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Although not as prominent as plasmids, gene tonics provide certain power ups that can save you during many situations in the BioShock universe. They are equipped in a similar fashion to plasmids, except that instead of being activated by the user and replenished with EVE, they have instead a constant effect. Just like plasmids, they can be activated or removed from gene stations. All tonics give you an advantage in different aspects of BioShock, such as elemental damage, increased hacking abilities or damage resistance, although not all tonics as useful as others.

In the first BioShock game, the way gene tonics are utilized is different to the game's sequel. In BioShock, gene tonics are separated into 3 distinct groups, Combat tonics, Engineering tonics and Physical tonics. Combat tonics aid in combat situations where you would need a slight advantage over your enemies; Engineering tonics make hacking significantly easier or gift you bonuses such as health of EVE when you hack; Physical tonics generally effect your personal attributes, such as how fast you can move or how much damage the player can take. The player only has a certain number of each type to use at any given time.

However, in BioShock 2, all gene tonics are now in the same category, with no engineering, physical or hacking separation. However, you still only have a small number of slots available to use tonics in - if you want more you must purchase them with ADAM.

List of Gene Tonics in BioShock

  • Alarm Expert - Two fewer alarm tiles when hacking.
  • Alarm Expert 2 - Four fewer alarm tiles when hacking.
  • Armored Shell - Reduces all physical damage.
  • Armored Shell 2 - Reduces even more physical damage.
  • Bloodlust - You gain small amounts of health and EVE when inflicting damage with the wrench.
  • Booze hound - You gain both health and EVE from alcohol.
  • Clever Inventor - Invented items cost one less of each component to a minimum of one.
  • Damage Research - Increases bonuses received from research.
  • Damage Research 2 - Increases bonuses received from research by a lot.
  • EVE link - Health packs also give you EVE.
  • EVE link 2 - Health packs now give you more EVE.
  • Electric Flesh - Electricity damages you less, but you do more damage when using it.
  • Electric Flesh 2 - Electricity damages you even less, and you do a lot more damage when using it.
  • Extra Nutrition - Snacks and bandages give you more health than before.
  • Extra Nutrition 2 - Snacks and bandages now give you even more health.
  • Extra Nutrition 3 - Snacks and bandages now give you a large amount of health.
  • Focused Hacker - Two less overload tiles when hacking.
  • Focused Hacker 2 - Four less overload tiles when hacking.
  • Frozen Field - You take less damage from cold and have a chance to freeze enemies with your wrench.
  • Frozen Field 2 - You take much less damage from cold and have a chance to freeze enemies with your wrench.
  • Hacker's Delight - Hacking something gives you a small amount of health and EVE.
  • Hacker's Delight 2 - Hacking now gives you more health and EVE.
  • Hacker's Delight 3 - Hacking something gives you a large amount of health and EVE.
  • Hacking Expert - One less alarm tile and one less overload tile when hacking.
  • Hacking Expert 2 - Two less alarm tiles and two less overload tiles when hacking.
  • Human Inferno - You deal more damage with fire, but take less damage from it.
  • Human Inferno 2 - You deal a lot more damage with fire, and take even less damage from it.
  • Medical Expert - Health kits give you more health.
  • Medical Expert 2 - Health kits give you a lot more health.
  • Medical Expert 3 - Health kits give you a tonne more health.
  • Natural Camouflage - Standing still allows you to become invisible.
  • Photographer's Eye - You gain more points with your research photos.
  • Photographer's Eye 2 - You gain a lot more points with your research photos.
  • Prolific Inventor - Receive two items while inventing instead of one.
  • Safecracker - Reduces difficulty of hacking combo locks and safes.
  • Safecracker 2 - Greatly reduces difficulty of hacking combo locks and safes.
  • Scrounger - You can re-search crates and containers to find more loot.
  • Security Evasion - Security takes longer to see you.
  • Security Evasion 2 - Security takes much longer to see you.
  • Security Expert - Reduces the difficulty of hacking turrets, cameras and bots.
  • Security Expert 2 - Greatly reduces the difficulty of hacking turrets, cameras and bots.
  • Shorten Alarms - Reduces the time of camera alarms.
  • Shorten Alarms 2 - Greatly reduces the time of camera alarms.
  • Speedy Hacker - Increases time you have to hack.
  • Speedy Hacker 2 - Greatly increases time you have to hack.
  • Sportboost - You move and swing the wrench faster.
  • Sportboost 2 - You move and swing the wrench much faster.
  • Static Discharge - You emit a burst of electricity when hit.
  • Static Discharge 2 - You emit a large burst of electricity when hit.
  • Wrench Jockey - Do more damage with the wrench.
  • Wrench Jockey 2 - Do even more damage with the wrench.
  • Wrench Lurker - Makes your footsteps harder to hear and increases damage from melee attacks on unaware enemies.
  • Wrench Lurker 2 - Makes your footsteps harder to hear and greatly increases damage from melee attacks on unaware enemies.

