Throughout the course of the Survivor series, advantages have been available for contestants to potentially help maneuver themselves into a more favorable position in the game. Usually obtainable through Reward Challenges, Survivor Auctions, Exile Island, Ghost Island, or the Edge of Extinction, these advantages may help increase the longevity of a player, but do not guarantee it. Players may opt to use an advantage as they see fit, either by invoking its intended purpose, or by using it as a bargaining tool to form alliances.
- Main article: Challenge Advantage
The earliest advantage to appear on Survivor, it gives a player an edge in a particular challenge.
A variant of the Challenge Advantage, instead of giving one player an advantage in the next challenge, the Challenge Disadvantage allows them to penalize another player of their choice.
Medallion of Power
- Main article: Medallion of Power
Reentry Advantage and Disadvantage
In Survivor: Edge of Extinction, advantages were hidden on the Edge of Extinction to give the voted out player who finds it an edge at the reentry challenge, rather than at the next Immunity Challenge. Additionally, one such advantage allows the finder to penalize another contestant at the reentry challenge.
Hidden Immunity Idol
- Main article: Hidden Immunity Idol
The most common advantage available, the Hidden Immunity Idol nullifies any votes cast against its owner at Tribal Council, eliminating the player with the next highest number of votes instead.
This idol can be used after the votes have been read. The amount of power of this advantage changes each season. In Survivor: Panama and Survivor: Cook Islands, the idol must be given to somebody else before Tribal Council to save them. In Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, two idols must be combined to form a super idol, but can be played to save anybody. In Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, the super idol is found during the marooning, and can only be used at the first Tribal Council. If the holder's tribe wins the first Immunity Challenge, they must anonymously give it to someone on the losing tribe.
Only appearing in Survivor: Guatemala, this idol can only be used before the votes are cast, acting like an Immunity Necklace. However, it was shown that regular idols can be used like this in Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.
- Main article: Legacy Advantage
Obtained at an early point in the game, the Legacy Advantage acts as a Hidden Immunity Idol that may only be used at certain points in the game. If a player is eliminated with this advantage in their possession, they must privately will it to another player still in the game in their final words.
Temporary Hidden Immunity Idols
Introduced in Survivor: Ghost Island, these idols can only be used for a set number of Tribal Councils that the holder attends. In Ghost Island and Survivor: David vs. Goliath, the holder could choose to risk their vote to extend the life of the idol. This idol made another appearance in Survivor: Winners at War when someone on the Edge of Extinction could sell an idol good for three Tribal Councils for one Fire Token.
Introduced in Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, these idols have two halves that must be combined to have power. In Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, the first half was hidden at camp, while the second half was in plain sight at the following Immunity Challenge. In Survivor: Edge of Extinction, both players who returned to the game were given an idol where one half of it must be given to somebody else before the next Tribal Council. If both holders survive the following Tribal Council, the two halves can be combined, making a fully-powered Hidden Immunity Idol. In Survivor: Winners at War, the idols hidden before the merge were all split idols. The finder must give half of it to another player. It can be returned at any point later on, making a fully-powered Hidden Immunity Idol.
- Main article: Beware Advantage
- Main article: Extra Vote
Players who possess this advantage have the ability to have one extra vote at any Tribal Council until a certain point in the game.
- Main article: Vote Steal
A variant of the Extra Vote, this allows a player to prevent another from voting and take that player's ballot as their own.
Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers Extra Vote
In Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, an Extra Vote was hidden at the merged tribe's camp. The person who obtained it must abstain from voting at the next Tribal Council to get the Extra Vote.
- Main article: Vote Blocker
One-half of the vote steal, this allows the holder to block another person from voting. In Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, it had to be used at the next Tribal Council. If the holder's tribe wins the next Immunity Challenge, they must anonymously play it on someone on the losing tribe. In its reappearance in Survivor: Island of the Idols, it worked more closely to other advantages, and it could be used at any Tribal Council up to a certain point.
