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A gift-wrapped Gear package.

Gear is the passive upgrade system in BioShock Infinite. Gear is equipped to specific parts of the body, namely the head, torso, legs, and feet. Gear can be changed at any time and allows the player to tailor the Gear load out to the specific situation. Booker can usually find Gear in gift wrapped packages on numerous locations throughout the game (usually behind locked doors and discreet locations). The Gear one obtains at every drop is randomized upon activation, meaning that reloading from a checkpoint and picking a Gear package up again will not yield the same item (except in certain cases, see below). Some drops appear to only give Gear for one slot, such as the random drop for the Fraternal Order of the Raven, which only seems to give pants. In the main game, there are 41 different Gear items, though in a normal playthrough the player will not be able to obtain them all. Purchasing the Premium or Songbird Edition adds three more pieces of Gear (Betrayer, Bull Rush and Extra! Extra!), completing the Industrial Revolution online game yields three more (Fleet Feet, Handyman Nemesis and Sugar Rush) and purchasing the Season Pass grants another four Gear items (Ammo Advantage, Eagle Strike, Electric Punch and Ghost Soldier), bringing up the total to a possible 51. The same Gear included in the Premium or Songbird Editions are part of the Columbia's Finest DLC.


BSI Gear Hat

Hat items specialize mainly in transfusing Vigor effects into melee attacks, giving them a chance to burn, shock or even possess enemies, though there are many other effects included, such as granting the player better survivability in protracted battles by making them less vulnerable, especially when it comes to smaller aspects such as reload speed, evasion of mechanical enemies, and more.

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BSI Gear Shirt

Shirt items generally improve the player's effectiveness in the midst of combat, allowing them to thrive even when overwhelmed. Certain shirts even let the player release elemental bursts around them when struck, igniting or shocking nearby enemies. Other aspects include but are not limited to more melee damage, movement speed bonuses, and increased yield of ammunition.

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BSI Gear Pants

Pants items are particularly useful at getting the player out of difficult situations, offering a means of escaping or making a final stand when low on resources. Other pants instead let the player initiate fights with increased effectiveness, allowing them to whittle down the enemy's numbers before they can react. Other aspects include but are not limited to: more melee damage, use of Health as Salts, decreased shield recharge delay, and faster recharge of the shield.

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BSI Gear Shoe

Boots items offer a variety of situational bonuses, enhancing the player's capabilities in specific situations. Boots mainly grant offensive advantages, but also offer more defensive boons such as momentarily invulnerability or a full recovery upon death.

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Gear Locations[]

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"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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BioShock Infinite[]

Though most Gear drops are randomized (even when looting Gear from Handymen), certain pieces of Gear only spawn in specific locations. They are the following:

There are certain Gear drops located close to checkpoints where it may be advantageous to reload the checkpoint until you get the desired Gear. Recommended locations are as follows:

  • In the Fraternal Order of Raven, after taking the elevator down from the chapel but before the first battle with a Zealot of the Lady, there is a Gear located in a room hidden behind a bookshelf.
  • Battleship Bay when Elizabeth first throws you a coin, there is one Gear located in the room containing a Voxophone at the end of the hallway. There is also potentially another Gear drop gifted by the Interracial Couple if you chose to throw the ball at Fink in Raffle Square, or by Flambeau if you choose to throw it at the couple.
  • After the elevator ride from Soldier's Field Main Street in the area before first picking up Bucking Bronco, there is a locked room (1 lockpick) containing a Gear drop and a Gun Automaton.
  • In Patriot's Pavilion, there is a locked room (3 lockpicks) in the Ticket building. It is recommended that the checkpoint at the gondola to the Hall of Heroes is triggered after clearing the area, to allow quick looting.
  • In the Hall of Heroes there are two Gear drops located in the workshop rooms of either the Beijing or Wounded Knee exhibits. There is also another piece of Gear that can be reached by entering the maintenance room, but the gate requires Shock Jockey to open.
  • Inside the Toy Soldiers shop, behind a door that requires Shock Jockey to open.
  • Another in Soldier's Field can be found in the hotel room of Preston E. Downs. Opening the door to the hotel room requires Shock Jockey.
  • At the Worker Induction Center docks inside the locked trolley (5 lockpicks).
  • At the Plaza of Zeal, on the roof above Gunsmith Shop entrance.
  • In Shantytown near a broken vending machine right after the stockades.
  • Inside the Factory, in the area after the "Fink MFG" sign which gets destroyed by a Vox Beast.
  • After killing Lady Comstock for the first time at the Memorial Gardens; behind her crypt on the right hand side is another crypt blocked by a gate. Light the two candles either side of the gate and it will open. Leave the Gardens and listen to the Lutece twins talk about the three truths. The checkpoint will happen straight after the conversation.

