Plague Inc. Virus Speed Run Guide & Strategy | 5 Biohazards

After several trials and errors, and super frustrating games, I've finally been able to come up with a semi-decent strategy for Virus speed runs. Special thanks to Mosh and Hannah for pointing out this link to a forum-written guide for speed runs, that really helped me establish a baseline on my speed run tests. Super thanks to Mkesaber of the Touch Arcade forums as well for sharing his strategy for speed runs.

After several tries and failed attempts, I've finally been able to finish with a record of 210 days on a Virus speed run game. This record finish was also attained because of the very lucky mutations I had while playing, so luck is definitely a factor on this guide.

This strategy tends to fail some times because of mutations, but mutations are also the reason for faster finishes. Sometimes it's your friend, sometimes it's a douchebag ruining your days, it depends on RNG-Jesus if you're going to have a good game or a bad one.

Some mutations will be very beneficial when they mutate early, some will not. Most of the time, unwanted mutated symptoms will cause earlier harbor and port closes, making your game so much harder. Keep trying, though, you'll get it...eventually.

I recommend you guys to experiment with this strategy to make it better, and make sure to share them with us, your fellow noobs. Also, if you can make it so this guide doesn't fail so much, that'll be very much appreciated. If you have any tips and/or advice, post them at the comments section below. Commenting on how much this guide sucks is also appreciated, if you like hurting my feelings, go on ahead.

Let's begin!


  • ATP Boost
  • Native Biome
  • Sympto-Stasis
  • Based Oxidisation
  • Urbophile
As you may notice, the genes are set-up in a way that the starting country will have as much infectivity as possible right at the very beginning. It is all about speed, so making sure that the Virus spreads fast, we'll need to have a good base start. 

TIP: Having Necrosis and some transmissions mutate early will significantly lower your days-taken to finish. On the other hand, mutating lethal symptoms like Systemic infection will make it longer. It's all about luck sometimes.

1.) Start in China, then evolve the following in this order as soon as you can:
TIP: You could also choose to evolve RAT 1 right at the beginning, it's kinda good since it increases the infection rate right off the bat. You'll have to wait for the first +1DNA tick after starting, though, since it costs 10 DNA.
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Pneumonia
  • Rash
  • Sweating
  • Skin Lesions
  • Cysts
  • Abscesses
  • Hypersensitivity

2.) Now we move onto abilities and transmissions after establishing a good amount of infectivity. Again, evolve the following in this order:
  • Drug Resistance 1
  • Cold Resistance 1
  • Water 1 & 2
  • Bird 1 & 2

3.) We are now nearing the part where you'll know if you will fail or not, keep evolving:
  • Drug Resistance 2
  • Necrosis
  • Air 1 & 2
  • Nausea - If necessary for Dysentery
  • Vomiting - If necessary for Dysentery
  • Diarrhoea - If necessary for Dysentery
  • Dysentery
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis - If necessary for Dysentery
  • Total Organ Failure
  • Hemorrhagic Shock

4.) This is the part where you'll find out if you're going to fail or win, you can tell by checking your world menu and infection summary spread. If there are any island countries still healthy, there's a high probability of failure in your immediate future, you can still win though, I'd say about a 45% chance of winning.

That aside, continue by evolving the following:
  • Cold Resistance 2
  • Heat Resistance 1
  • Internal Haemorrhaging
  • Systemic Infection
  • Tumours
  • Coma
The last 4 symptoms will make your Virus very lethal, so making sure you have every country infected is kind of necessary at this point.

5.) At this point, all you need to do is to go crazy on symptoms, evolve every single one of them if you want. But if you find yourself still unable to infect Greenland, or some other stupid island country, you might want to evolve some transmissions like extreme bioaerosol.

If done right, and if mutations don't eff you up, you will be able to finish with a 5 Biohazard score. Hurray!

On the last few games I played these were the stats:
As I've already said, I was able to crack 210 because of luck. Mutation-luck. All hail the flying spaghetti monster for the luck he has bestowed upon me!

I've played a lot of mega-brutal games, a lot, and these speed run games are still kinda new to me. Thanks for reading this guide and I hope it has helped you get a 5 biohazard finish on Virus Speed run. If you have any tips, advice, or just want to say how much I suck at this, please leave a comment below. And as always, Happy Spicy Gaming!


  1. Thanks for the shout-out! Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck with this guide (tried several times and usually had 2 islands close before getting infected). Was able to win with 5 biohazards by evolving Rat 1 right away and not evolving Drug resistance until a rich country was infected.

  2. I actually tried the "evolve Rat 1 at the very start" path, but, from what I can tell, I could still do pretty well without it.

    Yeah, this guide has that problem, failing to infect island countries seems to be the main cause of failure. This is what I went with over and over again, though, and it won a decent amount of times so I decided to post it.

    I'll edit it and add Rat 1 advice in the beginning. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Is there any way to use this guide with the symptom-stasis?

  4. Andrea C. PrandoJune 21, 2015 at 2:39 AM

    Played 5 times following this guide and I always failed. Caraibi or Greenland didn't f***ing want to get the infection. I played again following once agsin the guide just changing one thing : aquacite instead of native biom. I won in 254 days