Before a player starts their game, they can insert Genetic Code. These genes allow personalization of pathogens by providing boosts to how one infects people, reacts to different environments, acquires DNA, and just the playstyle in general of your pathogen.
Every time a player wins a game with a standard plague, they unlock one of the 25 genes, regardless of the difficulty level. The same goes for victories in the Neurax Worm. However, the other special plagues normally unlock one of their special genes.
There are five different types of genes: DNA Genes, Travel Genes, Evolution Genes, Mutation Genes, and Environment Genes. Players can only have one of each type of gene per game, meaning that there are a large number of different genetic combinations that one can use for any disease. There are exclusive genes for Necroa Virus, Simian Flu, and Shadow Plague.
DNA Genes Edit
Get bonus DNA at the beginning (8 extra starting DNA Points).
Get more DNA from popping orange DNA bubbles.
Get more DNA from popping red, biohazard bubbles.
Orange and red bubbles are automatically popped. This also pops colony bubbles in the Simian Flu, potentially allowing for more relaxed gameplay.
Mutation Genes Edit
This gene increases the chance of your plague mutating. This can amplify the tendency of Virus to randomly mutate.
This gene decreases the chance of your plague mutating. This can inhibit the tendency of Virus to randomly mutate.
Your plague is harder to cure. This gene is quite useful in the Standard Plagues at higher difficulties.
Your plague can mutate Abilities, but is easier to cure. Caution is advised when considering this gene for playing at higher difficulties.
Your plague can mutate transmissions, but is easier to cure. Caution is advised when considering this gene for playing at higher difficulties.
Travel Genes Edit
This gene increases the chance of your plague spreading by land. This gene is useful for infecting areas with multiple countries in close proximity to one another, such as Asia.
This gene increases chance of your plague spreading by air. This is useful in situations where planes are less common than usual, such as Volcanic Ash.
Your plague is more likely to cross a closed land border. This is useful in bypassing situations where a plague would usually be locked out, such as shortly after discovery.
This gene increases infectivity of your plague in its starting country.
Environment Genes Edit
This gene gives your plague a minor bonus in all environments.
Evolution Genes Edit
This gene grants bonus DNA when devolving (+2 DNA Points for devolution). This gene is useful at lower difficulties because devolution of low-tier Symptoms, for example, frees up DNA Points that can be used to evolve higher-tier symptoms.
Costs to devolve don't increase. This is useful when devolution of unwanted symptoms in Virus is preferred.
Symptom costs don't increase, but your plague will be easier to cure. Caution is advised when considering the use of this gene at higher difficulties.
Transmission costs don't increase, but your plague will be easier to cure. Caution is advised when considering the use of this plague at higher difficulties.
Ability costs don't increase, but your plague will be easier to cure. Caution is advised when considering the use of this gene at higher difficulties.
Note: Mega-Brutal infected population cost increase still applies to the "stasis" genes. Cost will still increase.
Necroa Genes (Exclusive to Necroa Virus, replacing Evolution) Edit
This gene slightly decreases the speed at which zombies decay, allowing them to be dangerous for longer periods of time.
Infected corpses are more likely to reanimate as a zombie.
This gene reduces the zombie rate of decay in countries with a Hot climate. This increases the effectiveness of zombies in hot countries.
Active abilities cost less DNA to use. This allows the player to invest more DNA Points in improving the deadliness of their zombies if they wish to do so.
This gene increases the chance of a zombie victim becoming a zombie.
Simian Genes (Exclusive to Simian Flu, replacing Mutation) Edit
This gene increases the rate of ape-to-ape transmission.
Call of the WildEdit
Apes are less likely to be found by humans. This gene can be used to ensure the humans take a longer time to figure out that the Simian Flu is causing the apes to behave erratically.
This gene increases DNA gained from colonies (+1 DNA).
Active abilities cost less DNA to use (1/2 cost). This gene allows the player to invest more DNA Points into either improving their apes or negatively impacting humans.
This gene increases ape strength and speed, but it is lethal over time. The latter portion makes this gene potentially useful in a Simian Flu speedrun.
Artificial Genes (Exclusive to Simian Flu, replacing Evolution) Edit
This gene reduces research from Gen-Sys experiments on apes. This has the effect of reducing the effectiveness of the Cure effort.
This gene allows you get DNA when a Gen-Sys lab is destroyed.
It costs more to devolve, but it also makes the Simian Flu harder to cure.
It costs less to devolve, but the Simian Flu is easier to cure.
Bonus DNA is given at the start, but it costs significantly more to devolve (+15 starting DNA Points), (20 more points devolution cost).
Shadow Genes (Exclusive to Shadow Plague, replacing DNA Genes) Edit
Vampire heals faster when in its lair
Vampire less likely to be spotted in countries with lairs
All bubbles are automatically popped for you
Harder for drones to target lairs
Lair DNA bonus triggers with fewer infected people
Blood Genes (Exclusive to Shadow Plague, replacing Travel genes) Edit
Increases vampire maximum health
Vampire Blood Rage ability doesn't cost DNA
Vampire gets more DNA when consuming people using Blood Rage
Vampire gets more DNA from destroying labs and Templar Bases
Vampire Blood Rage ability kills more people
Flight Genes (Exclusive to Shadow Plague, replacing Environment genes) Edit
Vampire Flight range increases
Fair Weather BatEdit
Vampire flies faster when not injured
Socially Awkward BatEdit
Vampire starts Blood Rage automatically when entering a new country
Vampire Flight ability doesn't cost DNA
Vampire flies faster but damages health
Unlocking via Gameplay Edit
You can unlock genes by playing the game. Below are some ways people found which gene gets unlocked by which action, mostly tested on mobile (Android/iOS):
- Beating a Bacteria level should unlock a DNA Gene
- Beating a Virus level should unlock a Travel Gene
- Beating a Fungus level should unlock an Evolution Gene
- Beating a Parasite level should unlock a Mutation Gene
- Beating a Prion level should unlock an Environment Gene
- Beating a Nano-Virus level can unlock a DNA Gene
- Beating a Bio-Weapon level should unlock ?
- Beating a Neurax Worm level should unlock ?
- Beating a Necroa Virus level should unlock a Necroa Gene
- Beating a Simian Flu level should unlock a Simian/Artificial Gene
- Beating a Shadow Plague level should unlock a Shadow/Flight/Blood Gene
Multiplayer genes Edit
Here is a list of some genes on Multiplayer games. Some of the genes on Multiplayer are VS Mode exclusive. This list is outdated and needs to be updated to fit the current game.
- Hydrophobe: Gives your plague a bonus in arid climates, but a penalty in humid climates.
- Xerophobe: Gives your plague a bonus in humid climates, but a penalty in arid climates.
- Urbophobe: Gives your plague a bonus in rural environments, but a penalty in urban environments.
- Rurophobe: Gives your plague a bonus in urban environments, but a penalty in rural environments.
- Pharmaphile: Gives your plague a bonus in wealthy countries, but a penalty in poor countries.
- Pharmaphobe: Gives your plague a bonus in poor countries, but a penalty in wealthy countries.
- Frigophobe: Gives your plague a bonus in hot countries, but a penalty in cold countries.
- Thermophobe: Gives your plague a bonus in cold countries, but a penalty in hot countries.
- Benign infection: Your plague is harder to cure but you start with less DNA.
- [VS Mode Exclusive] Safe house: Get more DNA from bubbles in your starting country, but your opponent gets bonus DNA when it is discovered.
- Unstable inception: Get bonus DNA at the beginning, but your starting country will be selected randomly.