The 10 most underrated characters in ‘Dead By Daylight’
If you’re an avid Dead By Daylight player, you’ll be sick to death of playing against Skull Merchant in every trial you spawn into. It’s also possible that you might have a deep-seated hatred for Feng Min and Meg Thomas because those are two faces you would gladly never see again. It’s true, Dead By Daylight has become a festering cesspool of toxic Feng Mins and tea-bagging Dwight Fairfields, overrun by far too many Huntresses and not enough Pigs. If you’ve ever entered a trial with a Feng Min full house or played against so many Wraiths in one sitting that you’re almost certain it’s the same opponent, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.
These are what we fondly refer to as “overrated” characters. Whether they’re overpowered or overused, you’ll be exasperated soon after encountering them more than once. Ask any Dead By Daylight player, that’s not necessarily the character’s fault; Behaviour Interactive made some Survivors and Killers more accessible than others. Some Survivors have sensational perks, but others are — in the nicest way possible — fairly useless. But what about the other side of Dead By Daylight? The Survivors and Killers forgotten by the vast majority of the fans, never to be appreciated for the amusing quirks and abilities they bring into the fold.
Can you hear the Halloween theme song in the distance? If so, chances are you’ve spawned into a trial with Michael Myers, who’s much more of a rarity nowadays than he used to be. Having been introduced in Dead By Daylight‘s HALLOWEEN Chapter alongside Laurie Strode, Myers was a welcome addition to the Killer roster, but as soon as Behaviour developed his Judith’s Tombstone Add-on, Survivors complained that he was notoriously overpowered as he gained the ability to kill both injured and healthy survivors regardless of how may hooks they’d received so long as he achieves Evil Within III.
Once Survivors caught wind of Judith’s Tombstone, they boycotted Myers and branded the Add-on as “cheating,” although Myers mains and Behaviour themselves argued that Michael Myers was a balanced killer (and significantly underpowered before Judith’s Tombstone). All of the technicalities aside, Myers also has a purchasable skin that borrows from his Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers look with a flattering hospital gown. If that isn’t enough incentive to play as him, there isn’t much else that ever will be.
Easily the least popular Killer in Dead By Daylight, going against The Twins is about as rare as seeing a lunar eclipse. Perhaps the best explanation we can give as to why The Twins are on every Survivor’s hit list is because Killer mains use their ability to camp hooks and consistently down Survivors by interchanging between Charlotte and Victor. Essentially, it sucks all the fun out of a trial when Charlotte downs a Survivor, chases another across the map, then the aforementioned Survivor uses Unbreakable to recover and flee, only to be downed by Victor shortly thereafter.
It didn’t help matters that The Twins were released straight after The Blight, who’s regarded by the Dead By Daylight community as one of the best Killers in the whole game. Those were some big shoes to fill, but Charlotte and Victor couldn’t deliver. It’s unfortunate, really, since The Twins had so much potential and their lore is beyond interesting. It’s also worth mentioning that The Twins’ chase theme is one of the greatest ever composed for all the Killers, so it’s a crime that they’re never used enough for the character and sound design to be truly admired.
Usually, we’d shy away from calling licensed characters underrated, especially someone like Ash Williams, who recently featured in his own Friday the 13th: The Game copycat, Evil Dead: The Game. Bruce Campbell ensured that the entire horror community knew Ash Williams’ name, making the character a mainstay in the Evil Dead franchise. Although he’s the only licensed Dead By Daylight character to retain his original voice actor and one of the first Survivors to have integrated voice lines, he’s never seen in lobbies anymore. There’s the odd Ash in a trial wearing the comical Hawaiian shirt cosmetic or the Ashy Slashy handpuppet, but other than that, he’s more precious than gold dust.
Not only is Ash’s existence a nifty callback to Bruce Campbell’s live-action portrayal, but his perk Flip-Flop is a favorite among Survivors even if they’re more inclined to play as someone else. They’ll still go through the trouble of leveling up Ash to obtain it across the Bloodweb for all Survivors. Besides all that, Ash has some of the funniest cosmetic purchases in Dead By Daylight, allowing Ash to put Ashy Slashy on his hand, wear a Christmas sweater with a chainsaw on it or even sport a store clerk uniform. He’s groovy. What more can one say?
