If you’re looking to up your game as one of the Dead By Daylight killers, it could be worth making sure you have the right monster for the job.
Maybe you need to be playing a better Dead by Daylight killer? It can be easy as a survivor to see an advancing murdering and think everyone is equally hazardous to your health, but not every killer was created equal and some of them… well they kind of suck at the whole murdering thing. So, here’s our breakdown as to the best and worst killers in Dead By Daylights alt-universe slash-’em-up.
We rate killers based on their kits, rating how it feels to hit someone with their weapons, their unique power and the perks that come with them. Perks can obviously be fooled around with, so we’ve given the most weighting to weapon and talent, as these are unique from killer to killer. If a perk is an absolute must-have, we’ll mention it in the entry.
A couple important words before we hop in: looping is the act of running in circles around walls to lose a killer, or to keep them distracted while other survivors get things done. A jungle gym is a building with at least one pallet and one window, making it easy to lose a killer as long as you move fast. A Mori, short for Memento Mori, lets you straight up just kill a survivor.
So now you know the lingo, let’s get into it. Here are the best Dead by Daylight killers split into tiers.
You’ll notice The Artist isn’t listed yet – we want to give her a run around before deciding which tier she belongs in.
|S Tier||The Nurse, The Spirit|
|A Tier||The Hag, The Nightmare, The Oni, The Blight, The Nemesis|
|B Tier||The Executioner, The Demogorgon, The Legion, The Shape, The Wraith|
|C Tier||The Huntress, The Doctor, The Twins, The Hillbilly, The Ghost Face, The Deathslinger, The Plague|
|D Tier||The Clown, The Trapper, The Pig, The Cannibal, The Trickster|
The Nurse is mobile, deadly and can use her Blink ability to teleport around the map. What’s not to love?
Maybe it’s Stridor, a perk which increases the volume of in-pain survivors and – at max level – even makes their regular breathing louder. Perhaps it’s A Nurses Calling, a perk that lets you see the aura of survivors when they’re healing or being healed near you. Perhaps it’s Thanatophobia, a stackable buff that makes it harder for survivors to repair, sabotage or cleanse when anyone is injured, dying or hooked.
Nurse is, rightly, viewed as broken by the Dead By Daylight community and it’s hard to argue with the logic, especially as she detects an aura being healed and teleports to you, Bonesaw in hand.
J-Horror inspired The Spirit is frankly… broken. You have incredible map control, and your information game is strong, even without the use of offerings or add-ons. Phase-walking lets you move around maps quickly and even when you’re not actively using your ability, you’ll phase in and out at random, making it tricky to keep track of you.
For survivors, they only have one hope of survival: the Iron Will perk will muffle their pain-shouts, and that and a hatch are pretty much the only option for survival once you’ve put a few hours into learning all of the Spirit’s tips and tricks.
The Hag is all about using traps and hexes to mess with Survivors. When a Survivor triggers one of these traps, it creates a figure of The Hag made of mud, which she can then teleport to.
The Hag’s perks are quite strong, too. The Third Seal, Ruin, and Devour Hope all focus on messing with survivors until they can cleanse your tokens. Ruin is great for forcing generators to regress, but Devour Hope is the most fun, as each time a survivor is rescued from a hook while you’re 24 metres from it, The Hag gets a token, earlier tokens give you Haste after Survivors are hooked, but at five Tokens you can straight up Mori everyone you get your hands on, as long as the Hex Totem is still standing.
This reliance on hex tokens is why the Hag is stuck on the A-Tier though, as savvy players will focus on taking care of the Totems that give you your power first, robbing you of a lot of advantages.
Here’s Freddy. Once one of the most un-fun killers to play as, a rework has made The Nightmare surprisingly powerful: Survivors passively fall asleep at which point they’re in the Dream World and susceptible to your abilities Dream Pallet and Dream Snare, both of which are annoying for Survivors to try and handle. A basic attack will also put survivors to sleep, and it’s quite a challenge to wake up from this particularly Nightmare.
Freddy Krueger can also teleport around the place with Dream Projection, and the cooldown is lessened for each survivor currently in the Dream World. For Awake survivors, you’re invisible when you’re 30 meters away from them, and they can only see you fully within 16 metres. Another great killer that isn’t quite in the big leagues, but is worth playing.
The Oni is mobile and lethal, and powers up from Blood Orbs picked up from injured survivors before unleashing Blood Fury, a period of time where The Oni can use Demon Dash – which lets you charge around at ridiculous speeds, making it appear like you’re everywhere at once – and Demon Strike – a charged lunging strike which will let you instantly down any survivor.
