Dead by Daylight best Killer perks – Our 7 top choices ranked

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Want the best Killer perks in Dead by Daylight? Perks are vital to crafting truly formidable builds in Behaviour Interactive’s asymmetric horror game, and this is truest of all for Killers. Though it might seem like you’ve got the advantage against groups of defenceless individuals, a potent Survivor build can outwit even experienced Killer players.

We’ve already covered the best Survivor perks in their own dedicated guide. Now it’s time to do the same for the other team. Here, we’re going to cover our choices based on experience for the seven best Killer perks in Dead by Daylight, and explain what makes them just so good. If you’re new to the series and still catching up, why not check out our Dead by Daylight beginners guide to get filled in on all the basics you need to know?

Top 7 best perks for Killers in Dead by Daylight

Here are our 7 highest rated choices for perks all Killers should seek out in Dead by Daylight.

  1. Deadlock
  2. Dead Man’s Switch
  3. Lethal Pursuer
  4. A Nurse’s Calling
  5. Jolt
  6. No way out
  7. Scourge Hook: Pain resonance

Next let’s go through each of these in order and explore what it is that makes them so good.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: A Killer places a Survivor onto a hook.
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7. Deadlock – Closing the key to progress

Starting off strong we’ve got Deadlock, a unique perk for The Cenobite. This perk is simple but devastatingly effective. When equipped a successful repair of a generator will trigger The Entity to block the generator with the next most progress complete for 30 seconds. It’ll also highlight that generator.

The downside here is that of course there’s no guarantee Survivors will have been working or planning to work on that generator. Even so, it cuts off their quickest route to victory for a moment, buying you as the Killer valuable time to continue the hunt.

If you’re struggling against teams of organised, fast Survivors who play things by the book, this perk is a perfect choice for helping to disrupt their plans.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: The Deadlock perk on display in menu.
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6. Dead Man’s Switch – Turn up the pressure

Dead Man’s Switch is one of the Deathslinger’s unique perks, and it’s another fantastic one for meddling with those generator repairs, but ekes out an edge for its capability to directly interfere with Survivors.

This perk activates after you hook a Survivor. Once active, any Survivor working on a generator cannot disengage from repairs until Dead Man’s Switch ends. If they do, The Entity will block that generator for the perk’s activation duration and then highlight the blocked generator with a white outline to the Killer.

Survivors caught in this position are left on unfavourable odds whatever they do. If they don’t disengage, an approaching Killer may catch up to them, or their hooked teammate may run out of time. If they do, the generator they’re working on can’t be used for a while. It’s a great perk to put your prey under pressure with and can potentially provide valuable information, too. Of course its one downside is that it begins to lose effectiveness against the most experienced and tactically inclined teams.

Give this perk a go if you like playing speed-oriented builds and want something to help amp up the pressure on Survivors.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: The Dead Man's Switch perk on display in menu.
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5. Lethal Pursuer – Starting the hunt off on the right foot

A valuable information perk, you can pick this one up from the Nemesis. Lethal Pursuer is simple in nature: it highlights all Survivors for 9 seconds at the beginning of the match. With an additional bonus of all highlights lasting 2 seconds longer, this means you can see the Survivors across the board for 12 seconds total to begin with, and that’s before you even begin upgrading it to higher tiers.

Obviously this is a fantastic perk for gathering valuable intel, and great if you’re aiming to play strategically. Although many skilled Survivors might be able to evade you, their chances are greatly impeded if you’ve got it equipped.

Try out this perk if you value strategic play and gathering information as a Killer.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: The Lethal Pursuit perk on display in menu.
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4. A Nurse’s Calling – The wrath of a medical professional

Another information perk, A Nurse’s Calling is a unique perk for the Nurse, and it makes it to this spot on the list for its sheer utility in matches. Nurse’s Calling simply highlights the aura of Survivors within a 20 metre radius who are healing or being healed. This radius of course expands at higher tiers of the perk.

It’s a simple but highly effective perk. Any skilled Killer, certainly including the Nurse herself, are likely to inflict more than a few wounds onto Survivors during a match, so healing is all but guaranteed to happen quite frequently. Not only does this mean you’ll get more use out of the perk, but it means you’re likelier to interrupt the process, granting you more opportunities to pursue victims who are already injured and thus easier to take down.

If you’re starting to come to grips with the game and want to utilise your experience for a serious edge over Survivors, this might be the perfect perk to complete your build.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: The Nurse's Calling perk on display in menu.
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3. Jolt – An electrifying disruption

Jolt is a universal perk, available for any Killer to unlock. Despite it being easier to acquire for all Killers than most on this list, it’s arguably among the strongest perks out there.