If you’ve never heard of Zarina Kassir, there’s a good reason for that — no one ever plays as her. Her status as a nobody is probably the direct result of her association with The Deathslinger, who’s one of the more… hated Killers, to say the least. Described as a “plucky documentarian,” Zarina is a workaholic filmmaker who sought to document the Irish outlaw who’d slaughtered several workers at Hellshire Penitentiary. Although the Deathslinger is extremely irritating (we’re just being honest, sorry, Deathslinger mains), Zarina is a Mary-Jane Watson type that — just like the real MJ in the Spider-Man universe — doesn’t get nearly enough recognition.
Off the Record provides protection from the Exposed status effect, making it easier to evade the Killer (and avoid tunneling) after getting off the hook. For the People allows Zarina to effectively trade places with a fellow Survivor and exchange health states with them, which makes her an idol teammate. Behaviour must not have favored Zarina over the others, since she isn’t as multi-faceted as her peers. The same can be said for her Killer, who doesn’t have as much range as some others.
You’d think that licensed Killers would be infinitely more popular than OCs, but think again. It isn’t just Halloween‘s Michael Myers or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre‘s Leatherface, it’s also Freddy Krueger himself — invader of dreams — that doesn’t get nearly enough love from the DBD community. That’s unfortunate, since Freddy’s gameplay mechanics are some of the most inventive of all Killers. Survivors entering the Dream World? Genius! Freddy emerging from generators at unsuspecting moments? Even more genius! And the animation looks flawless to boot. Other than that, Freddy just looks a lot cooler than some Killers, who should have probably stayed in Development Hell (but you didn’t hear that from us).
We’d argue that Freddy’s chase music (which isn’t really music at all, is it?) has the creepiest vibe of them all. Even in horror films, there’s something about children singing creepy lullabies that just makes one’s skin crawl. When Survivors are in the Dream World, the world appears distorted and fuzzy, making it harder to identify one’s surroundings. We’ll assume that no one plays as Freddy because he’s a harder Killer to control and master than some others. That’s one of the only reasons with some substance. Do you hear that? La-la, la-la-la…
William “Bill” Overbeck
Before you say it, we know. There’s a lot more Bills around than some other Survivors, but he’s earned a spot on this list for more reasons than that. Bill’s perks are some of the most useful of all and we’ll say that it’s Bill’s abilities that are more underrated than the character himself, although he still isn’t Meg Thomas-tier. Hailing from the Left 4 Dead franchise, plenty of shoot-’em-up fans migrated to Dead By Daylight upon hearing of Bill’s involvement; The Left 4 Dead series is an indisputable classic in the post-apocalyptic sub-genre. All three of Bill’s perks come in handy during times of crisis, which is exactly how his character was designed. He’s a Survivor who understands that survival often comes with sacrifice.
Left Behind makes it easier to track the hatch, Borrowed Time assists teammates taken off the hook, and Unbreakable allows Survivors to fully recover from the Dying state once per game. That’s an effective skillset. What makes Bill underrated is that no one ever runs these perks, even though they’re life-savers. There’s actually some questionable loadouts out there, but we won’t open that can of worms. Especially for beginners, Bill is a safe bet. He’s been overshadowed by other legacy characters in recent years, such as the Stranger Things or Resident Evil chapters, but he was around long before Steve, Nancy, Leon and Jill.
Just like The Twins, Élodie is taken for granted constantly. The self-described occult investigator might be overlooked most often for her perk Power Struggle, which allows Survivors to see the aura of pallets in the Dying state and even drop a pallet on a Killer whilst wiggling to break free from their grasp. It takes a splash of luck and a neglectful Killer to pull it off, but countless Élodie’s have escaped certain death thanks to this hidden gem of a perk. Élodie is one for the sneakier players among us whose tactics involve stealth and misleading.
