The Killers are the playable antagonists in the game, hunting down and ultimately hooking and sacrificing The Survivors to their demonic overlord, The Entity, or murdering them outright. Each of the Killers are based on a sub-genre in horror from brutal slashers to supernatural entities, in addition, some killers are based on horror icons from other horror franchises such as Michael Myers from Halloween and Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street (as well as original characters made specifically for Dead By Daylight, such as The Nurse and The Hillbilly). Each Killer has its own weapon and their special ability.
The following is the list of all the killers featured in the game.
All of the Killers are played from a first-person perspective. This gives the feeling of dominance in their world, but it also comes with a limited field of vision. Their main objective is to prevent Survivors from escaping and hang them on the 5-6 Meat Hooks scattered throughout every level. Each Killer has a unique gameplay mechanic that differs them from the rest.
Note: Killers can not scavenge for items, but they can complete their own Daily Rituals.
- First-Person Perspective
- The feeling of dominance on their respective realm
- Special weapons and abilities to use to their advantage
- Unique gameplay mechanics
- Capable of performing Memento Moris
- Advantage on straight combat
- They have a limited field of vision.
- They can be slowed down through Survivors looping around a multitude of natural obstacles in the maps themselves (eg: WIndows) or by throwing down the various Pallets found through all the levels.
Killers were once real human being (excluding The Demogorgon) belonging to the real world. Their actions, mainly their ability and passion for murder, is what draws The Entity to them. The Entity will summon that killer to its realm, and make them their champions. It is also said that some survivors who grow insane from the endless cycle of Hide and Seek, Life and Death, become Killers themselves.
Not all Killers showed evil and barbarity in their past lives, however. The Wraith only killed one man and did so out of justice. The Plague sacrificed herself to The Entity to save her dying people. Julie, Susie, and Joey of The Legion never killed anyone, and were only accepted because of their association with Frank, the real killer of the group.
- "These things differ from time to time. But each acts in a similar manner, and with similar human traits. But they are reminiscent to beasts of burdens even though I can spot some flicker of humanity. With scars and marks on their skin and body. As if they have been self-mutilating themselves. They even look dead. I fail to see some humanity inside of them. They are bent in finding me. But somehow they refrain from killing me. Instead I'am hung from one of those dreaded hooks. I keep asking myself why they do not snuff the life out me themselves. But someone must control them. Might they do someone else's bidding?"
- —Benedict Baker's Journal, November. 1896
- "I keep trying to understand them at the same time as they stalk me. I try finding something that can pinpoint their purpose. I wonder if they might be punished? But in that case, am not I in the same position? Being punished for something, as I try to escape and find some way out of here. They play their role. Without any diversions, they are like finding a machine that is set on finding any living soul. Are they without hope? Who do they serve? Is there even a monster? I have never seen them rest or stop. They hunt until the hooks are occupied. But where do they go after that? Trying to find some answers is one of the few things that keeps me sane. For now. If you stumble upon one of these beings you must run and you must hide. Without any sound."
- —Benedict Baker's Journal, November. 1896
- On release, there were only three killers: The Trapper, The Wraith, and The Hillbilly. All new Killers would be added via DLC.
- The Nurse and The Huntress are the only DLC killers that are free on all platforms.
- The Shape was the first licensed killer to be based on a famous horror icon, which in this case is Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise, with other licensed killers from other famous horror films being incorporated into the game at later dates. These include:
- The Cannibal was the second and is based on the character of Jedidiah Sawyer a.k.a Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.
- The Nightmare was the third licensed killer to be added to the game and is based on the iconic character of Frederick Charles Freddy Krueger from the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.
- The Pig was the fourth to be added and is based on secondary antagonist Amanda Young from the infamous Saw franchise.
- The Ghost Face was the fifth licensed killer to be added to the game, based on the primary antagonists of the Scream franchise.
- The Hag uses a special gameplay mechanic that gives more depth to her lore, thus far being the only unique killer to do so.
- New Killers are released with each chapter once every 4 months.
- Some Killers are licensed, such as The Shape, The Nightmare, and The Cannibal.
- Killers can be bought individually with Auric Cells or Iridescent Shards, or be bought with the chapter as DLC on Steam, PlayStation Store, or Microsoft Store. Licensed Killers, however, can not be bought with Iridescent Shards and must be bought with real-world currency (Excluding the mobile Version).
- Within The Nightmare on Elm Street lore, Freddy Kruger is a demon belonging to Satan. However, The Entity still controls grasp over his spirit, showcasing how The Entity's power has no limits.