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BioShock Wiki

Spear Gun Icon.png

The Spear Gun is the seventh weapon in BioShock 2, replacing the Crossbow in function. Compensating for Subject Delta's inability to use a traditional scope, a set of refractive glass 'plates' gives the Spear Gun the ability to zoom in over large distances. It fires spears which can impale enemies as well as nail them to walls and objects in the environment. It is first found in Siren Alley. Subject Delta can also swing at enemies with the Spear Gun, doing moderate damage.

Power to the People Upgrades[]

Basic Upgrades[]

  • Zoom Increase

Additional scope provides increased zoom, allowing you to aim with pinpoint accuracy.

This upgrade increases the Spear Gun’s scope ability, granting the player improved accuracy over long distances.
  • Damage Increase

A rotary mechanism adds spin to the spear, resulting in greater penetration and damage.

This upgrade increases the Spear Gun's damage output.

Final Upgrade[]

  • Faster Mechanics

A reinforced firing spring and retooled barrel allow for much faster spear travel and decreased refiring time. Spears will reach their targets much faster and pin enemies over longer distances.

This upgrade increases Spear velocity and decreases the time it takes to load between shots.

Ammunition Types - Spear Gun[]

  • Spear - Standard ammunition for the Spear Gun. Deal a high amount of piercing damage. These can be recovered after use, in a way similar to the Crossbow's Bolt, though without the risk of the spears breaking the way a Crossbow Bolt might have.
  • Rocket Spear - Uncommon ammunition for the Spear Gun. Ignites all nearby enemies, deals a high amount of piercing damage and explodes after a set amount of time. Splicers hit by this Spear type’s back-burn will run towards other Splicers, setting them on fire, while Splicers killed when this Spear hits them will stay attached to it while it propels itself forward, potentially blowing up other Splicers along the way. These Spears cannot be reused.
  • Trap Spear - Rare ammunition for the Spear Gun. These are identical to the Trap Bolts of the original BioShock. Deal a small amount of piercing damage upon a direct hit and a high amount of electrical damage once deployed. If the spear kills and pins an opponent on impact, the electrified trip-wire will still deploy as normal.

Spear Gun Ammo Capacity[]

Ammo Type Magazine Capacity (Base) Carry Capacity
Spear Ammo 5 20
Trap Spear 5 10
Rocket Spear 5 10


  • Spears are among the most powerful single-shot forms of ammunition in the game, and a single headshot will kill any normal Splicer on any difficulty.
  • The Spear Gun is arguably the best anti-Alpha-Series weapon. If one has purchased the Damage Increase upgrade, any Alpha Series (except the first one and Subject Omega, which both have significantly more health) will fall in two headshots (one, with the headhunter tonic), regardless of Research bonuses and difficulties. As Spears can be recovered after use, this is also one of the most cost-effective ways of taking out an Alpha Series.
  • Spears can be shot while not zoomed in.
  • Shooting too many Spears into the scenery will cause a few of them to disappear.
  • Spears take time to travel through the air, so it's recommended to aim ahead of the target rather than directly at them. Spears also tend to dip over long distances, so it is advised to aim above the target's head if one wishes to score a headshot.
  • Rocket Spears are even slower than Spears, but don't dip. As such, it's not as necessary to zoom in when using this ammo type.
  • Rocket Spears can do even more damage if Electro Bolt is used before it explodes. Very good for Big Daddies, as it leaves them with a chunk of health missing and on fire. The recommended timing for Electro Bolt is one second after the Spear hits.
  • Rocket Spears are best used against groups, where they will cause the most damage. A single Rocket Spear fired into a group will set them on fire and eventually explode, killing every non-boss enemy in its vicinity.
  • Rocket Spears are also one of the most powerful ammo type in the game. Firing a single Rocket Spear at a Brute Splicer, Big Daddy, Alpha Series or Big Sister will tear out a huge chunk of their health. On the downside, each Rocket Spear can only be used once.
  • Rocket Spears will set everything around them on fire, including environmental hazards and nearby enemies. Aligning several Splicers around the Spear's travel path will allow the player to ignite them all.
  • Firing a Rocket Spear at a corpse, ice block or object will cause the Spear to spiral across the area at random, setting everything around it on fire before exploding.
  • Trap Spears will always deploy in a horizontal line when fired. This makes their deployment pattern easy to predict.
  • Trap Spears are a very versatile form of ammunition, and have several uses, as follows:
    • They can be used as defensive traps. While an apparently obvious fact, there are many ways to set a trap. One can simply deploy a Trap Spear in a passage or, if the player is feeling more strategic, they may deploy a Trap Spear in the way of a hotspot, e.g. an unhacked Health Station or a body of water if the player is setting Splicers on fire. (Hacked Health Stations already poison enemies who try to heal there, so placing a Trap Spear there would be redundant.)
    • They can be shot directly to enemies, doing less base damage than a normal Spear, in addition to a certain amount of electrical damage. The total amount of damage done is higher than that of normal Spears. Considering Trap Spears cannot be recovered, this strategy is a waste in the campaign. However, it is also very effective in The Protector Trials DLC, as some trials only provide Trap Spears, along with other trap-type ammunition.
    • A costly but effective strategy involves laying several Trap Spears in a passage, and provoking a Bouncer into charging through. Usually six or seven Trap Spears are necessary to kill a Bouncer instantly.
  • Trap Spears, even friendly, will damage the player upon contact, unless the player prepares against this occasion (see recommended tonics, below).

