What Are Totems In Dead By Daylight? 2023 Comprehensive Guide

Totem from Dead By Daylight and Dead By Daylight Logo in front of blured image of Dead By Daylight Gameplay

With Patch 1.3.0, Behaviour introduced the Totem Mechanic to DBD, along with new Perks and bug fixes. If you look around the map, you will find five Totems spread around at random locations, sometimes extremely hidden, sometimes pretty obvious.

Dull Totems can always be found scattered throughout the trial area. Certain Killer Perks (called Hex Perks) activate Dull Totems and turn them into Hex Totems. Cleansing a Hex Totem deactivates its associated Hex Perk. All Totems grant blood points when they are cleansed.

Dull Totems and Hex Totems differ in their appearance slightly. Hex Totems have burning candles underneath, while Dull Totems don’t. Cleansing a Totem as Survivor takes 14 seconds, assuming the Killer doesn’t use Thrill of the Hunt or Thanatophobia.

When the Killer uses any of the 11 Hex Perks, a randomly chosen Totem will turn into the Hex. If the Killer has four Hex Perks equipped, there will be four Hex Totems. Each Hex Totem will be tied to one Hex Perk; however, when the Killer uses Hex: Undying, a Hex Totem will transfer to another Dull Totem if it gets cleansed by a Survivor.

Note that Hex: No One Escapes Death does not tie to a Dull Totem until all five Generators are repaired. When you cleanse an active Hex Totem, the tied Hex Perk will deactivate. On the other hand, some of the Hex Perks are considered to be the best Perks for Killer.

What happens when you cleanse Totems?

After finding a Totem as Survivor, you can choose to cleanse it or leave it. However, if you expect that the Killer has No One Escapes Death (NOED), you should cleanse all five Totems.

When a Survivor cleanses a Dull Totem, it will be destroyed, and the player will be rewarded with 1.000 Bloodpoints. If the Totem is a Hex Totem, the Killer will be notified after the Totem got cleansed. If the Killer has No One Escapes Death, but all Totems are destroyed, it will not activate.

Note: When a Totem is cleansed, it will fall apart and does not re-spawn like Hooks or shift focus like an Obsession after a short time. However, cleansing a Totem will produce a sound that the Killer can hear, much like chasing an Obsession. So don’t start cleansing if the Killer is not distracted by another Survivor, or engaged with the Obsession (or you don’t give a f and do it right beside him).

Does cleansing a Dull Totem alert the Killer?

Taking the risk of cleansing a Totem can be scary for inexperienced Survivors, especially if the Killer protects them. Also, there is the risk that the Killer will get notified, but that only happens under a particular condition:

Cleansing a Dull Totem will not notify the Killer. However, if the Killer has Hex: Thrill of the Hunt equipped and active, each time a Survivor starts cleansing a Hex Totem, he will receive a map-wide notification.

How to find Dull/Hex Totems?

Cleansing Hex Totem in Dead By Daylight

As mentioned, Totems spawn at random locations across the map, sometimes at open spaces, and sometimes extremely hidden and hard to find. Some maps have extremely hidden Totem spots, like The Underground Complex or Midwich Elementary School.

To find Totems faster, Survivors can equip Perks such as Detective’s Hunch or Small Game. Survivors can also use a regular map equipped with the Red Twine Add-on or a Rainbow map to find Totems.

If you play the game as Survivor or Killer, you’ll find Totems in certain spots regularly, just like you would with the elusive Hatch. For instance, near the Killer Shack or around larger Buildings, these key elements often pop up. Unfortunately, finding Totems or the Hatch on the Swamp, or the Dead Dawg Saloon can be difficult, as they have highly randomized spawns and are concealed by very high grass.

What is a Hex Perk?

Hex Perks are Perks that use the Totem mechanic that got introduced with Patch 1.3.0. A Hex Perk, such as Hex: Thrill of the Hunt, stays active until a Survivor cleanses the assigned Hex Totem. Once a Hex Totem is cleansed, its Hex Perk will be permanently deactivated for the rest of the Trial.

Here is a list of all Hex Perks in Dead by Daylight:

Hex Blood Favour Dead By Daylight

Hex: Blood Favour

A Hex that gains the favor of The Entity when blood is spilled.

When a Survivor is hit with a Basic Attack, all Pallets within a radius of 16 meters of your location are held in place by The Entity for 15 seconds and cannot be pulled down by Survivors.

