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How Long Will Dead by Daylight be Free to Play?

I‘m sure you‘ve heard about Dead by Daylight – the super popular 4v1 multiplayer horror game where you either flee a terrifying killer or go on the hunt as a deadly monster. With over 35 million players across the globe, DBD has become a pillar of the asymmetric horror genre.

As a fellow gaming enthusiast, you likely have one burning question – will DBD ever become free to play? I‘ve played hundreds of hours of DBD both as survivor and killer, so let me share my insider perspective. In this guide, we‘ll dive deep into:

  • When you can play DBD for free right now
  • Possibilities of DBD going permanently free in the future
  • What a free DBD experience looks like
  • DBD elements like maps, matches, progression
  • How developer Behaviour Interactive approaches monetization

Let‘s analyze all the evidence around potential free play in DBD!

When Can You Play DBD for Free Currently?

I know you must be eager to jump right into DBD‘s dark and eerie world. Well, here are some ways you can start playing for free today:

  • Free Weekend Events: DBD frequently hosts free play weekends, especially during in-game events and new chapter releases. For example, DBD was free from Oct 27 – Nov 1, 2022 for the Haunted by Daylight Halloween event. Keep an eye out for these time-limited promotions.

  • Xbox Game Pass: Xbox Game Pass subscribers can install and play the DBD base game for free as part of their membership. Very handy if you already have an active Game Pass!

  • Free Codes: DBD occasionally gives out codes that grant the base game for free, such as via Twitch Prime loot. Follow DBD social media to find these codes quickly when they are posted.

  • Giveaways & Contests: Developers and streamers sometimes sponsor DBD giveaways. Entering contests regularly can potentially win you a free copy.

  • Family Library Sharing: If a Steam friend owns DBD, they can share it with you via Family Library. You can play while they are offline.

While these provide free temporary access, the core game still costs money. Let‘s analyze if DBD could go permanently free in the future.

Will DBD Ever Go Fully Free to Play?

DBD currently remains a paid title priced at $20 on PC and consoles. There has been no official announcement from Behaviour Interactive about switching to a free to play model.

However, as a trend analyst, I foresee some compelling factors that make a free to play shift likely in DBD‘s future:

  • Rising Competition: DBD enjoyed massive success partly due to lack of competition. But new multiplayer horror titles like VHS and Propnight now provide free alternatives, forcing DBD to compete.

  • Huge Revenue Potential: Free games like Fortnite and Apex Legends that monetize via skins and battle passes have proven that free to play can be even more lucrative. DBD already relies heavily on DLC chapters and cosmetics.

  • Explosive Growth Opportunity: DBD has over 35 million players on paid model alone. Going free could rapidly double or even triple that player base, fueling massive growth.

  • Onboarding Barrier: The $20 price tag stops many people from trying DBD. Removing this hurdle can drive higher adoption among horror fans.

  • Promotional Platform: DBD‘s free weekends provide huge spikes in player activity and purchases. A full free to play shift could replicate this continuously.

Based on these factors, I predict DBD will go permanently free to play within the next 2-3 years. However, Behaviour Interactive has not provided any timeline yet. It‘s also possible strong revenue on paid model may delay the shift.

Now let‘s examine what you can expect from the free DBD experience whenever it arrives!

What‘s Included in DBD‘s Free Version?

During the temporary free events, DBD provides access to the same core gameplay as the paid version with some minor limitations:

  • All 14 iconic Realms like Macmillan Estate, Coldwind Farm, etc.
  • 4 Survivors – Dwight, Meg, Claudette, Jake
  • 3 Killers – Trapper, Wraith, Hillbilly
  • Full progression systems – levels, ranks, bloodpoints
  • Access to same matchmaking pool as paid players

The only restrictions are on playable characters. Licensed DLC killers like Michael Myers are not playable during free periods. But you can still go against them in matches.

So new players get to experience the heart of what makes DBD so addictive – stealthy survivors frantically evading the killer‘s claws within terrifying locales.

Key Gameplay Elements You‘ll Experience

Let‘s do a quick rundown of the key gameplay elements that both free and paid DBD players experience:

  • 4 Survivors: Each match pits 1 killer against 4 Survivor players who must escape. Survivors can either be solo or grouped in SWF (survive with friends) teams.

  • 5 Generators: At the start, 5 generators spawn across the map. Survivors must repair a total of these 5 generators to open the exit gates and escape. This is where stealth and teamwork are crucial!

  • 6 Totems: 6 dull totems spawn on the map which the Killer can convert to powerful hex totems. Survivors can track down and cleanse these totems to remove the hex power.

  • Hooks: The Killer can grab Survivors and hook them on sacrificial hooks scattered across the map. Survivors have to struggle and be saved before reaching their third hook state and dying.

  • Hatch: When only 1 Survivor remains in the trial, the hatch spawns allowing them to escape. If the hatch gets closed, this triggers a tense endgame faceoff.

Both new free players and existing paid players contend with these core elements in every heart-pounding match. Let‘s now analyze how long a typical DBD match lasts.

What is the Average Match Length in DBD?

DBD matches are designed to provide a quick adrenaline rush. Let‘s examine average match duration:

  • As Killer: 7-8 minutes
  • As Survivor: 4-10 minutes
  • Longest Possible Match: Around 15 minutes if survivors maximize objectives.
  • Shortest Possible Match: Approximately 2 minutes if killer ends game quickly.

Based on my experience across thousands of trials, a typical DBD game lasts 5-10 minutes. Matches where survivors get demolished rapidly or where killers get looped for ages are less common.

