Keys are one of the six main items in Dead by Daylight and serve a purpose as the others do. Keys can be found in all Survivors Bloodwebs in three different rarities, which differ from each other.
Keys can be equipped by Survivors and used to open the Hatch once it spawns on the Trial area. By equipping Add-ons for the Key, Keys can track Survivor’s Auras, reveal the Killer’s Aura, reveal the Obsession‘s Aura, or increase the Keys lifespan.
However, there is one exception, which needs Add-ons to be useful; the Broken Key. Without Add-ons, the Broken Key can not track any Auras from other Survivors or the Killer. Additionally, Broken Keys can not open the Hatch. On the other hand, both Dull and Skeleton Keys can be consumed to open the Hatch without any Add-ons equipped.
Most Survivors bring either Dull or Skeleton Keys, as they are simply better than the Broken Key outright. Also, by equipping the Weaved Ring or Milky Glass Add-on, you do not lose the Key upon death or when unlocking the Hatch.
A tarnished and crooked Key, vibrating with ominous power. The Skeleton Key’s power cannot be triggered by itself.
Various objects can be attached to its jump ring, which channels the Skeleton Key’s power into various effects.
- 30 seconds of use.
- Can be consumed to open the Hatch.
A bent and dull Key that once held great power.
The Dull Key’s power cannot be triggered by itself.
Various objects can be attached to its jump ring, which channels the Dull Key’s remaining power into various effects.
- 5 seconds of use.
- Can be consumed to open the Hatch.
The bow and shank of a key, vibrating with power. The Broken Key’s power cannot be triggered by itself.
Various objects can be attached to its jump ring, which channels the Broken Key’s power into various effects.
- 10 seconds of use.
- Requires Add-ons for any abilities.
How to use Keys in Dead by Daylight
As mentioned, not all Keys can open the Hatch but allow the player to equip two Add-ons for additional abilities. There are nine different Add-ons currently available for the Key item, also available in multiple rarities (common to very rare).
To use a Key in Dead by Daylight, the player has to bring a key to the Trial area or find one in a chest. When holding a Key, the player can use the ability button to use the Key (Mind Channel). To open the Hatch, the player has to walk up to the closed Hatch and press the ability button (M1).
Note that if you use the Broken Key without any Add-ons, you can’t use the Mind Channel ability. Also, each Key has a limited time of use, increasing with its rarity. Broken Keys have 10 seconds of use, Dull Keys 5 seconds, and Skeleton Keys 30 seconds of use.
The lifespan of each Key can be increased with the Prayers Rope (adds 10 seconds) and Prayers Beads (adds 15 seconds) Add-ons.
What are Black Locks?
Black Locks, generally referred to as the Hatch, is the only other way for Survivors to escape the Trial, besides the Exit Gates. Black Locks spawn at the start of a Trial at a random location invisible until the spawn condition is met. As long as the Hatch is invisible, Killers and Survivors cannot interact with it.
When the Hatch is opened by a Key, it remains open for 30 seconds before closing itself. During this time, all Survivors can escape; however, the Killer always has the option to close the Hatch by interacting with it.
Still, Survivors can open the Hatch again by using another Dull or Skeleton Key.
Depending on the Realm and map you play on as Survivor, spawn locations of the Hatch can be quite predictable or extremely random (Swamp is a great example for highly randomized Hatch spawns). If you want to get an idea of where the Hatch can spawn on each map, check out this post here.
What does the Broken Key do?
As mentioned, the Broken Key requires Add-ons to have a use for Survivors in Dead by Daylight. Depending on which Add-ons you equip on the Broken Key, you can use it for different purposes, such as:
- Reveal Survivor Auras within a range of 24/48 meters
- Reveal the Killer’s Aura within a range of 32 meters
- Reveal the Obsessions Aura
Remember, Broken Keys cannot open Black Locks, even with Add-ons equipped. The only purpose of them is to make it easier to find other Survivors or the Killer.
Here is a list of all Add-ons that can be used with all Keys:
Tightly knitted rope used in praying rituals. Can be attached to the Key.
- Adds 10 seconds of use to the Key.
“Pray all you want, your words are getting lost somewhere up there, in the Fog.”
A porous and scratched white pearl. A minuscule jump ring allows the pearl to be attached to the Key.
- Moderately increases Key Aura-reading range.
A chain of matte beads of various sizes used in praying ritual. Can be attached to the Key.
- Adds 15 seconds of use to the Key.
A heavily worn out token made of brass. If an inscription or drawing was once engraved in it, it has today completely disappeared. Can be attached to the Key using its jump ring to channel the Key’s Aura-reading ability.
- Reveals Survivors’ Auras when within a range of 24 meters.
A gold token with a dull appearance. Both faces are smooth and void of any inscriptions. Can be attached to the Key using its jump ring to channel the Key’s Aura-reading ability.
- Reveals Survivors’ Auras when within a range of 48 meters.
A mundane key ring in appearance with an unusual bluish dark sheen. The ring binds the Key to the user, preventing its loss even in the darkest of times.
- Do not lose the Key upon death, lose this Add-on instead.
This opaque piece of glass emits a dull vibrating noise. When the Skeleton or Dull Key is used to unlock a Black Lock, the glass token protects the Key from breaking, channelling the Black Fog’s energy into the glass.
- Do not lose the Key when unlocking the Hatch, lose this Add-on instead.
A blood-red amber striped with black veins. The amber is warm to the touch. Can be attached to the Key using its jump ring to channel the Key’s Aura-reading ability.
- Reveals the Killer’s Aura when within a range of 32 meters.
- Tremendously decreases Key Efficiency.
Unique Wedding Ring:
An engraved wedding ring that emerged from The Fog and resonates with an indescribable and incomprehensible energy.
- Reveals the Obsession’s Aura.
- Reduces the odds of being the Obsession.