This page is intended to be a more in-depth guide for bosses & dungeon breakdown in Survival Mode.
For more general information on the Survival game mode itself, see the main Wiki page on Survival Mode.
Survival Mode Bosses & Strategies
Basic survival gameplay loop & strategy introduction
The structure of survival map layouts differs from Campaign/Adventure significantly in that each map has one entrance and exit, a path between the two, and no additional exits or map events.
The core gameplay loop of a survival run is as follows:
- Labyrinth > (New Planet) Overworld map > Dungeon map > Boss > Labyrinth
- Labyrinth > (New Planet) Overworld map > Dungeon map > Boss > Labyrinth
- Labyrinth > (New Planet) Overworld map > World Boss > Labyrinth
All dungeon bosses have an overworld and dungeon map preceding their arena, World Bosses will only have an overworld map (no dungeon) before their arena.
No events can be found in Survival mode, but some event-related bosses can be (like Riphide). The list of all random events can be found here.
All Items that must be unlocked in Survival Mode or by defeating notable bosses in Hardcore Difficulty can all be found in the Labyrinth Shops in Survival Mode, and can be purchased for the run, regardless of whether they have been unlocked or not. Purchasing or finding such an item and using it for the survival mode run will not account-wide unlock it.
Tip: A popular strategy upon starting a survival run is to sell 2-3 of the Ammo Box consumables you start with in order to purchase additional items in the labyrinth shops before your first boss.
What do I have to gain from knowing about Survival mode bosses & these strategies?
In addition to Glowing Fragments, which can be used to purchase armor skins and certain survival-mode items, a number of survival mode items can be unlocked via challenges in the game mode:
The following account-bound items can be unlocked by repeatedly defeating survival mode bosses:
- 5 Consecutive Boss Kills: Adventurer Goggles
- 10 Consecutive Boss Kills: Hero's Sword
- 25 Total Boss Kills: Loop of Prosperity
- 50 Total Boss Kills: Talisman of Perseverance
- 75 Total Boss Kills: Daredevil's Charm
- 100 Total Boss Kills: Black Rose
- Defeat every normal boss twice: Black Cat Band
- Defeat every world boss twice: Bright Steel Ring
- Defeat every boss twice: White Rose
Bosses, Dungeons, Rewards, & Notes
There are a total of 19 Survival Dungeon Bosses and 9 Survival World Bosses that must be defeated twice each (38 Boss Kills, 18 World Boss Kills, for a total of 56) to unlock the Black Cat Band (Defeat Each Miniboss Twice), Bright Steel Ring (Defeat Each World Boss Twice), and White Rose (Defeat all survival bosses Twice)
Knowing what boss is upcoming can help aide you in being prepared to fight it. Most of this information can be gained from hints around the area approaching bosses. Knowing what planet or dungeon type you're in can narrow down the possible upcoming bosses to very few. Knowing the exact name of the dungeon (presented upon entering it) will indicate which boss you'll be fighting at the end of the dungeon, as all boss arenas have a specific dungeon name preceding them. For example, knowing you're on earth and entering a sewer manhole dungeon informs you of the two possible survival Earth bosses you could potentially face: Gorefist & Shroud. Additional clues like the names of the leading dungeon, such as "Sunken Passage" or clues within the dungeon itself, such as "Don't Take It, It Sees" written on the wall, or breakable effigies in the dungeon, can give you an indication of which boss you're fighting before you get to it, and help you plan accordingly. In these examples, the upcoming boss would have been Shroud, and the lack of these indicators could point a player towards knowing that the upcoming boss would be Gorefist. See the Boss/Dungeon table below for more details on what dungeons/information correspond to what boss.
A comprehensive list of bosses and their potential modifiers can be found on the Bosses wiki page.
A quick-reference list of all Survival Mode Bosses and their preceding dungeons alongside their rewards and some notes can be found below.
- Adds/Minions - "Normal" enemies that bosses will summon during the boss fight. These can range from minor distractions to dangers during the fight. Some bosses (such as The Thrall) will summon elite type enemies as adds during the fight.
