A Beginner's Guide To Perks #2: Head On
This guide is constructed around my game experience (of 1000+ hours) and is my opinion only. It is not necessarily the correct and only way to play. Play however you like! The guides I publish will centre around perks or simple concepts to help newer players understand how to maximise the effectiveness of their perks.
‘Head On’ is a teachable perk that is unique to Jane Romero until Level 40. The perk icon is as follows, along with the perk’s Tier 3 effects:
‘Head On’ seems fairly simple at first, however many criticise it for being buggy or unresponsive when in reality the unpredictability of the perk is due to a lack of understanding of how it works.
In other words: after being inside a locker for at least 3 seconds, exiting the locker while holding the sprint key (default SHIFT) will cause the killer to be stunned for 3 seconds if they are close by to the locker. The perk will cause you to have the exhausted status effect for 40 seconds afterwards, meaning you cannot use other exhaustion perks or ‘Head On’ again in this time frame. E.g here is a Nurse after being stunned with the perk.
How to Obtain It
Since the perk is unique to Jane, it is only possible to obtain it from Jane’s bloodweb until it is unlocked as a teachable perk. At level 40, the teachable variant of ‘Head On’ will appear on Jane’s bloodweb. After purchasing it, the perk will be able to appear on any other survivor’s bloodweb. If you are unsure if you have unlocked it:
1) Select ‘Play as Survivor’
2) Select ‘Jane Romero’
3) Open ‘Character Info’ (default F1)
4) Look under the heading ‘Perks, Teachables’
5) Hover over the icon to the top right of the perk and it will tell you whether you have unlocked it. E.g.
Conversely, ‘Head On’ may be available on the Shrine of Secrets. Since it is a newer perk, it will cost 2,700 iridescent shards. The Shrine of Secrets is a store to unlock teachable perks from which houses 4 new perks every week. It refreshes every Wednesday at 00:00:00 UTC. E.g.
Note: ‘Head On’ is not currently available in this week’s Shrine of Secrets. The image above is just an example of the Shrine.
How to Use It in a Match
‘Head On’ is shrugged off by many as gimmicky and useless in highly competitive gameplay as opportunities to use it can be scarce. However, ‘Head On’ adds another layer to locker based jukes and can be used in multiple different ways to aid you and the team.
‘Head On’ requires a specific sequence of events to work which can be frustrating to players who do not wish to wait in lockers for 3 seconds or find themselves having no opportunity to use it. ‘Head On’ works best with a coordinated team, preferably Survive with Friends who can communicate easily. Alternatively, running team-based perks that provide awareness of players’ locations and situations can make the perk more gratifying (detailed in Synergies).
Method 1: Prolonging Chases
‘Head On’ can be used when in a chase to prolong the chase and waste the killer’s time. This is useful to allow other survivors precious time to repair generators while unscathed by the killer. To use ‘Head On’ in this way, you must ensure you have enough distance from the killer to get into the locker and wait for 3 seconds, otherwise you risk being grabbed from the locker. This works best with perks such as ‘Quick and Quiet’ to help you quickly get into the locker without being heard. When the killer is searching the immediate area for you, rush out of the locker while they are in front of/next to it to stun them and make a quick getaway. This will waste the killer’s time and put distance between you and the killer.
Method 2: Assisting the Team
Since the perk results in a killer stun, it can be used while the killer is carrying someone to stun the killer and cause the carried survivor to break free. This will contribute points to your Benevolent emblem as well as give you 1,250 bloodpoints in the Altruism category.
This method works most effectively when coordinated either through the use of aura reading perks such as Bond, Empathy or Aftercare or through a pre-arranged plan via Survive with Friends. It is uncommon for a scenario where a survivor is carried next to or picked up in front of a locker. It should also be considered that if a survivor is in the dying state in front of a locker, the killer may accidentally (or intentionally) search said locker and thwart the save.
The most likely situation of this working is when a killer is carrying a survivor into the basement. If you see a survivor get downed within a range where they can be carried and hooked in basement, get into one of the lockers opposite to the staircase in the basement. Wait for ‘Head On’ to activate and if they walk close enough, stun them and free the carried survivor. E.g.
