Gene Bank

The Gene Bank as it appears in BioShock's gameplay.

The Gene Bank provides instant genetic modifications that empower the player with different abilities. Scattered throughout Rapture, Gene Banks allow the player to alter their equipped Plasmids and Gene Tonics. The Gene Bank cannot be hacked.


Main article: BioShock Plasmids
Main article: BioShock Gene Tonics

In BioShock, Gene Banks are used to modify the player's Plasmid and Gene Tonic loadouts. The latter are separated into three types: Physical, Engineering and Combat, and a maximum of six of each type can be equipped at a time. The player can also wield up to six Plasmids simultaneously. Not all of these Plasmid and Tonic slots are open at the beginning, as the player starts out with only two Plasmid Slots and two Tonic Slots for each tonic type. Additional slots must be purchased at a Gatherer's Garden. As the player hovers over a particular Plasmid or Tonic, a brief description is given as to its effects, as well as a commercial caption advertising the product.

BioShock 2Edit

Main article: BioShock 2 Plasmids
Main article: BioShock 2 Gene Tonics

In BioShock 2, Gene Banks serve the same purpose. However, the interface is different, and the number of available slots changes as well. This time, the player can wield up to eight Plasmids at a time, starting out with three available slots. Gene Tonics are no longer categorized, so the player eventually may equip any combination upto the slot limit of eighteen Gene Tonics, initially starting out with four available slots.

Help Caption

You can only equip a set number of Plasmids and Tonics at any given time. Vistiting a Gene Bank allows you customize your currently equipped Plasmids and Tonics, swapping out your current set for others. Any PLASMID or GENE TONIC you've collected thus far will always be available at the Gene Bank. You can also use the Gene Bank simply to review your collection of Plasmids and Tonics.

Plasmids and Tonics are equipped in different Slots. To review your Plasmids and Tonics or to swap one in or out, first select the set you're interested in.

Next, select the Plasmid or Tonic that you'd like to swap out. Finally, review your list of collected Plasmids or Tonics for that track, and select the one you'd like to equip. You can always reinstall the one you just removed, if you still like that one best.

You can equip more Plasmids and Tonics at once by purchasing Slot Upgrades at a Gatherer's Garden.

BioShock 2 MultiplayerEdit

Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer Plasmids
Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer Gene Tonics

In BioShock 2's multiplayer, the Gene Bank's function changes drastically. First of all, it can only be accessed at the player's apartment. Second, it is also capable of modifying the player's weapon loadout, along with Plasmids and Gene Tonics. Up to three different loadouts can be created at a time, and for each loadout the player can choose two weapons, each with a maximum of one out of two possible upgrades, two Plasmids and three Gene Tonics, also undifferentiated by category.

Burial at Sea - Episode 1Edit

BAS1 Gene Bank Model Render
Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 1 Plasmids
Main article: Gear

The Gene Bank makes a re-appearance in the first episode of Burial at Sea. The machine's function has been reduced to selling Plasmid upgrades, as Gene Tonics have been replaced with Gear. It now functions more like the Gatherer's Garden than its counterpart in the earlier games. The player can use Possession to make the machine spit out money and reduce its prices.


Concept Art and Pre-Launch ImagesEdit

User Interference ScreensEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


A Plasmi-Quik poster.

  • Gene Banks were originally called "Plasmi-Quik," but the name was changed to be more descriptive of its function.[1] In the Fort Frolic level of BioShock a poster for "Plasmi-Quik" can be seen inside the display window of the Apothecary. In this poster Plasmi-Quik appears to be a beverage used to treat the "Plasmid-blues". An unused audio file for a Plasmi-Quik advertisement can also be found in the streams_1_audio.fsb file for BioShock (on the PC/Mac). It also would have cost ADAM to access it back when ADAM was considered currency before cash.
  • When BioShock's first playthrough demo was released during E3 2006, the role of Gene Banks were discussed in Rapture to not only alter what Plasmids and Tonics the player could have, but it was meant for citizens to cosmetically enhance their own physical aesthetics, such as their body size, how they look, etc.[2]
  • The eleventh BioShock podcast from the Cult of Rapture[1] reveals that the Gene Bank originally would have had a function combined with that of the Gatherer's Garden. This function is used in Burial at Sea, except money is used to purchase Plasmid upgrades, not ADAM.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Episode Eleven: Plasmids in BioShock" podcast, available at The Cult of Rapture
  2. BioShock Developer Walkthrough (at 11:00),