The 10 Best Survivor Builds in Dead by Daylight (February 2022 Tier List)

I'm hooked.

Dead by Daylight is all about teamwork when it comes to playing as a survivor. With 101 perks to choose from, there’s bound to be a lot of guesswork as to which builds fit your desired playstyle. You can be a guardian angel and play as a healer, maximize your survivor’s skills to complete generators swiftly, just spend time distracting the killer, and much more.
Whether you’re looking for a specific perk combination or just want to try something new, we have gathered ten different builds with some of the most interesting synergies in the game.

Original guide written by Aimee Hart, updated by Richard Tammaro.

“The Meta” – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

There is a reason this build is known as “the meta,” it works really well! This build focuses on aggressively outplaying the Killer using your abilities to initiate and escape chases. At the same time you should also be helping other survivors escape and wasting as much of the Killer’s time as possible.

  • Borrowed Time (Bill Overbeck) – After unhooking a survivor, the unhooked survivor is protected by the Endurance status effect. Any damage taken will trigger the Deep Wound status effect instead of downing them. The survivor will have 20 seconds to mend themselves and will be downed if the timer runs out or if they are hit again by the Killer before mending.
  • Dead Hard (David King) – Whenever injured, Dead Hard becomes activatable. Use the active ability button while running to dash forward and avoid any damage. Using this ability causes the Exhaustion status effect for 60/50/40 seconds.
  • Decisive Strike (Laurie Strode) – After being unhooked or unhooking yourself, Decisive Strike activates for 40/50/60 seconds. If downed and grabbed again, a successful Skill Check will escape the Killer’s grasp and stun them for five seconds. This ability deactivates upon timer completion, a successful escape from the Killer’s grasp, or performing any of the following actions: healing, repairing, unhooking, and sabotaging.
  • Iron Will (Jake Park) – Lowers the volume of Grunts of Pain by 50/75/100%.

PROS

  • It is a lot of fun to run loops around the Killer and juke them with Dead Hard.
  • Decisive Strike saves you in moments where you get caught and Borrowed Time can be used to save your teammates when they get caught.
  • Iron Will is perfect for hiding after a chase or a Decisive Strike use.

CONS

  • Requires a bolder playstyle that not all survivors will be comfortable playing.
  • No aura reading or generator focused abilities.

“The Meta 2.0” AKA I Like The Pain – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

Just like its predecessor, this build again focuses on aggressively outplaying the Killer, but with an added focus on completing generators. Always being one hit away from dying can be worrisome, but Boil Over makes that worry a thing of the past. The newly reworked Boil Over perk has become a must-have and this build utilizes it well.

  • Dead Hard (David King) – Whenever injured, Dead Hard becomes activatable. Use the active ability button while running to dash forward and avoid any damage. Using this ability causes the Exhaustion status effect for 60/50/40 seconds.
  • Boil Over (Kate Denson) – While carried by the Killer, the intensity of the struggle effects on the Killer from your wiggling are increased by 50/75/100%. Every time the Killer drops from a great height while carrying you, your wiggle meter fills by 25%. Additonally, the Killer’s aura reading abilities are obscured as hooks within 16 meters of where you were picked up can’t be read.
  • No Mither (David King) – The survivor suffers from the Broken status effect for the entire trial. The survivor benefits from the following effects: pools of blood are suppressed, grunts of pain are reduced by 25/50/75%, recovery speed is increased by 15/20/25%, and the survivor can recover fully from the Dying State.
  • Resilience (General Survivor Perk) – Action speeds in repairing, healing, sabotaging, unhooking, vaulting, cleansing, opening, and unlocking are increased by 3/6/9% while in the injured state.

PROS

  • Using No Mither, means that Dead Hard is immediately activatable.
  • No Mither allows you to fully recover from the dying state, this can be invaluable against Killers that slug.
  • No Mither is still useful even if the Killer doesn’t slug, due to all of the other effects it has.
  • Resilience synergizes with No Mither, as you’ll always be hurt, you’ll always have the increased action speeds.
  • Boil Over gives you one last chance to escape whenever the Killer does finally land that one hit on you and pick you up.

CONS

  • This build can’t be healed from the injured state, so healer and other support builds won’t matter to you.
  • The next hit could be your last, so some players won’t feel comfortable with this build.
  • Requires a bolder playstyle that not all survivors will be comfortable playing.

The Gen Rusher – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

This is probably the most well-known build, with many different iterations. This build focuses on locating generators and finishing them before the Killer even realizes what has happened. You’ll rack up win after win snowballing Trials with this build!