Even better, unlike many of the other killers with charge attacks, The Oni doesn’t get stunned if you run into an obstacle on your Demon Dash. Survivors get some warning though: when entering Blood Fury you’ll let out a scream the entire map can hear before you start slicing and dicing.
Honestly, the only downside to the powered-up Oni is that you aren’t always that strong. Oh, and picking up a Survivor to hook them immediately ends your Blood Fury, so be aware of that.
The Blight is part killer, part pinball puzzle. His power is Blighted Corruption, which lets you perform a Rush and charge forwards, bouncing off of the first obstacle he sees, whether that’s a wall, pallet, crate or even a hook. After this first bounce, he enters Lethal Rush, which is like a Rush except you can also attack with The Blight’s Bonebuster.
There are some issues: The Blight starts with five tokens and each rush will consume a token, which only takes a few seconds but is worth being aware of. In fact, in a lot of cases it’s actually less effective to use the Rush to attack, sticking with basic attacks and using Rush to get around the map while patrolling generators. Remember you can use a Lethal Rush to destroy breakable walls and pallets while charging.
Resident Evil’s Nemesis (The Nemesis is his dad’s name) is one of the strongest killers in the game if you can play him right. The Nemesis’ power is The T-Virus, which adds Zombies to the map, but also gives him three different power tiers, much like The Shape, except here you power up from hitting survivors and Contaminating them with a slap from your tentacle. Further hits from your tentacle will injure them.
You have two big strengths here, your tentacle, and the Zombies. The Tentacle becomes strong enough to break pallets and walls at Tier 2, and gets a phenomenal amount of range at Tier 3. Meanwhile you’re assisted by AI monsters in the form of Zombies, which can mess with Survivors as they try to loop or navigate jungle gyms, but also block off windows, pallets and other things just by moping around. Even better, Zombies will attack any Survivor that comes near them, Contaminating them or injuring them depending on their current state.
If you can get your head around how the tentacle works, Nemesis is nearly unstoppable. However, that hitbox for tentacle attacks is more than a little weird, so the difficulty-curve for playing him keeps him in the A-Tier.
Silent Hill cult-hero Pyramid Head is here as The Executioner, and he’s alright, generally. Executioner’s big power is Rites of Judgement, which lets him stick the huge knife he wields into the ground and make trenches on the floor. When a survivor hits them, they are afflicted by Torment, and when there’s Torment, the Executioner gets Killer Instinct and can see them for a few seconds. He can also chuck them into a Cage of Torment instead of a hook when he catches them.
Sound confusing? In simple terms it means he doesn’t need to mess with hooks as much. Sadly, he struggles to keep up with players that are effective at looping.
This Stranger Things beastie can use portals to travel around the map quickly but its power Of The Abyss lets the Demogorgon know when survivors are near the portals, making it smart for information gathering, too. Demogorgon can be countered by running around in open areas and steering clear of portals, cutting away several of its big strengths.
Sadly, the killer is unavailable as of November, 17 2021, when the Stranger Things content got carved out of the game. So now Demogorgon is only playable for those who’ve already bought it.
The Legion might be a group of killers, but when you play as them you’re actually just controlling one. The Legion is viewed as a kind of weak killer, but actually they’re very balanced. Although they can be overwhelming to play against, smart survivors can counter them easily.
The Legion’s can give you a lot of fun: take Iron Grasp, Mad Grit, Lightborn and Agitation and then you can pick up survivors and charging around hacking people up. It’s not very fair, but it is very fun. If you’re not the Survivor being toted around by The Legion, that is.
The Shape is Halloween’s Michael Myers, and he’s a killer that relies on stealth to get the edge. He plays a lot like Ghost Face, except he can’t be broken out of sneaking. However, Myers needs to skulk around and observe the survivors to up his movement speed, meaning he starts out slow and gets faster and more terrifying as the Trial goes on.
This killer is Pinhead from Hellraiser, and he can throw chains around to mess with survivors and slow them down. Possessed chains come from a gateway Cenobite can summon using his Summons of Pain ability though, and like all of the ranged heroes on this list, line of sight is a real issue.
Here, another character is enough to break the chains coming from the portal to slow down another character, meaning experienced players will take off your chains and negate your abilities. However, if you’re going up against lower-skilled players, enjoy the fact that possessed chains stop players from sprinting, escaping or interacting with certain objects due to the Incapacited effect.
