10 Licensed Horror Killers You Can Play in Dead By Daylight
If you love playing “hide and seek” but always thought it needed to be at least ten times deadlier, you might already be a fan of Dead by Daylight.
This 4-on-1 multiplayer video game pits a team of survivors against one extremely powerful killer who is trying to sacrifice them to a mysterious power called the Entity. Survivors cannot communicate with one another (since there’s no voice/text chat in game) and their perks and items only grant them ways to temporarily defend against the unstoppable killer — but there’s no real way to fight back.
It’s an edge of your seat experience that always remains fresh and unpredictable thanks to matchmaking — and you never know what terrifying torturer you’ll face off against! While Behaviour Interactive has stacked the game’s lore with incredible original heroes and villains, over the years they’ve also incorporated iconic horror characters from film, television, and even other games into their sadistic stadium.
From the latest chapter release to the first licensed expansion, let’s take a look at 10 famous killers you can control in Dead by Daylight.
Sadako — Ringu
Title: The Onryō
The newest chapter added to the game, “Sadako Rising,” introduced the infamous Sadako Yamamura of The Ring/Ringu fame. Her killer title is The Onryō, which is Japanese for “vengeful spirit.” Just like in her own spine-chilling horror series, the Onryō’s power revolves around the spread of cursed video tapes to any number of the television sets scattered throughout the map. Survivors can take the tapes to shut off the televisions temporarily, but doing so builds a status effect that will eventually allow Sadako to kill you on the spot.
With her long hair covering her face and her ability to manifest through the haunted television screens, Sadako has already proved one of the most terrifying additions to the horror title to date. Pair this with the random jumpscares she can perform on the loading screen of the game lobby and even those in control of the Onryō will have their hearts stopped by her malevolent presence.
Amanda Young — Saw
Title: The Pig
Would you like to play a game within a game? Jigsaw’s protege Amanda Young dawns the identity of the Pig killer in the official Saw movie chapter of Dead By Daylight. While not particularly large or strong, the Pig’s ability to crouch and sneak up on players with her wrist-mounted weapon can make you think a little more about how much you value your life. Additionally, she has a unique power to trap survivor players within the infamous Reverse Bear Trap headgear, one of the most enduring symbols from the Saw franchise.
When trapped this way, players will have to seek and find one of multiple Jigsaw boxes hidden around the map and complete a series of skill checks to attempt to remove the headgear — but only one box on the map matches each trap, and you have no way to tell which is which. Fail to remove it after enough time and … well, just don’t let it get to that point.
Nemesis — Resident Evil
Title: The Nemesis
The Resident Evil series is known for its nigh-unstoppable stalking enemies like Mr. X and the terrifying Nemesis T-Type. While fans were torn on which villain they wanted to see added when the Resident Evil collaboration chapter was announced, the result introduced a terrifying killer whose iconic presence is a video game crossover for the ages. The Nemesis brought players deep into the world of Raccoon City — complete with the infectious T-Virus and zombies to contend with.
Based on the 2020 remake of Resident Evil 3, this mutant bioweapon can lash out using a tentacle filled with T-Virus to infect the players, who have to waste time searching the map for syringes of antidote. To make matters worse, the first ever AI controlled enemies — a pair of rabid zombies — also follow survivors around and try to knock their health down further. Nemesis even has a few unique voice lines when interacting with S.T.A.R.S. agents Chris Redfield (a cosmetic variation on Leon S. Kennedy) and Jill Valentine, who joined the Entity’s realm alongside him.
Leatherface — Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Title: The Cannibal
Anyone for smoked survivors? While Dead by Daylight had their own chainsaw killer the Hillbilly before acquiring the Texas Chainsaw Massacre license, the two characters have notable differences in gameplay. Leatherface, AKA “Bubba,” also uses his chainsaw to maneuver quickly around maps quite like his fellow farm boy, but as a tormented member of a terrible cannibal family, he is prone to anger. His tantrum ability is reminiscent of the infamous finale of the first film, where Leatherface swings the chainsaw wildly around — but this time, the survivors rarely escape.
