Your one stop shop for everything you need to know about playing Survivor like a pro.
So you’ve played Dead by Daylight for a for a few months now – or maybe since its release – and you’re pretty confident in your skills as a Survivor. Well, even though you may think you have all the tricks up your sleeve to juke, counter and outsmart Killers, there may be some things you haven’t quite mastered yet, or didn’t even know about. In this guide, we have put together a cohesive collection of information regarding just about every aspect of playing as and winning as a Survivor.
Getting Started: How To Hide and Stay Hidden
There are many different techniques to hiding from and avoiding the Killer, and one particular technique has taken me quite some time to master: camouflage. Although it may seem like one of the simpler hiding maneuvers, it takes a lot of practice, patience and finesse to master hiding in plain sight. The most common way to do this is to find a corner and crouch facing into it. If you are in a dark corner, that is even better and your chances of being seen are even slimmer. Still, if you can get good at doing this even in a more well-lit area of the map, you will typically find that the Killer will walk right past you (and boy, what an adrenaline rush it is). If you get into a chase with a killer and he’s not directly behind you, and the environment you’re in allows it, a trick that works well is quickly crouching and hiding behind a rock or tree, circling around it, and then quickly moving to the nearest corner that you can crouch into and hide.
Still, if you can get good at doing this even in a more well-lit area of the map, you will typically find that the Killer will walk right past you (and boy, what an adrenaline rush it is). If you get into a chase with a killer and he’s not directly behind you, and the environment you’re in allows it, a trick that works well is quickly crouching and hiding behind a rock or tree, circling around it, and then quickly moving to the nearest corner that you can crouch into and hide.
While being quick and agile in your execution of this is ultimately what’s going to yield results, you also need to bear in mind that you need to look the part as well. Be sure to dress in the darkest, most earth-toned clothing items available. Even though the bright colored cosmetics are fun and might spice up the game for you a bit, they’re not going to help your cause when it comes to hiding and blending in with the surroundings.
Additionally, be aware of your body and items. Do keep in mind that the female characters are considerably smaller than the male characters, and it is much easier to crouch and hide without being seen as one of the female characters. When you are carrying an item such as a toolbox, med kit or flashlight, they characters tend to hold them out from their body a bit, especially while crouched. This means that you may think you are well-hidden behind a rock or tree, but your item may be sticking out of the side like a sore thumb and a seasoned Killer will be able to spot you fairly easily, especially if you’re injured.
Helpful Tips For Every Killer
|The Wraith||The Wraith is one of the more unsettling Killers in the game, but one of the easiest to counter. Listen for his bells. As soon as you hear his first bell and know that he is uncloaking, count up from there so that you know when he is cloaked and when he isn't. It takes him a full 3 seconds to fully uncloak and be able to strike, so you have enough time to rush a hook to get a Survivor down with a chance to dash away and break chase. He also is not completely invisible while cloaked, so if you keep an eye on your surroundings, you will see him coming. Even if you don't, you can hear his heavy breathing that will tell you how close he is to you.|
|The Nurse||The Nurse's Blink ability can be very intense and seemingly hard to counter because it is so fast, but like the Hillbilly, she has very limited range of mobility while Blinking. Juking her doing a complete 180 as she blinks forward can get you out of her line of sight fairly easily; but, beware that she could blink twice in a row, so be prepared to juke her again as she does this. It will be much easier to escape her at this point as she will be exhausted.|
|The Shape||Micheal Myers is not a Killer you want to play brave with. When the game starts, Michael's terror radius is extremely low. Look around yourself. He can look at you at close range and you wouldn't know, giving him more power the longer he stares. Staying hidden and crouching are your best options when playing against Michael, but most importantly, never stop looking around you, especially while healing or working on a gen. Only palette camp if you are out of his sight, otherwise he is gaining more power by looking at you. The flashlight is not your ally when playing Michael, as it requires you to be in his sight for an extended period of time, giving him more power. It is also worth noting that when Michael has his knife held up, he can down you instantly if he is using Evil Within III.|
