Tips for Playing a Survivor In Dead by Daylight

In Dead by Daylight, slasher films are brought to life with wonderfully terrifying asymmetrical 4v1 horror. As one of the four survivors, your job is to hide, turn on some lights, and run away. But it’s a lot harder (and scarier) than it sounds. These tips might help you live to see another match.

Know the Basics

My PC is le poop for graphics. Apologies.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll struggle with your first several games and get frustrated. But don’t give up! It’s not easy to win as a survivor, and it’s not supposed to be. So don’t get discouraged if you’re losing this grown-up hide and seek game constantly. Knowing a few basic survival tactics will help:

  • Play with headphones: Whether you’re a survivor or killer, audio cues play a major role in this game. You need to be able to hear every subtle sound that might indicate where the killer or survivors might be. You’ll hear a pounding heartbeat get louder and louder as the killer gets closer.
  • Only sprint when you have to: Sprinting leaves tracks that the killer can follow. They can also hear you as you move. Slow and steady wins the race, so crouch as much as you can.
  • Avoid crows: They might look like set dressing, but they’re actually a great way for the killer to hear where you’re moving. Steer clear if you don’t want to give away your position.
  • Use items: Items you bring into the match, or the ones you find in the level, are huge boons. Med kits help with healing, and toolboxes, while great for generators, can be used to disarm hooks. Don’t let them go to waste. Plus, you get to keep items you find if you manage to escape.
  • Find generators: Repairing the generators and opening the escape hatch is the only way to win. Look up in the sky for lights so you know where they are, and be ready for skill checks when you start repairing them. There’s a sound that warns when a check is coming, so listen closely.
  • Note your surroundings: Remember where you saw generators, item trunks, windows, pallets, and, most importantly, the escape door.
  • Stick to the outskirts: The closer you get to the center of the map, the more dangerous it is. Killers tend to hang out near the middle and search from the inside out, so try to stay away. If you do get spotted on the outskirts, you can die knowing the rest of your team is fairly safe everywhere else on the map for a short time.

With the basics down, you’ll know enough to play and at least be a decent enough distraction so your teammates can get things done while the killer tortures you. Now let’s go over some of the more advanced tactics that will help you actually make it out with your teammates.

Group Up and Use the Buddy System


You know how in horror movies the person that wanders off alone winds up being the first one killed? The same thing happens here. Stay with other survivors if you can. You’ll repair generators faster, confuse killers more easily when they give chase, and if someone gets picked off, you’ll be able to unhook them and heal them.

Think about it, if you’re a killer and you come across a group of fresh meat, you have to pick one to chase as they scatter. The time it takes to make that decision is often enough for a clever group of survivors to make their escape. That said, once you’re more skilled as a survivor, going off alone can be a viable tactic. But until you unlock some perks and learn how to hide like a pro, go with the buddy system for now.


Use Those Windows and Wood Pallets


You can hop over windows a lot faster than any of the killers can. In fact, you can juke back and forth over the window so well as a survivor, it’s actually becoming a bit of a problem. While I don’t encourage cheesing as a window-hopper, I do encourage you to use them when you’re being chased. I few good window hops, with a dash of doubling back, is the recipe for success when being chased by a bloodthirsty slasher. And remember, holding the sprint button while you hop will make you do it a little faster (and louder).

It’s also important you make use of the wood pallets you can pull down in the same manner. You can slide over them quickly, but the killer has to go around or break through them. You can use the same window juke maneuvers to outsmart them here. As soon as you hear them breaking the pallet, that’s your cue to get out of sight. Don’t take off sprinting, though! They can follow your footsteps. Just hide somewhere nearby and wait for them to leave the area. The killer’s vision is actually pretty bad, so the less movement the better.


Also, I don’t recommend jumping into the closets strewn about each level. They seem like a great spot to hide, but it’s an instant grab’n hook if the killer finds you. They can see your footsteps leading up to the door, and if you stay in there too long, crows will land on top and give away your hiding spot.

Prioritize Saving and Healing Teammates


If you want to win as the survivors, you need to rely on your strength in numbers. The more people you have distracting the killer, working on generators, and finding items in trunks, the better. That means you shouldn’t abandon a survivor as soon as they get hooked.

Seeing someone get caught might seem like the perfect time to work on a generator—sometimes it is—but don’t immediately forsake your buddies. Always help them if possible, and take the time to heal each other once you’re out of sight (be ready for skill checks). If you don’t heal up, you’ll draw attention with your whimpering and bleeding (not to mention leave a blood trail).


What I’ve started doing is intentionally failing a skill check on a generator so it goes off and hopefully draws the killer—then I make a dash to the hooked survivor. Before you try to be the hero, though, be sure to scout the area and make sure that slasher isn’t using your friend as bait. Killers love to puppy guard. If you’re going against the trapper and you see him hook someone then start laying a trap, you can unhook your buddy during his animation and make your escape.

Don’t Immediately Struggle When You Get Hooked


When the killer throws you on a hook, you have the option to try and pull yourself off. This has a fairly low chance of working, and it hurts you in the process. Wait to be saved as long as you can, then try to pull yourself off as a last resort.

If it doesn’t work, the “entity” is going to try and finish you off. You can fight this off for a little while by repeatedly pressing the Space button, but at that point, you need be saved by another player. Also, if you’re getting hooked for the second time, you’re donezo.


Don’t Finish Off the Generators Until the Very End


As soon as you finish repairing a generator, everyone will know which one it is, including the killer. The killer will also know that survivors don’t need to spend time hanging out in that area anymore, so your total viable hiding space will shrink. Basically, the more generators you activate, the harder it is to avoid the killer.

So, instead of finishing them off as you go, you should repair them until they’re nearly finished, then move on to the next one. Each generator saves it’s repair progress, so you can leave it as long as you like. Assuming you don’t constantly blow all of your skill checks, the killer will have a hell of a time trying to find anyone. Once you’ve got enough generators close, finish them off all in one fell swoop and make your escape.


You can buy Dead by Daylight on Steam for $19.99.

Top image via Starbreeze.

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