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The Wrench, forged in Rapture by De la Plante Tools, is a melee weapon that appears in both BioShock and BioShock 2 Multiplayer. It is also a common weapon of choice for Thuggish Splicers.


Main article: BioShock
GEN Ads wrench1

Advertisement for De la Plante Tools' wrenches.

The Wrench is the only melee weapon available in BioShock. This twelve inch pipe wrench is located at the beginning of the game, during Welcome to Rapture. The player can also pick up the wrenches dropped by Thuggish Splicers, although doing so has no effect. The wrench is one of two weapons in the game that cannot be upgraded, though there are a number of Physical Tonics and Combat Tonics that enhance Jack's combat ability with the Wrench. When properly equipped, the Wrench has the highest damage per second of any weapon in the game. With the exception of Big Daddies, it is capable of killing every enemy on any difficulty in a single hit.

Attack Types[]

  • Standard Attacks:
The Wrench's base damage value is used for calculation (20 bludgeoning damage):
Wrench Jockey (350%) + Wrench Jockey 2 (550%) + Research Camera bonus from Bouncer (50%) = additional 950% damage (190 damage total)
Note: Damage bonuses gained from research and the Damage Research Tonics are calculated with using the result value in the above equation as a base.
  • Attacks Against Unaware Enemies:
The Wrench's enhanced damage value is used for calculation (base damage with enhancements):
Wrench Lurker (150%) + Wrench Lurker 2 (200%) = 350% of enhanced Wrench damage (i.e. 190 damage + 350% unaware bonus = 945 damage total)
Note: Only the first attack on an unaware opponent will have the damage bonus applied.
  • Attacks Against Stunned Enemies:
The Wrench's enhanced and unaware damage value is used for calculation (base damage with enhancements and unaware damage bonus):
Splicer shocked with Electro Bolt = 400% of enhanced Wrench damage with unaware bonus (i.e. 210 damage + 350% unaware bonus x 4 = 3,780 damage total)
Note: Only the first attack on a shocked opponent will have the damage bonus applied. This combination is called the "One-Two Punch" by Atlas.


  • In the earlier levels of the game on easier settings, charging headlong into the enemy won't cost the player too much. However, later on this could potentially mean death, so it is recommended to use stealth tactics to approach the enemy. First, move from cover to cover to get to the unsuspecting Splicer, then run at them from behind and bludgeon them. If spotted before entering melee range, strafing from side to side in random patterns can reduce damage taken.
  • If faced against a Thuggish Splicer, run at them and, once they start their leap towards the player, sidestep while approaching them and club them to death while it's not facing Jack. Alternatively, one can perform a "One-Two Punch" if the player is in a level earlier than Hephaestus.
  • The Wrench is not recommended against Big Daddies since damage is reduced by 75%. However, it is possible to kill a Big Daddy with the Wrench using the One-Two Punch coupled with several Gene Tonics.
  • The Wrench is potentially the weakest and the strongest weapon in the game. On its own, it has a poor damage output, especially in the later levels, which coupled with its short range reduces it to a last-resort weapon. However, with the right Gene Tonics, it has the potential to kill any non-Big Daddy enemy in the game in one shot and on any difficulty. The only problem is that, to be adequately upgraded, the player will have to sacrifice around six (at least) of the eighteen slots available, meaning that the player has to choose between upgrading the Wrench and freeing up more space for other tonics. Tonic bonuses stack, so piling them up enhances the Wrench's damage output.

Recommended Plasmids[]

  • Firing Electro Bolt at an enemy will quadruple the damage dealt by the next Wrench hit (Wrench Lurker and Wrench Lurker 2 will increase this multiplier).
  • Winter Blast will freeze the enemy in place, allowing the player to approach them. Killing them while frozen will yield no loot, however.
  • Target Dummy will distract enemies, buying the player time. Splicers attacking the decoy also count as unaware.
  • Enemies under the effects of Insect Swarm count as unaware for a short moment, allowing the player to finish them off.
  • Telekinesis allows the player to form makeshift shields, greatly reducing vulnerability when approaching targets from the front.
  • By using Hypnotize Big Daddy, the player can create a firefight between two Big Daddies allowing for a chance to attack the hostile Big Daddy, or to attack other enemies that can prove a challenge.

Recommended Tonics[]

  • The SportBoost line of Tonics will not only increase the Wrench's swing speed, but will increase the player's speed, making it easier to cover the space between the player and the enemy.
  • The Wrench Lurker line of Tonics will soften the player's footsteps, making sneaking easier, and will also increase damage to unaware enemies (enemies under the effects of Electro Bolt, Insect Swarm, Target Dummy and enemies in combat with other enemies count as unaware as well).
  • The Wrench Jockey line of Tonics will significantly increase the damage per Wrench hit.
  • The Frozen Field line of Tonics will increase the Wrench's damage output, and will also give it a chance to freeze any enemy it hits. This Gene Tonic alters the Wrench's appearance to make it appear covered in frost.
  • Bloodlust will restore a small amount of the player's health and EVE with each successful hit.
  • Natural Camouflage will help the player approach the enemy stealthily.
  • The Static Discharge line of Tonics will stun any enemy around the player (except for the Thuggish Splicers in the later levels) if they receive a melee hit, allowing them to not only be protected from surprise attacks but also to quickly One-Two Punch any zapped enemy with no cost in EVE.
  • The Armored Shell line of Tonics will reduce the amount of damage the player receives from gunshots and melee hits, allowing for easier approaches if spotted.
  • The Damage Research line of Tonics will significantly increase damage against enemies researched using the Research Camera.
  • The Machine Buster line of Tonics will increase damage against machinery.

Help Caption[]

Press _ to swing.

Does a small amount of
bludgeoning damage.

Does bonus damage if your target
has been Stunned with electricity.


BioShock 2 Multiplayer[]

Main article: BioShock 2 Multiplayer

All playable characters in BioShock 2 Multiplayer are able to select the Wrench as their melee weapon. This is purely cosmetic, however, as all selectable objects for a melee weapon function the same, in terms of damage.

Icon Gallery[]

Behind the Scenes[]


BioShock's red wrench cameo in BioShock Infinite.

  • In System Shock 2,[1] the predecessor of the BioShock series, the main character also acquires a Wrench as his first weapon, although it is a standard crescent wrench, not a pipe wrench.
  • The company that makes wrenches in Rapture, "De la Plante Tools", is named after BioShock artist and BioShock 2 Lead Environment Artist Hogarth de la Plante.[2]
  • While most pipe wrenches, also known as Stillson Wrenches in the United Kingdom, look the same, the closest model to compare the ones used throughout the BioShock series, is the original model by Daniel Chapman Stillson.
  • Just before the player finds the Wrench, Atlas mentions that the player should "find a crowbar or something", a reference to the Half-Life series by Valve Software, where the first weapon the player gets (and the only melee weapon available to the player, much like the Wrench is in BioShock) is a crowbar. Amusingly, a crowbar turns up in Bioshock 2 Multiplayer, having the same stats as the Wrench.
    • In relation to the above, the first weapon the player finds in Half-Life: Opposing Force, also by Gearbox Software, is a pipe wrench (used in the same way as, and instead of, the crowbar of the other games in the Half-Life series) similar in appearance to Jack's Wrench.

The Wrench carillon in Paris of Burial at Sea - Episode 2.

  • The Wrench continues to be an Easter Egg in the sequels, which reuses the same model and texture (with the words "Made in Rapture").


  1. System Shock 2 on Wikipedia
  2. Hogarth De La Plante Developer BIO on Moby