Best Survivor Perks in Dead by Daylight (May 2024)

Best Survivor Perks in Dead by Daylight (May 2024)
Images via Behaviour Interactive

Last updated 

2nd May 2024 11:12



  • Survivors in Dead by Daylight comes with three unique Perks, and some have worked their way into the meta
  • With each update, Survivor Perks get tweaked and changed, with some of the best ones right now being Distortion, Boon: Circle of Healing, Off The Record, and Fixated

When starting a match in Dead by Daylight, building a Perk loadout best suited for your Survivor playstyle is paramount if you're going to escape unscathed - and there are some you should absolutely be running during a Trial in the game.

Regardless of whether you get your Perks from a Survivors' Bloodweb or in the Shrine of Secrets, it's important to know which ones you'll want to make a beeline for so you can escape the reach of those higher-tier Killers.

What are the best Perks for Survivors in DbD?

For the current meta in DbD, some of the Perks we'd recommend running in your next Trial are Distortion, Boon: Circle of Healing, Off The Record, and Fixated, as you'll see in the image below:

Screenshot from DbD showing some of the best Perks with Survivor Nancy Wheeler
Click to enlarge

For a full rundown of each Perk that we'd recommend working into your Survivor's next build, check out the table below.

Perk  Survivor Description
Any Means Necessary

Yui Kimura

You see the Auras of dropped pallets. Press and hold the Active Ability button for 6/5/4 seconds while standing beside a dropped pallet to reset it to its upright position.
Background Player

Renato Lyra

When the Killer picks up another Survivor, Background Player activates for 10 seconds. When you start running, break into a sprint at 200% of your normal Running Movement for 5 seconds. This Perk causes Exhaustion for 40 seconds.

Boon: Circle of Healing  Mikaela Reid Press and hold the Ability 1 button by a Dull Totem to bless it, creating a Boon Totem (only one Totem can be blessed at a time). Any Survivors within its 24-meter range gain a 50/75/100% boost when healing others (Medkits give no additional bonus). Injured Survivors’ Auras are revealed to all others when inside the Totem’s range.
Buckle Up Ashley J. Williams While healing a Survivor in the Dying State, you are both able to see the Killer's aura. When the heal is completed to the Injured State, you and the healed Survivor gain Endurance for 10 seconds. 
Champion of Light Alan Wake While you are holding a flashlight, this Perk activates. When you are shining a flashlight, you have 50% Haste. When you successfully blind the Killer, they also gain 20% Hindered for 6 seconds. This effect cannot stack with itself. Then, this Perk goes into cooldown for up to 60 seconds.
Chemical Trap Ellen Ripley After completing 70%/60%/50% progress on any generator, this perk activates. While standing next to a dropped pallet, press the Active Ability Button to install a Trap, which stays active for 100/110/120 seconds. The auras of trapped pallets are revealed in yellow to all Survivors. When the Killer performs the break action on the trapped pallet, the trap explodes, and they are slowed by 50% for 4 seconds.
Dance With Me Kate Denson
When performing a fast vault or leaving a locker in a sprint, you leave no Scratch Marks for 3 seconds. Has a cooldown of 60/50/40 seconds.
Decisive Strike Laurie Strode

After being unhooked or unhooking yourself, Decisive Strike activates for 60 seconds.

While active, complete a Skill Check when grabbed by the Killer to escape, stunning them for 5 seconds. Taking any conspicuous action, succeeding or failing the Skill Check and when the exit gates are powered will disable Decisive Strike.

Distortion Jeff Johansen

You start the Trial with three tokens. When your Aura would typically be revealed to a Killer, one token is consumed to stop this, and for the next 6/8/10 seconds, both your Aura and Scratch Marks are hidden. Does not activate when in the Dying State, has a three-token limit, and you’ll gain a token for each 30 seconds spent within The Killer’s Terror Radius.

Dramaturgy Nicolas Cage

While running, pressing the Active Ability button will have you running with your knees high for 0.5 seconds to gain Haste for 2 seconds. Afterwards, it will be followed by a random effect:

  • Suffer from the Exposed Status effect for 12 seconds
  • Extend Haste duration for 2 seconds
  • Scream without notifying the Killer
  • Receive a random Rare Item with random add-ons attached to it

After use, Dramaturgy causes Exhaustion for up to 40 seconds. 

Fixated Nancy Wheeler You can see your own Scratch Marks at all times, and walk 10/15/20% faster.
For the People Zarina Kassir

For the People is only active while at full health. Press the Active Ability Button 1 while healing another Survivor without a Med-Kit to instantly heal them from dying to injured, or from injured to healthy. You become injured and receive the Broken status effect for 60 seconds. You become the Obsession.

