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[Guide] Essential guide for the Team of Friends.

Nich888Nich888 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2019 in Guides

Are you a newcomer, who wants to bring host of their friends and have fun together?

Here is a simple explanation of all mechanics every player should be familiar with along with some tips that might help you to avoid conflicts, make sure you stay BFF and will have great time spent in Dead By Daylight.


Dead by Daylight(DBD for short) is heavily influenced by Left 4 Dead(L4D for short). If you're familiar with L4D you may find many similarities between these games. I would say, if you played L4D, you know the drill. But if you don't, don't worry, because all things will be explained anyway. 

The great game design is what helped both games to skyrocket into the Steam Top and stay there thus far. As best decisions made in L4D are carried over into DBD you might want to know what are these. [L4D commentary] tag is inserted in place, where L4D commentary begins.


Word «Dead» is present in the titles of both games and in both games you may die. «What surprise!» you might say. But this is far more important than you might think. It is as important as being ready to die in the game because of it being part of gameplay. One thing you must learn, which is true for both games: «Dying is not as bad as you might think».

[L4D commentary]Three Strikes. Part I

During our internal playtesting, we ran into situations where a player who had a habit of making bad decisions kept becoming incapacitated to the point where the other Survivors became frustrated; continually reviving and escorting this player five or six times in the space of a couple of minutes. By adding the 'third strike and you're dead' rule solved this issue in two ways. First, it temporarily took these players out of the game and allowed the rest of the team to proceed and enjoy their experience. 

You will inevitably die, but game will make its best to keep your demise postponed. The one way to achieve this goal is Three Strikes system being carried over into DBD with some adjustments. You will not die as soon as you start getting hits.

The first time you get hit, you will enter Injured State. Once you enter this state most of your gameplay will be same as normal, except now your Survivor is far more audible and leaves pools of blood. Its harder to shake killer off once you enter this state.

The second time you get hit, you will enter Dying State or «become Incapacitated» in other words. Becoming Incapacitated is just the second bad thing that may happen to you. Once Incapacitated you still may get help from you teammates and get back to the game. But most likely, you will be lifted on Killers' shoulders and get transported to the nearest hook. And even then you will not die, this is where Three Hooks system takes over.

The first time you get hooked, your teammates will have some time to save you until after bleeding timer progresses over ~55%. Once this happens, Struggling Phase begins, this is the last phase before the Entity claims you and sacrifices. Your fellow teammates should hurry once you're about to enter Struggle Phase because Entity instantly sacrifices all Survivors who already progressed into Struggling Phase the next time they get hooked.

As you see, you have plenty of opportunities before you actually die.

What should I do when I'm Incapacitated or Hooked?

When you get incapacitated or hooked, outlines of all remaining survivors are revealed to you. As there is very little you can do in these 2 states, you should focus on what your fellows do. Information you get by observing may help you a lot.


[L4D commentary]Three Strikes. Part II

Second, the players who died found themselves as a spectator watching the more successful players. This not only gave them the opportunity to learn how the remaining players were surviving, but how they might improve their own performance as well. It also let them cool off and regain their composure in preparation for rejoining the game a minute or so later.

When you die, it's not necessarily the end of match for you as you now can enter «Spectator Mode», where you can watch how your more lucky fellows survive. This is actually very helpful for both Solo newcomers and SWF(Survive With your Fiends) newcomers, as solo player may find experienced player in their team and learn a lot, just by observing.

It's highly recommended to enter «Spectator Mode» whenever possible if you just started playing DBD. When you spectate a survivor, you can't move camera and rather see game from their respective for both balancing and learning purposes. Thus you should be observant about how player rotates their camera, what do they notice, what they do when Killer is near and how they act when revealed... a lot of things.


Dead by Daylight lacks of many communication options. Just two chats ever present in DBD: Lobby text chat and Post-game text chat. As for communication in trials(matches), your only options are gestures: (key 1) «Look there.» (key 2) «Come here.»

When you play the game you might want to actually hear your friend's screaming and excitement the first time Killer catches them. Everyone has to admit that playing without voice chat is rather insipid experience. That's why we suggest using Discord, the most popular voice communication tool among DBD community and its streamers.

Few things I think I should mention about communications in DBD

I did mention outlines you get in certain circumstances. These are called «auras» in DBD. There are many perks and items that unlock even more aura-reading options. For example, seeing auras of all teammates around you or anyone injured. These unlockables might be less useful for experienced SWF team, as they almost never give information that can't be otherwise given through voice chat.

