Horror fans are a selective bunch; a silly monster can take you out of the experience, robbing you of the dread-induced adrenaline rush you can only get when you’re well and truly scared pantless. We imagine that’s one of the reasons for the rise of asymmetric multiplayer games in the horror space — how do you predict the monster when it’s a different person in control every time? Dead by Daylight lets players step into the blood-soaked boots of a number of archetypal scary movie baddies, gifting us with a new appreciation for just how fun it can be to play the villain. No wonder Freddy Krueger never considered a career change.
As this burgeoning sub-genre has grown, we’ve seen a number of spectacular titles drop that take the Dead by Daylight’s PvP in new, interesting directions. For those who’ve spent dozens of hours hunting and being hunted in Dead by Daylight and are looking for something else to scratch that same itch, here’s a list of games like Dead by Daylight for the shrewd killer.
Games Like Dead By Daylight
1. Last Year: The Nightmare
Developer: Elastic Games Publisher: Elastic Games Platforms: PC
This cheeky multiplayer game is built around the most generic of horror cinema tropes. Five teenagers — the brutish jock, the proud nerd, the savvy leader, the animal-loving dork, and the valedictorian prom queen — must team up to defeat the supernatural evil that haunts their high school. And it’s Halloween night, for good measure.
Dead by Daylight players will be intimately familiar with the one-versus-many dynamic that Last Year presents. One player is given the role of killer and has their pick of three different creepy murderers to play as. Everyone else plays one of the students, who must work together to complete objectives that set them up to escape from their bloodthirsty pursuer.
Sure, it plays a lot like Daylight, but many of its finer mechanics are lifted from another popular horror gaming series: Left 4 Dead. Most notably, death is not permanent in Last Year — when one of the survivors is killed, they’re tossed into a random closet somewhere in the map and can rejoin the fight if another survivor rescues them.
Developer: Baseline Publisher: Baseline Platforms: PC
Six people have been kidnapped and placed in an isolated facility, forced to adhere to the whims of the Jigsaw-like psychopath that put them there. Two of them are infected with a mutant virus, and when the lights go out, they’re transformed into malformed monstrosities with a penchant for human meat, but when the lights come back up, they’re returned to their human form. The uninfected must work together to complete objectives, weed out the secret betrayers, and get out of the facility before the infected munch their faces off.
Deceit’s clever use of social deduction elements is what sets it apart from the rest of this list. As a mutant, successfully murdering the uninfected is dependent on your ability to convince them that you’re one of them, avoiding suspicions and a hail of bullets.
If you’ve played a lot of Among Us or Town of Salem, you’ll know that one of the best ways to keep crosshairs off of yourself is to get everyone to point the finger at someone else. Deceit is most fun with a good mutant player who can play the room like a fiddle, guarding their guise with persuasive arguments and plausible deniability.
3. Identity V
Developer: NetEase Games Publisher: NetEase Games Platforms: PC, Android, iOS
Dead by Daylight meets Coraline in this free-to-play mobile horror game for Android and iOS. When James Recihenbach’s daughter goes missing, he commissions a local detective with a spotted past and severe amnesia to investigate the run-down mansion where she was last seen.
You play as either the Hunter or a Survivor in 4v1 matches that see the survivors collaborating to make their way out of the hunter’s trap-filled dungeon. Like in Dead by Daylight, the road to salvation isn’t as straightforward as the survivors would like. In order to escape the hunter’s playground, survivors must secure cipher towers scattered throughout the map. The gateway only unlocks once all cipher towers have been decoded, at which point the survivors must make a mad sprint for the exit without being caught.
The desaturated colors and creepy, button-eyed characters give Identity V an unsettling atmosphere that complements the tension-filled gameplay. The slick use of audio cues heightens the experience and keeps you on your toes.
While it does incorporate monetization elements that can be off-putting to those unaccustomed with free-to-play games, they’re entirely cosmetic and don’t affect gameplay at all, making Identity V a great Dead by Daylight substitute at a price that can’t be beat.