|The Hillbilly||The Hillbilly is the fastest Killer in the game and has the ability to put a Survivor into dying state with one hit of his chainsaw. However, he has little mobility and cannot aim while his chainsaw is charged, so if you are in a chase with him, do not run in a straight line. Corners and windows are your friend, assuming he is not immediately behind you. When he gets close enough, run horizontally so he has to waste his chainsaw charge running forward, giving you a chance for him to lose visual on you. Palettes are also your friend with the Hillbilly. He is able to break palettes down easily with a charged chainsaw, so get near a palette, make him think you plan to throw it down so he begins to rev up his chainsaw, and then make a break for it. He walks significantly slower while revving the chainsaw, giving you a chance to make a mad dash out of his line of sight.|
|The Hag||When playing against the Hag, be mindful of her traps and when and where she will lay them. They will most commonly be placed near a hooked Survivor and near generators. If you approach these areas with caution by crouching, you will not trigger the traps.|
|The Doctor||The Doctor is arguably one of the most difficult Killers to counter, especially after his recent rework. It is crucial to know his location at all times. If you hear him within heartbeat range, hide in a locker or crouch until he passes to prevent screaming and progression of insanity. Always make sure to Snap Out Of It as soon as you get the chance and continue working on the objective.|
|The Huntress||The Huntress is the most recent Killer added to the game, and with her ranged weapons, she is a skilled and difficult adversary. However, she is only granted 5 hatchets upon the beginning of the match(may vary depending on Add-ons and Perks), and if you know your surroundings and can bait her into throwing a hatchet at you, crouch and get to cover. She will eventually run out and will be no more daunting than any of the other Killers. You also have the advantage of knowing she is nearby much sooner than other Killers due to her Lullaby. It is worth noting that the Huntress can put a Survivor into dying state with a fully charged hatchet if she is using Iridescent Head.|
|The Trapper||Always be wary of traps in tall grass, near generators, hooked Survivors and near windows and pallets. Keep your eyes on the ground and keep an eye out for the option to pop up to Sabotage a trap on the ground that you may not see, like in tall grass. Look near windows before jumping over them and always look near palettes, even if you are in an intense chase.|
Altruism: Do It Right
One thing that I feel I should touch on again, even though it was the main theme in the Beginner’s Survivor’s Guide, is the fact that you shouldn’t always try to be a hero. Yes, being altruistic is a much more fun and thrilling way to play the game that is going to help you rake in the most Bloodpoints, but you have to also make sure you’re not going to rush to a hooked ally and wind up looking like a rank 20 newbie. Aside from the fact that you are putting yourself in harm’s way when you rush a hook while a Killer is camping or lightly patrolling, more often than not if you unhook a Survivor while the Killer is in range, he is going to hit that Survivor again and put them right back on the hook. This is probably going to piss off your team mates pretty bad considering you’ve just sent them into Phase 2, or if it’s their third hook, sent them straight to the Entity, when you should have waited until the coast was clear or devised a plan with a team mate(if you’re playing SWF) on how to properly execute the rescue. On the other hand, a Survivor like David Cook who has perks like We’re Gonna Live Forever that allows him to acquire more Bloodpoints for rescuing a Survivor or taking a hit for the sake of defending another Survivor, so it is also circumstantial and depends on your play style and loadout.
This is probably going to piss off your team mates pretty bad considering you’ve just sent them into Phase 2, or if it’s their third hook, sent them straight to the Entity, when you should have waited until the coast was clear or devised a plan with a team mate(if you’re playing SWF) on how to properly execute the rescue. On the other hand, a Survivor like David Cook who has perks like We’re Gonna Live Forever that allows him to acquire more Bloodpoints for rescuing a Survivor or taking a hit for the sake of defending another Survivor, so it is also circumstantial and depends on your play style and loadout.
Baby’s First Jukes
A big mistake that beginners and experienced players often make is thinking that you’ve been seen when you haven’t. It’s an easy mistake to make when you have eyes on the Killer and he appears to be looking right at you, but he actually doesn’t see you at all. When this happens, Survivors may start running away, revealing themselves to the Killer and initiating a chase. Remember, the Killer is playing in the first person, you are playing in the third person. You have the advantage. Before we get into the art of juking, I’d also like to take a moment to mention the fact that when you are injured, you MUST be aware of the evidence you are leaving behind, both auditory and visual. Aside from your grunting and groans of pain, you leave a very noticeable trail of blood behind you whether you are walking, running or crouching. Many juking methods involve using the lockers, so do not get into a locker that has clear ground in front of and around it where your blood trail will be apparent – try to use a locker that has grass coverage or debris on the ground.
