best the unknown builds for dead by daylight
Screenshot by Destructoid

Best builds for The Unknown in Dead by Daylight

Show Survivors the full power of The Unknown.

The Unknown has got to be one of the scariest Killers in Dead by Daylight. While it can’t darken the map and spook Survivors by sneaking up on them, its grotesque appearance, a bag of skin, and unnerving gait make me recoil in horror every encounter. There’s no doubt this is a Killer design that haunts us all, but what good is that if you don’t know the best builds for The Unknown?

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In Dead by Daylight, every Killer is useless in unskilled hands, without a build maximizing the potential for victory. Its abilities lend themselves to some Perks, but it’s sometimes fun to use the meta or stick to its three unique Perks to see what the intended vision for the monster feels like.

Dead by Daylight best Killer builds: The Unknown

good build for the unknown in dead by daylight
Screenshot by Destructoid

Below, I’ve listed and explained the three best builds you can use with The Unknown. Each has benefits and drawbacks, but all are fun to use. Read through them and see which one you prefer before trying it out and then tweaking it to suit your play style. Of course, if it works well, you could just make it your go-to for Dead by Daylight.

Meta build for The Unknown in Dead by Daylight

With this meta build, I’ve looked at what most of the player base is saying it’s finding works the best for The Unknown. It’s almost certainly going to change over time as new Perks are added and others are updated, but as of the time of writing, the launch day for the All Things Wicked Chapter, this is the best meta build.

  • Scourge Hook: Pain Resonance: From the start of the Trial, 4 random hooks are converted to Scourge Hooks, highlighted with a white Aura. You’ll begin the Trial with 4 Tokens and use one every time a Survivor is hooked on a Scourge Hook. When hooking a Survivor on them, Scourge Hooks cause the generator with the most progress to explode and regress by 25%. Once all 4 Tokens have been used, this Perk is useless.
  • Scourge Hook: Gift of Pain: 4 random hooks are converted to Scourge Hooks and highlighted in white at the beginning of a Trial. Unhooking a Survivor from these Scourge Hooks inflicts the Mangled and Hemorrhage Status Effects for 90 seconds. After being healed for the first time, Survivors also suffer a 9% decrease in healing and repairing speed until healed again.
  • Pop Goes The Weasel: The next generator you damage after Hooking a Survivor instantly regresses it by 30% of its current progress. Normal regression applies after damage, as well as a 45-second cooldown timer.
  • Hex: Ruin: This Hex affects the generator repair progress of every Survivor. When a generator is not being worked on, it will immediately begin to regress at 100% its normal rate. This Perk is active until the Hex Totem is destroyed.

This build is absolutely outlandish. The idea here is to have the most powerful Scourge Hooks possible so when you’ve downed Survivors with The Unknown’s amazing hit and spit method, you can keep punishing them. The added Status Effects for those Unhooked will help keep them on the backfoot, and having a generator explode due to an action you’ll be doing anyway is just optimizing your play style.

Hex: Ruin adds to the punishment applied by the Scourge Hooks, and Pop Goes The Weasel is a nice Perk that overlaps the period between Hooking and finding Survivors. There’s always a little lull in the Trial when the Survivors realize they’ve got to work extra hard to beat you, but this Perk pushes them to stay on top of generators, or they’ll lose regardless. That means you can hunt them down by moving between generators and keeping your eyes peeled.

Unique Perks build for The Unknown in Dead by Daylight

This build uses The Unknown’s three unique Perks, the ones it added to Dead by Daylight in the All Things Wicked Chapter, plus one more that compliments them for players wanting to make the most of everything this Killer has to offer.

  • Unbound (The Unknown Perk): Activates for 24/27/30 seconds after a Survivor becomes Injured through any means in a Trial. The Killer gains 5% Haste for 10 seconds after vaulting through a window, but the effect can’t stack.
  • Unforeseen (The Unknown Perk): Performing a break action on any generator will transfer your Terror Radius to it for 22/26/30 seconds. The Terror Radius will be set at 32 meters. The Killer is then granted the Undetectable Status for the allotted time. This Perk has a 30-second cooldown timer.
  • Undone (The Unknown Perk): Gain 3 Tokens every time a Survivor misses a healing or repair skill check up to a total of 18/24/30, depending on rarity. All Tokens are consumed upon damaging a generator. Every Token makes the generator lose 1% of progress and blocks it for 1 second. When the generator becomes unblocked, it’ll start to regress. Finally, this Perk has a 60-second cooldown timer.
  • Overcharge: Damaging a generator applies Overcharge. This causes the next Survivor who repairs it to face a difficult skill check. If they fail, the generator regresses as normal but with a 2/3/4% bonus based on its maximum capacity. After Overcharge is applied to a generator, but before a Survivor interacts with it, the generator suffers from increased regression speed for 30 seconds.

