Dead by Daylight currently has 24 killers for players to choose from, with the most recent killer being Resident Evil’s Nemesis. With that much variety, picking one out of this bunch is going to be difficult. Each killer has their own set of perks, which can be taught to other killers. However, while their perk builds might be the same, each killer has a unique power that can make them stronger or weaker than others. In comparison to survivors, picking the right killer for you sounds very daunting. But don’t fret, we’ll be addressing just which killers are the best – no matter if you’re new to the game or not – in our Dead by Daylight Killers Tier list.
- Tier 1 – Very Strong
- Tier 2 – Strong
- Tier 3 – Average
- Tier 4 – Weak
Tier 1 Dead by Daylight Killers
Original guide written by Aimee Hart, updated by Diego Arguello.
The Spirit is a killer that phases, meaning she disappears and moves quickly around the map for a short time, before reappearing. Whenever she phases and you’re in her terror radius, you’ll hear a rushing sound to warn you that she’s nearby. Outside of that though, survivors are helpless from knowing where she’s going to end up.
Spirit is one of the most rewarding killers to play once you get the hang of her power. Due to her high mobility thanks to her phasing, she can get across a map faster than most killers. Combined with the many jump scares she provides, players will be on edge as they struggle to complete generators on time.
The Nightmare (Freddy Kreuger)
Freddy Kreuger is the dream demon of your nightmares, and his power is nothing to sniff at. He has high mobility, able to teleport to generators as long as they are unfinished. That’s on top of his add-ons that can make the teleport faster, or confuse survivors into thinking he is coming to their generator. He can also cut off survivors in a chase using this power, ending it quickly.
Outside of having great mobility, Freddy is incredible at shutting down loops thanks to his other power, Dream Snares. With Dream Snares, when survivors are in the Dream World and run through the snare (a puddle of blood) they scream and get the Hindered status effect, slowing them down for a few moments.
He’s been a debuff target for quite some time. Snares and traps can’t be used as frequently as before, and the Black Box add-on activation increased from ten to 15 seconds, amidst other changes. He remains a terrifying killer that is great for both veterans and new-ish players.
While the Nurse is one of the hardest killers to play in Dead by Daylight, when you finally understand how she works, she’s very rewarding to play.
Unlike Freddy, the Nurse can blink all the time thanks to her power, warping through most solid objects like walls, pallets, and generators. The downside to this is that if you use up the maximum range for her blink, you’ll be exhausted and need to wait two to three seconds before you can use it again. Once you get the hang of her power, loops and pallets are meaningless to you.
The Hag is a surprising killer in all aspects of the word and when used right, can be lethal against even the best of survivors. Using her traps – which she never runs out of – the Hag can to teleport to survivors one is triggered, squeezing in a hit for good measure. Because of her short height, you may even find yourself unable to see her before it’s too late.
The only downside of Hag is that her power can be countered with the use of flashlights, burning her traps, but a good Hag player can put down traps at loops, cutting them in half allowing her to catch up to survivors with ease.
Sometimes in Dead by Daylight all you need is a killer that moves fast and can pack a punch. That’s The Blight. This creature’s signature movement allows for a fast sprint towards whatever direction the camera is facing. This can’t lead to an attack on its own, but if that first sprint has you bumping against a wall, door, or any other big object, you’ll be able to perform a second sprint which does allow for a swift attack.
It’s an interesting mechanic by itself, before you even consider any add-ons that can shake things up, leading to an interesting loop. It’s harder than you think to truly nail the rhythm of it, but once you do, no one will be able to escape from your reach.
Tier 2 Dead by Daylight Killers
The Hillbilly is still one of the best killers in the game due to his ability to get across the map quickly. This is particularly beneficial on bigger maps, and with the right perks, he can know where survivors are at all times.
He’s also great in a chase, as the chainsaw is an instant down if it so much as glances you when charged. Don’t rev for too long though, as a post-release nerf made it so the chainsaw can overheat.
The Oni’s power is based around finding survivors, slashing at them, collecting their blood, and using it to dash across the map. Because of his speed, he is able to go from generator to generator rapidly. If he comes across a survivor he’s usually able to catch up to them and down them in one hit.
The downside of The Oni is that, much like Myers, he has to charge up his power before he can become a force to be reckoned with. But don’t worry, he at least still moves at a regular speed even outside of his power.
