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Gunther Hermann in Deus Ex, a game which likely influenced (and continues to influence) bionics in Cataclysm and C:DDA
Bionics are a combination of passive and activated abilities that can be added to the player. In addition to skills and traits, bionics add an additional level of customization to the character which can dramatically change gameplay. Certain combinations of bionics work well with each other, creating a fluid synergy that greatly enhances chances for survival. A Power Storage bionic and a bionic capable of charging the battery are necessary for the use of other bionics.

Bionics can be found randomly around the game world, but science labs are where you'll find them for sure, particularly at the lower levels. You can also find some when butchering bionic creatures, such as shocker zombies (although if your survival skill isn't high enough you might not get any, or only burnt out bionics).

You can access the bionics menu via p, where you can see and manage all your installed bionics.

Installing Bionics

To install a Compact Bionics Module (CBM), you'll have to activate it first. You'll be shown the chances of success of the installation process and asked to confirm if you still want to continue the procedure.

Installing bionics is based off intelligence and the skills electronics, first aid, and mechanics, in that order. The chance of success is equal to the following:

Chance of Success = (100 * Difficulty) / (Difficulty + sqrt(1 / Difficulty))


Difficulty = Adjusted Skill / (4 * Bionic Difficulty)
Adjusted Skill = Skill - min(40, Skill - Skill / 10)
Skill = Intelligence * 4 + Electronics * 4 + First Aid * 3 + Mechanics

For a better chance at success, boosting Intelligence briefly can help a great deal. Meth, cigarettes, and Adderall give nice boosts. It also appears that installing a bionic takes no time, making it possible to stockpile several kits and then install them all in one drug fueled binge.

Any attempt to install a bionic upgrade will practice character's skills. Amount of gained point is based on chance to fail current installation:

for electronics: (100 - Chance of Success) * 1.5
for first aid: (100 - Chance of Success) * 1.0
for mechanics: (100 - Chance of Success) * 0.5

The possible outcomes of installation are:

  • successful installation
  • failure without incident
  1. failure with a chance of pain
  2. failure with a chance of body damage (possible if fail > 12%)
  3. failure with a chance of loss of some or all bionics (possible if fail > 20%)
  4. failure with a chance of mutation(s) (possible if fail > 28%)
  5. failure with a chance to install a malfunctioning bionic (possible if fail > 35%)
    • failure with a chance of permanent power loss (this replaces installing a malfunctioning bionic if you have all of the malfunctioning bionics.)

Failing to install the bionic in any way will consume it in the process. The more you fail the installation by, the higher the chance of more severe failure.

A body can hold unlimited Power Storage/mk. II bionics, and one of each other bionic. However, the Bionics interface can only accommodate about 30 or so before it starts to have trouble maintaining letters for all of them. Be careful what you install.


In the experimental version, you now need painkillers to install bionics. You need a certain level of active painkillers in your system before you can add a bionic. You will have to experiment to find out how much to take. Remember to give the drugs time to work before you decide you need more. Depending upon your character, 2-3 poppy painkillers and then waiting about an hour seems to do the trick. Remember, installing bionics is instant, so get all your CBM's together, get drugged up and install everything. Also remember, people die from drug overdose, so don't take to many painkillers.

Of course, there are mutants who are immune to pain, or even might like the pain. These Cenobites don't need painkillers. Other mutations or bionics might also remove or reduce the painkiller intensity required.

Bionic Slots

Bionic slots are deactivated by default. Give yourself the DEBUG_CBM_SLOTS/"Debug CBM Slots Limits" mutation using the debug menu to activate this system.

In the experimental version, there is an attempt at creating a new system, which limits the maximum amount of installed bionics. This system is still in beta. Now, each part of the body has limited capacity:

  • Torso - 80
  • Head - 18
  • Eyes - 4
  • Mouth - 4
  • Left/right arm - 20
  • Left/right hand - 5
  • Left/right leg - 30
  • Left/right foot - 7

And each bionic that you installed had a size, and you couldn't install bionics if it made a bodypart go over the maximum amount of bionics.

List of CBMs

CBMs are surgery kits that contain all the tools required to install a cybernetic implant, also called bionics, in a human. They are automated in some ways, but manufacturers' warranties insist on having a fully qualified technician and medical doctor to assist in the installation--in a proper medical facility.

All CBMs are made of steel and plastic and have 10 volume, 2 weight and do 8 bashing damage when wielded.

