As much fun as surviving is in Dead by Daylight, the asymmetric online multiplayer game is almost always at its best when stepping into the role of one of its many cold-blooded Killers. There’s nothing quite like stalking your prey and using the powers at your disposal to strike fear into other players. Which is why we’ve decided to put together a list of the Killers in the game, ranked from best to worst.
There are many factors that contribute to how effective each of the 14 Dead by Daylight Killers is at eliminating survivors and thwarting escape attempts, from their main set of abilities to the special perks that only they posses. Each Killer also has a very different skill ceiling, so we’ve arranged the following Dead by Daylight Killers list to reflect not just their potential, but also how easy they are to use.
The following features all the Killers available in the game, including those that come with the paid DLC. It will cover their strengths, weaknesses, and will hopefully give you an idea of which one might fit best for your playstyle. Without further ado, let’s get to slaying.
From best to worst, here are all the Dead by Daylight killers
Sally Smithson, a.k.a The Nurse, is a difficult character to master, due to her blink ability. This, when used incorrectly, can incapacitate the player allowing any survivors being chased to get away. If you’re willing to put in the time to learn how to use it correctly, you’ll quickly see the benefits though. She is able to warp long distances, letting you ambush players and get in a valuable hit.
Additionally, she also has three powerful perks that put the survivors at a severe disadvantage. For example, Thanatophobia inflicts penalties to the player’s sabotage, repair, and healing skills, for each injured or hooked player. Stridor increases the volume of the other players’ breathing. And A Nurse’s Calling lets you see players who are healing within a certain range.
The Hag is a trap-based Dead by Daylight Killer who can draw traps on the floor. She can place 10 of these at a time, with each one set after the limit removing the oldest trap placed. These traps are quick to put down and will trigger a phantasm if one of the survivors gets too close. If this happens, the Hag can then fast travel to the activated trap and attack – she’s one of the best Dead by Daylight Killers for map control.
Playing the Hag requires a good awareness of map hotspots and some deceptive trap placement to be played correctly. If you’ve got the experience and skill though, she can easily lock down generators, letting you methodically hunt down survivors. Otherwise, she can feel a bit underpowered, compared to the other killers on this list.
Another top tier Killer, The Hillbilly can cover a lot of ground quickly using his chainsaw attack, which is great for putting pressure on survivors so that they have to keep moving and stay away from generators. There are also some other advantages to the chainsaw too, such as the ability to break dropped pallets while sprinting and send players into a dying state with one hit. This makes The Hillbilly one of the best Dead by Daylight Killers if you can master his tool set.
The Plague boasts a couple of extremely powerful abilities, namely Vile Purge, which releases a stream of infectious vomit that can inure survivors with sufficient build-up. This vomit attack can be used as a trap, too, allowing you to cover generators and obstacles in the infectious bile.
While The Plague doesn’t excel at one strategy, she is excellent across the board and skilled, knowledgeable players will have no trouble dominating maps through consistent damage output.
The Huntress is one of the best Dead by Daylight Killers thanks to her long-ranged throwing axe, which inflicts damage quickly and efficiently. This makes her a fun character to try to get to grips with, as you can perform some stylish takedowns and hit survivors who have a window or a pallet between you. Her unique perks are also pretty decent, giving you territorial awareness, the ability to unnerve survivors to induce harder and more devastating skill checks, and greater unpredictability while running.
The Spirit is kind of a mixed bag. Her Yamaoka’s Haunting ability lets you quickly sprint after survivors, which is useful for cutting the distance between survivors and yourself. She also doesn’t have a cooldown, which means you can carry on after pretty much seamlessly – she’s can harass individual survivors with ease but struggles to control a group.
There is a big problem with The Spirit’s Yamaoka’s Haunting power, which is that it renders survivors invisible while this power is enabled, survivors will become invisible, leaving you with little more than scratch marks and environmental clues to find your prey. You will also make a loud sound that alerts survivors. It’s a trade-off that you will see a lot of players struggling to handle.
The Oni killer you’ll ever need if you’re into his skills – ba-dum tish. This tactician can see the battlefield in front of him better than other killers and hooking survivors reaps great rewards. His second form is deadly too, so don’t underestimate him, and try to avoid giving him the Blood Orbs he wants if you’re a survivor.
Oni can absorb Blood Orbs from injured enemies and once he has consumed enough he will activate Blood Fury – giving him two new abilities. The first, Demon Dash, propels Oni forward quickly, and Demon Strike is an attack that puts any healthy survivor straight into the Dying State.
The perk Zanshin Tactics gives Oni the ability to see pallets, breakable walls, and vaults within 24 metres. This sounds unfair but if the Oni damages a survivor, this perk disappears for a while. Blood Echo activates when the Oni hooks a survivor. All other survivors will be hit with a Haemorrhage causing them to bleed heavily, leaving a trail of blood behind them and once healed they will still be Exhausted for another period of time. Finally, Nemesis gives Oni an advantage when stunned. The survivor that stuns Oni will become his obsession and receive the Oblivious status effect leaving them more vulnerable.
