Plague Inc: How to Beat Fungus on Brutal

In Plague Inc. for the Android & iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, etc.), Fungus on Brutal is probably one of the harder plagues in the game in my opinion. Fungus plagues spread so slowly, that you have to be extremely tactical and patient, unlike some of the other plagues where you can just pump up the symptoms and watch everyone die.

I have listed my gene setup below. I have all genes unlocked, which just requires winning 25 games. You don’t need to unlock all of the genes to win this one, but a couple that I typically use are unlocked near the end.

DNA Gene – Cytochrome Surge – Bonus DNA from popping Orange DNA bubbles, this one is great for longer games like Fungus
Travel Gene – Aquacyte or Aerocyte to give a bonus to your plague spreading by water or air
Evolution Gene – Patho-Stasis – Abilities don’t increase in cost but your plague is easier to cure, this one is important for this strategy
Mutation Gene – Creationist – Less symptom mutations, this one is critical
Environment Gene – Extremophile – Minor bonus to all environments, if you don’t have this use any other you have unlocked

The main strategy here is to infect the world without them knowing, and then kill them all as fast as possible. This is a long game because Fungus takes so long to spread, so you have to be patient.

One very important thing to remember is that you DO NOT want your plague to be detected until the whole planet is infected. The only way to make this happen is to keep your symptoms at zero for most of the game by devolving any mutations immediately, then pumping them up at the end to kill off everyone.

When I say that you need to devolve mutations immediately, I mean once the notification pops up that a symptom has mutated, do not close the notification first, go immediately to the symptoms list and devolve it, or risk your plague being noticed before you even get a chance. If the world detects your plague early, you might as well start over because you probably won’t win.

Stage 1

  • Start in China
  • Symptoms: None, devolve any mutated symptoms immediately
  • Transmissions: None
  • Abilities: Drug Resistance 1, Cold 1

Stage 2

  • Transmissions: Air 1, Water 1
  • Symptoms: Keep devolving any mutated symptoms immediately
  • Abilities: A couple Spore Bursts if you like

Stage 3

  • Transmissions: Air 2, Water 2
  • Symptoms: Keep devolving any mutated symptoms immediately
  • Abilities: Heat 1, Genetic Hardening 1, A couple Spore Bursts if you like (save a couple for the end)

Stage 4

  • Most countries should start to be infected, but they still shouldn’t know about your plague if you devolved your symtoms immediately
  • Transmissions: Extreme Bioaerosol
  • Symptoms: Keep devolving any mutated symptoms immediately
  • Abilities: Wait until there are only a couple countries left to infect before purchasing the last Spore Bursts

Stage 5

  • If you played your cards right, everyone on the planet is infected and you should have around 70 to 80 points to spend to unleash hell
  • Symptoms: Cysts, Hyper Sensitivity, Paralysis, Coma, Total Organ Failure – save any left over points for Abilities you may need
  • Transmissions: None
  • Abilities: Genetic Hardening 2, Genetic Reshuffle 1, 2, & 3 once the cure starts to build (don’t buy these until you start to get points from people dying)

At this point people should be dying by the masses. The cure level will rise quickly, but as more and more people die it will slow down. After you’ve purchased your last abilities, throw whatever extra points you get at more fatal symptoms to speed up the process, but it should be Good Game time pretty soon.

You won’t get many points this way, but I honestly haven’t found many ways to get a lot of points on the Fungus plague.

How to beat Fungus on Brutal in Plague Inc

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  1. Heliumwarp says

    Very nice guide!

    The first few times I tried to use this guide, I didn’t wait until the world was fully infected, so I failed and I was confused on what I did wrong.

    After I realised my error, I was able to win easily.

    Here are the stats:
    Time – 1172
    Cure – 26%
    Score – 16440

  2. Sam says


    there is maybe a bug, because cure starts everytime, although I IMMEDIATLY devolve symptoms. Sometimes there are no symptoms to devolve and cure starts anyway.. this can’t be.

  3. Jazz a says

    I did this, 1495 days, 11% complete, 69000 points. Dunno why it worked so well for me but thank you so much, it was a great help.

