is an important step to achieving future goals.
In both real-life tarot and Phasmophobia, The Devil card is about facing your fears. If you draw this particular card in the game, it will trigger a “Ghost Event.”
Ghost events are important in Phasmophobia because the player has to gather evidence from them in order to determine what type of ghost is haunting a space, even if the events can be dangerous.
When it comes to tarot, The Devil often indicates temptations and moral conflicts. If you receive this card in a reading, it means that you need to contemplate your negative behaviors and motivations in order to accept and correct them.
We all have the agency to make good and bad choices, to do both the right thing and the wrong thing at every turn. The Devil could be a sign that you need to be aware of this and the moral implications of your actions.
The Hanged Man is a very bad card draw in Phasmophobia, though despite the name it doesn’t always mean something negative in tarot.
In Phasmophobia, drawing The Hanged Man results in your character instantly dying. In real-life, however, it represents a change in perspective or some sort of self-sacrifice.
These two ideas might at first seem unrelated, but the main idea of the card is that in order to achieve something you have to give something up.
The Hanged Man encourages people to examine their lives from a new perspective to figure out what changes we may need to make.
The card can also warn against ignoring necessary change— it may very well mean that bad things could arise if you avoid making sacrifices.
A card that has to do with intuition and wisdom, The High Priestess card also offers one of the best effects of all the ones in Phasmophobia— allowing you to resurrect a dead teammate.
Rather than something you may learn from books or studying, The High Priestess centers on natural knowledge— wisdom gained from your life experiences and intuition based on instinctual feelings.
When The High Priestess comes into play, it may be time to rely on your heart rather than your head for decision making. Put logical reasoning aside for a moment, and listen to what your gut is telling you. Pay attention to what signs are saying.
The High Priestess may also indicate some sort of higher power at work, whether that has to do with your faith or a mentor in your life.
The name of this particular card suggests isolation and reclusiveness, and its purpose in Phasmophobia isn’t too far off from that. If you draw The Hermit in-game, the ghost you’re hunting will be inactive for a while.
In tarot, The Hermit doesn’t indicate that you need to physically isolate yourself, it’s more about self-reflection. Contemplation of one’s inner thoughts is super important, and it’s something to be done alone.
This idea is present in a variety of different faiths and religions— Buddha sitting under a tree, Jesus wandering the desert. A certain amount of solitary time is necessary in order to reach enlightenment.
Drawing this card in a reading could mean that you need to dig deep within yourself and do some soul-searching.
Flipping over a tarot card only to discover The Fool may feel like an insult, and in Phasmophobia it's certainly one of the worst cards to get. Not for any particularly malicious reason, either— the card just doesn’t have any effect.
Fortunately, in tarot, The Fool holds a lot more meaning. In addition to their names, the cards in a tarot deck are also numbered, and this particular card is the first one— zero. This is because The Fool represents infinite potential.
Lots of people might associate The Fool card with naivete, which isn’t completely inaccurate, but it’s also not a bad thing. If you encounter this card, it can mean that you’re facing a journey, and one you must begin without knowing what’s ahead.
The Fool encourages acting immediately despite the risks, because the possibilities of what you can do are endless. Much more positive than it may originally sound!
Last but certainly not of least importance, we have The Tower— one of the most infamous cards in tarot. However, despite what you may have heard, it doesn’t mean that something awful is going to happen.
Well, in Phasmophobia it might— drawing this card will trigger a ghost interaction, but at least it’s not a guaranteed in-game death.
The real-life implications of drawing The Tower are far more nuanced, however! This card may mean big and potentially bad changes in your life, but at the end of the day the turmoil will be better for you in the long-run.
Think about the imagery of the card— a tower falling. What you thought was a strong pillar in your life turns out to be built on falsehoods, and so it comes crashing down. But this upheaval, however upsetting it may be, is necessary to build something better.
A drastic and chaotic change may be coming, but ultimately The Tower indicates that it needs to in order to avoid being stuck in something toxic.
No card in tarot automatically means something bad— it’s all about how you interpret and what you choose to do with the information the cards give you.