Sixteen or more castaways are split between two or more "Tribes", are taken to a remote isolated location and are forced to live off the land with meager supplies for roughly 39 days. Frequent physical challenges are used to pit the tribes against each other for Rewards, such as food or luxuries, or for "Immunity", forcing the other tribe to attend "Tribal Council", where they must vote off one of their players. Once about half the players are remaining, the tribes are merged into a single tribe, and competitions are on an individual basis; winning Immunity prevents that player from being voted out, while several that are voted out at this stage form the game's "Jury". Once down to two or three people, a Final Tribal Council is held where the remaining players plead their case to the jury members. The jury then votes for which player should be considered the "Sole Survivor" and win the $1 million prize. Survivor has introduced numerous modifications, or "twists", on the core rules in order to keep the players on their toes and to prevent players from relying on strategies that succeeded in prior seasons. These changes have included tribal switches, seasons starting with more than two tribes, the ability to exile a player from a tribe for a short time, Hidden Immunity Idols that players can use to save themselves at Tribal Council and a chance to return to regular gameplay after elimination through "Redemption Island".
Blood vs. Water relationships are put to the ultimate test on Day 1, when castaways are shocked to learn they will be separated from their loved ones and have to compete against each other on separate tribes. Meanwhile, a former castaway attempts to rehabilitate their reputation.
A new alliance of seasoned players targets one of their own. Meanwhile, the old Colton rears his head and tries to disturb the peace at camp.
A family rivalry takes center stage, leading to an emotional breakdown. Meanwhile, the tribes watch in disbelief as a castaway quits the game and a shocking blindside plays out at Tribal Council.
For the first time ever, a Redemption Island battle pits husband against wife. In another series first, a castaway refuses to accept an Immunity Clue and a shocking blindside at Tribal sends another castaway home.
One castaway sacrifices their own life in the game for a loved one. Meanwhile, this season of blindsides continues at a wild, unpredictable Tribal Council.
Castaways find out if water could be thicker than blood as new tribes are drawn. Meanwhile, one castaway falls victim to a strategic blindside and the Coconut Bandit returns.
An ultimatum at Redemption Island puts one castaway on the spot to prove his love. Meanwhile, another castaway's honesty may be her biggest downfall, and an odd man out needs to prove his worth on an all-female tribe.
It's do or die in a redemption battle that will leave castaways clinging for their lives. Meanwhile, a potentially game-changing blindside at Tribal leaves one castaway on the outs, and the hidden Immunity Idol falls into the hands of an unlikely castaway.
It's double the drama as castaways endure two Tribal Councils in one episode. Meanwhile, castaways wonder if Vytas will exact revenge for his brother's blindside and one castaway attempts to change history in a challenge that's tough to swallow.
An emotional loss on Redemption Island produces this season's first jury member. Also, castaways find out if blood really is thicker than water at a tearful Tribal Council, and a castaway's generous offer proves immunity means much more than a sumptuous feast.
A castaway's bold move could either smoke out the hidden Immunity Idol or extinguish their own flame. Also, one castaway is in hot water after playing both sides of the tribe, and two moms pull a less-than-maternal move at the Redemption arena.
Castaways try to find balance at a frustrating Immunity Challenge and a ruthless game of tug of war leads to an incredibly rare Tribal Council.
Loved ones face off at Redemption Island for their final shot in the game. Meanwhile, castaways must test their knowledge of Survivor for immunity, and a heated Tribal Council could force a swing vote to exercise their power.
After 39 grueling days, one castaway will be crowned the Sole Survivor and awarded $1 million on a special two-hour season finale.
The castaways reunite in Los Angeles to discuss the season. Hosted by Jeff Probst.