State of Survival: Heroes Guide

There 3 types of heroes in the game: Elite, Epic and Legendary. I will explain the difference between them and share some tips on earning necessary ones, both for F2P and P2P players.

Version history:
1.6 - 13/10/2020 - Added some clarification about maxed rank Hero Fragments;
1.5 - 20/09/2020 - Rumours about T6 Heroes added;
1.4 - 19/09/2020 - Added maximum Hero Lvl. per Rank and 2 new T5 Heroes;
1.3 - 09/09/2020 - Rewritten some Heroes summary + Brooke added;
1.2 - 06/09/2020 - Tier 4 added + A new section of where to find a particular hero;
1.1 - 04/09/2020 - formatting & grammar mistakes correction;
1.0 - 25/06/2020 - guide created.


Heroes in SoS are key to success. When you start the game from scratch, some heroes are automatically added to your hero pool while others can be unlocked by collecting their hero fragments. You can check below which event(s) will help you build a particular Hero.

Please note Heroes will be unlocked once your state matures (so-called state evolution). These new heroes will be unlocked in Tiers. You always start in a new state with Tier 1 heroes, which are followed by Tier 2 after 2-3 months, then Tier 3 and finally Tier 4.

Each hero has certain skills and specialities, thus you need to utilize them accordingly depending on the content you’re focused on.

Most important starting tip about your heroes – focus only ONE hero per type (brawler, marksman and scout). That means all your resources (fragments, experience books, skill books) are spent maximum at 3 different heroes. If you start upgrading multiple heroes at the same time, you will NOT get an advantage both in PvE and PvP.

Heroes screen

  1. Sort Hero list (Power / Rarity / Hero Rank / Level);
  2. Hero specialization (see below);
  3. Hero current level, experience, increase level / exp button;
  4. Hero rank, increase rank button;
  5. Hero skills, upgrade skills button;
  6. Hero gear, change gear (see below);
  7. Enable / disable Hero upgrade notifications switch;
  8. Hero Power.

Hero Rank screen

  1. Current Hero rank;
  2. Next Hero rank;
  3. Upgrade requirements;
  4. Exchange Universal Hero fragments into the chosen Hero fragments.

Hero Skills screen

  1. Skills selection and their current levels;
  2. Skill description and impact current / next level while doing Explorer Missions;
  3. Skill description and impact current / next level while rallying;
  4. Upgrade requirements, amount of materials available / needed for upgrade.

Hero Types

There are 3 types of Heroes. You can find hero type by looking at the icon next to the name.

  • Brawler (fist) – boosting Infantry troops;
  • Marksman (scope) – boosting Hunter troops;
  • Scout (knife) – boosting Rider troop;

There are 3 types of Hero’s rarity:

  • Elite – easily obtainable, lowest power;
  • Epic – commonly obtainable, medium power;
  • Legendary – hard to obtain but highest power.

I also split heroes into spending categories:

  • F2P – the hero can be obtained via certain in-game activities and doesn’t need real $ investments;
  • P2P – the hero can NOT be obtained via any in-game activities and can only be purchased via bundles for real $;
  • F2P/P2P – the hero can be both obtained via certain in-game activities or purchased via bundles for real $.

Hero Fragments per Rank requirements

Once you have found enough fragments of a certain hero, you can unlock him and start using.

To rank Hero up:

  • You need either to find more of his hero fragments or exchange universal hero fragments.
  • You also need to have proper amount of hero badges, but they are not hard to find, so I won’t mention their requirements here.
RankMax Hero Lvl.# of Fragments# of Sub-RanksTotal
Locate a Hero10110
2nd Lt.253515
1st Lt.305525
Lt. Colonel60705350
Fragment requirements are same regardless of the hero type (Elite / Epic / Legendary)

What happens when you have maxed Hero rank out, but you still get his/her Hero Fragments? See below official response from the in-game support:

Please do note that the maxed Hero Fragments you are receiving are still being counted in your inventory even if they are not visible, our tech team informed us that in the future those fragments can be recycled in order to receive different rewards, we kindly ask you to stay tuned and follow us on our Facebook page and in-game for any news and updates regarding this matter.

