The Hatch in Dead by Daylight has always been a key component of the game. It has always been under great discussion as to whether it affected the balance of the game between the killer and survivors. The Hatch, therefore, was quite dramatically changed in the Patch 5.3.0 update that was released alongside Chapter 21.5.
In this guide, we've explained how the Hatch has changed and how players can now use it.
How Has the Hatch Changed
Previously, the Hatch would spawn whenever there was one more generator completed than there were survivors left alive. For example, if there were 3 remaining generators and 2 remaining survivors, they could then try and locate the Hatch. This often meant that if a survivor had brought a Key with them or was lucky enough to find one in a Chest, then multiple survivors could escape at once.
As you can imagine, this became quite frustrating for the killer, and for survivors too. Regularly, a killer could be going about their role when three survivors vanish and the game ends prematurely. For survivors, this would sometimes mean one survivor would locate and camp the Hatch while waiting for their team to die. All in all, the Hatch has been the subject of a lot of debate.
Behaviour Interactive has listened to this, however, and changed the Hatch as a result. As of update 5.3.0, the Hatch will now only spawn when there is one remaining survivor left in the trial. There will be no more exploitation of Keys, multiple survivors vanishing at once, or survivors camping the Hatch. Additionally, if the killer closes the Hatch, it can be opened using a Key. This process will take 2.5 seconds and if interrupted by the killer, the Hatch does not lose any unlocking progress.
This also means that an achievement name has been changed too. The achievement previously known as 'Where Did They Go!?' is now 'The Key to Escaping'.
How the Hatch Should Now Be Used
The Hatch now can't be used for players to take themselves and their friends to an easy victory. It is only when there is one remaining survivor left in the trial that there should be a race to find the Hatch between them and the killer. As a survivor, if they locate the Hatch first, then the escape is theirs. However, if the killer kicks it shut first, the survivors only option is to try and make it out of the exit gates or hope that they're lucky enough to find a Key in a chest. That is, unless, they already have a Key equipped.
These changes to the Hatch, and therefore the effectiveness of the Key, have certainly been ones under much discussion. Yet they arguably help to increase Dead by Daylight's balance between killers and survivors. That being said, we will miss hopping into the Hatch with our friends from time to time as a means of escaping a particularly nefarious killer!
If you want to improve your killer game, check out our guides on the best Michael Myers build. Or if you prefer survivor, we suggest learning how to flashlight save to help you escape those killers and save your teammates.