Dead By Daylight is an asymmetrical horror game that is divided into two core aspects: kill or be killed. Today I intend to focus on the latter, to which I can attest to being rather adept at. This featured mode is rather deceivingly called “Survivor” in which four players are grouped together in a grim labyrinth that they must escape from, before being murdered to death by a creatively macabre killer with an insatiable lustre for teenage meat. A more accurate title should be “Run, Repair, F**k I’m dead!” but what do I know? Well quite a bit as it turns out. Through repeated deaths, persistent dying and the occasional blunt force trauma to my head, back and sternum I have devised a list of tips that I’d like to impart to you, the unsuspecting victims of this rage inducing nightmare! Good luck!
1. Don’t run!
I can not emphasise this point enough. Dead By Daylight presents a very distinct challenge by grouping four singular survivors into one team, yet have them working separately for large periods of the game. You are going to feel isolated by this separation that provokes an apprehension that could impede your ability to contribute effectively. The environment, ambience and the auditory heartbeat that signals the encroaching peril of a killer will likely send you skittering off leaving a trail of ruffled shrubs, broken tree branches and soiled undergarments for the killer to track. Intimidation is a crucial technique in elevating the killers potency as an effective cranial basher. The fact is that the same environment utilised to provoke fear will be your greatest defence. The killers view is compromised by the obligatory first person view negating any peripheral vision. The survivors however are granted far more considerate purview of their surrounding enclosure with a third person perspective, allowing for a considerably malleable view of any potential dangers. Just because the killer is walking menacingly in your direction shouldn’t precipitate that he/she knows that you are concealed behind a tree or partition. Most likely the killer is just observing the progress of the generators and taking measures to prevent further progress by kicking them. Just keep a safe distance and a cool head as running around will alert the killer of your presence. Erratic behaviour such as this will leave a trail that only the killer can see, allowing them to track you down and most assuredly apprehend you. Such needless exposure comes with significant risk of being caught and the only instance that necessitates such expedient behaviour is if your perpetual hunter is actively perusing you, which will initiate a sudden dramatic interlude of intense music to indicate pursuit. The deployment of crates that prop up doorways or alcoves will slow them down but only provide brief interludes of respite, and can be destroyed by the killer. It’s also worth noting that the killers can move far quicker than you making successful escapes all the harder.
Evasion is a difficult technique to maintain, especially for any extended period of time. So staying hidden is not only advised it’s a necessity. If you avoid detection then you won’t have to worry about confrontation.
2. Play As Clauddette.
There are many perks that can help in the consolidation of securing blood points and surviving. You can equip a maximum of 4 perks for each character, with variable strengths and combinations that alleviate the dangers of killers. Some are more effective depending on the environment or our conditioned for a specific killer. Most merely offer negligible facilitation’s like alerting you to nearby survivors or traps. Almost all of these perks are interchangeable and provide little to no assistance, apart from one: self heal. This is the single most important perk you could possibly learn. It’s a boost learned by Clauddette that allows you to recover from an injury without the assistance of your team. Usually the only way to heal is having someone else do it, which means you are wholly dependent on finding someone to do this before the killer tracks you down and uses your rib cage as a wind chime. You won’t have access to this perk immediately as you will have to acquire bloodpoints (experience points essentially) to eventually level up and acquire it, but once obtained surviving becomes exponentially easier.
3. Keep repairing generators.
Successfully circumventing the killer across the varied themed maps is one thing, but you can’t keep it up forever. Eventually you will have to fabricate an escape from this tortuous nightmare and abscond beyond the killers sanctuary of crucifixion. The only way to do this is with the swift reparation of generators dispersed conveniently across the maps expansive perimeter. Once 5 of these power conduits have been fixed they will power 2 doors that permit exit from this realm of Hillbilly’s and Hags, which also sounds like a pub you should avoid as much as the “Slaughtered Lamb”, but I digress. You want to get these monotonous repairs down as quickly, efficiently and most importantly as quietly as possible, because if you miss time any of the series of button prompts required to successfully repair them, then the killer will be alerted to your location. The killer has a special visual sense that highlights the exact location of each of these generators which leaves survivors repairing them vulnerable. You can’t accurate assess the distance between yourself and the killer unless they have fouled one of the survivors which gives the remaining confederates the opportunity to repair gens in relative, though temporary safety.