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Which Heroes to prioritize?

Clicking on the image below will open a dedicated page with skills’ description and Hero’s background story!

Tier 1

Timeline: available on Day 0

Heroes in this category are available from scratch – once the state is created. They are least powerful, but most easily obtainable and once upgraded enough can serve you for a long time!

  • Sarge (F2P)

    #1 hero to work on. He’s great both in PvE and PvP due to his Turret skill, proving 25% troop damage increase.
  • Travis (F2P)

    Priority #2 due to his unique skill reducing Stamina cost by 20% per march. It will save you tons of Stamina, allowing to kill more infected (solo or via rallies). You can easily maximize him on early stages and use as an instructor in your Hero Precinct.
  • Maddie & Frank (F2P/P2P)

    One of the best heroes in-game, strong for PvE and good for PvP. Moreover, you can fully max her out by just playing long enough. She’s the first hero who can be earned via Ray’s Place spins (though I won’t recommend to do that and save biocaps for Tier 2/Tier 3 heroes instead).
  • Eva (F2P)

    She’s the only Epic hero with a Siege specialization. Boosting her will allow you raiding enemy HQs for resources.
  • Mike (F2P)

    He can’t compete with Sarge or Eva, but it’s nice to have him for the Food farming boost. Mike is also a beast while doing Explorer Trail missions or any special event hunting (where you need to send a squad of 3 heroes), out damaging literally everyone else!
  • Chef (F2P)

    He provides a nice boost for your infantry, higher than Rusty. Also, he allows you farming Wood way quicker. Stats-wise, he’s worse than any Legendary hero – but you’re stuck with him for a long time as a F2P due to high amount of Hero fragments you can collect. P2P players should get rid of him ASAP or just skip and build Nikola instead.
  • Rusty (F2P)

    Good for the Metal farming boost only. You can easily maximize him on early stages and use as an instructor in your Hero Precinct.
  • Ghost (F2P)

    His Troop health increase skill makes him a viable option for PvP and he helps you farming Gas quicker – you will need a lot for the HQ upgrades.
  • Lucky (P2P)

    Strong and universal hero, both PvE and PvP. Obtainable via VIP packages only. On par with Tier 2 heroes, but falls off once you have Tier 3 maxed out.
  • Nikola (F2P/P2P)

    Nice hero for PvE (i.e. Influencer Trap) due to his Infected attack boost, but is useless in PvP. Can be bought through daily deals or contested via different events. He’s also coming to Ray’s Place after Maddie & Frank.
  • Ray & Rolex (P2P)

    Very expensive and worse than later Tiers’ heroes, I do NOT recommend investing into him until developers rework him or buff his stats.

Tier 2

Timeline: ~2 months after T1 (~2 months from Day 0)

After the first 2 months or so, 3 more Heroes are added to the pool. I’d describe them as defensive-oriented cause their skills are mostly focused around settlement protection bonuses.

  • Wolfe (F2P/P2P)

    He’s a good hero when solo attacking other settlements. Not so great for other PvP activities. Can be obtained via Legendary vouchers event or purchased via daily deals.
  • Trish (F2P/P2P)

    Pretty much same as Wolfe. Can be obtained via Legendary vouchers event or purchased via daily deals.
  • Jeb (F2P/P2P)

    Jeb is your go-to hero during Kill Event. His unique skill to decrease enemy’s Settlement Troop Lethality can save you a lot of troops from being lost forever (remember that when you attack someone’s HQ your lost troops don’t appear in the Enlistment Office).

Tier 3

Timeline: ~2 months after T2 (~4 months from Day 0)

Together with getting Plasma Buildings being introduced, 3 more Heroes will be joining the state later on. They are heavily PvP-oriented and would significantly improve your ability to attack and defend Bunkers, Fortresses and Capital, at the same time over damaging T1 and T2 Heroes in the rest of (PvE) activities due to increased troops stats’ boosts.

