Dead by Daylight’s killers have seen a lot of changes since the game’s debut in 2016. The game balance provides room for new killers and new perks which then lead to more game balancing. Dead by Daylight may be considered by most as the top asymmetrical game currently, but the nature of the genre requires constant work to make everything fair and new additions to keep people playing. That being said, how has the ranking of killers changed? Are the new killers making an impression? Here are my picks for the top 5 killers of Dead by Daylight.
Freddy Kruger was known for a long time as the worst killer in the game, but his rework completely flipped that on its head.
Freddy now has a huge arsenal – his dream snares, dream pallets and dream projection. Snares can be used as slowdowns, and honestly they make it so there’s no reason to play The Clown as The Nightmare can do what he can and more. Snares can be swapped for dream pallets which can confuse survivors and could result in a hit if they fall for one. Finally, his dream projection gives Freddy the ability of teleporting around; even pretending to teleport can slow survivors down.
Overall, he’s easy to pick up and experiment with and has so much utility, the only stipulation being that survivors must be asleep for his dream pallets or snares to work, but that occurs naturally over time or on a hit. The main issue is when going up against a coordinated team that can call out your traps to each other, so you may have to focus on getting multiple survivors asleep at once. If nothing else they may waste time waking themselves up.
The Hillbilly is a killer that has always been one of the best. Being able to insta-down a foe can be useful, especially because of how often he can do it. Snowballing is common, as you can down survivors quickly and move onto someone nearby with his speed. The chainsaw makes Hillbilly the best at map traversal, outside add-ons for other killers.
He’s the best for applying pressure to survivors, spooking them off generators often. Sometimes the threat of the chainsaw is enough to secure you a hit as survivors will zigzag in order to avoid it, inadvertently closing the gap between you and them.
Your main enemies are windows, but generally The Hillbilly is good on most maps and in most situations. In fact, whatever the situation he is pretty easy to pick up.
The Oni is basically a better Hillbilly. Yes, Oni needs to farm blood in order to use his insta-down attack, and yes, it can be harder to hit than with the Hillbilly when being looped, however he has a faster insta-down attack and his turning and flick are superior when approaching from long distances.
Being able to turn a corner at the last second to hit a survivor you would have missed as Hillbilly is a satisfying feeling, and blood is easy to come by anyway. Speeding across the entire map gives the same benefits as it does for Hillbilly, although only when Yamaoka’s Wrath is active. Again, both the snowball potential and the map pressure are high, but only some of the time.
Although the blood gathering could be seen as a direct downgrade, it also ensures survivors have to consider healing early as they leave a trail of blood towards them otherwise. Oni’s ability to track injured survivors makes it impossible to lose them completely. It could be arguable whether Hillbilly’s reliability is preferable to Oni’s versatility, but I think the added tracking potential is what puts him ahead.
Now onto Oni’s daughter, Spirit.
The Spirit is one of the most interesting killers: being able to turn invisible whilst you also can’t see the survivors as a handicap is an interesting concept. What this leads to is a killer that relies a lot on scratch marks and breathing noises. With this in mind, perks that make those things more obvious are very useful, but are not always necessary.
Yamaoka’s Haunting opens up a potential for quite a few mind games. When in a loop, you can activate and not move or circle around from behind, and the survivor often can’t know which is being carried out. Outside of chases, Spirit’s ability is good for speeding around the map. It recharges more quickly than something like Legion’s Feral Frenzy so it’s not a waste to do so, and like the Hillbilly, the presence of your ability causes people to make silly mistakes. That means Spirit is a low skill floor, high skill ceiling killer and is also good for when you want to play as a simple killer – not so good for the survivors though!
Her main issues are not being able to down people as quickly or traverse the map as well as other killers, but she is still good in those areas and more than makes up for it in her one-on-one ability.
Even with the nerf to her blinks, The Nurse always has been the best to play as. This might have been obvious from the start, but it can’t be denied how versatile the ability to teleport through walls and pallets can be.
The high skill floor may be intimidating for some, but the fact is The Nurse has a potential like no other killer. If the blinking is too intimidating, you could try her matchbox add-on, which reduces her to one blink but gives her the speed of a regular killer. Usually if you mess up your blinks, you’re powerless to recover a game due to The Nurse’s slow speed, but the matchbox add-on could be your answer. I believe it’s the best way to play her, although it’s a shame it has iridescent rarity.
Alternatively, you could use the more common Spasmodic Breath add-on that speeds you up after a successful blink hit. It could be a good way to learn how to play as Dead by Daylight’s best killer.
So, these are the 5 best killers in Dead by Daylight – at least according to me, although some are tougher to master than others. Even if you only play as a survivor, it’s good to keep on the lookout for the most difficult killers to face, at least when played at their highest level. Why? Well, it’ll make it easier to then beat them. But tell me about your favourites. Are there some killers you expected to be in the top 5? Ghost Face? Pyramid Head? Myers? If so, let me know down in those comments.