  • Deja Vu (General Survivor Perk) – The auras of the three generators closest to each other are revealed to you for 30/45/60 seconds at the start of the Trial, and everytime a generator is completed.
  • Poised (Jane Romero) – After a generator is completed, you will not leave any scratch marks for 6/8/10 seconds.
  • Prove Thyself (Dwight Fairfield) – Repair speed is increased by 15% for each other survivor within four meters of your location, up to a maximum of 45%. This effect is also applied to all other survivors within that range. Additionally, you are granted 50/75/100% bonus Bloodpoints for cooperative actions.
  • Resilience (General Survivor Perk) – Action speeds in repairing, healing, sabotaging, unhooking, vaulting, cleansing, opening, and unlocking are increased by 3/6/9% while in the injured state.

PROS

  • Poised and Deja Vu synergy: Poised allows you to run without leaving scratch marks and Deja Vu shows you what generator to run to next.
  • Prove Thyself is the quintessential “Gen Rush” perk and can snowball the game quickly if your team is coordinated.
  • Resilience is a great extra boost with Prove Thyself if you get injured.

CONS

  • While generator rushing is a great way to survive Trials, it isn’t always that fun.
  • Your lack of utility makes you easy prey for the Killer and you can’t support your teammates as effectively as other builds.
  • Gen Rushing is not brainless, if you do it wrong, you can get trapped with a three generator stack that heavily favors the Killer.

Dead by Daylight Survivor Skate

Can’t Catch Me! – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

One of the more active and exhilarating aspects of any Trial are the chases. For a lot of survivors, chases can be dreaded as they don’t have the right utility or tactics to escape. With this build, that is a problem no more. Focus on outplaying the Killer and running distraction for as long as you can. Utilize Windows Of Opportunity to get the best loops and Dead Hard and Decisive Strike to keep the chase going when it almost ends.

  • Dead Hard (David King) – Whenever injured, Dead Hard becomes activatable. Use the active ability button while running to dash forward and avoid any damage. Using this ability causes the Exhaustion status effect for 60/50/40 seconds.
  • Decisive Strike (Laurie Strode) – After being unhooked or unhooking yourself, Decisive Strike activates for 40/50/60 seconds. If downed and grabbed again, a successful Skill Check will escape the Killer’s grasp and stun them for five seconds. This ability deactivates upon timer completion, a successful escape from the Killer’s grasp, or performing any of the following actions: healing, repairing, unhooking, and sabotaging.
  • Spine Chill (General Survivor Perk) – When the Killer looks in the survivor’s direction, from a distance of 36 meters or less, Spine Chill becomes active. The trigger odds of skill checks are increased by 10% and the survivor’s actions are increased by 2/4/6%. Inversely, the skill check success zone is decreased by 10%.
  • Windows of Opportunity (Kate Denson) – The auras of breakable walls, pallets, and windows are revealed to the survivor within 24/28/32 meters.

PROS

  • It is a lot of fun to run loops around the Killer and juke them with Dead Hard.
  • Aura reading from Windows of Opportunity can make looping and mind games even more exhilarating.
  • Spine Chill adds a generator focus to the build.
  • Decisive Strike saves you in moments where you get caught and wastes more of the Killer’s time.

CONS

  • Requires a bolder playstyle that not all survivors will be comfortable playing.
  • Windows of Opportunity’s aura reading can sometimes overload the survivor with too much information and clutter the screen.

MEDIC! – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

Support is arguably one of the most important roles. This build focuses on keeping everybody topped up so they can focus on those generators. With We’re Gonna Live Forever, you gain the potential to pass the maximum Bloodpoint limit for protecting your teammates from the Killer.

  • Bite the Bullet (Leon S. Kennedy) – Whenever healing yourself or another survivor, grunts of pain and all noises related to healing are suppressed. Failed healing skill checks do not trigger a loud noise notification and only apply a 3/2/1% regression penalty.
  • Boon: Circle of Healing (Mikaela Reid) – Boon abilities require the survivor to interact with a Dull or Hex Totem to create a Boon Totem. Once a Boon Totem is created, all survivors within its 24 meter radius unlock the Self-Care ability and heal at an increased rate of 65/70/75%.
  • Botany Knowlege (Claudette Morel) – Increases healing speed by 11/22/33%, including the efficiency of Med-Kits.
  • We’re Gonna Live Forever (David King) – When healing a dying state survivor, healing speed is increased by 100%. Performing any of the following actions gains one Token: safe hook rescue, taking a protection hit, and stunning or blinding a Killer to rescue a carried survivor. Each Token grants a stackable 25% bonus Bloodpoints to all categories, up to a maximum of 50/75/100%

PROS

  • Support builds in Dead By Daylight can be a blast, as you frantically run the length of the map to help your dying teammates, healing them within meters of the Killer.
  • Boon: Circle of Healing can be a game changer for a team of survivors that aren’t running self sufficient builds.
  • All four perk synergize with each other; if the Killer can’t find the dying state survivor, you can quickly heal them through both the dying and injured states.

CONS

  • Self sufficient teams don’t really benefit from healers.
  • We’re Gonna Live Forever’s increased healing speed on dying state survivors is completely negated by Killers that don’t slug – leave survivors to crawl, while they chase someone else.
  • Boon: Circle of Healing is useless if you can’t find a Totem to Boon and this build doesn’t include aura reading.

I’ll Save You – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

Everybody wants to be a hero and with this build you can as you ocus on unhooking and saving your teammates from sticky situations. Deliverance adds an extra layer of protection to yourself, allowing you to make more bold plays to do so.

  • Borrowed Time (Bill Overbeck) – After unhooking a survivor, the unhooked survivor is protected by the Endurance status effect. Any damage taken will trigger the Deep Wound status effect instead of downing them. The survivor will have 20 seconds to mend themselves. They will be downed if the timer runs out or if they are hit again by the Killer before mending.
  • Deliverance (Adam Francis) – After safely unhooking another survivor, your self-unhook attempt will always succeed. Deliverance causes the Broken status effect for 100/80/60 seconds after the self-unhook.
  • Desperate Measures (Felix Richter) – Increasing healing and unhooking speeds by 10/12/14% for each injured, hooked, or dying survivor. The speed increase is capped at a maximum of 40/48/56%.
  • We’ll Make It (General Survivor Perk) – Increases the survivor’s altruistic healing speed by 100% for 30/60/90 seconds after unhooking another survivor.

PROS

  • The Survival Bloodpoint Category is the hardest to max out, this build focuses on unhooking teammates and yourself which awards high amounts of Survival Bloodpoints.
  • Being the team’s savior is probably the most rewarding role in Dead by Daylight.
  • Borrowed Time can be used to save your teammates when they get caught and Deliverance rewards you for doing so.
  • Deliverance’s guaranteed self-unhook can literally save your life when caught and allows you to play with more bravado.

CONS

  • One dimensional playstyle of chasing after anyone the Killer grabs.
  • It can become annoying if your teammates are going for unhooks and you end up getting none, making this build pointless.
  • Deliverance is a single use perk, if you are hooked before unhooking anyone you’ve wasted a perk slot.

Can’t Find Me! – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

As exhilarating as being chased, hiding meters away from the Killer is a great experience; however, just standing around doesn’t accomplish much for your team. So this build focuses not only on hiding around the Killer, but helping your teammates to do the same, without you even needing to be there. A well placed Boon: Shadow Step will cover your teammates tracks, while you do whatever you want at the other end of the map with Iron Will, Quick and Quiet, and Urban Evasion.

  • Boon: Shadow Step (Mikaela Reid) – Boon abilities require the survivor to interact with a Dull or Hex Totem to create a Boon Totem. Once a Boon Totem is created, all survivors within its 24 meter radius have their scratch marks suppressed and auras hidden from the Killer. The effect persists for 2/3/4 seconds after leaving the Boon Totem’s range.
  • Iron Will (Jake Park) – Lowers the volume of Grunts of Pain by 50/75/100%.
  • Quick and Quiet (Meg Thomas) – Suppresses loud noise notifications and reduces sound effects of rush vaulting windows, pallets, or entering/exiting Lockers. Quick and Quiet has a cooldown of 30/25/20 seconds.
  • Urban Evasion (Nea Karlsson) – Increases crouching movement speed by 90/95/100%

PROS

  • You’ll never want to go back to the normal crouching movement speed again after using Urban Evasion.
  • Quick and Quiet is great for getting somewhere fast, outside of a chase, as you won’t have to run around vaultable objects.
  • Boon: Shadow Step and Quick and Quiet have great synergy when used together.

CONS

  • Requires good map knowledge to place Boon Totems in high traffic/efficient areas.
  • Quick and Quiet doesn’t really change chases unless you are within the Boon: Shadow Step radius.
  • Boon: Shadow Step is useless if you can’t find a Totem to Boon and this build doesn’t include aura reading.

Wallhacks – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

Information and communication are just as important as being able to infinitely loop a Killer. If you want to stay on top of the Killer’s every move without needing to be anywhere near them, give this a shot. Expertly avoiding the Killer and moving around the map as a coordinated unit is so satisfying.

  • Alert (Feng Min) – Whenever the Killer destroys a pallet/breakable wall, or damages a generator, their aura is revealed to the survivor for 3/4/5 seconds.
  • Clairvoyance (Mikaela Reid) – After cleansing a Totem, Clairvoyance becomes active. While empty-handed, hold the active ability button to see the auras of all exit gate switches, generators, hooks, chests, and the hatch within 64 meters for 8/9/10 seconds.
  • Dark Sense (General Survivor Perk) – Everytime a generator is completed, the Killer’s aura is revealed to the survivor for five seconds. Once the last generator is completed, the Killer’s aura is revealed to the survivor for 5/7/10 seconds.
  • Kindred (General Survivor Perk) – While another survivor is hooked, see the auras of all other survivors. Also, the Killer’s aura is revealed to the survivor whenever the Killer is within 8/12/16 meters of the hooked survivor. While hooked, all survivors will be able to see each other’s auras and the Killer’s aura whenever the Killer is within 8/12/16 meters of the hooked survivor.