Invocation: Weaving Spiders Sable Ward

When in the Basement near the circle, press the Ability Button 1 to begin the Invocation. Invocations take 120 seconds. Other Survivors will see your aura during this and can join an ongoing interaction, increasing speed by 50% each. If they have an Invocation Perk equipped, they increase it by 100% instead.

Once the Invocation is completed: you become injured and broken for the rest of the Trial but reduce the max required Generator charges of all remaining Generators by 10 seconds. Completing the Invocation disables the Perk for all Survivors.

Lithe Feng Min After a rushed vault, you start to sprint at 150% of your running speed for 3 seconds. Causes Exhaustion for 60/50/40 seconds. Cannot be used while Exhausted.
Off The Record Zarina Kassir Off The Record activates for 60/70/80 seconds once you are unhooked from or escape the hook. Your Aura will not be shown to the Killer, your grunts of pain are reduced by 100% and you gain the Endurance Status effect. Off The Record is disabled when the exit gates are powered.
Prove Thyself Dwight Fairfield For every other Survivor working on a generator within a 4-meter range, gain a 15% repair speed bonus. This same bonus is also applied to otter Survivors in range. Additionally, gain 50/75/100% more Bloodpoints from coop actions. Only one Prove Thyself can be active at a time.
Reassurance Rebecca Chambers When within a 6-meter radius of a hooked Survivor, use the Active Ability Button to pause their struggle progression for 30 seconds. If they are in the struggle phase, it also pauses the Struggle Skill Checks. Reassurance can only be triggered once per Survivor per hook instance.
Sprint Burst Meg Thomas When starting to run, break into a sprint at 150% of your normal running speed to a maximum of three seconds. Causes Exhaustion for 60/50/40 seconds. Cannot be used while Exhausted.
Strength in Shadows Sable Ward When in the Basement, this Perk activates. Allows you to heal without a Med-kit at 70% normal healing speed. When you finish a heal in the basement, you see the Killer's aura for 10 seconds.
Unbreakable Bill Overbeck Grants the ability to fully recover from the dying state once per trial, and increases dying recovery speed by 25/30/35%.
Wiretap Ada Wong

Wiretap activates after completing a total of 33% worth of repair progress on Generators. After repairing one for at least three seconds, install a Wiretap for 60/70/80 seconds by pressing the Active Ability 1 button.

The Aura of all trapped generators is then revealed to Survivors. When the Killer is within 14 meters of this generator, their aura is additionally revealed. Deactivates when the trapped generator is damaged or the timer runs out.

Best Survivor Perks explained

Now that you know which Perks to take into your next Trial, you'll need to know why we find them to be some of the best in Dead by Daylight. For a rundown of why we consider these to be tip-top Perks that will help you escape the most fearsome of Realms, keep reading.

Any Means Necessary

Yui Kimura with her Perk, Any Means Necessary in DbD
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Yui Kimura's Any Means Necessary is a great situational Perk in Dead by Daylight. It’s no secret that Pallets come in very useful for attempting to create some distance between Killers when in a chase - and they can go down very quickly.

Any Means Necessary allows you to restore a Pallet to its upright position for use in a chase again - though we’d recommend only using it when The Killer isn’t close by due to the amount of time it takes.

Background Player

Renato Lyra with his Background Player Perk in Dead by Daylight
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When it initially arrived with Renato Lyra during the Tools of Torment Chapter, Background Player didn't make much impact and was highly situational. However, since a recent buff, it has become one of the stronger Exhaustion Perks.

By allowing you to run at 200% speed when a Survivor has been picked up by the Killer, you can go in for some clutch flashlight saves, or even sabotage a hook and be out of the area in no time.

Boon: Circle of Healing

Mikaela Reid and her Survivor Perk, Boon: Circle of Healing in Dead by Daylight
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Mikaela Reid’s Circle of Healing is an essential Perk from a team perspective, meaning you’re able to head to the particular area when another Survivor needs healing.

With Survivors being able to see other Injured players when inside the range, it’s additionally beneficial for you too to try and get back to that Healthy state.

Buckle Up

Ash Williams and his Survivor Perk, Buckle Up in DBD
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Having recently been buffed, Ash Williams' Perk Buckle Up has gone from somewhat useless to one of the best Survivor Perks in the game, especially for the more altruistic players.

