Dead by Daylight is a unique horror experience because it allows players to get into the shoes of the terrifying killer hunting down other players. There are almost 30 unique hunters in the game, each with their playstyle, special abilities, and perks for survival players to master.
However, it can be intimidating for newcomers to figure out which killer they want to play or for more experienced players to branch out and try to learn a killer they aren’t as familiar with. So, in this Dead by Daylight killers guide, we’re going to share everything you need to know about each of the killer options currently available in Dead by Daylight.
Key Info Up Front
Choosing a killer to play in Dead by Daylight is mainly up to personal preference. Each character represents a unique approach to the game, and they all are viable as long as the player gets to know them well enough. So, if you find a killer that you think sounds particularly cool or fun to play, there is no reason that you shouldn’t decide to play them.
Trapper is all about controlling survivors’ movement around the map by placing his unique bear trap at strategic points. The bear traps can then push survivors into following predictable routes around the map, while the Trapper quickly captures any survivor that steps on a trap.
When spawning into a match, the Trapper has two bear traps equipped, but six additional traps spawn around the map and can be picked up and moved. Apart from his bear traps, Trapper also carries with him a weapon known as The Cleaver, which resembles two sharpened sheets of metal crudely attached to a pipe.
Trapper focuses on debuffing nearby survivors and carrying them to hooks faster for his unique perks. His perk Agitation increases his Terror Radius and movement speed while carrying survivors.
Brutal Strength increases the speed at which he can damage generators, breakthrough Pallets, and Breakable Walls. Finally, Unnerving Presence debuffs survivors within his Terror Radius by increasing the chance of Skill Checks while making the success zone of those Skill Checks smaller. T
rapper is an excellent starter character in Dead by Daylight with these perks. His ability is easy to use and understand, while his perks help make him well-rounded in the basic functions. This makes him straightforward to play while still keeping him a threat for even experienced survivors.
Wraith is a stealth-focused killer that excels at stalking and hunting survivors without giving them a chance to run away and make things complicated. His unique ability allows him to ring a bell and become invisible, making it easy to sneak up on a survivor and get at least one hit.
Turning invisible also increases Wraith’s movement speed to help him get close and personal with survivors. However, he cannot attack while invisible, forcing him to reveal himself before swinging his weapon, Azarov’s Skull. Azarov’s Skull is an axe forged with a skull and spine to make a terrifyingly gory weapon.
His perks are focused on helping him track survivors to make catching them more accessible. Bloodhound increases the visibility of Pools of Blood left by survivors after they are hit and make them stay visible for longer.
Predator makes Scratch Marks appear more frequently, allowing Wraith to better track where their prey fled to. Shadowborn increases the field of vision of Wraith, allowing the player to see a wider area at once to help them spot killers on either side of them more efficiently. Wraith is another strong starter Killer and is excellent for players looking for a more aggressive playstyle.
Related read: Comprehensive Dead by Daylight Wraith Guide.
Hillbilly is a killer focused on speed and tenacity. He carries a bloodied hammer with him that can quickly take care of survivors, while his unique power is a Chainsaw that can be used to instantly down survivors after a quick dash or cut through obstacles in your way.
Killing survivors as Hillbilly usually requires chasing them until you get an opportunity to use your chainsaw and then quickly chasing after them with it to down them with a single swipe. Because of this, Hillbilly requires some skill to navigate his fast dash while also having to be able to maintain a longer chase until your opportunity presents itself.
His perks help the Hillbilly stay in pursuit of survivors so that he can’t be foiled as easily. Enduring reduces the duration of being stunned by a Pallet to help him get back into the chase faster. Lightborn gives Hillbilly an aura around a survivor whenever they try to blind him with a flashlight.
Tinkerer gives him a noise notification whenever a Generator is almost fully repaired. This helps get Hillbilly in the chase that he thrives in while also helping him aim his Chainsaw sprint at vulnerable survivors with well-timed auras.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
The Nurse is the most challenging Killer so far on this list. She wields a rusty bonesaw to down survivors, and her unique ability is called Spencer’s Last Breath. While her ability’s name isn’t very descriptive, it can be charged to allow the killer to teleport forward, called a blink.
