5 Easy Ways to Kill a Big Daddy


When I first started playing Bioshock, I actually thought this PC game was a bit of a cakewalk. Then everything suddenly became Nightmare-in-a-Diving-Suit street when I was introduced to what was to be the bane of my Bioshock existence for the first few levels.... the Big Daddy.

Of course my normal FPS strategy didn't work very well with Big Daddies (take cover, peek out, unload the kitchen sink at the enemy, take cover again) and when I did occasionally manage to kill them, I had expended so much ammo, first aid kits and Eve that it was hardly worth it. Nor was I getting a sense that any one particular weapon worked better than others. (They all seemed equally useless.) So most of my early encounters with Big Daddies involved dashing hysterically around the halls of Rapture looking for something to cower behind, taking wild pot shots with whatever weapon I had currently loaded while yelling at the monitor every ten seconds, "How the #$%@ do you take these damn things down?!?"

Eventually I realized that the old run-and-shoot was the hard way to kill Big Daddies. This method invariably ends up turning into a war of attrition (albeit brief) in which the guy wearing the metal helmet shooting rivets and hucking explosives or stamping the floor and charging at you with a big drill always wins.

The easy way to kill a Big Daddy involves two very simple tactics:

  1. Always have a plan
  2. Dish out a lot of damage REALLY FAST

Bouncers & Rosies

Now for those who haven't figured it out yet, there are basically two kinds of Big Daddies in Bioshock: Bouncers and Rosies.

An example of a Bouncer Big Daddy is the first Big Daddy you encounter in the Medical Pavilion level. He has two main attacks: he'll either charge at you from a distance or he'll use a melee attack (clobber you) when he's close up. He also stamps his foot which kind of creates a mini earthquake which will blur your vision and slow down your movements but this does not do any damage to you.

An example of a Rosie Big Daddy is the first Big Daddy you encounter on the Neptune's Bounty level. This kind of Big Daddy also has two main attacks: he'll shoot at you with his rivet gun (which does a lot of damage so don't underestimate it) and he'll throw proximity mines at you.

Bouncers and Rosies come in two different classes: 'regular' and Elite. Elite-class Big Daddies sport a kind of a fancy red suit, appear later on in the game and are tougher to kill than the regular class of Big Daddies.

Okay so that's what you're up against.

How to Take the Buggers Down


Here are a list of methods to kill Big Daddies that cover both the expensive (using your ammo) and the inexpensive (using the Bioshock environment). The latter of these two you'll want to use when you're taking down a Big Daddy just to loot his corpse for cash (Big Daddy corpses are always loaded with cash). All these methods were tested on the medium difficulty setting in Bioshock.

Proximity Mine Bomb

Works on: Rosies, Bouncers

This is the most popular method to kill a Big Daddy in Bioshock but also an expensive one. Basically what you're going to do is build a bomb and then huck it at the Big Daddy using your Telekinesis plasmid.

What you need:

  1. Telekinesis plasmid
  2. 6 proximity mines
  3. 1 explosive object (e.g., gas cylinder, oil barrel)

How to do it:

  1. Find yourself an explosive object, pick it up using your Telekinesis power and carry into an area where the Big Daddy is wandering about or likely to be. Drop the explosive object on the ground.
  2. Load your grenade launcher with proximity mines and then fire all six proximity mines into your explosive object. What you want to do is 'stick' the proximity mines to the object.
  3. When the Big Daddy comes into the area, use Telekinesis to pick up your 'proximity mine bomb', approach the Big Daddy (but keep far enough away that you don't take splash damage), aim carefully and throw the bomb at the Big Daddy.

That's it. Expensive but effective. If it's a Rosie Big Daddy on earlier levels, it should be an instant kill. If it's an Elite Bouncer, it'll take off about 2/3 of his hit points and you should be able to finish him off easily with the grenade launcher or the shotgun.

10 Electric Buck with Rapid-Fire Shotgun

Works on: Rosies, Bouncers

This one is a no-brainer. Expensive but very effective. If you've got the ammo, this is a nice, quick, clean no-muss-no-fuss Big Daddy kill that doesn't require you to fiddle around with messy explosives.

What you need:

  1. 10-12 Electric Buck shotgun rounds
  2. Your shotgun upgraded to rapid fire (this can be done using a Power to the People machine)

How to do it:

  1. Load your shotgun with Electric Buck rounds.
  2. Approach the Big Daddy, aim carefully and quickly fire off four rounds.
  3. Retreat (don't turn around and run, just back up) while reloading.
  4. Quickly shoot off four more rounds.
  5. Retreat while reloading a second time.
  6. Fire off two final rounds to finish him off.


I originally thought it took at least 12 rounds of Electric Buck to kill a Big Daddy on medium difficulty but it can actually be done using only 10. So after your second reload, don't fire off all four rounds in a panic. Just shoot two and see if it's enough. Waste not, want not... right?

