Saturday 7 April 2018

Tips on How to Reach Killer Rank 1 in Dead by Daylight

Tips on How to Reach Killer Rank 1 in Dead by Daylight

Written by Casey Douglass

Who’d have guessed that playing an invincible killer in a horror game would actually be the game’s hard mode? I certainly didn’t when I bought Dead by Daylight almost a year ago, but after around 400 hours of play, and having recently reached rank 1 for both Survivor and Killer, it really is much more challenging than the Survivor side. I wanted to put a few thoughts down about how I achieved Killer rank 1, on the off chance that someone else might find them useful.

Learn the game from both perspectives

It’s amazing how beneficial it can be to see and experience how the other side plays. Even though I view myself as a Killer main, I still play Survivor at times, and I even got my rank 1 on the Survivor side before the Killer side. Knowing how Survivors think and move is invaluable when it comes to chasing them down, particularly their perks and how they work. Faking out a D-strike or a Dead Hard continues to be one of the game’s great pleasures for me. It can also be useful to experience just how much the Survivors can see with their third-person camera, and the kinds of spaces, nooks and crannies that they can hide in unnoticed.

Find your level

I played without rank in mind for months and months. I have limited gaming time due to chronic illness, so I wasn’t even sure it would be possible for me to get to the highest rank in the gaming time I had available, even if I pipped every game. The rank reset each month loomed large in my mind. So I initially played for bloodpoints and levelling my characters, getting the perks that I felt I needed to be competitive. After a few months, I regularly found myself hitting the mid-ranks (which I view as around rank 10) without much effort, and that even included some messing around with unfamiliar Killers and perks. When I realised that I was no longer a newbie and could rise up the ranks part of the way without trying, it gave me the confidence to try to go higher, even though I’d heard that high rank games were the most stressful.

Set small goals

Initially, I hoped to gain one rank per play session, which meant getting at least 4 or 5 pips per 90 mins of play. I did achieve this for a decent length of time, but some evenings, where I lost more games or only safety pipped, I just settled for even one pip more than when I’d started that session. Once I’d gotten into the higher ranks (I’d say from 7 onwards), I lowered my expectation to 3 pips progress per evening. I knew that if I steadily got those, I’d have time to reach top rank before the rank reset. This took some of the frustration out of the losses and games that people rage quit, or that didn’t even start with a full complement of Survivors. Work out how much time you have to play, and how long there is until the next reset (the 13th of every month), and come up with a vague idea of where you need to be by when.

Stick to one or two Killers

I enjoy playing a variety of Killers but I am certainly better with some than others. I got to rank 1 as The Pig, with the odd game as Huntress and Myers. I didn’t play any other Killers in this time and I think it helped me hone my Pig skills. Her reverse bear traps varied from game-changing to useless, but they often keep a Survivor busy for awhile. I’m getting flashbacks to the game where Survivors seemed to get them off at the first Jigsaw box they went to every time. That wasn’t fun, but was an exception really. Learn your Killer’s maximum lunge and when best to use their unique ability. As far as The Pig, her sneak attack is poor at high ranks so I rarely used it, save for a few instances of looking for the last Survivor as they searched for the hatch. I admit I did use it to tea-bag a tea-bagging Dwight once though. I hope he enjoyed it as he bled to death on the ground.

When going for rank, any notions of “niceness” need to be left at the door

I always used to feel a little guilty when a Survivor was about to die early in the game, and often would let them go and find someone else. If you do this at the high ranks, quite bluntly, you will get shit on. The same goes with giving the last Survivor the hatch. I liked to do that too, but if you’d get a double pip with that last kill (you won’t always because of rage quits etc.) sling that Survivor on a hook! That double pip will compensate for a game you might have later where you don’t manage a single kill. I’ve had any number of evenings where I’ve lost two or three games in a row, but then bounced back with a couple of “double pippers”. Every pip matters, so get them when you can. The chances are high that the Survivor you let go will be one of the ones tea-bagging and calling you a noob after the game anyway.