After completing a blink, the Nurse has a brief window where she can charge another blink to do a chain blink. Once her chain ends, however, she becomes fatigued for a few seconds. The blinks can be very powerful, as they allow the Nurse to ignore obstacles and even go through walls, but getting used to when aiming them and using them effectively to mitigate the fatigue takes a lot of practice.
The nurse’s perks are focused on helping her find survivors outside of her vision while also crippling them with debuffs. A Nurse’s Calling allows her to see an aura around any survivor being healed within a certain distance, helping her find particularly vulnerable victims. Stridor helps her hear survivors by increasing the volume of their breathing and grunts.
Thanatophobia debuffs the survivor’s action speed with a stackable status for each survivor injured, dying, or on a hook. With these perks, the Nurse can be a terrifying killer to face as a survivor thanks to how she can suddenly find you despite not even being visible, but taking full advantage of the Nurse’s kit as a killer takes some patience.
Michael Myers is one of Dead by Daylight‘s first cross-over killers that brings the iconic horror film star to the game. To capture the character’s tone from his movies, Michael Myers in the game is a stalking killer that grows more powerful by watching his victims from afar.
He wields his iconic kitchen knife, and his power, Evil Within, has three stages that increase his abilities based on how long he has watched survivors. The tiers increase his Terror Radius, his movement speed, and the distance of his attacks to make it easier for him to capture his targets.
For perks, Micahel Myers focuses on targeting one survivor at a time and methodically eliminating them. Michael Myers becomes obsessed with one survivor at the start of the game, which impacts all of his perks.
Dying Light gives survivors a debuff to their action speeds whenever Michael Myers hooks a survivor that he isn’t obsessed with, but the obsessed over survivor receives a solid buff to their speed at healing and unhooking other survivors. Play with Your Food gives Michael Myers a stackable Haste buff whenever he chases his obsession and lets them get away.
Save the Best for Last gives Michael a stackable cool-down reduction whenever he hits a survivor that isn’t his obsession but removes some of them when he does switch his obsession. Michael’s ability and perks give him a unique play style that can be fun for players who want to take a more subtle approach to hunt down the survivors in their game.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
The Hag is focused on teleporting around the map and cursing survivors with different totems that make them more vulnerable to attack. Hag uses a weapon called The Claw that resembles a severed hand. Her unique ability is called Blackened Catalyst and has two parts of it. The first is the ability to place up to ten Phantasm Traps around the map.
These Phantasm Traps emit their small Terror Radius and will distract survivors that get too close to them by pulling their cameras toward them. The second part of the ability is that the Hag can teleport to any tripped Phantasm Trap to ambush the survivor near it.
The Hag’s perks place Hex Totems on the map that cause debuffs for the survivors. They have a constant effect until the survivors locate the Hexes and tear them down, forcing the Hag to act quickly during the match. The first perk, Hex: Devour Hope, gains stackable tokens whenever a survivor is rescued from a hook while you are nearby.
With two tokens, the Hag gets Haste after hooking a survivor. At three tokens, all survivors are permanently Exposed, while Hag can fully kill survivors without hooking them at five tokens. Hex: Ruin causes generators to lose their repair progress at an accelerated rate whenever they aren’t being worked on.
Hex: The Third Seal blinds survivors for up to four seconds whenever you hit them with The Claw. Hag is a demanding killer to play and requires the player to play quickly and confidently to take down the survivors before they can undo some of her setups.
The Doctor is a killer focused on driving his targets insane to cripple their ability to escape him. He wields a weapon called The Stick that resembles a significant metal spike with wiring wrapped around it. His unique power is Carter’s Spark, which drives survivors toward madness when he hits them with Shock Therapy and Static Blast powers.
As survivors become madder, they will randomly scream to reveal their position to the doctor while also having to complete Madness Skill Checks and disable their ability to perform actions for a limited amount of time. His Shock Therapy ability is an electric ranged attack that will blast survivors, while Static Burst affects all survivors in his Terror Radius and forces them to scream to reveal their positions.
