Dead by Daylight players have long argued which role is easier to play. Killers say they are at a disadvantage, as they need to micromanage the game. Meanwhile, Survivors complain that Killers have too many toxic playstyles to fall back on when things don’t go their way. This debate is ongoing, but there is one particular method of play that the majority of Killer and Survivor mains both seem to agree as being toxic: tunneling.

Tunneling is recognized as a Killer playstyle, where a Killer will single out one Survivor. The term originally comes from “tunnel-vision,” as a tunneling Killer only focuses on one player, ignoring the other Survivors until that player is out of the game. While tunneling is sometimes necessary, usually to help the Killer deal with one particularly problematic player, it’s often misused. Tunneling can be frustrating and sometimes impossible to play against, especially for newer players. Luckily, there are some simple methods to counter it.

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Survivors often help one another in Dead by Daylight, but this becomes a dire need for victims of tunneling. Often it feels hopeless for teammates to organize themselves, especially without the ability to communicate, and counter a tunneling Killer. Still, it’s not impossible. These are some great perks Survivors can take to help a tunneled teammate escape:

Borrowed Time: Survivors unhooked by a player running Borrowed Time gain the Endurance status effect for 12 seconds. The Endurance status effect essentially gives injured survivors a second chance, giving them the Deep Wound debuff rather than putting them into the Dying state. Borrowed Time works particularly well against tunneling Killers that hang around the hooked Survivor. With Borrowed Time, it’s essential to let the unhooked Survivor tank a hit first for the speed boost. Following this, allies can look to body-block or take hits to slow down the Killer and buy time for their teammate.

Mettle of Man: While this perk has seen some nerfs, it’s still a great option at dealing with tunneling Killers. After taking a hit with Mettle of Man, Survivors gain a token. Once Survivors have accumulated three tokens, the perk activates, and the next hit that would put the Survivor from the Injured state to the Dying state is ignored. Mettle of Man makes body-blocking the Killer and taking hits for a tunneled teammate worthwhile.

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In the battle for survival against terrifying monsters, Survivors can come equipped with some potent perks that aid in escaping the clutches of Killers. Still, some are better than others, especially when countering tunneling.

Decisive Strike: After being unhooked, Decisive Strike will activate. If the Killer picks up a Dying Survivor within 60 seconds of them being downed, the Survivor will be given a tough skill-check. On succeeding, the Killer drops the Survivor and is stunned, allowing the Survivor a chance to escape. Killers complain about Decisive Strike almost as much as Survivors complain about tunnelers. However, it’s an important perk and necessary to give Survivors a chance against tunneling Killers.

Unbreakable: Dying Survivors can pick themselves up off the floor and recover faster while in the dying state. This perk pairs well with Decisive Strike, as some Killers will wait out the Decisive Strike timer. A bonus of this perk is its ability to also counter slugging, another Killer playstyle where the Killer will aim to down all Survivors rather than individually hooking them. Despite being situational, Unbreakable is a brilliant perk and allows for some satisfying hero plays on the Survivor side.

Soul Guard: Like Unbreakable, Soul Guard allows dying survivors to pick themselves back up so long as they’re cursed by a Hex. However, unlike Unbreakable, Soul Guard grants survivors six seconds of Endurance after being picked up, which works excellent against tunnelers. Players can pair this perk with Unbreakable to apply the Endurance status effect to themselves each time they recover from the Dying state. When ordering the two perks, Soul Guard should always go before Unbreakable.

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While fighting against a tunneling Killer can feel useless, the playstyle does have some pretty devastating downfalls when a team of Survivors knows what they’re doing. The main weakness of tunneling is that the Killer ignores generators, meaning teammates should focus on doing gens, and make the most of the time the tunneled Survivor buys for the team. Altruistic Survivors can look to help the tunneled Survivor further by taking hits and body-blocking the Killer, but there should always be at least two survivors working on generators.

Despite being frustrating, a group of Survivors can outplay a tunneling Killer, and there are many perks Survivors can take before going into a game to boost their chances of success. Still, it can be incredibly infuriating to encounter a tunneling Killer, especially for the victim. Until Behaviour Interactive introduces a reliable method to deal with tunneling, though, these are the best options Survivors have to counter a tunneling playstyle.

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