The Huntress is a killer whose power lies in her hunting hatchets. With five throwing axes given to her – and the option to find more in lockers – the Huntress is capable of denying windows, pallets and other vaults because of the range of her hatchets.
What makes her a Tier 2 killer is that, while her hatchets can be very strong in the right hands, she’s slow and is unable to deny generators in a way that is as efficient as killers like Freddy and Hillbilly.
Much like the Huntress, the Deathslinger is a ranged killer thanks to his trusty rifle, making him very good at denying survivors their typical loops, vaulting, and pallets. However, unlike the Huntress, his range is not nearly as good and on both bigger and internal maps it is difficult to properly control generator progress.
In spite of his height, the Deathslinger has one of the smallest terror radius out of the non-stealthy killers. It’s often that you’ll never know which way he is coming, allowing him to get the drop on survivors easily.
The Cannibal (Leatherface)
The Cannibal has received a huge buff that makes him one of the best killers in a chase, pushing him from Tier 3 into Tier 2. His chainsaw now has three charges, letting players sweep the chainsaw three times before going into cooldown. But that’s not all, he moves faster when using his chainsaw, giving him the ability to down all four survivors if they aren’t careful.
The downside to Leatherface is that if you’re unable to follow through with your attack or bump into an object, you go into a tantrum that can cost you precious time to catch up and kill the survivor.
The Executioner (Pyramid Head)
The Executioner is a slow-moving killer, but is incredibly unique when it comes to map control thanks to his ability to build trenches and give survivors the Torment status effect. He is able to see survivors for a short time when they run through his trenches, and can stop survivors using loops, vaulting, and pallets with his special ability, Punishment of the Damned.
Mobility is where Pyramid Head falters the most due to his slow movements. However, as of now, he is also the only killer that can hook survivors without needing to pick them up (through his cages) and can kill without needing to use a Mori add-on.
Charlotte and Victor Deshayes introduce themselves as The Twins, a pair of killers with specific traits. Charlotte is more akin to your regular killer with a rather slow pace and deadly melee attack. Victor, on the other hand, can detach himself from the shared body and act in two roles.
When active, you can plunge at survivors and hop on their backs, Left 4 Dead 2’s Jockey-style. But if you leave Victor idle while using Charlotte, he will activate Killer Instinct, marking survivors’ locations.
Survivors can get rid of Victor during this state, which makes strategizing around placement key to make the most of it. The Twins might sound complex, and it’s likely that you’ll have to take time to master, it’s one of the few killers that attempt something brand new. Somehow it actually lives up to expectations.
Tier 3 Dead by Daylight Killers
The Shape (Michael Myers)
The Shape, aka Michael Myers, is a killer whose power is the evil that he gets when he stalks someone. Unlike the killers, Myers has three tiers he can reach. At Tier 1 he is at his worst, with a slow movement speed and a minimal lunge attack. At Tier 3, he moves faster and can down survivors with one hit. Because of this, he requires a lot of preparation in order to chase and kill survivors.
However, what keeps him from falling into Tier 4 is that Myers is, overall, a very fun and versatile killer that makes up for his slow start. With the right add-ons, Myers is one of the scariest killers to face and is able to sneak up on survivors in ways that very few can.
The Doctor is a killer that works best when knowing where survivors are. With his power, he is able to send out a shock of electricity that causes the survivor to scream and reveal their location. Once the survivor gains the Madness status effect, the Doctor is able to snowball and pick survivors off one by one.
What lets the Doctor down is he isn’t able to effectively down survivors in the same way higher tier killers like Nurse and Spirit can. He isn’t very sneaky, and requires a lot of patience to use his abilities to their maximum effect.
There’s an old saying that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and in The Trickster’s case, that remains true – but in the opposite way. While his visual design was built with the help of K-pop industry experts, making for a peculiar look that immediately stands out, his abilities are not as impressive.
That being said, recent buffs in the PTB showcase a brighter future for the character. The number of successful throwing knife hits needed to injure a survivor or take them down has been reduced from eight to six. His main ability, which allows him to unleash a flurry of attacks at the cost of movement speed, now has a 30 second window to use compared to the original ten seconds.
With these changes, The Trickster has stopped being just a novelty, and can really make a difference. The only reason why this killer isn’t higher on our list is because map control and range-dependency still pushes back that otherwise promising potential.