For perks, Doctor focuses on impacting survivors within his Terror Radius. Monitor & Abuse increases the range of his Terror Radius while chasing a survivor while decreasing it and increasing his field of view when he isn’t.
Overcharge allows him to overcharge a generator whenever he damages it—overcharging a generator forces the next survivor to work on it to perform a very difficult Skill check. Overwhelming Presence adds an effect to your Terror Radius that makes survivor’s items deplete up to twice as fast.
Huntress is a unique killer in that she is entirely focused on killing survivors with ranged attacks. Her primary weapon is a massive Broad Axe, but she also has hatchets that she can throw across the map to strike survivors from nearly any distance. Learning to aim the hatchets takes some time and practice, but once you do, you can hit targets from anywhere on the map for a truly terrifying experience as the survivors.
For perks, Huntress is concerned with increasing the efficiency of her hunt. Beast of Prey makes her Undetectable after being in a chase long enough to get the Bloodlust status effect. Huntress Lullaby puts a Hex Totem on the map that grows in power every time Huntress hooks a survivor.
As it grows in power, it shortens the time between the warning sound of Skill Checks and when players have to complete the Skill Check until there is no warning sound. Territorial Imperative allows Huntress to see the aura of survivors that enter the basement whenever she is near, giving her an easy way to track prey.
Leatherface (or Cannibal)
Leatherface is a hyper-aggressive killer that uses made frenzies to try and knock down as many survivors as possible. Leatherface comes equipped with a massive sledgehammer and a chainsaw that he can use to perform his ability Chainsaw Sweep.
The ability causes him to dash forward while he wildly whirls his chainsaw around, instantly downing any survivor it makes contact with. He starts the game with three charges of Chainsaw Sweep, but he also has a Tantrum meter that can be filled to perform more.
For his perks, Leatherface tries to keep survivors from knowing where other players are while helping Leatherface keep track of them. Barbecue & Chill makes it so that Leatherface can see the auras of all survivors after placing one on a hook.
Franklin’s Demise makes survivors drop their items when they are hit with a basic attack, and if the items are left for too long, their uses begin to deteriorate. Knock Out shortens the aura of knocked down survivors to other survivors while also making knocked down survivors have Blindness and move at half speed.
Freddy Krueger works on isolating survivors to make them easier to hunt with his iconic Clawed Glove. His unique power is called Dream Demon. It allows him to turn invisible to survivors who are still awake until he gets close enough.
Freddy also has the Micro-Sleep passive ability that makes survivors pass out and awake in the Dream World. Inside the Dream World, they can be affected by Dream Traps placed by Freddy and can’t see reddy. Freddy also has an ability called Dream Projection that allows him to teleport to any generator that he can see.
Freddy’s perks focus on making pretty much everything more difficult for survivors. Blood Warden activates when the Exit Gate is open and allows Freddy to see survivors’ auras that get too close to it.
Fire Up powers Freddy and makes him perform nearly every action quicker with a stackable buff that grows every time a generator is fixed. Remember Me focuses on Freddy being obsessed with one survivor in a way similar to Michael Myers. However, whenever the obsession loses a Health State, the time it takes to open the Exit Gates is increased by four seconds.
Amanda Young is a stealth killer who incorporates some iconic mechanics from Saw’s film series into her kit. She wields a hidden blade for her weapon that can appear from within her sleeve, while her power is called Jigsaw’s Baptism.
This power allows her to place up to four Reverse Bear Traps on downed survivors. To remove the Reverse Bear Trap, survivors have to search the map for Jigsaw Boxes to find a key in one of them. However, they have a timer to find the key.
Otherwise, the trap activates and kills them instantly. If the survivor attempts to leave through an Exit Gate with an activated Reverse Bear Trap, it will trigger and kill them. Amanda Young can also enter a stealth crouch mode that she can use to ambush survivors when they least expect it.
Amanda’s perks help her track survivors. Hangman’s Trick gives Amanda a notification whenever a survivor attempts to tamper with a hook. Make Your Choice causes a survivor freed from a hook while you are nearby to scream and get the Exposed status effect. Surveillance marks Generators regressing with a white highlight to show which generators players aren’t working on.
