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The first Splicer type the player fights in the game, Thuggish Splicers are the bread and butter of BioShock combat, attacking the player with a battered melee weapon. Although easily dispatchable, they make up for this by being fast movers. There are two types of Thuggish Splicers; an ordinary variety (which also appears in BioShock 2) and an electrified variety that appears in later levels and is invulnerable to electrical attacks. The electrified variant also take a lot more ammo to kill, since Electro Bolt will no longer have any effect on them. In BioShock 2, Thuggish Splicers only appear in the first four levels.


Main article: BioShock


Cannon Fodder? - To a degree. Early on and in lower difficulties, a single Pistol headshot or Shotgun blast can take one down without a fuss. Later on, the player will have to switch to antipersonnel rounds and upgrade their weapons' damage at Power to the People stations to survive. This Splicer type upgrades at the game's midpoint, becoming immune to all electrical attacks.

Notable Behavior - A player can hear a Thuggish Splicer before they see them by the characteristic scraping noise they make by dragging their weapon across the floor. When attacking the player, they will rush towards them in a straight line and jump towards the player when close to them, whacking at them with their melee weapon.

Tips and Tricks:

  • When badly injured, Splicers will attempt to use a nearby Health Station, if available. This can be used to the player's advantage if they had previously hacked the Health Station. After they have dealt a good amount of damage to the Splicer, it will run to get health and be poisoned to death by the hacked Health Station.
  • During the first levels in the game, the One-Two Punch (Electro Bolt followed by a hit with the Wrench) is the best (although EVE-hungry) solution against this Splicer type. However, this strategy becomes useless when Thuggish Splicers become immune to electricity.
  • In general, the best strategy is to kill this Splicer before it gets in melee range, preferably by laying traps in its easily predictable path.
  • If the player is skilled enough, they can attempt to dodge this Splicer's jump attack, and then hit them with the Wrench before they can recover. However, it should be noted that the Thuggish Splicer may turn around quickly and swing their weapon in the process. Therefore, it is advisable to back off after hitting them once or twice so they can't hurt the player and then repeat the process.

Recommended Weapons and Ammunition[]

  • Antipersonnel ammo will usually kill any Splicer in a couple of shots.
  • The Wrench is, surprisingly, a very good choice when tackling Thuggish Splicers, provided the player has equipped the right Gene Tonics (see below).
  • The Shotgun with 00 Buck will usually one-shot a Thuggish Splicer in the earlier levels. However, as they become tougher, it is recommended to switch to Exploding Buck.
  • A Chemical Thrower with Napalm will kill these Splicers in around a second, using only a few units of ammo.
  • Every ammo type for the Crossbow will work well against Thuggish Splicers, although players skilled at headshooting won't need to use Incendiary Bolts, instead they can stick to the standard Steel-Tip Bolts.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Electro Bolt is the prime Plasmid against these in the first stages of the game, as it both immobilizes them and allows them to be hit by the Wrench for quadruple damage.
  • Incinerate! is useful when ambushing these Splicers from afar, as they tend to die before they can get to the player.
  • Cyclone Trap, when placed directly under a charging Thuggish Splicer, will usually kill them or damage them so severely any form of attack will subsequently kill them.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • Natural Camouflage will make it easier to both escape and ambush this kind of Splicer.
  • The Static Discharge line of Tonics will be of great use to the player against this Splicer type until they reach Hephaestus (where Thuggish Splicers become immune to electricity). Not only does it protect the player against surprise attacks, but when in the middle of a group one single discharge can stun several enemies at a time. If hit, this will also give the player time to One-Two Punch the Splicer before it deals any more damage.
  • The Electric Flesh line of Tonics, as well as making the player resistant or even immune to electrical damage, will increase the attributes of Static Discharge and Electro Bolt. These Tonics become useless against Thuggish Splicers by Hephaestus, however, for the reasons specified above.
  • The SportBoost line of Tonics will significantly increase the player's speed and Wrench hit rate, making it easier to evade and/or ambush this Splicer type, as well as survive better in melee fights.
  • The Wrench Jockey line of Tonics will significantly increase damage dealt by the Wrench, making melee fights much easier.
  • The Wrench Lurker line of Tonics will not only make ambushing easier for the player, but will also increase melee damage against unaware enemies (which also counts enemies hit by Electro Bolt or Insect Swarm).
  • Bloodlust will grant the player a small amount of health and EVE after each successful Wrench hit, making melee fights not only easier to survive, but also desirable in some cases. Clever ambushing using this Tonic can even replenish the player's stats, to no cost in ammunition or resources.
  • The Armored Shell line of Tonics will significantly reduce all physical damage received, making melee encounters far less dangerous.
  • The Frozen Field line of Tonics will not only increase Wrench damage, but will also have a chance of freezing any enemy hit with it. This speeds up melee fights, especially against groups.
  • The Damage Research line of Tonics will significantly increase damage against enemies researched using the Research Camera. This Tonic is entirely dependent on how much the player researched this Splicer type.

