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DBD Killer Tier List – Dead by Daylight

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Our DBD Killer Tier List ranks all the malevolent characters in the popular survival horror game.

Dead by Daylight is a unique multiplayer game that features an asymmetric playstyle. In every round, there are four survivors and one killer. Survivors must work together to escape the level, while the killer needs to hunt all four survivors and sacrifice them to what is known as “the Entity.” Players get to choose from a wide roster of playable characters. And for the lone killer, you can be anything from a deranged cannibal to a fearsome Oni.

Because of its innovative gameplay mechanics, Dead by Daylight garnered plenty of praise. And after the developers ironed out its kinks and drawbacks, the title became one of the most sought-after multiplayer horror games in the market. Hundreds of gamers stream content of it on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. If you’re looking to experience the game for yourself, it’s best to read up on each of the character’s abilities, so that you can enjoy the gaming experience. Our DBD Killer Tier List should be able to help with that!

Without further ado, let’s get into the tier list!

 

DBD KILLER TIER LIST

Dead by Daylight Features 24 different killers, each with their own unique skills and stats. For this DBD Killer Tier List, we’re ranking each of these creepy characters based on their maneuverability and effectiveness as offensive players. Each killer can fall into one of five categories: S-, A-, B-, C-, and D-Tier. S-Tier killers are some of the most effective in any match, regardless of the survivors they’re up against. Meanwhile, D-Tier killers are lackluster and don’t bring much to the table.

S-Tier
  • The Blight
  • The Nightmare
  • The Nurse
  • The Spirit
A-Tier
  • The Deathslinger
  • The Executioner
  • The Hag
  • The Hillbilly
  • The Huntress
  • The Oni
  • The Twins
B-Tier
  • The Cannibal
  • The Demogorgon
  • The Doctor
  • The Nemesis
  • The Plague
  • The Trickster
C-Tier
  • The Clown
  • The Ghost Face
  • The Legion
  • The Pig
  • The Shape
  • The Cenobite
D-Tier
  • The Trapper
  • The Wraith

 

Now, let’s learn all the skills, moves, attacks and tips on using our top Killers like Blight and Nightmare on the next page.

DBD KILLER TIER LIST: S-TIER STRATEGIES

Now that you know the best of the best in our DBD Killer Tier List, let’s learn how we could maximize their abilities. Of course, we’ll also give some tips for our favourite killers like Blight and Nightmare.

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT KILLER: THE BLIGHT

The Blight is also known as Talbot Grime and formerly known as The Alchemist. He’s one of the playable killers in DBD. The Blight is very mobile, and he’s able to rush forward at an excellent speed.

Name: Talbot Grimes
Power: Blighted Corruption
Weapon: Bonebuster
Terror Radius: 32 meters
Movement Speed: 4.6 meters per second

PERKS

• DRAGON’S GRIP:
If a Survivor kicks a generator, they will scream and the Killer will be alerted to their location for 4 seconds. They will also acquire the Exposed status effect for 60 seconds.

Cooldown per Tier:
Tier I: 120 seconds
Tier II: 100 seconds
Tier III: 80 seconds

• HEX: BLOOD FAVOUR:
Hitting a Survivor with a Basic Attack keeps all Pallets within 16 meters in place for 15 seconds. During that time, Survivors will not be able to pull them down. This perk will remain active so long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Cooldown per Tier:
Tier I: 60 seconds
Tier II: 50 seconds
Tier III: 40 seconds

• HEX: UNDYING:
Survivors within a specific radius of any Dull Totem are revealed to the Killer. This perk will remain active so long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

AoE per Tier:
Tier I: 2 meters
Tier II: 3 meters
Tier III: 4 meters

SPECIAL MOVES

STARTING TOKENS: 5

• Special Ability: Rush
Token Cost: 1
Once Blighted Corruption is charged, the Killer can dash forward at an increased speed. If the Killer rushes into obstacles or walls, this creates a Slam and initiates the Chain Rush Window.

•  Special Attack: Lethal Rush
Token Cost: 1
During the Chain Rush Window, the Killer can dash forward again. During Lethal Dash, the killer can Attack as well as destroy Pallets and Breakable Walls in their path.

Best PerksBest Add-ons
Barbecue and ChiliBlighted Rat
Corrupt InterventionCompound Thirty-Three
Hex: Thrill of the HuntCompound Twenty-One
Infectious FrightSoul Chemical
OverchargeVigo’s Journal

TIPS!

  • Utilize The Blight’s speed in traversing the map and halting generator progress.
  • Plan your Rushes and Slams to maximize chase time. Don’t spend Tokens on short chases.
  • The Blight has one of the highest skill ceilings in the game, so practice until you get the hang of his abilities.