Clown is a killer that focuses on controlling survivors’ movement to keep them in a group. The Clown does this by placing Afterpiece Tonics that poison survivors, slow their movement, and impair their vision.
He also has an Afterpiece Antidote that he can use to buff himself at the risk of also buffing nearby survivors. He can use these abilities to keep survivors where he wants them before buffing himself and going in to strike.
Clown’s perks then focus on buffing his abilities. Bamboozle quickens his vaults and blocks survivors from using the vaults he does for a short time. Coulrophobia reduces the healing speed of survivors in his Terror Radius, and Pop Goes the Weasel increases the damage Clown can deal to generators in a short window after hooking a survivor.
Spirit is a killer that focuses on moving without the survivors being able to see her, allowing her to catch them by surprise and quickly kill them. Her unique power is Yamaoka’s Haunting, which allows her to enter a Phase-Walk that makes her invisible and can go through objects. While doing Phase Walking, her movement speed also increases, but it can only be used when it is fully charged, which takes around 15 seconds.
Her perks focus on allowing her to find and lure survivors into traps. Hex: Haunted Ground places two totems on the map. They don’t do anything until they are cleansed, upon which all survivors are Exposed for a limited amount of time.
Rancor has Spirit becoming obsessed with one survivor. Whenever a generator is finished, the obsession can see Spirit’s aura, and Spirit can see every survivor’s aura.
The obsession is also permanently exposed once all generators are repaired and can then be killed by the Spirit’s hand. Spirit Fury allows Spirit to get through pallets more easily. Once she has broken a number of pallets, the next pallet that stuns her is automatically broken by the Entity.
Legion is a band of killers that can be played highly aggressively. Their unique power is Feral Frenzy, allowing them to move extremely fast and chain attack together. This will enable them to carve their way through multiple survivors with ease, although using the power prevents them from seeing Pools of Blood and Scratch Marks while active.
Legion’s perks are also focused on quickly hunting down survivors. Discordance marks any generator near you with a yellow aura, with multiple survivors working on it. Iron Maden allows you to open lockers faster and makes survivors who exit lockers scream to reveal their position. Mad Grit removes the cooldown on missed attacks while carrying a survivor, earning you extra lethal.
Want to know more about the Legion? Check out our comprehensive Legion Guide.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Plague is a killer all about infecting survivors with her unique disease. She does this with her power called Vile Purge. Vile Purge infects survivors and the environment alike, allowing her to leave traps for players who aren’t careful.
Players infected by the disease have a Sickness meter that builds and will eventually put them in the Injured State or Broken finally. The only way to lower your Sickness meter is by interacting with a Pool Of Devotion on the map.
The Plague’s perks work to hamper the progress of survivors. Corrupt Intervention causes the three generators furthest from the Plague at the start of the game to be blocked for up to two minutes.
Dark Devotion gives Plague an obsession that radiates a Terror Radius whenever the Plague hits them. Infectious Fright makes survivors in your Terror Radius yell and reveal their location whenever another survivor is put into Dying State.
Ghost Face is a killer that is all about stalking his victims and striking before they know he is there. He does this with his unique power, Night Shroud. Night Shroud makes him Undetectable so that he can only be seen when a survivor stares at him for a second and a half. If Ghost Face stalks a survivor for long enough, he can also Mark them, giving them the Exposed status effect for a full minute.
He also has varied unique perks that help him locate survivors, operate defensively, and mix up his chases to keep players on their toes. Furtive Chase gives him an obsession that increases his Terror Radius whenever they are hooked.
I’m All Ears reveals the aura of survivors that perform rushed actions too close to the killer. Thrilling Tremors blocks all generators not being worked on whenever Ghost Face picks up a survivor and highlights those generators in white.
The Demogorgon can set up portals on the map to quickly travel large distances and use them to detect nearby survivors. The portals are part of its power, Of the Abyss. The Demogorgon can set up invisible portals that only become visible to survivors once they are used to travel between the two and make the Demogorgon Undetectable for three seconds.
Its perks help defend generators and keep survivors guessing with various effects. Claustrophobia blocks all nearby windows and vault locations whenever a generator is fully repaired.