Juking has become more and more popular as players are finding new ways to do it. Palette looping and window looping used to be the tool that Survivors used to try to escape the Killer’s view and get out of their sight while them flustered and duped. There are many ways to do it but we will cover the three most common, starting with the easiest:
- Use That Cornfield!
You must remember that the Killer is always faster than you. They are always going to catch up to you unless you get out of their sight and break chase. When in a chase with the Killer, run in a straight line, and run straight for the cornfield. You need to get a good distance between you and him, if you can, to have a moment to plan your juke. When he does come in hitting-range of you where you can see the Red Stain, you must decide what you’re going to do, and also use a little intuition to guess which direction THEY think you’re going to go. So, say you decide you’re going to turn left – wait until your character has just turned facing left so the Killer sees’s your plan of action, and then QUICKLY turn RIGHT and do a FULL spin around him and take off in a straight line and take the nearest cover you can. The idea here is that the Killer is going to go in the direction that he thinks you went in, and hopefully even took a swing at you as soon as you made that initial turn so that he is slowed down by a couple seconds. Note: as soon as you think you’ve lost the Killer, stop running – crouch if possible – so that you do not leave any scratch marks behind you.
This juke is pretty self-explanatory and really just requires you to crouch, although it does take a lot of practice and technique to do it right. This can be done with most Killers, although it works best with Killers that charge you, like the Hillbilly, but can be used with most Killers. The trick with this technique is to be pretty ballsy – you are going to want to let the Killer run right up on you and cause him to swing at you while you very quickly turn left or right, crouch, and get behind the Killer as quickly as you can. It’s best to try to do this near a building or near cover so you can make a quick escape behind cover for through a window. The idea here is that after the Killer swings at you and takes a couple moments to wipe off his weapon, you will be out of his line of sight – crouched behind him- and he’s going to take a guess as to what direction you went it and typically, they’re not going to stop to search the ground around them. This juke is easy to use, but quite difficult to get the hangout and you certainly are not going to get this just right on your first try, but don’t give up! This is a useful and effective juke.
- Use Your Surroundings
If your situation allows it, one of the most simple jukes you can perform is using your surroundings to get out of sight of the Killer and disorient them. This technique involves some level of palette looping, window looping, lockers and and making use of the sharp corners around buildings. You have to keep in mind that the Killer is playing in the first person and you must try to visualize what the Killer is seeing when performing the actions you’re doing. With the palette method, you want to try to get right near a palette but hide behind cover, wait until he gets right up next to a palette and then throw it down, stunning him. This is going to give you the chance to either crouch and get behind cover, find a window to vault over or a locker to quickly hide in (best used if you have the perk Quick and Quiet). The Entity no longer allows you to loop vault over palettes or windows, so after two times you have to plan what you’re going to do – either make a break for it or hide in the nearest possible location. This technique requires you to make sure you are looking around you constantly to make sure the Killer isn’t looking in your direction, especially if you’re going to hide in a locker. Typically, a Killer is not going to search lockers unless he knows for certain that you are hiding in one because it takes several seconds to open and close the locker, which is more than enough time to escape. A counter juke to this would be to make the Killer think you went into a nearby locker, but quickly turned past it to hide somewhere else nearby or run away as long as you are not in his line of sight. Some players don’t consider these techniques to be actual jukes, but it is a matter of opinion. Do not underestimate the power you have as soon as the Killer loses sight of you.
Slow Ride, Take It Easy
Keeping a low profile is key in Dead by Daylight, as everyone knows, and the best way to do this is to walk everywhere, as much as you can. Running is going to much more easily give away your position, as it’s a lot easier for a Killer to spot fast movement in his peripherals, versus a slow moving player who can crouch and hide at a moment’s notice. Since running leaves scratch marks behind you, if you fail a skill check it is crucial that you quickly leave the area, as the Killer is going to head there first if he is not already in a chase. Walking to the nearest hiding spot or locker (looking at you, Dwight) is going to give you a much better chance of avoiding the Killer when he comes to scout the area after a failed skill check.
On the other hand, if you fail a skill check while working on a generator and you know the Killer is in a chase with another Survivor, keep working! Like I said in the Beginner’s Survivor Guide, it is in your best interest to use your teammate’s shortcomings to your advantage. When the Killer is occupied, pop a generator, try to find the Hex totem if there is one, sabotage a hook or traps because ultimately, you are helping your teammates out pretty significantly when doing these things.