This way experienced SWF team can replace functionality of about 5+ aura-reading perks with voice chat. This is the reason some people hate third-party communication tools as they might give you «unfair advantage». Some even claim that you might get banned for using these, which is not completely true. You will never get banned for using these, unless EAC(anti-cheat system featured in DBD) goes nuts.


[L4D commentary]Awards

Because teamwork is so important to gameplay in Left 4 Dead, we wanted to give players feedback on how they and their teammates were working as a team. The first version of this was something we called awards, which was basically a large collection of positive and negative player actions. It was like having merits and demerits. Awards showed up as icons in the HUD and everyone could see what awards other people on the team were receiving. This turned out to be too complex and confusing. It was hard to decipher what the icons meant, and the negative awards just hurt the feelings of new players rather than educating them. Also, with so much activity going on in the game, it was hard to notice the award icons at the time the good teamwork occurred. In the next version, we drastically narrowed the list to just a few positive things a player can do, replaced the icons with very short text, and added a glow to the player icon in the HUD. This had the desired effect of reinforcing good teamwork right when it occurred and broadcasting a player's good deeds to his teammates.

The Awards system is further expanded and greatly improved in DBD. These improvements allow for much more events to trigger various Awards and then it still would be clear what event caused which Award. There are about 30 times more 'Score Events' in DBD than in L4D. And though the number of Awards is immense, you will never get Awards for nothing or for a bad action.

The value of each Score Event is different, measured in Blood Point(BP) granted upon triggering. The more BP you get, the more this action considered beneficial to you and/or your teammates. Finding fellow survivor in trial is somewhat of less significance, granting just about 150-200BP, whilst Surviving the trial grants IMMENSE amount of 5000 BP in Survival Category, noting that you completed your main goal — to survive.

You don't have to start searching internet for what actions are more or less valuable, you can just play the game and note which are.

As I said what is the most beneficial Score Event in Survival category, you might want to know what are these for each other category as there total of 4 score categories.

Well, these are:

  • Survival: Escaped — 5000 BP.
  • Boldness: Chased — 0-8000 BP. If you're exceptionally good at chases, you can fill the category just by keeping the Killer busy.
  • Altruism: Unhooking — 1000(1500) BP. Additional 500 BP are earned if teammate wasn't downed immediately after being unhooked.
  • Objective: Repairing a Generator Co-op — ~2700 BP. You earn much more BP when you're doing it together. For reference, doing it alone would grant just 1500 BP for a full repair.

History note: To even further tie your in-game performance with Awards system, amount of BP earned in a trial was used to decide would you get to higher rank or not. Furthermore, If you didn't reach threshold of 8000 BP, you would get to lower ranks. Now separate system, called «Emblem System» is used to solve ranking problem.

Step 4. Choose you favourite character, choose youR team role

[3.1.0] Levelling up system
C+n*3 — perks to fully level up one
C*x + x*n*3 — to fully level up X characters
C*n + n*n*3 — to fully level up eveyone
C — Common perks number: 14 for Suvivors, 12 for Killers
n — Number of character in role: 17 Survivors, 16 Killers
x — desired number in segment [1;n]
S1(Survivors)=3*(14*17 + 17*17*3)=3315 levels
S2(Killers)=...=2880 levels
S1 + S2 = 6195 levels for both Survivors and Killers
6195 + 50*3*(17+16) = 11145 levels(with prestiges considered)
Set speed U(levels in hour) as 4 levels/per hour
11145/U = ~2786 Hours

What was that? Oh, never mind, it's just my calculations on how many hours you would need to spend in-game to fully level up every single character in DBD. You don't need to understand what all these numbers mean, all you need to know is, that by the time you would fully level up everything in old patch, you would be a pro for a long time.

2786 hours is immense number for one to spend in a game, isn't it? Pretty explains why some people have so many hours in DBD. Because you always can climb even higher, because you always have something to do. Though many judge DBD for grinding it has, be assured, it's not as bad as you might think, especially if you know some tips I want to share:

TIP 1. You don't have to level up everyone, just one character is fine

Choose your favourite character and stick with them. Prestige only them.

Prestige is the option, granted on level 50, to erase progress on one character in exchange for some bonuses. You can prestige every character in DBD up to three times. After that, you can't Prestige this character anymore.

