Skip to main content

BioShock Plasmid guide and the best powers to defeat Splicers

The best BioShock plasmids to find and use will depend on how you're playing this versatile game. While most are offensive, there are traps and support options that can enhance a variety of playstyles. You can also combine different plasmids to stack their effects, or set up a chain of consequences that can make them even more lethal against your enemies if you understand the interplays you can use.

Because there are all these layers, battles can play out differently depending on which BioShock plasmids you equip. And because you can't carry them all you want to really understand what's possible before you leave a useful option behind. With careful preparation you can make things a lot easier which is why we're about to go through all the BioShock plasmids options, what they do and how best to use them.  

Every Bioshock plasmid

Electro Bolt Plasmid

What is it?

The Electro Bolt Plasmid is the first thing you'll ever splice. The power of electricity is fused to your genetic makeup and, suddenly, firing lightning bolts out of your fingertips is as effortless as shooting a pistol.

When should I use it?

This is the most useful and versatile of all the plasmids. Electrocuting Splicers not only deals damage, it temporarily immobilizes them and leave them open to attack. For BioShock's first couple of levels, in fact, most enemies can be dispatched instantly with one two blast of Electro Bolt and a swing of the wrench.

This electrical blast also carries through water so catch Splicers in a puddle, or flooded room and you can stun multiple enemies at once just by blasting the water. And, Electro Bolt can short circuit Rapture's machinery. That includes non-combination locks, cameras, turrets, flying drones and more. Door can be opened and the rest will fritz out for several seconds, giving you time to hack it, destroy it or run away.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

Yes, beautifully. Electro Bolt will stop a Big Daddy in its tracks, giving crucial seconds to dodge or attack. 

Telekinesis Plasmid

What is it?

With Telekinesis practically any object not nailed down can be pulled towards you and then fired out with lethal velocity. 

When should I use it?

Whenever you want to weaponize whatever you have to hand. Pull down the plasmid trigger and watch as strange and unexpectedly dangerous objects float into view: crates, signs, liquor, tennis balls, syringes, teddy bears, dead cats... The red gas tanks you see lying around can be grabbed and thrown to explode and burn an enemy on contact. The ceiling-crawling Splicers first introduced in Neptune's Bounty toss fishing hooks that can be reversed and returned. Same goes for the bomb-hurling doctors featured in Medical Pavilion and beyond. Finally, Telekinesis is the only way to grab certain valuable and out-of-reach power ups.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

Throwing random stuff at the Big Daddies certainly works, but it's a slow and risky process. Gas tanks will do the job better, but you can't rely on finding one at the right moment. However, the glowing green grenades they lob so often can easily be grabbed and thrown back.

Incinerate Plasmid

What is it?

As you might have guessed this lets you shoot fire from your fingers, with all the offensive potential that offers. 

When should I use it?

Incinerate is nearly as all-purpose as Electro Bolt. The basic attack is both extremely damaging and similarly debilitating. Any Splicer, Big Daddy or boss you ignite will panic until the flames subside, leaving you to plug away with other plasmids and weapons. Or you can increase the heat as the more you use it on a single enemy, the faster his life will burn away.

This plasmid is at its best, however, in combinations. Oil spills should be torched at every opportunity, as the larger, hotter fire can wipe out several Splicers at once. Producing makeshift Molotov cocktails is also possible - simply set an object on fire and then throw it with Telekinesis. Enemies on fire will also try and run to water, where you can then fry him with Electro Bolt.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

A Big Daddy will react the same way as a Splicer when Incinerated although his moment of frenzy is usually much shorter, and he's much angrier afterwards. Electro Bolt and Winter Blast are better options for stunning. Unless you're attempting one of the combination methods described above, we would not recommend going at a Big Daddy with Incinerate alone.

Winter Blast Plasmid

What is it?

The opposite of Incinerate. Rather than burn enemies to a crisp, you freeze them into solid ice. Hack and shatter the stationary sculptures before they thaw for a clean and efficient kill.

When should I use it?

While extremely useful against acrobatic Splicers like the cart wheeling, back flipping ones in Fort Frolic, Winter Blast should never be used by itself. The ice you unleash will freeze your foe, but it will not harm him. Instead, hammer away with traditional weapons for long enough and the ice - including the body within - will fall apart. Fail to finish the job and he will thaw, untouched.

At first, shattering a frozen enemy is easy; one gunshot or a few wrench swings will do the trick. But as BioShock progresses and the enemies get tougher, you will definitely need to upgrade your plasmid to Winter Blast 2 and Winter Blast 3 for continued success. That costs Adam and, potentially, Little Sisters' lives.

Winter Blast also has the same effect on security devices as Electro Bolt - it puts them out of commission until you can destroy or hack them. It can also put out fires, but not freeze water. 

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

As a tool, but not as a weapon. Freezing Big Daddies is perfect for buying time - with the upgrades, Winter Blast could halt one for even longer than Electro Bolt. Shoot the icy sculpture with anything less than a few heat-seeking RPGs, however, and you probably won't complete the special progress bar before he thaws.

Enrage Plasmid

What is it?

This sends any creature it hits into a blind wrath. As soon as the pheromones - or whatever's in the blob it fires out - make contact, the target will turn against the nearest living being and begin attacking it mercilessly.

When should I use it?

First, let's emphasize when NOT to use Enrage. If you're battling a single Splicer, hitting him with this will only cause him to assault you with more ferocity. In groups, however, Enrage can be a life saver. Mobs of Splicers don't appear often in BioShock, but when they do, it's overwhelming. Splatter one with this plasmid and - bam! - you have one fewer foe and one brand new ally. Better yet, peg them all with the red orb and watch as a blood-soaked, curse-laden cage fight ensues. Just remember to retag the Splicers occasionally if you want the freak show to continue.

