Research PhD achievement in BioShock

Research PhD

Max out all possible research.

Research PhD0
5 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerMissableCumulative +

How to unlock the Research PhD achievement

  • GnomishNinjaGnomishNinja130,290
    09 Aug 2009 10 Aug 2009 20 Aug 2012
    101 0 21
    The categories for research are:

    Thuggish Splicer (splicers with melee weapons)
    Leadhead Splicer (Splicers with guns)
    Nitro Splicer (Splicers with Grenades)
    Houdini Splicer (Splicers with fire that teleport)
    Spider Splicer (Crawls on the ceiling & has claws)
    Rosie (Big Daddy with the rivet gun)
    Bouncer (Big Daddy with the drill)
    Little Sister
    Turret
    Security Bot (the flying guys)
    Security Camera

    General tips:
    1) Have the freezing or electrobolt plasmid equipped with the camera selected as your weapon. Freeze or electrocute the enemy, then take a picture to minimize the amount of damage.
    2) There are tonics you can equip to increase your research score on each of these and they will cut down on the number of photos you have to take a lot.
    3) There are two Houdini Splicers who dance in Cohen's apartment - this is a great place to max out your research
    4) You get diminishing returns if you photo the same subject several times, but with the Little Sisters and Big Daddies you won't have a choice
    5) Once you max research on the security bots and turrets, you get an insta hack on them - which is awesome
    6) Once you hack a turret, bot, or camera, you can no longer take pictures for research since friendly units don't count
    7) You get a bonus if you shoot the Big Daddy and get the Little Sister in the same frame or vice versa.
    8) You get a bonus for multiple subjects in the same shot.
    9) At the end of the game, before going to take the final boss down, save your game, go back and try for a picture of everything to see what you haven't maxed your research on.

    This achievement will pop as soon as you 100% research all items. You do not have to wait until the end of the game.

    Guide not helping? View 4 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Shadow XBLFYI on the last level where you walk with the little sisters, you can let them kill her and take pics of all of the security systems while they're shooting and working - this gives high quality photos and worked for me if you're missing those pics.
    Posted by Shadow XBL on 08 Sep 14 at 16:40
    troyoyAwesome guide. You should cut and paste to the other 3 versions of this game. To make this cheeve easier I would unequip the plasmid that shocks people when they hit you. On easy this kills a lot of enemies just by them hitting you one time. Then you are screwed out of 3 photos per enemy that you accidently kill.
    Posted by troyoy on 27 Oct 15 at 15:43
    KyotowalledDoes anybody know if you can get this achievement if you max out missing research on a new game or do I have to fully research them all again to get this achievement?
    Posted by Kyotowalled on 02 Feb 17 at 02:20
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  • jburridge88jburridge8831,266
    23 Jun 2010 23 Jun 2010 24 Jun 2010
    48 0 2
    Kudos to GnomishNinja, just wanted to throw up some details:

    As mentioned, you need to get 5 research upgrades from the following NPC types:

    Thuggish Splicer (splicers with melee weapons)
    Leadhead Splicer (Splicers with guns)
    Nitro Splicer (Splicers with Grenandes)
    Houdini Splicer (Splicers with fire that teleport)
    Spider Splicer (Crawls on the ceiling & has claws)
    Rosie (type of Big Daddy)
    Bouncer (type of Big Daddy)
    Little Sister
    Turret
    Security Bot (the flying guys)
    Security Camera

    *They each get their own achievement, with the exceptions of the Turret, Security Bot, Security Camera.
    *The Elite Big Daddies count as normal.
    *Bosses don't count for anything

    When you take a shot, you either get an A, B, or C rating, for the following reasons:

    Distance - closer is better

    Full-frame - the more of the subject within the frame the better (even if they're too big - back up till they're fully within the frame)

    Multiple Targets - Bigger boost for more people, i.e. 4 in a shot is better than 2.

    Action shot - When the NPC is 'doing' something, such as attacking, climbing a ceiling, gearing up to alarm (camera), sucking ADAM juice, teleporting, etc.

    Photographic Eye tonics - 1 and 2 stack to boost 25%. Little vague on the numbers, but it definitely helps.

    You get a reduction if the subject is already dead - honestly, you should have burned out (see below) well before they are dead.