Using his perk “Barbecue and Chilli” has become a staple of the killer meta (essentially, the agreed upon general strategy across the whole gaming community) for its ability to pinpoint targets across the map after hooking their allies. It turns any match into a domino chain of chainsaw slaughter. If you can get past the fact that a lot of Leatherface players end up “camping” their kills so that no one can perform a rescue, he is an adrenaline-filled challenge in the field.
(Take a closer look at the Leatherface Killing Mask Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow.)
The Demogorgon — Stranger Things
Title: The Demogorgon
This one turned Dead by Daylight upside down for a brief and beautiful time. Released shortly after the summer 2019 premiere of the hit Netflix series’ own third season, the Stranger Things chapter introduced survivors Steve Harrington and Nancy Wheeler against the beloved Demogorgon. While all three characters are still able to be used in play by those who already unlocked them, Behaviour Interactive’s license for the property expired in November 2021 and made this DLC no longer able to be purchased. Even the Hawkins Laboratory map was dragged back across dimensions, leaving only the memories behind.
In play, the Demogorgon creates map pressure by placing portals through the Upside Down to burst from the ground and surprise unsuspecting players. Survivors can work together to close the rifts, but the monster’s massive limbs and ability to pounce and shred through pallet obstacles makes him a hard foe to dodge in a chase. Now we know how Will Byers felt trying to avoid this petal-faced predator at Mirkwood. You might just want to hide until the match is over.
(Check out the Demogorgon Sixth Scale Figure by Threezero.)
Michael Myers — Halloween
Title: The Shape
On the first anniversary of Dead by Daylight‘s launch, they released their first official licensed chapter update. This notable collaboration introduced the fearless Laurie Strode and the unrelenting Michael Myers to the Entity’s realm. Called “The Shape” in game as a reference to his original credit in the 1978 Halloween film, Michael is quiet and made to surprise players when they least expect it. His initial game begins slowly, but he powers up as he stalks survivors from afar. Eventually, when he reaches a sufficient tier of power, even a final girl isn’t long for the world.
In addition to being the first licensed killer, the Shape was the first to feature unique chase music and sounds associated with his “terror radius” — an unseen area of effect that gives survivors cues like heartbeat noises and visual triggers to suggest the killer is nearby. The iconic sting “The Hedge” from the original Halloween soundtrack might be a delight for classic horror fans, but if you hear it in the middle of a match, it’s already too late.
(See more Michael Myers collectibles available at Sideshow.com.)
Freddy Krueger — A Nightmare on Elm Street
Title: The Nightmare
Based on the 2010 remake rather than the classic ’80s film, Freddy Kruger entered the game during the A Nightmare on Elm Street chapter. The character has undergone several reworks since his introduction to Dead by Daylight and is unfortunately a less popular playable killer — but that doesn’t mean he should be underestimated. The Nightmare has the unique ability to put survivors to sleep, and once they’re in the dream realm, that’s when the demon’s full powers unlock.
While invisible past a certain range to awake survivors, sleeping survivors don’t get any of the usual visual or auditory clues of the killer’s approach. A nondirectional lullaby plays to confuse players until Freddy Krueger can sneak up and deliver an attack with his iconic clawed glove. He can also teleport around the map using the generators that survivors need to repair, making him an unpredictable enemy. The only way to wake up from his nightmare world is to find an alarm clock or have an awake ally snap you out of it.
(Check out the featured Freddy Krueger Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow.)
Pyramid Head — Silent Hill
Title: The Executioner
Before Resident Evil hit the scene, the Silent Hill DLC opened the door for other famous faces in video gaming to cross over into the foggy realm of DBD. Pyramid Head, AKA The Executioner, arrived to up the torture factor with his giant knife and ability to cut torment trails around the map. These map-pressure hazards cause a survivor to cry out in pain when they step on one, and it makes them vulnerable to his special “Cage of Atonement” and “Final Judgement” powers.
