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Videogame / Dead by Daylight

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Death is not death. In this place, life is fleeting. To whomever might find this lore, I can but only provide you with one advice: always move forward.
Benedict Baker

Dead By Daylight is a survival-horror game in which one player is a supernatural Serial Killer, and the remaining players are the hapless Survivors who've stumbled upon his (or her) hunting grounds. The gameplay is best described as an elaborate game of Hide and Seek- the Survivors must work together to hide from the Killer, who relentlessly pursues them through a randomly generated map. The Survivors can escape through powering up generators and escaping either by themselves or as a group, while the Killer attempts to stop them. What makes the game complicated is the Perk system, which can radically change how each of the Survivors is played. There are also skill checks involved as each Survivor and Killer have different stats, meaning they'll be good at some things and bad at others. In addition, each of the Survivors and the Killers have their own set of abilities and playstyles, which can make the gameplay unpredictable.


The game came out on June 14th, 2016, and is available for purchase on Steam. The game was made available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2017 and Nintendo Switch in fall 2019.

Check out the website here.

In 2018, Behaviour Interactive announced Deathgarden, a Action Spin-Off about a Sci-Fi Blood Sport that shares several similar gameplay elements.

Dead by Daylight provides examples of the following tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: Backstory about the setting, characters, or the maps is on the official website, and not really referenced in-game.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: When you get to the max level of a character (Level 50), you are given the option to "prestige". Doing this will reset your character to level 1, remove all perks/offerings/items/addons/ect. What do you get for doing this? A part of the character's default outfit covered in blood, and you must do this an additional two times afterwards to get the full outfit.
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  • Animal Motifs: The clown is themed around birds. He calls himself "Jeffrey Hawk" had a fascination with birds in his childhood that soon turned into torture and murder. He also used to collect feathers. Survivor Nea is also given a cat motif.
  • Armor-Piercing Attack:
    • Of sorts. On a regular match, your standard attacks put a survivor on a "hurt" state, and a second attack puts them in a "dying state", after which you can hook them. However, you can bypass the "hurt" state completely via several means, which are widely telegraphed to the survivors. They are basically a hard counter to survivors' Self-Care perk and Septic Agent/Anti-Haemorrhaghic Syringe addons, which allow a sufficiently skilled survivor to heal themselves after being hit before they are hit again.
    • If you're using the Hillbilly or the Cannibal, you can put survivors directly in their "dying" state if your Chainsaw Sprint connects. Your Chainsaw Sprint creates a lot of noise when used, though, and it gets louder as you approach a survivor, giving them enough time to try to dodge or take cover (though you can reduce the noise made by your chainsaw with Addons). You also have reduced maneuverability, and get stunned if you miss.
    • While using Michael Myers, your standard Evil Within allows you to instantly put a survivor in their "dying state" when it reaches tier 3. Tier 3 of Evil Within only lasts for 60 seconds each time you achieve it, though, you can only achieve it a limited amount of times in a match (the standard hard limit being about 4 to 5 times), and the survivors are informed as soon as you hit tier 3. Differing from Hillbilly's Chainsaw Sprint, you can do nothing to muffle the notification.
    • Related to Evil Within, you can replace the "instantly put in dying state" with "instantly kills the survivor on contact" if you equip the Judith's Tombstone or Tombstone Piece addons.
    • If the survivor is inflicted with the Exposed status effect, they can be downed in one hit with a regular attack.
    • If you're using the Hex: Devour Hope perk, you can instantly down a person after getting 3 tokens. After getting 5, you can instantly down them and bypass the hooks entirely by just killing them on the ground. The great drawback here is that it requires the hexed totem to be intact, so you lose your ability completely if a survivor cleanses it. Even though there is no audible notification this time, the hexed totem shines in a less-than-discrete fashion, allowing survivors to locate it and cleanse it if you don't take precautions beforehand, making The Hag and The Trapper the only killers that can defend their totems without having to leave gens completely unattended while doing so.
    • The Iridescent Head add-on for the Huntress' Hunting Hatchets, which allow her Hunting Hatchets to instantly inflict the dying state on whatever unlucky survivor they hit. In addition, while the add-on does reduce the maximum amount of Hatchets she can carry from 5 to 1, the Huntress can just refill her Hatchets using the lockers around the map and equip an Infantry Belt for an extra 2 hatchets, which makes the drawback a moot point.
