Dead by Daylight made its debut on mobile devices just a few days ago on April 16. This means that Dead by Daylight can be played on any device and is available to everyone, no matter what they have! This is an amazing accomplishment, because managing a game on PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and mobile devices is no easy feat.
The rules of the game are the same. But Dead by Daylight on mobile has many mechanics that do not exits on the PC or console versions. This is a surprise for many players, but it makes sense due to the limitations mobile devices have. New and returning players will get to learn the new mechanics immediately – Behavior Interactive has made sure anyone who opens Dead by Daylight on their phone is immediately thrown into a tutorial.
First, I want to talk about how different the Survivor and Killers available are. Unlike the original Dead by Daylight, only Claudette, Meg, and Dwight are free to play. On the Killer side you have Trapper and Hillbilly. All other characters must be unlocked with Iridescent Shards or Auric Cells.
Another huge change is that you do not level up characters with Bloodpoints. Instead, you must play the character you want to level. That means that getting teachable perks will be a lot more time consuming, since you will be forced to play characters with no perks or add-ons.
Now let’s dive into the actual gameplay, starting with Survivor. The movement controls are on the left side of their screen, while the crouch, vault, and throw pallet buttons are on the right side of the screen. Other interactions such as repairing a generator will appear in the middle of your screen. I found that interactions can be hard to hit because of their location in the middle. If it was moved a little more to the right or left, things would be easier.
Behavior Interactive figured most players would not use headphones, or their screens are too small to see properly. To help them out, they have included a visual noise indicator, like the one found in other mobile games. When the Killer makes a noise, there is a special red indicator pointing in the direction the noise came from. This makes the game a lot easier for Survivors, as they can pretty much always know the Killer’s location.
The movement controls are very finicky. Often you will want to run, but your character will walk instead. It is difficult to transition between walking and running on mobile. Being able to walk and run with ease is an incredibly important skill when running from the Killer. I found myself getting hit several times because my character walked, even though I pushed the movement controls enough to run.
While there is an auto running feature, this too has its troubles. When auto running, you cannot really look behind you that well, and it just makes kiting Killers harder. I think there is an easy fix for this issue. In the game Identity V, which is heavily inspired by Dead by Daylight, they have a toggle sprint button. If sprint is activated, your character will always run and try to get fast vaults. When sprint is toggled off, your character will always walk. Having this feature would take away the frustration of the movement controls failing, and make running much easier.
Survivors have another new button that automatically changes your camera to look behind you. I understand why this button is here, but in game it causes more problems than it fixes. When you press it, it changes how your movement controls work. This is because in Dead by Daylight the direction you run in is based on your camera angle. So this look-behind button will make you run into the Killer instead of away, because your controls become inverted. You are much better off controlling the camera manually.
Now for the Killer side. Their buttons for attacking are on the right side of the screen and seem a bit cramped. Your power and basic attack are really close together. It becomes even more cramped if you are playing a Killer like Clown, who has a third action to their power. I found myself accidentally hitting the refill button when trying to hit a Survivor. Not only that, but I would also accidentally hit the refill button several times when trying to adjust my camera.
Killers also have new mechanics to help them out in Dead by Daylight on mobile. Even though these do help, I always suggest wearing headphones when playing Dead by Daylight. Like Survivors, Killers get a red indicator pointing in the direction of Survivors. This indicator only appears when you are in a chase or near a Survivor. This gives Killers so much information on their prey’s location. These indicators take away one of the best things about Dead by Daylight: the mindgames. Not only that, but they also remove stealth entirely.
It seems like mechanics put into the game to help players can be a hinderance. As Killer, when you are in a chase with a Survivor, the camera will adjust to keep the Survivor in view. But if the Survivor makes a sharp turn, the camera fails to follow, making it much more difficult to follow Survivors while they are looping structures.
Another inconvenience happens when there are multiple Survivors in view. The game does not know which to focus on, so it picks the one closest to you, making it difficult to keep the Survivor you want to chase in view.
Along with a difficult camera is a lack of auto aim. Many times a Survivor can run right in front of the Killer and pass by unscathed, even if the Killer swings. Given the difficulty of aiming on mobile, a better auto aim to help secure hits on Survivors would help a lot. A swing should never miss a Survivor that is in point blank range.
If you are already someone who is used to mobile game controls, then Dead by Daylight will be a fun new experience for you. But if you are a long time player of Dead by Daylight from PC or console, then you should just stick to them. The controls are so different on mobile, they make playing the game a frustrating experience, especially for Killers. Depending on your device you could also get frame drops and lag. The game could certainly benefit from more optimization.