What are the differences between the survival mode and the normal game in Fallout Shelter?

So far i could see some differences and find some information about this in web, but i could not find a complete reliable list for this.

Things i could make out:

  • Accidents happen more often in Survival mode (dont know the factors/numbers for the probabilty of an accident that are used in survival and normal game)
  • If dwellers die in survival, they can not be revived.
  • 4 raiders attack in survival instead of 3 in normal.
  • You get less bottle caps from Quests. (dont know exact numbers here also, but at least the starting quests give less caps then in normal mode)
  • Less Ressources available (not sure if only production is lower or also the usage is higher? also dont know exact numbers).

Things i am not sure about:

  • I have the feeling that damage by accidents (fire, molerats, radroaches) is higher, but not sure about this.
  • EDIT:Just checked my log, it seems that the damage done by creatures in the wasteland is higher in survival mode. Also it seems there is more or higher radiation damage. Not sure if there are more differences when exploring the wasteland.
  • It seems that there is no difference in training times, level up exp, or buildings costs.
  • EDIT2: I had a deathclaw attack today, in a survival vault with only 36 dwellers. It was 3 deathclaws and they seemed to do damage like in normal game, but i can confirm that they appear a lot earlier in survival mode(normal game they come wiht 60 dwellers)

Thats all I know so far, can somebody give me more Information about this?

  • "4 raiders attack in survival instead of 3 in normal." — If you play long enough, you can get four raiders in normal mode, too (and probably five if you keep at it).
    – jwodder
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 1:04
  • @jwodder never happened to me. Playing two months or so.
    – Nakilon
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 17:53
  • @Nakilon: How many dwellers do you have? I have 125 (average level 39.06), and I think I've been getting four-raider raiding parties since I hit 100 dwellers a few weeks ago.
    – jwodder
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 17:56
  • @jwodder, once I've got 100, I'm throwing them out -- if I didn't throw them it would be around 130. IDK how to see avg level. Playing on iOS.
    – Nakilon
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 17:59
  • i have 132 in normal, play 2 months+, and had always 3 in normal. So it has nothing to do with 100 dwellers. Maybe some other reason, must check my average level....
    – kl78
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 17:59

1 Answer 1


From this FAQ:

Q: What is survival mode?

A: Survival mode is a significantly harder version of the same game. Incidents occur much more frequently and are tougher, resources are consumed faster, and dweller death is permanent (no reviving). Another important thing to note is that in a normal vault deathclaws only attack at 61 population and higher, while in a survival vault they attack at 35 population and higher. You check a box off at the top on the vault creation screen, and it warns you twice about the difficulty asking if you're sure. Survival mode vaults will be marked with a radiation symbol with an "S" on it in the vault list.

(emphasis my own, to highlight the differences)


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