The Best Beginner Perks For Survivors – 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 Survivor 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.

Also note that I’m listing 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.

Kindredkindred gif dbd

Available to All Survivors

The Kindred perk activates whenever any player in the game is hooked by the killer. When another player is on the hook, Kindred lets you see where your other 2 teammates are, and you can see the Killer’s aura when they are within 8/12/16m of the hook. When you are on the hook, all players can see each other, as well as the Killer’s aura when they are within 8/12/16m of the hook.

When other players are hooked, knowing what your teammates are doing is incredibly useful, as it lets you know whether or not your teammates are going for the hook save. If they aren’t, you probably want to attempt to save your hooked teammate. You can also see if the Killer is camping the hook thanks to Kindred showing their aura — if the Killer is camping, you should do Generators until he leaves (there are other ways to respond to this, but as a beginner, if the Killer is hiding near the hook, just do Gens).

kindred beginners guide best perks dbd 1
Because the person on the hook has Kindred, I can see where the other Survivors are, and I can see which direction the Killer is heading

Kindred also helps when you’re on the hook, as now all your teammates know where everyone else is. In theory, this should guarantee someone comes and saves you, though it doesn’t always work out that way. Kindred will also show your allies the Killer’s aura if he’s near the hook, which can show your fellow Survivors if the Killer is camping, or if it’s safe to rescue you.

Déjà Vudejavu gif dbd

Available to All Survivors

Déjà Vu activates at the beginning of the trial, and every time a Generator is completed. When Déjà Vu activates, you are shown the aura of the 3 Generators that are closest to each other for 30/45/60 seconds. You also gain a 5% repair speed bonus on generators revealed by Déjà  Vu. For new players, one of the toughest things in the game is managing to find a Generator to work on. Being able to see where 3 Generators are at the start of the trial helps to mitigate this issue. As an added benefit, you can end up breaking 3-Gens simply by doing one of the Generators revealed by Déjà Vu — the bonus repair speed is just icing on the cake.

deja vu beginners perk guide dbd
Déjà Vu in action

Empathyempathy gif dbd

Claudette Morel Unique Perk

Empathy reveals the aura of any injured or dying survivors within 64/96/128 meters. At max rank, this basically covers the entire map. This perk is on the list for the same reason Kindred is — knowing what your teammates are doing is important, and until you’ve got a ton of games under your belt, it’s pretty impossible to guess where the other Survivors are, or what they’re doing.

This perk is also a great way to help you relax and do Generators: if you see a Survivor aura suddenly appear across the map, you know they’ve just been injured by the killer, and that you’re safe to work on a Generator. It also helps you find other Survivors, allowing you to heal each other, or work on the same Generator.

To access this perk, you’ll have to unlock the Unique Perk via Claudette Morel. For more information on Unique Perks, see our Loadouts guide.

empathy beginner perks survivor dbd
Because my teammate’s aura just appeared via Empathy, I know the killer is near them, and therefore far away from me

Windows of Opportunitywindowsofopportunity gif dbd

Kate Denson Unique Perk

Windows of Opportunity shows the aura of all Pallets and Windows within 20 meters; the utility this provides cannot be overstated. Knowing where you can go to drop a Pallet or vault a Window makes looping the killer approximately 1000x easier. Additionally, by running Windows of Opportunity, players will get a chance to learn where the Pallets and Windows usually spawn on a given map, which is important knowledge that is fairly difficult to acquire.

To access this perk, you’ll have to either find this perk in the Shrine of Secrets, or else acquire Kate Denson. I’m still including it in the best beginner perks category because it’s so incredibly useful for new players, even if it is hard for them to unlock it without spending real life cash.

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Thanks to Windows of Opportunity, it’s easy to see where I should run to if the Killer comes to this Generator

Sprint Burstsprintburst gif dbd

Meg Thomas Unique Perk

Sprint Burst does exactly what it sounds like, giving you 150% of your normal running speed for 3 seconds, after which you’ll be Exhaustedexhaustion status effect icon dbd for 60/50/40 seconds. Being Exhausted simply means you won’t be able to use Sprint Burst, or other Exhaustion Perks, until you are no longer Exhausted. The Exhaustion timer does not deplete while running.