Be Ruthless

If you come across a Survivor that has just been unhooked, kill them! If there is a better target, maybe away from pallets, go for that person instead. Whatever you do, don’t dilly-dally with vague feelings of guilt, or fear of being called that lovely word that Survivors created: “tunneller”. Don’t be afraid to stay near the hook if you hook someone either. You’ll get called a camper anyway, even if you don’t camp, so who cares? You need to pick the strategy that gets the job done. You’ll hear all sorts of bollocks along the way: “Camper, tunneller, gen-minded, proxy camper, baby killer, respect the 4%” etc. You'll also be threatened with being reported about said things, even though they are not against the rules. It’s a total waste of time to read their blabbering, and the poor level of understanding and skill some in this community have often truly amazes me. Also, make sure you report the people who are really abusive, with their death threats and general keyboard warrior gobshite attitudes. They are the ones that will get banned. I know not all Survivors are like this, some are decent, mature people, but they don’t tend to be the ones you’ll hear much from after a game.

Hide the end-game chat.

I’ll say it again. Hide the end-game chat. I always like to give a “gg” or even a “gg wp” when a game finishes. I certainly never give people shit. Sadly, many Survivors do, and I’d rather risk missing the odd decent Survivor in a bid to definitely miss the salty ones. I used to keep the chat open and have a good giggle at how enraged people got, but even if you find the words funny, they still get into your mind. Basically, end-game chat often boils down to certain Survivors wanting the Killer to justify why they played a certain way, and, sadly, the Survivors only prove how ignorant they are about the game and the rules. Dead by Daylight is a pretty liberal game when it comes to its rules. As long as you don’t cheat, exploit or be abusive in chat, any strategy or play-style is allowed. It’s down to the other side to decide how they react via their in-game tactics, and if they don’t react well, they lose. Sadly, some people don’t know how to lose with dignity, and the Dead by Daylight community is one of the most toxic I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve experienced lots of the usual suspects in my gaming life. Hide the chat.

How to Untilt

You will get frustrated, angry and vexed at times, and when this happens, it’s quite easy to get tilted, to start to play in a way to deliberately take your mood out on the Survivors. This might be Insidious Butt Camping as Leatherface, or going on a slugging frenzy, to name just a couple of scenarios. I became tilted in around three play sessions. I got tired of chasing t-bagging arseholes and when I hooked one I just stood and hit them to make them scream. That’s not me, and not my usual style of play. It also didn’t help me feel any better. I think the trouble comes with expectations.

When you down a Survivor, it’s easy to think “Woohoo, I got a hook!”. Except you haven’t. You are still mid-celebration when the decisive strike hits, and suddenly your mood sours in an instant. It doesn’t take too many instances of this happening to make you annoyed and frustrated. The trick I used was to keep myself "in the now". When I downed someone, I’d try to think “Hmm, got one on the floor, now let’s see if I can pick them up without getting flash-lighted”. Basically, I would try not to assume that the next part of the process was a “given”. This resulted in less frustration, and more equanimity. This translated into being more relaxed and playing at a higher level, which turned into getting kills more easily. Those zen-like games where everything goes your way and you dance through the Survivors in some kind of murderous tango and get the four kills are amazing. I can’t remember ever having a game like that where I was fuming and uptight.

Decide on your preferred play-style and then adapt if you need to as a round goes on.

If I feel that I am in control of a game, I will be more free and easy with chases and running around the map. If on the other hand, the Survivors have gotten four gens done and I’ve only just hooked my first Survivor, I will stay close and use them as bait to get the others as they come for the rescue. I prefer more chases and more mind-games, but if the game is going against me I'll switch things up to the “bait and wait” technique.

Bait and Wait is particularly good against a survive with friends group who are likely on voice-coms and who you’ll find swarming the hook as soon as you pick someone up. I’ve had a number of games where I’d pick up a downed Survivor and then see the other three clustered around the nearest hook, with no other hook close enough to get to. I get a few free hits, but the chances of getting a hook in those circumstances are slim. If they do this to me more than once, when I do get someone hooked I will camp them very tightly, as I’d have no idea if I’d get another hook during that game. Survivors being Survivors, this often turned one kill into a 3 or 4K win for me, as they throw themselves forward to try and save their pal. If you happen to have end-game chat open, this will be very salty after a game like this. The complainers aren’t very bright and can’t seem to fathom why after hook blocking a Killer, the Killer changes strategy and uses their altruism to his or her advantage. Cause and effect baby. Be willing to change strategy mid-game, be flexible and adapt.