Hex: Blood Favour has a cool-down of 60/50/40 seconds.

Hex: Crowd Control Dead By Daylight

Hex: Crowd Control

A Hex that ensures those lesser than you are properly herded.

The Entity blocks a Window for 10/12/14 seconds after a Survivor performs a rushed vault through it.

The Hex effects persist as long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Hex: Devour Hope Dead By Daylight

Hex: Devour Hope

A Hex rooting its power on hope. The false hope of Survivors ignites your hunger. When a Survivor is rescued from a Hook at least 24 meters away, Devour Hope receives a Token.

  • 2 Tokens: Gain a 3/4/5% Haste Status Effect 10 seconds after hooking a Survivor, for 10 seconds.
  • 3 Tokens: Survivors suffer from the Exposed Status Effect.
  • 5 Tokens: Grants the ability to kill Survivors by your hand.

The Hex effects persist as long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Hex: Haunted Ground Dead By Daylight

Hex: Haunted Ground

Two trapped Hex Totems will spawn in the Trial.

When one of the two trapped Hex Totems is cleansed by a Survivor, all Survivors suffer from the Exposed Status Effect for 40/50/60 seconds.

The remaining trapped Hex Totem immediately becomes a Dull Totem.

Hex: Huntress Lullaby Dead By Daylight

Hex: Huntress Lullaby

A Hex rooting its power in despair.
Your hunt is an irresistible song of dread that muddles your prey’s attention.

Survivors receive a 2/4/6% Regression penalty when missing a Skill Check while healing or repairing.

Each time a Survivor is hooked, Hex: Huntress Lullaby grows in power.
It affects Healing and Repair Skill Check warnings:

  • 1 to 4 Tokens: Shortens the time between the Skill Check Warning sound and the Skill Check.
  • 5 Tokens: No Skill Check Warning sound.

The Hex effects persist as long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Hex: No One Escapes Death Dead By Daylight

Hex: No One Escapes Death

A Hex rooting its power on hope. You are animated by the power of your Hex Totem when the Survivors are on the verge of escaping.

Once the Exit Gates are powered, if there is a Dull Totem remaining on the Map, this Hex is applied to it.

While Hex: No One Escapes Death is active, Survivors suffer from the Exposed Status Effect, and your Movement speed is increased by 2/3/4%.

The Hex effects persist as long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Hex: Retribution Dead By Daylight

A Hex that lashes out upon its destruction. Those who cross you will be punished.

Any Survivor who cleanses a Dull Totem will suffer from the Oblivious Status Effect for 35/40/45 seconds.

If any Hex Totem is cleansed, including this one, the Auras of all Survivors are revealed for 10 seconds.

Hex: Ruin Dead By Daylight

Hex: Ruin

A Hex that affects all Survivor’s Generator Repair progress.

Whenever a Generator is not being repaired by a Survivor, it will immediately and automatically regress its Repair progress at 100/150/200 % of the normal Regression speed.

Hex: Ruin affects all Generators.

The Hex effects persist as long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Hex: The Third Seal Dead By Daylight

Hex: The Third Seal

A Hex that hinders one’s Aura-reading ability.

Hitting a Survivors with a Basic Attack while the Hex Totem is active applies the Blindness Status Effect.

This effect applies to the last 2/3/4 of Survivors hit.

The Hex effects persist as long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Hex: Thrill of the Hunt Dead By Daylight

Hex: Thrill of the Hunt

A Hex rooting its power on hope. The false hope of Survivors fills you with excitement and strengthens your totems.

For each Dull Totem and Hex Totem remaining on the Map gain a Token.

  • Gain 10 % more Bloodpoints for actions in the Hunter Category for each Token.
  • Survivors’ cleansing speed is reduced by 4/5/6 % for each Token.
  • Gain a notification when someone starts working on a Hex Totem.

The Hex effects persist as long as the related Hex Totem is standing.

Hex: Undying Dead By Daylight

Hex: Undying

A Hex which maintains the vile powers that flow throughout the Trial.

While Hex: Undying is active, Survivors within 2/3/4 meters of any Dull Totem have their Aura revealed.

When another Hex Totem is cleansed, that Totem’s Hex transfers to the Hex: Undying Totem, deactivating Hex: Undying.

Any Tokens the transferred Hex had are transferred as well.