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Suchong's Corpse

Suchong pinned to his desk by a drill.

The Drill is a tool and weapon used by Big Daddies in Rapture. All Bouncers have drills affixed to their suits, and playable Alpha Series Subject Delta and Subject Sigma can use Drills in BioShock 2 and Minerva's Den.


Main article: BioShock

The Drill is the main weapon used by the Bouncer and is capable of shredding any unfortunate Splicer in a matter of seconds. The Drill is directly attached to the Bouncer's suit, and with one exception, no Drill can be seen separated from its Big Daddy. Drills carry no loot and cannot be interacted with by Jack.

BioShock 2[]

Main article: BioShock 2

Drill Fuel

The iconic weapon of the Bouncer, the Drill is the melee weapon for Subject Delta in BioShock 2. To be able to function to its fullest potential, it must be supplied with Drill Fuel. This is the first weapon available to the player and is on Delta's person at the start of the game.

Attack Types[]

Delta can use the Drill to perform three different attacks (excluding the final upgrade for the drill):

  • He can bore directly into an enemy until they die. This consumes fuel, but it quickly depletes the enemy's health with a speed similar to an improved fire attack. Drilling into Splicers will stun them, but Big Daddies and Big Sisters will still be able to push Delta away.
  • Alternatively, he can perform a quick-melee attack, dealing an uppercut with the Drill. Melee attacks with the drill are more impactful than melee attacks using the other weapons in Delta's arsenal. Although this does not consume fuel, it deals less damage than by directly boring into them, and will leave Delta momentarily defenseless.
  • Drill Dash: This is used by combining a rev up with a quick-melee attack to charge into the target. This not only gives Delta a jolt of speed in one direction, but it also finishes the charge with a powerful slam (to the point where it can kill most small Splicers in one shot). This attack is not immediately available to Subject Delta; he must research the ability off of Brute Splicers first. Note: This is also a good strategy to use for speedrunning, as you can achieve faster ways of transportation to objectives.

Power to the People Upgrades[]

Drill all upgrades

Concept art for the Drill.

Basic Upgrades[]

  • Side Augers

Augers on the side of the Drill increase the damage.

This upgrade increases the Drill's damage output.
  • Lubricating Nozzle

Cooling nozzles lubricate the Drill, reducing the speed of fuel consumption.

This upgrade decreases the Drill's fuel consumption rate by approximately 33%, or one-third.

Final Upgrade[]

  • Reflector Plate

A large electromagnetic dynamo is powered by the Drill's rotation.

This upgrade causes every shot and projectile to be reflected back at the attacker when spinning the Drill.

Ammunition Types - Drill[]

  • Drill Fuel - Base Ammo: Drill Fuel is the resource consumed by the Drill when using a spin attack or Drill Dash. It comes in the form of small fuel cans which can be picked up or bought by the player. One can also get this completely full in Pauper's Drop by accessing a Fuel Station.



The Drill used against a Splicer (pre-release).

  • No weapon in the game will consume ammo faster than the Drill, even with the Lubricating Nozzle upgrade. For this reason, it's recommended that players try to avoid wasting Drill Fuel on cannon-fodder enemies who will easily die with one or two melee attacks (e.g.: Thuggish Splicers or Leadhead Splicers); instead saving it for moderate or strong enemies, or for situations when the player is fighting hordes of enemies (i.e. protecting a Little Sister during a gathering session).
  • If possible, avoid fighting out in the open with this weapon, especially against Leadhead Splicers. Use corners or bottlenecks to one's advantage. If caught unaware in an open environment, use a Drill Dash to quickly close the distance.
  • The Drill's Side Augers upgrade will allow the player to kill enemies faster, thus consuming less ammunition. As such, it is advised to take it before the Lubricating Nozzle upgrade.
  • If the player wants to specialize in melee combat with the Drill, it is recommended to research Big Daddies as it grants a 50% Drill damage increase to all enemies.
  • It is also recommended to research Brute Splicers, as this will increase all base melee damage for all weapons.

Why Specialize?[]

Unlike the original game, it is impossible to fully upgrade every weapon through the course of the campaign. Each upgrade choice will affect the player's experience, and may or may not be suited to their combat style. The following is a brief guide to the strategic advantages and disadvantages associated with this weapon:


  • The Drill has the highest damage output of all weapons in the game.
  • Most of the game takes place in small enclosed spaces, favoring melee combat.
  • The Reflector Upgrade grants the player total immunity to frontal ranged attacks.
  • In addition, the same upgrade deflects enemy attacks back at them, granting the Drill ranged capabilities.
  • Even Big Daddies cannot survive for more than ten seconds from continuous drilling, making this an ideal last-resort weapon.
  • Drill Fuel is one of the most common forms of ammunition in the game, compensating somewhat for the weapon's high ammo consumption rate.
  • Stealth is available in order to do more damage to enemies, and the drill will do an incredible amount of damage if done correctly.


