How to Find Totems in Dead by Daylight

Playing as a survivor in Dead by Daylight is hard enough. You have a killer stalking your every move, generators to fix, and fellow survivors to heal. The last thing you need is for the killer to get freebies in the form of Hex Perks to help hunt you down.

How to Find Totems in Dead by Daylight

Fortunately, you can give yourself and fellow survivors a fighting chance by hunting down and cleansing Totems in each Trial. Keep reading to find out exactly what Totems are, where to find them, and what to do to neutralize them.

How to Find Totems in Dead by Daylight?

If you’ve ever crept around the map as a survivor in Dead by Daylight, chances are that you’ve stumbled across a strange-looking item composed of sticks and skulls. These unsettling idols are not just another part of the game’s morbid scenery. They’re an important game mechanic that can make or break your survival chances in a Trial.

One of the main problems that most survivors face when trying to locate Totems is that each map and realm spawns these Totems in a random location. Even if you revisit the same map in your next Trial, there’s no guarantee that a Totem will be in the same place – it all depends on The Entity’s whims.

While you can’t pinpoint exact locations for elements like Chests and Totems in each Trial, you can use these tips to help you locate them faster:

1. Get to Know the Map

Totems spawn randomly at the beginning of each Trial, just like Lockers, Generators, Chests, and Exit Gates. Each Trial location is chosen by The Entity and randomized according to its fancies. However, you may revisit many of the same maps over time and get to know the terrain.

Altogether, there are 35 Maps and 15 Realms. The Entity chooses one randomly for a Trial, so it’s a good idea to get to know where you can and can’t maneuver before going after Totems. The last thing you want is to end up in a dead-end with a killer on your tail.

2. Search the Area

Once you get a reasonable lay of the land, get to know the environment. You can’t predict where elements like Chests and Totems will spawn, but you can get familiar with the different locations where they’re known to spawn in past Trials.

Check inside buildings, under jungle gyms, between tires, near generators, and behind rocks if you’re on a map with a lot of structures. Farmland maps tend to have Totems out in the open.

Some players swear by the Pentagon/Pentagram Rule of Totem spawns for the game. They say that each Totem spawns around the five points of a pentagon or pentagram shape. If you want to try out this “secret” trick, try imagining one of these 5-pointed shapes in your head. Walk in roughly the same direction as the shape’s sides, as if you’re following an imaginary outline that encompasses the map. At each “point” of the shape, look around. There’s probably a Totem nearby.

3. Listen for Clues

Do you play DBD with headphones on? If you don’t, you may be doing yourself a disservice. You can hear the sound of a Hex Totem crackling with flames if you listen closely. Take the time to do a perimeter sweep and get to know the sounds from the game. Many of them can give you a clue about what’s going on around you.

4. Follow the Killer

This last tip is only for those survivors brave enough, or dumb enough, to get close to a killer at the beginning of a Trial. Most of the time, you’re going to spawn near an important Hex Totem. If you want to know the exact location of that particular Totem, wait for the killer to lead you to it.

This is not a game mechanic. It’s exploiting human nature. Killers tend to check on their Totems at the start of a Trial so that they know which area they need to protect to keep their Hex Perks. Pay attention to the area a killer goes to first and they may lead you directly to a Hex Totem in desperate need of Cleansing.

Additional FAQs

What Are Totems in Dead by Daylight?

As you sneak around a Trial map for the first time, you may notice a collection of sticks and skulls bound together into a talisman reminiscent of The Blair Witch Project. While these Totems add to the overall creep factor of the game, they are also an intrinsic game mechanic.

There are two types of Totems in the game:

1. Hex Totems

These Totems are usually denoted by lit candles near the base. Keen players can even hear the distinctive crackle of the flames when they venture close to one.

Hex Totems help support any Hex Perks a killer may use during a Trial. These Hex Perks can buff killer abilities in a variety of ways, like granting temporary debuffs to survivors cleansing a Totem or calling on The Entity to block window exits.

There are a total of 11 Hex Perks that killers can equip and use during a Trial, but they’re only active as long as their equivalent Hex Totem is active. Once the Hex Totem is Cleansed by survivors, the Hex Perk is nullified. The exception to this rule is when a killer uses the Undying Hex Perk. This particular perk transfers the destroyed Hex Totem’s perk to a Dull Totem and transforms it into a new Hex Totem.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to discern which Hex Totem is associated with a particular Perk.

2. Dull Totems

Dull Totems are Totems that aren’t activated or associated with a killer’s Hex Perks. If you go through the map and find five Dull Totems, that’s a good indicator that the killer doesn’t have any Hex Perks equipped – making the Trial slightly easier to survive and escape.

Cleansing Dull Totems grants survivors 1,000 Bloodpoints each. Even if you think that the killer doesn’t have any equipped Hexes, it’s a good idea to Cleanse any Dull Totems you come across to keep the Undying Hex from taking it over.

How Many Totems Are in a Dead by Daylight Match?

At the beginning of each trial, you’ll have five Totem spawns per map. The type of Totems that spawn depends on whether the killer equips any Hex Perks for the Trial. Any equipped Hex Perks appear as Hex (or lit) Totems on the map. Any Totems without an associated Hex Perk will spawn as a Dull (unlit) Totem.

Can Maps Track Totems?

Basic maps cannot track Totems in a Trial, but you can change that with add-ons. The Red Twine add-on is “tied” around a map to enhance the map’s ability to read Auras. More notably, though, is this add-on’s ability to track Killer Belongings. Along with tracking items like Traps and Hooks, you can also see Totems on the map.

If you couple the Red Twine add-on with the Odd Stamp add-on, you can increase your detection radius to 20m and get to those Totems much faster. The problem with these add-ons is that they don’t necessarily differentiate between the different Killer Belongings on the map. You’re just as likely to be led to a Totem as you are to a Phantasm Trap.

Keep in mind that when you use any map in the game, you have to pass by the object first before you can track it. If you’re looking for the Totems, you need to pass within the map’s range first to see it on your map.

Occasionally, Red Twine Killer Belongings don’t show up immediately after obtaining the add-on. If that’s the case, try exiting out of the game and re-launching it to reset your inventory.

What Do Dull Totems Do?

Dull Totems don’t do anything at the start of a Trial because they’re not associated with a Hex Perk. That can all change, though, if the killer has the Undying Perk equipped. With that perk, any Hex Totem’s perk powers transfer and activate a Dull Totem when destroyed.

It’s a good rule of thumb to take Dull Totems out of the equation by Cleansing them, whether you believe that the killer has the Undying perk or not. Plus, you get 1,000 Bloodpoints for cleansing them.

How Many Dull Totems Spread Across the Dead?

Each Trial spawns five Totems total, including Hex and Dull Totems. The actual number of each Totem depends on whether the killer chose to equip Hex perks or not. If the killer does not equip Hex perks for a match, you’ll find five Dull Totems across any given map.

It’s Time to Clean House

When a killer is on your trail, do you stop to cleanse a Totem? That’s one of the big choices you have to make when playing as a survivor in Dead by Daylight. It is an optional activity and may fall low on the priority list in comparison to restarting a generator. However, Totem Cleansing can buy you some time – especially if your killer is loaded up on perks.

If you’re new to the game, you’ll want to focus on mastering other aspects of the game first. Once you’re relatively proficient in healing and pallet running, you can try your hand at Cleansing. Until then, you may want to leave it for the more experienced players.

Do you prioritize Totem Cleansings when you’re playing as a survivor? How often do you depend on Hex Totems if you play as the killer? Let us know in the comments section below.

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