This isn’t a meme this is something I’ve intended to actually be of help to anyone trying to do IronBro mode. I don’t profess to be an expert, this is just my personal opinion based on my own experience. You might disagree with me. That’s fine. I’m just trying to outline the pros and cons of each bro.
Tier list is according to IronBro mode, so although one particular bro may be better are destroying the terrain, IronBro works differently, with speed, stealth, and tunnelling being three important skills to utilise. The first two of those are two major factors on this list.
Structure of this guide
First of all, Im going to just lay the tier list out from F tier to S+ tier. Then I’ll do a breakdown of each bro in each tier, explaining why they are in their tier, and weighing up their pros and cons. Some bros I also give an important quirk for the bro that has saved me on numerous occasions. Not all bros have a quirk, as some of them are boring or are seldom ever picked up by me for some odd reason.
Note: This is NOT a character guide. I go through this guide assuming you know the terminology and kit of each bro. I’m not going to treat you like babies. I also toss in a bit of IronBro jargon, in particular, particular parts of the run I do, but those should hopefully be self-explanatory. I also don’t provide pictures, mainly because I was lazy, but also because you should already know what each Bro looks like before reading this guide.
Tiers will be examined from lowest to highest. From F tier first.
Tier list overview
S tier – B.A Broacus, Brade, Snake Broskin, Ash Brolliams, The Boondock Bros, Ellen Ripbro, The Brocketeer
A tier – Bro Dredd, Brobocop, Indiana Brones, Cherry Broling, Bro Max, The brodator, The Brofessional
B tier – MacBrover, Brominator, Brochete, Bronan the brobrarian, Brodell Walker, The brode, Dirty Brory, Bro Lee, The brolander
D tier – Brommando, Bro hard, Rambro, Bro heart, Broniversal soldier, Double Bro Seven
F tier – Bro in Black, Colonel James Broddock, Broden
The bros in F tier are almost always more of a hinderance than a help, and will most likely die within the first few rounds of trying to use them.
• Bro in Black – In Ironbro, you’re trying to avoid straight fights 70% of the time. That means tunnelling, and more importantly, stealth. Good luck trying to be stealthy with a gun that blasts a hole the size of china in front of you, while also sending you halfway up to the skybox. And 9 times out of ten, the neuraliser just gets you killed. The splash damage of your gun also causes fire damage, so if you fire in the general direction of an alien, chances are they’re going to burn ever so slightly.
o Important quirk – The noisy cricket can shoot through walls of 1 thickness. Helpful for being slightly stealthy. I have in no means tested this I just saw it happen once, so don’t come crying to me if you die when you try to use it.
• Colonel James Broddock – Unlike MacBrover, his explosives don’t stick to stuff, which means you will most likely always miss your target. And once you do finally destroy the enemy you were aiming for, half the map is gone. And the special is the same, but worse, because it lags out your game.
o Important quirk – He has ONE use in the entire game, which is cheesing the terrorcrawler by standing at the far left of the map where you cant be hit by the acid, then repeatedly dash-shooting at the boss. After that, feel free to throw him off the nearest cliff or something.
• Broden – Yes, he can electrocute people to death, but so can Ellen Ripbro, with a longer range and a useful special. Broden is a cheap copy of her. Also, his special does not work the same as Brades. You use Brade’s special to cut through a particular enemy. Broden just brings it with him, not even bothering to give them stun, so a heavy mook can kill you mid dash.
o Important quirk – The enemies that get pushed along by the special stick to Broden as well, so be careful not to charge a suicide mook and end up with it just hanging out above your head.
The Bros in D tier aren’t bad per se, but are normally too situational to be of any real impact.
• Brommando – Similar to Bro in Black, Brommando is definitely not stealth. He takes ages to tunnel accurately anywhere, alerts everyone to his presence, but hey, at least he can one shot most of the enemies in the game.
• Bro heart – He has quite a few helpful quirks, but only his special is of any use. Yes, his sword can be thrown and deflects bullets, but you should be going fast with a melee character, so you’re better off just whapping them with the sword. “Oh, here, you look like a mildly intimidating enemy, let me throw my only weapon at you then punch your friends to death.” Not to say this bro isn’t fun to play, because he is.
