Dead by Daylight is an asymmetric survival horror game that came out in 2016 and is still being updated today. The object of the game is to either escape the trial as a survivor or sacrifice all of the survivors as a killer. The game updates with a new survivor, killer, and/or map every couple of months. Dead by Daylight is also famous for having licensed chapters, including survivors and killers from the Evil Dead franchise, Halloween, and Resident Evil.
There are a few ways to buy new characters in Dead by Daylight. You can buy Auric Cells with real money and buy characters in-game, purchase the characters from whichever system you’re playing on with real money, or with the original characters in Dead by Daylight, you can buy them using earnable in-game currency called Iridescent Shards. Iridescent Shards are earned as you level up in-game and a total of 9000 can be used to buy a character. You also have bloodpoints that you can use to fill out a character’s bloodweb which, when leveled up, allows you to unlock those characters’ teachable perks, making them available in every survivor’s bloodweb.
All the characters below are characters that are original to Dead by Daylight, survivors that have either always been in the game or were added afterward and are earnable in-game. In no particular order, here are the 10 best original survivors you can play in Dead by Daylight based on their perks and how useful they are in the game.
Meg is one of the original survivors in the game back when there were only four. When it comes to her cosmetics, she is known to wear a basketball jersey, and her perk set is speed. She might be the best character of the originals, especially when it comes to her perks, because Sprint Burst can come in very handy. When activated, Sprint Burst allows you to gain a little speed, giving you a boost from the killer and making it easier for you to escape a chase. Quick and Quiet is another one of her perks, which allows her to periodically slip in lockers or vault over things quietly, which is great when the killer is distracted by a few survivors. Her last perk is Adrenaline, which activates once the exit gates are triggered. If you are injured when the exits are triggered, you automatically go back up to full health. You also run faster for a few seconds, which might also just save your life.
Man of the people, Dwight Fairfield is another one of the original four survivors that has been in the game since the beginning. He wears the clothing of that manager you had at your first job and thus his perk set is based on teamwork. Dwight’s most useful perk is Prove Thyself, which increases the generator repair rate when completing gens with other survivors and it also grants bonus bloodpoints. Bond is a perk that allows him to see other nearby survivors, which works great in conjunction with Prove Thyself. Leader is probably Dwight’s most selfless perk, giving survivors in his proximity an increase to the speed of their actions, allowing for quicker healing. Overall, Dwight is a great beginner character to play as, especially if you’re playing with friends.
The Ace in the hole in any game, Ace Visconti is a great survivor that came to the game early on in Chapter III: Of Flesh and Mud. His perks make him the luckiest character in the game. Up the Ante increases the luck of all the survivors in the game. This perk combined with Ace in the Hole makes for a great combination. Ace in the Hole increases the chance of a pulled chest item having a rare add-on. These perks, specifically Up the Ante, allow for a greater chance of having an iridescent key being pulled from a chest, and if you have that key, you can open the hatch and escape the trial as soon as the hatch spawns. Open-Handed is Ace’s other perk and that increases the aura reading potential of all other survivors in the trial. Any character who had the ability to see auras, that of a survivor, generator, chest ⏤ all of those abilities would be boosted to an extent.
The king of all bloodpoint hoarders, David King is the best survivor when it comes to achieving bloodpoints. David was released as a part of Chapter V: A Lullaby for the Dark. He has a perk called We’re Gonna Live Forever that can increase your amount of bloodpoints earned by up to 100%. When stunning a killer to drop their survivor, taking a protection hit for another survivor, or by safely rescuing a survivor from the hook you gain a token to increase your amount of bloodpoints earned by 25%. The amount is capped at four, however, but the perk also allows you to heal dying survivors quicker.
Dead Hard is also amazing when it works. The perk allows you to essentially dodge the killer’s attack, zooming forward in a dash. No Mither comes in handy as well, allowing you to fully recover from the dying state with an increased rate of recovery. However, it leaves you with the broken status all trial, meaning you cannot be healed and are always injured. You are able to hide a little better, though, and the perk suppresses blood pools and grunts of pain as well. David King isn’t an overpowered survivor to play as but is a great pickup for any solo player.
Kate Denson was released in Chapter VIII: Curtain Call along with The Clown killer. Her perks aren’t anything amazing but can definitely come in handy. In fact, one of her perks, Boil Over, can be used pretty amazingly, especially when combined with others. When you are being carried by the killer, if they make a long drop, the perk reduces the amount you have to struggle. The perk also reduces the base amount you have to struggle by up to 100% and obscures the vision of nearby hooks to the killer.
Windows of Opportunity lets you see the auras of different objects, windows, pallets, and breakable walls, which can come in handy when planning an escape. This when combined with her last perk, Dance With Me, can provide a strategic advantage. Dance With Me allows you to perform rushed actions, like leaping over a window, without leaving scratch marks for the next three seconds. The perk does have a cooldown but could confuse the killer or make it easier to hide when trying to distract them to help your fellow survivor.
