Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors – Our top 7 picks ranked

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The best Survivor Perks in Dead by Daylight is a hot point of debate among many players. Behaviour Interactive’s asymmetric survival horror game is full of mechanics and features, but perhaps none are as extensive or complex as perks.

With dozens of Survivors, unique perks and universal perks galore, and more arriving all the time, determining the best Survivor perks in Dead by Daylight isn’t an easy feat. So here, we’re going to walk you through the best we’ve come across in our time playing. If you’re looking for more guides to the games many mechanics, check out our catalogue. From how to get Killers to explaining how to Mori Survivors, we’ve got you covered.

Top 7 best perks for Survivors in Dead by Daylight

Here’s our list for the 7 best perks Survivors can pick up in Dead by Daylight. If you’re looking for a similar list on the best Killer perks by the way, we’ve got those covered in a separate guide.

  1. Dramaturgy
  2. Made For This
  3. Sprint Burst
  4. Lithe
  5. Unbreakable
  6. Decisive Strike
  7. Self-Care

Let’s go over each of our picks in a little more detail and explain what makes them so good.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: Claudette is grabbed by the Demogorgon.
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7. Dramaturgy – A national treasure of a perk

Fittingly, Nicolas Cage is well equipped for finding himself in the world of DBD. A part of this comes down to his pretty handy perks. Arguably the best of them though is Dramaturgy.

Dramaturgy gives you a boost of speed when activated. Press it while running, and you’ll run knee-high for half a second, then receive 25% Haste – a speed buff – for the next two seconds. This is just step one though.

After those 2 seconds have elapsed, one of four options will happen, totally random. Option one is that you become Exposed for 12 seconds, leaving you vulnerable to being one-shot by the Killer. Option two grants you an additional 2 seconds of 25% Haste. Option three will be that you scream, though this doesn’t cause anything to happen. Lastly, your fourth option sees you gain a random item with random add-ons. This will cause you to automatically drop items you might be carrying though.

Dramaturgy has the potential to grant serious boons in a match when used, but it finds itself at the bottom of our picks because that reward doesn’t come without serious risk. With one option granting nothing and another actively harming you, the odds aren’t always in your favour here. It also requires you to be uninjured in order to activate, slightly limiting its versatility.

Nevertheless, the powerful potential it does offer shouldn’t be overlooked. This perk is perfect for anyone who likes to play things a little dangerously when they’re in the Trials.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: The Dramaturgy perk on display in-menu.
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6. Made For This – Where altruism pays off

Made for this is a unique perk for Gabriel Soma, and is perfect for those who can work as a team player and make the most of bad situations.

The perk activates as soon as you become injured, and grants two effects. First, it’ll give you a 3% speed boost while running. This is pretty minor, but every bit helps when you’re trying to escape a Killer. Second, it enables Endurance for 10 seconds if you heal a teammate while the perk is active.

This is big, as Endurance prevents you from being downed while active, instead inflicting the Deep Wound debuff which will only put you in the dying state if it isn’t healed before time runs out. Effectively then, Made For This gives Survivors the potential to be temporarily invulnerable in a chase.

While this perk is excellent, the obvious issue is that you need to heal another Survivor first. You’ll encounter situations like this often enough of course – unhooking and mending a fellow Survivor as the Killer returns to the hook could be one common example – but it’s still a rather situational perk.

Nevertheless, it can be a literal life-saver. We’d recommend this perk for anyone who likes being a team player and taking an active but sometimes dangerous role in the team dynamic.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: Made For This perk on display in-menu.
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5. Sprint Burst – Gotta go fast

Sprint Burst is a simple and straightforward perk, belonging to Meg Thomas. When you start to run with this perk equipped, you’ll get a speed boost of 150% for up to three seconds. It’ll then go onto cooldown for 60 seconds.

Sprint Burst is great for escaping chases, giving you a speed that the Killer simply can’t match up to. It’s widely applicable, and comes with few downsides as a successful escape isn’t too likely to result in a second chase within the one minute cooldown time frame.

Its only downside is that it really benefits from experience. If you’re a Dead by Daylight beginner, you might struggle to escape Killers as easily, and should you not make it out of sight thanks to this perk, chances are you won’t get the opportunity to use it again in the same chase.

Sprint Burst is a great perk regardless though. If you favour a speed build and like to play openly and outrun your pursuers, this perk is a must-have.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: The Sprint Burst perk on display in-menu.
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4. Lithe – A step up (and over) in speed

Lithe is a similar perk in nature to Sprint Burst, and though slightly more niche in utility, it’s arguably much more effective from a practical standpoint. You can find this as a unique perk on Feng Min.