- Main article: Juror Removal
On Day 38 of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, the final three castaways competed in a Reward Challenge in which the winner may eliminate one member of the jury, depriving that juror of the right to participate at the Final Tribal Council.
- Main article: Reward Steal
The Reward Steal is an advantage that allows its owner to steal a reward from another player or the opposing tribe after any Reward Challenge.
- Main article: Advantage Menu
An Advantage Menu allows a player to select one of a handful of advantages offered on a list. However, the timeframe to use the advantage before it expires may be limited.
Fake Hidden Immunity Idol Kit
At the second Tribe Switch in Survivor: Game Changers, the person who drew the blank buff was sent to Exile Island, where a fake Hidden Immunity Idol kit was one of the choices on an Advantage Menu. Though the kit was not chosen, host Jeff Probst stated that the fake idol would look nearly identical to a real Hidden Immunity Idol.
- Main article: Idol Nullifier
At some point during the game, a player who obtains the Idol Nullifier and wishes to use it must correctly guess who a Hidden Immunity Idol will be played for while casting their vote during Tribal Council. An incorrect guess will result in the advantage being wasted, but the identity of the user of the Idol Nullifier will also remain anonymous.
In Survivor: Island of the Idols, a mysterious note was found hanging from a tree at camp, with the person who grabbing it sent to the Island of the Idols. Though they lost their vote at the next Tribal Council, they were given a blank piece of parchment along with a pen, and were told that they could do anything they wanted with it.
- Main article: Fire Token
Safety Without Power
This allows the holder to leave Tribal Council before the votes are cast. This makes them unable to be eliminated, but in return for being immune, they will not vote. This cannot nullify another advantage.
This acts like a regular Hidden Immunity Idol, except the fate of the user depends on a coin flip. It has two sides: safe and not safe. It must be used at the time a Hidden Immunity Idol can be played, and may be played for another person. The user will then flip the coin; if it lands on safe, any votes cast against the user will not count. If it lands on not safe, the coin has no power.
In Survivor: Winners at War, the person who finds this advantage on the Edge of Extinction can penalize someone still in the game for as many Fire Tokens they think they can get. The person in the game who receives the disadvantage must pay the demanded amount of Fire Tokens, or they will be unable to compete in the next Immunity Challenge, as well as lose their vote at the following Tribal Council.
Knowledge is Power
- Main article: Knowledge is Power
At Tribal Council, the Knowledge is Power advantage allows its holder to ask any player whether they are holding onto an idol or an advantage. That player must be truthful in their reply; if they are indeed in possession of an idol or advantage, they must effectively transfer ownership to the Knowledge is Power holder when asked.
- Main article: Hourglass
At the final twelve of Survivor 41 and 42, the castaways were split into two teams of five to compete in a team Reward/Immunity Challenge, with two players sitting out. The winning team chose one player to share their reward and immunity with, and sent the other player to Exile Island where they would encounter the Hourglass twist. By breaking the hourglass, the exiled player would effectively and unilaterally reverse the results of the challenge, stripping immunity from the challenge winners and transferring it to themself and the challenge losers.
- Main article: Advantage Amulet
In Survivor 42, the Advantage Amulet was introduced at the opening challenge. One member of each tribe would receive one amulet apiece; all amulets remaining in the game must be played together, and the function of the advantage depended on the number of amulets left at the time of play:
- If all three amulets were used, the holders could collectively cast another vote.
- If two amulets were left, using them together could give the holders a Vote Steal.
- If only one active amulet remained, it could be played as a regular Hidden Immunity Idol.
The amulets remained in play until there were 6 players left.
- Ross, Dalton (April 23, 2020). "Jeff Probst on Tony's three days of Survivor dominance". Entertainment Weekly. https://ew.com/tv/survivor-jeff-probst-winners-at-war-tony-vlachos-episode-11-interview/. Retrieved April 23, 2020.