    • The Trapper's Honing Stone add-on inflicts the dying state on any survivor who gets free after being caught in a Bear Trap.
    • The Clown has access to the Redhead's Pinky Finger addon, which puts survivors hit directly by the Afterpiece Tonic's bottle in an exposed state. This means the next attack that lands on them will put them on dying.
  • Ax-Crazy: The killers, being bloodthirsty lunatics who mostly were Driven to Madness in their backstories and now spend their days as The Entity's hunting dogs.
  • Asshole Victim: If you thought the killers were bad, you should take a gander at each of their Start of Darkness. You almost start to feel sorry for them by comparison.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: Up to four survivors, who are playing a Run or Die game, and one killer, who is an unstoppable slasher movie monster.
  • Bad Black Barf: When The Plague consumes the corruption within a Pool of Devotion, her puke goes from green to a very dark shade of red, to signify it will hurt survivors if it connects.
  • Blinded by the Light: Survivors can use fireworks or a flashlight to blind the killers and possibly make them drop their victim if they're carrying another survivor. It can be somewhat finicky, as it entirely relies on the killer actually looking at the light for it to work. The Wraith in particular is vulnerable to the flashlight, being stunned for longer periods.
  • Continuity Nod: The bathroom from the original Saw shows up in Gideon Meat Plant, containing a generator. Near the generator is a corpse slumped against the wall, next to a toilet with its tank lid on the floor. This is a nod to the film’s ending, where Adam crushes Zepp’s head with the lid and is later left to die.
  • Creepy Basement: On maps, there's a house with a basement that only has one way out and hooks that can't be taken down by the tool box. In most cases, if a killer brings you down there, there's little to no chance that you're getting out alive.
  • Creepy Crows: Ravens are common wildlife in the maps that aid killers in finding survivors
    • Ravens are normally found perched throughout the map that fly away when people get near them, possibly alerting a nearby killer that a survivor is close by.
    • If a survivor hides in a locker for too long, ravens will perch on it and make noise, giving away their location.
    • If a survivor stays still for over a minute, ravens will noisily circle above them, loudly giving away their location until the survivor moves.
  • Crossover:
    • On October 25th 2016, The Halloween Chapter was released as a paid DLC, which adds Michael Myers as a new killer and Laurie Strode as a new survivor alongside the new free map, Haddonfield.
    • On March 8th 2017, The free "Left Behind" content update was released. The update crossed Dead by Daylight with, rather unexpectedly, Valve's Left 4 Dead, adding William "Bill" Overbeck as a whole new survivor with outfits based on other survivors (Ellis, Zoey, Rochelle and Francis) for the original four survivors along with a T-shirt for every survivor (except Laurie, Ace and Bill) that had the iconic four-fingered zombie hand on it that was given to those who own Left 4 Dead or Left 4 Dead 2.
    • On September 14th 2017, the LEATHERFACE DLC was released, which added the character of the same name.
    • On October 26th 2017, The "A Nightmare on Elm Street" chapter was released, adding Freddy Krueger as a killer, Quentin Smith as a survivor and Elm Street as a new map.
    • On January 23rd 2018, the Saw Chapter was released, adding Amanda Young as a new killer, David Tapp as a survivor and the Gideon Meat Plant as a new map.
    • On April 2, 2019, Ash Williams from Evil Dead was added as a survivor.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The killers usually have to hang victims from a meat-hook contraption so that they can be sacrificed to the Entity. Usually. See Finishing Move below, for an exception.
  • Death Trap: Amanda Young's whole schtick. After downing a survivor, she can place a Reverse Bear Trap on their heads. The trap has a countdown that starts ticking after the next generator, counting from the moment the trap was placed, is completed. Once the count reaches zero, or if the survivor tries to escape through the exit gates, the survivor dies instantly. The only way to get them out is to check the several Jigsaw Boxes in the map for the necessary key. However, only one of the boxes has the necessary key, and there can be any number from 2 to 6 boxes to search from, depending on the addons the killer has equipped. Of course, the boxes are rigged: survivors grunt in pain when searching the box, and they do cry out in pain if they fail a skill check. Oh, and also depending on the addons, both the reverse bear traps and the boxes can have some nasty stuff in them, from razor wire, utility knives and face masks all the way up to interlocking razors and slow release toxins.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: A survivor can get two generators, save all their teammates, escape and still lose a rank. It takes running around the killer getting points for boldness and other dangerous things to get enough points to level up their rank. An example is getting points for going into the basement of a map; there is usually a chest in them, but it's also a really bad idea to be down there, as there's only one way out and there are unbreakable hooks there.