List of Gene Tonics in BioShock 2

  • Armored Shell - Reduces all physical damage.
  • Armored Shell 2 - Reduces even more physical damage.
  • Arms Race - Containers contain more ammo.
  • Booze hound - You gain both health and EVE from alcohol.
  • Careful Hacker - Hacking needles move slower.
  • Careful Hacker 2 - Hacking needles move much slower.
  • Cure All - Health stations replenish both health and EVE.
  • Damage Research - Increases bonuses received from research.
  • Deadly machines - Hacked security deals more damage.
  • Demanding Father - You little sister gathers ADAM quicker.
  • Drill Lurker - Makes your footsteps harder to hear and increases damage from drill attacks on unaware enemies.
  • Drill Power - Your drill does more damage.
  • Drill Power 2 - Your drill does even more damage.
  • Drill Specialist - You can only use the drill, hack tool and research camera, but plasmids cost a lot less EVE to use.
  • Drill Vampire - Melee attacks with your drill give you health and EVE.
  • Electric Flesh - Electricity doesn't damage you, but you do more damage when using it.
  • Electrical Storm - You emit a burst of electricity when struck.
  • Elemental Storm - You emit a burst of either fire, frost or electricity when struck.
  • Elemental Vampire - Level 3 plasmid streams take health from your enemies and gift to you.
  • EVE Expert - You can now carry one extra EVE hypo.
  • EVE link - Health packs also give you EVE.
  • EVE Saver - Plasmids cost less EVE to use.
  • EVE Saver 2 - Plasmids cost a lot less EVE to use.
  • Extended Reel - Research sessions last for longer.
  • Extra Nutrition - Snacks and bandages give you more health than before.
  • EZ Hack - Hack success zones become larger.
  • Fire Storm - You emit a burst of fire when struck.
  • Fountain of Youth - Standing under or in water replenishes your health and EVE slowly.
  • Freezing Drill - You drill can freeze enemies and your frost attacks freeze enemies for longer.
  • Hacker's Delight - Hacking something gives you a small amount of health and EVE.
  • Hacker's Delight 2 - Hacking now gives you more health and EVE.
  • Handyman - Repair and name hacked security.
  • Hardy Machines - Friendly security has more health.
  • Headhunter - Your headshots do more damage.
  • Hurried Hacker - Hacks end when you land on a blue zone.
  • Ice Storm - You emit a burst of frost when struck.
  • Keen Observer - You gain more research points when using the camera.
  • Keen Observer 2 - You gain many more research points when using the camera.
  • Machine Buster - Increased damage against enemy security.
  • Medical Expert - You can now carry one extra First Aid kit.
  • Natural Camouflage - Standing still allows you to become invisible.
  • Proud Parent - You little sister obtains a bit more ADAM with each gather.
  • Quik Hack - Hacking has one less stage.
  • Scrounger - You can re-search crates and containers to find more loot.
  • Security Evasion - Security takes longer to see you.
  • Short Circuit - Security is disabled for longer when hit with electrical attacks.
  • Short Circuit 2 - Security is disabled permanently when hit with electrical attacks.
  • Shorten Alarms - Reduces the time of camera alarms.
  • Shorten Alarms 2 - Greatly reduces the time of camera alarms.
  • Sportboost - You move faster.
  • Thrifty Hacker - Hacked vending machine prices are lowered.
  • Vending Expert - Vending machine prices are reduced.
  • Vending Expert 2 - Vending machine prices are greatly reduced.
  • Walking Inferno - You deal more damage with fire, but take less damage from it.

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