Skip to main content

10 Tips for "Plague Inc."

Get the most out of your gameplay with these tips and tricks for "Plague Inc."

Get the most out of your gameplay with these tips and tricks for "Plague Inc."

Tips for Plague Inc.

  1. Spend all your early DNA points.
  2. Hold out for the holdouts.
  3. Pay attention to the news releases.
  4. Pick your (symptom) poison.
  5. Remember to watch the clock!
  6. Use special upgrades in the Ability section.
  7. Parasites cause late-game challenges.
  8. Remember, sometimes you'll need to stall.
  9. Pay attention to the air and water transmission upgrades.
  10. Remember, the nano-virus is a swift killer.
  11. Don't be afraid of throttling back.
  12. Be creative and fun with that disease name.

1. Spend All Your Early DNA Points

It's simple; you need to infect everyone if you're going to kill everyone. It is almost always the right play to spend all your early DNA points to increase your Armageddon plague's infectiousness. It depends a bit on your strategy and the game mode, but you've ideally already gotten the majority of people and nations infected before any serious effort starts to cure your plague. Remember this motto: Spread, then make dead.

There are three ways to lose at Plague Inc. You can have your plague cured by the world's scientists before you've killed everyone, your plague can kill too quickly and burn itself out (even in countries you've managed to infect), or your plague can fail to even reach some countries (see tip two), resulting in condition one or two. The easiest way to avoid all three pitfalls is to really focus on transmission upgrades for quite a while in the early game.

2. Hold Out for the Holdouts

Some nations are notoriously hard to infect (cough, Greenlandbastards, cough), because they have limited access and specific climates. Islands often only have boat contact with other countries, practically making it a requirement to get at least level one of the water transmission upgrade early on in every game.

Madagascar and the aforementioned Greenland are the worst offenders because they also have very hot and very cold climates, respectively, making it tougher for some plagues. Morocco can also stymie efforts since it just has road access. If your plague gets too scary too fast, the Moroccans will just close their borders, kill all their livestock and pigeons and try to wait the disease out. Definitely try to get infected folks in these enclaves before the real killing starts up.

3. Pay Attention to the News Releases

Is there a major bird migration coming up? Have global weather patterns resulted in more rain lately? Have doctors discovered new insight into tumors, making them less effective? Plan your disease upgrades accordingly, and the game will go better for you.

One event that always seems to occur is the London Olympics. So long as your disease hasn't manifested as too severe, has at least level one drug resistance, and has spread to at least a couple of countries, the Olympics gives you a free chance to infect England. Seeing as England is a major plane and boat hub, that is a very nice thing to have happen.

If you're in a close race to beat the global cure effort, pay special attention to any symptom that doctors have "a new understanding of (symptom X)" since if you use DNA to grab that symptom, the global cure will automatically gain a few percentage points! Also, if the iTouch cure device is being promoted, it is often worth the DNA to buy "Rash" followed by "Sweating" just to ensure the hands of the infected are too sweaty to work the device (also saving you from giving the Global Cure a boost).

If you forget what a news item said, just click on the scrolling news bar to see a complete list.

4. Pick Your (Symptom) Poison

In the life of every species-annihilating microbe there comes a time when it just makes sense to go in for the kill with gusto. Remember, if infection rates are already pretty high, it is often possible to sell off some of your transmission upgrades for a few extra points of symptoms!

To get the most out of symptoms, know what you're really going for. At level one, the most useful symptom is often 'coughing' since it draws very little attention to the disease but gives a nice bump to infectivity. Also, at level one, you can get the symptom combo "Walking Dead" by buying 'Insomnia' and 'Anaemia.'

Symptom combos give you bonus effects, making your precious DNA go further. Other combos include projectile vomiting (coughing and vomiting) and public defecation (insanity and diarrhea).

Symptom Groupings for Different Strategies

But, besides combos, you should also have a sense of what groupings of symptoms will work best for your strategy/game mode.