- Boss/MiniBoss/Dungeon Boss - The boss found at the end of a dungeon, as opposed to a World Boss
- Tileset - The generalized appearance of the dungeon structure, used to gather info on the upcoming boss
- Mod - a Weapon Mod
Leading Dungeon Notes
Notes / Quick Strategies
|Earth||Dungeon Boss||Gorefist||Sunken Passage||Manhole Entrance & Sewer Tileset||Mantle of Thorns Mod||Boss spawns multiple Rot Wart adds when his body protrudes spikes|
|Earth||Dungeon Boss||Shroud||The Hidden Sanctum||Manhole Entrance & Sewer Tileset||Rattle Weed Mod||"Don't Take It It Sees!" will be written on the wall of the dungeon's first room, and the effigies in the dungeon can be ignored to avoid fighting Shroud before the boss arena|
|Earth||Dungeon Boss||Mangler||The Tangled Pass||Underground Entrance & Spore Tileset||Seed Caller Mod||This is the only boss that uses this dungeon tileset, since the other times it's used are events|
|Earth||Dungeon Boss||Riphide||(Untitled) Subway Dungeon||Subway Entrance & Tileset||Flicker Cloak Mod||This is the only boss that uses this dungeon tileset, which is reused from the subway section in the campaign before the Root Mother Fight, instead of Leto's Lab, which is traditionally before Riphide|
|Earth||World Boss||The Ent||-||Root Dome Arena||
Normal Kill : Sporebloom
Alt Kill (Destroy Leg) : Petrified Maul
|Earth||World Boss||Singe||-||Square Flaming Parking Lot Arena||
Normal Kill : Spitfire
Alt Kill (Destroy Tail) : Smolder
|Rhom||Dungeon Boss||Raze||Shackled Canyon||Canyon City Tileset, Riflemen & Dog Enemies||Beckon Mod||This is the only boss that uses this dungeon tileset, since the other use of it is for Houndmaster/Maul, who are not in survival mode|
|Rhom||Dungeon Boss||Scourge||The Iron Rift||Ruined Industrial Tileset||Breath of the Desert Mod|
|Rhom||Dungeon Boss||Shade & Shatter||The Ardent Temple||Ruined Industrial Tileset||Veil of the Black Tear Mod|
Normal Kill : Particle Accelerator
Alt Kill (Absorb Adds) : World Breaker
|Rhom||World Boss||The Harrow||-||
Normal Kill : Defiler
Alt Kill (Pull Harpoon) : Lost Harpoon
Be warned that The Harrow has an rare animation that instakills if he catches you at less than half health, try to avoid him if possible or maintain your health. Before he triggers this attack, he'll roar, run towards you and if it connects he'll impale you through the stomach, and instakill you with a unique death animation.
|Corsus||Dungeon Boss||Canker||The Drowned Trench||
Flooded Cavern Tileset
Corrosive Aura Mod
|Corsus||Dungeon Boss||The Thrall||The Capillary||Flooded Cavern Tileset||Swarm Mod||If Thrall is faced in multiplayer, it can be beneficial to leave one add alive and have one player kite it around the arena while the other player focuses damage on Thrall|
|Corsus||Dungeon Boss||Barbed Terror||Needle Lair||Stoney Tileset, Eggs in walls||Unstable Quills Mod|
|Corsus||Dungeon Boss||Dream Eater||Hall of Whispers||Stoney Tileset, Eggs in walls||Rift Walker Mod||Avoid the pits in the arena, they are an instant death & run ender|
|Corsus||World Boss||The Unclean One||-||Forest Fence Entrance||
Normal Kill : Devastator
Alt Kill (Basement) : Butcher's Flail
|Corsus||World Boss||Ixillis||-||Underground Burrow Entrance||
Normal Kill (Kill one at a time) : Hive Cannon
Alt Kill (Kill both at same time) : Guardian Axe
|Avoid falling off the bridge sides, this is an instant death & run ender|
|Yaesha||Dungeon Boss||Scald & Sear||Withering Village||Treetop Village Tileset||Wildfire Shot Mod|
|Yaesha||Dungeon Boss||Stormcaller||Heretic's Nest||Treetop Village Tileset||Storm Caller Mod|
|Yaesha||Dungeon Boss||The Warden||Halls of Judgement||Dungeon / Crypt Tileset||Song of Swords Mod||Eliminate the bells thrown by Warden to keep from being overrun by constant spawns of adds|
|Yaesha||Dungeon Boss||Onslaught||Widow's Pass||Dungeon / Crypt Tileset||Blink Token Mod|
|Yaesha||World Boss||The Ravager||-||Forest Ruin Entrance||
Normal Kill : Curse Of The Jungle God
Bell Song : Scar Of The Jungle God
Bell Song: (With "South" as Arena Entrance):
|Yaesha||World Boss||Totem Father||-||Underground Crypt Entrance||
Blue Totem : Eye Of The Storm
