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Exo Survival is a cooperative game mode featured in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. It can be played in online or local. It is a round based survival gametype that goes indefinitely until the players are all defeated. The game mode consists of 25 rounds of increasingly powerful enemies. At each 25th round, the rounds are reset, or "flipped" as it is called in-game, but the difficulty is permanently increased. However, the players retain their upgrades, abilities, perks and weapons through the flip.
Up to four players are pitted against waves of computer-controlled enemies, similar to Survival Mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Hostiles in Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, and Safeguard mode in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Gameplay can be considered more arcade-like compared to the single-player campaign, as players can survive more damage and will be pitted against tougher, more agile enemies, some of whom have a variety of special abilities. Players upgrade their weapons and exo suits at predetermined locations on the map, which requires points that are earned as the game progresses. Additionally, supply drops will periodically be dropped onto the map, from which the player can obtain Perks or Scorestreak attacks. In addition, the player can collect "Ammo Resupply", a power-up dropped by enemies occasionally that refills the player's reserve ammo. When a player plays by themselves, they also receive something similar to Self Revive from past games, where the player revives themselves and uses a pistol to attack enemies, though this function is only available once per match.
In Private Match, the player can also select from three difficulties: Regular, Hardened, and Veteran. Also, the map played on can be chosen. Increasing the difficulty only changes the difficulty of earning Support Drops, requiring more points to do so, this is more noticeable in Solo.
- The Light Exo class has low health and damage. They have fast movement to compensate for this, as well as the ability to boost-dash. They have a UAV as their standard scorestreak, and start with a KF5 and an Atlas 45 that has an Extended Magazine, the Exo Hover ability, and 4 Frag grenades. They can only buy Submachine Guns, Assault Rifles and Pistols until they acquire the perk Weapons Free.
- The Specialist Exo class has balanced health, damage and movement. They have a Sentry upgraded Remote Turret and start with a Tac-19 and a PDW that has an Extended Magazine, the Exo Cloak ability, and 4 Frag grenades. They can only buy Shotguns, Sniper Rifles and Pistols until they acquire Weapons Free.
- The Heavy Exo class has high health and damage with slow movement. Their scorestreak is an XS1 Goliath, and they start with an EM1 and an MP-443 Grach that has an Extended Magazine, the Exo Shield ability, and 4 Frag grenades. They can only buy Heavy Weapons and Pistols until they acquire Weapons Free.
- The Demolitions Exo class (added in an update) has normal health and movement speed. The default scorestreak is a Missile Strike. They only have access to Launchers, Submachine Guns and Pistols until acquiring Weapons Free. They start off with an MDL, an Atlas 45 with Extended Magazines and 4 Contact Grenades.
Similarly to Survival Mode from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, players can purchase new items and upgrades from two different armories at predetermined locations on the map.
The Exo Upgrade armory, marked by a blue Exo, is for upgrades to the player's Exoskeleton and to scorestreaks. The player can purchase new Exo Abilities, upgrades to scorestreaks, stat upgrades (Weapon Proficiency, Armor, etc.), and change their class. Upgrades and other things purchased are not kept after the match, meaning the player will have to buy the items again. Stat upgrades have a significant effect on players' ability to survive and deal out damage; at Weapon Proficiency 5 (out of 10), players will deal out about twice as much damage as they would at Weapon Proficiency 1.
New items are purchased using "Upgrade Points" earned from completing rounds and objectives. Also, most items are locked until certain rounds.
There is a limited number of attachments in Exo Survival compared to multiplayer mode, as well as some differences on attachment compatibility:
- The Bal-27 and HBRa3 can equip Rapid Fire, while the Pytaek and XMG cannot.
- The AE4 cannot equip a Heat Sink.
- The submachine guns and the MK14 cannot equip a foregrip.
- The Atlas 20mm can equip a Variable Zoom Scope.
Note: Aside from optics, a maximum of 4 "Weapon Attachments" can be mounted to a weapon (consequently, a total of 5 attachments overall). For some reason, if the player attaches an optic to their weapon before buying the maximum amount of "Weapon Attachments", then the latter will be only 3 instead of 4.
|Weapon Upgrade Armory|
|Weapon||Unlocked at||Upgrade Points cost|
|MP443 Grach||Round 6||2|
|Atlas 20mm||Round 24||3|
|Stinger M7||Round 14||4|
|Exo Launcher||Frag x4||Start||1|
|Stun Grenade x4||Start||1|
|Threat Grenade x4||Round 4||1|
|Semtex x4||Round 8||1|
|Contact Grenade x4||Round 12||1|
|Spike Drone x1||Round 16||2|
|Weapon Optics||Red Dot Sight||Start||2|
|Variable Zoom Scope||Round 2||2|
|Auto Focus Sight||Round 3||2|
|Target Enhancer||Round 10||3|
|Hybrid Sight||Round 14||3|
|Weapon Attachments||Laser Sight||Round 4||2|
|Extended Mags||Round 7||2|
|Rapid Fire||Round 11||2|
|Heat Sink||Round 22||3|
|Exo Upgrade Armory|
|Item||Unlocked at||Upgrade Points cost|
|Exo Stats||Weapon Proficiency||Round 5||2 (1st to 4th upgrade)|
3 (5th and 6th upgrades)
4 (7th and 8th upgrades)
5 (9th and 10th upgrades)
|Armor||Round 10||2 (1st to 3rd upgrade)|
3 (4th to 6th upgrade)
4 (7th and 8th upgrades)
5 (9th and 10th upgrades)
|Exo Battery||Round 15||2 (1st to 3rd upgrade)|
3 (4th and 5th upgrades)
|Exo Abilities||Exo Shield||Start||1|
|Exo Hover||Round 3||1|
|Exo Cloak||Round 7||1|
|Exo Trophy System||Round 13||1|
|Exo Stim||Round 17||1|
|Module||Unlocked at||Upgrade Points cost|
|UAV||Extra Time||Round 2||3|
|Threat Detection||Round 7||3|
|XS1 Goliath||Recon||Round 6||3|
|Under Barrel Rocket||Round 16||3|
|Homing Rockets||Round 25||3|
|Remote Turret||Machine Gun||Start||1|
|Directed Energy||Round 4||3|
|Rocket Turret||Round 9||3|
|360 Turret Head||Round 14||3|
|Missile Strike||Extra Missile||Round 3||3|
|Cluster Missile||Round 8||3|
|Hellfire Missile||Round 13||3|
|Nano Swarm||Round 18||3|
|XS1 Vulcan||Extra Time||Round 11||3|
|Light Show||Round 22||3|
|Aerial Assault Drone||Rockets||Round 10||3|
|Warbird Wingman||Round 12||3|
The regular maps are divided into four tiers, and then a DLC tier for maps added in from map packs. Players unlock tiers two through four by completing rounds in the previous tier (the player does not have to pass that round, they just have to complete that many rounds in total in the tier it says). The maps are as follows:
Unlocked by completing 50 rounds in tier 1.
Unlocked by completing 75 rounds in tier 2.
Unlocked by completing 100 rounds in tier 3.
Unlocked by buying the Havoc DLC.
In addition to the regular survival rounds, in which the sole objective is to eliminate all enemies, every once a while, a round becomes an objective round in which the players must accomplish an objective within a set period of time. Fulfilling an objective round grants additional upgrade points and increases the support drop meter. However, if an objective round is failed, the players are punished by map events that favor the enemy team, and after completing the current wave, the next one is automatically started with not enough delay for players to ready themselves.
Objective rounds include:
- Defend Position: Players must defend a specified position on the map by killing up to twelve enemies attempting to take the position, before the timer runs out.
- Defuse Bombs: Players must defuse three EMP bombs which are scattered across the map. Defusing a bomb requires about two to three seconds, during which the player is unable to move and is vulnerable to attack.
- Gather Dog Tags: Players must gather up to 20 dog tags which are scattered across the map.
- Gather Intel: Players must gather up to five pieces of intel. Some enemies will drop intel when they are killed; the intel must be interacted with manually for the player to collect it.
- Uplink Round: Players must take a satellite orb like the ones in Uplink, where the scoring system is identical (One point for throw and Two points for a carry) The score limit is Three in solo and 1 more point per extra player (4 points with 2 players, 5 with 3 players and 6 with 4 players).
Punishments for failing an objective round include:
- Enemy beam or machine gun turrets appearing scattered around the map.
- Smoke bombs periodically detonating around the map, creating enemy-concealing smoke. This lasts for about one or two rounds.
- Enemies release toxic Manticore spores when killed. This lasts for two to three rounds.
- The enemies use the System Hack on players. This lasts for about one minute.
- The player's primary weapons jam for a short time, forcing them to use the Atlas 45 instead. This effect lasts for about one minute.
- Enemy nano swarm strikes periodically hit the map.
Note: during the Defuse Bombs round, if the player runs out of time while they are currently defusing the last bomb, they will still be able to defuse it successfully and complete the objective.
Support Drops are Orbital Care Packages that are dropped throughout Exo Survival matches. The number of them that are dropped at once is the same amount as the amount of players there currently are (i.e. one drop when playing solo). They either contain Perks or Scorestreaks for the player to select from. If the player chooses not to take any perk or scorestreak from a support drop, they will be given one upgrade point instead. A maximum of 4 scorestreaks can be stacked by the player (they can be the same ones). Should this happen, then each following support drop will always always be a perk (or vice-versa, if the 9 perks are received first). If all these items are stacked by the player, then each support drop will give them 2 upgrade points (ironically, if the player chooses to cancel the reward selection in this case, then they will be given only one upgrade point). Weapons Free and the two upgrade points are not options until round 14 is completed. If all streaks and perks are acquired and the player opens a drop before round 14 is completed the list will be completely empty, and the player can only claim one upgrade point by backing out of the menu. The player can have a maximum of 99 upgrade points at once.
- Unlimited Sprint
- Danger Close
- Fast Hands
- Flak Jacket
- Weapons Free
- Missile Strike
- Bombing Run (does not have any upgrades available)
- XS1 Goliath
- XS1 Vulcan
- Remote Turret
- Aerial Assault Drone
Players will face a variety of enemy soldiers equipped with exo-suits, with later waves containing tougher, better equipped enemies. Unlike enemies in the single player campaign, enemies in Exo Survival can use their exo-suit's boost dodge ability to dodge the player's gunfire. They will also use boost jump to reach high platforms. Most enemies can also deploy grenades from a wrist-mounted launcher similar to the one used by the player. Overall, enemy behavior in Exo Survival is very similar to that of multiplayer bots; enemies will even regenerate their health if they do not receive damage for several seconds. In addition to infantry, players will also fight enemy dogs, drones, A.S.T.s and Warbirds. Enemies appearing in Exo Survival mode include:
- Grunt: A low-level soldier wearing a blue light armor vest over a t-shirt and pants, sometimes wearing a black cap. Grunts are equipped with Bulldog shotguns, seldom use their dodge ability, and can be killed with a couple shots from any weapon. The best way to engage them is to stand several feet away so their Bulldogs could do lower damage. In tighter areas, Grunts can be quite dangerous. Grunts appear in the early rounds, and by Round 4 will be replaced by Gunners. When the map is flipped after the first 25 rounds, they gain S-12 shotguns (Tac-19s before an update) as well as the Exo Shield ability.
- Gunner: A moderately equipped soldier wearing a tan combat vest and limb protector pads over grey fatigues. Gunners can be seen as a simple step-up to the Grunts. They wield the KF5 submachine gun, are more skilled at using their dodge ability, and have about twice as much health compared to Grunts. They also frequently throw grenades to flush the player out of a cover spot. A Gunner's health is about the same as that of an opponent in multiplayer. They begin appearing in round 3, and by round 4 will serve as the primary opponents for the next several rounds, but are eventually replaced by Assault enemies. After the map is flipped, they gain the Stun Grenade Exo Launcher and, after an update, the XMG.
- Doberman: A Doberman Pinscher attack dog that attacks by biting. Their health is identical to that of a Grunt. Unlike dogs from previous Call of Duty games, they cannot tackle the player. Dobermans will appear at round 4, as well as round 9. They may appear during objective rounds.
- Drone: An attack drone armed with an automatic weapon. They are lightly armored, only being able to take 30 points of damage, and can be destroyed with one or two bullets from any automatic weapon or a single shot from an NA-45. They first appear in round 5, and three to five will usually appear in most objective rounds. They are automatically highlighted on the mini-map, even without the use of a UAV.
- Beamer: A soldier wearing full-body red metal armor with a full visor helmet. Beamers are equipped with EM1 directed energy weapons. Their health is comparable to Assault soldiers, although marginally lower. Beamers are accurate with their weapons, so players should take cover when engaging them. They first appear in round 4. Initially only a few appear in each wave alongside Assault soldiers, but they increase in frequency in later rounds. Once the map is flipped, Beamers will use a Professional variant of the EM1.
- Cloaked: An Assault soldier equipped with the Cloak module for their exo-suits. EMP grenades will knock out their cloak abilities. Cloaked can be pretty dangerous when fought alongside Beamers, as the latter can use the EM1 to continuously damage a player, making it harder to see them. After an update, they gain Suppressors after the map is flipped.
- Assault: A well-equipped soldier wearing black combat armor over a black uniform, with a black balaclava. They are equipped with Bal-27 assault rifles, have twice as much health as Gunners, and are very skilled at using their dodge ability to evade players' gunfire. They serve as the main enemies in the later rounds, but are replaced by Elites in the last few rounds. After an update, it was made so that they gain XMGs after the map is flipped.
- EPM3: An Atlas soldier wearing a black combat vest over short-sleeve black fatigues as well as an electronic visor, identical to the one worn by Sentinel operatives. EPM3's are equipped with their trademark weapon. They can also throw EMP grenades, which can knock the player out of their exoskeleton and killstreaks. They will start appearing from round 12 until being replaced by Heavy Beamers at round 20.
- Drone Handler: A soldier wearing combat armor over a short-sleeved uniform, as well as an open-face combat helmet with goggles. Drone handlers can survive as much damage as an Assault soldier, and dual-wield a pair of XMG machine guns mounted on their exo-suit; they have the ability to deploy a suicide drone that seeks out the player and detonates when nearby. They start to appear at round 14. They wield Ripped MG Turrets once a map has been flipped.
- Elite: An elite soldier wearing green combat armor over grey camouflage fatigues, with a green beret. Elites carry IMR advanced assault rifles, and have about 30% to 40% more health compared to Assaults. They throw EMP grenades which will temporarily shut down the player's exoskeleton and could also destroy drones or turrets. Unlike the EPM3 soldiers, Elites will tend to more actively throw grenades. They can be dangerous if they get the jump on a player. When the map is flipped, Elites will use Ripped MG Turrets. They first appear in round 17, and replace the Assault soldiers as the primary enemies in rounds 21 to 23.
- Launcher: A soldier wearing orange and dark grey combat armor and a combat helmet with a T-shaped glass visor. Launchers are equipped with an MDL grenade launcher. Like EPM3 soldiers, their health is identical to that of an Elite. They can also deploy suicide drones, similar to a Drone Handler. They wield Ripped Rocket Turrets once a map has been flipped.