 

Next on our list is the king of dark dreams- The Nightmare.

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT KILLER: THE NIGHTMARE

The Nightmare, also known as ” The Sandman,” is literally a nightmare Killer. He passively pulls survivors into his Dream World, where survivors are vulnerable to his Dream Abilities.

Name:  Frederick “Freddy” Krueger
Power: Dream Demon
Weapon: Clawed Glove
Terror Radius: 32 meters
Movement Speed: 4.0 meters per second

PERKS

• FIRE UP
Every time the Killer does any of the following, they gain an Action Speed bonus: Pick up a Survivor, drop a Survivor, break a Pallet, break a Breakable Wall, damage a Generator, or vault a Window.

Bonus per Tier:
Tier I: 3% w/ max of 15%
Tier II: 13.5% w/ max of 17.5%
Tier III: 4% w/ max of 20%

• REMEMBER ME
The Killer will become obsessed with one Survivor. Each time they hit a Survivor, they will gain 1 Token. And for every Token, the opening time for both Exit Gates will increase by 4 seconds. Note that the Survivor that the Killer is Obsessed with is not affected by this penalty.

Maximum Time per Tier:
Tier I: 12 seconds
Tier II: 16 seconds
Tier III: 20 seconds

• BLOOD WARDEN
When an Exit Gate opens, the Killer will see the Auras of any Survivors near the Exit Gate. Once per game, the Entity will also block the Exit Gates for a specific amount of time.

Block Time per Tier:
Tier I: 30 seconds
Tier II: 40 seconds
Tier III: 60 seconds

SPECIAL MOVES

• Dream Demon
This ability renders the Killer invisible. Survivors will only be able to detect his Terror Radius and see him when he is at least 16 meters from them. Between 16 and 32 meters, they will only see snatches of him. And when he is further than 32 meters, he is completely invisible.
The Killer can induce Survivors to fall asleep for 60 seconds, forcing them into the Dream World. When inside, Survivors will have a harder time sensing the Killer and can be affected by the Killer’s Dream Traps. Attacking Survivors cause them to awaken. They may also find other ways to escape the Dream World, such as with an Alarm  Clock.

• Special Ability: Dream Snare
The Killer will place a Dream Snare in front of them, which will create an Area of Effect wherein Survivors will be inflicted with Hindered. This slows them down while they are within the Dream Snare’s AoE and shortly after they escape it.

• Special Ability: Dream Pallet
The Killer can place Dream Pallets in any available location. If a Survivor drops a Dream Pallet, it will be destroyed and have no effect on the Killer.

• Special Ability: Dream Projection
The Killer will teleport to a Generator in view.

Best PerksBest Add-ons
DiscordanceClass Photo
Hex: RuinNancy’s Masterpiece
Pop Goes the WeaselPaint Thinner
Save the Best for LastRed Paint Brush
Thrilling TremorsSwing Chains
TIPS!
  • Don’t be afraid to give chase, then immediately teleport back to a Generator.
  • Utilize stealth as The Nightmare’s skillset is built around this. Catching players off guard will easily give you the upper hand.
  • Use Dream Snares and Dream Pallets to deceive players and put them in vulnerable positions.

 

The strategies and tips on using Sally Smithson, also known as The Nurse, are next.

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT KILLER: THE NURSE

Better known as The Nurse, Sally Smithson is one of the playable killers in Dead by Daylight. She was once an innocent nurse that worked night shift at an asylum and ended up insane.

Name: Sally Smithson
Power: Spencer’s Last Breath
Weapon: The Bonesaw
Terror Radius: 32 meters
Movement Speed: 3.85 meters per second

PERKS

• STRIDOR
The Killer will be able to hear Survivor’s grunts and breaths.

Hearing Increase per Tier:
Tier I: 25% for Grunts of Pain; 0% for normal breathing
Tier II: 50% for Grunts of Pain; 0% for normal breathing
Tier III: 50% for Grunts of Pain; 25% for normal breathing

• THANATOPHOBIA
For every injured, dying, or hooked Survivor, every other Survivor incurs penalties to their Repair, Sabotage, and Cleanse action speeds.

Bonus per Tier:
Tier I: 4% with a maximum of 16%
Tier II: 4.5% with a maximum of 18%
Tier III: 5% with a maximum of 20%

• A NURSE’S CALLING
Any Survivor that is healing or being healed will be revealed to the Killer.

Distance per Tier:
Tier I: 20 meters
Tier II: 24 meters
Tier III: 28 meters

SPECIAL MOVES

• Spencer’s Last Breath
The Killer will Blink, or jump through the Spirit World, traversing as much as 20 meters in the physical world. The initial Blink will initiate a Chain Blink Window, allowing the Killer to Chain Blink for up to 12 meters. After the end of a Blink, the Killer will be Fatigued—2 seconds for 1 Blink, 2.5 seconds for 2 Blinks, and 3 seconds for 3 Blinks.