The Wraith is so close to being a top tier killer with a power that grants him invisibility to let him sneak up on survivors. He loses out because of his uncloak animation which will give savvy Survivors a chance to flee.
Against low tier survivors, Wraith will tear up, so give it a go.
Huntress is a ranged hero that can hit survivors with thrown axes and is incredibly distinctive due to her musical humming that often heralds her getting close. This is great for hitting survivors you can see, but her sluggish movement speed means savvy Survivors can break line of sight, nullifying The Huntress’ biggest advantage.
The Doctor has some cool bits going for him: he can give Survivors electrical shocks which makes it easier to locate them. This Doc has a great way to locate the other players, then, but that’s where his positives end: his mobility is bad, and newer players will need to learn to aim to get the best out of him.
The Twins actually have a lot going for them: the two killers have great perks in Hoarder – which triggers a loud noise notification when anyone unlocks a chest or picks anything up – and Oppression, which means damaging a generator will also cause generators nearby to start regressing. Victor has great mobility, however his hit box seems to be buggy, and learning to play as the two killers, with very different abilities, means The Twins often just aren’t worth the hassle.
The Hillbilly used to be an all-star, but over time his effectiveness has diminished as play styles have changed: while he can dash about fast with his chainsaw, he struggles with windows, pallets and doorways, where he can’t make the most of his terrifying weapon.
The Ghost Face
Ghost Face is great for stealth, and you can have a lot of fun sneaking around after players. However it’s quite easy to break him out of his Stalk mode, making his power weaker, and his kit isn’t great for keeping track of generators, which makes him fall down on bigger maps.
The Deathslinger has a chain-gun (a gun that shoots chains) that can hook survivors and drag them to the Slinger. With a small terror radius, a sweet cowboy hat and the Dead Man’s Switch perk, which punishes survivors for not completely repairing generators, there’s a lot of reasons to play Deathslinger, but he suffers from the same issue as the huntress: smart survivors can block your line of sight easily rendering you nearly powerless.
The Plague can projectile vomit blood on Survivors to infect them with sickness. Sounds cool, huh? Plague’s Vile Purge is great fun to slowly infect survivors and get stronger as they get weaker.
Plague is a weird inversion in that you’re looking to get survivors to take vaults and pallets, because it’s the best time to give them a face full of vomit. Plague is a lot of fun, but not actually all that good, without a ton of add-ons to boost the efficacy of Vile Purge.
The Clown’s special is basically worthless, giving players impaired vision, coughing and the Hindered effect when they’ve enveloped in the smoke cloud caused by his Afterpiece Tonic, and for two seconds after. If you’re thinking “hold on a minute, two seconds doesn’t seem like a look of time” you’re right, it really isn’t. Especially as the impaired vision is a very weak effect, the smoke is hard to aim and it’s slow to recharge, too.
He has a small saving grace in that his Pop Goes The Weasel perk is very strong, and can damage generators after he hooks a survivor. Otherwise he’s bad.
The Trapper was one of the original three killers released at Dead By Daylight’s launch, and it shows in that he’s equipped for a game that isn’t really how Dead By Daylight ended up playing. The Trapper is all about slow ponderous play, setting up traps and hoping players stumble into them as they try to avoid you and weave to escape. This does work sometimes but that set-up is gruelling for no guaranteed payoff.
The Pig can be a lot of fun to play – this Saw inspired killer straps reverse bear traps to people which will kill them instantly if they can’t remove them within the 150 second time limit. However, if they can deal with those traps – managed with a skill-check at random points in the map – you’re quite ineffective, trying to slash at them with a weak basic attack.
Leatherface is all present and correct here as The Cannibal. He charges around with his chainsaw as you might expect, which can even net you an instant down. However, The Cannibal is at his weakest when faced with windows, pallets and vaults where his slow speed and weak power mark him out a plaything for the survivors he’s trying to decimate. Avoid.
The Trickster is in a weird spot of being a weaker version of two existing killers, having elements of Plague and Huntress but having a slow movement speed means it’s easy for Survivors to stay safe. He does have a very cool weapon though, toting an aluminium baseball bat with a blade grafted to one end. Also his outfit is very cool, and as an original killer created by Behaviour Interactive.
So there you have it, our full Dead by Daylight killers tier list. We’ll keep this up to date as soon as new killers are added to the game, but for now, make sure to check our our guides to Dead by Daylight cross-play and Dead by Daylight codes.