Looking to up your Spirit game? Here’s a handy guide to make you as spooky as possible with this vengeful killer.
To play any killer well in Dead by Daylight, you need to properly understand how their power works and how to use it to the best of its ability. While the Spirit has arguably one of the simplest powers in the game, it has more nuances and hidden details than almost any other killer, which can make her a bit tricky to master. Let’s go over her power in detail.
The Spirit’s power is called “Yamaoka’s Haunting.” It allows the Spirit to traverse the map unseen at a high speed, kind of like the Wraith. This is called “phasewalk.” However, unlike the Wraith, Yamaoka’s Haunting is temporary and you can become visible again with no movement penalty. While this seems fairly simple, here are the main things to understand about Yamaoka’s Haunting:
- While phasing, survivors are completely invisible to you. However, you can still see scratchmarks (unless using the Mother/Daughter Ring add-on) and other environmental clues they leave behind, such as moving grass or moving mechanics on a generator. You also still have collision with them and most importantly, you can still hear them.
- When phasing, you leave behind something called a “husk.” It is identical to the Spirit and stands still at the place where you began phasing until you come out of phase walk. The husk emits a terror radius and if the survivors are using any aura-reading abilities, they will see the husk instead of you.
- Unless you are running the Prayer Beads add-on, you will emit a “whooshing” sound when phasewalking near a survivor. This can serve as an early warning system for survivors, especially those on generators. It should also be noted that when you activate phasewalk, all survivors outside of your terror radius will hear a global sound effect.
- For a brief moment when exiting phasewalk, you will keep your phasewalk momentum and also have a longer lunge range. You can increase both the momentum time and lunge range by running either of the two katana add-ons, being the Tsuba and Wakizashi.
In addition to phasewalk, Yamaoka’s Haunting has a secondary aspect called “passive phasing.” Unlike most other killers, the Spirit will constantly change expressions and positions whether you are phasewalking or not. Occasionally, she can also do passive phasing, where her position will briefly change, leaving a trail of mirror images of herself behind her. This makes her movement extremely difficult to predict for survivors and it can sometimes trick survivors into running at you, especially in jungle gyms where it’s harder to determine the killer’s direction.
Passive phasing can additionally be used to trick survivors into thinking that you are phasewalking. If you stand completely still, you can make yourself appear to be the husk. Survivors inside your terror radius won’t hear the phasing sound, so unless they are running the Spine Chill perk or carrying a flashlight, they will have no way to determine if you are phasing or not. Since walking directly at the husk is a common juke strategy, you can often use this trick to catch survivors off-guard. Even if they don’t fall for it, it’s still a great way to gather information about their movements and potentially catch them out when they get cocky or make a mistake.
Some other important information to know about Spirit are her basic killer attributes. These are things shared between all killers that can starkly change based on the killer you are playing.
4.4 m/s or 110% movement speed. Spirit moves slower than most other killers to account for her phasewalk. This means it will take longer to catch up to survivors without using phasewalk.
24 meters. Like most other killers with reduced speed, Spirit also has a smaller terror radius. This allows her more time to surprise survivors and when combined with certain perks, can be reduced even more.
All of Spirit’s attacks are basic attacks, so she will benefit from any perk that specifies one must be used to gain the perk’s benefits such as No One Escapes Death and Sloppy Butcher.
Now that you know how her power works, the Spirit is one of the most versatile killers in the game. Her power allows her to easily patrol generators, mindgame loops, cut chases short, catch survivors off-guard and keep the survivors paranoid. Let’s go over some of the best strategies to utilize when playing her to keep the survivors on their toes.
- Using phasewalk to grab survivors off generators. Spirit is probably the best killer in the game at getting grabs, but it can be a bit tricky to pull it off consistently. Once you get the first grab, survivors will start becoming paranoid and it will get harder as the game progresses. However, there are a few ways to improve your chances. The first is to run the Prayer Beads add-on. This means that all survivors outside your terror radius will hear the phasing sound. The add-on used to be better for this, but you can still use it to your advantage. It will keep all survivors paranoid and help you keep them confused. Additionally, if you’re going against SWF, they will not be able to determine which one of them you’re going for. Another method is to go for generators being worked on by multiple survivors OR generators that are close to completion. You can run the Discordance perk for the first method and Tinkerer for the second. Survivors will rarely abandon generators that are close to completion and if multiple survivors are working on the same one, they’ll have even less of a desire to leave it. You can use this to confuse them as to which survivor you’re going for and chase the other survivors off the gen.
- Using phasewalk to patrol. Patrolling is one of the most effective ways to use phasewalk outside of a chase. Due to the increased movement speed, you can easily move around maps and find generators that are being worked on. Doing this can also keep survivors paranoid and cause them to act differently, which may buy you time to stop generators from getting done. If they know you’re not in a chase and you’re phasewalking, they might not want to stay on a generator for too long, lest they get grabbed.
