This guide is still a work in progress.
In this guide, I will be explaining shortly some tips you may find helpful, a explanation and possible strategies for the six classes, their powers, and all the possible guns you can come across.
I have played this game for a long time, and I enjoy this game greatly, so this guide is both to help those getting started, or even those that just are unsure about playing another class. I do not have access to all the weapons, and some I shall be taking from the Wikipedia, or others that have played/use the class or weapon.
My goal in this guide is not to force you to think any class is better, just because I find one gun or power, or class better does not mean everyone will. It is all up to your playstyle, and how you choose to play the game. I will generally play this game on Hardcore mode, but I will try to offer help for those that are attempting to play this game on Insanity. Know though, that you will be walking into that hell-pit on your own two feet though, as the game becomes… insane on Insanity.
General Tips – Being prepared for your journey
Cover is key, only the Vanguard and the Soldier can survive out of it for extended periods.
Cover restores your health and shields/barrier quicker. Though, some cover can glitch and not credit it to you.
Ammo clips range from common, to almost rare depending on the level and environment. If you think you’ll not be getting much of them, save your ammo.
Unlike in Mass Effect 1, every ability shares a cooldown. This is incredibly important to realize, as some powers have very long cooldown periods that can leave you exposed.
Unlike in Mass Effect 1, you do not need to put points into charm/intimidation to gain dialog options. They are automatically given based on your paragon/renegade scores in your upgrade menu. However, this is a double-edged sword. A Paragon Shepard may regret taking renegade actions in a later conversation because of this.
Your shielding/cooldown meter vanishoutside combat, but outside safe cities/places you cannot draw your gun, you can pause the game to see them.
Auto Level Up is a thing I personally despised in ME1, but it’s not as bad in ME2, at least for your squad. Squads only have four skills to upgrade, one is locked until they are loyal. If you want them going the direction you wish, leave it off. They will never save points, although they will try to support you in their choices.
Squad Power Usage is your choice. I find I keep it on sometimes so I don’t have to babysit my team, and they never spam attacks immediately off cooldown. Their AI also is fairly smart about who they target with what.
You get more points of renegade/paragon depending on your origin. For example, a Shepard that picked a Ruthless or Spacer gets a boost in how many renegade points he gets, where as others don’t. The same is also true for a Paragon Earthborn War Hero.
You may be tempted to spread your leveling points to a bit of everything, but that’s not always the smart thing to do. Maximizing your abilities grants a increadibly powerful bonus to it, and you cannot max out every ability.
Stay cool. Even in near-death situations, if you keep a level head and think your strategy through, there’s likely a saving solution.
If you’re not sure what’s ahead of you, it’s a good idea to try to balance your squad out. A Soldier may want to go with a biotic expert and a tech expert to have a backup plan.
You can change your weapon loadouts on most missions in the middle of them, mainly after getting a new gun. This may be a sign that the next enemy you face will be different than the others on this level. For example, a bunch of Mercenaries on the level may suddenly turn into armored Krogan.
Game Difficulty – Where do you belong?
Casual: Casual is what it sounds like, Shepard and his squad are much stronger than normal, and enemies are very weak and rarely use powers. They also react slowly, and rarely will be anything but a minor threat.
Normal: The way the game was intended to be played on, enemies are a threat, but nowhere near that of harder modes. I recommend this if you never played any RPG’s/shooters, and missed mass effect 1.
Veteran: Enemies are tougher, smarter, and react quicker to you. Their powers and guns are upgraded as well. I recommend this to true veterans of shooters/RPGs and have never played this game before, or to those that beat ME2 on normal difficulty.
Hardcore: My personal favorite difficulty. DO NOT ATTEMPT IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED ME2 BEFORE. This is intended for those that beat Mass Effect 2 already, and want a much bigger challenge. Enemies are extremely tough, use very much upgraded weapons, and are very aggressive in powers. As a bonus, all enemies have armor, shielding, or barriers. Many bosses benefit from this, and become incredibly smart in their tactics.
Insanity: ONLY ATTEMPT IF YOU HAVE BEATEN ME2 ON HARDCORE. This is the ultimate challenge, enemies are overly aggressive, and use powers without mercy. All of them also have even more armor, shields and barriers, just to make you cry.
You can always change difficulty later on in your game. Just know however, if attempting to get a achievment for Hardcore or Insanity, if changed once, you will not earn the achievement and its bonuses. (In short, basically you don’t get bonus XP!)
Guns – Shepards true love
There are several types of guns, and I’ll be covering them all. Know I do not have access to some, but I will give you what I know about them. I will be rating them what I personally find their usefulness at, but I will not rate ones I do not have.
All guns have a damage amount, ammo capacity (Not-upgraded), and just like classes, strengths and weaknesses. Use them well, or their weaknesses may cause your death.
Know this is my personal opinion, you may find some guns I do not like useful to you.
The guns you will find in Mass Effect 2 are as follows:
Heavy Pistol: Your standard gun, everyone has it. Never underestimate it though, some pistols can save your life if you fall back on them.
Submachine Gun: Only Soldiers cannot use the SMG. A great tool to pierce shielding and barriers, some find this gun lacking, but I personally found this gun to save me often.
Assault Rifle: At the start, soldiers only. A all around great utility, but most rifles work differently. It’s up to you to decide which is best for you.
Shotguns: Soldiers and Vanguards only. A great gun for close ranged, although only one is useful at longer range, and most suffer at extended range. But if you get close to your enemy, you’ll find they generally go flying if you pull the trigger of these bad boys.