Perk Builds Based on Category
Many perks from different categories can work well together to make a great build for a Survivor, depending on what your playstyle is and what you want to focus on in a match. We have broken it down into four main categories: Objective, Altruism, Boldness, and Survival. In this table, you can find examples of builds for each category that will make you an asset to your team. Note: Many of the Perks listed are teachable Perks, and these builds typically work the best in SWF, when communication with your team is going to be the key. That said, these builds are still extremely useful and efficient.
|Objective||This Is Not Happening is one of the most useful perks in the Objective category to build off of because it makes you more efficient while injured, which is a very important thing to consider because your team mates may not always be the most altruistic. Skill Check success zones when repairing, healing and sabotaging get 10/20/30 % bigger when you are injured. In addition to This Is Not Happening:|
- Bond – Bond is extremely useful in the Altruism category as well, but having this Perk in an Objective-based build is going to allow you to see you allies auras, injured or not, within a 12/24/36 meter range, meaning you can spot others working on generators, giving you the option to go help repair with them, speeding up the repair time in addition to getting you some Cooperative Action points as well.
- Leader – Having Leader as a Perk in this build is going to give your team mates more incentive to work as a team healing and repairing generators, with the added bonus of the action being sped up by 3%/6%/9%. Having Bond is clearly going to help greatly here, as you’ll be able to see where your allies are located and you can focus on teamwork when locating another Survivor(s).
Left Behind – Left Behind is an important Objective-based Perk to consider, as you must acknowledge the fact that you may very well be the last man standing at any point in a match. The Perk grants you 19%/22%/25% repair speed to Generators when you are the last Survivor standing. This Perk does not necessarily make you an effective team player; but, when youre the last person left in the match and can’t find the Hatch and don’t have a key, you will be glad you have this Perk.
|Altruism||No One Left Behind is the most Altruistic Perk available, and a great Perk to build on for a truly Altruistic-driven play style. With this Perk, you are granted 50/75/100 % more Bloodpoints for actions in the Altruism category and perform them 4/8/12% quicker.|
- We’ll Make It – This Perk grants you an additional 25/50/100% speed increase to healing up to a maximum of 100% for 30/60/90 seconds. In addition to No One Left Behind, this combo will make you a Super Healer as soon as those gates open to be able to get your team (or what’s left of them) out safely.
- Empathy – Empathy, like Bond, reveals the auras of injured and dying team mates to you within a 24/36/unlimited meter range. Obviously, Empathy is most useful at Tier 3 when you have an unlimited range of visibility of your allies to get to them even if they are on the other side of the map.
- Borrowed Time – Borrowed Time is one of the most efficient Perks in the game if you want to be as Altruistic as possible. When you rescue a team mate from a Hook, you and your team mate are granted a 30/35/40 seconds bleed-out timer if you take any damage while in the Killer’s terror radius. This is hugely useful as you have a large window of time for you and your teammate to get away from the Killer, find cover and heal. And if those gates are opened, this is the best way to farm as many Bloodpoints as possible.
The Boldness category and Altruism typically go hand in hand, especially when dealing with patrolling and camping Killers. As far as Boldness goes, it can be anything from keeping close to a Killer to let your teammates know where they’re located (SWF), or say, keeping nearby the Trapper to see where he lays traps and Sabotage them as you go. In this category, we will go over which Perks will make you the boldest player, giving you an edge over the Killer, and making you an asset to your team.
|Boldness||The best Perk to build off for a Boldness-based build would be Spine Chill or Premonition; however Spine Chill is most effective for being within close-range to the Killer. Spine Chill grants you a warning when the Killer is looking directly in your direction and standing within a 12/24/36 meters; however, Skill Checks trigger odds are increased by 10% with success zones reduced by 10%. What makes Spine Chill superior is that it increases your repair, healing and sabotage speed by 2/4/6%. Eqipping this Perk allows you to be within range of the Killer, know if he sees you and if you should make a run for it or hide, but you can also still work on a generator while the Killer is near, with the added bonus of a speed boost.|
- Dead Hard – Dead Hard is just as important to have in this build because well, let’s face it, sometimes being bold and finessing the Killer doesn’t go to plan. Dead Hard allows you to make a mad dash forward when hit, and keeps you from getting injured while you are running. This Perk causes exhaustion for 60/50/40 seconds, but it is very effective in escaping chase with a Killer, and if you’re skilled enough and can get into position, you can effortlessly juke the Killer using this Perk.
