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Push your enemies away or pull them toward you - with UNDERTOW, you control where the fight occurs.
― Fink Manufacturing advertisement

Undertow is a Vigor in BioShock Infinite. Created in the city of Columbia, Undertow gives the user the ability to attract and repel adversaries. When cast, Undertow reflects all incoming projectiles and pushes back all enemies in front of Booker DeWitt, knocking them away and throwing them to the ground if they land back down. For double the Salts cost, charging Undertow pulls a target to Booker and momentarily suspends them in the air, temporarily increasing their vulnerability to damage. Undertow is ineffective against the Siren, and cannot push or pull automatons such as Motorized Patriots.

BioShock Infinite[]


BioShock Infinite Undertow

Undertow Video.

Main article: BioShock Infinite

Undertow is the seventh Vigor the player comes across in the game. A bottle of it is found in Jeremiah Fink's office right before facing Daisy Fitzroy and the Vox Populi at the summit of Fink Manufacturing.


Vigor Combos[]


  • Using Undertow on enemies under the effects of Shock Jockey or shocking enemies pulled by Undertow will deal them very large amounts of damage over a short period of time, killing most standard enemies in a single combo. Enemies pulled into a Shock Jockey trap will also receive massive damage. Survivors stuck in the trap after releasing the tentacle will also take extra damage from attacks, allowing the player to quickly finish them off.


  • If the Crows Trap Aid has been purchased, Undertow can be used to finish off enemies under the effects of Murder of Crows and send their booby-trapped corpses towards other enemies.
  • If the Undertow Aid upgrade has been purchased, it can be used to group enemies together before killing them with a cast of Devil's Kiss. Undertow can also be used to send enemies into Devil's Kiss traps, dealing heavy damage to them.
  • Undertow can be used to push enemies away when surrounded after using Charge.
  • Enemies levitated with Bucking Bronco will float away when pushed with Undertow, allowing the player to send enemies over the edge of Columbia much more easily. The Vigor can also be used to move targets towards Bucking Bronco traps, and can be used in conjunction with Charge or Undertow to pull or push enemies towards them.
  • Enemies can be pushed or thrown into a Return to Sender trap for heavy damage, though the trap is rather small.
  • Enemies can be pulled into Possession traps, which can be easier to get enemies into when pushing or pulling them in.

Combat Strategy[]

  • Undertow is excellent at alleviating tension in fights, especially when surrounded, as it will clear the area in the player's immediate vicinity and offer an escape opportunity.
  • In addition to its defensive capabilities, Undertow is particularly effective at killing enemies instantly by punting them off the edge of Columbia with a simple cast. This is especially effective when assaulting a barge, as a single cast can send its contents flying to their demise.
  • Undertow's charged mode is particularly effective at taking down priority targets such as Snipers and Beasts. The latter, however, are only thrown back half as far when casting the Vigor, due to the Beast being a Heavy Hitter, and though Undertow's effects are halved on Handymen, it is nonetheless the only Vigor capable of stunning one. Likewise, Firemen and Zealots of the Lady can be killed instantly if thrown off the city with this Vigor. The Siren, on the other hand, is immune to this Vigor's effects. Undertow cannot be used to push back automatons. It will, however, stun them and increase their vulnerability to damage. In addition to these effects, Motorized Patriots take damage when struck with Undertow. Whereas standard automatons are immune to the Vigor's charged effect, Patriots can be pulled with Undertow.
  • The intensity of Undertow's knockback decreases the further the target is to the player. It is thus often more advantageous to get close to enemies before casting the Vigor.
  • It is possible, though difficult, to reflect projectiles with an instant cast of Undertow, guarding Booker from harm. With enough skill, the projectiles can be launched back towards enemies.
  • Undertow is especially potent when used in conjunction with accurate weapons such as the Hand Cannon, Huntsman Carbine or Sniper Rifle, as they will kill most enemies in one or two shots while they are suspended.
  • Undertow Aid is both one of the cheapest and most effective upgrades in the game, letting the player pull and suspend three targets at once. If used with Shock Jockey after purchasing Shock Chain Aid it becomes the most powerful and efficient combo in the game, killing multiple enemies at a time at a relatively minor cost in Salts. Additionally, it can be used to pull multiple enemies at a time into Vigor traps, rendering trap deployment far more effective.
  • Undertow Boost is useful, especially after purchasing Undertow Aid, but its cost may render it undesirable compared to other cheaper upgrades. Unless the player intends to specialize in using Undertow, it would be better to save the Silver Eagles for other Vigor upgrades first.
  • Undertow can be used as a form of Return to Sender for heavy objects, such as Fireman Bombs and Beast Missiles, which will be thrown back away from the player if timed right.
  • Using the undertow and shock jockey combo will sometimes cause enemies to turn into ash, if they are weak enough. This means that they cannot be revived, and thus can easily remove the major annoyance from the fight with Lady Comstock.