RPG Turret / Target Dummy

Works on: Rosies

If you're dealing with the Rosie type of Big Daddy (the one that shoots rivets and hucks proximity mines at you) and you come across an RPG turret, you've struck gold because this way of killing a Big Daddy is a real cinch. Not to mention that it only uses up a little bit of Eve and a single pistol round.

What you need:

  1. A hacked RPG turret. (You are hacking all the turrets, cameras and bots you come across in Bioshock, right? If not, SHAME ON YOU.)
  2. Target Dummy plasmid.

How to do it:

  1. Watch the video...

Explosive Object Trap

Works best on: Bouncers

This method involves setting a trap using explosive objects. This is especially useful on the Hephaestus level (or any area where gas cylinders and oil barrels abound).

What you need:

  1. Telekinesis plasmid
  2. 1 proximity mine
  3. 4 or 5 explosive objects (e.g., gas cylinders, oil barrels, etc.)
  4. Some finishing off ammo (anything doesn't matter... the grenades and the explosions are going to do most of the damage).

How to do it:

  1. Decide where you're going to lay the trap. Preferably you want to do this in a hallway so that the Big Daddy has no choice but to run by the trap.
  2. Use Telekinesis to pick up your explosive objects, carry them over one by one and drop them right next to each other in a bunch where you want to lay your trap.
  3. Load your grenade launcher and shoot a proximity mine right into the middle of your pile of explosive objects.
  4. Approach the Big Daddy and shoot him once with something (anything but preferable something powerful) to get him chasing you.
  5. Beat a quick retreat and run like hell over your trap. Stop a fair distance beyond, turn, equip your finishing-off weapon and wait for the Big Daddy to run over your trap. When he does, he trip the proximity mine and set everything off and KABOOM. One Big Daddy, medium rare.
  6. Finish him off (if necessary) with the shotgun or the machine gun.

Trap Bolts

Works best on: Bouncers (but doable on Rosies)

All you need for this is 6 trap bolts and the crossbow.

To pull this off, find an area (preferably a hallway) where the Big Daddy is likely to come into. Then just set 6 trap bolts one after the other spaced out a little bit. Basically you want to be on one side of your set trap bolts with the Big Daddy on the other. Then you can either wait for the Big Daddy to walk into your trap bolts or you can harass him a little bit by shooting him with the pistol to get him mad and coming at you. If it's a Bouncer, he'll usually charge at you. If it's a Rosie, he may not approach right away, at which point the best thing to do is to retreat a fair distance and take cover from the rivet gun he'll be shooting at you. If you retreat far enough, this will usually trigger the Rosie Big Daddy to approach (and thereby run into your trap bolts). Six trap bolts should be enough to do the job even for Elite Big Daddies (on medium difficulty setting).


And there you have it. Five easy ways to kill a Big Daddy. So you've got no excuse now. Get back in there, tiger, and raise some hell.

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8 Responses to 5 Easy Ways to Kill a Big Daddy

  1. Mr. Meeseeks says:

    If you're out of Proximity Mines you can use Telekinesis to throw an explosive barrel at one, then pull out the Chemical Thrower and use Electric Gel to finish him off. He stays stunned so he can't attack, but it takes a lot of ammo. Fortunately you can create Electric Gel at a U-Invent station.

  2. Ben says:

    One thing that i found works pretty well is the steel tipped crossbow bolts. It only takes about 6 or 7 of them to take one down

  3. Robert says:

    My favorite:

    Collect the Security Bullseye plasmid and then trip the security. Let the bots kill Big Daddy. It's easy and very entertaining.

  4. Sheogorath says:

    I was feel sorry for the Big Daddies when I kill them, not to mention the Little Sisters traumatised by their deaths.

  5. Major Slack says:


    You don't really need the Enrage plasmid. All you have to do is hypnotize a Big Daddy and then when you run into another Big Daddy, take one shot at him with your pistol and your hypnotized Big Daddy will attack the other Big Daddy. Then they fight each other.

  6. Bob says:

    My favorite technique is not listed here, so here goes:

    Collect the 'Enrage' and 'Hypnotize Big Daddy' plasmids.

    First, find a Big Daddy without a Little Sister. Hypnotize him. Bring him to a Big Daddy that has a little sister, then enrage the Big Daddy following you around. The two will fight each other until one is dead and the other has very low health -- making it easy for you to mop up the remaining guy. Grab your ADAM, and enjoy the spoils from not one but two Big Daddies.

  7. Meester says:

    Four incendiary bolts do the trick as well (on the Elites).

  8. RYAN says:

    One thing you can do if you don't mind using too much ammo:

    Attack the Big daddy then hide in one of the vents around rapture (usually in every level), the big daddy will hang around the entrance to the vent and if he's a Bouncer then he is Close Combat and can't actually hit you (make sure your far enough in so you don't get hit), he can't attack and you can just shoot him as he runs around the outside of the vent moaning...

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