Why are female survivors much more popular than male?

First of all, the intention of this post is to explore and gain insights into this phenomenon that I am interested in. I ask you to share your experiences and give constructive feedback. Please be respectful to everyone <3

So, as we all are aware, I'm sure, female survivors in DBD are not just more popular than male survivors, but much more popular. I know that this is not a phenomenon exclusive to DBD, it exists in many other games as well. However, with this post I would like to gain an understanding on why that is so in DBD specifically. Cosmetics play a big role in this, so I would like us to take them into consideration, as well.

As far as I can think, these are the reasons that people might be preferring either male or female survivors:

  • who they can identify with, relate to, or connect with better
  • who they find more attractive, and therefore want to see on the screen
  • who has more interesting (beautiful, quirky, etc.) cosmetics available, as well as more cosmetics in the sense of quantity
  • who has gameplay advantage - in this case it's the female survivors, due to them being shorter and therefore having better potential for stealth, evading the killer, and (flashlight) saves on their teammates

Based on my experience of watching streamers, as well as other people I'm acquainted with, it seems that a person's gender identity and romantic/sexual interests don't play a major role in this, since any group of people tends to play as female characters.

I am a gay guy, and prefer playing as male characters, because I can both relate to them better, and also prefer seeing them on the screen. However it seems that most gay men prefer playing as female characters. This is what confuses me.

I would like to ask you readers, to give your perspective and understandings on this, on why female characters are that more popular than male ones. Both female and male characters are awesome and deserve love and popularity. And in order for me to able to promote male characters more, and accentuate their value, I need to understand what is causing this disproportional pick rate.

Thank you for reading! I hope that we can have a really nice discussion on this.



  • Halloulle
    Halloulle Member Posts: 872

    For me personally it's mostly about the cosmetics - hair specifically. I tend to like the guys' stuff more.

    The reasons I heard most often from a certain crowd of people I play with are mostly game-advantage related. Many also say the movement animations of (most) female characters feel smoother.

  • Farya
    Farya Member Posts: 94
    edited September 26

    My thoughts are, that most people play what they think is either attractive to look at, or unique.

    Nowadays there are still more male people playing I guess, and I can just imagine that more male people play female, than female people playing male characters.

    On my side, I am female straight and I play Jeff because of attractiveness, or Jane because of uniqueness because she is the only Survivor being chubby, which sticks out to me, in a positive way of variety. (Which is in the eye of the beholder, of course - that's just my point of view).

    Kate for example is a Surv which I don't like to look at on my screen, because she looks just plain and simple to me, like every girls face on Instagram :-P

    Those are my Jane and Jeff. Haven't bought cosmetics for years, have to get a look on what's new ^^

  • MrDardon
    MrDardon Member Posts: 3,712

    I feel more agile when playing female Survivors, even though there is no difference. They can also hide better.

  • CatnipLove
    CatnipLove Member Posts: 1,006

    I almost exclusively play females in fightings games, as they tend to have the most interesting movesets. Someone like Sindel in Mortal Kombat, is much more interesting to me than say Scorpion or Sub-Zero. In Tekken, I prefer to play Xiaoyu rather than someone like Jin.

    In DbD, I just choose characters that either look cool, can blend into a bush well, or are reasonably quiet when injured (Sorry Feng).

  • Hex_Ignored
    Hex_Ignored Member Posts: 1,334
    edited September 26

    I choose male characters in almost every game I play. I just find it easier to immerse myself in a game while playing as a dude. But as you said, female survivors have an advantage in dbd.

  • MikaelaWantsYourBoon
    MikaelaWantsYourBoon Member Posts: 5,719

    I play games mostly with female characters. It does not matter what game, if i have option to play female character, i will take it.

    Because female is more attractive to me.

    That's why most of times i am playing female survivors in DbD. And that's why i am giving hatch to female survivors most times.

  • RpTheHotrod
    RpTheHotrod Member Posts: 1,155

    For me, the females are typically thinner and shorter in stature making sneaking around and being less noticeable far easier - especially from a distance.

  • solarjin1
    solarjin1 Member Posts: 1,242

    I pretty sure your second reason listed is the answer.

    i slightly prefer playing male characters because im guy but it doesn't really matter. Meg and jeff my mains

  • Wowie
    Wowie Member Posts: 500
    edited September 26

    i'm also a gay fellow but i play female survs primarily

    it doesn't have anything to do with attraction or relatability, i just like heather a lot and claud has some nice cosmetics.

    i do irregularly play steve, ash, ace, and nick though.

    so i reckon i fit into your third category

    also people who pick certain survs for "gameplay advantages" are weird, but whatever makes you confident i guess

    i do feel that female models are less janky and its easier to moonwalk though

    also maybe this

    i'd play a little gremlin

    i'd like an old hunchback creature as a survivor also

  • CatnipLove
    CatnipLove Member Posts: 1,006

    The gays stan a strong independent woman. Let's go Haddie!

