Here are the best Survivor perks in Dead by Daylight

Perks: a matter of survival.

Dead by Daylight
Image: Behaviour Interactive Inc.

Choosing perks is serious business in Dead by Daylight. Many perks are situational and come with learning curves to use properly, while others make life easier as a Survivor as a whole and shouldn’t be overlooked. When making your selections, it’s important to ask yourself what kind of Survivor you are—passive or aggressive? Team-oriented or lone wolf?

The following perks are top considerations in Dead by Daylight, covering a range of Survivor playstyles and needs. Newer players are encouraged to select certain perks, while more experienced players might want to consider others. Nevertheless, there’s a bundle of perks for everyone. At the end of the day, picking the perk that serves you best is the way to go.

Dead Hard (David King)

When Injured, tap into your adrenaline bank and dash forward quickly to avoid damage.

  • Press the Active Ability button while running to dash forward.
  • Avoid all damage during the Dash.
  • Dead Hard causes the Exhausted Status Effect for 60/50/40 seconds and cannot be used when Exhausted.

Dead Hard enables survivors to rush forward, gaining invulnerability from any Killers’ attacks (including traps) during the dash. Dead Hard can only be used while in the injured state and has a lengthy cooldown. It is incredibly effective, however, allowing survivors to get you out of harm’s way and unscathed if you nail the timing.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Dead Hard is a Teachable Perk unique to David King. It can be unlocked for all other characters by reaching level 35 with him. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.

Spine Chill (All Survivors)

Spine Chill activates whenever the Killer is looking in your direction when they are within 36 meters of you.

  • Increases the Trigger odds of Skill Check by 10 percent.
  • Decreases the Skill Check Success zone by 10 percent.
  • Increases your Action speeds in Repairing, Healing, Sabotaging, Unhooking, Vaulting, Cleansing, Opening, and Unlocking by two/four/six percent

Spine Chill is available to every character—no need to purchase DLC or hunt it down in the Shrine of Secrets. Being alerted whenever the Killer is in close proximity to you is invaluable information, especially while working on generators, healing fellow survivors, or if a stealth Killer is stalking you—unbeknownst to you. Spine Chill increases all Action speeds by six percent regardless of the playstyle. The combination of being alerted of nearby Killer threat and increased Action speeds is a combination that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Kindred (All Survivors)

While hooked:

  • The Auras of all Survivors are revealed to one another.
  • Whenever the Killer is within 8/12/16 meters of your Hook, their Aura is exposed to all Survivors.

While any other Survivor is hooked:

  • The Auras of all other Survivors are revealed to you.
  • Whenever the Killer is within 8/12/16 meters of the hooked Survivor, their Aura is revealed to you.

Kindred is poised to make you and your fellow Survivors’ lives easier. While hooked, fellow Survivors’ auras become visible, along with the Killers’ Aura—so long as they are close to the hooked Survivor. Kindred is like wallhacks whenever you become hooked, allowing your team to make strategic decisions based on where everyone is located. For instance, if the Killer is camping the hooked Survivor, it’s time to double down on repairing those Generators or healing injured Survivors.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Windows of Opportunity (Kate Denson)

The Auras of Breakable Walls, Pallets, and Windows are revealed within 24/28/32 meters.

Windows of Opportunity proves invaluable for Survivors newer to the game, allowing them to see what they have to work with in terms of pallets, walls, and windows. Every Survivor knows the feeling of playing a map for the first time and getting into a chase with a Killer without knowing where anything is. Identifying nearby walls, pallets, and windows is critical in those instances. The more experienced you get with the layouts of each map, however, the less likely you’ll be relying on this perk.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Windows of Opportunity is a Teachable Perk unique to Kate Denson. It can be unlocked for all other characters by reaching level 35 with her. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.

Empathy (Claudette Morel)

The Auras of Survivors in the Injured State or in the Dying State within 64/96/128 meters of your location are revealed.

  • Empathy does not reveal the Aura of a Survivor being carried by the Killer.

Tracking the location of fellow teammates is always beneficial in Dead by Daylight. Empathy tracks the auras of injured Survivors with an impressive range of up to 128 meters. It’s only a matter of time before fellow Survivors become injured, instantly revealing where they are and where the Killer must be. Also, there’s no cooldown, meaning Empathy triggers every time there’s an injury.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Empathy is a Teachable Perk unique to Claudette Morel. It can be unlocked for all other characters by reaching level 30 with her. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.