The Demogorgon is a killer that relies on his portals to the Upside Down to get around the map. While on paper it may seem that Demogorgon is a great killer for stopping generators from being finished, his portals are easily sealed off by survivors, forcing him to move around like any other killer.
That said, Demogorgon’s tracking abilities are surprisingly helpful. When survivors are near his portals, he can activate his power to see their aura and – if used in time – can even teleport to the portal and stop them from sealing it, putting survivors in an awkward position.
Nemesis sounds nightmarish on paper in the best possible way. A ranged tentacle attack that can be used to deal damage and inflict a debuff that forces survivors to look for a vaccine on the map. Add in the possibility of spawning two AI-controlled zombies and the sheer terror that the creature imposes and you have a potent formula.
All of these elements are quite interesting, but the final mix is a tad convoluted. The tentacle isn’t very precise and don’t expect it to get through walls either. The zombies can be great allies, but similarly to Nemesis’ tentacle, they benefit from smaller maps. In encounters that occur in open areas, both of these strengths lose their appeal.
Nemesis is an interesting killer to explore, and can become quite speedy with the right add-ons as well.
The Plague is a killer that combines preparation and working on the fly in a very odd, but fun way. Her power is vomiting on survivors, infecting them and preventing them from healing outside of using her fountains.
Her add-ons are strong, giving her the opportunity to make her vomit more powerful, or to see the aura of survivors who are vomiting. That unfortunately makes her very add-on reliant rather than good to use.
The Ghost Face
Ghost Face is a stealth killer that excels at sneaking up on survivors and catching them off-guard. Like Myers, Ghost Face can expose and kill survivors in one hit by stalking them. He stalks far quicker than Myers, however, can crouch to conceal himself, and is able to nearly mask both his terror radius and red stains almost entirely thanks to his hero power.
The only downside to Ghost Face is that he isn’t very fast and relies on perks that will slow down or seal off the generators for a short time.
Tier 4 Dead by Daylight Killers
The Trapper is a killer that, unfortunately, can only be played a few number of ways in order to be effective. He is heavily reliant on perks that stop survivors from working on generators for at least a minute of game time and only starts with a single bear trap. This means that at least half of your time will be preparing traps and then trying to find survivors to usher into them.
That said, there are maps and situations where the Trapper works well, such as trapping loops and windows. There’s also long grass, which can hide traps effectively and prevent survivors from escaping.
The Legion is considered more of an annoying killer than a viable one to use. Their power lets them run faster, and when hitting a survivor, other nearby survivors will flash and reveal their locations to you. Survivors will then have to waste time in mending themselves, or they’ll end up being put in the dying state.
What makes Legion annoying rather than useful, is that when in their power, scratch marks disappear – meaning you’ll have to keep survivors in your line of sight – and has an exhaustion period that causes the screen to darken. All of these setbacks make Legion one of the hardest killers to get four kills with.
Despite being a stealth killer, The Wraith is incredibly add-on dependent and unlike Ghostface or Myers, doesn’t have the ability to down a survivor in one hit. With his wailing bell, survivors are able to hear him before they see him. This makes him incredibly easy to outplay, especially as he has no way to cut off vaults and loops.
However, the Wraith does have some positives. When he is in stealth mode, he moves a lot faster and can potentially block off windows and entrances by standing in front of them.
The Clown is a killer that is underwhelming in every sense of the word. He lacks a lot of things – speed, putting pressure on generators and overall, a pretty poor map control when going against good survivors who know his tricks. His power is to throw gas bottles, slowing survivors down or, dependent on add-ons, downing them in one hit.
Again, like most killers in Tier 4, the Clown is add-on reliant and doesn’t have much that can stop survivors. That said, his bottles are useful for ending chases, and he is no longer slowed while preparing to throw them at survivors.
Another stealth killer, the Pig’s power is to put reversed bear traps on your head, forcing survivors to go to Jigsaw Boxes and get them off their heads. This can slow the game down, but ultimately it relies on chance and luck for survivors to get their trap off straight away, or at the very last Jigsaw Box. This makes the Pig a difficult killer to play, as her success relies on traps to give her enough time to stop generators and catch survivors.
Like all killers, she does have some positives. She is able to crouch and stealth across the map, giving her zero terror radius and getting the jump on survivors when they are on generators.