    I definitely get the cosmetic side for female characters. I grew up playing fighting games from the PS1/Sega Saturn era, and there was always more creativity with the female characters than with the males. This also extended to their movesets, as males were often just boxing essentially, whilst the female characters were doing backflips and all kinds of interesting things. Their designs were over-sexualised, but there was more creativity than most of the male charaters. Taki in Soul Calibur is over-sexualised but she has a much more interesting style and moveset than say Mitsurugi.

    Of course if you're a gay guy, you can just appreciate the creativity and ignore the sexualisation. Ivy in Soul Calibur is definitely super sexy, but who cares when she has a sword that turns into a whip!

  • Quizzy
    Quizzy Member Posts: 511
    edited September 26

    Honestly. Its a very complex situation and depends on what type of game genre you are playing. I know hands down that most women tend to play rpgs/mmorpgs games as female characters. And that is boosted more by even men playing mostly female characters there because they can be whatever they want. And its pretty much mostly just a casual style of play.

    Now keep that mindset when we transfer to comp genre types of games like fps(first person shooter) and fighting games. Ex: Mortal kombat, Dragonball Z, Smash Bros, call of duty etc. Studies show women actually play shooter games. However, men do domimate that genre due to the comp nature of it and tend to choose male characters. They will lean towards female if and only if there are comp advantages to it. And devs from those know how they will choose and mostly prefer creating and giving more attention in creating male characters over female characters. But that in itself varies depending on those games as certain devs do try to balance that ratio.

    Now with dbd. We know some ppl believe it to be comp or just play casually. So i truly believe dbd is a special case that attracts both sides. Which is why our community always fight each other tbh lol. You have casual survivors, be it straight or gay, male or female player, that play survivors they simply feel comfortable with and have more skins. And it usually goes towards the female survivors of course. Then you have comp survivors that will skew it towards female survivors even more since they hide better and most are quieter than males. Skins arent a high priority over gameplay. But it does help if the skin gives them an advantage. And by advantage, in comp terms, im not talking about just helping in hiding. Some comp survivors do like bright colored skins because most are chase oriented and want to be seen.

  • katoptris
    katoptris Member Posts: 2,867

    I feel alot smaller with girl characters compared to males.

  • oreoslurpee
    oreoslurpee Member Posts: 255

    personally, its because female survivors don't take up 50% of my screen just because im playing them. male survivors are so ginormous its crazy, and i also prefer the movement animations of the female survivors too.

  • BubbaDredge
    BubbaDredge Member Posts: 802

    One thing women and men agree on, women are more fun to dress up.

  • Deathstroke
    Deathstroke Member Posts: 2,888

    They're smaller and feel better to use. I do like their sounds in dbd...

  • IlliterateGenocide
    IlliterateGenocide Member Posts: 5,929
    edited September 27

    Its just a thing.

    From what i know most people just gravitate to female characters (when there is a choice) for what reasons i dont know

    this happens with almost every videogame

  • CountOfTheFog
    CountOfTheFog Member Posts: 821

    So I'm in love with Nancy Wheeler, I like to see her on the screen. My male character main is Johnathan Byers because she is dating that actor in real life. I do also play other females that I find attractive and a few male characters just spark my interest here and there.

  • RakimSockem
    RakimSockem Member Posts: 1,969

    Attractiveness + shorter and easier to hide. When I do play a male, it's Adam because he is a Black male teacher just like me 🤷🏾‍♂️

  • Nirgendwohin
    Nirgendwohin Member Posts: 1,252

    I play Zarina because she has the most cakes

  • Spirit_IsTheBest
    Spirit_IsTheBest Member Posts: 530

    I play who I find to be relatable to me, male or female, for an example Thalita. She is an older sister, Brazilian, and protective.

    I'm also an older sister, Brazilian, and will do anything to protect my siblings.

    Based on attractiveness, Spirit, I admit I'm into girls and she's is damn fine, and her outfits, and lore are simply awesome. I main both Thalita and Spirit for those reasons.

    Anyone has their own preferences.

  • KateMain86
    KateMain86 Member Posts: 2,012

    Female characters appeal to more people than male characters do.

  • NerfDHalready
    NerfDHalready Member Posts: 960

    my characters have been female in every game i played because they always feel more agile to me, that's my reasoning at least. i'd like seeing david's shirtless back better so i don't think it has anything to do with attraction.

  • SimpleTora
    SimpleTora Member Posts: 43

    Me personally i'm a guy all day every day of my real life. I don't play games for reality cause real life insanely boring. I prefer to play women in games mainly because of this but also cause they just get far better cosmetics in games (because sex sells and we all know this) also as someone said above, would I rather be staring at a buff, sweaty, hairy chested male all the time or an attractive female?

  • tyantlmumagjiaonuha
    tyantlmumagjiaonuha Member Posts: 243

    Why don't we just make permanent the bug that is occurring now, which requires the window-skipping process to work in favor of male survivors?

    Otherwise, there is no reason other than preference to use anything other than a female character who is basically petite and easily hidden in the shadows.

