How to Use Keys in Dead by Daylight

The Key might be rare, but it's extremely helpful to easily survive any match! Check out our guide on how to use it below.

Keys have been an item in Dead by Daylight since Alpha, and by now, most players have known their primary use. However, some changes have been made to their functionality that might confuse both new and old players. In this guide, we cover how to use Keys in the match to survive!

How to Use Keys in Dead by Daylight

To put it most simply, the primary purpose of Keys in Dead by Daylight is to open the Hatch before it typically opens. By default, the Hatch only opens if one Survivor is remaining in the match. If you carry the Key into the match, however, you can unlock it (once there are only three generators to fix remaining).

Types of Keys

There are three different types of keys, and each one has a different rarity. Below, we have listed the basic functions of each Key before adding any add-ons.

  • Skeleton Key: 30 seconds of use for Add-on abilities. Can be consumed to open the Hatch.
  • Dull Key: Five seconds of use for Add-on abilities. Can be consumed to open the Hatch.
  • Broken Key: 10 seconds of use for Add-ons. Cannot be used to open the Hatch.

Equipping the Key

An equipped key with add-ons in Dead by Daylight.

The Key is equipped in your Survivor's loadout screen, accessed from the menu or the lobby. In the image above, we have equipped a Skeleton Key to Meg's loadout. The Key can be equipped for any character.

Using the Key

A Survivor about to open a Hatch in Dead by Daylight.

The Key can be used in two different ways. If you have attached an add-on (listed below) to it, then you can use it to read the auras of Survivors or Killers. To do this, you press the secondary action button when the prompt is displayed.

Otherwise, you can use the Key to open the Hatch. In the image above, you can see that to open the Hatch, you must press the primary action button while next to it. Opening the Hatch will automatically force your Survivor to escape through it. It will remain open for 30 seconds then promptly close.

Related: All Teachable Perks in Dead by Daylight - Pro Game Guides


A Meg with a key after a Dead by Daylight Match.

The Key has other capabilities beyond just opening the Hatch. The other uses for it depend entirely on which add-on is attached to it. In the image above, you can see that Meg still has the Key in her possession, even though she used it to escape the Hatch! This is because we equipped the Milky Glass add-on.

Each add-on has different abilities. We have listed the function of each add-on below alphabetically.

  • Blood Amber: Reveals the Killer's Aura if they're within 32 meters. Tremendously decreases Key's Efficiency.
  • Eroded Token: Reveals all other Survivor Auras when they're within 24 meters.
  • Gold Token: Reveals all other Survivor Auras when they're within 48 meters.
  • Milky Glass: When the Key is used to open the Hatch, it will consume this Add-on instead of the Key.
  • Prayer Beads: Moderately increases the Key's range when reading Auras.
  • Prayer Rope: Adds 10 seconds of use.
  • Scratched Pearl: Adds 15 seconds of use.
  • Unique Wedding Ring: Reveal's the Obsession's Aura and reduces the odds of being the Killer's Obsession.
  • Weaved Ring: If the Player is killed while holding a Key with this add-on, they will lose the add-on instead of the Key.

The Key is the most straightforward item in the game. As such, there aren't a lot of tips or tricks to offer while using it. If you're not great at escaping the Killer, though, we recommend using the Unique Wedding Ring or the Blood Amber.

Want to prestige your character to get the bloody outfits? Check out our guide on How to Prestige a Character in Dead by Daylight!

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