Name Item ID Install Difficulty Capacity Toggled Power Source Activation cost Usage cost Time
Active Defense System Active Defense System CBM7 true 10 10 1
Adrenaline Pump Adrenaline Pump CBM6 50
Advanced Microreactor System Advanced Microreactor CBM13 true true
Aero-Evaporator Aero-Evaporator CBM4 200
Air Filtration System Air Filtration System CBM4
Alarm System Alarm System CBM1 true 1 1 16
Alloy Plating - Arms Arms Alloy Plating CBM3
Alloy Plating - Head Head Alloy Plating CBM5
Alloy Plating - Legs Legs Alloy Plating CBM3
Alloy Plating - Torso Torso Alloy Plating CBM4
Anti-glare Compensators Anti-Glare Compensators CBM4
Artificial Night Generator Artificial Night Generator CBM5 true 15 15 1
Battery System Battery System CBM4 10 true true
Bionic Claws Bionic Claws CBM5 true 100
Blood Analysis Blood Analysis CBM2 25
Blood Filter Blood Filter CBM3 75
Cable Charger System Cable Charger System CBM4 10 true true
Cerebral Booster Cerebral Booster CBM11
Chain Lightning Chain Lightning CBM4 125
Cloaking System Cloaking System CBM5 true 50 50 1
Close Quarters Battle Close Quarters Battle CBM8 true 1 1 1
Cranial Flashlight Cranial Flashlight CBM2 true 1 1 25
Diamond Cornea Diamond Cornea CBM11
Dielectric Capacitance System Dielectric Capacitance System CBM5 true 1 1 2
Directional EMP Directional EMP CBM5 100
Electromagnetic Unit Electromagnetic Unit CBM2 50
Electroshock Unit Electroshock Unit CBM5 true
Enhanced Hearing Enhanced Hearing CBM6 true
Enhanced Memory Banks Enhanced Memory Banks CBM9 true
Ethanol Burner Ethanol Burner CBM4 true
Expanded Digestive System Expanded Digestive System CBM6
Facial Distortion Facial Distortion CBM5
Finger-Mounted Laser Finger-Mounted Laser CBM5 50
Fingerhack Fingerhack CBM2
Fingerpick Fingerpick CBM2 25
Fingertip Razors Fingertip Razors CBM4
Flashbang Generator Flashbang Generator CBM5 125
Fusion Blaster Arm Fusion Blaster Arm CBM3 50
Heat Drain Heat Drain CBM5 true
Hydraulic Muscles Hydraulic Muscles CBM6 true 17 17 1
Implanted Night Vision Implanted Night Vision CBM11 true 1 1 1
Infrared Vision Infrared Vision CBM6 true 5 5 1
Integrated Dosimeter Integrated Dosimeter CBM3 25
Integrated Toolset Integrated Toolset CBM6 true
Internal Chronometer Internal Chronometer CBM1
Internal Climate Control Internal Climate Control CBM3 true 1 1 4
Internal Furnace Internal Furnace CBM4 true true
Internal Storage Internal Storage CBM7
Internal Unified Power System Unified Power System CBM3 true
Joint Torsion Ratchet Joint Torsion Ratchet CBM4 true
Leukocyte Breeder System Leukocyte Breeder System CBM7 true 10 1 600
Metabolic Interchange Metabolic Interchange CBM4 true true
Microreactor System Internal Microreactor CBM11 true true
Mini-Flamethrower Mini-Flamethrower CBM4 75
Monomolecular Blade Monomolecular Blade CBM8 true 200
Muscle Augmentation Muscle Augmentation CBM11
Nictating Membrane Nictating Membrane CBM6
Offensive Defense System Offensive Defense System CBM7 true 10 10 1
Olfactory Mask Olfactory Mask CBM5 true 10 10 1
Optical Dampers Can't be installed true
Oxygenator Oxygenator CBM6 true
Plutonium Filter Plutonium Filter CBM6 true 1 1 2
Plutonium Purger Can't be installed 1
Power Armor Interface Power Armor Interface CBM1 true 1 1
Power Armor Interface Mk. II Power Armor Mk. II Interface CBM8 true 1 2
Power Storage Power Storage CBM1 100
Power Storage Mk. II Power Storage CBM Mk. II1 250
Probability Travel Probability Travel CBM11 true 1 1 1
Protective Lenses Protective Lenses CBM5
Radiation Scrubber System Radiation Scrubber System CBM4 50
Railgun Railgun CBM3 true 1 1 1
Microreactor Upgrade Microreactor Upgrade CBM11
Recycler Unit Recycler Unit CBM6
Remote Controller Remote Controller CBM6 true 1 4
Repair Nanobots Repair Nanobots CBM6 true
Scent Vision Scent Vision CBM8 true 1 1 1
Sensory Dulling Sensory Dulling CBM4 true
Shockwave Generator Shockwave Generator CBM5 250
Solar Panels Solar Panels CBM4 true
Sonic Resonator Sonic Resonator CBM11 100
Sound Dampeners Can't be installed true
Subdermal Carbon Filament Subdermal Carbon Filament CBM9
Synaptic Accelerator Synaptic Accelerator CBM12
Targeting System Targeting System CBM5
Teleportation Unit Teleportation Unit CBM7 250
Telescopic Eyes Telescopic Eyes CBM5
Terranian Sonar Terranian Sonar CBM5 true 5 5 1
Thermal Dissipation Thermal Dissipation CBM3 true 4 4 1
Time Dilation Time Dilation CBM11 50
Uncanny Dodge Uncanny Dodge CBM11 true 1 1 10
Water Extraction Unit Water Extraction Unit CBM5 50
Weather Reader Weather Reader CBM3 10
Wired Reflexes Wired Reflexes CBM11

