Bioshock 2 Multiplayer Strategy

I’m sharing my experience playing BIOSHOCK and things you can do to “easily” improve your game. I’m sure most of this can be applied to any FPS, but obviously some of it is unique to this specific game.

Hopefully, my credentials are strong enough that I know a little bit about what I’m talking about! I’m in the top ten, but anyone can be in the top ten if they play long enough…look at my total time and average per game!


Here are just some general tips that I would strongly encourage you to employ. They may seem basic or dumb, but they will help you win and get better at the game (and as a gamer).

  •  Be agile. Jump every now and then to throw your opponent off guard. DON’T STAND STILL. Keep moving. Do sweeps of areas, always know your surroundings. Sounds simple, but this is really important. BASICS. I cannot stress this enough. Know where you are! Know potential blind spots! Don’t get tunnel vision and move in a straight line!
  •  Every few seconds if you’re alone, do a 180 and check your back. You will most likely die A LOT from back attacks if you don’t keep honest.
  •  You’re not going to win in this game by camping. It’s just not going to happen (well maybe if you’re a BIG DADDY…but I would even advise against that). Don’t do it. Nobody likes a camper anyway. I see some people who like utilizing WATER + ELECTRO BOLT to set traps and rooms to camp there. That’s fine. You may get a few kills. But you won’t win..
  •  Research bonus. Get it. Do it. I can’t think of a more useful tonic than FAST RESEARCH. Not only do you get ADAM for it, but it’ll allow you to kill quicker. If you’re good, you can get 7-8 in the first few minutes and then pick your battles. Of course, if you’re using one-hit KO loadouts, then I guess it’s not necessary. But, if not, you SHOULD be doing this. It’s an important part of the main storyline, and they also put it in MP! It’s not weak to get an advantage on your opponent, it’s smart. The faster you can kill someone, the less damage they’ll do to you, the quicker you can heal, and go find more people to kill!
  •  The more defensive you are, the more you’ll be rewarded. The less you die, the less chance of someone getting a bonus on you. This is huuuge. Try to avoid highly populated areas, if possible. Sometimes everyone wants to fight there and it’s unavoidable, but this will greatly help in the amount of times you will die in a game.
  • As I mentioned before, don’t get tunnel-vision…I do this a lot sometimes because you get greedy, but avoid doing it as best you can. If you’re trying to: research, hack, reload; make sure you’re clear. If you’re in a wide-open area, just pass it up, you’ll most likely die.
  • As a general rule, I will not do more than two actions (reload, hack, research) at one point without moving. People *will* be coming soon. This is a fast paced game and most maps are fairly small.
  • Back attacks. Do it. Unless you have some moral apprehension against it. Tail people when they don’t notice you. AERO DASH is great for catching up to people.
  •  Areas like HOME FOR THE POOR are absolute mayhem. Stick to the fringe and pick off stragglers. Minimize engagements in the “battlefield” unless you’re confident you’re not being tailed; there are so many “sniping” points, this is hard to do though.
  •  Grenades are great for crowd clearing. In my opinion, it is an absolute requirement for team games. It’s just the truth. They allow you to support allies from afar. Relatively safe to attack from a distance and decent killing potential. I don’t recommend homing grenades…they really aren’t that good. They are easily dodged and need three hits to kill someone at full health. Use regular grenades if you’re going to use grenades.
  •  Back to research bonus…if someone gets one on you, KILL THEM.  ASAP. Otherwise, you’re probably going to get ripped to pieces for the rest of the game. I normally immediately target someone who has researched me as soon as I come back to life. They won’t expect it, and you have a generally good idea where they are and how to surprise them. I cannot stress enough the impact of research bonus. It’s an important element of this game that is mostly ignored. Prudes will say it’s cheap, but I cannot recommend doing it enough. There’s no shame in having an advantage that everyone has the same opportunity of getting.