Best PerksBest Add-ons
Best Add-onsAtaxic Respiration
Blood EchoHeavy Panting
Hex: UndyingKavanagh’s Last Breath
ShadowbornPlaid Flannel
Tinkerer
TIPS!
  • The Nurse’s Blink lets you cut Survivors off as they’re running across the map, so learn to predict their movements.
  • There’s no way to predict Blink distance other than through practice, so put in the work.
  • Don’t give chase as much as you would with other Killers, as the Nurse is slower than most. Utilize Blinks instead.

 

On the next page, we’ll learn more about Rin Yamaoka, the Japanese spirit killer better known as The Spirit.

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT KILLER: THE SPIRIT

Rin Yamaoka was a hardworking Japanese girl doing several jobs to survive life. She and her mother were then butchered and killed by her father in their home. She’s also a relative of The Oni.

Name: Rin Yamaoka
Power: Yamaoka’s Haunting
Weapon: Shattered Katana
Terror Radius: 24 meters
Movement Speed: 4.4 meters per second

PERKS

• SPIRIT FURT
If the Killer breaks a specific number of Pallets, the Entity will instantly break it for them. However, the Killer still suffers from the Stun effect.

Number of Pallets per Tier:
Tier I: 4 Pallets
Tier II: 3 Pallets
Tier III: 2 Pallets

• HEX: HAUNTED GROUND
Two Hex Totems will spawn and when either is Cleansed, all Survivors will incur the Exposed status effect.

Duration per Tier:
Tier I: 40 seconds
Tier II: 50 seconds
Tier III: 60 seconds

•  RANCOR
The Killer will become obsessed with a Survivor. When a Generator is completed, the current Obsession will see the Killer’s Aura for a set amount of time. Concurrently, the Killer will see where all the other Survivors are for 3 seconds. If all Generators are completed, the current Obsession will incur a permanent Exposed status effect.

Aura Reveal Duration per Tier:
Tier I: 5 seconds
Tier II: 4 seconds
Tier III: 3 seconds

SPECIAL MOVES

•  Yamaoka’s Haunting
The Killer will initiate Phase Walk, allowing them to leave their physical body and enter the Ethereal Plane. An empty Husk will be left behind. When Phase Walking, the Killer can move faster at 7.04 meters per second. They will not be able to see the Survivors, but they can sense the Scratch Marks they leave. After Phase Walking, the Killer will return to the physical world and the Husk will fade away.

Using this ability depletes the Power gauge by 5 seconds and it must be fully charged to use the ability again. Recharging takes 15 seconds.

Best PerksBest Add-ons
Barbeque and ChiliBloody Hair Brooch
BloodhoundFather’s Glasses
DiscordanceMother-Daughter Ring
Hex: Devour HopePrayer Beads Bracelet
Sloppy Butcher
TIPS!
  • Utilize Yamaoka’s Haunting for both chases and map traversal as its cooldown time is relatively quick.
  • Be careful where you leave your Husk because Survivors can use their Flashlight on it.
  • Target Survivors that have been hit or injured as they are easier to track in the Ethereal Plane.

 

Now that you already know the deets and pieces about the DBD Killers in our S-Tier, it’s now time to learn more about their gameplay.

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT: KILLER GAMEPLAY

Now that you know your best picks from our DBD Killer Tier List, you need to know the basics of killer gameplay. Here are some important things to keep in mind.

Powers
Each killer has a distinct power that they cannot change. However, you can alter its effects with add-ons. Add-ons are also specific to killers, so be sure to read up on their effects to optimize your performance.

Hunting
When hunting for survivors, you need to pay close attention to your surroundings. Survivor characters emit sounds like footsteps, heavy breathing, rustling, and more. If they’re bleeding, you can also follow bloodstains they leave on the floor. These cues can give you an idea of where your victims are hiding.

Chasing
Once you find a survivor, you’ll need to attack them and give chase until they’re down. During a chase, survivors can throw obstacles in your path or hide. But the longer you stay on their tail, the more you gain bloodlust. Bloodlust is a status effect that increases your movement speed. So, the better you are at chasing survivors, the more likely you are to catch them.

Hooks
Once you’ve caught a survivor, you need to bring them to a hook to sacrifice them to the Entity. Be cautious because other survivors can easily attack you and free their friends while you’re carrying them. Your captured survivor can also wiggle free, so be quick!

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT: GAME UPDATES

Chapter 22 Begins

A new chapter, Portrait of a Murder, got released on December 1, 2021, as part of the DBD patch 5.4.0.

