Best Beginner Perks for Killers – Dead by Daylight

Dead by Daylight starts before the trial begins, with your loadout. Making sure that your perks fit your style, and knowing how to use them, is a big piece of learning how to play the game. The following Killer perks are not necessarily considered the strongest perks in the game. However, they are the perks that can help you learn the game the quickest, or else will be the most helpful when you’re first learning the game.

There are more than 4 perks here because there’s no one “right” way to play. I encourage new players to try all these perks out, and use the ones you like.

A Note on Unique Perks: Some of the recommended perks here will require you to either purchase/unlock specific Killers, or else find the perk in the Shrine of Secrets. You can go to our guide on Perks and Loadouts for more information on Unique Perks and the Shrine.

The Hillbilly Unique Perk

Tinkerer Activates whenever a Generator is repaired to 70%. When this occurs, you’ll receive a Loud Noise notification at that generator, revealing it’s location, and you’ll be granted the Undetectable status effect for the next 12/14/16 seconds.

The benefits of this perk are threefold: not only does it tell you where a Survivor is, but it lets you protect a generator, and it lets you sneak up on them, since the Undetectable effect means you won’t have a Terror Radius or a Red Stain for the next 16 seconds. This also means you don’t have to patrol generators as much, and can commit to longer chases, knowing that you’ll be notified if a generator is close to completion.

Unfortunately, because it’s a Unique Perk, you’ll have to either purchase the HIllbilly, or else hope this perk appears in the Shrine of Secrets, in order to unlock it. Despite this, it’s still a perk all beginners should try to get access to ASAP.

Available to All Killers

Whispers activates whenever a Survivor is within 48/40/32 meters of you, and you’ll hear the whispers of the Entity when it does. The perk will also go from dull to lit up, which is the more effective way of tracking this perk’s activation.

I personally think the following tracking perk, Spies from the Shadows, is much easier to use for new players, since it gives you pinpoint info. By contrast, all Whispers does is confirm whether or not a Survivor is nearby. This can certainly be useful in helping you find Survivors, but I would argue it is not as effective as Spies from the Shadows because of its inaccuracy.

However, Whispers is better than Spies from the Shadows in a specific situation that is common in beginner games: when the Survivors are doing nothing but hiding. Whispers lets you hone in on their position and find them in the locker or corner they’re cowering in; Spies from the Shadows won’t help you if Survivors are doing nothing but crouch-walking around the map.

This is an alternative to Spies from the Shadows — you generally don’t want to run both perks.

Available to All Killers

Spies from the Shadows activates any time a Survivor disturbs a Crow within 20/28/36 meters of you, showing you the aura of the disturbed crow (great band name) and giving you a Loud Noise Notification. This perk has a cooldown of only 5 seconds.

As we mentioned in the BBQ discussion, finding Survivors is one of the biggest challenges facing beginner Killers. Spies from the Shadows makes it much easier to find Survivors, since most maps are littered with Crows and most Survivors don’t bother sneaking past them. Additionally, very few Killers utilize this perk in the current meta, so players aren’t as careful around crows as they might otherwise be.

This is an alternative to Whispers — you generally don’t want to run both perks.

spies from the shadows gif best beginner perks dbd guide
Spies from the Shadows in action

Available to All Killers

Sloppy Butcher makes your basic attacks cause the Haemorrhage (extra bleeding) and Mangled (slower healing) effects until the Survivor is healed. The extra bleeding is nice, but the real benefit comes from the Mangled effect.

Mangled slows healing by 20%, increasing the base time of 16 seconds to 19.2. While 3.2 seconds may not seem like a lot, you have to consider that that extra time is added to every time a survivor wants to heal, so those seconds will add up quickly, especially if you combine it with other slow-down perks like Thanataphobia or Coulrophobia.

This perk can certainly be overshadowed by stronger perks, but given its accessibility and the fact that it’s useful with little-to-no effort on your part, it’s easy to recommend for beginners. It also combines well with A Nurse’s Calling, which we’ll look at next.

Note that if you’re playing a Killer that frequently uses their power to damage Survivors (ranged killers, Ghostface, etc), rather than basic attacks, this perk is not worth running.

The Nurse Unique Perk

A Nurse’s Calling reveals the aura of any survivor healing or being healed within 20/24/28 meters of you (can you see why this combos well with Sloppy Butcher?).

The value of this is straightforward: it makes finding Survivors very easy. It works best with Killers who can move quickly around the map — since slower Killers will struggle to take advantage of the aura reading ability this provides — but it’s a safe pickup on any Killer.

To use A Nurse’s Calling to its full potential, focus on getting most or all of the Survivors injured, then try to find them while they’re healing and interrupt them. Thanatophobia is a great perk to combine with this as well (Thana slows Survivor’s actions for every injured Survivor).

a nurses calling dbd perk kill beginner guide
A Nurse’s Calling is also a great perk for voyeurs

The Nurse Unique Perk

For each injured, dying, or hooked Survivor, all Survivors’ repairing, sabotaging, and cleansing speeds are slowed by 4/4.5/5% (up to a maximum of 16/18/20%). This combines very well with Sloppy Butcher and A Nurse’s Calling, as you can then make it your strategy to try and injure all the Survivors.

With all four Survivors injured, the time it takes them to heal one another is increased by a whopping 40%, which means you’ll have that much longer to find them with A Nurse’s Calling. Additionally, this is a perk that rewards you for simply doing your job (hitting and hooking Survivors), and so it’s a great beginner perk.

The Plague Unique Perk

This perk blocks the three furthest generators from you for 80/100/120 seconds at the start of the trial. Blocked generators cannot be repaired by Survivors. By blocking three gens, you only have 4 to defend, which is incredibly easy. Corrupt Intervention therefore makes it much easier to find Survivors and catch them before generators can get finished.

Hex: Ruin is arguably a stronger gen-slowdown perk, but since Hex perks have to be guarded, I prefer Corrupt Intervention for players who are just starting out, since it doesn’t require any extra effort in order for it to be effective.

corrupt intevention blocked gen killer beginner perk guide dbd
A gen blocked by Corrupt Intervention (the white aura beyond indicates another blocked gen)

Available to All Killers

Iron Grasp reduces the effect of Survivor’s wiggling on your shoulder by 75%, and the total time for them to wiggle free from your grasp is increased by 4/8/12%.

One of the most frustrating things as Killer in DBD is when a Survivor manages to escape your grasp before you can get them on the hook. Iron Grasp makes this much less likely, and is therefore a safe pick for basically any killer, with any build.

We hope this guide was helpful. If you have any questions or comments, or just want to talk about how cute DBD’s crows are, please do so in the comments section below!

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Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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