Significant Thuggish Splicers[]

The only Thuggish Splicer of some significance is Charley, a Splicer using the Toasty model found in the level Welcome to Rapture. He is encountered on the lower floor of the Kashmir Restaurant, having a quarrel with his acquaintance Brenda, a Leadhead Splicer who has locked herself inside the kitchen. Killing him will make Brenda exit the kitchen and attack the player, though it is entirely optional to do this.

BioShock 2[]

Main article: BioShock 2

Thuggish Splicers remain largely unchanged in BioShock 2, still exhibiting the same behaviors and attacks as seen in the first game. Only normal Thuggish Splicers are encountered in BioShock 2; the electrified variety does not appear. They are the weakest Splicer type encountered in the game, having less health than any other similarly leveled Splicer type. Thuggish Splicers will no longer appear after the player leaves Pauper's Drop, so if one wishes to obtain all four research levels for this Splicer type, they must do so before exiting the level.

Recommended Weapons and Ammunition[]

  • The Drill works well against these enemies, especially since they will always approach the player at melee range. A simple uppercut will be enough to kill them in the earlier levels, and later on in the game the player can use the Drill Charge to quickly approach and kill Thuggish Splicers.
  • Trap Rivets for the Rivet Gun will kill these enemies in one shot, and their predictable movement path makes it all the more easy to lay traps. Otherwise, use Standard Rivets, as the more damaging Heavy Rivets are too valuable in most cases to be used on these foes.
  • The Machine Gun is arguably the best weapon against these enemies, as it is capable of killing them quickly and in large numbers. .50 Caliber Rounds are usually enough to take down Thuggish Splicers, although the player may want to prioritize Antipersonnel Rounds in large fights and in the later levels of the game.
  • 00 Buck for the Shotgun will usually kill or severely damage any Thuggish Splicer. Phosphorus Buck will get the player a guaranteed kill if they hit the Splicer, although this ammo type is better used against groups, so as to set several enemies alight at the same time.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Electro Bolt works very well against these enemies.
  • Incinerate! can be used for damage over time, and when used on multiple enemies, it can be effective in crowd control.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • Fire Storm will set Thuggish Splicers on fire if they manage to hit the player, effectively killing them in the long run.
  • Drill Power will increase the Drill's damage output, making melee combat easier.
  • Freezing Drill will give the Drill a chance to freeze the target, making melee combat easier.
  • Armored Shell will significantly reduce all physical damage received, making melee encounters far less dangerous.
  • Sports Boost will increase the player's speed, making it easier to weave, flee or approach this Splicer type.

Help Caption

Thuggish Splicers rely on brute force, bashing their enemies with any implement that comes to hand (a wrench or lead pipe being popular choices). Thuggish Splicers are perhaps the most far-gone, having lost the ability to manipulate a gun's trigger. Thuggish Splicers throw themselves at their target without regard for their own safety, making them a deadly and relentless foe.

"Splicer" is a term for the inhabitants of Rapture who lost their humanity from using too many Plasmids.

Minerva's Den[]

Main article: Minerva's Den

Thuggish Splicers are relatively the same as they are in BioShock 2. They appear only in the first level.

Clash in the Clouds[]

Main article: Clash in the Clouds

A Thuggish Splicer appears in the Columbian Archeological Society Museum in BioShock Infinite's downloadable content, Clash in the Clouds. After completing all the levels, there will be no more people inside looking at the exhibits and a Tear will appear in the museum's gallery, which will make him appear if opened. The Splicer will swing at Booker before the player is automatically taken back to the main menu. This apparition only serves as an easter egg and foreshadows the next piece of DLC for the game.

Burial at Sea - Episode 1[]


A group of Thuggish Splicers trapped in Fontaine's.

Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 1

Thuggish Splicers appear in the second installment of DLC for BioShock Infinite. They carry cudgels similar to those used by their enemy equivalent in BioShock Infinite.

Burial at Sea - Episode 2[]

Main article: Burial at Sea - Episode 2

Thuggish Splicers appear in the third installment of DLC for BioShock Infinite. They carry cudgels similar to those used by their enemy equivalent in BioShock Infinite.


Behind the Scenes[]

  • If the player kills Brigid Tenenbaum during their first encounter, the player will see her body described as "Thuggish Splicer." To kill her, the player must make sure not to kill the Nitro Splicer seen just before fighting J.S. Steinman. Once the player is done with Steinman, head out and get the Nitro Splicer's attention. Using Telekinesis, grab the grenade he throws, and walk out holding it. When the player starts entering the Plasmid theater room, hold against the left wall. When the player is near the door, look directly into in and move quickly forward. If done correctly, the grenade will hit the Dr. Grossman Splicer, killing him before Tenenbaum can, and break the event. Once the event finishes, the player can shoot and kill her, then pull her body down with Telekinesis to examine it.
  • Thuggish Splicers wield weapons that Jack cannot, including a machete, a cart leg, a shovel, a flashlight, and a pipe. However, these items can be made to deal damage if thrown with Telekinesis.
  • In console commands, Thuggish Splicers are designated as MeleeThug.