Iron Will (Jake Park)

Concentrate, entering a meditative-like state, numbing the pain in silence.

  • Lowers the volume of grunts of pain by 50/75/100 percent.

Whenever a Killer strikes and injures a Survivor, one of the ways that Survivors are tracked while fleeing is by the noises they make. Iron Will nullifies those sounds, increasing the odds of fleeing the scene out of harm’s way. Iron Will also features no cooldown, meaning it’s sure to be of use each and every match.

Iron Will is a teachable perk unique to Jake Park. It can be unlocked for all other characters by reaching level 30 with him. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.

Lithe (Feng Min)

After performing a rushed vault, break into a sprint of 150 percent of normal running movement for three seconds. Lithe causes the Exhausted status effect for 60/50/40 seconds.

Lithe particularly shines while being chased by the Killer, allowing Survivors to enjoy a speed boost upon performing a rushed vault. Rushed vaults alert the Killer with a noise notification so long as the Survivor runs straight toward a window for at least 2.5 meters, successfully performing the action. Following the vault, the Survivor continues running without losing speed—the perfect getaway.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Lithe is a teachable perk unique to Feng Min. It can be unlocked for all other characters by reaching level 35 with her. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.

Decisive Strike (Laurie Strode)

Decisive Strike: After being unhooked or unhooking yourself, Decisive Strike activates for the next 40/50/60 seconds.

  • When being grabbed or picked up by the Killer, succeed a Skill Check to automatically escape their grasp, stunning the Killer for five seconds.
  • Successfully stunning the Killer will disable Decisive Strike for the remainder of the trial and result in you becoming the Obsession of the Killer.

While Decisive Strike is active, the following interactions will deactivate it:

  • Repairing a Generator
  • Healing yourself or other Survivors.
  • Cleansing or blessing a Totem
  • Sabotaging a Hook
  • Unhooking other Survivors

Decisive Strike is helpful for players finding themselves getting caught more often than not, or fulfilling the role of occupying the Killer. This means that if the Killer grabs you during the time frame, players will automatically free themselves from the Killers’ grasp (so long as they complete a successful Skill Check), stunning the Killer for five seconds. Although they will become the Obsession of the Killer afterward, it’s a small price to pay for the overall benefit of this perk.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Decisive Strike is a teachable perk unique to Laurie Stroke. It can be unlocked for all other characters by reaching level 40 with her. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.

Sprint Burst (Meg Thomas)

Sprint Burst: When starting to run, break into a sprint at 150 percent of your normal Running Movement speed for 3 seconds.

  • Spirit Burst causes the Exhausted status effect for 60/50/40 seconds.

Sprint Burst kicks in whenever a Survivor begins running, providing a 150 percent boost to speed for three seconds. There is a lengthy cooldown that follows suit, lasting 40 seconds at the later Tier. If you play your cards right, that’s plenty amount of time to get out of harm’s way when a Killer appears out of nowhere. It’s never a bad idea to have a speed boost like Sprint Burst in your back pocket.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Sprint Burst is a teachable perk unique to Meg Thomas. You can teach this perk to other Survivors by reaching level 35 with her. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.

Borrowed Time (Bill Williams)

You are fuelled with unexpected energy when saving an Ally from a Hook. For 8/10/12 seconds after unhooking a Survivor, the unhooked Survivor is protected by the Endurance status effect.

  • Any damage taken that would put the Survivor into the Dying State will instead trigger the Deep Wound status effect, after which the Survivor has 20 seconds to mend themselves.
  • Taking damage while under the effect of Deep Wound or if its timer runs out will put the Survivor into the Dying State.

When Borrowed Time takes effect, any attacks that would typically put Survivors into the Dying state apply the Deep Wound effect instead. It’s a few seconds where Survivors are more resilient and can get out of harm’s way to heal their wounds, rather than end up back on the Killer’s hook. Borrowed Time is ideal when you’ve just been released from a hook from a fellow Survivor, only to have the Killer immediately there, attacking you.

Image via Dead By Daylight Wikia

Borrowed Time is a teachable perk unique to Bill Overbeck. You can teach this perk to other Survivors by reaching level 35 with him. This will make it start appearing in other Survivors’ Bloodwebs.