  • Early Game Hell: High-level players with 4 optimum synergized perks have a massive advantage over new players with one completely random perk. They even have a large advantage over mid-level players who have unlocked all 4 perk slots but are still stuck with 4 random perks. The game's matchmaking system doesn't care, either, so unless you're playing at the very highest ranks it's pretty common for high-level players to be pitted against very low-level players. It also takes a couple dozen hours of grinding to even reach the point of having 4 perk slots at all for a single character.
  • The '80s: The 80's Suitcase DLC gives the survivor's a bunch of 80s themed cosmetics to die fabulously in.
  • Fate Worse than Death: As described by the tagline, not even death is an escape from the killers, as the survivors find themselves repeating their attempt of escaping.
  • Finishing Move: Memento Mori, the special offerings that allows a killer to personally finish off a downed victim at their leisure, in their preferred fashion. There are three versions of these offerings:
    • Cypress: Can only kill the last survivor who hasn't escaped yet.
    • Ivory: Can only kill one survivor at any point as long as they have been hooked at least once.
    • Ebony: Can kill every survivor as long as they have been hooked at least once.
  • First-Person Ghost: Averted. While playing as any killer, looking down will reveal your feet. Exception 
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • It is possible to fall out of the map, both as killer and survivor. If this happens, you might as well disconnect.
    • There are various ways for the game to become stuck in an infinite loading screen, requiring a restart.
    • In December of 2016, various exploits of the perk and item system were publicized. It was possible to pass survivor perks to a killer and vice versa, stack four of the same perk, give killer powers to other killers, and much worse. While very few people exploited the various glitches on the Ranked servers, a few players brought intentionally broken combinations into Ranked and used them to rank up and be a griefer.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Nearly everything in the game has a lore explanation behind it, such as...
    • No matter the outcome of each trial, survivors find themselves back at the campfire because the Entity forces them to be.
    • The Entity is an Emotion Eater, so you gain bloodpoints by performing actions which encourage emotions like hope and fear. This can explain why the Entity allows the survivors to have items and escape routes, so they can experience greater hope — and have it torn away.
    • The maps are altogether wonky, half-built, and filled with generators and wooden pallets because the Entity is an Eldritch Abomination and has a twisted comprehension of what the actual places look like.
  • Golden Snitch: Of a sort. If only one survivor still lives, an escape hatch appears somewhere on the map. If the last player can enter this hatch, that survivor gets an easy escape, even if not all the generators are online. A minimum of two generators need to be active though, in order to use the escape hatch.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: According to the manual, the survivors are stuck in a loop of being chased by the killers until they either escape or are killed by the Entity, only to find themselves repeating it.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Practically nothing beyond basic gameplay is explained, not by in-game prompts, not by the tutorials, not even by the online manual. Figuring out how to actually escape from a meathook without help, for example, is entirely an exercise in frustration, made worse by the fact that most player's first instinct actually decreases the amount of time you have.
    • This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that there are playable tutorials for both killer and survivor, that provides a very general introduction to their playstyles. Good luck with all the killers' powers, items and addons you can use, though. Or figuring out how much does a "moderate" buff actually means, and how it differs from "considerable" buffs.
  • Harmful to Touch: Evan's bear traps, if he equips the Bloody Coil addon. If a survivor succeeds in either disarming or sabotaging one of the traps, they are put in a hurt state immediately after.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Plays with increasing intensity as the hunter nears a survivor player.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Can happen if a killer pursues a second survivor after crippling someone in/near tall grass, and loses track of where they downed the first victim.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: The Hillbilly and The Cannibal, of course. There's also the farm level with the wide open cornfields, mutilated animals, and is in a decrepit state.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Upon learning that each of the cars he crushed had people inside of them, Philip Ojomo (now known as the Wraith) opted to inflict the same punishment onto his boss, who was responsible for Ojomo's victims.
    • Can also happen to the Trapper if he accidentally steps into one of his own bear traps while pursuing a survivor, although this only momentarily stops him as he will just pry himself loose and reset the trap. This can also happen while the Trapper is carrying a downed survivor, forcing the Trapper to release his victim so that he can use both hands to reset the trap.