Nobody wants to see a Survivor dying on the ground (unless you're a particularly sadistic Skull Merchant), so being able to see the Killer's aura will alert you and the Survivor you're healing as to when they're coming back to get you.

Additionally, so you don't get smacked straight back down to the ground, both of the Survivors in this healing action gain Endurance, meaning you can tank an extra hit. Now if that isn't a sign of being one of the best Survivor perks in DbD, I don't know what is!

Champion of Light

Champion of Light, an Alan Wake Perk and one of the best Survivor Perks in Dead by Daylight
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Flashlights are often a Survivor's best friend, and with Champion of Light, they've received a huge buff. Introduced alongside Alan Wake, Champion of Light allows Survivors to move faster while using a flashlight, as well as hinder the Killer when blinding them.

When paired with other Perks that require you to blind Killers like Residual Manifest, it can create a devastating combo that forms some of the best Perk builds you'll find for Alan Wake.

Chemical Trap

Ellen Ripley with her Chemical Trap Perk in Dead by Daylight
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Brought into DbD with the inclusion of the Alien Chapter and The Xenomorph, Chemical Trap, one of Ellen Ripley's Perks, is a great way to stop killers in their tracks and slow them down during a chase. Much like Jill Valentine's Blast Mine, Chemical Trap requires you to work on Generators to activate.

A great way to utilise Chemical Trap is dropping a pallet, placing the trap and then using Yui Kimura's Any Means Necessary to hide the trap from the Killer, leaving them with little choice but to break the trapped pallet. That should buy you a significant amount of time for you to make your escape.

Dance With Me

Kate Denson's Dance With Me is one of the best Survivor Perks in Dead by Daylight
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An essential DbD Perk for any chase - or when you thought you’ve avoided The Killer by hiding in a locker before your heart sinks and they move closer to where you are - Dance With Me will hide your Scratch Marks for a time. This means that while it's active, the enemy won’t be able to track you as you try to evade them. Go on now, git!

Decisive Strike

Laurie Strode with her Decisive Strike Perk in DbD
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There was a time when Decisive Strike was considered the most powerful Perk in DbD, with it being able to stun Killers after picking up their downed prey. However, after a significant nerfing, it was less seen outside of competitive play.

But, following the most recent update, Decisive Strike has had a bit of tweaking, seeing it soar back to a more popular position. While it may seem contentious at times, Decisive Strike acts as something of an anti-tunnelling Perk that helps Survivors fight back against particularly persistent Killers.


Jeff Johanson's Distortion Perk in DbD
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If you’re a fan of sticking to the shadows, Jeff Johansen's Distortion is a fantastic option, shrouding you from the Killer by concealing your Aura whenever they perform an action that would otherwise highlight you to them.

It does have its limits, though due to the three-token cap, but it’s still something that we’ve never seen (or rather, not seen) without during a Trial.


Nicolas Cage and his Perk, Dramaturgy, in Dead by Daylight
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If you're looking to have a little fun with some unconventional Perks, then Dramaturgy is bound to cause some mischief and excitement. Introduced with Nicolas Cage following the 7th Anniversary celebrations, Dramaturgy has several unique effects that could either help or hinder your chances of survival.

On the one hand, you could get a brand new item... on the other, you may end up Exposed, and vulnerable to the Killer's attacks. It's the gamble that changes the game and can make for some very interesting matches. 


Nancy Wheeler with her Fixated Perk in Dead by Daylight
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It's no secret that when you leave Scratch Marks in Dead by Daylight, they are everywhere. What’s more, they’re bright red - meaning that this Nancy Wheeler Perk is one of the best overall, giving them a look into what a Killer can see by showing them to the player.

The added bonus of a faster walk speed is just the cherry on top, meaning that you’re a little less likely to press that run key when navigating outside of a chase.

This Perk used to be known as Self-Aware following the removal of the Stranger Things content in DbD. However, since its return to the game, along with Steve Harrington and The Demogorgon, all original names for their Perks have been reverted and have been returned to their assigned characters.

For the People

For the People, a Zarina Kassir Perk in Dead by Daylight
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For the People is a tricky Perk to master, but once you do, it will help you make some clutch plays against a deadly Killer. By allowing you to essentially swap health states with another Survivor and pick them up from the floor quickly, you can disrupt the Killer's momentum.

When paired with Buckle Up, another of the Perks on this list, it can help you escape the Killer even more frequently with the added Endurance status effect. Enjoy it while you can, as we could see this combination getting nerfed in the near future.