TIP 2. Level up every other character, but only to level 40

On levels 30, 35 and 40 of every character's bloodweb you will find things called «Teachable perks». Once you learned such perk, this perk is forever unlocked for every other character's bloodweb and no longer unique to them.

TiP 3. Survivors are just skins, but Killers are not...

Remember this statement as visuals are the only thing, that still make Survivors different after you learned all teachable perks. Keep that in mind as some Survivors are easier to spot for Killers. For example, males are larger and harder to fully conceal behind a tree.

On the other hand, all Killers have a Power associated with every of them, which can't be swapped for another. That's why you should choose your favourite Killer with extra care, as leveling up wrong Killer may cost you dearly.

Why it gone so bad and how developers seek to solve the grinding

The initial system was meant just for 4 Survivors and 3 Killers, with years more and more characters were added in game. With old roster of characters it would take just about ~486 hours to fully level up everyone with all characters at P3 and all perks. With every Chapter released, numbers grew exponentially. That became an issue that couldn't be ignored.

The grinding problem is well known to developers, that's why some adjustments were made in Patch 3.2.0. You still don't have to know the meaning of all numbers, just note how lesser the number of hours now is!

[3.2.0] Levelling up system
C+n*3 — perks to fully level up one character
C*n + n*n*3 — to fully level up eveyone
S = (P*3 - 40) / 2 — new forumla
C — Common perks number: 14 for Suvivors, 12 for Killers
n — Number of character in role: 19 Survivors, 17 Killers
P1(Survivors)=14*19 + 19*19*3 = 1349 perks
P2(Killers)=12*17 + 17*17*3 = 1071 perks
S1 = (1349*3 - 40) / 2 = 2003.5 levels
S2 = (1071*3 - 40) / 2 = 1586.5 levels
S1 + S2 = 3590 levels for both Survivors and Killers
3590 + 50*3*(19+17) = 8990 levels(with prestiges considered)
Set speed U(levels in hour) as 4 levels/per hour
8990/U = 2247.5 Hours to fully level everything

As number of hours grows exponentially, it would be 3165 hours if not for the new system.

With new system added in the game, it now would take just 2247 hours to level up everything, 918 hours of grinding subtracted! To even further reduce grinding, new steps are being discussed, such as removing perk tiers at all.

Choosing appropriate role for the team

Now, as you know why this is so important to choose only one character you're going to main, it's time to make your choice about role you gonna play in the team. It's not about choosing what character you should main, but about first extra characters you should level up to level 40 for teachable perks.

Note: To main means to choose one character and play as them mainly.

Experiment with perks, builds, decide what suits you best. To keep this guide short, I'm going to offer few characters worthy to level up and one support build you will probably never see in public.


This is the very first character I recommend to ever level up and play as, up until level 30(or 35, if you like his Dead Hard) and then forever retire him from your roster. Why so? Because of his perk «We're Gonna Live Forever», which may effectively double all BPs you earned in trial. Just imagine you escaped and earned 21 000 BP, if you had this perk run and managed to save 4 teammates, you will have 42 000 BP earned. This perk allows quick farm and accordingly great start to quickly level up characters you actually like.

After you reached level 30 as David and learned «We're Gonna Live Forever», start playing character you like the most, and seek for this perk in their bloodweb.

William "Bill" Overbeck

[L4D Commentary]Bill

One of our goals when designing the four Survivors was to have a very diverse group of real-world characters who fit in the post-apocalyptic story line, but that also have heroic and aspirational qualities. Bill was a challenging design problem when it came to finding the correct balance between realism and idealism. In our first attempts, we made him look a bit too old and frail, which made him seem physically incapable of fighting against the horde. On later iterations, we erred on the side of making him look too young and handsome, which broke the fiction that we had for the character. In our final design we balanced the character backstory and the aspirational qualities, portraying Bill as a once heroic army veteran, who though older and wiser, can still excel at physical combat.

Yeah! Bill is with us! Bill is one of the best Survivors to level up to level 40, as 2 of his perks have great impact on «Three Strikes» mechanics carried over from L4D. No wonder, he is a L4D character after all!

  • His perk «Unbreakable» allows you to heal yourself from Dying State(incapacitated) into Injured State.
  • His perk «Borrowed Time» allows unhooked person to sustain the Second hit, making Three Strikes mechanic indeed true to its name. Even screen turns black&white after that specific hit as reference to L4D.
  • His last perk «Left Behind» allows to easily find the Hatch, if you happen to be the last Survivor in match.

The first two perks are often seen as part of the Most Effective Tactic Available(META) run by many players, because of how useful they are.