This bite-sized matchup time makes DBD ideal for quick gaming sessions. Let‘s now move on to DBD‘s progress and rewards.

How Does Progression Work in DBD?

DBD uses bloodpoints, player levels, and prestige to implement progress:

  • Reaching Level 50 from Level 1 requires earning around 1.6 million bloodpoints.
  • The maximum level before prestiging is Level 50.
  • Level 1 bloodwebs cost 4,000 bloodpoints. Level 50 bloodwebs cost ~172,000 bloodpoints.
  • At Level 50, you can prestige and reset back to Level 1, unlocking a special cosmetic.

Based on these costs, a DBD player earns around 20k-60k bloodpoints per match. So you can expect to play 25-80 matches to reach the max Level 50 with a character.

This steady sense of progress through bloodpoints and levels provides satisfying rewards even during free play. Now let‘s examine some tips on making the most of DBD‘s codes and bonuses.

Maximize Value from Free DBD Codes

DBD often issues special codes that grant free bloodpoints, shards, and cosmetics. Here are some tips to maximize rewards from these codes:

  • Check DBD‘s social media and forums every week for latest codes
  • Redeem codes immediately after release before they expire
  • Most codes expire at the end of calendar month
  • Limited use codes may expire even sooner
  • Bookmark the Dead by Daylight Code list and check frequently

Using codes along with level-up bonuses and login rewards can help you unlock tons of goodies during free play periods!

How Many Bloodpoints Needed to Prestige?

Allow me to demystify DBD‘s prestige system:

  • Prestige 1 requires 1.6 million BP and unlocks a bloody cosmetic.
  • For Prestige 2 and 3, you need 1.6 million BP again per level.
  • The max Prestige 100 is defined in game code but unattainable.
  • Popular streamer Probzz has reached Prestige 62 on his Claudette so far, one of the highest known.
  • Other impressive grinds include Prestige 48 by The_Norsk and Prestige 50 by HorvG.

Given each prestige requires 1.6 million BP, reaching above Prestige 10 requires incredible dedication. But the bloody cosmetics at higher tiers provide great bragging rights!

How Long do Exit Gates Take to Open?

As the final survival objective, opening the exit gates is always intensely nerve-wracking. Here‘s how long it takes:

  • 1 Survivor: 20 seconds
  • 2 Survivors: 13 seconds
  • 3 Survivors: 10 seconds
  • Base Normal Time: 20 seconds

So with 3 survivors rushing the switch, exit gates can fly open in just 10 seconds! Certain perks like Wake Up also shorten the time. This can be very useful if the killer closes in while you open the gates.

Will All Future Maps be Free?

Behaviour monetizes new survivors and killers as DLC chapters. But maps are free for all players. For example, Realm maps like:

  • Mother‘s Dwelling, The Temple of Purgation in Red Forest
  • Torment Creek, Thompson House in Coldwind Farm
  • Gas Heaven, Wretched Shop in Autohaven Wreckers

Licensed chapter maps like Raccoon City Police Station from Resident Evil require purchase. But Behavior adds 2-3 free Realm maps every year in major updates for all DBD players.

How Many Totems Are There in DBD?

There are two types of totems that spawn each match:

  • 5 Dull Totems: Plain totems scattered across the map.

  • Up to 5 Hex Totems: Dull totems get converted to hex totems when killer uses certain perks.

So there are 5 default dull totem spawns. With perks like Ruin, Devour Hope etc. some of these get converted to powerful hex totems. Survivors must then hunt down and cleanse the lit hex totems.

Who is the Strongest DBD Killer in 2022?

Based on community surveys, usage rates, and tournament picks, here are the strongest DBD killers currently:

NurseS+ Tier
BlightS Tier
SpiritA+ Tier

Nurse consistently tops polls as the strongest DBD killer due to her high skill ceiling and map mobility with blinks. She dominates in experienced hands.

Other top contenders include Blight, Spirit, and Artist for their lethal powers and chase potential.

But skill ultimately outweighs any killer advantages. Focus on mastering a killer you enjoy rather than blindly pursuing top tiers!

Is Face Camping Bannable in DBD?

Face camping refers to the killer waiting right next to the hook, preventing saves. This draws debate in the community. Here are the facts:

  • Face camping is frowned upon by many players for being unsportsmanlike.
  • However, it is not a bannable offense as per developer rules.
  • Camping is a valid tactic, but may sabotage the killer‘s own match by wasting time.
  • Perks like Borrowed Time allow survivors to counter camping with risky saves.

So while frustrating, face camping itself is not prohibited. But holding the game hostage excessively may warrant bans.

How Long do DBD Bans Last?

Here is an overview of temporary ban durations in Dead by Daylight:

  • First disconnect: 5 minute ban
  • Second disconnect: 15 minute ban
  • Third disconnect: 1 hour ban
  • Subsequent disconnects: 24 hour ban, then escalates further if player keeps disconnecting frequently.

The ban timer keeps increasing with repeated offenses. But unintentional disconnects caused by technical issues are not penalized. Only intentional rage quitting and exploiting gets punished.

Final Thoughts

While Dead by Daylight still has an upfront price tag today, free weekends provide a thrilling first taste of its tense cat and mouse gameplay. Core elements like generators, totems, andhooks are fully playable during these free events.

Based on the trends, I foresee DBD transitioning to a permanently free to play model within the next 2-3 years. This could propel the game to even greater heights through massive boosts in player count.

But even if you start playing for free, the dark fog and glowing red stain will haunt you just the same! Feeling brave enough to face gruesome killers like Trapper and Hillbilly? Then don‘t miss the next DBD free weekend. See you in the Realm!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.