Tips for Kuva Survival

Kuva Survival is the cool new thing, or at least it will be for a while until the new Sanctuary Assault game mode comes out in an upcoming update. It’s a nice blend between the normal sameness of normal Survival with a hint of Extraction thrown in, with the plus side that you don’t need to grab a billion power cores, you just need one to start extracting Kuva. Here are some tips for going into Kuva Survival, one of the highest outside of the Void and Sortie missions.

Kuva Fortress
Venture down to Taveuni, at the Kuva Fortress

Bring enemies to you

Ideally, you want all the enemies to come to you so you can kill them. This means that any life support and other drops are all concentrated in one area. You will most likely not have access to normal life support towers, so you will be relying entirely on the mini life support capsules dropped by dead enemies. And the more enemies you kill, the more life support you get. This doesn’t work so well if you have multiple periods with no deaths or you’re killing enemies all over the place. Keep enemies close together, kill them close together and reap the rewards of extra life support, mods and neural sensors.

Kuva Extractors need protecting!

Although Kuva Extractors have more health than your bog-standard Excavator devices and have no need for power cores apart from the initial converter, their health does not scale over time. 4000 health might seem fine at first, but enemies will steadily do more and more damage and will quickly be able to kill an Extractor in one or two hits. Gara and Frost are very good at keeping Extractors safe. Alternatives include Vauban, Atlas with his wall augment and Volt.

Bring a Nekros if you’re not sure

You SHOULD be able to go for at least 20 minutes without a Nekros, but if you’re feeling unsure about life support, then bringing Nekros and modding him for Desecrate is a good idea. Whether you go for the standard Despoil build most people use or a build focusing on Efficiency and Range, that’s up to you, but Desecrate creates far more life support drops than just by killing normally. Nekros DOESN’T affect the amount of Kuva you get but he does affect all other loot.

Watch out for Scorches and Napalms

These guys are high priority targets, as their fire can go through most shields and will quickly kill a Kuva extractor. They’ll probably kill you too. I do my best to kill these bastards before even bigger targets like Kuva Guardians, simply because a spray of fire can kill a life support tower and ruin your Kuva gains. Oh, and they’ll also do a lot of damage to you, your team mates and companions too.

Watch out for traps

Shrapnel mines and turrets are everywhere. Most of them die pretty quickly and have loud beeping noises accompanying them, but the Senta turrets, which just shoot out electricity in a small area, can catch you by surprise and can ruin a Kuva extractor. In many life support tower spawn points, particularly in outdoor areas, turrets will spawn frequently, in some places right next to life support towers. You can avoid spawning some towers by avoiding the big, red laser scanners, but it’s not really worth wasting time trying to avoid them when you can run straight past them.

Sometimes you need to drop your little red power core things

Remember, you can convert a life support device into a Kuva extractor just by walking near it with a little red Kuva converter, just like you do with power cores in Excavation missions. You don’t need to use your Use Key to activate them, that will just activate life support. Every so often, you’ll find that you can’t actually stick the dumb red thing into your life support capsule. I’ve noticed it happening a couple of times myself, but I’ve always found that dropping the power core then picking it up again should do the trick. If that doesn’t work, then normally there is an Exterminate target marked nearby – killing them and using the Kuva converter they drop should fix the problem.

Bring a Smeeta Kavat for extra Kuva, hopefully

Smeeta Kavats are the only way to increase rewards aside from Resource Boosters. Using their Charm ability, they have a chance to do a myriad of effects, one of which is to double all resources you pick up for a brief period of time. Timed right, they can double or even triple the Kuva you obtain. If you’re lucky. Because Smeeta Kavats are massive, futuristic cats and we all know cats do whatever the fuck they want. I’d personally make your Kavat as tanky as possible and avoid any attack-based mods, since enemies scale quite quickly and Kavats are dumb and get stuck in weird places, making them easy targets for angry Grineer.

Stick together

This is the most important tip. You HAVE to stick together. How long you stay in Kuva Survival depends on how long you can keep yourselves alive and keep life support going. You will lose both health and precious life support and even more precious life support capsules by being far away from each other and spreading enemies out.

Basically, as long as you stick together and keep an eye on life support, you should be fine.


Also known as Doctor Retvik Von Schreibtviel, Medic writes 45% of all the articles on the Daily SPUF. A dedicated Medic main in Team Fortress 2 and an avid speedster in Warframe, Medic has the unique skill of writing 500 words about very little in a very short space of time.

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