  • If you find yourself racing the cure, start with Insomnia and Cysts. Then you can unlock things like Insanity and Coma, which ups your plague's severity while also making finding a cure considerably more difficult.
  • If quick spread and quick kill are more your style, start with Coughing and Rash. You'll soon unlock Necrosis, which will help your goals nicely.
  • In terms of flat-out killing power, nothing beats Total Organ Failure. If you've already infected enough people, it's often worth it to go straight for this one. Then just sit back and wait for the world to go dark.

5. Remember to Watch the Clock!

When playing as a virus or bio-weapon, you'll find yourself racing the clock, as your disease will have a mind of its own, often mutating symptoms well before you'd like them to appear. In the case of the bio-weapon, the plague will steadily gain in deadliness even without symptoms.

6. Use Special Upgrades in the Ability Section

Use the special upgrades in the Ability section to help control these overeager microbes, and try to spread as absolutely fast as possible. Late game, try to use their natural tendency to mutate deadly symptoms to your benefit. Use your later DNA toward infecting those last holdout countries and on things like 'Gene hardening' to help keep the cure efforts at bay. Let the plague mutations do some of the killing for you.

7. Parasites Cause Late Game Challenges

Both these diseases excel at flying under the radar. Especially with the Parasite, you shouldn't have any trouble waiting until virtually the entire world is already infected before an effort to find a cure seriously begins. Both have serious late-game challenges, though.

Parasites gain very little DNA in the later portions of the game compared to other plagues. That can leave you high and dry if you have no DNA left after spreading it. The key is to not spend a lot of your early DNA on upper-level Transmission upgrades. Just let the 'Symbiosis' ability of the parasite keep those silly humans from detecting the disease too soon, and let the infection spread at a slower rate. Then, with your stockpiled DNA, you can wreak havoc.

8. Remember, Sometimes You'll Need to Stall

Prions are innately so subtle that your plague won't be detected for a long time. Unfortunately, it takes a long, long time to do its job. The key here is to do what you can to stall. The Walking Dead symptom combo is good, as is the Prion's special ability, which helps muddle the brains of all those scientists you infected months before they knew what was going on. Gene hardening is also your friend here.

9. Pay Attention to the Air and Water Transmission Upgrades

The fungus is slooooooow to spread to other countries. Definitely grab the Air and Water transmission upgrades quickly with this one. Birds are another good one, helping to spread the disease across land masses at least.

The Fungus bloom abilities are tempting, but remember that each use ups the cost for all other upgrades on the Ability tab, making things like fighting off the cure or adapting to extreme climates tougher down the line. One technique that seems to have success is to use two or three bloom upgrades near the start, to hopefully get a free fungus spread to another continent for faster overall spread or to a hard-to-reach island. Then just focus on the traditional transmission upgrades as you wait for the spores to find their way globally.

Do not let a single symptom stay active until you are ready; you can't afford early detection since fungus just takes too long to get to every country.

10. Remember, the Nano-Virus Is a Swift Killer

The nano-virus is a swift killer ... which is good since the cure effort starts as soon as you begin. That first "cure" attempt seems almost completely separate from the usual cure effort. Use the Nano-Virus ability to slow and stop the cure command early on, buying you time to spread the nano-bots more like the other plagues.

11. Don't Be Afraid of Throttling Back

It's the endgame, and you're in a race to see if your disease can kill off the human race before a cure can be found. Maybe you still have a small percentage of the global population to infect along the way. Be careful, especially in those last few countries you infect (damn you, Greenland!), that your plague isn't so lethal that it burns itself out before it's had a chance to infect more than a few people.

It may be necessary to actively devolve the really fatal symptoms just to give your plague's infection rate a chance to outpace its mortality rate. Just press the "Disease" button at any time to ensure you aren't killing faster than you're infecting.

12. Be Creative and Fun With That Disease Name

Be creative and fun with that disease name. After all, you may get it on top of all your friend's leaderboards.

Here are a few I've enjoyed using:

Ass Bloom, Fungamung, 0111011011, Blurpies, NipMites, ChodeWorms, ChonchRot, DerpDoom, NoseMoss, NanoWhaa?, BluWaffle, Panicne.

