System Shock Wiki
System Shock Wiki
Viral Proliferator
Weapon Data
First Found Recreation Deck
Requirements Exotic Weapons: 4
Researchable Yes, Research skill: 3
Research Time 33:20 (max)
Maintenance 4
Modification 3 (1st) / 5 (2nd)
Repairing 4
Chemicals Needed Te @ 1,2%,
Tc @ 39,9%
Ammunition Worm Clusters
Magazine Size 8 / 18
Attack Types Anti-Human
Damage 15
Summon Code viral prolif

The Viral Proliferator is a weapon featured in System Shock 2, and is the first organic weapon a player can obtain.

This weapon releases a host of anti-annelid virus in an explosive radius. The virus can be tailored to affect pure annelids, or humans and human/annelid hybrids. It also has a special mechanic that allows its users to manually control when the payload detonates.

The central hexagonal core is an energy-rich media, ringed with receptacles containing nanite-virus hybrids. Release of the virus hybrids into the core will cause cycles of replication at nanite, rather than biological, speeds, building up until the payload is released. The media must be replenished with annelid tissue.


The Viral Proliferator requires Exotic Weapons skill level 4 to use.

Research skill level 3 is also required to study this weapon. Both Technetium and Tellurium are needed in the process.

Ammunition Type

Large Worm Beaker.png Worm Clusters - Annelid tissues which appear all around the game. When collected in laboratory beakers, they can be injected into this weapon and will allow it to reproduce nanite-virus hybrids.

Damage Table

Mech Half-Mech Half-Annelid Annelid Final Boss
Anti-Human x0 x1 x2 x0 x0
Anti-Annelid x0 x0 x1 x4 x0

Firing Modes

  • Anti-Human - It fires a pink projectile which deals Anti-Human damage. As long as the fire button is being hold, the projectile will not explode unless touching any surface. Each shot consumes 2 units of Worms.
  • Anti-Annelid - It fires a pink projectile which deals Anti-Annelid damage. Both the firing mechanic and the ammunition consumption are same as that of the primary mode.


  • Level 1 - Increases clip size from 8 to 18 and increases damage to 110% of normal.
  • Level 2 - Reduces worm consumption by 50% and increases damage to 125% of normal.


  • Always remember to hold the fire button, otherwise the projectile will explode instantly and may heavily hurt the player.
  • The HUMAN mode deals a large amount of extra damage to the player, and thus should never be used in close range. The ANNELID mode, on the other hand, does not hurt the player.
    • Rumblers, which are the most durable half-annelid creatures in the game, can approach the player very fast. Therefore, either eliminate them in HUMAN mode quickly from a distance, or prepare for a prolonged, close range battle in ANNELID mode.
  • Since one can control the exact moment to detonate the projectile, it may take out more enemies than the TC-11 "Brick" Grenade Launcher in one shot. It is recommended to explode it in the core of a group of organic foes.
  • Exotic Weapons degrade much faster than any other type of weapons, so upgrade the Maintenance skill as much as possible if you intend to use this weapon a lot.
  • When facing a tough enemy, you can conserve your ammo by firing just one shot and running away. The virus will kill the infected creature after a short while.
  • This weapon does not have any reload animation and hence can be instantly reloaded. Use this to your advantage.
  • Since this weapon requires a lower level of Research skill than the Crystal Shard, users of the latter weapon may consider to give it a shot. In most cases, such characters will maximize their Exotic Weapon skill anyway.
  • A LabAssistant™ Implant can raise one’s Research skill, thus only Research level 2 is needed.
    Do not forget to equip the implant as it can save spending Cybernetic Modules.
  • Bear in mind that Worms are the most uncommon type of ammunition in the game, so it is advised to make every shot count.
  • This weapon cannot harm SHODAN, her shields or her avatars at all. Take heed!


  • According to the in-game description, this weapon appears to have been cobbled together from both human and alien technologies. Also, judging by the stock and trigger, it was built by humans.
  • This weapon and Stasis Field Generator are the only weapons with instantaneous reload in the game.