• Broniversal soldier – Yes, his primary is actually not that shabby. That’s what keeps him out F tier. Because his special is by far not the most helpful special in the game. 9 times out of ten, a revived enemy will be defeated by the smallest incline, ladder, or any enemy that so much as sneezes in their general direction. That of course, is provided that the corpse is intact for you to even revive in the first place. You should be knocking the enemies away from you and preferably into explosives to defuse them safely, so if you’re playing to purposely revive enemies, you’re playing ironbro wrong.
o Important quirk – I’m not 100% sure what happens if you revive the corpse of a bro. I vaguely recall you getting that bro back, but I may just be remembering wrong, so it isn’t enough to bump him up a tier.
• Rambro – Controversial pick, but literally every bro above F tier does his job better than him. Even the ones in this same tier.
• Bro hard – Same reasoning as Rambro. He is very vanilla, and is one of the only bros who cannot hitstun heavy mooks, meaning you have to constantly be peeking to take them out. And its no coincidence that both bros with a stun mechanic are down low. Because stun accomplishes absolutely NOTHING.
• Double bro seven – Look, I love the James Bond films. But his bro is just the definition of situational. You will never be in the right spot for any of his specials at the right time. The only useful ones are the jetpack and the disguise, but the disguise only works until you get up to aliens, and the jetpack can only be used once, and then you’ve used your one and only mobility skill.
Your run of the mill, average bros. Still fairly situational, but flexible enough to be used in most levels.
• The brolander – I do believe this bro is underrated, but only to a point. He is OP as hell once you collect a few heads, but in Ironbro, good luck getting up that initial power spike in levels with aliens that kill you if they touch you. But once you get going you are damn near impossible to kill, being able to flat out revive yourself and smite your enemies with lightning. Oh, and you can also HIT BULLETS TO REFLECT THEM!
o Important quirk – You can only revive yourself if you have four specials and are still in one piece.
• MacBrover – A bro that cannot shoot straight can be pretty annoying, but that’s compensated for with the sheer shenanigans you can cause with this bro. Just activate EZ mode by standing above a tricky section and spamming dynamite. Your dynamite also sticks to walls and enemies, so you don’t need to have degree in trigonometry to work out your angles. Plus, you can turn mooks into grenads by throwing them, which is pretty cool. Oh, and you have one of the best specials in the early levels. Worth noting that MacBrover gets less and less helpful further into the game.
o Important quirk – There is a chance that you can fear enemies by attaching dynamite to them (even aliens), but its finnicky at best, so I wouldn’t rely on it.
• Brominator – Utterly tears through bosses, but pretty annoying to use literally anywhere else in a level due to the severe knockback of the gun. And since you only have one special, you are most likely going to under-utilise it and then end up playing super cautiously afterwards. Plus, the gun does not exactly help you with you with stealth.
• Brochete – Actually the most vanilla bro in this entire game.
• Bronan the brobarian – The best melee bro in the game (besides Brade) due to his added mobility and quirks. The sword can be charged to hit enemies above you, which gets you out of so many scrapes its not funny. Not to mention that your special is much more helpful as a double jump than for its actual intended purpose.
o Imprortant quirk – Bronan is one of the only bros who can smash through the rail fortress’ metal grating, so there’s that.
• Brodell Walker – Yes he’s a shotgun bro, but his special becomes literally useless in alien levels.
• The Brode – The sheer speed you can slice your enemies with earns Beatrix this tier. And all her swings knock enemies back, so slice away to your heart’s content without worrying about suicide mooks. Plus you have a nice melee for when you need that added stealth. Despite this, I somehow always manage kill the brode within four levels of getting her.
o Important quirk – The five point palm exploding hand technique works on acid crawlers, which is a good way to cheese past them. I don’t know if it works on the bone wurms, the terrorcrawler, or the humungocrawler, but I don’t want to test that theory until absolutely necessary. There is also a chance that you can hit heacrabs that have latched onto you with it, but its inconsistent at best.
• Dirty Brory – I know quite a few people who think he is the best bro in the game, but unless you are constantly keeping a mental check of how many bullets you have left in the chamber, you are going to get caught with your pants down. Plus, the damage drop-off against bosses is astronomical, so let’s hope you don’t have to take down anything with more health than a heavy mook. The special is nothing to write home about. You are going to whiff it every single shot, so don’t plan anything round it.
• Bro Lee – Another bro I seem to instantly kill as soon as I pick them up. But I see how he is good. His strikes hit enemies back again, and he has the added perk of being able to hit both up and down. Don’t try to tunnel reliably with that though. You’ll be there for half and hour. His special is also really cool, but more flashy than practical.