I do see a number of Killers who camp the first hooked person early on in the game, and proceed to just blindly camp every person they catch. Fair enough, but it’s a dull way to play and I think it dulls their other skills such as tracking and chasing. Camp when you need to, kill when you want to. Fuck the other side, it’s you or them. Be respectful if you talk to them after the game, but in-game, see them as dead Survivors walking. And if you do lose, take it on the chin and move on without hurling abuse at them about how they played etc. There are things Survivors can do that I do find very irritating, but that’s the game, and when I play Survivor there are things that the Killer can do that aren’t exactly fun either. That. Is. The. Game. Without the shit games, the fun, amazing games would seem less amazing, and there are plenty of tremendous games to be had.

Quick Tips

A few very quick tips to end, seeing as this has turned into a very long post. These are some more things that I found helped me:

Use Hex: Ruin. It gives you the space, if it stays up, to have a more relaxed game. Games are over far too quickly without it at high rank, even though skilled Survivors can work through it. If it stays up long enough for you to down and hook your first Survivor, it did a fine job. If it stays up all game (which is rare), even better.

Always expect a flash light to the face. I very rarely get caught out by flash light saves, because it has become habit to face a wall or to fake the pick-up and get a free hit on the Survivor sprinting up behind me. If the worst happens, listen closely and you might be able to hear where either Survivor has gone while your Killer is blinded. It’s a great feeling to come out of the white screen and still be snapping at the heels of one. Also, if someone tries to flash light you and you can, look up, it's the best way to counteract the blind.

Ignore the clicky clicky flash light player. If a trial begins and someone actively seeks you out, clicking their little toy at you, just ignore them. The chances are high that they will be one of the most skilled players playing on that team, so take a few nibbles out of the others first, the weaker links. That being said, if clicky clicky gets too close and you have the chance, take their arse down. The same could be said for people that run Object of Obsession. Sometimes, Survivors who use these perks are atrocious, but on balance I’d say they are pains in the backside. If they are a Twitch streamer, they often seem to be this kind of player. I occasionally dodge a lobby if Twitch people are inside. I don’t appreciate being entertainment for their channel as they take the piss and generally mess around. They aren’t all like this, but most seem to be.

Game your red stain. The eerie glow that the Killer casts in the direction he’s looking gives away where you are when you are chasing around high walls etc. Walk toward the opening, then moonwalk backwards and turn sharply at the end in the direction the Survivor is likely looping. The number of Survivors I’ve caught out doing this is immense, but good ones will likely not fall for it so easily, so don’t do it every time.

Don’t mind-game every time. If you play in a tricksy manner from the start of the game, intelligent Survivors will realise that you know what you are doing. Make the odd calculated mistake when being looped, and they won’t be able to get a read on you. Eat the odd pallet, don’t change direction every loop, that kind of thing. Get them feeling all confident and cocky and then devastate them.

Watch streamers and YouTubers. Watch people like Hybrid Panda, Tru3talent and TydeTyme. Watching someone with 1000+ hours experience playing Killer will help your game on many levels. I learned the red stain thing from Tru3talent, but I’ve also found myself adopting other bits of gameplay without being wholly conscious of it. It’s a great way to learn the game, but do keep in mind that, particularly on YouTube, you will likely only see the games that the Killer won, not the times they got destroyed. As you play, your own style will emerge. Personally, I make tremendous use of Hangman’s Trick as a perk, yet I hardly ever see anyone else use it, as they tend to favour Iron Grasp or Agitation.

I think that’s about it for now. I’m certainly no expert at Dead by Daylight but my progress since beginning playing has been immense. While the Killer side of the game feels like the side most neglected in balance terms at times, it is still a whole heap of fun if you are in the mood for dishing out some pain. Rank in online games never bothers me as such, but I enjoy Dead by Daylight enough that I wanted to try for it, and I am glad I’ve now done it. I will spend the next month at least rotating more Killers and playing more Survivor, just to chill out and to try different things. With the Emblem System coming at some point, I will more than likely try for Rank 1 again when it releases, because, why not? I know that I can hold my own at the highest ranks now, and I want to play against the best players.

Thanks for reading, and good luck if you decide to try for Rank 1 too.