Recommended Gear[]

  • Blood to Salt will partially refill the player's Salts upon killing an enemy. If both the Undertow Aid and Shock Chain Aid upgrades have been purchased and Undertow is used in tandem with Shock Jockey, the resulting lethal combo will usually overfill the player's Salts if used on standard enemies.
  • Electric Punch/Electric Touch can be used as a close-range substitute to Shock Jockey, killing most enemies in a single punch if they are under the effects of Undertow. Conversely, using Undertow on shocked enemies will also deal them critical damage.
  • Head Master works especially well against enemies suspended with Undertow, as the Vigor momentarily turns them into sitting ducks and makes headshots much easier.
  • Health for Salts will allow extra casts of Undertow when surrounded and low on Salts.
  • Hill Runner's Hat can secure the player a quick exit after throwing away or suspending enemies with Undertow if the player's Shields have been broken.
  • Newton's Law can be used to push enemies further towards Columbia's edge, making it easier to throw them off with Undertow.
  • Overkill shocks enemies around a target killed with excessive damage, allowing them to take massive damage when hit with Undertow.
  • Shock Jacket will shock all nearby enemies when hit, allowing the player to quickly finish them off with the Vigor.
  • Storm can be used to propagate the effects of Shock Jockey, allowing the player to reapply Undertow continuously to kill large groups of enemies.
  • Tunnel Vision can be used to aim and deal extra damage to enemies while they are suspended or thrown down.
  • Urgent Care can be used to quickly regenerate the player's Shields after incapacitating nearby enemies with Undertow, and they will be effected when the primary enemy dies.


Vigor undertow

First time drinking Undertow animation.


Concept, Pre-Launch and Merchandise[]


Behind the Scenes[]

  • Undertow bears many similarities to Sonic Boom from BioShock and Telekinesis 3 from BioShock 2, as the two are nearly identical to its cast and charged functions respectively.
  • The name of this Vigor comes from undertow, a subsurface flow of water returning seaward from shore as a result of wave action. It can be dangerous because of its ability to sweep the legs out from under the unwary and pull a swimmer down below the surface.
  • The bottle's logo and design are that of an octopus. Octopi and squids are two mollusk creatures commonly found lurking in undertows. The alternate fire of this Vigor also generates water in the shape of tentacles.
  • Originally, when using Undertow, Booker's hand and fingers would have turned into tentacles,[1] instead of the large suction cups seen in the final game.
  • The Achievement/Trophy "Rope-a-Dope" requires using Undertow to knock enemies off the edge, save them, then knock them off again.
  • Charge, Undertow and Return to Sender are the only Vigors without in-game poster advertisements.
  • In the Downloadable Content Clash in the Clouds, Undertow can be collected as a free sample.
  • Undertow was considered for Burial at Sea - Episode 1 but was not included. An upgrade for the Vigor would cause more damage if the target impacted something when pushed away by the Vigor's effects.[2]
  • In Burial at Sea - Episode 2, the Undertow bottle is not in its spot from the main game, even though the past Booker and Elizabeth had not arrived yet.


  1. Bioshock Infinite Beta Gameplay on YouTube
  2. DLCB_PreCoalescedItemAssets.INT INT File Excerpts