PROS

  • Information is key, use all of your aura reading to direct yourself and your team’s movement and plays around the map.
  • Dark Sense can cause Trials to snowball into gen rushes really fast if the survivors are coordinated.
  • Kindred is great for dealing with hook campers.

CONS

  • Requires communication, otherwise you are the only one with information most of the time.
  • Without coordination, you will mostly be playing by yourself to complete generators and that can be boring.

All Your Totems Are Mine – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

Totems have always been a Killer’s best friend, but not anymore. Boon Totems can heavily swing the game in the survivors favor, especially if that Boon Totem used to be a Hex Totem. This build focuses on finding Totems and creating Boons or cleansing them. It relies on your team picking up the slack for you, but a well placed Boon Totem can go a long way.

  • Boon: Circle of Healing (Mikaela Reid) – Boon abilities require the survivor to interact with a Dull or Hex Totem to create a Boon Totem. Once a Boon Totem is created, all survivors within its 24 meter radius unlock the Self-Care ability and heal at an increased rate of 65/70/75%.
  • Counterforce (Jill Valentine) – Cleansing Dull or Hex Totems is 20% faster. After cleansing a Totem, the Aura of the Totem farthest from the survivor is revealed for 2/3/4 seconds. Additionally, cleansing a Totem adds a stackable increase to cleansing speed of 20%.
  • Small Game (General Survivor Perk) – Receive an auditory warning upon looking in the direction of Totems in a 45° detection cone within 8/10/12 meters. For each Dull or Hex Totem cleansed by any survivor, gain one Token. Each Token decreases the detection cone’s angle by five degrees, down to a minimum of 20 degrees. Small game has a cooldown of 14/12/10 seconds.
  • Spine Chill (General Survivor Perk) – When the Killer looks in the survivor’s direction, from a distance of 36 meters or less, Spine Chill becomes active. The trigger odds of skill checks are increased by 10% and the survivor’s actions are increased by 2/4/6%. Inversely, the skill check success zone is decreased by 10%.

PROS

  • This build can be extremely useful against Killers that rely on Hex Totems.
  • Boon: Circle of Healing can be a game changer for a team of survivors that aren’t running self sufficient builds.
  • The prime focus of aura reading means finding a Totem to Boon will be a breeze.

CONS

  • One dimensional playstyle of chasing after the next Totem.
  • Relies on your survivor teammates to do the heavy lifting.

My Friend, The Locker – Dead by Daylight Survivor Build

Sometimes you just want to have some fun and do something silly. Lockers in Dead By Daylight are often overlooked and for good reason, they aren’t really all that helpful. This build focuses on realizing the Locker’s full potential and using it to toy with the Killer.

  • Deception (Élodie Rakoto) – While holding the sprint button, interact with a Locker to slam it instead of entering. This creates a loud noise notification and stops any scratch marks or pools of blood for the next three seconds. Deception has a cooldown of 60/50/40 seconds.
  • Flashbang (Leon S. Kennedy) – After repairing a generator for 70/60/50%, Flashbang becomes active. When active, entering a Locker empty-handed will craft a flash grenade item. Using the item will create a loud noise notification and blind the Killer if close enough. It can also be used to Lightburn the Wraith, Nurse, and the Artist’s Bird of Torment.
  • Head On (Jane Romero) – After staying in a Locker for three seconds, Head On becomes active. Rushing out of a Locker will stun the Killer for three seconds if they are within the Locker’s radius. Head On also causes the Exhaustion status effect for 60/50/40 seconds and can’t be used again until the status effect wears off.
  • Inner Healing (General Survivor Perk) – After cleansing a totem, Inner Healing becomes active. A health state is automatically healed after spending 10/9/8 seconds in a Locker; however, this does not activate if suffering from the Broken status effect.

PROS

  • A self sufficient build that creates its own utility options (Flashbang & Deception) and healing (Inner Healing).
  • It is objectively funny to hit a Killer with Head On when they aren’t expecting it.

CONS

  • This build is less serious and more about having fun with some of the less utilized aspects of the game.
  • More likely than not, the Killer will catch up to you after a successful Head On usage due to the Exhaustion status effect.
  • There are way better options than Inner Healing when it comes to self healing survivor perks.
  • Any Locker build can be completely negated by Legion’s Iron Maiden perk.
  • The Artist’s Birds of Torment can still hit you in a Locker.
  • Being found in a Locker is an automatic Dying State and grab.