Rumour has it Pyramid Head got teased in school because his head is a heavy triangle, so he goes by the name of Executioner in DbD these days. It’s a touchy subject, he might cleave you if you bring it up. Anyway, the Executioner is Silent Hill’s entry into Dead by Daylight and he’s an aggressive fellow. His weapon, Great Knife can be used to protect generators, make the map harder to traverse, and control Earth itself to damage and catch survivors.
Rites of Judgement creates a trench using the Great Knife as you walk and if survivors walk or run through this trench they will become Tormented. When using Rites of Judgement, Executioner can attack, throwing a wave of earth forwards which damages survivors. Finally, The Executioner has the Cage of Atonement at his disposal, allowing him to send Tormented survivors to the Cage. This saves him the trouble of hooking the survivor, although other players can skill save them similarly to when they’re hooked.
The Executioner’s first perk, Forced Penance, means survivors taking a Protection Hit are Broken, preventing them from being Healthy once again. Trail of Torment allows Executioner to become Undetectable after kicking a Generator, however, this generator will be highlighted to survivors. Finally, the Deathbound perk means if one survivor heals another, the healer will scream revealing their location to Executioner within a certain radius.
Freddy Krueger was arguably the worst killer in the Dead by Daylight before being reworked but now, his abilities are much stronger. Survivors will constantly be on the verge of falling asleep, and although there are methods to prevent this, using these methods slows them down – they’ll usually just wake themselves or others up if it’s convenient rather than aiming to keep awake. Nightmare can teleport to generators, snare and slow down survivors, and trick victims with fake pallets making him one of the most versatile killers in DbD. His personal perk Fire Up means he gets stronger as survivors achieve objectives and get away from Freddie, while Remember Me increases the exit gate time by several seconds when you hit your obsession survivor. Finally, Blood Warden allows Nightmare to see the auras of survivors near exit gates when it opens, giving him a last chance to grab them. A great killer to start with if you’re unfamiliar to DbD.
Deathslinger keeps his friends close, and the survivors closer by reeling them in with a harpoon. survivors with a clear line of sight to the Deathslinger are going to be in danger as he can bring you into a deadly hug, surprisingly quickly.
Death to Bayshore, the harpoon, can be aimed down sights at survivors. If it hits, they will be reeled in. While being Reeled in they can struggle and try to use the environment to break the chain. If it is broken, the Deathslinger will be stunned, but will still leave the survivor wounded.
Gearhead is Deathslinger’s first personal perk and it rewards you for being handy with your spear. Gearhead activated reveals survivors repairing generators when they achieve good skill checks. Dead Man’s Switch activates once Deathslinger hooks his obsession and if other survivors stop repairing a generator before it’s fully repaired, the Entity blocks that generator until the Dead Man’s Switch perk ends. Finally Hex: Retribution gives debuffs to survivors who cleanse Dull Totems making them more vulnerable.
Michael Myers’ special power is the Evil Within, an ability with three phases that can be powered up through stalking survivors. In stage one of Evil Within, he starts off with a significantly reduced terror radius, which allows you to get in range of survivors before they notice you are there. With each successive stage, his terror radius will become larger, but his vaulting speed and lunge increase. This lets you easily catch up to victims and deliver a finishing blow. Myers is easily the best of the move tie-in Killers if you want to pay homage to your favourite slashers while playing.
It’s a little early to say exactly where The Blight is going to sit in the meta. The newest killer has a lot of potential to break loop cycles and locate survivors with the perks Blood Favor and Undying giving him a strong start. His final unique perk, Dragon’s Grip, means for 30 seconds after The Blight has kicked a generator, any survivor who attempts repairing it will scream, revealing their position.
Now his big ability is Rush, a sprint ability which allows The Blight to run toward for a short distance. If you collide with environmental objects you bounce back before resetting the sprint before running on once again. The Blight has five sprints available before he enters a fatigued state for a short while before regaining all five bursts of Rush.
This ability allows The Blight to traverse any map really frighteningly quickly, however, it’s a hard ability to master. Knowing the map and your hitbox is essential for this killer to be truly effective – but once you know how, it has potential.
Hate searching for survivors? Then the Doctor is the Dead by Daylight Killer for you.
His special ability lets him switch into a treatment mode where he will gradually raise the madness of other players within his terror radius. This status effect has three stages, which can cause players to get additional skill checks, scream loudly to reveal their location, and see hallucinations of the Doctor throughout the map.
He can also emit a more substantial electrical charge called Shock Therapy that will greatly increase a survivor’s madness and prevent them from performing any interactions for a couple of seconds. This makes him an extremely difficult Killer to play against as stealth is pretty much entirely off the table.
Leatherface works in a pretty similar way to the Hillbilly, with a few notable differences that put him lower down this Killer list. First of all, he can attack multiple targets with his chainsaw attack, which means if you can get a few survivors huddled up together you can down them all quickly – a neat trick, but one that you’ll rarely get to use.
