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dead daylight survivor guide tips

Dead By Daylight: Survivor Guide and Tips

I’ve been playing an obscene amount of Dead By Daylight since it came out last week and, as a Survivor, have gone from “I instantly die” to “how can I maximize my score for when I win”? I just wanted to take a minute to pass along some basic wisdom that I don’t feel Dead By Daylight does a great job of explaining, as well as give you some tips on how I started turning my Survivor time around.

DON’T HOARD ITEMS: When you level up your survivor’s bloodweb, you’ll be uncovering a series of one-use-only items. If you’re anything like me when you play your games, you save all your cherry ammunition and potions for the “big boss fight” at the end of the game and end up having hundreds of items you never used. Well, guess what, Sally? As each run is its own separate experience, you might as well use them each and every time. In the current patch, there’s zero reason to save them, unless you really, really want to get a specific add-on to make that item more effective. You hold onto the item until you use it all up or get killed, so might as well use them! You’ll certainly get more.

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LOOK UP: The grounds of the scrapyard, estate and farm are covered with clutter, corn fields, fog and visual noise. Your job in Dead By Daylight is to hunt down and turn on those five generators as quickly as possible. The great part about those generators is that each one has a series of lights that extended twelve feet into the sky, so no matter where you are, you can do a quick 360 camera pan and look for those light rigs. Sometimes, survivors may have already gotten to them and have started cranking on them, which means the lights start to turn on and off faintly, making them that much easier to see as well. A number of times I’ve been lost in a junkyard maze, only to look up and see a generator on the other side of it. Good stuff.

AUDIO CUES DURING SKILL CHECKS: Why don’t they tell you this? I spent hours of failing Dead By Daylight skill checks, not realizing that when you’re repairing or healing an injured teammate that there is a distinctive audio cue right before the “skill check gauge” pops up for you to bang on the spacebar. Don’t be surprised anymore at that stupid gauge just showing up; keep your eyes peeled on the horizon for movement, then when you hear that sound, look at the center of your screen and be ready to go. I’ve only failed a handful of skill checks since I figured that one out.

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STRUCTURES ARE YOUR FRIEND: In particular, two-story houses. They have multiple windows you can jump into and out of, including a second floor which you can jump down from. These are all great ways to get away from the Killer; I had one particular enterprising Survivor when I was playing the Killer literally kite me around the bus carcass in the scrapyard. She’d wait until I’d lurched up to her, jump perfectly through the back of the bus. Because the bus is so long, it was more “efficient” for me to go through the window versus trying to turn around and go back around, so round and round we went. If she’d have had two windows, she could have kept up this merry chase for quite awhile. On top of being great places for you to juke out the killer, they usually have a generator in or near them as well.

USE YOUR FRIENDS: The second you see someone get hit in the status bar in the lower left hand side of the screen, you’ve got 30 seconds to a minute of free time. The Killer will be generally so laser focused on hunting their wounded prey that they’re not going to focus on the occasional generator popping or chest opening. Same goes for when a killer downs one of your fellow Survivors, that is another 30-45 seconds of free roam. The Killer will be so distracted lifting their prey onto their shoulder and dropping them on a hook that you are free to zip around. Also, generally as lower ranked killers sit and camp those hooks to make sure no one frees their friends, you have several minute as long as the survivor is struggling to stay alive where the Killer will remain within a reasonable distance of the hook. Run like hell, pop those generators, get things done, because he will be too distracted making sure to get that sacrifice.

DID YOU KNOW THERE ARE CHESTS? Surprise! You’re not just looking for generators, but there are chests out there with items like the toolkit, medkit and flashlight just waiting for you to pick up! They don’t exactly have the same twelve-foot light rig that generators have for you to spot from a distance, but they’re out there and are worth 250 Objective points if you grab them!

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RACK UP THAT SCORE: I had a Dead By Daylight match where I personally turned on four of the five generators by myself, escaped and just barely cleared the 10,000 points needed to get a pip for the online survivor ranking. If you are in a good spot, you’re at full health and haven’t been grabbed at all, loiter outside the exit door and wait for the Killer to show up, then let him hit you (risky), then run out while he’s recharging his swing. Or simply hang out at the gate then run out when he shows up. You’ll get some more Bold points as well as an Escape point reward. Or wait for some of your fellow survivors to get there, heal them up if they need it, and then wait until the Killer arrives to possibly get a Distraction bonus on top of it! POINTS!

DO NOT RUN: Unless you see that red light indicating that the killer is directly on your ass, DO NOT RUN. While the blazing red scratch trail that you leave behind isn’t exactly a direct line to where you’re going to, many times as I’ve played the Killer, I had zero idea where any of the survivors were at only to stumble upon one of these handy little paths that led me right to one of the little wretches. Given the field of view for the Killer, there’s a better than average chance they just haven’t seen you.

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ONLY “ATTEMPT ESCAPE” IF THINGS LOOK GRIM: If you do get picked up by the Killer and he “meathooks” you, the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to bang on the “Attempt Escape” button a few times. DO NOT DO THIS. It severely depletes your health gauge and is only effective, according to the Dead By Daylight Steam forums, 5% of the time. If you try it three times (the number of attempts you can take before the Struggle phase begins), you’re looking at just 15% of the time. You’re best bet is to look around the map and see if any of your glowing golden friends are lurking nearby attempting to make a rescue. If you see they are all just out there on the other side of the map having a dance party without you, then and only then should you attempt to escape.