4. Secret Neighbor
Developer: Hologryph, Eerie Guest Studios Publisher: TinyBuild Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Secret Neighbor is a spin-off of the Hello Neighbor franchise that combines asymmetrical multiplayer with social deduction party game elements for a fun twist on the Hello Neighbor blueprint.
In Secret Neighbor, a group of kids must sneak into the home of their creepy neighbor to rescue their friend from his basement. In order to gain access to his underground chamber, the children need to find six keys strewn randomly throughout the house. That’s a chillingly disturbing premise made all the more discomforting by how it clashes with the game’s colorful and cartoonish aesthetic.
In an unsettling (but expected) twist, one of the group is actually the Neighbor himself. By some occult power, he has the ability to shapeshift and take the form of any of the children in the rescue party, username and all. When the ability is used well, the Neighbor can wreak absolute havoc, sowing distrust that forces the team to separate, allowing him to pick the kids off one by one.
Secret Neighbor offers a simple take on the asymmetric horror of Dead by Daylight that’s easy to grasp and tons of fun to play. And unlike many of the games on this list, Secret Neighbor has a large player base, so it’s never hard to find a pickup match.
In this gothic, local multiplayer dungeon crawler, four players compete to hold onto their humanity and defeat the final boss. One player is assigned the role of hero at the start of a match, while the other three players are ghosts. The hero must make his way down a randomly-generated dungeon fraught with grotesque monsters and deadly traps. A ghost can steal the hero’s humanity by killing him, turning him into a ghost while the killer respawns as the new hero.
The ghosts have no corporeal form, so they can’t do direct harm to our intrepid dungeon delver. However, they can possess traps, monsters, and objects in the dungeon, allowing ghosts to immolate, dismember, or pulverize the hero in gruesome and creative ways.
Crawl is manic and hilarious; a comical, violent take on “duck, duck, goose.” It takes all the best bits of asymmetric multiplayer games like Dead By Daylight and localizes them to your living room couch. That physicality — being able to jostle and tease the person beside you — gives Crawl a nostalgic charm that harkens back to the heyday of local multiplayer.
6. Friday the 13th: The Game
Developer: IllFonic, Black Tower Studios Publisher: Gun Media Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Friday the 13th: The Game is set in one of five maps pulled straight out of the first five Friday the 13th movies. One player is randomly assigned the role of the original masked murderer while everyone else plays camp counselors — Jason’s potential victims.
Jason’s job is simple: stalk the campgrounds in search of counselors and kill them in creative, gruesome ways. He has a set of special powers that almost feels like it’s poking fun at the movies, allowing Jason to sniff out his victims from impossible distances and conveniently apparate behind them. While they don’t make much real-world sense, these abilities grant him an unpredictability that’s faithful to the cinematic inspiration.
The camp counselors must use the tools and weapons they find to slow down Jason’s hunt while they work out a way to escape. Banding together ups your odds of survival, but Jason will eventually sink his claws into a counselor, and in those moments, it’s everyone for themselves.
Gameplay-wise, Friday the 13th: The Game slots perfectly into the genre niche that Dead By Daylight pioneered. Franchise fans will appreciate the ability to unlock Jason’s many costumes from throughout his enduring career, but with only one playable baddie, it lacks some of the variety of Daylight. Still, the unpredictability of Jason’s powers give the game a lurking tension that’s unpleasantly satisfying, making it the perfect game to move onto once you’ve tired of Dead by Daylight.
7. Predator: Hunting Grounds
Developer: IllFonic Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment Platforms: PC, PS4
When you want to turn your horror property from the 80s into an asymmetric multiplayer video game, apparently you look to IllFonic to make it happen. This time, instead of the axe-wielding campground killer Jason Voorhees, players can take control of a cold-blooded Yautja killer from an advanced civilization galaxies away.
Predator: Hunting Grounds is a more action-oriented affair than most other games in the asymmetric multiplayer space. The survivors here are elite soldiers deployed to remote jungle locations around the world, where they face waves of guerilla soldiers who stand between them and their objectives. The titular Predator is secondary to their primary goals; a disruptive element that they have to deal with on top of their actual job.