Red Totem : Voice Of The Tempest
Blue Totem : Melee Minions, Ranged Boss
Red Totem : Ranged Minions, Melee Boss
|Reisum||Dungeon Boss||Ikro, The Ice Conjurer||Wuthering Keep||Glacier dungeon||Blizzard Mod||Constantly move clockwise to avoid the deadly rotating ice storms|
|Reisum||Dungeon Boss||Erfor, The Jackal||The Wild Reach||Glacier dungeon||Cold Spear Mod||Avoid rolling off the arena or into pits, this is an instant death & run ender|
|Reisum||Dungeon Boss||Tian, The Assassin||Valenhaag Mines||Mines dungeon||Fan of Knives Mod||Avoid rolling off the arena into pits, this is an instant death & run ender|
|Reisum||Dungeon Boss||Obryk, The Shield Warden||Exile's Trench||Mines dungeon||Frozen Mist Mod|
|Reisum||World Boss||Brudvaak, the Rider and Vargr, the Warg||-||-||
Kill Rider First : Alternator
Kill Warg First : Chain Blade
|After the first phase is completed by killing one of the two bosses, the surviving boss will enter a rage and heal to ~80% health. Try to avoid damaging both bosses past this point in the first phase, and instead focus one; since the survivor of the two will heal.|
Bosses NOT in survival mode
There are a number of notable bosses missing from Survival Mode. Their associated rewards have been added to the shops available in the labyrinth between rounds, as have all rewards / items available from Random Events (which cannot be in survival mode).
The reasons for these bosses not being present in Survival mode is unknown but likely due to one of the following reasons:
- The boss fight can be peacefully bypassed without a fight (Brabus, Maul, etc; with the exception of Ravager)
- The 'boss' is a story event or random event (Root Mother, Blink Thief, etc)
- The boss is the final boss of a story campaign (Dreamer/Nightmare, Harsgaard/Harsgaard, Root Harbinger)
Notable Bosses missing from Survival Mode:
|Planet||Type||Boss Name||Possible Reason||Boss Drop(s) (Available in Labyrinth Shops)||Additional Boss/Arena Related Items|
|Earth||Boss||Brabus||Bypassable||Explosive Shot Mod||Pocket Watch
Bandit Armor Set
|Earth||Story Boss||The Root Mother||Story / Event Boss|
|Earth||Campaign Boss||Dreamer / Nightmare||Campaign Boss||Repulsor|
|Rhom||Boss||Houndmaster / Maul||Bypassable||Howler's Immunity Mod||Houndmaster's Jerky|
|Rhom||Boss||Ancient Construct||Requires Key Item from Maul||Iron Sentinel Mod|
|Rhom||Story Boss||Undying King||Story Boss / Bypassable||Ruin||Riven|
|Corsus||Boss||Iskal Queen (Boss)||DLC 1 Event Boss||Pride Of The Iskal
|Labyrinth Armor Set
Ring Of the Unclean
|Corsus||Boss||Mar'Gosh||DLC 1 Event Boss||Gift of the Iskal||Carapace Armor Set|
|Yaesha||Event Boss||Blink Thief||Event Boss||Ricochet Rifle|
|Yaesha||Event Boss||Root Horror||Event Boss||-||Radiant Armor Set
|Reisum/Earth||Campaign Boss||Harsgaard / Harsgaard, Root Harbinger||DLC 2 Campaign Boss||World's Edge||Fusion Rifle|
Additional Notes & Available "Events"
Earth Sewer Dungeon structures can rarely contain the structure that houses Leto's Amulet. This can be noted on maps with a peculiar part of the map sticking out perpendicular from the rest of the map. The area contains 2 chests and a wall with graffiti on it reading "ONLY THE PENITENT MAN MAY PASS". By kneeling (crouching) at the wall, you can pass under it for a free amulet (which can also be found in the labyrinth shops).
Earth Sewer Dungeon structures can also rarely contain the large heart structures from the Cult of the Root event, off in side rooms. Avoid these if possible, defeating them yields only a little scrap and nothing else.
Corsus dungeons can rarely have the Sketterling Temple events (Red Beetles), noted on the map by a perpendicular offshoot from the main path. By crouching into these areas and carefully eliminating the single red beetle can yield the team a free Amulet of Epicaricacy, Ring of the Mantis, or Iskal Hunter Band; all of which can be found within the Labyrinth Shop. Note that the black beetles can never be found here, so the Hardened Carapace they would yield cannot be obtained. These would normally be used to craft the Carapace Set, but the armor set can instead be found in the Labyrinth Shops, and randomly from chests.