This is a two part question. The reason I am asking them in the same question is because they are both part of a broader question: What is my DNA point income so I can effectively ration which upgrades I am going to buy?

  1. How many DNA points do I get naturally, in the two waves of infecting people?

All difficulty levels. This is almost, but not quite, a duplicate of Why doesn't population death yield DNA points?; this question is about the actual number of DNA points I get naturally. It's certainly not a function of time, because of the long pause you can get between the "infection phase" and the "killing phase".

  1. What is the mathematical effect of the different game start DNA upgrades?

Again, for all difficulty levels. Specifically, what is the Expected Value of DNA points for the different Genetic Code upgrades:

  • ATP Boost
    • Get bonus DNA at the beginning
    • Seems to be 9-10 or so
  • Cytochrome Surge
    • Get more DNA from popping orange, DNA bubbles
    • I've gotten what seems to be +7 DNA from a single orange bubble, where the highest is +3 without this upgrade. The +7 was on normal though, I don't recall getting this on Brutal.
    • Side note: what governs when orange bubbles appear?
  • Metabolic Jump - Get more DNA from popping red, biohazard bubbles
    • I'm not even sure what this upgrade does. I know sometimes I get 2 points from a bubble, other times 1, and without this upgrade I only seem to get 1. I've only played with this upgrade on Brutal.
  • Catalytic Switch - Get bonus DNA from popping blue, cure bubbles
    • This can be a lot of DNA points, but obviously only in late game.
  • Metabolic Hijack - Orange and red bubbles are automatically popped
    • Obviously worth zero.
  • While these two things are connected (it seems), it feels like you are asking two different question in one post (effect of DNA start upgrades, and how many DNA points from two waves) - I would suggest splitting them into two different questions.
    – user11502
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 14:56
  • The amount of DNA you get from popping red bubbles and randomly depends how fast you are infecting and killing people, and when I play the game, ATP boost only gives 8 DNA to start. You may have gotten the 9 from when you get your 1st bubble from your starting country.
    – Jerry Cui
    Commented May 26, 2019 at 18:32

3 Answers 3


For your first question, while I could not find any specific formula it seems that the more severe your plaque the more DNA points you get from both killing and infecting people. It also seems that it is not a consistent amount but instead has a slight variation for each point.

For your second question, while ATP boost adds 8 DNA points every game I could not find any specific numbers for the other ones on the wiki or anywhere else. Some forums I found seemed to say that both Cytochrome Surge and Metabolic Jump seem to about double the amount of DNA points earned.

Overall, it seems there is no real specific formula for DNA points, with it all being slightly randomized.


At the beginning of the game you will earn between 9-15 DNA Points. Income is then randomised (Not including red Infection bubbles), but an Orange bubble is guaranteed to spawn every 30 seconds for the first 3 minutes.

After infecting 1 Billion people, the passive-style income (similar to what you get at the start of the game) will resume for a little while, netting you a total of up to 35 points.

If you don't spend at all and infect every human, you will usually end up with 120-150 DNA Points.

Hope this helps!


How the red bubble works is very simple, the more severity your plague has the more dna you get from popping red bubbles up to 5 which is why you need high severity before even the end game to beat mega brutal and is the best strategy to beat all difficulties because you get so much dna that the cure starting early is not a huge threat the biggest threat is getting into ports but you have so many points that sometimes you might have too much.

Now the dna bubble I think it is base on how long since you started the game since in the beginning you get a lot more dna bubble than at the end of the game

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