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10 Dead by Daylight beginner mistakes new players should avoid

Now you too can kind of look like you know what you're doing.

Are you new to Dead by Daylight and want to win as either the hunter or the hunted? Well, you came to the right place. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the most common beginner mistakes to avoid as both a Killer and as a Survivor in Dead by Daylight.

Let’s start off with the Survivors, whose only options for fighting back are to throw down furniture and click a flashlight. Apparently, those methods work really well though, so maybe four squishy people are just better than one souped-up killing machine.

Stacking the generators

Always be sure to spread out and don’t stack multiple players on generators. The more spread out you are, the more overall progress you gain across the map simultaneously. If you all stack on one or two generators and the Killer moves between them, you’re now wasting time fleeing with nobody to take advantage of the Killer’s absence.

Looking and running in straight lines

Always use your peripheral vision. Don’t just stare straight ahead when repairing – or doing anything else, really. Use the third-person camera to your advantage to look around corners, over small walls, and between trees. You’re looking for a humanoid – usually easy to spot – killing machine with a big red light in front of them. Even if it’s just a glimpse, any information is valuable information. You can use it to find the Killer at the beginning and relay to your friends (if you are in voice chat) who the Killer is and where they’re going. During the game, even a small glimpse of the Killer can let you know where it’s safe to move on to.

Remember to zig and zag during your chases! This isn’t the Prometheus school of running away from things, and you should zig-zag around! Use obstacles to your advantage, run towards doors and windows, break sightlines, vault ledges. Running in a straight line is a good way to go down quickly. Even if you’re in a big open space, force the Killer to guess where you’re going – then break off in the opposite direction. The more unpredictable you are, the harder it is to hit you. Have you ever seen Premium Rush? You’re basically doing this.

Sprinting or walking everywhere

Yes, sprinting is a really fast way to get around, but you’re leading the Killer right to you while you’re doing it. If you’re going to sprint, make it unpredictable. Lead them in circles and confuse them. Maybe even stop sprinting for a time, then start back up, then go in another direction. You may see Survivors at higher levels sprinting everywhere – that’s okay for them. They make up for it in other ways, but as a new player, you’re not quite there yet. Work on your stealth and learn how to hide and dodge when necessary. It’s always a satisfying – and terrifying – feeling when you sneak around a corner right as the Killer walks around the other side.

On the flip side, don’t walk or crouch everywhere either. There are good times to sprint and good times to walk. For example: if you know the Killer is on the other side of the map from you, don’t walk as if you’re trying to hide your tracks. Alternatively, don’t sprint if the Killer is close to you and you’re trying to hide – that would instead be a good time to crouch. The only time I would recommend crouching almost everywhere, is if you’re a bit of a rat like me and want to take Urban Evasion, which increases your crouch speed to basically walking speed.

Leaving generators in a heartbeat

Please excuse the pun, but I meant that you shouldn’t be leaving a generator as soon as you start to hear a heartbeat. I get it, I do. Trust me when I say that you should just commit to the generator – especially when you’re close to escaping. Even if you go down for it, finishing that generator is a potential lifeline to every Survivor. There is always a chance you’ll finish the last two generators at the same time, putting you in an even better position. If you’re a few seconds off from finishing the generator, then just finish it – don’t give the Killer the chance to break it and take away your progress. In the long run, it helps more than it hinders.

DbD Beginner mistakes
Don’t. Just don’t.

Next up, let’s talk about the Killers. Whether you wield it a chainsaw, knife glove, or just your bare hands – the mistakes you make are mistakes all the same. Here are a few things you should keep in mind to avoid falling victim to a bunch of weak-willed, squishy, weaponless losers.

Camping Survivors

After hooking your quarry, you may be tempted to hang around and make sure they don’t escape and deny the Entity its snack. Maybe it’s just been a particularly tough game for you, or you really want to secure that kill – in any case, don’t do this. Not only is camping a Survivor pretty toxic, but you’re missing out on valuable Bloodpoints that you could be getting during a chase. In cases like these, just try to put your bruised ego aside, keep your head up high, and go get the rest of the Survivors.

Use your time wisely

Dead by Daylight is a game all about time management. You’re a one-person team here going up against four Survivors, so you have to be smart with how you use your time. If a Survivor has you in a loop, don’t commit to it longer than about 30-60 seconds. The more time you waste in an infinite chase, the more time the Survivors have to finish generators – making your job much harder in the process. Be clever and efficient. Chase taking too long? Go after generators.

Choose your target carefully

Take a look at each Survivor in the lobby and keep track of who has which item. Items correspond to intention – if they have a Toolbox, they’re looking to finish generators or break your hooks. Keys mean they’re likely partied up with at least one other Survivor and will be communicating their progress and your whereabouts, which means you may want to take them out first.

The same goes for if the Survivors seem too coordinated or if they seem to fill out certain roles right from the get-go. If you see a mixture of Claudettes dressed to blend in, people in bright outfits with flashlights, and a David King – they might just be a group. In these cases, it’s likely best not to chase the very obvious runner of the group, but rather the background Claudettes. Take out the workers and you can cripple the organization.

Respecting pallets too hard or not hard enough

Yes, the pallets are there to help Survivors escape from you, but you have to be smart about how you use them. Don’t go stopping at every pallet you come across as soon as the Survivor runs past it on the chance they might throw it. If you are new, chances are the Survivors in your lobby are also new and as unsure around pallets as you are. Starting off, you could just chase Survivors right through pallets to get a feel for them.

What you’re trying to do here is get a feel for the distance you need to have between you and your target in order to do one of three things. You can hit them through a pallet stun – getting rid of the pallet and injuring them in the process. You can learn to respect the pallet and end up continuing the loop, potentially getting the Survivor later on in the chase. Or finally, you eat that f**king pallet: now it’s out of the way, letting you continue the chase or break it off at your leisure.

These next couple tips just apply to everyone really.

Not learning about your opponent’s capabilities

First and foremost, do both the Survivor and Killer tutorials when you start playing Dead by Daylight. Any advantage is useful, and knowing what your opponent is capable of will always be an asset to you and your team. You don’t need to learn every single minute detail about each Killer or Survivor right off the bat. You should just get a feel for things like the Killer’s attack range and ability.

For Killers, keep track of their perks, models, and how to counter certain items. Note that you can’t counter everything – but you can certainly learn what each side is capable of and do your best to find ways around it. It’s always easier to beat someone when you know what to look out for.

Not taking advantage of your opponent’s weaknesses

I don’t just mean the character themselves, but also the person playing them. If the Killer is camping, use that time and information to your advantage. Run to a generator or find a Hex Totem and break it. You can even break another hook in the area to allow extra escape chances should another person get downed. Dead by Daylight is a game about adaptation – take your opponent’s behaviors and patterns into account and use them against them.

I know this is a lot to keep track of, but it’s worth being mindful of how you play. Just avoid making these beginner Survivor mistakes in your Dead by Daylight games and you’ll be fine! Well… maybe, anyway.

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Kevin Dewan

Writer for SQUAD, runs after things a lot. Won't BM you to your face. Okay with losing as long as it's funny.
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