Bros that are decent in most situations. They’re helpful, but you should still be able to pull through if any of them die.
• Bro Dredd – Yes, he has the second best special skill in the entire game, but the rest of his kit is kind of average. The curving of the bullet trajectory never curves as much as you need it to, and the ricocheting bullets are more of a gimmick than something you are ever going to use.
• Brobocop – He isn’t a very fun bro to play, but he has far more reliable damage than the brominator. You don’t get knockback from your gun, and you can charge it up until the point you need to fire it. Excellent for mowing down hordes of aliens. And that special can get you out of quite a few scrapes, but I have noticed it becomes less helpful in the IronBro route for some reason.
o Important quirk – If you have a fully charged shot, you can melee to release a small portion of that charge along with your stab in the event you don’t want to destroy the rest of the map in front of you.
• Indiana Brones – His melee is good for tunnelling downwards, but his whip is what gets him up here. It may not have the highest damage output, but it still does essentially get rid of anything you hit with it. But that’s not all. Indiana gets some pretty crazy mobility with the ability to latch onto terrain with the whip and skip half of a tower section. A lot less hassle than trying to do flip jumps up an outcrop. His special isn’t too shabby either, essentially being a better version of Dirty Brory’s pistol.
• Cherry Broling – Ah yes. The pick on this list that is single-handedly going to get me the most flack. Everyone hates this bro except me. I’ll tell you why. The main reason we all die with Cherry is a lack of map knowledge. Memorising levels is something that will come naturally to IronBro runs, so if you know where, you can skip entire levels with Cherry just by flying fast and making sure you don’t touch down in a dangerous area. She’s a lot like the Borcketeer, but with more damage. The tradeoff is she doesn’t have a jetpack, and has her gun in her leg. The leg gun isn’t so much of a problem. Shooting down is a much needed perk in numerous situations, such as the sky fortress, which becomes an absolute pushover with Cherry. Yes, you do have to crouch to shoot in front of you, but again,, its IronBro, you should be trying to avoid straight fights. I was thinking of putting Cherry in S tier, but I can see the downsides with her. She’s still my favourite bro int he game though.
o Important quirk – Cherry’s rockets give her some lift, so if you need just a bit more height to reach that wall, fire off one or two rockets, and you’ll make it.
• Bro Max – He is a shotgun bro, so has insane damage output, but isn’t as great as Ash in my opinion. The fire shotgun seems a bit more clunky along with having a slightly slower fire rate, and when headcrabs have a nasty habit of sneaking past the flames, you need to be able to fire again very quickly. The boomerang is okay, most of the time, you’re just better off shooting at the enemy normally, but it does have its uses against some larger boss type enemies such as missile launchers or helicopters.
o Important quirk – Picking up ammo crates as Bro Max is a must. As long as you aren’t carrying a boomerang, you can pick up another one from an ammo crate. So you can throw your first one away somewhere, collect another one, then retireve the first one. Voila! You have an extra boomerang. Can be stacked infinitely.
• The Brodator – Similar to Brobocop and Bronan, this is a bro you should always be charging their primary fire with at every opportunity. You want to always be shooting max spears unless you need to spam them. Brodator has high damage output while still having stealth, and his range is ludicrous, allowing him to defuse tricky situations from the beginning of the map. His special is also a god send. And his death passive works great as a giant middle finger to whatever managed to kill you.
o Important quirk – Brodator can hit enemies offscreen. His max charge time is also the quickest amongst other abilities of the same type, only needing you to hold the button down for half a second.
• The Brofessional – He’s a pistol bro, so isn’t going to have the most reliable source of damage, but Leon is one of the best stealth bros in the game. The silencer doesn’t announce your presence to everyone in the map, which is essential for a lot of problem areas. His special also ranks highly amongst all the specials in the game, and is very, very helpful for cleaning out areas with more than one heavy mook in a tricky spot. Worth noting it doesn’t work well against bosses. Normally, Natallie Portman shoots every target until they’re dead, but we aren’t allowed to cheese bosses this way.
o Important quirk – Your smoke teleport melee can target explosive barrels so just be careful if you want to melee an enemy that is next to a red barrel. There is a fifty percent chance you will just blow up.
The bros that are well suited to almost every situation. Try to keep them alive.