Have a good name!


Ssundee on August 11, 2020:

I usually use Illuminati or ugly

Frootloops on February 07, 2020:

"Vaccines is becoming scary"

Vaccines are to eradicate humans

BlooppieFace on August 19, 2019:

Lol, I'd usually just name my stuff 'jsangajskgnjan' since I'm still on the virus level and 9 times outta 10 I won't win. But times I feel like I'm going to win I name it stuff like "Depression", "Mud23", "Horsemeat' or "Penicillin" :D

'Humungous Tits has spread to Canada!"

"Goat Lick has not been noticed."

"French Homework to eradicate humanity"

"Stabby Stabby begins in Sweeden."

"The last healthy person has become infected with LUBE."

elduderino on May 18, 2019:

I just call mine God

dude on April 13, 2019:

black poison rox!!!!!

CL on April 13, 2019:

Call my "Chuck Norris " haha

some guy on April 07, 2019:

I just put the name of the friend sitting beside me and watch as they destroy the world

Lol kitty on February 27, 2019:

My brother called his disease death and when he looked at the world screen it would say "death" has not been noticed.


MrBeli on February 25, 2019:

Mine it's girlfriend name "Nevena" eradicated humanity... Works fine

Jack Smilex on February 06, 2019:

I use "nothing" a lot.

"nothing has started in italy"

"nothing to eradicate humanity"

It's just ridiculous

Katie on December 26, 2018:

Not to worry, CERTAINDEATH seems harmless.

D on December 15, 2018:

I generally use Mormonism or Jesus. Seeing Jesus has eradicated humanity is just perfect.

Amy on October 04, 2018:

Captain Jack, of course.

Infinity_Phoenix on August 28, 2018:

Mine are either 'Fortnite' or 'Ligma'

"The last healthy person on the planet recently became infected with Fortnite"


Some Girl on May 28, 2018:


"Communism begins in Russia."

"Communism to eradicate humanity."


A really weird Bubbleruler on March 27, 2018:

"North Korea" eradicates humanity

; (

Bob on March 18, 2018:

I always name mine Azerty (the name of the French-language keyboard). It just sounds so deadly...

APersonWhoDosen'tCare on December 25, 2017:

I love using my most-hated teachers names. It's hilarious.

Also, I sometimes use "This" As a name

"This" Is killing very fast.

Some User on November 14, 2017:

"Facebook" is killing very fast... hahaha.. XD

And better yet, "Democracy" starts in USA. "Democracy" to annihilate humans.... wahahahahhaa..

Cooper on August 31, 2017:

My best disease name is The Plague

A human on August 30, 2017:

Mankind. Enough said.

Levi on August 13, 2017:

My go to name is TeenageAngst

Altjon Hametaj on June 28, 2017:


cooties awareness day. hehe.

national cooties day, hehe.

cooties has eradicated humanity, hehe.

BoopyDoopy on May 17, 2017:

Feminism has been cured

Jack on May 16, 2017:

Puberty is mine,

Puberty is killing very fast!

Haiii on April 16, 2017:

I use qwerty. First thing I thought of

Unknown on March 19, 2017:

I call my bioweapon homework

Warhawk on February 02, 2016:

I like Wartime

But I'm going to try some of the ones I see on here

Courtney Rhodes on January 09, 2016:

funny...does a good name actually help you win? in my experience it has, coincidence?

Jotrick on July 17, 2015:






Marco C on July 15, 2015:

Obama eradicating humanity was fun

Harold Jacobson on December 15, 2014:

"Aliens" about to destroy humans !

jason on November 03, 2014:

I liked free t-shirts

Normal life in egypt starts to break down due to free t-shirts

Jamie on August 15, 2014:

Call it *your name* pox, eg I call it Jamie Pox

glenn wallace (author) on August 10, 2014:

Mad Scientist: If I recall, the key to bioweapon is to try to keep it's lethiality under control for as long as possible. Devolve as much of the symptom genes as soon as you can, and pump as much DNA as possible into the other two trees THE WHOLE TIME. Bioweapon mutates into lethal symptoms on its own quite easily, so when the time comes you can just take your 'foot off the brake' and let it kill.