Big Daddy (offense):

Whether you like it or not, think it’s cheap, or absolutely adore it, Big Daddy suits throw a curveball into normal firefights. They will appear approximately 3 minutes after the start of a match (keep your eye on 12:00 in certain games), and I *believe* 2 minutes after a Big Daddy is killed. Pay attention to a loud “grrrroooouuuuu” sound to indicate a BD has been killed (or maybe you killed him? :)) and take 2 minutes off the current clock and get ready to hunt for it when that time approaches. These are simple time management strategies to obtain a suit.

So what should you know once you obtain one of these mythical upgrades? You’re not a God, but you can get real close if you’re smart. You will be able to mow down people within seconds, stun crowds, lay traps, and perform very satisfying melee kills. It’s a good life.

  • Learn the spawn points (this can take dozens of hours unless you use a guide…). There’s 3-4 a level. You’re most likely only going to have a few seconds to grab it when it pops up, so be ready to run to it. AERO DASH and FAST FEET are God-sends here. I highly suggest using both. You should be able to find 2-3 spawn points within 10 seconds; giving you a major tactical advantage. If you are hardcore, play private mode matches by yourself to find where they spawn; or again, just use a guide online. Or be like the cool kids and just find them over time.
  • Becoming a Big Daddy at first is akin to being a newborn turtle trying to head for the sea for safe haven. You are extremely vulnerable. Thank the 3-4 second animation to tell the world that you’re a Big Daddy. Almost always, at least someone will be near you ready to pounce. If you’re unlucky it’s 2-3 players. I would highly advise not engaging anyone if it’s more than one person targeting you. Run away and drop grenades. They won’t be able to quickly follow. Once the threat is over, resume being a destructive force.
  •  *Never* stay in large wide-open rooms; you’re a sitting duck and can be attacked from multiple points. Be a ninja and stick to the shadows and fight in close quarters. This is critical. Play to your strengths, you are offensively superior; take away a player’s defense. It won’t let them hide or gang up on you.
  •  Fortify your position when you get one. Try and find a place on the map that only has two routes to you. Don’t get stuck at a crossroads or you’ll be eaten alive. Don’t stay in one place too long though or you’ll lose your surprise factor though. Leave “grenade breadcrumbs” near door entrances to guard your back when moving. You do “not” want to fight two people at a time. Always aim for 1-on-1 fights.
  • Know when to run and / or regroup. Don’t pursue and get locked into one person if they try to flee.  It’s tempting, but it’s needlessly dangerous, there are other players to target. If someone’s spotted you and is behind cover or running, consider just moving along. Yes, you could probably kill them, but at what price? You’ve lost your element of surprise. In general, every encounter should be a surprise encounter to the other player. Aim for that to be the case in every fight.
  • Jumpers; aka fleas. They will most likely be using grenades, bees, and nailguns. They’re trying to destroy you. Be careful because they probably can eat you alive. Try and take them down as fast as you can.
  •  Try and kill those with research bonus on you early before they notice you. This is your biggest initial threat.
  •  Nail gun is your worst enemy. It will eat you alive. Good way to stop this is to hit L1. L1 does a ground pound that stuns anyone within a few foot range.
  •  BD has FOUR modes of attack. make use of all of them. Don’t get stuck in “rivet mode”: L1=ground stun, L2=grenade (you have 6), R2=rivet gun (will overheat, don’t go nuts…), and R1 is melee (very strong). Stun + melee can get multiple people off your back. Just make sure they’re not sniping you, otherwise the stun will leave you even more wide open.
  • Grenades are awesome! Right underneath doors almost guarantees a kill. Those will telekinesis can pick them up though! Be careful. Don’t just throw them in the middle of a hallway in plain sight.
  • Sometimes you’re going to have to deal with more than one person at once. The best way to handle this is to first see if you can get them both with one grenade. If not, I would highly suggest running away. Get into a better defensive position where only one, at worst, can shoot you. Most likely they’ll kill themselves if you give them the chance. It’s the prisoner’s dilemma. You’re the bigger threat, but the temptation of an easy kill is usually too much to pass up. Of course this mainly applies for SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, but this is where I spend most of my time, so just keep that in mind! =E
  •  If you have a hacked turret stick by it. All else, I would consider destroying turrets with the rivet gun as soon as you can.
  • If you’re skilled you can get 10+ kills with a BD with not too much trouble. The goal is to surprise your enemies and don’t give them a chance to counter. Rivet gun will kill in 2-3 shots, but let’s just say 3 rounds. I would recommend not going for head shots. There’s no point. 3 shots anywhere will kill instantly. Aim for the body. You can normally kill a surprised foe without them getting a shot off.
  • There are many trial bonuses that you can do much easier with the Big Daddy. Especially some of the DLC multiplayer content.
  • That’s all well and good, but how do you get kills with a BD effectively? Surprise (have I drilled that into you yet?). You have a major offensive and defensive advantage. Use this to squash people in one-on-one fights. Do this by being mobile (no one will know where you are). Do this by utilizing sound. Everyone can hear you stomping around, sometimes it’s advantageous to quick walking for a few seconds.
  • Use the Rivet Scope. Use the Rivet Scope! R3 is your friend. You can snipe people across hallways and buildings.
  • Rivet lag. It deserves a bullet to talk about it. You’ll notice that there is a bit of a lag to the shot. Try to aim a few inches where the person is going to be instead of where they are.
  • One last comment, sometimes it makes sense NOT to get a BD. Why? You lose all your research bonus when you get one. If you have everyone researched you may consider just avoiding it! Also, in games against very high level opponents, they’re going to be able to work together to take you down. Keep this in mind when deciding to pursue a BD suit.