This build for The Unknown leans into its core strengths. It’s all about causing problems for Survivors without directly attacking or even seeing them. Anyone using an Invocation Perk will activate Unbound, and while I believe Unforeseen is pretty useless, Undone is a fantastic Perk for a stalking Killer biding their time.

The reason I chose Overcharge as the additional Perk is because it plays into Undone. It’ll help you get more Tokens that you can use as you come across more generators. The key to this build is chasing Survivors when you find them at generators, but ensuring you damage every generator you can. This will earn you more Tokens and take advantage of your Perks a lot more.

Thematically accurate build for The Unknown in Dead by Daylight

The Unknown is a combination of cryptid nightmares that steal people away in the woods, never to be seen again. Its lore feels like reading paranormal tales that send chills down your spine. This build is a thematically accurate one that’s more a bit of fun than anything else.

  • Distressing: Your Terror Radius is moderately increased, and you gain more Bloodpoints for actions in the Deviousness category.
  • Hex: No One Escapes Death: Once the exit gates are powered, this Perk activates if there is a Dull totem still on the map. Survivors suffer from the Exposed Status Effect and your movement is increased.
  • Scourge Hook: Monstrous Shrine: You start the trial with 4 Tokens, and the 4 Hooks in the Basement are converted to Scourge Hooks with white auras. These Scourge Hooks grant faster Entity progression if you’re outside a certain radius.
  • Furtive Chase: You become obsessed with one Survivor. When you Hook the Obsession, you gain the Undetectable Status Effect and a small Haste boost for a short time. When a Survivor rescues the Obsession, they become the Obsession.

The concept of this build is to play into The Unknown’s abilities but not its Perks. Distressing makes you earn more Bloodpoints, but, more importantly, it increases your Terror Radius. This is what makes Survivors panic and hear their heartbeat, which is when they make sloppy mistakes.

Hex: No One Escapes Death is just a good Perk to help you clean up any Survivors at the end of a Trial. That speed boost, combined with a ranged attack, will make short work of any Survivors teasing you near a gate. Scourge Hook: Monstrous Shrine is my favorite Scourge Hook Perk because of that Entity buff. It also pushes Survivors into an area they’ll see you leaving, meaning Furtive Chase can activate over and over as long as you target your Obsession.

This build leads to a very long game of cat and mouse. You’re hunting one or two Survivors for the entire Trial. When you Hook one, you leave them, allowing others to rescue them before getting hit by the UVX Projectile. The process repeats, Survivors eventually die, and when those exit gates are powered, you get that horror movie ending. The Killer, enraged in the final moments of the chase before their victims escape, nabs one just as they think everything’s going to be alright. One Survivor might get away alive, but all the others make worthy sacrifices to the Entity.

The Unknown Abilities in Dead by Daylight

character info for the unknown dead by daylight
Screenshot by Destructoid

To help you better understand why these builds work so well, I’ve listed The Unknown’s abilities below. These are what you can use while playing as it by default and are part of why it’s such a phenomenal Killer.

UVX Projectile

The UVX Projectile is an ability you charge up and fire at Survivors. When it lands, it explodes in a blast area that affects every Survivor caught by it. Those Survivors suffer from a -6% Hindered Status Effect for 3 seconds and will become Weakened, losing a Health State if they touch another blast area.

The Unknown can increase the weakened state duration of a Survivor by dropping another UVX Projectile on them, but it’s better to hit them with a basic attack first, then hit them with a UVX Projectile. This is the hit and spit attack method, and it’ll lead to a downed Survivor in no time at all.

Staring Down The Unknown

If Survivors stare down The Unknown, facing it instead of running from it for 10 seconds, then the weakened state will be removed. If you spot a Survivor doing this, launch a UVX Projectile. It’s faster at taking them down if they’re injured and should get them to run off.


The Unknown is a creative Killer that causes hallucinations of itself to drop during a Trial. These coexist with up to 4 on the map and recycle the first Hallucination when the fifth one needs to be created, and so on. A Hallucination is a recreation of The Unknown, but it stands perfectly still. You can then teleport to these Hallucinations to gain the upper hand on Survivors and traverse the map a little faster.

This could cause Survivors to try to stare it down, which is why standing perfectly still can play to your advantage, especially if you can see another Halluciantion nearby. Each time you land a UVX Projectile, you decrease the time for the next Hallucination to spawn by 10 seconds.

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Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie is a Staff Writer on Destructoid who has been playing video games for the better part of the last three decades. He adores indie titles with unique and interesting mechanics and stories, but is also a sucker for big name franchises, especially if they happen to lean into the horror genre.