Fearmonger afflicts survivors with Blindness and Exhausted whenever they work on repairing a generator, and the linger effects for a few seconds after they finish. Finally, Jolt makes generators near a survivor that the Demogorgon puts in Dying State with a basic attack explode and start regressing.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Oni is a killer that is all about absorbing survivors’ blood and using it to transform into different demons. His power is called Yamaoka’s Wrath and lets him absorb blood orbs dropped when survivors are injured.
When he absorbs enough of them, he can activate Blood Fury, granting him the lethal abilities Demon Dash and Demon Strike, allowing him to close gaps quickly and put survivors into Dying State regardless of their health.
His perks help him make decisions when navigating the map and gain advantages over survivors who aren’t careful. Blood echo gives survivors the Haemorrhage and Exhausted effects whenever another survivor is hooked.
Nemesis makes survivors that blind or stuns you an obsession. New obsessions suffer the Oblivious effect for up to a minute and have their aura revealed to you for four seconds. Zanshin Tactics makes the auras of Pallets, Windows, and Breakable Walls visible whenever they are close to you.
The Deathslinger is a ranged killer that uses a harpoon to impale survivors and drag them toward him. He does this through his power, The Redeemer. It allows him to shoot a spear through a survivor and then draw them toward him with a chain. Survivors can break the chain if they struggle enough while being pulled, and doing a basic attack will also break the chain.
His perks are extremely useful to hamper the efforts of survivors and punish them for destroying any Totems. Dead Man’s Switch causes generators that survivors stop working on before they are fully repaired to get blocked for 45 seconds.
Gearhead reveals the auras of survivors that complete Great Skill Checks for 10 seconds whenever a survivor loses a Health State. Hex: Retribution reveals the auras of all survivors when a Totem is cleansed and makes the survivor that cleansed it Oblivious for up to 45 seconds.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Pyramid Head is a killer that messes with the survivors by placing hazards all over the map. His abilities allow him to use a ranged attack called Punishment of the Damned, place Torment Trails that damage survivors that cross it, and place downed survivors in a Cage of Atonement. He can also use his Final Judgement ability to instantly kill survivors who have reached the second stage of being Hooked or in a Cage of Atonement.
His perks help him defend the survivors he catches while tracking others. Deathbound makes survivors scream if they heal one another too close to you, revealing their location. Forced Penance afflicts Broken on survivors that take Protection Hits. Trail of Torment makes you Undetectable after damaging a generator.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
The Blight is a speedy killer that can rush forward to chase down survivors. Blight does this through his Blighted Corruption ability. The ability starts with five tokens that can be used to perform a Rush or Lethal Rush.
They both send Blight racing forward while he can only attack when using a Lethal Rush. Using a Lethal Rush also allows him to break through Pallets and Breakable Walls without delay.
His perks allow him control of Pallets, Generators, and Totems. Dragon’s Grip makes survivors scream if they interact with a generator after Blight kicks it. Hex: Blood Favour blocks all pallets on the map for a short while by any survivors that enter the Injured State. Hex: Undying reveals survivors’ auras near its Totem, and its Totem takes on the effects of any other cleansed Totems.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
The Twins are two conjoined killers who can separate and hunt as a team. This is through their power called Blood Bond. It allows players to separate the two characters and switch back and forth between controlling each of them. One of the killers, named Victor, is proficient with quickly moving around the map to find survivors, while the other, Charlotte, is better at killing them.
Their perks work to monitor the actions of survivors to hunt them better. Coup De Grâce increases the distance of your Lunge Attack for each completed generator. Hoarder makes survivors emit a loud noise whenever they open a Chest or pick up an item. Oppression causes three separate generators to start regressing whenever you kick a generator.
Trickster is a K-Pop idol killer that can take survivors down with throwing knives. He starts the game with 44 blades in his inventory and can replenish them at any locker on the map. He can then enter a throwing state to power up his throw and throw either a single blade or a flurry that is less accurate but covers a greater area.
Hitting survivors with blades build up their Laceration meter, eventually causing them to bleed out and lose a Health State. Using blades also fills Trickster’s Event Meter, allowing him to enter a mode where he throws unlimited blades when it is full.