The fact that the “survivors” are so capable also makes for an interesting dynamic between the hunter and the hunted. The Predator has future alien technology on his side, but it’s no match for the combined firepower of four veteran soldiers with assault rifles. Unlike Jason in Friday the 13th or the many monsters in Dead By Daylight, the Predator never feels like an unstoppable force. Instead, the stealth-focused nature of its abilities make it an unpredictable threat to always be wary of, lest it steal you away when your friends aren’t looking.
White Noise 2’s light-centric gameplay and stats-based RPG elements make it a slower, more cerebral alternative in terms of games like Dead by Daylight that offers a completely different yet equally gripping take on the asymmetric horror experience.
Up to four survivors must collect eight clues to perform an ancient ritual that will prevent the awakening of an arcane, primordial evil, all while fending off the spectral horror that haunts them.
Light is the monster’s one and only weakness, so the flashlights the survivors carry to illuminate the dark pathways of White Noise 2’s gloomy maps also double as their primary means of defense. Scattered throughout the levels are special items that will help keep the beast at bay, like batteries for their flashlights and incense that, when burned, reveal the monster’s location.
The fifth player controls the monster itself. There are eight different freaks to choose from, each with unique powers that greatly influence how the beast hunts and how the survivors play the map. For example, the Rusalka can lay down Energy Traps that disable flashlights and reveal the investigators’ location, and the Olkoth can make itself invisible for short periods of time.
The countless combinations of monsters, characters, and equipment make for a game with near endless variety. Different hero lineups will deal with certain monsters better than others; the allure is in devising a strategy to account for the strengths and weaknesses in a matchup.
Developer: Digital Confectioners Publisher: Digital Confectioners Platforms: PC
In Depth, four divers must protect their robot companion as it collects treasure from the ocean floor while two sharks do whatever they can to stop them.
As you might imagine, playing a man-eating shark is crazy fun. You’re master of these waters, where clumsy humans can only navigate slowly with their clunky appendages and ridiculous breathing apparatuses. Stealth and speed are on your side, and your sonar pulses and keen sense of smell ensure there’s no place the divers can hide for long.
To the humans’ credit: they came prepared. Collecting treasures gives them money to spend on increasingly advanced tools and weaponry to fend off aquatic predators, including net guns and sonar beacons. They’ve also got the numbers advantage — four to the sharks’ two — and when you give them automatic rifles and hidden mines, they’ve got a fighting chance.
Unlike many asymmetric multiplayer games, Depth’s aquatic game of cat and mouse is loads of fun whether you’re the hunter or the hunted. A lot of why that is can be credited to the stellar map design, which uses the carcasses of sunken liners to create interesting and challenging layouts.
10. In Silence
Developer: Ravenhood Games Publisher: Ravenhood Games Platforms: PC
In Silence is an asymmetric horror game with a neat gimmick: the monster has terrible eyesight. Just trust us when we say he’s a lot scarier in person.
One person plays Rake, a giant naked mole-rat with a toothy maw that stretches down the front of his chest. He sees the world as a jumbled, blurry mess, but has hypersensitive hearing and supernatural speed. The survivors must work together to escape the forest they’re lost in or kill Rake before they become his next midnight snack.
Since Rake is legally blind, he has to rely on his ears to hunt down the survivors, so it’s a good thing he can hear the slightest rustle from hundreds of feet away. The survivor experience is tortuously nail-biting because you can only communicate via proximity voice chat, which, obviously, makes sound. That’s the conundrum and primary source of tension in In Silence: the survivors must coordinate their actions without making enough noise to tickle the ears of ol’ Rake.
Let’s not beat around the bush — In Silence is basically Dead By Daylight with a cool, new monster. Since you’re here reading this article, that’s obviously a good thing, but with only one map and one monster type, there isn’t really a lot of game here to enjoy. Still, if you’re craving a Dead By Daylight surrogate, In Silence deserves a good go.
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