  4. Marco Aguilar says

    Thanks man! I’ve been reluctant to seek for help but fungus was the only brutal eluding me. I’ve got:
    – 25% cure
    – 1230 days
    – 16280 points

    What I did different:
    – 3 bursts first stage
    – 2 bursts and the middle one on the second stage
    – Can’t remember if I did this on stage 4 or 5 but got Cold resistance 2
    – After stage 5 I purchased Drug Resistance 2

    And I also got lucky as it only mutated once, and a second one when I was already killing.

    Thanks again!

  5. mack says

    I don’t understand at the very start I never got any symptom’s and none were mutated but China discovered it .

    • E says

      Quick and dirty response – I’ve been able to get down to around 250 days on Brutal, but it isn’t 100%. First, the setup. Pick the ability that gives you bonus DNA for popping red bubbles or pick the ATP boost (depends on preference – the former sets you up for a longer haul, but the latter gives you a faster pop). Pick extremophile, aquacyte, ability to mutate transmissions, and the one that prevents ability costs from increasing (that is the critical one).

      If you pick ATP boost, then evolve cysts before anything. This gives you a little bump that will boost your DNA for infecting new countries. Otherwise, start in a hot island – I like New Guinea.

      The key is that after you’ve infected your first country and have at least one symptom, start spamming your spore burst abilities until you’ve maxed them out. You won’t have enough DNA to do it all at once, but burn the DNA you get on getting more spore bursts, etc., and keep popping the red bubbles that come up. By the time you’ve selected all the spore distribution abilities, you should have around 30 DNA and a bunch of countries infected.

      I usually go for Cold 1 and Drug Resistance 1 at this point.

      Immediately go for the Profuse Bleeding combo by evolving up to hemophilia and (most important) up to skin lesion.

      After that, I get Water 1, and then play around with the symptoms and transmissions, seeking to boost infectivity above all else, and avoiding really lethal symptoms until I’ve got over half the world infected.

      At this point, you should have most of the islands infected, but if not, you may need to restart. You can salvage sometimes by evolving Cold 2, then going for more transmissions (I find that bird 1 and Bird 2 sometimes cause a “pop” of a bunch of countries). I usually hit Blood 1 as well, but be careful about burning out on transmissions and not having enough DNA to unload on (in order) Necrosis, Total Organ Failure, then the hemorrhagic symptoms, and then dysentery.

      I don’t have this down to a science, but this basic framework is pretty fast.

  6. Anna says

    Everything worked perfectly until the last phase. I infected all countries and had 98 points. They spent the symptoms that you asked but people just did not get to die. The number of deaths did not go out of the 989 and I lost. Did I do something wrong?

  7. Courtney says

    I love all of your guides! They have helped me so much. The only question I am running into is in stage 1 it says to buy water 1 and 2, but in the second stage it says buy air 1 and water 2, and then in stage 3 it says air 2 and water 2. It makes sense for air, but water was purchased the first stage.. So would purchasing water 1 and 2 on stage 1, air 1 and two on stage 2, and then bioaerosol on stage 3 be an option? I haven’t tried the strategy yet, but plan to soon. I am just completely and one hundred percent confused with that… Thank you so much for all the help your walkthroughs have given me. When playing without reading a walkthrough, I almost always try to make sure 95%-99% of the world is infected before adding any symptoms in.

    • says

      Probably just a typo, sorry about that. I’ve corrected it to not purchase any transmissions in Stage 1, just the abilities listed on the Abilities page. Thanks for the heads up!

  8. says

    Hi donny
    Your plague guides are really great and super helpful , but i have a little problem when i try to do the fungus level i keep having to devole new symptoms and its keeping me from getting 70 dna points i have every gene exept for the enviorment gene but the new symptoms keep poping up , and when i get every piece of land infected i only have 7 dna genes with no leathal symptons and the world has already found out
    Please help me
    Write back soon
    Thanks alot
    Donny please add me on skype username = klaaslinnes

    • says

      Ok, I re-wrote it and changed a few details.

      Genes: I now primarily use the Cytochrome Surge DNA gene on longer games, which gives a bonus to popping orange bubbles. I like this one over Metabolic Jump because you can keep getting them after all countries are infected. I also suggest using the Creationist Mutation gene to severely slow down mutations. I only got two mutations in my latest game due to this Gene, and the game lasted 1417 days.

      Transmissions: I now primarily use Water 1 & 2, Air 1 & 2, to get to Extreme Bioaerosol. In my last game, these are the only transmissions I purchased. It might make for a slightly longer game, but I feel like it’s more efficient for points.

