Dead by Daylight and its Toxic Community

Dead by Daylight is a fun slasher romp through a 1v4 multiplayer setup, but it comes at a moral cost. 

Dead by Daylight, a multiplayer game with a horror backdrop, places one killer in a map with four puny survivors. The survivors hope to fix five generators and escape. The killer’s goal is to sacrifice them one by one via rusty hooks found around the environment. Obviously, this sounds fun, but, also obviously, we can’t have nice things. The game has toxic players abound. Yet, this isn’t all on the players. Read on to see why this slasher fix is a double edged, rotting sword.   

Dead By Daylight Survivors are Toxic

Two Dead By Daylight players teabagging at the exit of the map
Behold, the mighty teabaggers. (image credit: Steam User Momento Mori)

In Dead by Daylight, survivors can either queue up with strangers or gather a bunch of their friends to play together. Usually, it’s ideal to have a buddy system in almost every situation. Dead by Daylight players… abuse it a bit. 

This is due to techniques seen as bullying towards the killer. Squatting repeatedly resembles teabagging: a nut-dipping maneuver seen in popular shooters. Survivors spam flashlights to consistently blind and distract the killer. Groups carry juiced up toolboxes to complete multiple generators in the span of minutes. 

The killer does not have a fun time, to say the least.

To add salt to the wound, low rank killers are often thrown into matches with much higher ranked survivors due to a less than reliable matchmaking system. Flashlight spamming, testicle dipping characters tear them apart. The killers lucky to surpass these tactics might find hackers trying to abuse the system in an attempt to ban killers. As that one red headed orphan used to say: “it’s a hard knock life for us.”

Dead by Daylight Killers are Toxic (ish)

An art piece of one of the game's killers in a white mask and red robe, holding a knife.
Damn, Ghostface… that outfit is FLY. (image credit: Behaviour Interactive)

While toxic survivors are toxic by choice, toxic killers occasionally have no other choice. Low rank killers thrown into high rank have no chance of securing kills without using two tactics survivors deem as toxic: tunneling and camping. 

Camping is the act of chilling out and napping by the hook after sliding a survivor onto it. This prevents survivors from getting the person off and forces them to do generators instead. This tactic is seen in baby (new) killers who don’t have the finesse to get kills normally.

Tunneling is the act of constantly badgering one survivor the entire match like Dennis the Menace bothering that old guy across the street to the brink of insanity. Not focusing on pressuring anyone off of generators, not hooking anyone else– it is a counterproductive way to play.

The Survivor-Killer Empathy Gap

Bottom line: both sides are right (to an extent). However, there is a total lack of empathy on either side. What’s missing is cross-play.

Players who play both sides get a better understanding of the game’s etiquette and will become better overall. Players who don’t suffer from biases and resentment. This results in less fun. That is not the goal.

The Toxic-er Issue at Large

A preview for a Dead by Daylight seasonal event, four characters being displayed over a shadowed man in a chair holding a ball of light.
This tome preview shows some of the game’s characters. That spooky man second from the left is actually a new killer they found behind a 7/11. (image credit: Behaviour Interactive)

What are the demographic audiences for Call of Duty? Overwatch? The straight male white gamer. What’s an activity some of them engage in? Unleashing racist and homophobic comments upon other players like the plague. What game features a similar multiplayer component with a similar demographic? Dead by Daylight.

While the game is definitely inclusive in itself, and features players from different backgrounds, you can still find some racial and sexual slurs. This isn’t a Dead by Daylight problem: it’s a societal one. This is what sets apart Dead by Daylight apart from other horror games, this multiplayer aspect.

Yet, even after everything, I would still recommend you play Dead by Daylight. It’s a fantastic game, despite the toxicity from some of its louder fanbase. Just prepare yourself for that double edged sword every once in a while.

By John Castro

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