Big Daddy (defense):

OK, OK. You wanted that sweet ride, it makes your voice sound sexy afterall, but you didn’t get it. Bummer. What now? Two options: go about your business or take it down.

  • It’s simple. There are two types of BD users: good ones and crappy ones. Know the difference because it will determine on how you should approach them. This can take time, but you should be able to know pretty much by looking at their rank.
  • Good ones you should target immediately because they will slaughter the field and easily win the game. You MUST have a specific loadout targetted for BD takedown. Bees, nailgun, and Big Game Hunter are the BD’s nightmare.
  • Bad ones aren’t threats. Let them be. Kill them if you have a chance, but don’t make it a priority.
  • There are two viewpoints here when “grouping up” on a BD. One is to do it, and the other is to take advantage of teamwork and kill the others. I’m mostly in the latter camp. I have a loadout that can take a BD down in a few seconds, so I would rather kill everyone else around him. Of course, this again depends on how good the BD is. Use your best judgment.
  • Ideally, I like using another player as bait to get the BD’s attention, kill the bait, and take down the BD all in one swoop. Nailguns and grenades allow you to do this.
  • BD grenades. Good BDs will make you angry because they place them in impossible to find locations. Just be aware of this. You can hear the tick-tock sound of a bomb nearby if you listen. If unclear if something is in the area or you suspect there may be something around. Fire a grenade. This is especially important in modes like Capture the Sister where a BD will commonly place bombs near the Sister. The hit box of a BD grenade is deadly. If you hear the *beep*, you’re most likely dead unless you have insane reflexes. AD won’t even help you here unless you see it before hand (and even then lag will probably kill you…).
  • Know your limits. You will die in 3 hits maximum from a rivet gun. If you’re near dead, don’t engage a BD. Heal and re-engage, if desired. There is no shame in running away if you can’t take on a BD. They’re slow moving. Use that against them. AERO DASH is your friend here. Stick around the area, but behind cover and wait for someone else to engage the BD and use the opportunity to gang up on him.
  • Try not to *ever* fight a BD 1-on-1 unless you are confident you can take him down. It’s just common sense. It’s akin to taking on a tank with a bare hand. Would you do that in real-life? Don’t be an idiot. Wait for backup or chip away damage from afar. Or simply ignore the BD. Either way, being alive is better than being dead.
  • Obviously try not to stand directly in front of a BD because you are at a significant disadvantage. You have the potential of being face-bombed or just riveted to death.
  • The best way to take down a BD is to be far enough away that a melee attack won’t hit you, be behind him or at its side, and jump every now and then. It takes a bit for a BD to turn and when you get in close your strafing speed outclasses a BD.
  • To fix this, a smart BD will stomp the ground and stun you. Know who you’re fighting and be ready to jump to avoid it. In general, jumping confuses BDs and you will be able to do more damage.
  • Certain weapons do very little damage to a BD. Avoid using pistols and machine guns. Shotguns are so slow and require you to be very close. Crossbows, grenades, and nailguns work the best.
  • I would suggest not using plasmids against a BD. They do no damage and simply alert a BD that you’re there and ready to be killed. If you’re going to use one though I would suggest a fully charged WINTER BLAST or BEES. These can be crippling, especially if the BD has to fight multiple people at once.