    Your score is then halved for each photo of the same MAIN subject. This means you get your score halved for the second shot of a Daddy with a Sister, but if you then aim at the Sister, it's like you haven't taken any yet (for her). If you snap away at the pair, you'll notice the 'main' subject swaps back and forth. The 'main' subject is the one with the highest score, or closest to the crosshair if it's the same. Once you get below a C, the picture won't be taken, I call this burning out the subject.

    Once you take the photo, you see the progress bar. This is capped, i.e. if you take an A with a small way to go, you lose the rest :-(

    An important note is 15 shots from a hacked Circus vendor with the cheap vendor tonic is $11. Buy heaps, and just snap away. If you get an A photo, you can literally just keep pulling RT each time the game restarts, and 10 shots takes about 1 second of real game time.

    A good way to go is just wander around with the camera, and try to get as close as possible, then shoot, go through the progress/award screens, shoot again, until they burn out. Then kill it. With Daddies and Sisters, try and get close enough that the Daddy starts waving stuff, this counts as an action shot. For the Sisters, wait until they are draining someone (or drinking it :-( )
    You can get new Sisters by waiting until they go back into their Hidey Holes, but this is boring and unnecessary.

    A last important note is that a burned-out (below C) photo, empty photo, or researched complete photo, won't use any film. So just keep shooting until it does nothing! Seriously, a 1.72 ratio on this one is BS! Peeps just aren't trying.
    Showing both comments.
    Truly JadedI just wanted to echo what was said here.
    I got as far as entering prometheus point and realised I'd not maxed out the turret, security camera and the flying bot guys. So I've just spent the time wandering round snapping as soon as I've seen any of them. Easily done just by doing what's said ^^ up there xx
    Posted by Truly Jaded on 13 Jan 14 at 22:19
    Shadow XBLAll I have left is the security camera and a couple shots on the turret. I'm at Point Prometheus with the little sisters. What's nice is there are a ton of them around - only problem is they are finite and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get them all. I tried before and ran out of things to shoot. I'll try again with the Photographer's Eye 2 tonic if I can.
    Posted by Shadow XBL on 22 Apr 14 at 15:04
  • AwakeDeadeyeAwakeDeadeye330,130
    25 Sep 2011 19 Mar 2012 26 Aug 2013
    25 0 8
    Okay I know there are already some fantastic guides for this already, but I wrote out a guide on this for another site that apparently is gone now. So I figured I would contribute to TA by posting it here in case it might help someone, because more guides are always better than less. So on we go.
    (Possible Spoilers)

    -Research Groups-

    • Thuggish Splicer - The people that use melee weapons. (ie machete, flashlight, shovel)

    • Leadhead Splicer - The people that use firearms. (ie pistols, machine gun)

    • Nitro Splicer - The people who carry small grenade boxes and toss explosives.

    • Spider Splicer - The people who use hooks to crawl on the ceiling and occasionally tosses them at you.

    • Houdini Splicer - The people who can teleport from place to place and toss flaming or frozen projectiles towards you.

    • Bouncer (Big Daddy) - The Big Daddy with a drill attached to it's arm and has a bit more of a bulky appearance. (Note: Both the normal and elite Bouncers count as the same research group.)

    • Rosie (Big Daddy) - The Big Daddy that carries a rivet gun and wears a divers suit. (Note: Both the normal and elite Rosie count as the same research group.)

    • Little Sister - The little girls who drain the Adam from corpses. (Note: Research can be done on both saved and not-saved Little Sisters.)

    • Turrets - The stationary security drones that are equipped with a machine gun, rocket launcher, or flame thrower. (Note: All types of turrets fall under the same research group and cannot be researched while hacked.)

    • Security Bot - The hovering security drones that are equipped with machine guns. [Note: Are only able to be researched while hostile (red), neutral (yellow), or deactivated while not hacked (no lights).]

    • Camera - The security cameras that are attached to the walls and scan the area in front of them. (Note: cannot be researched while hacked.)