- Resilience – This perk is ideal to have along with Dead Hard because it too grants you a 3/6/9% speed increase in healing, sabotaging, and repairing, as well as searching chests while injured. This way, after you’ve been hit and have made your getaway using Dead Hard, you can find a generator to repair with your speed increase from both Spine Chill(if the Killer is near) and Resilience.
- We’re Gonne Live Forever – This Perk is similar to Borrowed Time, and to be honest, either one works depending on how you wish to play. We’re Gonna Live Forever grants you 50% stackable bonus to all Bloodpoint gains up to a maximum of 100/150/200% every time you rescue a Survivor from the hook or take a hit to save another Survivor. This Perk is also very much on the Altruistic side of things, but also is going to grant you a lot of Bloodpoints in the Boldness category.
The Survival category is a tricky one, because it touches on all categories to some extent, because focusing on the objective, helping team mates and using boldness and cunning to evade the Killer are all essential parts of playing and winning the game. You may find that you have an excellent Survival-based build, but here we have put together a rather OP build that is sure to grant you some extra luck.
|Survival||For the Survival category, we've chosen either No Mither or Unbreakable as base Perks to build from. Both of which allow you to recover from dying state without assistance, which is huge; however, it's not extremely common to have the time to do so. No Mither causes you to start the match injured and unhealable and your grunts of pain caused by injuries are reduced by 0/25/50% at any time. Unbreakable grants the ability to fully recover from the dying state once per match and increases dying recovery by 15/20/25%|
- Iron Will – Iron Will causes your grunts of pain caused by injuries to be reduced by 50/100/100% while staying still, and if you have Iron Will at Tier 3, you are silent while injured at all times. This Perk also fits in very well to the Boldness, as you can stay within a Killer’s terror radius while injured and remain unheard. Most importantly, having Iron Will is going to give you a far better chance of hiding and not being heard after a Killer has hit you and is searching for you, or if you’re trying to effectively juke.
- Decisive Strike – If you wind up being the Killer’s obsession, you know how frustrating a match can be. Decisive Strike gives you a serious edge if this is the case, as you are able to escape the Killer’s grasp when you get caught with a successful Skill Check. Not only this, but the action stuns the Killer for 3/3.5/4 seconds, giving you a decent window of time to run away and hide or pull off an effective juke.
- Urban Evasion – While patience is typically key in any match, it’s easy to want to just run towards a generator or injured ally if you feel that the coast is clear; but, staying in the crouch position for the duration of the match has proven to be supremely effective as you are not making as much noise, not going to startle birds, you won’t leave a trail scratch marks, you are just more well-hid overall, assuming you stick to cover and tall grass. Urban Evasion increases your movement speed by 40/45/50% while crouched, making crouching not quite so tedious. This is also a helpful Perk to equip when playing against the Hag, as crouching will not set off her traps.
While these four Perks make a very OP Survivalist build, it is worth noting Self Care is another extremely useful Perk in this category and is up there in importance with Unbreakable and No Mither. Self Care allows you to heal yourself while injured at 30/40/50% the normal healing speed, and Skill Checks triggered while healing with Self Care have success zones reduced by 20/10/0%. Self Care in Tier 3 is the ideal Perk to have in a Survivalist build, even more so that Urban Evasion or Decisive Strike.
Just Have Fun With It!
While no two matches play out the same way, and everyone prefers their certain playstyle, you’ll find that switching up your play style every so often may yield great results. Trying a new Loadout build with Perks focusing on a different category may work out better for you than others have before. If you’ve been playing for a long time and feel that you aren’t playing as well as you could but you’ve grown comfortable with your playstyle, try one of the Perk builds detailed above. It may be just what you needed!
No matter how you play, what category you like to play in, or whether or not you prefer to solo queue or SWF, the most important thing is to have fun. Don’t be a salty Survivor when you get hooked. Don’t be rude to a Killer who played fair. Don’t trash talk your team for not performing well. Camping and facecamping happens, and will continue to happen until the devs figure out how to squelch it. When playing it is important not to get too wrapped up in focusing on racking up Bloodpoints. Try to be a good team player, focus on your objective and the rest will work itself out (assuming your Killer doesn’t disconnect)!