  • The Drill is by far the most ammo-hungry weapon in the game, even when fully upgraded. Do not specialize in this weapon if continuously low on cash and ammunition.
  • Drill combat is hard to master, and inexperienced players may find themselves forced to buy First Aid Kits and possibly EVE Hypos on a regular basis.
  • The Drill is the most limiting weapon in the player's arsenal, forcing one down to melee range.
  • Drill combat usually requires heavy use of Plasmids (especially Electro Bolt), which may force the player to constantly buy or scrounge for EVE Hypos.
  • The Drill's final upgrade consumes ammunition during use, and is hard to exploit to full effect.
  • The Drill is ineffective against large crowds, as the player must navigate towards each individual enemy at a time.


The Drill is the most polarizing weapon in the game: a skilled melee player with a fully-upgraded Drill will be able to kill any enemy within seconds, as well as become completely immune to ranged attacks. On the other hand, most other players will be desperate for First Aid Kits, possibly EVE Hypos and Drill Fuel in under an hour of combat. If the player doesn't engage often in melee fights, then any upgrades spent on the Drill will be completely wasted. In short, purchasing all of the Drill's upgrades is recommended only for melee specialists, but in the right hands it becomes the deadliest weapon of all.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Electro Bolt is the best Plasmid to use in conjunction with the Drill, as it will multiply any damage it deals by a factor of four (This is known as the One-Two Punch). Stunned enemies also count as unaware.
  • Winter Blast will freeze and stun the enemy for even longer, although killing a frozen enemy will yield no loot (unless the player is using version 2 or 3).
  • Insect Swarm will temporarily distract enemies at the start of its effects, during which they will count as unaware.
  • Decoy can draw away the enemy's attention, allowing the player to approach the target. This is especially useful with Drill Lurker, as it will instantly kill certain distracted enemies even with a quick-melee attack.
  • Telekinesis allows the player to use objects as shields while approaching distant enemies. Even with the Reflector Plate upgrade this Plasmid is still useful for this purpose considering that it takes less EVE (none if one doesn't throw the object) than the Reflector Plate consumes fuel in its use.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • The Drill Power line of tonics greatly increases Drill damage.
  • Freezing Drill gives each Drill hit a chance of freezing the target, as well as increasing freeze times.
  • Damage Research increases the effects of damage bonuses earned through research.
  • Drill Vampire partially refills the user's health and EVE with each successful Drill attack.
  • Drill Specialist, while not having any direct effect on the Drill, is a useful tonic for a dedicated Drill user. Although it greatly limits the player's weapon selection, it allows the player to use Plasmids at 50% normal EVE costs.
  • Natural Camouflage will render the player completely invisible, increasing the chance an enemy might approach Delta and turn their back on him.
  • Drill Lurker will greatly increase the Drill's power against any unsuspecting enemy. Especially useful when combined with Natural Camouflage, Decoy, or Insect Swarm.
  • Sports Boost will allow the player to approach enemies more quickly, as well as dodge projectiles and melee attacks with greater ease.
  • In Minerva's Den, equipping the Drill Dash Tonic is the only way of being able to perform said attack.

Burial at Sea[]

Brigid TenenbaumHQ
"The slugs alone could not provide enough ADAM for serious work. But combined with the host...
now we have something."
Brigid Tenenbaum

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Main article: Burial at Sea

Before the Civil War had started, the Bouncer's drill also had a grappling line, which was used to help them travel when carrying out construction work on Rapture's rough terrain. The grappling line could also be used in combat to pull enemies closer to them and down from Pneumo Lines and Freight Hooks. This feature was removed from the Bouncer model after the war had started due to an instability, such as behavioral issues, which is why it is never seen in any previous/successive games. These drills could fire multiple decameters and had a powerful barb to keep it from falling off of where it was fired.

Infinite Spoilers

A drill is used to impale Booker/Comstock after he tries to retrieve Sally from a Little Sister Vent after he is encountered by the Lutece Twins and is told that he tries to live his life, but all he ends up doing is taking life from others. Grief ridden and frightened, he attempts to successfully apologize to Elizabeth, only to fail and have her tell him he should be sorry; just before Comstock gets impaled by a Bouncer’s drill.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • In the "Hunting the Big Sister" demo, Subject Delta was able to scare off enemies by revving the Drill. When done, it would not consume fuel. This functionality was never included in the game.[1]


  1. Hunting the Big Sister Demo on