  • Hope Spot: Tends to crop up in gameplay with distressing regularity. A survivor goes to rescue a friend, only to find the Killer waiting behind a wall. Another makes a dash for the open gate, but gets caught by a bear trap in a bush.
  • Imminent Danger Clue: As a survivor, your heart beats louder when the killer is nearby. You'll also be lit by a dim red light when he's right behind you, and at that point you better be running.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The hunter's goal is to pierce the survivors with hooks to be used for sacrifices. If the sacrifices are successful, the survivors get impaled by more spiky bits.
  • Instant-Win Condition: For survivors, crossing the exit threshold or escaping through the trapdoor. Both of these can become Thwarted Escape under certain conditions.
  • Jump Scare: This effect can be achieved by the killer using the Insidious Perk, allowing survivors to approach into their radius without triggering an alert, until the killer moves to strike.
    • The Nurse's Blink ability is prime material for this. You can be fixing a generator or hiding with no Nurse in sight. You think you're safe and then BAM, there she is right beside you!
    • Michael Myers, at tier 1 of his Evil Within ability, has practically no heartbeat. Meaning he can get real close to you without you knowing until you turn around...
    • Similarly, Amanda Young has no heartbeat when she crouches. This combined with her small size means she can easily sneak up on an unaware survivor.
    • The Doctor's hallucinations that can appear after a survivor's Madness has risen high enough. One moment you can just be walking around, the next The Doctor's standing right in front of you or behind you.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In the Hag's backstory, after escaping from the cannibals that had held her hostage and brutally tortured her, and deciding she wanted vengeance, she goes back to the cannibal house where she was kept and brutally murders all of them.
  • Light Is Good: The flashlight can be used to force the killers to drop their victim, and from the safety of being outside machete-range. Also, repairing generators is required to escape from the killers, and a fully-repaired generator always powers a spotlight which puts it into a circle of light.
  • Living Weapon: As of A Curtain's Call chapter, Evan's Diamond Stone add-on was replaced with the Iridescent Stone. This add-on allows every single trap in the map to set itself, one every 30 seconds. The flavour text reads that the traps gain "life of their own".
  • Made of Iron: A downplayed example. The survivors are capable of surviving a remarkable amount of punishment that would, at best, be permanently disfiguring and more than likely fatal. Only bleeding out while incapacitated or a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown can kill one of the unfortunate victims.
  • Mythology Gag: Michael Myers is referred to in the game as The Shape.
  • Neck Lift: The Shape's Finishing Move begins with this.
  • Obvious Beta: Hooo boy. Looking on the Steam forums and in the reviews, there are dozens of reports of bugs, from the game crashing when you try to start a generator to the Trapper's traps clipping through the ground to lag because the killer's player is also the host of the game. Also, there's abundant hacking and griefing the game, and the fact that the developers seem to be constantly balancing the game based upon fan complaints.
    • Even after the game was officially released and thus no longer in "beta", the controls cannot be customized at all as of early August, despite the developers promising the feature "soon" in early July. This has been a standard feature of computer games for twenty years, and this omission has caused complaints not only from users who are accustomed to a nonstandard control layout (impacting many left-handed players) but also from players who use non-QWERTY keyboards.
  • One-Hit Kill: Perhaps the most straight examples are provided by the Judith's Tombstone and Tombstone Piece addons for Evil Within, Michael Myers' ability. At the expense of needing to stalk survivors for more time and, in the case of Tombstone Piece, losing a considerable amount of evil after activating it (read: you'll have to recharge your evil after using it), those addons replace Michael's regular short-range attack when he is on Evil Within tier 3 with a nigh-unavoidable attack that instantly kills any survivor unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end. Differing from Memento Moris and the Hex: Devour Hope perk, you don't even have to actually down your victim prior to killing them; you can just automatically remove them from the game, even if they have not been hit at all before in the game. You can double the fun by pairing one of those with a Fragrant Tuft of Hair, which makes Evil Within tier 3 last forever, at the expense of having to stalk the survivors for pretty much the entirety of the match before achieving tier 3.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Survivors go down in two hits — less under certain conditions.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There are two survivors called David: David King and Detective David Tapp.