      Symptoms: I no longer start with any symptoms. Keep them at zero until the very end when you want to kill everyone off.

      Abilities: I don’t purchase most of the Spore Bursts at the beginning any longer. I don’t think this matters much, as long as you leave a few for the end, but I now spread them out a little bit. It may actually be a bit faster to purchase most of them at the beginning, since you’ll end up with more infected countries spreading your plague early on, but this isn’t really that vital.

      I hope this helps!

  9. Heather says

    I used this method….mostly. It took 1904 days, a score of 10750, and cure 51% complete. Instead of patho stasis I used translesion and instead of allowing any symptoms, I devolved them immediately (instead of costing, it paid me 2 DNA points). I started in Greenland, upped water 1 and 2, then air 1 and 2, then extreme aerosol. I sporadically used the spore burst. I evolved medication 1. Once it hit africa, I evolved blood 1 and 2. Once 99% of my population was infected, I devolved all the transmission and spore bursts. Then once everyone was infected, I evolved all the symptoms from cysts on (skipping either inflammation or tumours, which ever one scientists understood). I didn’t have to do any genetic reshuffling or hardening. Good luck!

  10. EiEiO says

    The latest version (on android anyway) makes it so devolving costs DNA which makes it a bit more difficult – you definitely cannot devolve at step 5 to get a few more points.

    I was able to beat fungus using this strategy, the only thing I did differently was NOT buy the intial symptoms listed in step 1. That saved me points for later. It just took longer to spread.

  11. AquaAura says

    Fungus is easiest this way:

    Patho-Statis DEFINITELY
    ATP Boost VERY HELPFUL but optional

    Start in India
    Immediately buy spore bursts and a spore eruption with the 8 DNA
    MOAR SPORE BURSTS AND SPORE ERUPTIONS and buy the constant burst thing
    Wait an relatively short amount of time
    Infect the world (cold 1 2 optional)
    De-Evolve what you can
    Evolve Coughing, Sneezing… Total Organ Failure. Use more points on what you can; Coma, Paralysis etc.
    You may need the Genetic reshuffles and hardenings.
    The world pretty much dies.

    Oh yeah… de-evolve mutations.


  12. The Reinaas says

    I went with cough to total organ failure and ended up with 11190 for a score. So I suggest that route.

  13. Jake says

    Major flaw. Having 70 points is NOT enough to develop all necessary symptoms. (I had over 80 and still didn’t have enough.) Faster (But less lethal) would be, coughing, sneezing, immune surpression, total organ failure. Also, Instead of Bird, Rodent, Blood. Max Livestock, Water, Air, and Extreme Bioaresol for lower mutation chance. Activate abilities earlier to get the continuous spore production (It only appears once all abilities of fungus have been maxed.) Cure goes to fast, faster then lethal. More genetic hardning and reshuffle required.

  14. Incognito says

    Hey, take a look at my strategy that worked, without any genes
    Start in anywhere
    Evolve Bioaerosol and Bird 1
    Evolve Drug 1 and Gene Hardening and Cold 2
    After everyone is infected (which you should use spores because Greenland and Madagascar and New Zealand are so hard to infect), evolve Coughing
    Pul-something which leads to TOF
    Total Organ Failure
    And I won, this is really safe, I never have a symtom before everyone is infected, so the chances are zero.
    Have fun!

  15. kevinO says

    Is this strategy dependent on having a purchased game and being able to use gene mods? is there any way to beat the game without using the extra stuff (which your forced to pay for despite “unlocking” it)?
    I still have plague inc for free, i have beaten all on normal and bacteria and virus on brutal. Currently stuck on fungus and haven’t attempted the rest on brutal yet. My objective is to unlock the bonus stuff without having to buy the game… is this even possible? every strategy i have found thus far requires gene mods, which need the game to be purchased to use (this is just dumb in my opinion, if you unlock something in a game you should be able to use it). If i buy the game and every is unlocked for me… what the hell is the point?

    anyway, if anyone knows a strategy that could help me beat this without using gene mods let me know

    • says

      I have no strategies to beat Fungus on Brutal without genes. Personally I don’t think it’s possible to beat Fungus or Parasite on Brutal without genes, they’re just too hard. I’ve seen other people comment that they have beaten the rest of them on Brutal, but those two are the toughest in the game.

