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How to play Nemesis in Dead by Daylight

Resident Evil is coming to Dead by Daylight in the next chapter, bringing the new Killer Nemesis with a unique new power. The survivors coming to the game are Jill Valentine and Leon Kennedy. Each character brings three new unique perks into the game, and the Killer as always has a new power.

In this article I will be talking about the Nemesis’ power. I do have articles on the Nemesis’ perks, Jill Valentine’s perks, and Leon Kennedy’s perks.

Nemesis power overview

Nemesis’ power in Dead by Daylight is called T-Virus, and it gives him a special attack called Tentacle Strike. Holding the power button will ready up Nemesis’ attack, allowing him to aim it but reducing his movement speed slightly. Once the power is charged, you can press the attack button to unleash Tentacle Strike. This attack shoots out in a thin straight line in front of Nemesis. Its area of effect is represented by a blue special effect. Letting go of the power button will cancel this attack.

Any Survivors hit by Tentacle Strike for the first time will become contaminated. You can tell Survivors are contaminated because they have a blue special effect on their profile picture, will cough, and have blue liquid on them. On the Survivor’s point of view, they will also have a blue special effect around the edges of their screen.

If a contaminated Survivor is hit by Tentacle Strike, they will be damaged by one health state. Survivors can cure themselves or others of contamination by finding a vaccine. These vaccines are in supply crates. The auras of supply crates are revealed to Survivors when they become contaminated.


Using the vaccine cures the Survivor of contamination, but there is a catch. There are only four vaccines on the entire map, so Survivors must consider if curing themselves immediately is a smart idea. Once a Survivor has cured themselves, their location is revealed to Nemesis by the Killer Instinct effect for a few seconds.

The second part of Nemesis’ Dead by Daylight power is Mutation Rate. Nemesis starts a trial with Mutation Rate I. There is a progress bar around the T-Virus icon in a trial that represents Mutation Rate. When the Nemesis hits a Survivor with Tentacle Strike, he gains Mutation Rate. Each Survivor only counts once for Mutation Rate progress. Hitting the same Survivor multiple times with Tentacle Strike will give no Mutation Rate.

It only takes two Survivor hits to upgrade from Mutation Rate I to II. Hitting two more Survivors will grant significant process towards Mutation Rate III, but not upgrade the Nemesis’ power. He will have to hit some Zombies with Tentacle Strike to upgrade to Mutation Rate III. More on that later!

At Mutation Rate II, the Nemesis can break pallets and breakable walls with Tentacle Strike. At Mutation Rate III the range of Tentacle Strike is increased. Every time the Nemesis goes up in Mutation Rate, all players in a trial will hear a unique sound.


The final part of the Nemesis power is Zombies! There are two Zombies that will wander around the map slowly. The auras of Zombies are revealed to the Nemesis in white. Nemesis can destroy these Zombies with Tentacle Strike to gain progress towards Mutation Rate. Nemesis can also destroy Zombies with his basic attack if you have no need for Mutation Rate. Destroyed Zombies will respawn after some time has passed.

When a Zombie sees a Survivor, they will change into a chase animation and go after them. If the Survivor gets too far away from a Zombie, it will give up chase and just wander aimlessly again. When a Zombie catches up to a Survivor it will try to hit them, and can afflict Survivors with contamination. If a contaminated Survivor gets hit by a Zombie, they will be damaged by one health state.

Survivors can destroy Zombies by throwing pallets on them. Zombies can also be blinded with flashlights, which disables them for a while.

How to use Nemesis’ power

Nemesis has a complex power that can win Dead by Daylight games. However, improper use of it can cause you to lose games as well. The main drawbacks of the Nemesis power is that you must hit Survivors with Tentacle Strike before you can injure them, and Zombies are unreliable. Nemesis creates pressure by contaminating Survivors, so your goal will be to force Survivors to use all four vaccines early in a trial.

My biggest tip is to not focus too hard on hitting every Survivor you find with Tentacle Strike. If you get an opportunity to hit Survivors with your basic attack, then do it. Every time you injure a Survivor puts pressure on them, which helps you out.

Try to use Tentacle Strike for situations where you would not be able to land a basic attack on a Survivor, like when a Survivor throws a pallet. Playing Nemesis effectively is about knowing how to balance between using Tentacle Strike and basic attacks.


Now let’s talk about those Zombies. They can be incredibly useful on indoor maps, since they can block entire hallways for Survivors as they wander around. This can create surprise dead ends for Survivors, even ones you are not currently chasing. While Zombies do make small growls, they do not emit sound all the time. This allows them to Surprise hit Survivors who run around corners without checking first.

On wide open maps Zombies are less useful, but they can group up around Survivors as they unintentionally lead Zombies to their friends. Having both Zombies around a hooked Survivor is one of the best situations for Nemesis, as it makes hook saving even more dangerous.

What the Nemesis would mainly use Zombies for is information. If you pay attention to the Zombie auras you can tell they are chasing Survivors by their animation. As long as they have their arms stretched out, they are chasing someone.

Along with this, Zombies will hang out for a second if a Survivor they were chasing went into a locker. You can also tell when a Zombie has been stunned by a flashlight blind, since they will stand in place for several seconds.


Perks to use with Nemesis

The Nemesis’ power will work great with generator delay builds, as longer games are very beneficial for him. The longer the game runs, the more Survivors you can contaminate. Ideally, you want to force Survivors to use all the vaccines before the gates are powered.

I think basic attack perks such as Sloppy Butcher and Save the Best for Last have potential on Nemesis, too. Using these perks would catch Survivors off guard, since they always expect you to go for the Tentacle Strike, allowing you to easily capitalize off their mistakes.

Monitor and Abuse can be used on Nemesis to reduce his Terror Radius while not in chase. This allows you to catch Survivors by surprise and get a free Tentacle Strike hit or basic attack hit.

Bamboozle on Nemesis is great at locking down windows. Something to keep in mind though, is that Tentacle Strike can hit Survivors through windows. So it is not always a bad thing for Nemesis to get a Survivor locked in a window vault animation. Bamboozle would be for those windows that make it difficult to Tentacle Strike a Survivor through.


Perks you should not use on Nemesis are Brutal Strength, Enduring, and Spirit Fury. Nemesis has no need for pallet perks because Tentacle Strike allows him to play safe around them. You can wait for a Survivor to throw or vault a pallet and get a free Tentacle Strike hit. Once Nemesis is Mutation Rate II he can break pallets with Tentacle Strike,  which takes away all the value Brutal Strength has.

There is everything you need to know about the Nemesis power in Dead by Daylight. To see the Nemesis’ power in action, check out my video below.

Nemesis Power + Jill and Leon's Perks Explained | Dead by Daylight Resident Evil Chapter

The Nemesis is the first Killer to bring NPCs into Dead by Daylight and with them, he is quite the threat. If you want to learn about the Nemesis’ perks, check out my article.

Good luck out there in the fog and stay tuned for more Dead by Daylight guides!

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Victoria Crego

Hello, I've been playing Dead by Daylight since July 2016 near when it was released. I've seen, and have been through, the changes made to it throughout the years and have done my best to help other players get introduced to the game. I created a YouTube channel to explain the complicated mechanics in Dead by Daylight, and now I am here as well to continue sharing my information with players like you! Here is my channel for a wealth of information about Dead by Daylight
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