‘Head On’ may also be used to stun the killer while they are chasing another survivor. This may lead to:
a) The killer switching to you and saving the other survivor from the chase
b) Prolonging the other survivor’s chase and giving them some more time
This can be beneficial to waste the killer’s time and give your team more time to do generators. Although, remember, any time you yourself are not doing generators may be detrimental to the team. Therefore, be selective about when to attempt a ‘Head On’ play revolving around a team mate over doing generators.
Method 3: Get Out of Jail Free Card
This is the simplest and arguably most effective use of ‘Head On’. It does not require lots of extra effort but instead means that if you were to be grabbed out of a locker, you can instead stun the killer and make a dash. This acts as a nice buff to lockers and makes them much more viable to use when injured or in perilous situations as you can rely on the ‘Head On’ stun to hinder the killer. To do this:
1) You first want to select a locker. You should select one which has enough room to run without being blocked by the killer when they’re stunned and one which is close to escape roots such as windows or pallets. E.g.
Here, the locker indicated with the green arrow is most suitable because if you were to stun the killer, you can quickly run to the pallet adjacent to it. (The pallet is not visible in the photo).
2) Get into the locker and wait for ‘Head On’ to activate. ‘Head On’ is usable when the perk icon lights up. E.g.
3) Wait until the killer is within range and perform a rushed exit. The stun will be applied if the killer was within range at the time the animation started.
‘Head On’ is quite poorly understood. Many survivors do not realise that the stun is based on where the killer was standing when the exit animation started. This can make ‘Head On’ appear unreliable. Judging whether or not the killer is within range will take practice and will be tricky at first. However, after using it for numerous matches you will soon be able to judge the range well.
‘Head On’ can be a fairly tricky perk to master as it involves planning, execution and timing. Although it is very satisfying when done correctly. When using the perk you should be aware of a few risks:
-The killer may hit you before they are stunned as they are stunned at the end of the exit animation. E.g. Here I timed my exit poorly and got hit:
-The killer may search the locker and grab you if you get the timing wrong.
-You will become exhausted for 40 seconds after successfully using ‘Head On’ so other exhaustion perks (Sprint Burst, Balanced Landing and Dead Hard) will not be usable for a time. Keep this in mind when constructing a build using ‘Head On’ (more on this in Synergies).
-You will suffer from the blindness status effect while in a locker which will stop you from seeing any auras. This reduces the effectiveness of aura reading perks such as Bond.
‘Head On’ is more effective on killers who regularly search lockers as you have more opportunity to use it. These killers include:
-The Huntress who has to reload hatchets at lockers regularly
-Killers running perks that influence lockers such as ‘Iron Maiden’, The Legion’s teachable perk.
‘Head On’ can also be made more effective by using other perks such as:
-‘Quick and Quiet’. This allows you to quickly enter a locker without notifying the killer. This is beneficial as it means you have more of a chance to use ‘Head On’ in a chase without notifying the killer of your intentions.
-‘Iron Will’ muffles groans of pain when injured which allows you to make ‘Head On’ plays more effectively while injured as the killer won’t hear you in the locker.
-‘Vigil’ reduces the time it takes for exhaustion to disappear which means you can use ‘Head On’ more frequently.
-‘Bond’ or ‘Empathy’ or ‘Aftercare’ allow you to aura read other survivors. This allows you to see where other survivors are and allows you to plan your ‘Head On’ tactics.
When designing a survivor build it is also important to consider what perks do not work well with ‘Head On’. For example, exhaustion perks or aura reading perks may be hindered by ‘Head On’ so may not be a good choice. Moreover, perks built around doing generators may not be worthwhile if you are going to be spending a lot of time running the killer or performing saves with ‘Head On’
Note: All statistics are from the wiki or the game itself
This one was requested by @AlsoArrow on my first perk tutorial (A Nurse's Calling). Thank you for reading this far! Any other suggestions for future perk guides?