Dead By Daylight: Beginner's Guide

A guide on how to play both the Survivor and Killer roles.

Dead by Daylight is a popular horror survival game developed by Behaviour Interactive. In the game, players are either assigned the role of “Survivor” or “Killer” and are tasked with completing their role’s objective in a 4v1 situation. As a Survivor, you and your three teammates will be dropped into a secluded area and forced to repair 5 generators needed to power the exit gate, all while avoiding the immortal Killer that stalks you.

As a Killer, you will have to use your problem-solving skills to wipe out every last Survivor before they can repair each of the 5 generators and scurry out the exit gate. Dead by Daylight has received a fair bit of controversy as of late for the game seemingly favoring both the role of Killer and players who’ve dedicated ample amounts of time in the game.

To level out the playing field for beginners, we’ve put together a Dead by Daylight: Beginner’s Guide that will help you master the basics of both the Survivor and Killer roles!


After playing the role of Survivor enough, you’ll quickly realize why Dead by Daylight appears to favor the Killer. Survivors are squishy, easy to kill, and have to utilize every tool at their disposal in order to come out on top. Survivors are given a slight advantage with a third-person viewpoint over the Killer’s first-person. This allows you to scope out dangers from all sides rather than needing to constantly pivot around in a circle.

Choosing Your Survivor

Because you’ll often find yourself alone more often than not, choosing the right Survivor can be crucial. There are several Survivor characters, and the style of character selection in Dead by Daylight can feel vaguely reminiscent of the Left 4 Dead series. Which one should you pick?

Each Survivor (Jake, Dwight, Meg, Nea, Claudette) comes with their own perks, and figuring out which one works best for you can take some time. To make things easier, we recommend using either Jake or Claudette. Jake is good for avoiding hooks and various other traps without a toolbox. On the other hand, Claudette is a fantastic all-around defensive character who can heal without a med kit.

You Can Hide But You Can’t Run

This tip (and some of my experiences in the game) reminds me of one of my favorite Rick and Morty episode where the two are attempting to evade Scary Terry. As they flee in terror, Scary Terry calls out the well-known phrase “you can run, but you can’t hide!” As Rick quickly figures out, not only can you hide, but it’s actually a better alternative to trying to outrun your pursuer.

While this may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, you really shouldn’t go running out into the open in Dead by Daylight. I cannot stress this enough; running around in a panic is a fantastic way to get yourself killed. In addition, while hiding is definitely encouraged, don’t camp your hiding spot for too long. Instead, move stealthily from one hiding spot to another as you work to repair the generators.

It’s Not A Team Game

One beginner mistake that’s often made is clinging on to your teammates for safety and/or revives. It can be tempting to make the mistake of grouping up, especially when the game first starts. However, each of you should head off in different directions as this will help your team of Survivors collectively repair the 5 generators faster.

In addition, it’s easy to walk right into a trap by attempting to revive a fallen teammate. This is because many Killers will hook someone and wait to see who is foolish enough to come to their rescue. It’s nice to be able to help someone in need, but know that it could very well mean your life. Basically, try and stay out of each other’s way as much as possible.

Know Your Enemy

Not only is this a fantastic Rage Against The Machine song, but it’s also one of the best tips to playing the Survivor in Dead by Daylight. Similar to the Survivor, Killers have various different types they can choose from including Trapper, Wraith, Hillbilly, and Nurse. Knowing how each of these work can help you better avoid them. Keep your ears open for the Killer’s audio clues. For example, the growl of a chainsaw means you’re dealing with the Hillbilly, and the sound of a spring mechanism means the Trapper is activating one of his traps.

The hooks will also change appearance depending on what enemy you’re up against, so be sure to scope them out while sneaking your way towards a generator. Finally, once you get a good idea of the Killer you’re up against, everything boils down to outsmarting them. Don’t move predictably, and learn from the mistakes of others as you go along.

Eventually, you should have a pretty firm grasp as to what’s expected of you when playing as a Survivor in Dead by Daylight. But what about the Killer?

Continue on for the Killer

Morgan is a writer, indie game lover, and socially awkward coffee addict. Need something? Morgan can be reached at or if you like, you can say hello using GIFs on Twitter.


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