  • Alen_Starkly
    Alen_Starkly Member Posts: 744

    I relate to this a lot. I find males more attractive, and also am prone to giving hatch more to male survivors. So I definitely get where you're coming from. :D

    I do appreciate the females and give them hatch sometimes too. There are a lot of adorable characters in DBD.

  • Alen_Starkly
    Alen_Starkly Member Posts: 744

    Oh I would actually love if we would get shorter male survivors and taller female survivors. The variety would rock! And not just them, but also transgender and queer characters. I hope DBD has something in store for us in regards to that. <3

  • Alen_Starkly
    Alen_Starkly Member Posts: 744

    Women definitely are fun to dress up, I do have fun with their fashion. <3

    However I personally enjoy more dressing up male characters. Maybe especially because less people bother with them, so I pull off some pretty or whacky styles lol. And I absolutely adore it whenever I see a survivor in my lobby dressed either very pretty or very weird but catchy. I screenshot it and use the same look later. xD

  • Alen_Starkly
    Alen_Starkly Member Posts: 744

    I will agree, this does play a big role in whom I choose to play as. xD

  • Alen_Starkly
    Alen_Starkly Member Posts: 744

    As a gay man, I do notice and appreciate their aesthetic beauty, so I definitely see where you're coming from xD. I feel the same with male characters. Especially when they get cosmetics that accentuate their features. 💋

  • Alen_Starkly
    Alen_Starkly Member Posts: 744

    Thank you guys, I appreciate all of yours feedback! It helps me understand this topic more, by hearing what various people have to say.

  • crogers271
    crogers271 Member Posts: 865

    Back in 2006 (I know, quite some time) I was at a seminar where one of the presentations was on why people tend to play male characters over female, which was more common at the time. There has been a pretty sizable switch since then and I'd say graphics are the likely reason.

    I'll add something that hasn't been covered: as a society we tend to care more about women then men. A story about a woman being murdered will get more attention than one about a man. Final girl is a trope because the audience gets much more invested in the survival of a female character, compared to a male (with male characters we are looking far more for an eventual turn to action, see Ash Williams). As an audience, people just have an easier connection to female characters than they do to male.

  • hatchetChugger
    hatchetChugger Member Posts: 407

    Me personally i feel some survivors have cleaner 'movement' than others. Ex. Nea, Ace, Nancy, Yoichi, Adam, Claudette. I prefer female survs because they are smaller and take up less of the screen but I do use male survs quite a bit too

  • CountOfTheFog
    CountOfTheFog Member Posts: 821

    THIS as well. Female Survivors have smoother movement. You can feel it especially with Nancy.

  • BubbaDredge
    BubbaDredge Member Posts: 802

    I think it adds a lot of fun to the game. I used to think it was silly, but I've grown to appreciate not just the variety, but like you're saying, the creativity.

    All players need a gesture we can use to communicate "lookin' good"!

  • versacefeng
    versacefeng Member Posts: 1,061

    Which one has better cosmetics?

  • ironligma
    ironligma Member Posts: 109

    I mean I might play yui but I normally stick with male survivors. I'll go from felix to ace to leon to bill. It certainly got a couple killers mad back when the vaults were better for male survivors but I never did it for that. I think it's a cosmetic thing, I just prefer the cosmetics most male characters have over the female ones so that's why I play them yui is the only exception, I like her cosmetics, hence why I play her.

  • Nazzzak
    Nazzzak Member Posts: 3,487

    "Smoother" is the perfect word. I noticed this too though I thought I was imagining it. I mostly play Zarina but I'll often play Nea or Nancy purely because I feel like my chases are so much smoother than they are with Zarina. Some survivors just feel clunky, particularly around obstacles.

  • Ghoste
    Ghoste Member Posts: 2,108

    Females are smaller, and therefore easier to hide with. They also take up less of the screen, so you can see more around you.

  • Annso_x
    Annso_x Member Posts: 1,599

    For me it's just that women have way more (and much better) cosmetics, so I play them more often because they get shiny new stuff all the time.

  • Alen_Starkly
    Alen_Starkly Member Posts: 744

    Very interesting comments on how female survivors have smoother movements than male ones. I have never really noticed that until now, but yeah I guess it does feel like that.

    I wonder if the animation team can do anything to do the same for male survivors, or if this has to do more with male survivors' body shapes and height.

  • Aurelle
    Aurelle Member Posts: 3,601

    One of the reasons I like female survivors better is because the female survivors tend to have WAY better cosmetics and they're smaller and easier to hide with. They also tend to have better backstories and most of the guys are loud compared to the ladies.

  • MikaelaWantsYourBoon
    MikaelaWantsYourBoon Member Posts: 5,719

    I am playing Zarina , she is one of the my favs. I found her pretty smoother tho but i don't see big differences between female survivors. Maybe Jane and Haddie could be different, since they are unique female survivors.

    Male survivors are so clunky but playing Steve was pretty fun tho. I don't know if he is more smoother than but he is probably my fav male survivor.