How this perk works is fairly straightforward, but knowing how and when to use it can sometimes be tricky. Many players will hesitate to run sometimes during the match, because they’ll want to save their Sprint Burst for when the killer is chasing them. Don’t do this! The time you’ll waste walking instead of running is generally not worth it. Instead, play like normal, and simply use Sprint Burst to quickly escape from the Killer if they approach the Generator you are working on. This perk makes Generators that would otherwise be dangerous much safer: if you pay attention to your surroundings, you should be able to pick a few directions that have Pallets or Windows, and you can easily Sprint Burst to them from the Generator.

To access this perk, you’ll have to unlock the Unique Perk via Meg Thomas. For more information on Unique Perks, see our Loadouts guide.

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Note the Exhaustion Timer above the Haste icon on the middle right hand side of the screen

Adrenaline adrenaline gif dbd

Meg Thomas Unique Perk

Once the last Generator is completed, Adrenaline activates, instantly healing you for one Health State healing icon dbd and causing you to sprint at 150% of normal running speed for 5 seconds. Adrenaline causes the Exhaustion Status Effectexhaustion status effect icon dbd, but ignores any current Exhaustion timer.

While this perk will sometimes do nothing for you, it can quite literally be a life-saver at other times. If you’re Injured when the last Generator is finished, you’ll be healed to full health; if you’re on the ground Dying, you’ll stand up (though you’ll be in the Injured state). 5 seconds is also a long time to sprint at 150% speed — if you’re in a chase with the Killer when Adrenaline activates, you’ll be able to create some serious distance. This perk is a great way to make the end-game simpler while you’re still learning how to safely escape through the Exit Gates.

To access this perk, you’ll have to unlock the Unique Perk on Meg Thomas. For more information on Unique Perks, see our Loadouts guide.

Spine Chill spinechill gif dbd

Available to All Survivors

spine chill increasing dbd

This perk activates when the Killer is within a 36-meter range. Additionally, If the Killer is within range and is looking at you with a clear line of sight, your speed while repairing, sabotaging, healing, unhooking, cleansing, blessing, opening exit gates and unlocking is increased by 2/4/6%.

Spine Chill’s icon also indicates the strength of the Killer’s Terror Radius — the Perk will fill with red as the Terror Radius increases. Basically, if the little kitty-cat lights up and starts turning red, you can be fairly certain the Killer is headed your way.

While Spine Chill can sometimes encourage players to hide too often, staying alive is the biggest struggle most new players have, and Spine Chill makes staying alive easier. Not only does it let you know when to hide from the Killer, but it also increases Vaulting speed and makes opening Exit Gates faster, which can save your life. While active, it also lets you do Gens and heal people faster, so sometimes you can risk finishing the job before you run.

Spine Chill is also one of the best counters to stalking or stealth Killers, since you’ll be able to detect them when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Put Spine Chill in the 4th (last) Perk Slot in the Loadout menu so it’s the top Perk on the UI in-game; this will make seeing when it activates easier.

spine chill beginners perk guide dbd
In addition to the Spine Chill icon lighting up, you’ll see a bunch of symbols appear above the Repair progress bar if you’re working on a gen and it activates

Dark Sense dark sense gif dbd

Available to All Survivors

This Perk activates whenever a Generator is completed. While Dark Sense is active, the Killer’s Aura is visible whenever they are within 24 meters of you. Dark Sense lasts for 5/7/10 seconds, and then deactivates, which means that you get up to 10 seconds of aura reading (the perk doesn’t count down if the Killer isn’t within 24 meters of you).

One of the most common mistakes new Survivors make in DBD is stumbling into the Killer because they heard the Terror Radius and panicked. This perk should activate multiple times a game (unless your team is truly struggling), and once it does, it lets you know exactly where the Killer is if they get too close to you. The benefit this provides you — especially as a new player struggling to both find the Killer and hide — cannot be overstated. It can allow you to hide more easily, or just take the correct path away from the Killer (instead of running right into them).

Some of these perks, especially Deja Vu, lose some utility as you improve at the game. Other perks, like Sprint Burst or Kindred, maintain their usefulness regardless of skill level. Don’t be afraid to swap perks out and see what works for you. You also may have noticed that there are 2 Meg Thomas perks here — unlocking her perks ASAP is a solid strategy for new players.

A note on fun: It’s important to remember that DBD is a game, and it’s supposed to be enjoyable! With that in mind, I encourage you to experiment with perks, and don’t let the meta or other players tell you what to use. If you like a perk, use it!

Do you agree with this list? What perks do you think are the best for beginners? Let us know in the comments!

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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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