    In order to max out research for these subjects you need the research camera, which can be obtained in the third area (including Welcome to Rapture) Neptune's Bounty. Maxing out research is done by taking pictures of your target, which adds to the completion of a series of progress bars that requires more and more pictures as you continue. These pictures get graded with scores that range from A-C. Of course an A is the best and is harder to get once you photograph an individual target, though not impossible. Think of the first picture as a starting point in where the score starts to drop with every consecutive picture. You cannot max out research with just one or two subjects, you'll need around ten or more for each group so take pictures frequently!

    Here are some general tips that may help with getting better grades and filling the bars faster.

    • Multiple Subjects - This is a score bonus for having multiple subjects, friendly or not, so long as one is a hostile and needs further research. The bonus stacks with every enemy, whether or not some are exempt from research such as hacked bots or other fully researched subjects.

    •Action Shot - An Action Shot can be considered as many things, such as a melee move being executed, a firearm being shot, damage being taken, a Big Daddy in a defensive position, a Little Sister harvesting/drinking Adam, Spider Splicers crawling on the ceiling, a frozen enemy, and sometimes even a splicer noticing you.

    • Also there are two tonics that help, Photographer's Eye and Photographer's Eye 2. These also stack giving a better result than just having one of them.

    As well as bonuses there also some negative consequences, which I will list.

    • Subject is dead - Surprisingly this is a score reduction for photographing dead targets. Don't let this stop you from taking pictures though as every bit helps.

    • Subject Already Photographed - For taking a picture of a subject more than once. This shouldn't be worried about, just keep snapping pictures until you can't possibly take and more. Remember, if the score is too low you can lure them into an area with more enemies or a hacked camera. This will help with a Multiple Subject score boost which might help.

    Here are some notes that may be useful.

    • Little sisters, turrets, and cameras are at a set amount, so take as many pictures as you can of these when you have the chance. A good idea would not to hack any turrets or cameras/ harvest little sisters in the Neptune's Bounty level until you have the research camera and take some pictures of them first. Also sometimes when a Little Sister enters a vent a new one will take it's place, but not all the time. I recommend rescuing the Little Sisters, because this allows you to take some extra pictures if you forgot beforehand and allows you to take some of the ones that delivers Tenenbaum's gifts.

    • Security bots can take awhile to fill up the research for, and I recommend taking advantage of moments when the alarm is on to take some pictures. Some moments for this includes accidental camera trips, enemy camera trips, when you exit the farmers market to administer the Lazarus Vector Andrew Ryan sets an alarm on you, after the last Andrew Ryan moment an alarm is set on you, and finally when you break glass in Fort Frolic.

    • If you run out of ways to find security bots try staying around Arcadia and Point Prometheus as splicers will sometimes walk around with hacked bots.

    • Nitro Splicers aren't as common as the rest, but some good areas to find them are the Medical Pavilion, Apollo Square, Olympus Heights, and sometimes in Hephaestus.

    • Houdini Splicers might give you some troubles, the best area to find them is of course Arcadia, particularly in the beginning. If you're careful not to knock over the phonograph on the piano or otherwise be intrusive, you can take multiple pictures of the dancing Houdini splicers in Cohen's Olympus Heights suite. Speaking of which Cohen is also a Houdini splicer that seemed to give me a slight extra more than the others.

    • If you killed all of the cameras and broke all of the glass in Fort Frolic, there are a bunch of deactivated security bots in a room in Point Prometheus. They give a tiny bit but they respawn so you can try there if you're out of options.

    • Be sure to look out for some dead splicers and what not that you haven't killed, a few pictures can be salvaged from them.

    • And finally I would obviously recommend this on easy, and make a final save somewhere before fighting the end boss, in case you hit a snare.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    AwakeDeadeyeYou can't get all of your research from one subject, you probably need around ten of them to fully research them. I guess I didn't explain that too clearly in the solution, I'll add it in.
    Posted by AwakeDeadeye on 05 Mar 13 at 18:39
    Shadow XBLno I know that. I just think I'm screwed since I may not have enough turrets/camera left. That is the only one that will make you do the entire achievement over again, so that sucks.
    Posted by Shadow XBL on 05 Mar 13 at 18:48
    AwakeDeadeyeWell maybe you can look for a list of locations for turrets and cameras to see if you missed any, other than that there's a good chance you'll need to start over.
    Posted by AwakeDeadeye on 05 Mar 13 at 18:57
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