- Mindgaming pallets and windows. Spirit has some of the best mindgame potential out of any killer in the game. This is best demonstrated when you get stuck behind a pallet at a jungle gym. If the survivor drops it before you can hit them, stand completely still rather than break it and watch what the survivor does. Most of the time, they will either start walking around a corner to juke you, or, on rare occasions, they may actually vault the pallet. Regardless of what they do, faking phasewalk at dropped pallets, or windows (if the situation works), can give you a lot of information about the survivor’s next move. If the survivor isn’t falling for it and just taunting you on the other side, something you can do is actually phasewalk to the other side and catch them out for being cocky. Now, be warned that this may not work if the survivor is using a flashlight. They can just shine it at you to determine that you’re not the husk. At that point, it’s best to just break the pallet and use phasewalk to catch up with them.
- Phasewalking in chases. Of course, phasewalk’s utility doesn’t end at mindgames and patrolling. One of its best uses is to catch up with survivors that have distance on you in a chase. It can easily close gaps and running increased reappearance time add-ons can ensure hits even if you don’t come out right on top of them. Be mindful of scratchmark jukes however. Experienced survivors will either stop running or run directly toward the husk when they know you’re phasewalking. In these cases, trust the environmental cues and the survivor’s noises more than the scratchmarks. It is also good to remember the behaviour of a particular survivor; if they scratchmark juke you in one chase, remember that for the next one so that you can predict their movements.
- Predicting survivor movements. Much like the Nurse, Spirit relies on prediction more than any other killer. You need to guess what their next move will be before they make it. Faking phasewalk can often give you this information, but in cases where you can’t use it, put yourself in the survivor’s shoes. Where would you go if you know a Spirit is phasing? Survivors will often run to windows or pallets during phasewalk, so if there’s one nearby, it can be a good place to check if you lose a survivor during a chase. And remember that what you can see during phasewalk is not limited to scratchmarks. You can see when a survivor enters a locker, loud noise notifications and crows flying away. Use the environment and your own intuition more than physical indicators.
These are some general strategies to use as Spirit, but they can change based on your build or preferred playstyle. Just keep them in mind if you ever feel yourself losing.
As with any killer, the build you run on Spirit can often be the difference between winning or losing. The add-ons you choose and the perks you equip can vastly change the game. Some will help you, others will hinder you, so let me help you pick the best builds to run on Spirit.
First, let’s cover her best perks overall. These perks you can run with practically any build on Spirit and should be considered staples to go with her power.
This is without a doubt the best perk to run on Spirit. It is teachable from the Nurse at level 30 and makes the noises survivors make while injured louder. At tier III, it also makes normal survivor breathing louder as well. Stridor is also a soft-counter to Iron Will as it cancels out the silencing benefits Iron Will gives to survivors. Running this perk will almost guarantee that survivors will never be able to pull off scratch mark jukes on you, as even if their scratch marks go in one direction, you’ll be able to hear the actual direction the survivor is going in.
This perk is teachable from the Hillbilly at level 40. It gives a loud noise notification when any generator is completed to 70% and masks your terror radius for the next 15 seconds. The benefit you will get out of this perk on Spirit is not the terror radius reduction but the loud noise notification. Survivors will very rarely abandon a generator that is almost completed, meaning you will be able to phasewalk up to them and potentially get a grab. Running this perk on Spirit allows her massive map control ability and if you pair it with Pop Goes the Weasel, you can potentially keep generators from being completed for a longer period of time.
This perk is teachable from the Pig at level 35. Anytime a generator starts regressing, its aura will turn white. Whenever a survivor touches a regressing generator, the aura will turn yellow for upwards of 16 seconds before turning back to red. Generator repair noises are additionally louder and can be heard from a further distance away. Because Spirit excels at grabbing survivors off generators, you can use this perk to determine when they are back on one. While not as effective as Tinkerer, Surveillance can be extremely effective when paired with Hex:Ruin, which will automatically regress a generator when it is not being worked on. However, if you are not running Ruin, taking the time to kick each generator individually will take away from chase time. Surveillance is therefore best paired with any kind of generator regression perk. If Ruin is not available to you, perks like Surge, Pop Goes the Weasel and Overcharge will work in its stead.
This perk is teachable from the Wraith at level 30. Scratchmarks will spawn much closer together when using this perk. Since scratchmarks are one of the Spirit’s most important tracking tools, this perk will ensure that you have an easier time following them. However, keep in mind that unlike their noises, survivors can juke their scratchmarks, so it may contribute to false leads against experienced survivors.