      I don’t know why you wouldn’t buy this game though, it only costs a dollar so it’s well worth it. I’ve definitely gotten my dollars worth from this game anyway.
      Donny (admin) recently posted..DragonVale: How to Breed the Century DragonMy Profile

      • kevinO says

        but my whole goal was to unlock the extra stuff on my own, if i just buy the game and get the extra stuff for free it won’t be worth it

          • Kebi says

            I would have bought this game long since but my default google account’s password is lost to me and despite trying EVERYTHING i have been unable to change it. Best game I have played for ages if not ever. So many variables that I will step by step do the same thing but can get a different score or outcome depending on the news or how the game’s feeling. So weird. After clocking all so many times, I now find Bacteria Brutal (!) a bit hard. It seems as the game evolves so too do my strategies.

    • Kebi says

      I had clocked all free levels on brutal but I think the games evolves itself to keep it challenging and to make you want to buy it more to unlock genes. After clocking bioweapon brutal, it wouldn’t unlock the cheats.I either had to buy the cheats or buy the neurax worm. I forget which. It’s been a long time since my strategies worked and the game keeps shoving me back to the beginning; wiping out my progress in th process. Best advice? Write down your own strategy and keep tweaking it until you win. Don’t get stuck ina rut trying same s

    • says

      I think i found a way to beat it on brutal with no mods but u will need a LOT of patience

      Infect india
      Wait it out until u get 8 dna points and buy the air transmission upgrade wait it out some more and buy the water upgrade
      Wait until u get the points untilu u get the last upgrade of the air and water(cant remember the name but it gets unlocked when u have the 2 upgrades of water and air) do NOT get any other transmission upgrade since it will increase mutation and u dont want that i only devolved about 6-7 times with the cost being 3 to devolve b4 i won the game


      Next get the drug resistant upgrade wait it out for more upgrade points and get cold 1 and 2 then heat 1. I bought the 2nd drug resistant because i kept getting a lot of points somehow but it u think u wont get a lot of points dont. Next WAIT just wait as the infection spreads and devolving any symptom dont get a single one nada. I had about 73 dna points when the whole world was infected if u have enough to buy up to total organ failure buy it and hope u get the points to buy the dna reshuffle when the cure research is 60%. Keep buying the dna reshuffle when cure research is 75% and hope ur fungus is killing them to slow their progress down. Buy insomia then paranoia as in takes 1-4% off their progress. Wait it out and buy any lethal symptom u can afford to make the waiting a tiny bit quicker.
      The research stopped at 80% while i had 400 points less than the writer of the guide on top of the page so people who have genes would hopefully get a better score if they use this ”guide” of mine

      This is not a 100% guarantee that you will win since during my 2nd try i kept getting points and was able to buy all 5 air and water upgrades with only 1.4 billion people infected(which was odd but eh ill take it) i do not have the full game fyi

      Hope this helps srry if it isnt clear its a pain in the a$$ typing this whole thing on a android phone

      • Fez says

        Im desperate to do anything by now lol (except buy) so your way might just help me if it works ill let you know :)

  16. Alex says

    No matter what, because my fungus mutates all the time, I end up losing up to 7-9 per devolv, and when I have 70 I am short of DNA by 7 to buy total organ failure, I never have enough DNA, I have all the exact same genes, and followed everything. Yet it always makes me lose my DNA while i wait for it to spread and i lose the necessary DNA, any help?

  17. john says

    I followed genetypes, except don’t have extremophile, so I used something else. Used spores right away, my followed strategy somewhat closely. Disease discovered at around 50 million, but plague spread like wildfire, used all spore bursts and made it get lethal. Won in 487 days, 50% cure for 23980 points(my 2nd highest). Failed probably 10 times before, with strategy not too dissimilar, except didn’t have pathostasis at the time.

    • says

      Then you didn’t follow it precisely. “Once your plague has infected around 500 to 600 million world wide, devolve all symptoms to keep the world from knowing about your plague”

      If you miss that step, then you’re toast. You have to literally get everyone in the world infected with your plague at the end of the game before you turn any symptoms back on.
      Donny (admin) recently posted..Plague Inc: How to Beat Parasite on BrutalMy Profile

  18. says

    When you have infected the world without them noticing it. You should probably use coughing, sneezing, immune suppression, total organ failure ( probably the best symptom), coma. That seems to work better to me.

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