Plague Inc. Who Needs Science Achievement Guide & Walkthrough

The 'Who needs Science' achievement can only be unlocked while playing on the Nipah Virus scenario. The pop-ups that appear in order to unlock this achievement are somehow related to the events that happened in the 2011 movie, Contagion. I think that the Nipah Virus scenario itself is based on the Contagion movie.

This achievement is quite difficult to achieve. The pop-ups that need to appear seem to show up at random. By using this strategy, I was able to make both pop-ups appear in 3 out of 4 games. It's not 100% but it's definitely something. Updates to this guide will be made once we're able to gather more information about the achievement.

Credits to ErmacAuditore for helping out in experimenting on different strategies to unlock this achievement.

I'll repeat once again, this guide is not always successful. It has a success chance of 75% to unlock the "Who needs Science" achievement. Before we start there are a few things you should know about regarding this guide:

  1. There's a chance you won't be able to successfully unlock the achievement on your first chance. Just keep trying.
  2. Be patient. The pop-ups appear at random, it could show up right away or after a long period of time.
  3. Don't give up until the cure completion reaches 100%
  4. Devolve every symptom that mutates. In the beginning you'll have a limited supply of DNA, what I suggest is before evolving something, make sure that you add 3 DNA before doing so. For example, Drug Resistance costs 11 DNA, wait until you have 14 DNA before evolving. This 3 DNA serves as our safety net for mutated symptoms since we need to devolve them immediately.
  5. Try not to get too frustrated. It's a game.
Now onto the guide:

Suggested Difficulty: Casual
Gene setup:
  • ATP Boost
  • Aquacyte
  • Translesion+
  • Creationist
  • Extremophile

1.) From the beginning until I tell you to stop, remember to always devolve any mutated symptoms. Evolve the following in this order.
  • Swine 1
  • Headache
  • Nuchal Rigidity
  • Fever
  • Drug Resistance 1
  • Drug Resistance 2
  • Cold Resistance 1
  • Heat Resistance 1

2.) Keep devolving symptoms and be extremely patient while waiting for this pop-up to appear:
Lude Jaw claims [plague name] cure
  • This pop-up could either appear right away(4~5 billion people infected) or after a long while(6 billion infected and cure progression reaching 90%).
  • If your cure progression reaches 95%, immediately use all three Genetic Re-Shuffles

3.) After seeing the pop-up above, evolve the following:
  • Encaphalitic Shift
  • Photophobia
  • Blurred Vision
  • Hallucination
  • Memory Loss
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • At this point, you can stop devolving symptoms.
  • Wait for the last pop-up to appear. Again, this could either take awhile or appear right away.

4.) Wait for this pop-up to appear:
Lude Jaw triggers infection in [random country]
  • Congratulations! This pop-up signifies the successful unlocking of the Who needs Science achievement.

ErmacAuditore has also made some suggestions on extra abilities and symptoms that could help to increase chances of success. Try them out if you wish.
  • Cold Resistance 2
  • Coughing and Sneezing for infectivity
  • Genetic Hardening 1 and 2 to slow down the cure progression
If you have any thoughts you'd like to share, post them at the comments. I hope this guide has helped you unlock the achievement. 


  1. Darn, I have gotten that popup but I haven't got the achievement

    1. Just retry. You could miss something. It's possible to get, I assure you.

  2. You're gonna find this awfully surprising....but I followed this guide with absolute exactitude, but I got a different popup. One about a film being made of the Nipah virus. On a hunch, I evolved drowsiness, confusion, and memory loss. The film failed almost immediately, and I got the 'Contagion Cancelled' achievement! So...perhaps this guide works with both achievements, and it's random which one you get?

    1. I'm actually thinking that the pop-up for Contagion Cancelled appears randomly. I've experimented on different strategies to force it to come up but the "Jude Law" pop-up comes up most of the time.

      It's weird though, I've played with this strategy for at least 5 games and that pop-up never came up.

    2. I think that genetic hardenings can be a trigger for "Science".

    3. Hah, that's funny, because I got this "Who Needs Science?" achievement while following the exact steps from the guide for Contagion Cancelled.