Invocation: Weaving Spiders

Sable Ward's Invocation: Weaving Spiders Perk in Dead by Daylight
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Invocations are a new type of Perk introduced with Sable Ward and the All Things Wicked Chapter. Essentially, they are a high-risk-high-reward Perk that, while powerful, also has severe consequences for the Survivors.

Invocation: Weaving Spiders is the first of these and can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a Generator by performing a ritual in the Basement. However, after doing so, the Survivor who started the ritual becomes injured and Broken for the remainder of the match. Let's hope your teammates get those Generators done to make your sacrifice worth it.


Feng Min's Lithe Perk in Dead by Daylight
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Similar to another Perk on this list, Sprint Burst, but with a slightly different activation method through a rushed vault, Lithe will mainly be used during a chase to gain some much-needed ground between you and an attack from The Killer.

If you consider yourself a looper or are trying to improve at it, Lithe is likely one Perk you'll want to have on your loadout to keep the chase going.

Off The Record

Zarina Kassir's Off The Record Survivor Perk in DbD
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Who doesn’t want to make a quick getaway from The Entity’s hooks? This is great for when a Killer is camping the hook, allowing you to take one of their hits and attempt an escape to safety. With your Grunts of Pain temporarily disabled, you’ll also be able to stay silent as you gain distance from them.

Coupled with something like Self-Aware which we'll run through below, you’ll be able to see where you’re going as you make a break for it.

Prove Thyself

Dwight Fairfield with the Perk Prove Thyself in Dead by Daylight
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Whether you’re running with friends or have decided to buddy up with another player or two (or three) in a Trial, Dwight Fairfield's Prove Thyself is the king of Dead by Daylight Perks for gen-rushers when in a team, boosting the speed you’ll repair a generator when working on it together.

Everything in DbD comes down to the minutiae, and a match's outcome can change instantly - so Prove Thyself is one of the best perks out there.


Rebecca Chambers and her Reassurance Per, one of the best for Survivors in DbD
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When a Survivor has been hooked, sometimes you need a little bit of extra time or coordination before you can save them. So, Reassurance provides you with just that. Rebecca Chambers' Perk allows you to pause the progression of The Entity as it counts down a Survivor's hook timer. While it won't last forever, it's long enough to give you some time to save them at the best possible moment.

Sprint Burst

Sprint Burst for Mega Thomas in Dead by Daylight, one of the best Survivor Perks
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This Perk from Meg Thomas' lineup is a great general little Perk for when you need to gain some distance, either once the Exit Gates are powered or to avoid a hit from a Killer. Sprint Burst can come in handy at many different points in a match, so make sure to keep it on your radar to add to your loadout.

Strength in Shadows

Sable Ward's Strength in Shadows Perk in Dead by Daylight
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While Boon: Circle of Healing may not be as powerful as it once was, Strength in Shadows is here to make up for it. While the Basement is typically a place to be avoided in DbD, this Perk allows you to heal while you're in there. I like to pair this with Leon Kennedy's Perk, Bite the Bullet so that my Grunts of Pain are stifled and I can silently heal in the Basement while the Killer is still looking for me.


Unbreakable, a Bill Overbeck Perk in DBD
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Unbreakable is one of the greatest perks Survivors can run in DbD, especially if you tend to get downed quite a lot (don’t look at me).

The Dying State is something that will happen to most players in a Trial - it’s just the nature of the game - but this Perk allows you to fully recover from it once in a match. It’s great if no other Survivors are nearby or if you’re the only one left, too.


Ada Wong's Wiretap Perk in Dead by Daylight
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Ada Wong's Wiretap is perfect when you’re against a Killer like The Trapper, as it allows you to reveal generators with traps near them to your teammates. As traps are incredibly difficult to spot at the best of the times, particularly if you’re scrambling to complete that next gen - it’s a great addition that favours yourself and your team.

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As updates are released and new Survivors enter into The Fog, check back right here for all of the latest Perk recommendations, and make sure you've got enough Bloodpoints saved up and ready to upgrade them. For everything else, our Dead by Daylight homepage has all you need to know, like our guide on the weekly Free Gift and Store Bundles.

Ava Thompson-Powell
About the author
Ava Thompson-Powell
Ava is GGRecon's Evergreen Editor. With a BA (Hons) in Media & Communications, she was previously the Evergreen Editor for Dexerto. When not in the land of evergreens, she's playing her favourite games, including Dead by Daylight, The Sims, Second Life, and Red Dead Online. Oh yeah, and she's a huge Taylor Swift fan.
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