Charlieyourboy on August 05, 2014:

"Jaimito to eradicate humanity"

"A cricket killing very fast!"

"Hitler to be eradicated"

My favorite ones ;)

Oh, and when I use bacteria I use Quantum, in brutal, QuantumV2

And Parasite and Prion are called Phantom and Spectre, in brutal, the V2 at the end too ^-^

loleris on July 30, 2014:

Religion, HugeTits, brainfart (for the brain worm)

Mad Scientist on July 12, 2014:

My Plague name...

Bacteria : TRX-69

Virus : RYX-81

Fungus : FGX -77

Parasite : RGX -666

Prion : DRX-89

Nano Virus : LSX-99

I have not reach bio weapon yet... Because i can't beat the nano viru yet... Anyone can help me? I'm using the free mod....

boone on June 27, 2014:

fungus and name it Jock Itch

Ludmi on May 11, 2014:

I would die crying if a disease called Analfungus was to destroy humanity

JMuells on March 14, 2014:

Stupidity destroyed humanity

ReikoTsuki on March 04, 2014:

Bieber Fever has now killed everyone on Earth

William JCM on March 03, 2014:

My plague name is "War". Why ?

"If we don't end war, war will end us."

- H. G. Wells

Louise on January 19, 2014:

Named one "Bieber" and another "Religion" It was so funny reading the news about how humanity survived Beiber and how Religion crushed humanity :P

No offence to all you religious out there!

Andrew on December 31, 2013:

My favorite name so far is "internet." Makes for some funny news articles...

Nobody on October 14, 2013:

I call it "KatyPerry"

Bullshitt on August 24, 2013:

Nothing awareness day

SWAG has eradicated humanity

Martin on August 10, 2013:

My favorite name is simply: Genesis

ItsKittyIdiot on July 25, 2013:

Something. That's what I call mine.

'Something has been noticed'


oh, I also had Hope and Kindness. Oh, that was funny.

'Kindness has eradicated humans' xD

yetnisshole on July 07, 2013:

The name I like most is Peace.

Peace has eradicated humans. :)

Me on June 08, 2013:

Derpies. 'Nuff said. Perfect for a Prion.

glenn wallace (author) on May 14, 2013:

Lots of good ones! FartyButt makes my inner 6th grader chuckle.

Dmg on May 06, 2013:

I like to use variations of "(adjective) kitty". Started off as SoftKitty in honor of Sheldon Cooper from big bang theory. Then Mad Kitty for necroa. Any cheat one is God Kitty. But then just for fun I like "my ass" always makes for a good chuckle.

Bronze on May 04, 2013:

FartyButt has eradicated humanity! XD

Robert on April 26, 2013:

I like 'ginger' for the pop up ' ginger awareness day'

shaun on April 21, 2013:

T-virus of course !

Julian on March 03, 2013:

I named my disease Hope.

Funny expressions:

Hope is spreading fast.

Hope has eradicated humanity.

I'm spreading hope. That's supposed to be a good thing, isn't it?


vil00 on February 20, 2013:

my disease name is Nexus05

Stephanie Pyper from Las Vegas, NV on January 31, 2013:

Those are all hilarious. Very nice hub, voted up and more! I very rarely read Hubs from beginning to end but yours was awesome!

plaguerizer on January 29, 2013:

"Hardwork has eradicated humanity"

Now who said a little hard work won't kill you...

kevin on January 23, 2013:

ButtNaked , has infected the world.

tyles on January 19, 2013:

asspain was fun because the news stuff was hilarious every time it popped up

Joe on December 25, 2012:

The world is focused on curing your mom ;)

James on December 10, 2012:

All I named my disease was "Death".

...The world is now concentrated on curing death...

He he.

Ellie on December 04, 2012:

I enjoy the name "Love".

"Love" has erradicated humanity.


Plague inc playa on November 16, 2012:

My personal favorite is " buttfudge"