  3. Update to above post. I followed the 'Who Needs Science' procedure exactingly again, except this time I evolved Genetic Hardening 1 and Genetic Hardening 2 right after Heat Resistance 1. The Lude Jaw popup happened very quickly after that, at approx. 3 billion infected or so. So I unlocked 2 achievements for the price of 1. Thanks again Spicy!

  4. I think that Nipah Virus scenario is not like the movie Contagion all at. The place starts the virus in the movie is China but not India. Anyway, I appreciate your walkthrough. :)

  5. Of course, Jude "Jaw", a journalist perfectly matches the character in the movie Jude Law. But what I'm saying is that Nipah is not like the virus in the movie.

    1. you're right about the virus starting in China in the movie but Nipah is virus commonly found in bats(from bats, I dunno). In the final minutes of the movie, we saw that the bat that came from the palm tree was actually the first one that carried that disease. I guess the virus just mutated because it passed through a pig then a human. Nipah might not be exactly like MEV-1(the movie virus) but it might be a mutated strain?

      I watched the movie just to get an idea of how to get these achievements, enjoyed the movie though.

    2. After I unlock these three achievements. I realize that those achievements are truly followed the movie's stream. HaHa @@. Bat 1 first automatically and then the swine just like you said the last mins of the movie.
      Whether mutated strain or not, the crew of plague inc are smart asses.
      I watched the movie long time ago, so I forgot the scene. :)

    3. BTW, you got any idea about two achievements "super sparrow" and "Mr. president"? It's been there long time.

    4. Those achievements are unlocked by finishing specific scenarios with a 3 biohazard score right? Those are on my to-do list. I'm currently making a Nipah Virus Guide and, as of this moment, I'm still stuck on it.

      I'll post guides about those soon.

    5. You are doing a great job, thanks. I think those two I mentioned would the toughest two if without using any cheating app. :)

  6. Thank you for your guide. There is something i'd like to point out: When your disease is spreading, a random country is observed to be infallible to the disease. In my case it was China, while in your original guide it is balkan states (i can tell from the background of your popup photo)
    Usually after the first popup and you evolve more lethal symptoms, most governments around the world will fall, and there is only one country standing, which turns out will be the country where looting occurs in second popup. It is suggested to evolve more transmissions so you won't kill all the infected before getting the acheivement.

    1. Not sure. Victim country is kinda random. Looting can start even in well infected country. For me, it was Ukraine.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. I've tried this many times and sometimes it appears not like a pop-up (about Lude Jaw claims cure) but in news line. Anyway, after it pop-up about looting have never appeared. What I could miss? Does it must be exactly pop-up (about Lude Jaw claims cure) or it might be just line in news?

  9. I think it´s a mistake to evolve Drug Resistance I+II.

    I didn´t evolve these 2 abilities and the achievement worked fine. The rest of this guide seems to be correct.

  10. didn´t evolve these 2 abilities and the achievement worked fine and than works. I thing the achievements wos bugy

  11. I'm having such a tough time getting this one to happen! One question: this guide does not mention whether or not one can evolve the genetic hardening abilities. I try it most games since it of course buys you time, but I'm not sure if it is preventing the popup. Do you have any insight on this?
    thanks for the guides :D I'm such a completionist...

  12. Honestly, I'm not sure whether genetic hardenings affect the event pop-up. This achievement's event pop-ups(Contagion Cancelled, too) seem to appear at very random times.

    While we were experimenting with this achievement, pop-ups kept appearing at very random times. The best advice I think I could give is be patient.

  13. I got it by accident. XD

  14. Me too :D didn't know it was that rare

  15. Ariel Iván AguayoJuly 17, 2014 at 6:37 AM

    The only two we had in common when we got the first pop-up were swine 1 and drug 1 & 2, so these are probably the only requirements we need for it. Yay for narrowing them down!

  16. Yeah, they tend to shuffle between each other.

    For me, they worked as planned. Maybe, I was lucky.

  17. It's a pop-up. 100% sure about it.

  18. I just got the first popup when I gad almost all Transmissions, Drug Res I + II, Cold Res I * II, and some mutated symptoms. The second popup appeared as soon as I evolved confusion, might be that it only requires that. Although I already had the other symptoms you mentioned mutated, just Memory Loss was still missing.