Deception allows Élodie to feign an interaction with a locker, triggering a notification on the Killer’s end that plants a red herring of sorts. She’s another grossly underused character who’s got plenty to offer, if only one takes the time to master her unconventional methods. Let’s also consider the fact that Élodie is one of the handful of POC characters in Dead By Daylight from French/Madagascan descent, so there’s another point for representation here, but sadly, other Survivors were just given much more care and atention over Élodie, so she isn’t generally a must-pick anymore.
Recently made unavailable for purchase once the rights to Stranger Things content expired, The Demogorgon turned out to be a limited time offer. Even so, after Stranger Things got the axe from DBD, it didn’t boost The Demogorgon’s popularity much. We’ll mention right away that The Demogorgon is one of the hardest Killers to master, so that’s a major oversight on Behaviour’s part, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to play as or against. From a Killer’s perspective, The Demogorgon can plant portals to the ‘Upside Down’ that allow it to transport across the map, as well as launch a lunge attack at fleeing Survivors. From a Survivor’s perspective, The Demogorgon is more challenging to face than most Killers, so it depends on how difficult you’d like the trial to be (personal preference on that), but generally speaking, you’ll feel more rewarded escaping a Demogorgon than a Hillbilly, for example, which is an easy Killer to counter.
The Demogorgon’s most-used perk, Surge, might be similar to Jolt in some ways, but it’s been used by Killers countless times since the Netflix IP expired and the Killer was removed from the game. It might be painful for Survivors to withstand The Demogorgon’s Killer Instinct ability, which reveals the aura of Survivors in close proximity to portals, but doesn’t the thrill of the chase make the trial more fun? And there’s no denying the excitement that one feels upon hearing the Stranger Things-inspired chase music.
Although The Pig came from Saw, one of the best horror franchises of the 2000s, she falls behind some of the OC Killers. Another difficult Killer to master, The Pig can be more trouble than she’s worth, but with the right amount of patience and persistence, an elite-level Pig can down a whole team of Survivors in no time. When choosing an antagonist from the Saw franchise to feature in DBD, one wouldn’t assume Amanda Young to be the frontrunner, but since old-man Kramer and Billy the Puppet were impossible choices, it made the most sense to adapt Amanda’s terrifying persona as The Pig, one of Jigsaw’s apprentices.
There’s something oddly satisfying about taking a Ghostface-esque approach to generators and then charging full-speed at unsuspecting Survivors. One gets a certain kick out of it. It’s easy to tell that Behaviour put a lot of thought behind The Pig’s lore and abilities, especially the use of Reverse Bear Traps, which Amanda once faced as Jigsaw’s first-ever victim and now uses as her own murderous contraptions. Talk about coming full-circle. Forcing Survivors to interact with Jigsaw-themed traps to remove the Reverse Bear Traps before the timer runs out adds another layer of tension to an already anxiety-inducing game. In a world of Huntresses, be a Pig.
We’ll count Nancy Wheeler in this one, too. They’re a package deal, after all. We couldn’t mention The Demogorgon without Steve and Nancy, two more characters who aren’t available for purchase anymore. We’ll consider Steven more underrated than Nancy just because his perks are better than hers and he has more appealing cosmetics. There isn’t enough worthwhile male Survivors in Dead By Daylight, especially not ones that the audience cares about, so Steve was a much-needed breath of fresh air when the Stranger Things chapter released. Anyone and everyone played as Steve and Nancy constantly; you couldn’t join a lobby without at least one Steve and one Nancy at all times.
That’s just a testament to Stranger Thing‘s popularity, but as soon as the licence got revoked, the hype died down dramatically. There’s an occasional Steve now and then, but definitely no Nancys in sight. They’re two of the most iconic characters in TV history and definitely underused in DBD. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of the Hawking Laboratory map (arguably one of the better maps before its removal) that keeps players clinging to Steve and Nancy — the glory days. We might never know, but let’s bring back Steve and Nancy starting now.