With her staples out of the way, let’s go over builds.
- Stridor/Pop Goes the Weasel/Tinkerer/Barbecue and Chili. My go-to build on Spirit. You’re probably thinking that I’m a sweaty, toxic Spirit because of this, but hey, when it works, it works. This is the best build I’ve run on her so far and it consistently gets me wins. With Stridor, I can determine survivor locations better while phasing, while BBQ tells me where to go after a hook for Pop Goes. Tinkerer and Pop Goes also pair together extremely well on Spirit, since you can get an easy grab or down when Tinkerer goes off and then immediately regress the gen’s process. It’s a very powerful build and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
- Stridor/Hex: Ruin/Surveillance/Barbecue and Chili. This is my old Spirit build. While not nearly as effective as the first one, it still does its job pretty well. The Ruin/Surveillance combo is great for grabs and keeping pressure on the survivors; the only issue is that you have to chase the survivors off gens first, which is why it’s inferior to Tinkerer/Pop.
- Stridor/Whispers/Monitor and Abuse/One additional perk of your choice. This is a build I’ve seen run pretty effectively before. Spirit is one of the only killers who can use Whispers effectively because it will help her determine which generators are being worked on. This can allow her to get grabs. Monitor can help her sneak up on survivors and since she already has a small terror radius, it can make her terror radius so small that survivors won’t know she’s there until she’s on top of them. Any additional perk can work with this build, though I recommend one to slow survivor progress down, like Sloppy Butcher or Hex: Ruin.
Add-ons can make or break your killer game and Spirit has many to pick from. Unlike most other killers, she doesn’t have many that change her power drastically, making almost every add-on viable for standard Spirit play.
The only add-on that will force you to adjust your playstyle is the Mother/Daughter Ring. This add-on removes your ability to see scratchmarks during phasewalk, but makes your phasewalking speed extremely fast. This one is best used with builds intended for grabs, as without scratchmarks, it will be very hard to follow survivors during a chase, especially if they have distance on you and are uninjured.
In general, Spirit’s add-ons are divided into groups based on their effect and physical object. As with all add-ons, they go up in effectiveness from brown to yellow to green to purple to red.
These add-ons increase movement speed during phasewalk. In order from smallest to greatest improvement, they are: Zori, Muddy Sports Day Cap, Dirty Uwabaki and Mother/Daughter Ring.
These add-ons increase the duration of phasewalk. In order from smallest to greatest improvement, they are: Shiawase Amulet, Kaiun Talisman, Katsumori Talisman and Yakuyoke Amulet.
These add-ons increase phasewalk activation speed. In order from smallest to greatest improvement, they are: Gifted Bamboo Comb, White Hair Ribbon and Bloody Hair Brooch.
These add-ons increase both the duration and speed of phasewalk’s reappearance phase. They are: Katana Tsuba and Wakizashi Saya.
These add-ons increase the occurrence of passive phasing. They are: Juniper Bonzai and Dried Cherry Blossom.
Recovery Rate Add-Ons
These add-ons increase the rate at which the phasewalk power gauge recovers. They have no set theme. They are: Origami Crane, Rin’s Broken Watch and Rusty Flute.
In addition to these, the Spirit has two unique add-ons: Prayer Beads Brace and Father’s Glasses. The Prayer Beads will make your phasing sound global, while the Father’s Glasses will allow you to see blood pools during phasewalk.
I generally like to run an activation speed add-on and a reappearance duration add-on. The activation speed means you can catch up to survivors faster and fake phasewalking with fewer repercussions, while the reappearance duration helps you land hits if you don’t emerge from phasewalk right on top of the survivor.
Some maps are better for some killers than others. However, the Spirit is one of the few killers to excel on almost any map. She doesn’t have any problem patrolling large maps and she can easily navigate small, claustrophobic maps. Still, there are maps that are better for her than others and if you want to improve your chances with an offering, here are Spirit’s best maps.
While the Game is arguably one of the most killer-centric maps in DBD, the Spirit is particularly effective on it. She can easily go between floors using phasewalk and there are very few windows on this map, which are one of the main counters she has. She can easily mindgame the unsafe pallets on this map and once the safe ones are broken, there isn’t much to stop her from catching up to survivors. The white floors also make following scratchmarks much easier and the narrow hallways make scratchmark jukes that much harder.
Lery’s Memorial Institute
Much like the Game, this map has white floors and narrow hallways. It is slightly less effective than the former because of its many, many windows and rooms, but the Spirit can still easily navigate the map to make patrolling gens simple.
Any MacMillan Estate Map
These maps are decently-sized and the jungle gyms on these maps are some of the best for phasewalk mindgames. Of all five, Shelter Woods and The Groaning Storehouse are her best, but she can do well on any of them.