A final note: Enrage only affects organic targets, so don't bother with cameras or turrets.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

Regular enemies rarely beat a Big Daddy one-on-one, but Enraging a Splicer can still distract him for awhile, giving you loads of preparation time. A crowd of Splicers, on the other hand, can whittle away a good chunk of the Big Daddy's health before he dispatches them. Just resist the urge to join in the fun, as the Big Daddy might decide to ignore them and turn on you.

Security Bullseye Plasmid

What is it?

A glowing blue orb that marks enemies as threats to Rapture's security system. Cameras, turrets and bots will hunt a Splicer tagged with Security Bullseye as fiercely as they would you. Sweet, sweet vengeance!

When should I use it?

Security Bullseye is probably the most useless plasmid in your arsenal - or at least the most inconvenient. When you happen to discover an enemy wandering in view of a security device and happen to have the power equipped, everything proceeds fantastically. Nothing's more satisfying than watching a few of those blasted turret bots chase someone else for a change. But opportune moments to use Security Bullseye don't crop up very often. We suggest playing around with Security Bullseye when you first receive it, as the game will provide you with a few obviously perfect chances to test it out. After that, consider it dead weight.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

Our snide dismissal of the Security Bullseye plasmid doesn't apply to Big Daddies. If you catch one stomping through a heavily monitored area, tossing a Security orb at him will cue a light-and-smoke stunt show the likes of which you have never seen. Seriously, grab some popcorn - these matches are even crazier than a mob of Splicers on Enrage.

Cyclone Trap Plasmid

What is it?

Pinpoint a spot on the ground and this plasmid will produce a swirling tornado there. Anyone who passes through it will be rocketed helplessly towards the ceiling.

When should I use it?

Cyclone Trap is designed for ambushes. You're not shooting gusts of wind straight at enemies, but placing dangerous hot spots on the ground like you would with proximity mines or trip wires. Therefore, the best time to employ this plasmid is when you know - or think you know - exactly where a Splicer is going to go. Door frames, narrow hallways, catwalks and any other confined space is perfect.

The trick is to aim not at the enemies themselves, but at the patch of ground directly in front of their feet. The tornado takes half a second to appear, so you'll need to lead your prey like you would with a sniper rifle. NEVER use Cyclone Trap in close quarters combat.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

If used correctly, yes. The Big Daddies are far too massive to be troubled by a little gust of wind, so don't expect to send one flying through the air. For some reason, though, they can't move through the tornadoes.

By creating multiple Cyclones in a row, you can form a wall that effectively and permanently blocks the Big Daddy's progress. He'll still be able to shoot and lob grenades at you, but the threat of charging is removed. With enough space and maneuvering, you can even build an elemental prison around the Big Daddy, trapping him in one place forever.

Target Dummy Plasmid

What is it?

A ghostly decoy that stands, wherever you place him. Splicers will forget all about you and concentrate on the bait instead.

When should I use it?

When losing to a large group of monsters, this plasmid can buy you precious seconds as Splicers will invariably prefer bullying the poor Target Dummy instead of you. After you've shot them enough however, the Splicers will remember you, so make sure to choose weapons that can finish them off quickly. It can also be used to set traps by luring enemies to a specific position. 

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

When you and a Big Daddy are the only guys in the room, the Target Dummy is your only option for distraction. Conjure him a good distance away from you and the Dummy can keep a Big Daddy out of your face for much longer than Electro Bolt or Winter Blast. 

Insect Swarm Plasmid

What is it?

This lets you produce an army of angry bees from your arm and send them swarming at your enemies.

When should I use it?

This is a perfect Plasmid to create chaos and distraction. The bees will attack anything and is the only plasmid that can harm multiple enemies at once. Don't worry about lining up a shot - just unleash the cloud of poisoned stingers as fast as possible.

Insect Swarm, like many plasmids, is only a short-term solution though. The bees take awhile to finish monsters off, so you'll want to use other weapons to do the job while everyone's distracted. Oh, and stay away from the buzzing chaos, because you're as likely to get stung as everyone else.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

The bees will bother a Big Daddy for the same amount of time they do regular enemies, and nothing's funnier than watching a guy in a giant diving suit swat blindly at teensy tiny insects. Like Incinerate, however, Insect Swarm will only make him angrier at you. If you have enough Eve, the game's equivalent of mana, feel free to pile on more and more bees. But if you run out and he's still not dead, you'd best have a Plan B ready.

Hypnotize Big Daddy Plasmid

What is it?

Nail a Big Daddy with this gooey green orb and you'll get a brainwashed bodyguard who believes you're his Little Sister and who will pound anyone who tries to mess with you.

When should I use it?

If you have the plasmid handy and a Big Daddy nearby, there's no reason not to use it. Fighting alongside BioShock's iconic bad boy ranks among the coolest moments of the entire game. Not only will he assail your enemies, he'll follow you from room to room and sacrifice himself to protect you, putting his own body in the Splicers' line of fire. 

A note of caution: Do not hurt the Big Daddy while he is on your side. Hitting him with a single attack... even accidentally, even splash damage... will immediately turn him against you. You'll know you've made a mistake when the happy green glow inside his helmet transforms to stop sign red. For that reason, you should never, never use Insect Swarm in these situations. The bees' attack patterns are just too unpredictable.

Does it work against a Big Daddy?

Well, obviously it works on a Big Daddy, but you can't really use it to kill him unless you have him fight as many Splicers as possible. Eventually, he'll be taken down.

I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!
With contributions from