- This page covers Survivalist Challenges in the single player game. For the equivalent multiplayer challenges, see Survivalist Challenges (Multiplayer)
Survivalist Challenges involve gathering plants that are found in the wilderness.
Plants gathered during a challenge do not disappear from Marston's inventory once that challenge has been completed, and so can be be used for other tasks, such as meeting the requirements for a Strangers side-mission.
Buying and using a Survivalist Map makes it very easy to find plants as the player runs around the wilderness. They will show up as plant icons as soon as they enter the scope of the player's radar rather than only when the player gets close. Also, changing the zoom of the radar is recommended as the scope of the radar increases and the player will therefore be able to see a larger possible-plant-location area. Although John Marston can only carry one Survivalist Map at a time, it is possible to buy one, use it, and then immediately buy another; this is especially recommended for the later areas where death from grizzly bears or cougars while gathering plants is a distinct possibility.
Upon completing Survivalist: Rank 5, the active duration of the Survivalist Map is doubled, from 20 minutes to 40 minutes. After completing Survivalist: Rank 10, Marston is able to brew Tonic while collecting herbs. Simply doing the challenges is a good way to earn Scrap 3 of the Savvy Merchant DLC outfit.
- Rank 1: Collect 6 Wild Feverfew
- Rank 2: Collect 6 Desert Sage
- Rank 3: Collect 4 Red Sage
- Rank 4: Collect 8 Prickly Pear
- Rank 5: Collect 9 Woolly Blue Curl
- Rank 6: Collect 8 Butterfly Weed
- Rank 7: Collect 10 Hummingbird Sage Flower
- Rank 8: Collect 12 Prairie Poppies
- Rank 9: Collect 15 Golden Currant
- Rank 10: Collect 10 Violet Snowdrop then collect 2 more of every other herb available
- Collect 6 Wild Feverfew in addition to any you may already have. They are found in Hennigan's Stead and Cholla Springs.
- Collect 6 Desert Sage in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Gaptooth Ridge.
- Collect 4 Red Sage in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Rio Bravo.
Easy Collection Methods
- Use a survivalist map near Fort Mercer and you will find around 5-6 Red Sage plants just to the north of the fort.
- Use a survivalist map near Plainview and you will find around 7-8 Red Sage plants just to the north of the settlement (between Repentance Rock and Benedict Point).
- Collect 8 Prickly Pears in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Punta Orgullo.
- Collect 7 Woolly Blue Curls, in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Perdido.
- Collect 8 Butterfly Weed in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Diez Coronas.
Butterfly Weed can be found in the area around Diez Coronas and Chuparosa in Nuevo Paraiso.
Easy Collection Methods
- Start off at Las Hermanas and run down the railroad tracks to El Presidio. There are several Butterfly Weed on this path.
- There are also a few around Mesa del Sol growing at the bottom of the red cliffs. Once all of the plants are collected, fast travel to any settlement and sleep for one full day (four sleeps). Return to Mesa del Sol, and repeat until the desired amount is reached.
- Collect 10 Hummingbird Sage in addition to any you may already have. The are found in and around Tall Trees.
Searching at night reduces the chances of you finding a Grizzly.
Easy Collection Methods
- Start off at Bearclaw Camp in southern Tall Trees. Highlight Tanner's Reach as a waypoint on your map There are several Hummingbird Sage Flower on the red path. Once reached the end, fast travel to Blackwater and sleep at the saloon 1 full day. This allows time for the plants to respawn. Start the process over until reached to the desired amount. This method also keeps players away from bears while collecting this flower.
- Start like the first method in Bearclaw Camp and use a Survivalist map. While doing you should find 4 to 6 Hummingbird Sage Flower before reaching Tanner's Reach. After getting there search around the cabin and you should be able to find at least 10. This prevents you from going back to Blackwater, save your game and let the plants respawn.
- Start by searching around the entire boundary of the Manzanita Post, there are several plants in this area. If you run out, continue with either of the two methods above.
- There is an easy way of collecting the plant before the player can go into the West Elizabeth area. Starting at MacFarlane's Ranch, travel North-east to the Tanner's Span RR Bridge. Cross over the tracks and there is a small section of land north of the tracks. Walk up to the edge of the river and the player should get a notice that they are in Tall Trees. Slowly turn around and the player should see the plant behind them. It will also show up on their small map as well. There is only one and it will recycle normally; the player will need to revisit the location 10 times. This allows the player to acquire the plant without needing to have access to West Elizabeth.
- Collect 12 Prairie Poppies in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Great Plains.
Prairie Poppies can be found in the eastern area of Beecher's Hope in West Elizabeth. There are lots of these at the Broken Tree area. Most of them are south of the Broken Tree and a bit towards Blackwater. Can also be found in large amounts by the train tracks south of Beecher's Hope. There is a glitch at Broken Tree where you can kill a Cougar and then immediately pick the Poppy on the northern face of the tree. This will cause the game to glitch and your character to collect three poppies.
- Collect 15 Golden Currants in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Great Plains.
The tall, green Golden Currant bushes stand out against the low grasses. There's also some of these around Beecher's Hope, in the case that you run out of plants around the Great Plains.
- Collect 10 Violet Snowdrop in addition to any you may already have. They are found in and around Tall Trees. Then collect 2 more of every other herb available.
Violet Snowdrop can be found in the northern area of Tall Trees and in Cochinay in West Elizabeth. It is not necessary to wait until collecting 10 Violet Snowdrops before collecting the other herbs, as you will receive credit no matter what order you collect them once the challenge starts.
The "other" herbs required for this challenge can be viewed in the survivalist journal entry by pressing the Info button ("Y" on the Xbox 360 / "Triangle" on the PS3):
- Prickly Pear
- Desert Sage
- Butterfly Weed
- Prairie Poppies
- Golden Currant
- Woolly Blue Curl
- Hummingbird Sage
- Red Sage
- Wild Feverfew
Using a survivalist map can significantly speed up the process of gathering all these herbs. Herbs are listed in a way which makes them easy to collect in one run:
- Violet Snowdrop - Tall Trees (northern snowy area)
- Hummingbird Sage - Tall Trees (south area) or Manzanita Post (to the north of)
- Prairie Poppies - Beecher's Hope (Great Plains)
- Golden Currant - Beecher's Hope (Great Plains)
- Wild Feverfew -MacFarlane's Ranch, Río Bravo, Hennigan's Stead, or Cholla Springs
- Red Sage - Río Bravo (along the east-west road located north of Fort Mercer)
- Desert Sage - Gaptooth Ridge
- Prickly Pear - Chuparosa or Punta Orgullo
- Woolly Blue Curl - Chuparosa (to the north near train tracks) or Perdido
- Butterfly Weed - Chuparosa or Diez Coronas
- Congratulations. You are now a Legendary Survivalist. You are now able to distill tonic when harvesting herbs.
Obtain Legendary rank in any Single Player Ambient Challenge.
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.