So, why is he lower in our estimations of the best Dead by Daylight Killers? Well, he’s slower than Billy with the chainsaw. This means that you can’t apply as much pressure on survivors. Also, annoyingly, if you collide with anything, you will activate a costly animation for his tantrum attack, so only perfect movement will suffice.
You may recognise Danny ‘Ghost Face’ Johnson from the Scream series. The Killer is one of the sneakier characters that you can play as in Dead by Daylight, utilising perks and abilities that reveal survivors and prevent the poor victims from completing their objectives.
His Night Shroud ability allows Ghost Face to become undetectable and pretty scary for survivors when they can’t see him, however, survivors can reveal him by looking in his direction for a couple of seconds. Stalk and Crouch, add to his elusiveness on the playing field and make him better at chasing down enemies.
Ghost Face has the I’m All Ears perk which allows him to see the auras of any survivors performing rushed actions within a large radius. Thrilling Tremors, his second personal perk, activates once Ghost Face picks up a survivor and it blocks all generators that aren’t being repaired. And finally, there is Furtive Chase, an obsessive perk. When you hook your obsession survivor, Ghost Face receives a token which decreases their terror radius. When the obsession is rescued, the obsession is transferred to whoever rescued them. There is a catch though – if the obsession is killed, all tokens you’ve gained are lost.
The Demogorgon’s terrifying face is one that fans of Stranger Things know well. The mouthy killer is all about making the lives of the survivors as miserable as possible by making their escape even more difficult than normal. Each perk interferes with survivor progress but doesn’t really boost the Demogorgon itself however Demogoron’s regular abilities allow it to traverse the map quickly and effectively so survivors can’t track it as easily.
The abilities of the Demogorgon are a little upside down, literally. Of the Abyss reveals survivors near portals to the Killer, while Shred allows the Demogorgon to leap forward with a terrifying slash. Portals can be placed by the Demogorgon that are invisible to everyone else if inactive, and they allow the Demogorgon to travel through the Upside Down to another portal.
Surge, the first perk, activates when a survivor is put into the Dying State with a basic attack. All generators within a radius will explode, giving survivors more to do. Mindbreaker is a debuff to survivors who are working on generators with lower than 50% repair progression, inflicting the Exhaustion status effect. This means they cannot use certain perks for a period of time. Finally, Cruel Limits makes repair progress harder for survivors
Introduced in The SAW Chapter DLC, the Pig is able to crouch and creep up on unsuspecting players with her hidden blade, making her suited for stealthier players.
Once a survivor is dying, she can also place a reverse bear trap on them by crouching next to them as well, which will activate unless the other survivors can find the correct key in Jigsaw boxes hidden around the level.
Her unique perks let you see generators that are regressing after failed skill checks, lower the respawn cooldown for destroyed meat hooks, and expose survivors who rescue others from being hooked for a brief period of time. In other words, The Pig is great at figuring out what survivors are up to, but can’t do a whole lot to stop them.
The Clown is a Dead by Daylight Killer who is all about crowd control. He can throw powerful tonics that will impair a survivor’s vision, lower their movement speed, and cause them to cough revealing their location.
He’s definitely a high skill killer: difficult to use correctly, mostly because many players tend to throw the tonics randomly as opposed to considering the best place to use them. This is a problem because once he’s out of tonics, he has to do a costly animation to make some more. Worse still, these tonics are only highly effective when survivors are bunched up, which only really happens when they’re trying to pull one another off meat hooks.
The Trapper, like the Hag, can set traps, but the difference is he can actually incapacitate survivors with them, making the task of tracking them down and impaling them on meat hooks a lot easier.
The biggest problem with playing as The Trapper is that he can only carry one trap at a time at lower levels. He also needs to locate and pick up additional bear traps in order to restock. This is a process that takes far too long and adds yet another chore on the long list of things you need to do, while you could be searching for survivors.
Highly skilled players who know where to place each trap may succeed with this killer, but many will struggle to keep pace with all the survivors, which is why The Trapper is placed so far down this tier list.
The Wraith is another one of the weaker Dead by Daylight Killers. Though his ability to mask himself and become invisible sounds like it would be all-powerful, he is still easy to spot while in this state due to the blurred lines surrounding him, plus he can’t actually hit anyone until he unmasks.
What makes this even worse is the fact that whenever he switches between the two states, he rings a bell, signalling his location to any nearby survivors. This means if you’ve got a survivor in your sights, you need to be careful about alerting them too early or they’ll be able to get away fairly easily.
Hardcore players didn’t think they would ever see a character weaker than Freddie, but the game’s newest murderer may be worse. Legion is easy to loop and escape from, struggles to down survivors with its Feral Frenzy power, is incredibly slow, and boasts some poor perks to boot. An average killer player won’t be able to utilise Legion’s abilities in a constructive way, but with plenty of practice, you might just win a game or two.