Befitting his status as The Executioner, Pyramid Head has the most unique ways to kill or sacrifice survivors out of all the killers. He is also the tallest killer so far, meaning this video game all-time-great unlocked a lot of achievements upon his addition to DBD. His signature map — Midwich Elementary School — features several Silent Hill-style Easter eggs, including a generator puzzle to open a secret room in the clock tower. Other notable touches include the sound of a crying woman in the school bathroom and a locker that throws out a corpse, recreating moments from his own series.
(Bring home The Executioner Premium Statue by Gecco.)
Ghost Face — Fun World LLC
Title: The Ghost Face
Ghost Face is an undeniable icon of horror. This killer was released in his own update without any accompanying survivors or maps — but what did come along with him was an entirely new story of who hides behind the infamous mask. Dead by Daylight‘s Ghost Face is Danny Johnson (alias Jed Olson), a vanity-obsessed serial killer who flaunts his kills with evidence photos and recorded footage. He dares the authorities to stop him, and revels in reading about his kills in the next day’s newspaper.
His entire power set is based around stealth, unlocking power by stalking survivors from afar before moving in for the kill. This can only be negated by survivors brave enough to actually stare him down so long that he loses his nerve. Ghost Face is also known for his fan-favorite “Memento Mori” (or Mori for short) animation when killing a player by special means. Here, he will stab the other player to death and then take a selfie with them, proud of the kill.
Ghost Face was also the first licensed killer with access to unique cosmetics at launch (including the classic black robe costume), and several of these alternate mask designs (Viper Face, Devil Face, and Scorched Face) have been sold as official Fun World LLC Halloween costumes since the collaboration.
(Don’t miss even more Ghost Face collectibles at Sideshow.com.)
Pinhead — Hellraiser
Title: The Cenobite
Fans didn’t know what to expect when Behaviour Interactive opened the box and revealed that Hellraiser was coming to DBD. The Cenobite was introduced as a standalone killer (no map, no accompanying survivors), whose powers unsurprisingly revolve around chaining and torturing players. While it is important to note that Pinhead is the default appearance for the character, through the purchase of additional cosmetics, this killer can become The Chatterer, an entirely separate Cenobite from the Hellraiser film.
When facing Pinhead in trials, survivors have to locate and solve the Lament Configuration puzzle box to avoid a cascade of chains appearing, which slow them down in their tasks. However, the killer immediately gets the option to teleport to the offending survivor, who is chained in place and unable to run while Pinhead appears. The character also features a number of dialogue lines based on quotes from the film, voiced by none other than Doug Bradley himself. He has such sights to show you, after all!
You might find yourself asking, “Where’s Jason Voorhees?” The answer involves legal complexities related to the Friday the 13th franchise. While the horror series received its own video game adaptation with an imbalanced multiplayer aspect similar to Dead by Daylight, unfortunately even that title was held up by licensing issues, and the game servers were shut down in 2020.
Fans are still hopeful to see the Camp Crystal Lake killer make his way into DBD someday, alongside a long community wishlist of other icons like Pennywise, the Xenomorph, and even animatronics from the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. But given that the “Sadako Rising” chapter was so recently released, we won’t have our next update hints for a little while longer — and in addition to these 10 famous killers, the game boasts 17 incredible original antagonists like The Spirit, The Huntress, and series mascot The Trapper.
Dive into the Fog and find them all for yourself.
Who else would you like to see in the Entity’s realm? Would you rather play as a survivor or killer in Dead by Daylight? Let Your Geek Sideshow and tell us in the comments.
If you’re looking to collect offerings from the bloodweb for your own shelf, be sure to check out the Dead by Daylight statues and figures available at Sideshow.com.