  • The Plague: Adiris, a Babylonian priestess, attempted to cure people from a necrotizing disease by praying to the gods, and got herself infected for her efforts. She began using veils and crowns to mask her infection, and carrying a censer to mask the odor. She was snatched by The Entity before the plague killed her, and became a killer in the fog.
    • Adiris' special ability is the Vile Purge. After a short channel, she can projectile vomit. Survivors that get vomitted on or that interact with objects that were recently smeared with Adiris' puke will get infected with her disease. If left unchecked, they will eventually become afflicted with the Broken status effect and will infect anything that they touch or get touched by (excluding the Priestess herself, for obvious reasons). The disease can only be cleansed by interacting with a Pool of Devotion, after which it becomes corrupt and cannot be used for cleansing anymore. Adiris can then consume the infection from the used pools to upgrade her vomit into Corrupt Purge, which makes it deal actual damage to survivors for a short while, in exchange for it not being able to infect anything for the duration.
  • Power Limiter: A number of add-ons significantly weaken a Killer's powers, in exchange for letting them earn more Blood Points (in-game currency) during the match. Notable examples include the Trapper's padded jaws (traps do no damage, but still prevent survivors from moving), the Hillbilly and Leatherface's speed limiter (the chainsaw is no longer a One-Hit Kill), the Hag's scarred hand (prevents the Hag from teleporting, which is her main power), and the Wraith's "The Beast" sigil (his invisibility no longer hides his heartbeat).
  • Pragmatic Hero: This can be one of the more successful strategies if a survivor gets strapped to the hook — just ignore them and complete the other objectives. If you can, get them down, but if the killer is camping them... leave them to die.
  • Press X to Not Die: While a killer is carrying them, a survivor has a chance to struggle free by mashing. You can also escape from a meat hook by doing the same, but this trope plays into full effect once the meter reaches the halfway point, where the survivor has to mash to delay the Entity killing them.
  • Rule of Three: A survivor can survive being placed on a hook only two times. The third time will see them instantly killed by the Entity, presumably since being repeatedly slashed and hung up really takes it out of you.
  • Run or Die: What the survivor gameplay boils down to, as there is literally no way for them to hurt a Killer. Survivors are slightly slower than the Killers as well, so they have to rely on misdirection and quick thinking using barricades to give them enough time to get out of the hunter's sight, as empty ground will see them caught eventually.
  • Thwarted Escape: Can happen with a canny killer. Or one who just refuses to leave after he hangs another player on a hook. Killers can also catch survivors going over a window sill or barricade if they're close enough, yanking the poor fool back and being able to carry them off.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Time seems no object for The Entity, as its killers seem plucked from various time periods.
  • Trail of Blood: After harming a survivor, the killers will be able to see faintly luminous red streaks left in the wake of whomever he's hit. This trail of blood can be both brightened and leave more blood with the use of the Bloodhound and Sloppy Butcher perks respectively.
  • Unfinished Business: The bio stories for Quentin Smith and the Spirit suggests that the Entity finds and captures souls who die with a desperately-desired goal just out of reach.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The Huntress can restock her throwing hatchets at any locker. There's no explanation why the survivors can't steal these hatchets for themselves.
  • Version Exclusive Content: Bill Overbeck and the L4D themed outfits for the original four survivors are only available on the PC version of the game, though Bill's perks can still be gained on the other versions.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: Due to the fact that there is no way to communicate between survivors (beyond a pair of vague gestures added in a more recent update), the current "meta" for the game involves using various in-game actions to signal things to other players— for instance, wiggling on the hook a certain way signals that the killer is camping nearby. Needless to say, if you don't know this going into the game, you're going to have a bad time.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The Plague liberally vomits into anything she can see as a form of spreading her disease. A fully infected survivor will also puke all around at regular intervals in addition to becoming Broken, the implication being that they become an open bile faucet that pukes on anyone and anything that comes in contact with them.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: A number of the killers committed their initial murders either due to being in a desperate situation or simply because they finally snapped under the Trauma Conga Line that was their life. The Hillbilly and The Hag are standout examples.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The many crossover characters tend to run afoul of this trope, due to Behaviour often failing to secure the rights to use their movie actors' likeness in the game. Averted in the case of The Cannibal and The Shape, as well as Bill and Ash, though the former seems to have aged quite a bit since we last saw him in his home series.


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