Survival icon

Survival is a game mode in Grand Theft Auto Online. They are first unlocked at level 15 when Ron notifies the player about them. The player must participate in the Industrial Plant survival as a tutorial event in order to continue online progress. 

Survivals are marked as a blue shield (with a cross in the middle) on the map, and up to four players can play a single Survival match.


Between 1 and 4 players must defend their location against waves of attacking NPCs. Each wave escalates in difficulty (NPC armament and behaviour) although the number of NPCs does not increase as the waves progress.

If a player dies, they must spectate the other players who are alive and will respawn at the start of the next wave. If all the players die in one round before reaching the end of wave 10, the Survival event ends and players are paid proportionately depending on the wave reached. Survival is a unique activity due to getting a reward for effort rather than success. If players complete all 10 waves, they will receive $30,000 each and an Unnatural Selection achievement/trophy.

Each survival map is restricted by invisible "out-of-bounds" zones both horizontally and vertically so what may appear to be a good fighting position could result in a disqualification from that wave.

All NPC enemies do not spawn immediately at the start of the round, they are scripted to spawn into the map at a defined rate which means when players are spread throughout the survival map zone, NPCs can spawn virtually right next to players. As a result of the scripted spawn rate, each survival event takes 25-30 minutes in total.


There are 10 waves of attack in each Survival job. A bar graph appears in the lower right of the HUD showing the progression through the current wave. Players will be notified when there is only one NPC left to kill so that they can take this opportunity to break cover and collect pickups if required.

Surviving each wave gives players 20 seconds to gather any pickups and prepare for the next wave and allows any killed players to respawn into the job and regroup with their team-mates. NPCs do sometimes drop small amounts of cash which can also be picked up by the players.

Depending on the wave, different weapons will spawn in specific spots. Health packs and body armor are available from the start, and reappear in the same spawn locations at the start of every wave. The NPC enemies will also be equipped with stronger weapons through the wave progression and these can be looted by players as the enemies are killed.

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Wave by wave
Wave number Weapon Spawns Enemy Vehicles Approx NPC numbers

Combat Pistol

Micro SMG



3 AK-47 2 vehicles 40


Tear Gas

Assault Shotgun

Buzzard Helicopter

5 Advanced Rifle 3 vehicle arrivals 38

Heavy Sniper

4 vehicle arrivals 34
7 Buzzard Helicopters 36
8 5 vehicle arrivals 38
9 Grenade Launcher 45
10 Minigun Buzzard Helicopters 40

List of Survival Locations


Main article: Boneyard
A scrapyard in the middle of the Grand Senora Desert filled with decommissioned aircraft. There are various different hiding spots. Rednecks are the enemies.

Del Perro Pier

A large pier that has many tourist attractions and public bathrooms to hide in. The Lost MC are the enemies. Del Perro Pier was opened as a Survival location for the Beach Bum pack.


Main article: Processed
Located in the car scrapyard of El Burro Heights. The enemies are Gruppe 6.

Sandy Survival

Main article: Sandy Survival
Set right in the middle of Sandy Shores. The enemies are the O'Neil Brothers.

Industrial Plant

Main article: Industrial Plant
At Stoner Cement Works in the Grand Senora Desert. Gruppe 6 are the enemies.


Main article: Railyard Survival
It is located at the railyard in El Burro Heights. Enemies are LSPD with Merryweather air support.

Sawmill Plant

It is located at the sawmill plant in Paleto Forest. The enemies are the O'Neil Brothers.

Maze Bank

Main article: Maze Bank Survival
It is located outside at the Maze Bank Tower entrance. Enemies include LSPD and NOOSE. Maze Bank was opened as a Survival location for The Business Update.

Legion Square

It is located in Legion Square. Enemies include LSPD and NOOSE. Legion Square was opened as a Survival location for the I'm Not a Hipster Update.



Grand Theft Auto Online Survival (ballsing it up)

Grand Theft Auto Online Survival (ballsing it up)


  • If the player picks up any weapon that he/she has not unlocked yet, they will be able to keep the weapon until he/she exits the current session.
  • The O'Neils being the enemies in Sawmill Plant is a reference to the large amount of O'Neil brothers which Trevor mentions in story mode.
  • Vehicles cannot be used in most survivals, excluding Del Perro Pier and Legion Square, in which they can be used to provide cover to players. They have since been patched, with vehicles being completely despawned.
  • Miniguns used to spawn with the maximum ammo capacity, but since the Title Update 1.14, they have around 500 bullets in them.