Jolt activates the moment you but a Survivor into a dying state with a basic attack. When this happens, any generators within 32 metres of you will explode. They’ll lose 6-8% of their maximum progress, and then start regressing.

This obviously makes Jolt a fantastically useful perk that requires little setup, rewarding you for downing opponents and buying you more time to take down your enemies. Used well, you can consistently stagnate progress for Survivors, buying precious minutes that give you an ever-greater advantage.

This is the perfect perk for those who favour aggressive and persistent tactics, and want to be rewarded for it.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: Two Survivors repair a generator as it explodes.
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2. No Way Out – Taking away hope at the last hurdle

No Way Out is a unique perk for the Trickster, and the ultimate failsafe should the Survivors progress too far.

No Way Out will first activate when you hook a Survivor for the first time. Doing so will grant you a token for the perk, so you can collect up to four tokens in total. The perk really activates once the generators complete and the exit gates come online. When a Survivor interacts with an exit gate for the first time, No Way Out will notify you with a loud noise. It will then block the switches on both exit gates for 12 seconds, plus an additional 12 for each token you’ve collected. This means that you can potentially block the exit gates for up to a full minute.

Chances are that a team may already be on their last legs by the time they get to the exit gates. This perk gives you a powerful opportunity to rebalance the scales in the endgame, temporarily postponing the imminent victory a group of Survivors might be near achieving. For the unprepared, it can amount to a death sentence, and even for an experienced team it generates a substantial risk.

Want a perk that favours aggressive and strategic play, giving you an advantage in the endgame of a match? Try and get your hands on No Way Out.

Honourable Mentions

There are plenty of perks that didn’t quite make our list. Some honourable mentions include Overcharge, Superior Anatomy, and Discordance.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: The No Way Out perk on display in menu.
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1. Scourge Hook: Pain Resonance – Harness their terror to crush their hope

Our top pick goes to Scourge Hook: Pain Resonance, a unique perk for The Artist. This devastating perk inflicts serious progress setbacks for Survivors, and favours a potent and aggressive playstyle.
When equipped, Scourge Hook: Pain Resonance will turn four normal hooks around the map into Scourge Hooks, highlighted in white for the Killer. It’ll also give you four tokens at the start of the match. From here, you just need to capture a Survivor. Grabbing a Survivor and placing them on a Scourge Hook will expend one token, and cause the generator with the most progress to repair on the map to explode. Not only will this explosion alert you, but it’ll knock a massive 25% repair progress off of that generator, and cause it to start regressing. You can then repeat this up to three more times for a total of four blows.

Scourge Hook: Pain Resonance is a brutal perk, severely reducing progress Survivors may have made and costing them valuable time. When paired with experience and skill, you can gain a significant edge over your victims.

Whether you’ve found yourself losing too many matches to fast Survivors, are an experienced player looking to put teams under pressure, or simply want to make the most out of an aggressive playstyle, it’s definitely worth checking out this perk.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks: The Scourge Hooks: Pain Resonance perk on display in menu.
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How to make unique Killer perks universal

You may have noticed that most of our picks on this list are for unique perks, meaning they’re exclusive to one Killer. There is a way to change this however.

If you want to make a Killer’s unique perk available to equip on any other Killer, you’ll need to Prestige their Bloodweb. We’ve got a guide breaking this down in much greater detail, but what’s important to know is that you’ll want to prestige your chosen Killer’s Bloodweb three times, which will then unlock their unique perks as universal ones.

That covers our choices for the best Killer perks in Dead by Daylight. Get your hands on any of these, and you’ll be well set up to sacrifice scores of Survivors. There’s still plenty more to learn about the game though. If you’re wondering how to Mori, how to drop items, or how to find the hatch, we’ve got answers to those questions and plenty more available for you to dive into.

Dead by Daylight best Killer perks FAQ

Are Killer perks better than Survivor perks in Dead by Daylight?

To a degree, there’s a strong argument to be made that many strong Killer perks are better than Survivor perks.

How many perks can you equip at once in Dead by Daylight?

You can equip up to four perks at any one time in Dead by Daylight.

About the Author

Finlay Cattanach

Fin is a Guides and Reviews writer for He's worked previously with Startmenu, The Loadout, and more. He plays everything from strategy and sandbox titles to FPS and souls-likes.

Dead by Daylight

  • Release Date: June 14, 2016
    • - 14 June 2016 (PC)
    • - 23 June 2017 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
    • - 24 September 2019 (Nintendo Switch)
    • - 30 September 2020 (Google Stadia)
    • - 31 December 2020 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X)
  • Platform(s): Google Stadia, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Action, Survival Horror
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