Clash in the Clouds[]

Gear is provided by the Columbian Sundry and Supply vending machine, which can be accessed between the rounds.

Burial at Sea - Episode 1[]

In contrary to BioShock Infinite, all Gear in Burial at Sea - Episode 1 spawn at a specific location.

Bugs / Glitches[]

  •  Icon pc Icon xbox Icon ps3 Though not specifically a bug, a design oversight within the game allows the player to obtain every single random Gear item early on, as well as max out on lockpicks and potentially earn infinite amounts of Silver Eagles. During the chapter Return to the Hall of Heroes, reentering and exiting the Hall of Heroes will cause most of the level to reset, allowing the player to loot certain areas ad infinitum. In particular, the shop near the carousel in Soldier's Field has a locked door inside that can be opened with Shock Jockey, though the player must first lift the shop gate to enter. Inside will be a Gear package alongside a Sniper Rifle and lootable pieces of furniture. The gear box respawns - Repeating the above will allow the player to obtain almost every single piece of Gear in the game, save for those with fixed locations.[1]

Removed Gear from BioShock Infinite[]

  • Breach Coat: (Also known as Tainted Love).[2]
  • Skyline Melee Boost: Was to allow the player to jump farther from Sky-lines to melee attack enemies.[3]

Removed Gear from Burial at Sea - Episode 1[]

  • Brittle Bullets: Bullet based weapons shoot brittle bullets that do less direct damage but make enemies take 2x damage for 5 seconds.
  • Coat of Harms
  • Little Bang Theory: Explosive Crossbow bolts are muffled (stealth is maintained). Likely removed as the Crossbow was cut from the game.
  • Make Soup: Performing an Elemental/Plasmid Combo gives a chance to get a Winter Shield.
  • SoulTrap: A renamed version of the Ghost Posse Gear.
  • System Overload: Enemies killed while affected by two states do an AoE explosion.
  • Urgent Care


Concept art and Promotional Images[]

BioShock Infinite[]

Burial at Sea - Episode 1[]

Behind the Scenes[]

  • Gear works similar to Rapture's Gene Tonics, especially Gear's specific equip slots in the format of Rapture's Combat, Engineering, and Physical Tonics.
  • Before the Gear system was implemented, the game's passive upgrades came in the form of Nostrums, unstable solutions which would have granted the player a variety of permanent bonuses. Though the latter were replaced by Gear, the idea of permanent augmentations survived in the form of Infusions.
  • According to the game's files, Gears used to pertain to Lungs, Heart, Brain and Arms before becoming clothing. There are references that there were seven locations that could mount Gear. The Head, Chest, Legs, Waist, Feet, Neck and Pocket.[4]
  • At one point in development Gear, called Protecto-Gear, could be found in large boxes. Protecto-Gear was made of leather and seemed to to be some form of armor rather than the later versions that give additional abilities. At one point in development, one of the supplies Elizabeth was able to throw to Booker with was listed as "Armor".[5]
    • The concept art for this was made by Robb Waters.[6]
    • Some Founder and Vox Soldiers are seen to wear armor later in the game. While not the same, this armor looks similar to Protecto-Gear.
  • Concept art for the in-game Gear was made by Chris Chaproniere.[7]
  • Game files indicate that at one time there was a color coded rarity rating for Gear. There were four different ratings. Common (Green), UnCommon (Light Blue), Rare (Gold) and Epic (Royal Purple). It is unknown how this rarity rating system would have worked in game. It is possible that this rarity system was to be used with the canceled Spec-Ops Co-Op game mode.