The new patch included as always new exciting features that surely will keep enthusiasm for this game from its wide player base:

  • New killer added: The Artist (aka “The Bird Lady”, “The Matron of Crows” )
  • New survivor added: Jonah Vasquez
  • New map added: Eyrie of Crows

The Artist got some good reviews so far from when it was made available in the public test builds (PTB) from November 10, 2021. She’s officially tagged as having Intermediate difficulty, so for newbies, expect to spend some time getting the hang of playing this killer (practice makes perfect, amirite?).

Apart from the new playable characters, the patch also released a balancing update to The Cenobite (a new killer introduced in patch 5.3.0) which reduces the overall power of his five best performing add-ons and buffs his worst-performing add-on.

In addition to this, The Spirit, one of our top-tier killers, also received a performance optimization to balance it on all platforms.

Of course, any patch update won’t be complete without introducing bug fixes – DBD developers were hard at work for this patch that’s for sure!

See the full list of bug fixes in the official patch notes here.

Winter 2021 Event

Fans and players of DBD will have two events to watch out for this winter:

  • SEASON OF GIVING

From December 1, 2021, to January 6, 2022, receive daily bonuses of in-game currencies (auric cells, blood points, iridescent shards) by logging in to the game.

  • BONE CHILL WINTER EVENT

The event starts on December 9, 2021, to December 23, 2021. It will feature earnable Winter Cosmetics—a whole new set of in-game accessories, exclusive event items, and many more surprises for players to discover!

In addition, some leaks mentioned that each Trial will have Snowmen which players can interact with. Doing so unlocks Winter Event rewards and other exclusive items. Have fun building them snowmen, right?

All this exciting content for this season is Behaviour Interactive’s way of celebrating the holiday season and rewarding DBD’s loyal players who’ve been with them for a very fruitful year!

DEAD BY DAYLIGHT: FAQs

Q: Is crossplay allowed in DBD?

Definitely! DBD is available on several platforms (PC/Steam, Nintendo Switch, PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Android/IOS), and there’s a vast player base since everyone can play with each other even on different platforms.

Q: Can I get banned from playing DBD?

Yes. Popular games such as this one have a big community, and they help keep things not toxic by reporting players that are abusing the game. Note however that  the following actions are not bannable, although most players would still consider most of these not praiseworthy:

  • Camping
  • Slugging
  • Tunneling
  • Stream sniping
  • Teabagging
  • Bodyblocking (except those that results in holding the game hostage – this is reportable and falls under the griefing category)
  • Looping
Q: How do I report players in DBD?

You can only report things that happen directly to you or in a game that you were in. Note that reporting for other people is not allowed and will be discarded.

Reporting must be done in-game; at every end of a Trial, the list of players will be displayed and there is a Like/Dislike icon beside a player’s name; if you wish to report a player, click the dislike button and provide the details.

Q: What is The Archive? What do I do with it?

DBD introduced The Archive during its 3rd anniversary in 2019. In this feature, players are given challenges to complete in-game. Completing the challenges will unlock rewards and tomes giving the players a chance to explore in-depth stories of each playable character in the game.

For players looking for more, The Rift premium pass is also available to be purchased using 1,000 Auric Cells (an in-game currency). Once unlocked, all rewards from previous and current tiers will be available.

Q: What are Perks?

Perks are abilities of a playable character (killers/survivors). Each character will have their own set of unique perks, defining their strategy, and that is only available to that character unless you unlock it as a teachable perk.

All characters start with all their 3 unique perks, other perks can be earned and leveled up through the Bloodweb and by using Bloodpoints.

CONCLUSION

Dead by Daylight is, without a doubt, one of the most popular games in the multiplayer gaming community. It’s a great way to bond with your friends and scare their pants off! Plus, with such a wide variety of characters, players will be spoiled for choice. And there’s more to come. Similar to Marvel Strike Force and League of Legends, Behaviour Interactive continuously releases new characters for both the survivor and killer rosters. So, players will always find something new to try. And if that isn’t enough, the developers are making it a point to offer well-known horror figures as playable killers, like the Demogorgon from Stranger Things and Nemesis from the Resident Evil franchise. So, you’re not just playing as any killer, but an iconic figure from the horror community.

If you’re itching to get your hands on one of the killers, check out the official Dead by Daylight website. There, you can download the game and read up on upcoming playable characters.

Dan Western is the founder of Gaming Gorilla, as well as several other infotainment blogs. When he's not working on his business, he's likely in the gym or playing video games. Dan's current setup is a PS5/Nintendo Switch living room setup, and a custom RTX 3090, I9-10850K inside the Lian Li 011D Mini for his office setup.

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