The goal of a Survival game is for a single player to last as long as possible against infinite hoards of hunting, aggressive NPCs for as long as possible, whilst taking down as many of them as possible in the process. While there are several different scenarios to choose from, the goal is generally the same - keep your health from dropping to zero for as long as possible. Different kinds of survival scenarios are typically "what-if" situations, and consist of
- The Arena. Standard bread-and-butter survival in which you're locked in a wide room with no escape, and waves of randomized enemies drop down on you from above. The general difficulty of waves gradually increases every time the player completes one, and random cocktails of enemy groups are calculated by way of individual threat level and added together until they meet the current wave's difficulty.
- The Epidemic. You're locked in a city with Hive Mind all around you. Much of the difficulty consists of constantly moving to avoid getting mobbed by vastly superior numbers, without backing yourself into a corner in the process. Exposure damage inflicted by the Black Life is permanent in this gametype, and compounds after repeated blows to increase the player's rate of health degeneration, but can be dissipated by standing under a source of light. The city actively cycles through day and night throughout the survival session, giving a fresh breath of air by day for which to scavenge supplies, explore escape routes and fortify positions in advance (although dimly lit areas are still a serious threat), and creating an atmosphere in which all hell breaks loose at night where the Hive Mind emerges from their dark hiding holes and actively hunts down the player.
- The Nightmare. The Nightmare Dimension is made reality, and everyone exists only by fighting one another. The entire game world is explorable, but enemies will constantly track the player down for a fix. Health constantly drains during gameplay, but you can replenish it by sucessfully attacking enemies. Nightmare himself makes an appearance as an undefeatable, freakishly strong boss character who traverses the map on his own and attacks anything in his way, making it important to stay as far away from him on the map as possible.