Lithe grants its user the ability to perform a rushed vault when clambering over window sills and other vaultable surfaces. Upon landing, you’ll then receive a 150% speed boost to your sprint speed for three seconds. It is in effect the same thing as Sprint Burst, only it requires performing a particular action.

This requirement is a potential strength though. Maps are constructed so that, in most cases, vaulting will force a Killer to continue pursuit by either vaulting themselves or going around the obstacle. Both of these options slow them down immensely, and with the speed boost, your advantage for duping a Killer in this way is even greater.

Lithe is the perfect perk for anyone who likes those aforementioned speed builds, but relies on strategy and situational awareness to make the most of good experience and escape danger with ease.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: The Lithe perk on display in-menu.
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3. Unbreakable – The last word in survivability

Unbreakable is a unique perk for William “Bill” Overbeck, and it’s all about giving you the best possible chance at success.

Unbreakable grants you a one-time-use unique power when in Trials matches: you can recover yourself from the dying state instantly. That’s of course not counting the animation to get back up, but that aside, this perk effectively allows you to cheat death once per match. If a Killer is too slow to grab you, becomes distracted, or you break free before being hooked, you can effectively escape.

There will be situations where this doesn’t work out, but what this perk also means is that a wise Killer will never be able to deprioritise you when you go down, giving more opportunity to your teammates. As an extra bonus, the perk also speeds up recovery time for the dying state by 25%.

Try this perk out if you’re struggling with getting hooked too often, and want to give yourself a true window of opportunity for escape.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: The Unbreakable perk on display in-menu.
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2. Decisive Strike – A chance to fight back

Decisive Strike is, true to its name, a pretty decisive perk. It belongs to Laurie Strode, so you might have to dip into your bank account for some Auric Cells, as she’s not purchasable with Iridescent Shards. Decisive Strike will activate after being hooked or unhooked, and remain active for 60 seconds before going onto its cooldown cycle. If you’re grabbed by the Killer while this is active, you get a special skill check. Passing it will allow you to escape, stunning the Killer for three seconds and granting you time to get away.

There are some drawbacks here. First of course is that you need to be grabbed while the ability is active. Secondly, the ability deactivates if the exit gates are already open. Third, you’ll be hit with the Obsession debuff after performing it, giving your location away to the Killer once every 30 seconds.

Despite these drawbacks, Decisive Strike is essentially another get-out-of-jail-free card, granting you a rare and special opportunity at escaping certain doom. Of course, there’s even the potential that you’ll get to use it more than once during a match, making it just a little more useful than Unbreakable in that sense.

Try this perk out if you want to boost your survivability and have good confidence in your skills already.

Honourable Mentions

Plot Twist, Borrowed Time, and Wiretap are among some of the other best perks in the game that didn’t quite make this list.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: Decisive Strike perk on display in menu.
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1. Self-Care – What all the Killers are really missing out on

Self-Care is our pick for top spot of the best Survivor perks in Dead by Daylight, though we’ve got to admit it’s a pretty close race. It belongs to Claudette Morel, a Survivor who comes with the base game for free.

Self-Care is a very simple perk. It enables the ability to heal without a healing item at 25% the normal speed, though this can be improved upon at upgraded tiers. This ability is pretty fantastic, as it means you’ve got the opportunity to recover from an injured state without the help of other Survivors, removing the blood trail for the Killer to follow and re-enabling your ability to take a hit before going down.

This perk is great for healing-centred builds, but truthfully it’s versatile enough to be applicable to any setup. Whatever your preferred playstyle, you should try out Self-Care when you get the chance.

Dead by Daylight best perks for Survivors: The self-care perk on display in menu.
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How to equip unique perks to any Survivor

As you’ll have noticed, the majority of our choices are unique perks, meaning they’re exclusive to one character. There is however a way to make unique perks universal.

To do this, you’ll need to Prestige the Bloodweb of a Survivor with your chosen perks. We’ve done a full guide already on this process, but what’s relevant here is that you need to Prestige them three times. This will then unlock their unique perks as universal, meaning you can equip them to anyone and create some truly terrifying builds.

That brings us to the end of our list on the best Survivor perks in Dead by Daylight. Hopefully you’ve found some new gems to test out in-game. If you’re still hungry for more DBD content though, have a look at what else we can offer. Whether you need help to find the hatch or want to know just how Dead by Daylight multiplayer works, we can help you out.

What are perks in Dead by Daylight?

Perks are powerful buffs you can equip to your characters in Dead by Daylight. They enhance, unlock, or expand certain abilities and features to improve your capabilities in-game.

How many perks can you equip in Dead by Daylight?

You can equip up to a maximum of four perks at a time in Dead by Daylight.

About the Author

Finlay Cattanach

Fin is a Guides and Reviews writer for Videogamer.com. 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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