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).
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. 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.
A new time-based payout system has been added for the Survivals added with the Survival Series Week, which gives a higher payout than original Survival maps, as well as the reward for successful completion of wave 10, which is now much higher, at approximately $50,000. These maps also have an option to enable endless waves; enemy strength increases and juggernauts start spawning. On the Nuclear Silo Survival, juggernauts spawn during the first ten waves as well, as the enemies cannot use helicopters on this map.
If playing on endless waves, armour pickups will be permanently removed on wave 11, enemy combat ability will increase on wave 12, the number of enemies will increase on wave 13, enemy health and armour will be increased on wave 14, and health pickups will be permanently removed on wave 15. Starting from wave 16, each wave will increase one of the aspects; enemy combat ability, their health and armour, or the enemy count.
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|Wave number||Weapon Spawns||Enemy Vehicles||
Approx NPC numbers
Approx NPC numbers
1 Buzzard Helicopter
|5||Advanced Rifle||3 vehicle arrivals||38||29|
|6||4 vehicle arrivals||34||22|
|7||2 Buzzard Helicopters||36||20|
|8||5 vehicle arrivals||38|
|10||Minigun||3 Buzzard Helicopters||40|
List of Survivals
- Del Perro Pier Survival (added with the Beach Bum Update)
- Industrial Plant
- Legion Square Survival (added with the "I'm Not a Hipster" Update)
- Maze Bank Survival (added with the Business Update)
- Railyard Survival
- Sandy Survival
- Sawmill Plant Survival
- Added during the Survival Series Week event (September 26, 2019):
- Farmhouse Survival
- Forest Survival
- Grove Street Survival
- Meth Lab Survival
- Nuclear Silo Survival
- Stab City Survival
- Zancudo Survival
- Added during the Halloween Surprise 2019 event (October 31, 2019):
- Project 4808A: Terminal
- Project 4808B: Ranch
- Project 4808C: Grapeseed
- Project 4808D: Desert
- Project 4808E: Arena
- Project 4808F: Pillbox
- Project 4808G: Zancudo
These seven maps were removed from the game on November 14, 2019, but are temporarily added back periodically, usually during Halloween events.
- Added during the Survivals Week event (July 8, 2021):
- Glass Heroes Survival
- Kortz Survival
- Maibatsu Motors Survival
- Quarry Survival
- Scrapyard Survival
- Underpass Survival
- Vespucci Canals Survival
- If the player picks up any weapon that they have not unlocked yet, they will be able to keep the weapon until they exit the current session.
- 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 and incoming vehicles in the relative waves being inaccessible to players.
- Miniguns used to spawn with the maximum ammo capacity, but since the Title Update 1.14, they have around 500 bullets in them.
- The agents showing up in black Emperors in the Project survivals are a reference to the Men in Black film and their vehicle from the first movie, the Ford LTD Crown Victoria 1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria.