Survival Mode is the main focus of the game that allows you to select from any one of the animals you have already unlocked and freely explore the great Tokyo Jungle.
In this game mode you select an animal, then, as the years rapidly roll by, survive as long as possible by hunting, claiming new territory, and mating to spawn new generations, all while earning survival points and costumes.
Survival points are points earned by performing various tasks throughout Survival Mode. Basic points can be quickly and simply earned from consuming calories, by each passing year, claiming territory, and changing generations. However, the largest amount of points are earned by completing challenges and completing all challenges will be rewarded with a large point bonus. Upon your inevitable death in Survival Mode, each animal will also be given a further boost to its total survival points based on how challenging that animal is to use, with a larger rate for smaller animals.
Survival points are used in various ways; First, the total points earned through a single session can be used to earn ranking on the Online Leaderboards. The points will then be added to your own, personal SP total which can be used to unlock new animals once conditions for their unlock have been met or to purchase most clothing items from the Store once they have been discovered through Survival Mode.
Main Article: Challenges
Challenges are specific sets of tasks you will be asked to complete within a set number of years. While you are not required to complete challenges in Survival Mode, doing so has numerous benefits and rewards. Challenges are ranked from E to S with three challenges issued per rank. Rank E lasts from year 1 to 10, rank D lasts from year 11 to 20, rank C lasts from year 21 to 30, rank B lasts from year 31 to 45, rank A lasts from year 46 to 60, and rank S lasts from year 61 to 75. With each rank the challenge sets become harder, but the rewards greater, with a larger number of Survival Points earned and larger stat bonuses. One time special challenges also exist for completing full challenge sets that unlock new clothing items in the Store or unlock new playable animals.
Main Article: Map
Unlike Story Mode, the entire land of Tokyo Jungle is open to the player from the very start of the game. Every new game will place you at the center of Shibuya Station, but the player is free to go anywhere they wish from there with very few restrictions. There are a total of nine above ground territories that all animals can visit and three underground territories that small to medium animals can visit. With the exception of the Underground Facility all these areas are available in their entirety from your very first time of playing. The Underground Facility will become available once Act. 14 in story mode has been completed and a special key card collected in Survival Mode. Once done however, it will always be available in subsequent playthroughs.
Passage of Time
In Survival Mode, a year counter appears at the top of the screen that has various effects on gameplay. Each in-game year lasts for 1 minute, and they will pass by fairly quickly. The passing of the years will effect the challenges that appear, your animal's age, the frequency of bad weather, and the type of animals that appear in any given location. As the years roll by, larger and more deadly animals will begin to appear more frequently, making it increasingly more dangerous as you travel. If an animal can survive to the 100 year mark, the game has effectively reached its climax, and all areas will become inundated with the over-powered and inedible Homo Erectus. While it is possible to continue to survive beyond this point, doing so is extremely difficult.
Night & Day
Day and night will pass every few minutes, with their approach indicated by the dawn and dusk skies. During the day, visibility is quite wide for both yourself and other animals, while at night it becomes much harder to see. Both times have their advantages and disadvantages, as night can allow you to avoid, escape or sneak up on other animals much easier but day will give you a much wider area of vision. Different animals are also likely to sleep during these different periods as well.
Unlike Story Mode, animals will age while playing in Survival. Usually at age 14, the first signs of old age will begin to appear with your abilities becoming slightly lowered and the hunger gauge will decrease at a faster rate. You will receive a quick news feed alerting you to the fact. From age 15 onward your total hunger will be reduced by a rate of 20% per year, until at the age of 20 it reaches 0 and eating will no longer satiate you, causing your life gauge to quickly deplete. To avoid this, you must mate regularly.
Territory & Breeding
Each territory of the map is allocated four markers in the form of red flags, which can be viewed on both your mini and main map while within that area. To claim a territory for yourself all you must do is mark all four flags in that area. Claiming a territory will cause two mates to spawn at different locations in that territory and one to two nests to become available.
Before claiming a mate, the nest can be used to sleep or to save. Sleeping will change day to night or night to day without causing the year to advance any faster. It will also refill your life gauge, reshuffle the quality of nearby mates, and reduce toxicity to 0, but it will not replenish your hunger gauge. After sleeping you cannot sleep again until a certain amount of time has passed.
To claim a mate you need to head for the hearts that appear on the map once a territory is claimed. There are three grades of mates; Desperate (indicated by black hearts), Average (indicated by light pink hearts), and Prime (indicated by sparkling hearts) - although you cannot see their quality until you approach them. The kind of mate you can claim is based on your animal's rank. Rookies can only claim Desperate mates, Veterans can claim Average, and a Boss can claim Primes. Ranks are earned by consuming calories, with larger animals requiring more calories to rank up. Once taken, a mate cannot be dismissed unless it dies in combat.
Mating takes place at nests, replacing the ability to sleep. The grade of the mate you were able to claim will have several effects on you upon mating. Desperate females, as well as giving you fleas, will give you the fewest offspring and only inherit 10% of your stats earned from performing challenges. Average mates will give you more offspring and inherit 25% of the stats earned. A Prime mate will give you the largest number of offspring, and inherit 50% of your earned stats.
Once an animal has mated, you will take control of the new Generation and your age reset to 0. What's more, all the stats inherited will stay with you even once you are dead.
Pollution & Toxicity
As well as the threat of predators, starvation, and aging, you will often encounter pollution randomly throughout your gameplay. Pollution occurs in all aboveground areas and will appear as a news feed once it hits an area. While in a polluted area your toxicity gauge will slowly increase. Once it reached 100% your life will begin to rapidly drain away. Toxicity can be reduced by eating untainted food, drinking untainted water, or using certain supplies. As pollution in an area increases animals and plants may become infected, becoming instantly toxic upon death or consumption, indicated by a purple glow. Small water sources may also become polluted. Eating tainted food or drinking tainted water will increase your toxicity gauge by a large amount. In very heavy areas of pollution, toxicity will increase much faster and visibility will become hampered, making other animals and plants invisible on the mini-map.
As the years increase, the chances of pollution become more and more likely, however underground areas will never become polluted - although the water in the Sewers will always be tainted.
Main Article: Events
After so many years have passed, Events will usually appear in your news feed in certain areas of the map. These Events can offer various boons or great dangers depending on their nature and the type of animal you're using. Some Events may offer the opportunity to slay and consume a boss for special articles of clothing or a major calorie intake, while others may warn of unusual behaviour or illness in that area. After a certain number of years pass or if an Event boss is slain, the Event will end, with a new one starting several years later.
Main Article: Supplies
Supplies can be found throughout Survival Mode in certain locations at random times, or dropped upon the full consumption of plants or animals. Supplies are valuable items that can be used to restore life, hunger, reduce toxicity, grant stamina boosts or have various other effects. An animal can usually carry 10 supplies at a time or up to 15 if they wear the clothing item Pet Pack. Unlike clothing, supplies do not carry over once a Survival session has ended.
Main Article: Clothing
While in Survival Mode it is possible to collect articles of clothing through completing special challenges, killing certain Event bosses, or simply through random supply drops. There are four types of clothing; Head, Neck, Body, and Legs than can have various effects from simple Stats boost to survival point bonuses or resistance to toxicity.
Most articles of clothing have a limited amount of durability and, after taking enough damage, will be shattered. Once most articles of clothing have been discovered however, they can be purchased in the Survival Mode Store for SP. As a general rule, any article of clothing that can be worn by a Wolf can be bought in the Store with the exception of the Tuxedo that can only be obtained by completing all challenges in a single game or DLC clothing, which cannot break.