1. Do not be too fit. After a merge, you’re an immediate threat and you’ll go home.
2. Before a merge, if everyone knows you have a clue to a hidden immunity idol, share the CLUE with the tribe, find it, keep it, then tell the tribe you will use it after the merge for the benefit of your alliance (by saving yourself).
3. If you find a hidden immunity idol on your own: Hide it. Do not share it with anyone, including anyone in your “alliance.” Don’t be tempted to tell someone to earn their trust.
4. Don’t blatantly look for a hidden immunity idol. People hate this and will vote you out because they will think you found it, unless you’re desperate and know you’re a target.
5. Never be the leader of your alliance, but vote the way the self imposed leader does, until it’s time for the blindside.
6. Practice making fire. Chop some coconuts. Learn about the elements and how to survive.
7. Work around camp, but don’t work too much. You’ll do best when you’re the only one doing one thing the camp needs to survive, for example, be the fisherman or be the only one that cooks the rice.
8. At tribal council, pay attention to those that speak well and tell convincing stories. These are the people that you don’t want to sit next to at the final tribal council.
9. Before a merge, keep your tribe strong by voting out the weak first. Don’t start “playing the game” until after the merge. The most important part of this game is immunity. If you’re up numbers before the merge, use those numbers to eliminate the other tribe, then start playing the game.
10. If you’re playing the game with returning players, make them the early targets, unless they’re previous winners. If you go to the end with a previous winner, no one wants to give a millionaire another million (unless you’re Sandra).
11. Don’t be annoying or a dick or talk too much. You want to fly under the radar as much as possible. Once the tribe starts talking about how much they don’t like you, you will never be able to swing that back and you’re done for.
12. Pay attention to people’s “story.” This one is a little complicated, but a big one. You don’t want somebody at the end that has a good story to tell the jury. By “story”, I’m not talking about their life before the game, but that player’s path to the final tribal council. If that player was on redemption island and won a bunch of duels to come back, then won a bunch of individual immunities to make it to the end, that person has a great “story” for the jury. Vote them out before they have a chance to get there.
13. Do not be rich. Or famous. Once the tribe thinks you have lots of money, you’re not winning at the end.
14. Learn to love rice and coconut and fish. Stay hydrated.
15. Never voluntarily give up immunity at tribal council. This only happened once and the tribe immediately voted that person out.
16. Never throw a challenge to have the opportunity to vote someone out. Pre-merge, this is a dumb move, since this is the part of the game that is all about numbers. Once you merge, then you can dump your deadweight.
17. Never volunteer to not do a challenge, just to have the opportunity to vote someone out. Same reason as above.
18. Never sit out challenges too much. You will appear weak and, pre-merge, that would be a bad thing.
19. Don’t get hurt. It’s okay to be aggressive during challenges, but don’t get hurt to the point you have to be taken out of the game.
20. Don’t gloat after a challenge, either with your tribe or individual immunity challenges. People hate that.
21. Don’t spend all your time talking strategy. No reason to talk strategy until after you lose an immunity challenge.
22. Take the time to learn about the lives of your fellow players. Get them to talk about themselves. Feign interest in things they want to talk about. People love a good listener and that’s the person you want on the jury.
23. If you get chickens, kill the rooster first. Not only will it make a lot of noise in the morning, but he is never laying eggs. Also, don’t grow attached to the animals.
24. Don’t fall in love or cuddle or kiss or any of that. Both of you will be seen as a threat and one of you are going home.
25. Don’t make enemies. Remember that this is a game and don’t take things personally. Enemies become threats and threats go home.
26. Talking can get you in trouble. Information should come to you and stay with you. Keep confidences as best you can. Once you betray someone, you’ll never be able to undo that.
27. If you make it past the merge to the loved ones challenge, before you even leave for the game, tell your loved ones to keep their mouth shut. Don’t say anything that will get you in trouble with your other tribemates.
28. Don’t bring clothing that will get your tribe talking, just be neutral. Phillip Sheppard’s hot pink tighty-whiteys are a prime example of that.
29. Be mentally strong. Know going in that this adventure is going to suck and be the toughest thing you will ever do, just remember the million dollar prize at the end. You have 39 days, that’s it. Crying won’t help anything.
30. Do not write a list of ways to win at Survivor. Or at the very least, don’t write the list and then it goes viral. That would suck. If you do play, you’re the first to go home, just to prove a point.