With Chapter XI: Demise of the Faithful came survivor Jane Romero. She is mainly on this list for one reason: the perk Head On. Head On is one of the most annoying perks for killers, coming from a killer main. The perk allows a survivor to go into a locker to hide and, if timed correctly, they can stun a killer by opening said locker. Using this ability mid-chase, especially if the killer is going after someone else, can be an extremely clutch move. It can’t be used while exhausted and causes you to be exhausted but is definitely worth using. Her perk Poised is good too, it lets you not leave scratch marks for a short time after completing a generator. Solidarity is her last perk, and that converts a percentage of the healing you give another survivor to a maximum of 50% for yourself. It has to be healing given without a medkit though, but it rounds out a pretty useful set of perks.
Zarina Kassir is a character that came with Chapter XV: Chains of Hate. Zarina’s best perk is one of the best survivor perks in the game. For the People is that perk and it allows you to heal one survivor from the damaged state instantly. It does leave you broken for a while which means you are unable to be healed, but it can be extremely useful if you use it at the right time, for example right after you rescue someone from a hook. You also become the obsession as a result, but it is more than worth the risk.
Red Herring is more of a troll perk, being able to trigger a notification from a generator that you had just been repairing. But if you somehow see that the killer might be on to a fellow survivor, it could be just the distraction your friend needs. Off the Record is a good perk as well, as after you are unhooked for at least a minute the killer cannot see your aura, and your grunts of pain are reduced by 100%. This plus For the People is pretty great, since you can heal someone and, if you get hooked, you stay quiet when you get rescued. Her perks make Zarina a pretty great survivor to pick up.
Introduced in Chapter XVIII: A Binding of Kin, Élodie Rakoto comes with some subtle but interesting perks. Her best one might be Power Struggle. This perk allows you to throw down a pallet while being carried by the killer if your struggle meter is at a certain small percentage. It can come in handy if the killer is dumb enough to walk you through an open pallet. Deception is another one of the troll perks, allowing the survivor to distract the killer. While holding the sprint key/button when you interact with a locker, instead of entering it you cause a loud noise notification where you are and you also eliminate scratch marks for the next three seconds. This is capable of confounding the killer, especially if they are mid-chase. Her last perk is useful, but not amazing. Appraisal allows you to look through chests quicker, and to look through chests that have already been opened. She is one of the more advanced survivors to play as, but don’t attempt her perk set until you’ve put more than a few hours into the game.
Yun-Jin Lee was introduced in Chapter XIX: All-Kill. Fast Track is most likely her most useful perk and combined with other generator perks, it can help finish a generator pretty quickly. Fast Track grants tokens based on the hooking of survivors, and each time a survivor is hooked, you get tokens. When you manage to hit a great skill check, the number of tokens you have is equal to the percentage of progression you earn for your generator. Smash Hit is an exhaustion perk, you can’t use it with exhaustion and it makes you exhausted, but it lets you sprint after you stun the killer with a pallet. Self-Preservation can be less useful, as whenever you are within 16 meters of another survivor and they get hit, the perk activates. It suppresses your grunts of pain and your bleeding, making it harder for the killer to track you for a few seconds. Again, its usefulness is minimal, but it could come in handy when you are in a pinch.
Mikaela Reid being anywhere on this list might be controversial to any killer main reading this. With Mikaela in Chapter 21.5: Hour of the Witch came the new gameplay element of boons. Previously killers could use totem-based perks to make survivors have a harder time escaping. With the introduction of Mikaela and her perks, survivors could use different totem-based perks using certain boons and some of these are incredibly overpowered especially when surviving with friends. The main perk that will prove frustrating for any killer you come up against is Boon: Circle of Healing. This boon, when applied does exactly what it sounds like it does: it provides a circle of healing around the totem, which not only improves healing speeds, but also unlocks self-care. It reduces your personal healing by half, but it’s worth it.
Her other boon-based perk is Boon: Shadow Step. This perk allows survivors within its range to move freely without leaving scratch marks. Auras are also hidden to the killer when survivors are in the radius and both effects linger for a few seconds once you leave the circle. Mikaela’s last perk is Clairvoyance, which activates whenever she cleanses a totem. It activates the survivors’ ability to see auras and allows you to see the auras of various things in the game, like the exit gate switch, chests, and generators. She is a great character to play as, just maybe not when you’re a beginner.
There you have it, the 10 best survivors to play as in Dead by Daylight. Some are better than others, some are better when you’re playing with friends, and some are better when you’ve mastered a number of the game’s mechanics, but all these original characters are absolutely worth playing, especially if you want their perks.