His perks allow him to focus on denying survivors the opportunity to rescue one another and blocking off sections of the map. Hex: Crowd Control blocks windows that survivors perform a rushed vault through for up to 20 seconds.
No Way Out blocks Exit Gate switches when they are interacted with for an amount of time depending on how many survivors have been hooked at least once. Starstruck afflicts survivors in your Terror Radius with Exposed while carrying a survivor.
Check out this guide with everything you need to know about the Tricksters.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Nemesis is a persistent killer that can attack at a medium range and spawn Zombies on the map. His medium-range attack is a whip with his tentacle while he grows in power through his ever-increasing Mutation Rate. Nemesis also spawns on the map with two Zombies that can attack players or be consumed by Nemesis to increase his Mutation Rate. If they are destroyed, they respawn after a cooldown timer.
His perks allow him to ambush survivors and cause confusion between them. Eruption allows Nemesis to mark generators by kicking them. Then, when a survivor is put into a Dying State, all marked generators explode, incapacitating nearby survivors. Hysteria inflicts Oblivious on survivors whenever you put a survivor into Injured State. Lethal Pursuer reveals the auras of all survivors for up to 9 seconds at the start of the match.
Difficulty: Very Difficult
Pinhead uses Chain Projectiles and his Lament Configuration to torture and traps survivors as a group. He does this by summoning Chains through portals and using them to bind survivors.
The chains can be broken by struggling, but each has to be broken independently if a survivor is bound by multiple at once. An item called the Lament Configuration also spawns on the map with Pinhead.
The players can solve it to disable it, but Pinhead can teleport directly to them while they do. If it is left unchecked, it will eventually initiate a Chain Hunt, during which it repeatedly summons chains that seek players.
His perks prioritize tormenting survivors and slowing their progression repairing generators. Deadlock blocks the generator on the map with the most progression whenever another generator is finished.
Hex: Plaything curses and makes a survivor Oblivious when they are first hooked. Scourge Hook: Gift of Pain marks four hooks as Scourge Hooks that give survivors hooked on them the Haemorrhage and Mangled status effects.
Artist is a killer that focuses on using Crows that can discover and attack survivors. She does this with her Birds of Torment power that summons a Dire Crow. Dire Crows can then follow a flight path. Any survivors along that flight path are attacked and revealed to the Artist. Multiple Dire Crows can also turn into a swarm that can fly through obstacles across the map.
Her perks allow her to interrupt survivors and use destroyed totems to increase her capabilities. Grim Embrace blocks all generators and reveals the aura of the Artist’s obsession after four survivors are hooked for the first time.
Hex: Pentimento decreases the survivors’ action speeds for each totem cleansed and then resurrected by the Artist. Scourge Hook: Pain Resonance makes four hooks Scourge Hooks that explodes the generator with the most progress when a survivor is hooked on it.
Onryō is a ghost killer that can silently travel across the map. Her power, Deluge of Fear, allows her to stay Undetectable before physically manifest to attack survivors. For a short while after manifesting, Onryō remains intermittently Undetectable until she is close to a survivor. She can also teleport a short-range by manifesting through any TVs on the map.
Her perks are used to hamper generator repair and find hiding survivors. Call of Brine makes kicked generators regress faster and gives you a loud noise notification when survivors complete skill checks on that generator.
Merciless Storm makes generators above 90% constantly require skill checks and blocks the generator for a limited time if any of those skill checks are failed. Scourge Hook: Floods of Rage changes four random hooks into Scourge Hooks that reveal the aura of all survivors when a survivor is unhooked from one of them.
Question: Who are the best killers in Dead By Daylight?
Answer: The performance of a killer in Dead By Daylight largely depends on the player’s skill. However, the strongest ones tend to be the Nurse, Hag, Nemesis, Wraith, Blight, and Freddy Krueger.
Question: Who are the most common killers in Dead by Daylight?
Answer: The most common killers, as of last year, are the Wraith, Huntress, and Doctor, in that order.
Question: Who is the least used killer in Dead by Daylight?
Answer: The least used killer by a wide margin is the Twins because their playstyle is so unique and can be challenging to learn to use to one’s advantage.