If you don’t want to be the first person caught then wait until you’ve established where the killer is first before attempting a repair, as most of the time the killer will search across the map isolating which generators have been worked on, scouting the area for any surreptitious survivors and ignoring the idle ones. If nothing else get at least 2 generators fully functional before 3/4 survivors have been sacrificed, as this will open a trap door hidden somewhere on the map that bestows instant escape. Though you’ll have to find it before the killer does! There are crates scattered randomly throughout the map that contain additional items such as flashlights to blind the killers for short period, medical kits to heal survivors or yourself as well as tool-kits to repair generators quickly. The killer will attempt to disrupt your rhythm by impeding the generators progress with a swift kick, but be patient and methodical. As long as you aren’t detected you can still make the necessary repairs. Even so these repairs can be painfully arduous and unless everyone is committed to these obligatory repairs, surviving is going to be exhausting.
4. Save your friends. (If you can!)
The killer will dedicate vast quantities of time searching for you. Deviating from one side of the map to the other hunting each of you down, eventually apprehending survivors and impaling them on unhygienic hooks scattered throughout. You can attempt escape from the killers murderers grasp but most of the time a hook will be conveniently accessible negating any potential evasion. So what to do? Well this is where things get a little complicated as whether you save a teammate is largely dependent on the whims of the killer, or more specifically the individual playing them. Being altruistic (selfless) is heavily rewarded, permitting more bloodpoints, which are crucial to improving your respective character than even repairing generators can be. If a survivor has been hooked on the other side of the map continue repairing generators as there will likely be players better positioned to rescue them. In fact it’s strongly advised that the remaining survivors attempt repairs on separate generators and then go in for the save, because the unfortunate survivor who has been hooked will have a couple of minutes before they succumb to ethereal force that consumes their souls. It’s imperative that you are poised and vaguely aware of the killers location before you attempt a save as waiting too long will sacrifice a player you really need. Be patient, efficient with the generators and composed because their location could be compromised by traps laden around their environment. If your close enough and assured enough that the area is clear of dangers, from either traps or the killer then by all means assist them. Just don’t put yourself in a position that compromises both of you.
The biggest issue is ultimately camping as I have yet to discover an effective way of combating this that doesn’t ultimately waste time and effort. I have been privy to many a squad that has been decimated by an obstinate camper who will simply not relinquish their position, injuring any potential saviours from a concerned team. In these situations you are left with little options other than sacrificing them. It’s a despondent means to an end that is unavoidable, with the only suitable deterrent to such persistent endeavours is to punish them by repairing generators and escaping. As I’ve said before repairing these generators requires a great deal of uninterrupted diligence to successfully fix and if a team is productive enough to repair 3 out of 5 generators while they stand around staring lovingly into their captives eyes they are only stunting their own progress. They earn less points and miss out on snaring other potential victims. Oh and if you are the one caught DON’T TRY AND ESCAPE! Your chance of successful escape is only 4%. All you are doing is hastening your own death as well as squandering your teams chances of progressing with generators or saving you. Don’t do it!
5. Accept that you are probably going to die.
Accept this and you will enjoy your experience even more. No matter how hard you try, how often you hide or heal death is almost inevitable. Sometimes the killers are so proficient in, well killing that escape is simply not an option. Initially the frustration of being continually downed, hooked and struggling against eventual sacrificial condemnation will feel unjust, as if you are being punished. And believe me you are! Dead By Daylight requires a degree of conviction as well culpability for your actions. Your participation in this macabre world necessitates a causality that you can learn from. Wrong actions require a suitable retaliation to learn from. Because the killer is controlled by actual human beings with individual persuasions and singular methods for ensuring the swift apprehension of your sweet meat hams, no two games ever conclude in the same fashion. One minute you feel unstoppable, surviving consecutive games and thinking “I’ve got the hang of this now” . The next your on a 5 game losing streak having been the first killed in each of them. But the challenge is part of the appeal and the thing that makes Dead By Daylight so appealing. Sometimes frustration will get the better of you. Sometimes you’ll be working on fixing the last generator only for the killer to find each of you within seconds leaving you all dead just as freedom seemed within your grasp. You’ll shout, hollow and bemoan the discriminatory fashion of your death with incredulous rage! And yet you will keep playing because you remember that game when you could’ve fled, leaving a teammate to die on a hook but didn’t. Instead you put your own safety on the line in a vain attempt to ensure that everyone gets out. Succeeding in absconding with the killer mere metres from making that final critical blow. That small heroic success, as well as the uncertainty of it is what makes playing as a survivor so compelling.