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 Spear Gun is capable of killing any non-boss enemy in a single headshot on any level in the game and on any difficulty.
  • Spears are recoverable.
  • The Faster Mechanics upgrade eliminates two of the Spear Gun's most frustrating weaknesses: the Spears' travel time and the weapon's low rate of fire; effectively turning the weapon into a sniper rifle of sorts.
  • Two of the weapon's ammo types can be directly boosted through Gene Tonics.
  • The Zoom Increase upgrade can be used to scout faraway areas for enemies and traps.
  • Mastery of this weapon allows the player to clear a wide area without getting attacked.


  • Most of the game's areas aren't well suited for long-range sniping.
  • Mid-range combat with this weapon is inefficient and overly difficult compared to most other weapons.
  • Shooting an enemy's head in the middle of combat is hard to accomplish, usually requiring the use of Plasmids.
  • Trap Spears are one of the rare ammo types capable of harming the player (although this can be avoided with the Electric Flesh gene tonic).
  • Sniping efficiently with this weapon requires the player to zoom in, preventing the use of Plasmids and leaving one open to surprise attacks.
  • Big Daddies (save for the Alpha Series) are immune to headshots, nullifying this weapon's primary use.


The Spear Gun is the perfect sniping weapon, and its secondary ammo types are both powerful and versatile. If one possesses enough twitch-aim capabilities, one may even use it in direct combat to deadly effect. However, this weapon is also difficult to handle both inside and outside of combat, and in the hands of a less experienced player may even lead to more harm than good. While a veteran sniper will be able to pin the entire contents of a room to the wall without ever getting attacked, most others will end up wasting ammunition, EVE and First Aid Kits in an attempt to score a headshot. As such, it is only recommended to specialize in the Spear Gun if one knows how to handle a long-range weapon well.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Telekinesis can be used in many ways with this weapon: one can use it to pull a Spear out of an enemy or the scenery and fire it again ad infinitum, at a small cost in EVE and virtually no reload time. Alternatively, it can be used to reposition Trap Spears, both friendly and unfriendly.
  • Electro Bolt can be used to lock the enemy in place, allowing for an easier headshot.
  • Winter Blast achieves the same effect, although killing an enemy frozen with Winter Blast 1 will shatter them, leaving no loot.
  • Decoy will attract all nearby enemies towards it, rendering them all vulnerable to a well-placed Rocket Spear.
  • Placing a single Trap Spear above a Cyclone Trap, regardless of whether the latter has been charged with another Plasmid, will kill any normal Splicer on any difficulty and on any level.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • Natural Camouflage will allow the player to snipe without risking getting attacked by a nearby enemy (unless said enemy bumps into the player).
  • Walking Inferno will increase the damage dealt by Rocket Spears.
  • Electric Flesh, in addition to granting the player complete invulnerability to electricity, will also increase the damage dealt by Trap Spears.
  • Damage Research increases the effects of damage bonuses earned through research.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • Spears already existed in the original BioShock. The most infamous example is Andrew Ryan's Trophy Room, where several would-be traitors can be found incinerated and nailed to the walls with the aforementioned spears.
  • Unlike the Spear Gun's counterpart, the Crossbow, Spears don't break. Instead, firing several Spears at the scenery will cause the first ones to disappear.
  • Unarmed Trap Spears are incorrectly labeled as Trap Bolts.
  • It seems the scope upgrade uses a damaged scope, as when zoomed in one can see cracks in the glass.
  • When using Rocket Spears against an enemy frozen inside an ice block, the victim will fly around the room before exploding.
  • It can be inferred that it is a Big Daddy-specific weapon, as its size would make it extremely difficult for an ordinary Splicer or human, except for a Brute, to lift and aim.
  • The original concept of the Spear Gun was of a huge harpoon gun ripped off a ship.
  • Spear guns are generally used for spearfishing, a method of fishing adapted towards killing large prey. Since the only Spear Guns in the game seem manufactured for use by Big Daddies, it is likely they were made with the sole intent of killing Splicers.
    • Alternatively the Spear Gun could have been originally manufactured for use outside Rapture. i.e. for catching large fish/sea life. It's likely that the Spear Gun's most current employment method was implemented during or after the civil war broke out.