DON’T MASH, ROCK IT: When you get picked up by the Killer, the next immediate reaction to try and wriggle free is to pound on the “A” and “D” keys like you’re in a race. I tried doing that for a good long time, only to realize that it’s far more effective to rock back and forth in a rhythm, holding down “A” for a second, then “D” for the next second, back and forth. I’ve actually managed to wriggle free doing it that way, where before when I was mashing back and forth as quickly as possible, I’d never escaped once.

Got even more on the next page! Damn, this game is fun.

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INJURED? KEEP MOVING!: If you’ve been hit and are attempting to flee the Killer, don’t go to ground and hide. In Dead By Daylight, your Survivor whimpers and gasps trying to fight the pain, which is a great audio cue for the Killer to hone in on you crouching in a corner. You have to get out of earshot of him and then whimper, to your heart’s content.

HE’S COMING THIS WAY!: If that Killer heartbeat is getting closer and closer to you while you’re working on a generator, calmly stop what you are doing and walk away. DO NOT RUN. Many times as the Killer, I would patrol the various generator sites after a Survivor had failed a skill check and by the time I got there, I’d have no idea where the Survivor had wandered off to. Without that glowing red scratch trail leading from the generator, the Killer will presume you got the hell out of there and keep searching. Oh, and don’t go hide in a cabinet right next to the generator after you fail a skill check. Come on. The Killer can also hear someone if they’re turning a wrench at the generator, so if he doesn’t hear anything, it’s likely he’ll think you’ve moved on.

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DOUBLE BACK: If you’re being chased and manage to break line of sight from him, try to double back the way you came. The natural impulse when running is to run the same direction you’ve been running, and the Killer will do the same. You successfully double back and don’t run while doing it? You’re good to go.

ESCAPE HATCH = AUDIO CUE: The escape hatch is found in several specific locations on each level. When you start getting close to it, you’ll hear what sounds like a moaning noise, which I imagine is the sound of air rushing through a long underground cave. Generally, you won’t need to know where this hatch is, but every now and again, you’re the last Survivor on a map, and you rack up an extra 2,000 points for escaping through the hatch on top of the 5,000 for surviving. The hatch doesn’t open unless you’re the last person alive on the map or you have a skeleton key, so there’s really no use in camping them.

USE THE SCRATCHES TO YOUR BENEFIT: Knowing what you know about running as a Dead By Daylight Survivor and how it leaves behind a trail or red scratches for the Killer to see, sprint a direction for awhile, then stop running and make a hard right or left turn and stop running. The scratches will lead in a different direction and the Killer will think you’ve gone that way. Or another trick is to sprint until you get in front of a cabinet and then stop running. The Killer will follow the trail and immediately think you’ve dipped into the cabinet, giving you more time to get away.

PLAY THE KILLER: A good way to learn more on how the Dead By Daylight Killer thinks is to put some time in behind the mask. It’s there you realize how the scratches work when you’re chasing prey down, or just what a pain in the ass being stunned by a Survivor dropping pallet on your ass is.

RUN ON THE OUTSIDE: If you really want to run, go to the outside perimeter of the map and take off sprinting. The chances of the Killer checking the perimeter is extremely small; I can’t count the number of times I played as the Killer and ping-ponged back and forth in the middle of the map between inactive generators.

ACTIVE GENERATORS = SAFER: Want to stay somewhat hidden in plain sight? Stand in the vicinity of a live generator. Killers have a tendency to, as I just wrote, patrol back and forth between inactive generators trying to catch a Survivor trying to start one up. The active generators disappear from their heads-up display, so they become invisible. Just don’t stand directly under one where the light rig is shining down. Come on.

MAPS = POINTS!: You want to rack up some easy points? I couldn’t figure out what the map was for. I would come into a match and start using it like a noob. You have to run around the map and mark things on it first (passively), THEN, if you need to find a generator or the trap door exit, you actively bring up the map and it will be outlined in purple. The good news is everything you “scout” with your map gives you a whopping 300 points.

SABOTAGE HOOKS: If you have a Toolkit, don’t waste it on hastening a generator repair. Use it to sabotage one of the Killer’s hooks. If you have a Toolkit add on that gives it additional charges, then you can sabotage two hooks, with each giving you an absurd 1000 points AND making it that much harder for the Killer to meathook you and your friends…meaning a higher chance of escape!

HANG OUT IN THE BASEMENT: Not only is there a guaranteed chest in the Killer’s house basement, but you also rack up points for just hanging out down there. It’s a surprisingly effective place to hide as well, given the fact that the Killer is usually patrolling around the grounds between generators.

WATCH FOR THOSE TRAPS!: If you’re playing against the Trapper, make sure when you run up to a generator or window you’re going to hop through to angle the camera downwards to check the other side for a trap. Also, especially keep an eye out around meathooks where your friends are hanging from. Most Trappers put a trap directly under the hapless victim, but if they play is smart, they put them up also on the way in and out of the area to catch folks as they try and flee after freeing one of their comrades.

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