BioShock: All Physical Tonics, Ranked

BioShock: All Physical Tonics, Ranked

One of the most important resources to a player’s arsenal in BioShock are Gene Tonics, serums made from processed ADAM. These tonics are scattered around Rapture for players to find, craft, or buy with ADAM.

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Tonics come in three different varieties: Combat, Engineering and Physical. Physical Tonics have a signature blue glow that sets them apart from other tonics. These tonics improve the player’s physical and physiological attributes, such as speed boosts, extra research points, etc. These are physical tonics players should equip.


11/11 Scrounger

BioShock Scrounger

Top of the list is arguably the worst tonic in the game, Scrounger. Scrounger is a physical tonic that allows players to search corpses and containers an extra time to get another loot. This can be achieved through obtaining research level two of the Leadhead Splicer.

While this may seem like a useful tonic, loot in containers or bodies almost never changes with this perk equipped. Given the fact that looting can be time-consuming in itself, this only adds to the wasted time looting for few results. Long story short, this tonic/perk is pretty useless.

BioShock Extra Nutrition

Extra nutrition increases the amount of health gained from bandages, potions and food. The first level can be obtained relatively early through the Gatherer’s Gardens in Neptune’s Bounty and beyond, while the second level resides inside the Sinclair Spirits in Fort Frolic, and the third is obtained through completing the fourth level of Spider Splicer research.

While this also seems like a useful perk, most players will have no problem staying stocked with Medkits throughout the game. Not to mention that while snacks and bandages can be seen lying around in several places in Rapture, there is far better tonic available.

9/11 Spirit dog

BioShock Booze Hound Tonic

Booze Hound is a Physical Tonic that can be made via U-Invent machines in the game. All this perk does is allow alcohol to fill up EVE instead of draining it. However, it does not remove the effect of being drunk after consuming too much alcohol (almost like in real life)!

Although there is an abundance of alcohol for the player to consume in areas around Rapture, the amount of EVE this perk restores is fairly negligible. There are ultimately better perks to equip that positively affect EVE consumption/replenishment.

8/11 Security evasion

BioShock Security Evasion Tonic

This is a somewhat useful physical tonic that makes surveillance cameras and turrets take longer to detect you. However, this tonic becomes incredibly useless once Houdini Splicers are researched to level two. The first level of Security Evasion actually becomes available in Arcadia, where Houdini Splicers are introduced.

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It’s easy enough for Houdini splicers to research and unlock Natural Camouflage at the Arcadia level, negating the use of this perk. These two tonics can also generally be skipped, especially after Natural Camouflage is unlocked, to prioritize the better tonic.

7/11 Hacker’s Delight

Hacker's Delight

Hacker’s Delight rewards the player with varying amounts of health and EVE, according to one of the three respective degrees of the tonic, after each successful hack. The first iteration of Hacker’s Delight is found in the second level of the game, the Medical Pavilion, in the Eternal Flame Crematorium. The second Hacker’s Delight can be made in a U-Invent, while the third and final character of the tonic can be found in Failsafe Armored Escorts in Point Prometheus.

This is an incredible tonic, but loses much of its usefulness around the mid-game due to other available physical tonics at your disposal. However, if one does not wish to pursue a strong wrench, these are useful physical tonics to hold onto.

6/11 Blood bright

BioShock Bloodlust

Bloodlust is the third and final tonic that can be invented on the U-Invent machines. It grants the user a small amount of health and EVE with each wrench strike against an enemy.

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While not as strong as the other Wrench-based tonics, Bloodlust is still a great tonic for Wrench builds if chosen over other physical tonics. It can certainly be stacked with the other Wrench-positive tonics to further reward players for sticking with Wrench throughout the game.

5/11 EVE Saver

BioShock EVE syringe in container

An incredibly useful tonic, EVE Saver is a physical tonic that does exactly what it says: reduce the amount of EVE consumed per plasmid used. It is available in all Gatherer’s Gardens from Arcadia onwards.

EVE Saver allows players about one additional use of a Plasmid before having to use another EVE Hypo. Since Plasmids are essential to surviving Rapture, this is a huge advantage to have equipped.

Bioshock Eve Link Gene Tonic

EVE Link gives Jack an amount of EVE every time he uses a First Aid Kit. Both versions can be found early in the game, with the EVE Link being purchasable from the first Gatherer’s Garden the player encounters in the Medical Pavilion, and the other being found near the Farmer’s Market on the ground next to a Rocket Tower.

EVE Link drastically reduces the need to refill EVE separately from Jack’s health after a battle. Not to mention, this reduces the need to purchase EVE Hypos and instead players can spend their money on other things like more first aid kits or ammo.

3/11 SportBoost

BioShock SportBoost emblem

SportBoost is an incredible Physical Tonic that can be unlocked by researching Thuggish Slicers to level two and up to level four for the upgraded version. This tonic increases the player’s movement speed by 10% (20% for tier two), and the wrench swing speed is increased by 25% (50% for SportBoost 2). These can be stacked for increased effects.

SportBoost is a must-have for any wrench-focused build, allowing players to swing much faster than the splicers they encounter. When paired with the other Wrench-forward tonics, the Wrench becomes one of the most OP weapons in the game.

2/11 Medical expert

BioShock Medical Expert 2 Fort Frolic

Medical Expert comes in three different qualities and gives 20%-60% more health per first aid kit. These tonics, especially the third tier, are must-haves for every playthrough. When used in combination with EVE Link, Medkits become that much more valuable, while also allowing players to limit the worry of having enough First Aid Kits in their inventory.

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The first layer can be found on the ground in the Lower Wharf of Neptune’s Bounty. The second is a reward for completing Sander Cohen’s Quadtych, and the third class of Medical Expert is found in Dr. Suchong’s free clinic in Apollo Square. Again, each level must be run until it is possible to replace it with the next.

1/11 Natural camouflage

BioShock natural camouflage

Finally, easily one of the best, if not the best Physical Tonic (and Gene Tonic) in the entire game, Natural Camouflage makes the player invisible after standing still for a period of time. This can be unlocked as early as Arcadia, with the requirements simply being the completion of the second level of Houdini Splicer research.

This Tonic is great for hacking; If a player triggers a security alarm while hacking, all they have to do is stand still long enough to become invisible and they’ll avoid damage when any security bots arrive. However, they can also trigger these alarms to get security fines to help the player for protection; just stand still until the alarms are almost done and shock or freeze a bot to make it an ally. This can also be used to avoid detection while taking photos with the research camera or to lure splicers into the line of sight of hacked security devices so that the devices can do the player’s dirty work.

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