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Survey Charges are weapon parts in Dead Space 3. They produce various explosive weapons, including rocket launchers, incendiary grenades, timed Line Gun mines, trip mines, and mines with knockback damage.

Design Details[]

A seismic tool that fires explosive canisters.

Can be used as an Upper Tool and a Lower Tool

Attachable Tips[]

Heavy Frame: 

  • Default Tip [Grenade Launcher]: Fires explosive grenades. Holds 2 rounds by default. +1 round for the first Mag Upgrade, but it takes +5 Magazine before gaining a second round.
  • Compressor [Line Gun Mine]: Creates a timed mine that sticks to surfaces. Holds 4 rounds by default. +1 round for the first Mag Upgrade, +0.5 rounds for each additional Magazine Upgrade.
  • Diffraction Torus [Incendiary Grenade]: Produces incendiary grenades. Holds 2 rounds by default. +1 round for the first Mag Upgrade, but it takes +5 Magazine before gaining a second round. The grenade exhibits a tracking feature, rolling along the ground after a miss until it hits a nearby enemy.
  • Directed Ejection Field [Detonator Mine]: Creates trip mines that stick to surfaces. Holds 3 rounds by default. +1 round for the first Magazine Upgrade. It takes +3 Magazine total to gain a second round, +6 Mag total to gain a third, +9 Magazine total to gain fourth, and +12 Magazine total to gain fifth. It seems that any further upgrades after second needs +3 Magazine each.
  • Directed Suspension Field [Rocket Launcher]: Creates a rocket launcher. Holds 1 round by default. +1 round for the first Magazine Upgrade, but it takes +8 Magazine before gaining a third round. Four rounds being the maximum possible.
  • Rail Accelerator [Knockback Detonator]: Creates trip mines with knockback damage. Holds 20 rounds by default. +3 rounds for the first Magazine Upgrade, +2 rounds for the second, then continues alternating between +3 and +2 for each successive Magazine Upgrade.

Compact Frame:

  • The Survey Charge cannot be used on a Compact Frame.

Compatibility with Modules[]

Weapons created by this tool can be equipped with Modules. By default Modules don't work with Incendiary Grenades, Grenades, or Rockets. Rate of Fire upgrades must be added to the Survey Charge to make them usable. The other Survey Charge weapons don't require upgrades. Mk II weapons require less Rate of Fire upgrades due to the upgrade from the tip.

  • Grenade Launcher (Explosive only)
    • Mk II: +10 SPD
    • Standard: +12 SPD
  • Incendiary Grenades
    • Mk II: +7 SPD
    • Standard: +9 SPD
  • Rocket Launcher (Explosive Only)
    • Mk II: +9 SPD
    • Standard: +10 SPD

Note: Using the Explosive Module with these or other Survey Charge weapons is not recommended, because it has no noticeable effect on the explosion.

Combat Tips[]

  • It is highly recommended to use the Safety Guard attachment if you plan on using this tool Since nearly all necromorphs you engage will be in close quarters and the splash damage can hurt you as well.
  • with 3+ Magazine investments, It is possible to get a Rocket launcher with a maximum of 3 rockets per magazine. Combined with the ammo box attachment and you can have 6 shots before the need to reload. The High Damage will kill almost all enemies and the splash damage can be used tp great crowd controlling effect.
  • Alien Necromorphs can be killed with 4 shots on Hard Difficulty with the Rocket Launcher and usually drop more ammo than that spent.
  • If aimed at the base of the Snow Beast's Tentacles, one shot from the Rocket Launcher will dismember all of them and the second shot can dismember all lower tentacles the creature spawns as well, scaring it off in only two shots, making this weapon incredibly ammo efficient for that fight. the Projectile also flies fast enough to where Stasis is not needed.
  • The splash damage from the Grenade/Rocket launcher can be used to kill enemies hiding behind cover such as Danik's men and Stalkers. Aim to the side of their cover and shoot.


  • When a Detonator mine (Directed Ejection Field tip) hits an enemy before activating, the explosion created is unusually powerful, making the Rocket Launcher somewhat obsolete as the Detonator has more ammo and a negligible arc.
  • If combined with Stasis Coating without the Safety Guard, the explosions from the Survey Charge will knock Issac or Carver back, coating them in Stasis as well. This results in either of them being suspended through the air for the duration of the Stasis effect and uncontrollable.
  • Interestingly, the Rocket Launcher will not kill a Waster if that enemy will spawn tentacles, despite the high damage of the Launcher. They will instead lose an arm then spawn the tentacles.
  • This is the only tool that requires Rate of Fire upgrades to make the Modules work with some of its weapons.
  • Strangely, Isaac and Carver will hold the rocket launcher as if it were a rifle, unlike modern rocket launchers.
  • The Detonator from the previous game can be constructed by using a Heavy Frame and placing a Survey Charge on it as an Upper Tool with a Directed Ejection Field tip. However, mines that have been placed cannot be disarmed and retrieved.
  • There is glitch/trick that can be exploited with the knock back mine launcher. Only five mines can be deployed at once, placing more will result in mines 'disarming' one at a time. Whenever they do this a single mine will leave 2 scrap metal behind. This means that a single mag from the knock back mine launcher, which holds 20 mines without upgrades, will yield 40 scrap metals. Crafting a single magazine costs 20 scrap. Utilizing this in a safe area with a bench can allow a player with enough patience a nearly infinite supply of scrap. This does not work on classic however, as crafting is disabled.(does not work anymore)


Dead Space 3