Common deadly configs:

Even with the myriad of customization at your finger tips, loadouts you’ll face will generally be in one of these 4 categories.

  1. Elec + Shotgun/Elephant Gun/Crossbow = OHKO
  2. Telekinesis + Shotgun/Elephant Gun/Crossbow = OHKO
  3.  Nail gun = Unless you’re face-to-face you’re most likely dead
  4.  All else

How to stop:

  1. I’m going to tell you a secret. A secret that is not well-known enough. The secret is AERO DASH. It gets you out of EB. It puts the fire out when you’re burning. It lets you get to places faster. It stuns people! It OHKOs when someone is frozen!  It is essential for Capture the Sister! It is the best plasmid in the game. Use it against ELECTRO BOLT users and watch them get confused. This has to be in your loadout. It has to. If that doesn’t work, and you’re still getting your butt handed to you…use grenades. Grenades are useful because they disrupt the vision of the other player. A person that is researched will die in two hits from a grenade; relatively well placed, mind you.
  2.  This is worse than 1) because it stuns for a looong time.  If you’re fighting someone good, you’re probably going to die if you get hit. This is actually the cheapest config in my opinion. Be careful when you see someone using this. AERO DASH in all its glory will not save you here. It can’t. TK is broken. There’s nothing you can do but to try to avoid the initial hit or use TK yourself. Grenades don’t work much either because the TK user will just “hold” your grenade. Jumping helps a little to throw off their aim. However, most likely you’re not going to see it coming. Just be mindful of who uses it and try to avoid them if possible. It’s not fun to play against.
  3. Electricity or Telekinesis. Nail gun has a second lag before can fire, when the user gets hit with one of these it will force them to start over. Fire and ice DON’T stun. Don’t attempt to take on a nail gun with fire or ice or you will die. Nail gun is the deadliest gun in the game (which is why I use it). It’s very strong close-to-midrange. It is mind-blowingly deadly if you have a research bonus. It can take down crowds in one clip. Take advantage of its inaccuracy and keep your distance or try to disrupt the user. It isn’t impossible to stop. Do NOT attempt to take on someone with a machine gun in a firefight though. You will lose if you don’t have a back attack advantage.
  4. Pistols, crossbows, grenades, machine guns, etc…in my opinion these can be overcome just by being agile and varying up your strafing…the better you are at shooting while moving, well the better. The other main topic is grenades. Someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing are easily bested. Expert grenadiers are deadly and can take you out fast and with precision. Telekinesis helps to stop them, but I would suggest countering with your own grenades. Keep your distance and run away if you can’t get in close.


Well, we’ve covered the basics, being a Big Daddy (or trying to kill it), and loadouts you should expect. What else? Here are some other tips and tricks.