  • Zoe (F2P/P2P)

    Your late-game Sarge replacement.
  • Miho (F2P/P2P)

    Your late-game Maddie&Frank replacement.
  • Ash (F2P/P2P)

    Your late-game Chef replacement.

Tier 4

Timeline: ~2 months after T3 (~6 months from Day 0)

First of all, Tier 4 Heroes out damage all the previous Tiers almost everywhere, with just a few exceptions.

Secondly, the upgrading mechanism for T4 Heroes is different from previous Heroes. First of all, it doesn’t consume Hero Skill Books to upgrade T4 Hero skills. The Hero’s skill levels up as the Hero’s rank increases. Additionally, more skill effects will be unlocked and become more powerful as a Hero’s skill level increases.

The new Hero upgrading mechanism aims at adding more possibilities for Hero skill combinations and magnifies the importance of a Hero’s skill in battle. Thus players will achieve different effects and have access to a greater variety of choices in the Hero combination process. That will be the main direction for Hero development in the future.

From Official SoS Facebook Guide.
  • Jarrett (F2P/P2P)

    When paired with Heroes who have a high damage output capacity, Jarrett is able to greatly increase their damage output. At the same time, Jarrett’s own skill damage is also not to be underestimated in combat. Jarrett’s versatility means that he can not only serve as a powerful damage dealer himself but perhaps, more importantly, improves the damage ability of the army as a whole.
  • Zach (F2P/P2P)

    Your late-game Maddie&Frank replacement. Zach is out damaging M&F even at 10 Levels deficit (i.e. when he’s Lvl. 60 and M&F is Lvl. 70).
  • Ernie (F2P/P2P)

    Your late-game Chef/Nikola/Wolfe replacement. Ernie is on par with Ash stats-wise but wins over the biker lady cause of higher skills damage output.

Newest addition – Tier 5

Timeline: ~2 months after T4 (~8 months from Day 0)

Starting September 2nd 2020, SoS Test Server was opened for a number of selected players. We’ve been introduced to the first Tier 5 Hero and had a chance to test her on the battlefield.

Out of sudden, 2 more T5 Heroes were released in the game on Sep 17th 2020. Not only these Heroes are ~30% stronger than T4 Heroes, but they can also be obtained with 1 click via Hero Exchange feature!

The good point is you don’t need to invest anything because it doesn’t require any resources for exchange. Once exchanged, T4 Hero will disappear from the pool and T5 Hero will be available instead. Can be reverted back with a 12-hours cooldown.

The weird point is Hero Exchange, in the current implementation, only works for T4 Heroes, which makes any investments in the previous Tiers (especially T3) literally useless.

Initial testing of all 3 T5 Heroes proves their absolute dominance above everyone else.

  • Brooke

    It is too early to make conclusions since her stats can be totally different upon the official release, but in the current state, Brooke simply destroys everyone on her way.
  • Tyler
    You can find further information here.
  • Julie
    You can find further information here.

Tier 6 coming soon?

Thanks to the game client data mining, 2 more Heroes were noticed in the game engine. We can only speculate when they are going to be released and whether they should be considered as T6 or addition to the T5.

  • Becca
  • Eunjoo

Where to obtain a particular Hero?

Since there are multiple events in-game and also Heroes are added in Tiers as your state matures, here’s a recap of where you can find a particular Hero Fragment – to help new players navigating through the content.

HeroHero SearchEvent
Hero PacksValue VouchersVIP BundlesSpecial IntelAlliance StorePlague Zone

Hero Specialization

Each hero is specialized in a certain activity. Some of them increase your farming speed, others are good while defending settlement. What you would like to focus on is maximizing offensive heroes – those you can find in Siege / Rally sections.

Fill in each rally slot with a particular hero to reduce time spent on farming
Use those while attacking zombies (i.e. Infected Zombie rallies, Zones, Radar missions)
HQ defense (assign those at your barricade)
Player vs Player heroes for Siege (i.e. Fortress Fight, Capital Clash, Reservoiur raide, attacking enemy’s HQ)
Player vs Player heroes for Raid boost (i.e. Fortress Fight, Capital Clash, Reservoiur raide, attacking enemy’s HQ)

Hero Comparison

Available here:

Hero Gear

Hero Gear is unlocked at HQ Lvl. 15 and provides a decent boost to your Hero damage and overall Battle Power.
You can find a detailed Hero Gear guide here.

