One of the things I still have left to do is a whole bunch of survival challenges. These challenges occur when a friend of the Saints calls you on your cell and asks you to show up at a location and kill or survive waves of enemies.

However, it seems like these calls only happen randomly, and I haven't figured out any sort of pattern to them. I don't have much left to do except for these, so I'd like some way of "forcing" them to start. Is there any way to do this?

  • 4
    Head somewhere where you recall seeing a collectible; find a vehicle that you know you don't have in your garage; in short, do something where you don't want to be interrupted. You'll be sure to get a call then. Dec 6, 2011 at 4:18
  • Argh, yes. A thousand times this. The game sometimes has the worst possible timing.
    – agent86
    Dec 6, 2011 at 19:38

7 Answers 7


I know the full strategy now;

  • You only get calls when you're on foot, so avoid entering any vehicles till you get a call
  • You also can't have any notoriety at that time
  • You won't get called while on a mission or activity
  • Entering diversions (like vehicle surfing or hostage) cancel the challenge

The location you're in doesn't seem to matter as I've gotten calls that sent me from one side of the map to the other.

  • This can be a problem late in the game, when you've completed most of the Survival challenges. Early on, they seem to be in locations that are easily reachable in time; near the end, I had one or two times when I simply could not get there by car, even using shortcuts liberally. Dec 9, 2011 at 20:48
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    The game is very generous with how much time it gives you to reach the location. You can enter vehicles after getting the call afterall. If you really can't get there in time for whatever reason you can just wait in that area for a repeat phonecall. The game doesn't repeat survival missions you've already done until you finish them all. Dec 13, 2011 at 19:51

The best I've come up with is:

  • You won't get a call to start a Survival challenge if you're in a vehicle.
  • The calls never come when you're engaged in some other activity or plot mission.

The best thing you can do is go find someplace quiet and wait. If you've got some other challenge you could participate in, one that leaves you on foot and otherwise unencumbered by activities, you can kill 2 birds with one stone by doing that while you wait.


Hang around in your crib and in no time they will call you. If for some reason this doesn't work restart the game and hang around in your crib.


stay on foot for about 3 min and do absolutely nothing, you'll get a call


If you don't get calls on that island, move to another one.

Also, staying near your crib helps.

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    I didn't find this to be the case when I played, do you have a reference or some data to back this up?
    – agent86
    Jan 25, 2012 at 19:02

When on foot, not in combat and not in a mission or activity, someone can call The Protagonist and inform him that some gang is attacking some location and that The Protagonist should go and help protect the location. At that point a marker will appear on the map. The player is still free to start a usual mission or activity, or to save the game. Saving does not remove the marker, but reloading that saved game will.

Source: Saints Row Wiki, "Survival" article
If you're playing on the PC, you can get more frequent calls offering Survival missions by installing the Realism mod. Related changelog: "Calls from survival missions are now more frequently".

If you only want the Realism mod's feature to make Survival diversions more frequent and not its other changes, you only need to install its sr3_city_survival.xtbl file (you'll need to extract it first or download it here), not install its other files, and put sr3_city_survival.xtbl in the SR3 root directory.


They occur more often if you consistently do them every time the appear. That is what the conditions were for me.

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