  •  Late in the rankings (mid-30s and 40), there are tonics to allow the user to COME BACK TO LIFE and BLOW THEIR CORPSE UP after they die. Be careful, if you’re playing with higher levels foes, assume they’re going to use these. WINTER BLAST helps deal with this problem. I would highly suggest investing in some WB. It prevents resurrection.
  • Utilize your LOADOUTS. I rarely, if ever, see anyone change their loadout. Make some different configs that you can use to handle whatever players are in your game at the time.
  • INCINERATE is garbage. Not very much damage and you’ll probably burn yourself. Does not “stun” anything. Unless you’re hitting someone from the back, you’ll most likely be dead before you even get a shot off. Even then…why would you waste a back attack with “fire’? It has limited use, and there are far better things to be using.
  • WINTER BLAST has some better benefits: negates resurrection, disables machinery, slows down door openings, hacks things FASTER, combos with AERO DASH for a OHKO(something you should have anyway). I highly recommend WB majorly for the fast hacking.
  • Another thing to keep an eye out for is “super turrets”. There is a skill called DEADLY MACHINES that makes turrets much stronger. You’ll know when you see it….be careful. Coupled with a research bonus (I think turrets get the benefits of research?) these really can be very deadly.
  • Best thing you can do is learn the maps, vary up your movement, and stay honest! Don’t do things that make you vulnerable to attack or waste time.
  • I’m a big fan of hacking. It gives you ADAM and it has many benefits. Hacking turrets gives you “ears”. You can hear when people are around you because you’ll hear the turret gonig crazy. This is enough reason to hack for me. It’s an early warning signal. Plus you get the benefit of damaging them. Do it. When hacking use SPEEDY HACKER and WINTER BLAST to hack in less than a second.
  • Another benefit of hacking is that you will get a message saying someone hacked your turret. Use this! You basically have a signal that someone is in an area and vulnerable. This is an overlooked benefit of hacking.
  • Don’t be cheap. People have various levels of what being cheap means to them, but in general most people can agree that purposely suiciding, rage-quitting (especially if you’re the host), and whining through email is annoying. Don’t do it. Be a good sport. You may be angry, but don’t act like a child. This is a game afterall. Always keep that in mind.

Fast ways to get ADAM:

Ahh! This is what I want to talk about. This is what *I* focus on in every match; unless there’s actually people who can beat me in the room…then I have to try! Poo.

  •  Don’t underestimate the ADAM VIALS. If you can get 8-10 a match, then that’s a big average booster. They’re all in static areas in each level. You can get clumps of 2-3 in certain rooms.
  •  As soon as you get FAST RESEARCH and FAST HACK, equip them. Not only will they help you out in the battle, but you’ll get lots of points at mission’s end. WINTER BLAST is very helpful to hack faster, regardless of any tonics you have on.
  • In general, I aim for 250 points from research, hacking, and ADAM vials combined at the end of a match. That generally tells me I had a good game.
  •  Well win, duh! I average around 900 ADAM in a Survival of the Fittest game, and around 1000-1800 on average in a Capture the Sister game. The key is killstreaks, but don’t underestimate the points you get for BD takedowns or suit pickups, hacking, researching, and ADAM vials! They ALL add up! Do as much as you can in a game and do it fast.
  • Killstreaks. Little Sister Captures. Big Daddy Suits. Big Daddy take downs. All 50-100 point events. Get as many as these as you can in a game.
  • As a rule I try to average 250 ADAM a game just in research, hacking, and ADAM vials (SotF).
  • I try to average about 250 ADAM a game for kill streaks. Add in 200 for a win, a few assists, 20 kills (200 more), and you can see how it adds up.
  •  Don’t go for stupid 75 and 150 ADAM trials. It’s not even worth the effort, unless you just want to experiment with weapons. By doing these 0/30 trials, you’re going to waste a lot of time getting your butt kicked in real fights. Avoid the plasmid BIG DADDY charge trials. Incredible waste of time.
  •  500 and 1000 ADAM trials are a bit more tempting! Try and do these as these are pretty big chunks.
  • There are very cleverly hidden ADAM vials in a few stages. Most involve needing Telekinesis to get them (or SUPER JUMP). These aren’t well-known, so try and find them and keep them to yourself. You can normally bank on nobody getting these a match. Focus on the common ones first and get these later on in the match.

My Loadouts:

What do I use when I want to throw down? Small variations of the same template: nail gun and grenades. Both are crowd clearers, both are very aggressive weapons, both are labeled as cheap (well, what isn’t cheap in this game…), both are easy to use and hard to master. I will use a Nailgun as default and use Grenades for mop-up or ally support. I will use Grenades on high-level players to stop reraise (shoot from afar so they can’t hit you…or anyone else), and to disrupt their vision. AERO DASH + Grenades are a powerful combo to stop EB and stunners. Nailgun will take down a person in less than a second (especially with damage bonus) if you’re accurate; must be relatively close. It’s a very beautiful, deadly weapon. Ahem…here’s the details.

