Plague Inc: How to Beat Bacteria on Brutal

In Plague Inc. for the Android & iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, etc.), Bacteria is one of the easier plagues to beat on Brutal.

Here was my gene modifier setup. I have all genes unlocked, which just requires winning 25 games. You don’t necessarily need to have all of them unlocked, but some of the genes I used aren’t unlocked until the end.

DNA Gene – Metabolic Jump (Bonus DNA on red bubbles)
Travel Gene – Native Biome (Bonus infectivity in starting country, if you don’t have this one use Teracyte instead)
Evolution Gene – Sympto-Stasis (Symptoms don’t increase in cost)
Mutation Gene – Genetic Mimic (Slows down cure research)
Environment Gene – Extremophile (Minor bonus to all environments, if you don’t have this use any other you have unlocked)

The basic strategy here is extremely fast infection, and tons of points coming in via Metabolic Jump, which allows you to pummel the population before they even get close to a cure. With Sympto-Stasis, your symptoms are super cheap, allowing you to pile them up quickly.

Stage 1

  • Start in China
  • Transmissions: Air 1, Water 1
  • Symptoms: Rash, Sweating, Skin Lesions, Coughing, Sneezing, devolve any lethal symptoms mutated
  • Abilities: Bacterial Resilience 1

Stage 2

  • Transmissions: Air 2, Water 2, Extreme Bioaerosol
  • Symptoms: Load up on every infectious symptom possible that has no lethality, devolve any lethal symptoms mutated
  • Abilities: Bacterial Resilience 2 and 3, Drug Resistance 1

Stage 3

  • Since you’re spreading like crazy, the world will be alarmed when China has around 600 million infected
  • Transmissions: Bird 1 and 2, Livestock 1 and 2, Blood 1 and 2
  • Symptoms: Start adding minor lethal symptoms to gain access to deadly symptoms, like Paralysis, Coma, Immune Suppression, etc.
  • Abilities: Drug Resistance 2, Genetic Hardening 1 and 2

Stage 4

  • Most countries will be infected, around 4 billion of the population, and you’re gaining DNA points faster than you can spend them
  • Transmissions: Load up, you should have a ton of points
  • Symptoms: Keep loading up on minor lethal symptoms
  • Abilities: Cold 1 and Heat 1 if you have extra points, Genetic Reshuffles if the cure starts to get out of hand

Stage 5

  • All countries infected, around 5 to 6 billion of the population, time to unleash hell!
  • Symptoms: Total Organ Failure, Necrosis, Hemorrhagic Shock, Internal Hemorrhaging
  • Transmissions: You should be about full by now, not really necessary
  • Abilities: Genetic Reshuffles if the cure gets too high, but it shouldn’t really

Stage 6

  • Everyone is infected, everyone is dying quickly
  • Symptoms: Throw whatever lethal symptoms at them that you can, I had enough points to have every symptom on the board
  • Congrats, you win!

Leave me comments with your scores. Here was mine on my first run with this build.

How to beat Bacteria on Brutal in Plague Inc.

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  1. Crash says

    Great strategy foundation!

    My best so far on Brutal has been:
    497 Days
    Cure Progress 50% Complete.
    Life eradicated.
    Score: 34120

  2. Tasha says

    First off, I’m quite upset that I had never heard of this game until a few weeks ago.

    Second, after six tries, adjusting my timing, and then realizing I was using ATP Boost instead of Metabolic Jump, I finally beat the planet:

    528 days
    Cure: 71%
    Score: 35150


    • says

      You just need to keep winning games on any difficulty, they unlock somewhat randomly when you win. I unlocked most of them on Bacteria – Normal.

  3. Emma says

    I infected the whole world, but then the cure deployed and i didnt have enough points to buy the best symptoms. You can manage better with less transmission and saving up more points. I only killed about 600,000 people.

  4. Jake says

    I wonder if anyone realized that genetic coding is a new thing to make the game easier. I beat all but the last strain on brutal before that was even an option. it takes thought and legitimate strategy, give it time, you can beat the brutal free version if you try hard enough.
    (the reason im back on this page is that i re-downloaded it for my new phone, just seeing whats up with the new genetic mutation thing)

  5. Chacha says

    This really does work – thanks! Although it did come close with a 94% progress on the cure but nonetheless it was successful :)

  6. Albert Hayfaz says

    I followed the instructions closely 2 times and couldn’t beat it. Is it really possible to beat bacteria in brutal WITHOUT any gene modifier?

    Even without the genes modifiers, at some point I got 90 DNA points. But even spending as in the instructions, the cure suddenly came out too fast.

    I don’t bother to try to get some modifiers and try to beat it again, but I actually wanted to win bacteria on brutal without them.


    • Fiona says

      I beat it on brutal with a bacteria with no gene upgrades by using a very different strategy. Start in Africa, use no symptoms until everyone is infected (devolve any that occur), only get basic air, water and bird transmission, 2 levels of cold resistance. It is a slow strategy and doesn’t score many points but it works.

      I am just trying the strategy stated above now :-)

  7. Bob says

    Hi I can beat it but how did you keep the cure so low? I never seem to get alot of DNA points….I used the genetic hardening 1 and 2 and genetic reshuffle 1 but the cure still made it to like 80% :/ I can defeat the world just fine (480 days, lots of lethal symptoms) but always get a 3 star score.

    • says

      The Metabolic Jump gene is the best way in fast games to build DNA quickly. It’s the DNA gene that gives you bonus DNA when you infect countries.

      There are a couple keys to getting a 5 star score. The main one is not to devolve anything. Every time you devolve something, it decreases your score. The other key is timing. On the game in that screenshot, I got lucky and started killing people off at the perfect time. I was killing the population while my plague was still spreading, and it worked out nearly perfectly to where everyone was infected right before my plague was done killing. This is hard to pull off though, since you run the risk of your infected dying off too fast before your plague has infected everyone.

      Just keep playing it, you’ll eventually get a feel for when you can safely unleash hell and get a five star score.
      Donny (admin) recently posted..Gears of War – Judgement: Unlockable Multiplayer CharactersMy Profile

  8. Tommy says

    I can’t get this to work at all. The cure comes out ultra fast, and I don’t get that many points with Metabolic Jump. Definitely not “tons”.

  9. Windy says

    What they don’t tell you is, you have to buy the game to beat it on any Brutal level. It’s impossible otherwise. Without the gene modifiers you’re absolutely helpless.

    • Jake says

      Actually that’s not entirely correct. I followed these instructions even without unlocking the game, 0 genetic modifiers. Just knowing the game and following closely to what’s been said can win even brutal mode challenges.
      Who needs genetic modifiers? Psh.

  10. Savannah says

    Thanks for this tutorial! Itll definitely help me.

    But I have one question– for the life of me, I cannot find this ‘unlockable gene modifiers’ that you speak of. And I know I have the paid version, so im really confused….please help?

      • Jake says

        Again, not “absolutely essential”.
        He’s moreor less trying to tell you to buy the game or you can’t beat it, which is untrue.
        I actually beat Bacteria Brutal by following his instructions WITHOUT the use of genetic modifiers, he’s just trying to sell the full app for sponsorship.

        • says

          Actually, I don’t get paid anything for you buying that game.. it’s not mine, and you don’t see a single link to the game do you? Plus, it’s a dollar, if you’re unwilling to pay a dollar for a good game then I don’t know what to tell you.

          You may be able to beat some of them on brutal without genes, but good luck on the hard ones.
          Donny (admin) recently posted..Crysis 3: Trophies ListMy Profile

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