Malfunctioning bionics

Malfunctioning bionics are a result of a failed install when the risk is greater than 35%. They also come pre-installed with certain professions. Uninstalling one earns you relief from their effects and a burnt out bionic. These items are never experienced outside of the bionics menu and don't have item counterparts in the world.

Name Description
Acidic Discharge A malfunctioning bionic which occasionally discharges acid into your muscles, causing sharp pain and minor damage.
Bionic Nostril You're really not sure how the CBM ended up in your nose, but no matter how it got there this badly misplaced bionic makes it difficult to breathe. Increases mouth encumbrance by one.
Bionic Short Circuit A poorly-wired bionic which fails to serve its intended purpose, this malfunctioning device periodically short-circuits, causing systemic muscle tremors.
Bionic Visual Impairment Due to a badly misplaced dielectric stylette you are now suffering from mild optic neuropathy. Increases eye encumbrance by one.
Bionic-Induced Deformity A combination of poor installation and unpleasant scarring has lead to the malfunctioning bionic catastrophe you call your face. People who mind that you look like a dime-store Frankenstein will react poorly to your appearance.
Electrical Discharge A malfunctioning bionic which occasionally discharges electricity through your body, causing pain and brief paralysis but no damage.
Electrical Drain A malfunctioning bionic. It doesn't perform any useful function, but will occasionally draw power from your batteries.
Endocrine Enervator Through a combination of psychochemical manipulation and old fashioned electrical nerve stimulation, this malfunctioning bionic alters your brain chemistry in such a way as to cause fatigue. You will find yourself tiring a bit faster than before.
Itchy Metal Thing A bionic of some sort, so badly installed that you cannot even tell what it was originally supposed to be. Sometimes it itches horribly.
Leaky Bionic This botched piece of bionic hardware slowly leaks electrolytic compounds, piezoelectric nanomaterials, and other high-tech contaminants into your bloodstream. Needless to say, this is not good for your health.
Motor Control Overstimulator One piezoelectric solenoid installed backwards, two crossed wires, and four burned-out capacitors later you started falling on your face and writhing around at the least convenient times. This incorrectly-configured bionic periodically stuns you for a short duration.
Noisemaker A malfunctioning bionic. It will occasionally emit a loud burst of noise.
Power Overload Damaged power circuits cause short-circuiting inside your muscles when your batteries are above 75%%%% capacity, causing greatly reduced strength. This has no effect if you have no internal batteries.
Self-Locking Thumbs Self-locking thumbs hold tight (even when you really don't want them to) and don't let go (even when you'd rather they did). Increases hand encumbrance by two, while failing to improve your ability to hold objects whatsoever.
Squeaky Ankles In a cruel twist of fate, a poorly executed CBM installation has given you a pair of useless bionics which make squeaking noises when you walk.
Visual Disruptor A malfunctioning bionic which causes occasional visual distortion and pixelation.
Voice Remodulator You will likely spend the rest of your days serving as a walking testament to why you don't hold loose parts in your mouth while installing a CBM. Accidentally swallowing that remodulator unit has given you a creepy robot voice.
Wire-induced Stiffness Improperly installed wires cause a physical stiffness in most of your body, causing increased encumbrance.

Removing Bionics

You'll need a cutting implement and a first-aid kit to attempt it. Remove it on the bionics screen p. It's noticeably more difficult than installing it (since you don't have the CBM kit to assist you) and can do serious/fatal damage on a failure.

To remove a CBM, open your (p) bionics screen, and use - to remove the bionic. You cannot remove power supply. Uses (and trains) electronics, first aid, and mechanics skills.

You can die from a botched operation. Does no damage on a successful removal.


  • 0.7 (Lindqvist) - Bionics can be retrieved from butchered player corpses.
  • 0.B (Brin) - Feature to remove bionics added; previous versions only allowed removal with critical failure on install.
  • the experimental version - Installing bionics requires painkillers, beta version of the debug slots system.