Composure determines how long it takes a counselor to give into their fear, and is one of two stats calculated for how long it takes a counselor to break free when Jason grabs them.
As a rule of thumb, counselors who have low-average composure will panic in less than a minute, and above average composure can take anywhere from a minute-and-a-half to well above three minutes depending on its strength.
Fear has a total of four stages which are determined by the counselor's facial expressions as well as how they behave in-game.
- Stage 0: The counselor is at ease, their posture is staight. This is the minimum level of fear.
- Stage 1: The counselor's eyes start to widen but they will keep their straight posture.
- Stage 2: Somewhat nervous, the counselor starts looking over their shoulder on occasion with widened eyes. This is an early indicator the counselor is gaining fear.
- Stage 3: Fear is starting to take over; the counselor will suffer fear penalties, such as stumbling on occasion while moving. The counselor also starts to shriek, and if occupying a hiding spot they will murmer to themselves out loud when Jason is nearby; this warns him someone is hiding in his immediate vicinity.
- Stage 4: The counselor is completely hysterical, suffering the same fear penalties as Stage 3, but the counselor player's HUD darkens on the edges; you will lose your mini-map unless you equipped the Nerves of Steel perk. The counselor's stamina regeneration is also weakened during this stage, slowing down their recovery speed. Finally, if Jason was able to track you down earlier using Sense, you will continue to light up red no matter how far you stay away from him until your counselor calms down again.
There are many different factors, both environmental as well as personal, which affects a counselor's fear levels. As of now, it's unknown how much fear each condition raises/decreases since there are no hard numbers, but there are several conditions which increases/decreases fear should a counselor be exposed to them.
Fear is generated when you do the following:
- Being near Jason (you don't have to see him; hearing his music alone will trigger this).
- Witnessing Jason destroy objects, such as doors and/or windows.
- When by yourself.
- Moving around in the woods.
- Not using your flashlight in dark areas, including outside as well as inside buildings.
- Occupying a building without barricading all the doors.
- Not wielding a weapon.
- Seeing a corpse (after seeing one, finding others will not affect you for ten seconds).
- Seeing Pamela's severed head for the first time in a match (located in Jason's shack).
Fear is reduced while you are doing the following actions:
- Staying away from Jason, or more specifically you cannot hear his music AND he doesn't have Stalk mode active.
- Having your flashlight on in a dark area.
- Staying in an external light source (e.g. outdoor light post).
- Being near a teammate.
- Arming yourself with a weapon.
- Barricading all doors in a building. This is negated if Jason destroys a door leading outside in a building.
- Occupying a hiding spot (fear is further reduced when the hiding spot is near a light source; your flashlight will be off, so it must come from an external source).
- Being near a campfire or fireplace (this method reduces fear at a fast rate; if Jason loses track of you then try to stay near one as long as he doesn't find you again).
Fear is something you must avoid accumulating at all costs, but with Jason hunting you down it's difficult to keep the counselor's fear in check as the game goes on. Jason will adopt several strategies to rapidly increase counselor fear (e.g. destroy electrical boxes on some of the cabins to keep the lights off), and if the counselors aren't careful they can become handicapped by these conditions. Every counselor's fear will continue to rise while Jason is nearby, and nothing can stop the accumulation of fear until you escape from him (or at least the range you would normally hear his music in).
There are two noticeable penalties which are inflicted on counselors when they reach high levels of fear. First, they begin to stumble at Stage 3; this slows down a counselor as well as make them unable to perform any actions until the stumble animation ends. This can throw a fight in Jason's favor since an unfortunate stumble right before you were about to swing at him will grant him a free slash/grab against you. At the same exact time, your counselor's stamina regeneration weakens, making it more difficult to fight as well as run from Jason when the time calls for it.
If a counselor has high composure, they can handle larger amounts of fear, but it takes longer for them to reduce their fear when they start calming down. These counselors can handle Jason for a longer period without turning hysterical, yet gaining too much fear will make it difficult for them to calm down later. On the flip side, counselors with low composure will panic at a fast rate, but they also regain their bravery much faster; this makes them ideal for escapes if Jason's attention is directed to another counselor and/or area.
Composure, as a result, acts like a double-edged sword; experienced players will learn how to best control each individual counselor's fear. Think of this stat not as a strength, nor a weakness, rather how the counselor will react to Jason as well as their surroundings.
This stat also interacts with others in varying ways:
In relation with Stealth: Composure is useful when paired with high stealth because the two indicators Jason uses to find the location of counselors are noise pings as well as finding them through Sense. During the early stages of the game Jason's Sense detection radius isn't very far, so counselors with at least ten points in stealth who avoid reaching maxed levels of fear can stay hidden from him while jogging (counselors with ten points in stealth will only make noise jogging while very close to Jason, moving through water, or trying to move while exhausted). Keep in mind how stealth works, and view the link in order to get a better idea of how noise pings are generated at certain stealth levels so you don't tip yourself off to Jason.
In relation with Luck: This stat reduces the chances of stumbling, a penalty that occurs when a counselor reaches at least Stage 3 fear levels. While the amount of composure is usually doubled-edged in terms of gaming potential, luck tends to be more beneficial with higher composure since these counselors resist fear penalties longer while also decreasing the chance to stumble. But even a counselor with low composure will favor high luck since it still helps them reduce the chance to stumble, something they will struggle with since they panic at a fast rate.
In relation with Strength: As mentioned above, strength is one two stats calculated when trying to break free from Jason's grasp. While it's difficult to escape, at the very least counselors who have high points in both composure as well as strength have a better chance of freeing themselves.
In relation with Repair: Composure doesn't affect this stat in a meaningful way compared to others. Just keep in mind that failing a QTE check when repairing an objective will get Jason's attention, thus having high marks in repair means being able to fix an objective faster before Jason shows up. It certainly helps to not panic during this time since Jason might get a head start on approaching you before the repair is completed.
In relation with Stamina: Composure increases the amount of fear a counselor can handle before panicking while stamina is based on the counselor's endurance before tiring themselves out. The higher the counselor's composure, the less likely they are to become afraid, and since reaching Stage 3+ fear will start to weaken stamina regeneration it's useful to have a counselor who isn't frightened with ease during fight or flight. Future DLC might release a counselor who specializes in this combo since there are currently none who have an above average composure/stamina score combined.
In relation with Speed: This stat affects how fast you move; the quicker you can escape Jason, the less amount of fear your counselor will build up (which will also help you prevent Jason from detecting you with his Sense ability at earlier levels). However, the only counselors with high speed in existence also have low composure, meaning they will panic quickly. As a result, any counselor with high speed must high-tail it away from Jason as soon as possible if you wish to avoid reaching maxed levels of fear.
- Originally, seeing a corpse would cause your counselor to freeze up which would prevent them from moving for a short moment; this was removed.
- For Jenny alone, it's possible to use perks which make it possible for her to never build up fear within the game. If you have both of the perks "Nerves of Steel" as well as "Preparedness" at maxed epic levels, and equip them on Jenny, she will never accumulate fear throughout the entire game, no matter what situation she's put in.