• The Brocketeer – Unparalelled mobility. You can skip entire levels, and you keep the same momentum as you had when you were running when you jump, so ziplines are your friend. 90% of the time you don’t even have to fire your gun, and can instead just fly around the map burning people with your jetpack. Only reason he isn’t S+ tier is because his pistol is a bit ♥♥♥♥. Your jetpack is a much better source of damage.
o Important quirk – Although Brocketeer is one of the bros able to do the tricky tunnel parkour to get underneath the terrokrawler, you WILL die if you use him to do so. Because once you get down there, your pistol does about as much damage as a slightly more study toothpick
• Snake Broskin – The cape. The CAPE. THE CAPE. No-one understands how great the cape is. Yeah, the rest of his kit might be really too situational, but his cape allows him to FLY! He can bypass tricky spots, or do some pretty hair-raising parkour tricks. The cape alone gets him into the company of the best bros in the game.
o Important quirk – The teleporter is NOT PERMANENT. When you hear a click, it has deactivated, and you will die for real if you get hit. Normally this happens if you go too far away from it, but enemies can also shoot it down. So just be careful. And don’t just try to listen out for the click. You are not going to hear it amongst all the noise.
• Brade – Boasting the position of best melee character in the game, Brade has the best mobility of any non-flying bro. He has the highest jump height and run speed in the game. The only character that can travel faster than him is Cherry after she accelerates to top speed. Brade is able to absolutely cheese tricky stages by just sailing over their heads. And unlike Broden, Brade’s special also damages enemies.
o Important quirk – If there is a suicide mook at the top of a ladder, just spam your sword and rush to the top. The mook will be knocked upwards, away from you and instead blow up its friends.
• The Boondock Bros – These two chaps I used to think were the best bros in the game because they essentially have three lives, so are very forgiving. That is true, but I have come across one or two small downsides that dethrone them from that position of god-tier. First of all, they were patched, so they no longer appear multiple times in IronBro mode. Secondly, if both brothers are killed simultaneously, you don’t get your second life frenzy mode. So that includes heavy mooks, air strikes, or acid aliens. Be wary. That being said, the boondocks are very good for the hell levels, which are very unforgiving zones, but also do not feature many of the instant kills previously stated, such as miniguns or air strikes.
o Important quirk – I am 80% sure that if you use the special to gain Father, he doesn’t count as an extra life. If both bros die, I am pretty sure you will not be put in control of Father.
• B.A Broacus – If you lose B.A before the alien levels, just go ahead and restart, as B.A is the number one alien killer. Aliens get scared of fire, as its their major weakness, so just spam your flamethrower and watch as everything runs away from you in fear. B.A is also the best horizontal tunneller in the game, able to tear through any terrain instantly. He doesn’t make it into S+ tier because frankly, out of the alien levels, he’s just an average bro (apart from the aforementioned tunnelling).
• Ellen Ripbro – I really need to get around to watching Alien at some point. Ellen is easily one of the best characters in the game. Her primary has a range that is nothing to laugh at, and makes enemies EXPLODE! Well not explode as in actually damage stuff around it, but its still pretty cool. It also hitstuns every non-boss type enemy, so just spam away and watch as everything is crushed underneath your shoe like ants. She’s a good alien killer (who would have guessed), and her special, while essentially being a slightly worse version of the Brofessional’s special, is still pretty effective, especially against aliens.
If these bros die, your run is over. Sorry.
• Mr Anderbro – He has the best melee and mobility in the game. He is the best tunneler in the game, and can hand terrorists their ♥♥♥ on a plate. A tricky one to pin down and essential for cheesing your way past half the maps in the game.
• Time Bro – Time slow is the best ability in the entire game, I don’t think I really have to explain why. Everyone already knows it. Early levels are small enough to permanently have time slow on, and later levels have only one or two tricky bits that you can just waltz right on through in slow motion.
o Important quirk – It is essential that whenever you have a free time slow at the end of a level, you activate it just before hopping on the chopper, then you get a cool slow motion version of the end of level music.
• Tank Bro – You can summon a tank in any level. I’ll repeat that in case you didn’t hear me. You can summon a TANK every level. You essentially become a nigh unkillable character that tramples anything in its path. Even without the tank, Tank Bro has the highest damage output in the game, can divebomb enemies with her melee, and can rocket jump off her rockets to get some insane mobility she has no means having. It’s strange that such a great bro has come out of one of the worst films ever made.
o Important quirk – Headcrabs are annoying as hell to deal with in the tank, as you cant hit them with the gun, and if they latch onto it, they’ll knock you out of it.