Special Thanks to

  • Hero Specialization: Image credits to Ember’s YouTube Video.
  • Where to obtain a particular hero: Teddy
  • What happens with fragments of a maxed rank Hero: Matthew
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1 month ago

What does the Captain part of a team do?

26 days ago

Which heroes are the best joiners? I know sarge is giving 25%, what other options are considered viable? Today we have a defeat and I’m wondering if we could have chenged something on captains. We had: Sarge (me), Maddie, Miho, Jeb.

23 days ago

Hey! It was facility fight, but as far as I understood only setter’s heroes choice matters in different scenarios, joiners should always have sarge/eva/zoe or I got it wrong?

Mother Earth
Mother Earth
17 days ago

What if the same heroes are used? Will the skills stack?

Mushkela AG
Mushkela AG
1 month ago

Amazing Job. Thanks guys. Keep it up!

Dead C
Dead C
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing

Pick N RollD
Pick N Roll
1 month ago

Great post! Can you add Hero levels on the ‘Hero fragments per rank’ section? Also please add All Hero stats at their max levels.. Thanks a lot!

1 month ago

Great post. But what happens to the frags we get daily when the heros reach max levels ? The frags become useless right ? Would be nice if we can exchange them for another hero frags of the same category…

14 days ago

What about troops. Should you keep troops in all 3 types in every level or always just upgrade to have max troops in the highest tier you have unlocked?

And should you use the Hero training area and if so who should be the instructors etc?


9 days ago

I had a question regarding hero fragments after achieving the General Rank. In my search for answers I found this site and liked all the info. But no answers, as I continued looking I ended up contacting support and thought the info would be worth while sharing here.

“Greetings Survivor,
Thank you for your message!
Please do note that the maxed hero fragments you are still receiving are still being counted in your inventory even if they are not visible, our tech team informed us that in the future those fragments can be recycled in order to receive different rewards, we kindly ask you to stay tuned and follow us on our Facebook page and in-game for any news and updates regarding this matter.
State of Survival team,
****You can also visit our official Facebook fan page to find more game-related info and win great prizes:

6 days ago

What about Jane? Should we invest in her?

5 days ago

This is a ton of awesome information. Now just to cement it all to the gray matter and implement as much as I can and as fast as I can. Thanks, Death!

Also, I seem to always be confused on which troops and which level of troops to train first. I’ve been told to train the lowest first but is that still the case?

2 days ago

How about the hero Basel? Can you add information about him. what’s he good for? please and thank you.

Huan Tiep Ta
Huan Tiep Ta
10 hours ago

Hi, I was wondering whether it is worth to spend my saved up biocaps for the “lute vouchers” and “rey’s spins” under the following conditions:

  1. I am a no spender. (except for the additional builder slot I bought very early)
  2. My state is in the 3rd week of 3rd phase. (46d left)
  3. My Miho has 20 Fragments to spare. (no Hero Rank up yet)
  4. My Ashe is Captain rank 3
  5. No chance to get Zoe without spending real money.

What I am pondering about is whether I should save all my biocaps now for the next phase Heroes, or is not possible for non-spenders to aim for the best Heroes. But instead better focus on Heroes of an older generation?

Huan Tiep Ta
Huan Tiep Ta
9 hours ago

Hey thanks for the answer, but when I started playing, the T4 Heroes were just introduced for testing for the earliest states, now even T5 Heroes are in testing phase. Even possible T6 Heroes are coming?

Should I wait for T5 or do you mean, wait for T4? Thanks 😀

Huan Tiep Ta
Huan Tiep Ta
9 hours ago

My state still has 46 days left in phase 3, then 2 whole months in phase 4. So 2 months + 46 days until phase 5 Heroes, by that time maybe T6 are out?

But I guess I will at least wait for T5 for now.

Last edited 9 hours ago by Huan Tiep Ta