  • Loadout 1 – Weapons: Nailgun [Capacity Boost] / Grenade [Empty] | Plasmids: Aero Dash / Winter Blast | Tonics: Speedy Research / Fast Hack / Fast Feet
  • Loadout 2 – Weapons: Nailgun [Capacity Boost] / Grenade [Empty] | Plasmids: Aero  Dash / Telekinesis   | Tonics: Speedy Research / Fast Hack / Fast Feet
  • Loadout 3 – Weapons: Nailgun [Capacity Boost] / Grenade [Empty] | Plasmids: Aero Dash / Winter Blast | Tonics: Leg Up / Big Game Hunter / Fast Feet

 That’s about as detailed I can get without playing the game for you. Hope you found something useful; assuming you play BIOSHOCK of course. Otherwise, this must have been very confusing to read! =E

11 Responses to Bioshock 2 Multiplayer Strategy

  1. AshenWarrior/Retched- says:

    Congrats on 4th I’m working my way up too I’ll have to change some of my loadouts thanks for the tips

    now I know your secrets…

    • Gamerguy309 says:

      hey,Ndolger idk if you have seen me in game but i was just wondering if we could just play a couple games together with my bro chicken_a_rice idk if you will get this but if u do add me up man love ure playstyle :)……. gamerguy309

  2. gamer says:

    Sorry but I HATE people who use crossbows and elephants. That to me is cheap as cheap can get. >.<

  3. RedBed_64 says:

    Honestly [This is just an idea] A BD can be killed relatively easy if you use a shotgun with a speed shot upgrade.So if you have it just speed around the BD until he has low health or is dead.

    Take this into consideration.

  4. zOmBiEs8YoMaMa says:

    Hey bro, finally someone who spoke the truth about grenades! I am sooo tired of the messages and headset lobby rants from everyone, but mainly elites (rank 50)just because I have such precision with this weapon. I’m probably one of the most hated for BS2 online because of this, lol
    I have been a long time elephant gun/crossbow user for primary weapon, but am intrigued to give your nail gun a second chance. I agree heavily on your plasmid array. though I have a hard time not using geyser trap/electro lol. It’s a habit I must break away from or at least stray away from time to time haha
    Till we meet again my friend, cheers!

  5. Ndolger says:

    Nice to hear from you zOmBiE. I don’t think we’ve played in awhile!

    I really should update this guide as I wrote it years ago and have found some additional tactics. Also, this “guide” was written mainly from a Survival of the Fittest perspective…and this mode is long since dead (you just can’t find games any more).

    At some point if I’m not lazy, I’ll add a Videos section in here:

    I need to upload some Civil War videos…

    Glad you found the guide interesting. The bit about Elec trap had to do with SotF. You can’t win SotF playing defensively like that. I think traps are great for team games though. It’s very helpful if at least one person plays support like that (and doesn’t die, as traps are tied to the vitality of the user).

  6. peachbomb says:

    great tips, ndolger :] one that i need to remember is to never go rambo alone. i am so reckless sometimes when i play.

    i tried using incinerate/shotgun but you’re right: incinerate is only halfway useful if you charge it all the way. and if you miss, well, that’s half your eve right there.

    now, winterblast i like. i’ve been having luck with that one.

    i guess my question for you is, how do you hop around so quickly? i’m still pretty slow at it.

    • Ndolger says:

      I am occasionally reckless still, but I’ve become much more patient. I still predominantly stay away from groups and prefer to pick off people 1-on-1, but…it isn’t possible to 3-on-1 (good) people in CTS and CW without being patient.

      Incincerate is just too random for me; it’s too chaotic. It is very effective if you use it correctly, but…like I’ve mentioned, Aero Dash completely destroys it. Winter Blast / Shotgun is a pretty scary combo.

      Hop? You mean Leg Up? Well, Fast Feet + Leg Up + Aero Dash is pretty much the epitome of speed. Just need to keep charging Leg Up. I really like falling off something and then releasing a Leg Up jump as soon as you hit the ground, it’s almost impossible to defend.

  7. lovey1942 says:

    Hey noldger lovey1942 I love these ideas they really help thank for t akeing the time to make

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