- Heavy Beamer: A soldier wearing heavy, full-body red metal armor and a full visor combat helmet, similar in appearance to the red-armored Atlas elite soldiers encountered in the single-player campaign. They are very well armored, being the most durable enemies in Exo Survival other than the A.S.T.s, with about 50% more health than Assault soldiers. They are equipped with the Pwner variant of the EM1. Initially only a few appear in each wave alongside Assault soldiers, but they increase in frequency in later rounds. They wield Ripped Energy Turrets once a map has been flipped.
- EM Drone: An attack drone armed with an EM beam weapon. They are more heavily armored than regular Drones and can withstand a few more hits. They replace the regular Drones in the later rounds. They are automatically highlighted on the mini-map, even without the use of a UAV. In rounds 19 and 23, players will encounter an EM drone that is much more armored than usual.
- A.S.T.: A suit of A.S.T. power armor that appears as a "boss" enemy. The first A.S.T. will appear at round 10 as a boss. Afterwards, two A.S.T.s appear per round in round 20, one in rounds 19 and 24, and three in round 25 (from round 19-25 it will always be 4 in co-op). They are equipped with a minigun cannon, and can also deploy a tracking drone. In later rounds, they are also equipped with homing rockets. A.S.T.s are very well armored and can withstand about four to five full magazines of fire from most automatic weapons. Semtex is also very effective against them.
- Warbird: A Warbird helicopter that starts appearing on round 11 and then appears every four to six rounds after that (except in Riot). It is equipped with a machine gun. It takes a lot of shots to destroy with a regular weapon, but scorestreaks can do major damage to it. The Warbird does not appear on Exo Survival if players do not update their game.
- Zombie: A victim of the Manticore bio-weapon. Zombies are exclusive to the bonus round (round 11) on the final Exo Survival map, Riot. They have the appearance of both civilians and soldiers, the latter sometimes having exo-suits. Zombies are agile, and attack by clawing players, which is only slightly weaker than a normal enemy's melee attack. They have the same low health as Grunts, dying in at least two shots from the Atlas 45. Despite this, they can prove to be rather dangerous if they gang up on the players. Zombies can hit players if they are moving without sprinting, so it's best to shoot them if they are pursuing. Staying in one area can be dangerous, so moving around is advised.
- Exo Survivor (10 / Bronze Trophy ) - Successfully complete the Exo Survival Bonus Wave.
- Exo Survival Veteran (10 / Bronze Trophy ) - Play 50 Exo Survival Matches.
- Class Warfare (10 / Bronze Trophy ) - Play 30 minutes with each class online in Exo Survival.
- Exo Flip (10 / Bronze Trophy ) - "Flip" a map
- Flip Flop (30 / Bronze Trophy ) - "Flip" a map twice.
- The game does not pause when using the pause menu, even in solo play.
- The player will recieve their currently selected Operator from multiplayer as their character model.
- The drones can be destroyed by meleeing them, if the player is lucky enough to be near them when they are close to the ground and jumps towards them.
- Enemy MDLs fire grenades that do not explode on contact, but the MDL used by the player fires grenades that explode on contact.
- If a player stays in one area for a long amount of time, an enemy Nano Swarm cloud will spawn right where they are for several seconds. This is to prevent players from using glitch spots in certain maps such as Recovery to prevent them from being killed by enemies, while at the same time easily killing said enemies.
- If the player presses the scoreboard button, one can notice the Sentinel Task Force icon next to the time, despite the announcer being Gideon and the team being Atlas.
- When placing a Remote Turret, one can notice the Sentinel icon above the turret.
- Human enemies appear to use Atlas soldier models. The player can check when an enemy Heavy Beamer comes and kills them. The logo Atlas appears on the soldier.
- Also, the spawn theme is the one used for Sentinel in multiplayer.
- When a Heavy Beamer is killed, his skin will change to that of a standard Beamer.