Laurie Strode

Most of her perks are of the least significance, but one stands out to the point of being one of the most controversial perks in the game. This perk is «Decisive Strike». The perk undergo many dramatic changes and has become the most powerful counter to the most despised, though not bannable tactics in the game: tunneling and camping.

Tunneling is when the Killer purposely chases only one specific person and never tries to change their target, even when there are better opportunities in sight.

Camping is when the Killer, after hooking one Survivor, never leaves hooked person until they're sacrificed, even when there are no Survivors around hook, making sure this one has no chance to escape.

This perk is part of many METAs, and very recommended to teach if you get easily annoyed over being defeated by cheap tactics; especially when it happens every single match.

Note: this is only paid character I would recommend to everyone playing Survivor role.

Machine gun Healer

  • Core Perks: «We'll Make It»(Common), «Autodidact»(Adam Francis), «Borrowed Time»(Bill)
  • Recommended Perks: «Solidarity»(Jane Romero), «Second Wind»(Steve Harrington)

Perk «We'll Make It» is not as useful for solo players, but if you play as team, where everyone knows their role, it might be the best healing perk ever featured in game. It's buff lasts only 90 seconds at tier 3, but average match length lasts about 10 minutes. This means if Machine gun Healer is the only person to unhook anyone, but himself, they can maintain this buff for 135 % of the average match length through careful and well-timed unhooks.

Combination of both «We'll Make It» and «Autodidact» allows Machine gun Healer to complete body repairs even faster, in about ~4.56 seconds.

Sadly, both of these buffs are only for its teammates, and not for Machine gun healer. Though they can workaround it with use of perks «Solidarity» or «Second Wind».

If Borrowed Time kicks in, the person being healed by Machine gun Healer is meant to protect MgH with their body to prolong life of this support.

Step 5. Psychology and First victories

When I started playing DBD, it was probably my 10th match, when I finally managed to escape. It wasn't easy at all and I was playing solo. Frustration eventually lead me to maining the Killer. I had more pleasure playing the Killer, but I wasn't always satisfied with my role, I fell in a trap many people fall. I felt like every game I play I have to sacrifice at least 3 people, and 4 should be happen at least 33% of time. I used to call Survivors OP; maybe because of how easy it was to kill people in low rank? The initial relief I had when I switched roles was the reason? Anyway, eventually, I discovered the truth behind of why I was wrong.

[L4D Commentary]Versus

For much of the development of Left 4 Dead, Versus mode was the default and only mode. Balance problems eventually forced us to make it a separate game type. The problem was that if we balanced it to provide the Survivors a reasonable chance of escape, the experience was a long and frustrating one for the player-zombies. Changes that were necessary to make the player-zombie experience satisfying also served to make the experience dramatically harder for the Survivors. Separating Versus mode allowed us to break out of this dilemma, rather than aiming for a 50/50 shot at the Survivors escaping, now we're aiming for a shorter more intense experience where the Survivors are unlikely to make it to the end; their goal is simply to get further than the other team did. It's more fun for the zombies, and your reward for having a harder time as the Survivors is that you get to switch teams after you're slaughtered and do the same to them.

As this commentary explains, there are naturally just 2 ways of balancing the game:

  • 1. Keep it 50/50.
  • 2. Switch roles after round end.

As you may guess, while L4D chose the second variant, DBD developers chose the first. Many times did DBD developers said that they aim to balance game with 50 % escape rate in mind. I should never feel like I have to always kill at 3 least people, even when I have played the game for 1500 hours, because not only I do get stronger, but my opponents too. Neither I should feel like I'm entitled to escape every single match I play as Survivor.

Don't worry if not everyone of your team makes it out. Don't blame your friends if they couldn't save you. Remember, it's better for two to live than for everyone to die. Don't let those 5000 BP go waste if odds are bad! You shouldn't feel like you were Left Behind, don't worry if you friends got more BP than you.

If you have ever played L4D on expert difficulty, remember that everything what matters is whether you escaped the finale, because you have to survive for achievements, while in average chapter, only thing that matters is whether your other teammates make it to the safe room, because you will respawn if they do!


With all that said, well, I hope this guide wasn't too long and I hope you think you learned something useful. Game Design is not easy and you have to look what were the great hits of times, and get inspired to make an even better game. Now, as you know what game you're going to play, what troubles you're going to face, go ahead and enjoy!

Post edited by Nich888 on
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