A players inability to win is the most common complaint about Plague Inc. on the net. Plague Inc. is fun and addicting because you need to employ true strategy, a trait most iOS apps lack. If you're looking for boring step-by-step instructions you can surely find them elsewhere. This post will teach you about the strategy of Plague Inc. You can apply the lessons you'll learn here throughout the game. You will become a master of your own Plague!
1. Understand the difference between severity and lethality
This alone killed me when I was trying to beat the fungus level in particular. Most first level symptoms are not fatal. They are necessary to get you to the second and third level traits which can prove fatal. While investing in the first tier of symptoms from every base symptom will make your pathogen more severe, it will NOT make it fatal. Remember, to win you have to KILL, not infect. Those pesky scientists are efficient once they discover a cure. Check out the Symptoms Encyclopedia for more info.
Note: Drug resistance does not make a pathogen more lethal, only harder to cure.
2. Start in the right country/region
I still contend India is the best place, but there are several schools of thought. For a more in depth look check out. The Best Place to Start your Plague. By far the most read article on this site.
3. Invest in transmission early and often
In order to kill everyone, you must first infect everyone. To do that you need to spend your precious DNA points on transmission. Investing in most transmission means (other than air and water) will increase the likelihood of mutations. Mutations have the double benefit of being free and increasing how many DNA points you get with each infected country later in the game.
4. Don't let trends and graphs fool you.
You'll be amazed at how difficult the last few people can be to infect. Many times people will think they are on their way to winning around only to discover they didn't actually kill everyone. If you don't get the message "There are no healthy people left in the world" their are uninfected people working to fend off your pathogen. This issue is most common with the fungus level but can occur on any level. If you are about to wreak havoc with lethality, make sure everyone is infected or your disease will stop spreading, leaving a few pesky humans around.
5. Take advantage of devolving traits
With one exception, you get points refunded to you for devolving any attribute, not just symptoms. Transmission, symptoms and abilities all get you 2 DNA points refunded. The only catch is that re-evolving them is much more expensive. The point to remember is that if you don't need a particular trait anymore, get the DNA points and use it for something you need. For example, if every country is infected, there is no need to have the air and water transmission traits. Those 8 points will go a lot farther in stopping cure research or upping the lethality of your pathogen.
6. Actively track which countries have been infected
This is to save you time and frustration. If one of the pesky countries (Iceland, Greenland, Madagascar, New Zealand) closes its ports before it is infected. Quit and start over. The only chance you have is on the fungus level where you can release more spores...you might just get lucky. I'd also like to see this added to other levels.
What are your go to tricks for beating plague? Leave your recommendations in the comment section.