Sniper Rifle: Soldier and Infiltrator only at start. A good tool for hurting long ranged, and most of them inflict heavy damage. However, some have horrible ammo capacity, which can turn many off it.
Heavy Weapons: Your saving grace, never underestimate these beauties. Some you can use more than others, and I find some more useful than others as well.
The Heavy Pistol
M3 Predator (Default): 4/10. This is your normal pistol, and honestly, I don’t like it very much. It’s fairly accurate and pierces armor good, but does only 37.2 base damage per shot. At 12/60 ammo, it’s a gun for those that can’t aim too well, or just like having a pistol with spare ammo. It’s only saving grace is it’s semi-auto, but it’s just not useful enough for me.
M5 Phalanx (Firepower DLC) ??/10. I’ve never touched this pistol, but it seems to be good on paper. Its biggest change is it has a laser sight, and seems fairly accurate. It pierces armor just as good as the others, and is not only semi-auto, but does a wopping 109.8 damage. It’s drawback is its 6/24 shots, but that appears to be it. This gun does not come with Steam purchase.
M6 Canifex (The Professor Mission) 6/10. This is my prefered choice of pistol, as it’s a true hand cannon. At 85.4 damage per shot, it’s a solid shot. It’s single shot action, if that suits you. It’s major drawback however, is its 6/18 ammo capacity. If you can find a lot of ammo, it’s no problem, but you’ll run out of ammo fast with this.
The Submachine Gun
M4-Shuriken (Default) 5/10. It’s base damage is 20.5, and it has good barrier and shield penetration, and is a fairly good gun for being your default starting gun. It doesn’t really have a weakness (Besides the normal submachine gun weaknesses), and at 20.5 damage with a 24/240 capacity, it’s a solid gun.
M-9 Tempest (Tali Mission) 9/10. At first, this gun may not seem very good on paper, its 14 damage per shot seeming low, but it fires so rapidly, you’ll find its a gun that does a lot of damage as you use it. At a wopping 50/450 ammo capacity, it’s not a gun you’ll run out of ammo for often. Add to that, it really is fun to use. This gun has saved my life against both geth and shielding/barrier enemies countless times, and it’ll chew up many enemies you face.
M-12 Locust (Master Thief dlc) ??/10. Another gun I don’t have, to summerize it, 25 damage per shot, good aim on it, and 20/240 ammo capacity, it seems good. It’s drawback is it only does 25% damage to any armor/shielding/barriers, the normal being 50% damage to them. The damage to armor is rather silly, as you wouldn’t really use a sub machine gun against that anyway. I hear this is the go-to gun, but you’d have to buy the Master Thief dlc, which I hear is really worth it though.
The Assault Rifle
M-8 Avenger (Default) 4/10. At 10.8 damage, it won’t do much good if you’re looking to deal out huge damage. It’s ammo capacity is 40/400, which is very good for a default gun. It has moderate accuracy, and is auto, so some prefer this gun. It has the normal 25% damage to armor, shields, and barriers that most assault rifles have. All in all, it’s a rounded gun, nothing special, nothing really all that terrible, though don’t expect to do much damage quickly with this.
M-15 Vindicator. (Archangel mission) 7/10. This is a odd rifle, firing at 3 burst rounds, each doing 36.8 damage. It has good accuracy, but its drawback is its ammo, being 24/96. If you use it often, you’ll run out of ammo at a fair rate. But if you aim carefully, each shot is going to hurt, so it’s worth the lack of ammo capacity.
M-76 Revanant (Soldier Class Only) 10/10. This gun speaks for itself, it really is my favorite gun in this game. It works like a mini-gun, each shot dealing 21.3 damage to its targets, though it has low accuracy, as it’s a minigun. Having a increadible 80/480 capacity, It will serve you well. It does 40% damage to armor, though it loses 5% damage to barriers and shields, but still tears through them. This gun WILL destroy your enemy, and when you get it as a soldier, you’ll never touch another assault rifle likely.
M-96 Mattock (Firepower DLC) ??/10. Another gun I don’t have, this gun does a large 50.4 damage per shot, and does a extra 5% damage to armor, but loses 5% to all else. It fires in semi-auto shots, which while strange, also gives it good accuracy. Its drawback is a horrendous 16/64 capacity, which will make many not want to touch it. If you can get past that, I know somebody that stated they really enjoyed this gun.
Geth Pulse Rifle (Tali mission*) *You can only get this gun on Harcore or Insanity difficulty. 8/10. While it only does 10.8 damage per shot, it packs a large bit of capacity, 40/480. Lacking power at destroying armor, only 15% damage against it, it does 35% against barriers and shielding, and fires at full auto shots, being a perfect gun to the right user. To top that off, it has great accuracy, and I found it very useful vs geth, ironically. Be warned, you can only pick this beauty up if you’re playing on Hardcore or Insanity difficulty.
Collector Assault Rifle (Bonus free gun!) 6.5/10. Dealing 17.4 damage per shot, and the normal 25% damage vs all shields, this gun is a very good versatile tool. Being fully auto, it has a high accuracy rating, though its clip size may throw people off. At 28/280 capacity, you may find yourself reloading a good bit more than usual. Nonetheless, it’s a fairly good gun to harass your enemies with, and you’ll get it right away if you’re a soldier.
M-23 Katana (Default) 6/10. Dealing 220 damage, and piercing barriers and shields at 50%, it’s a solid startup gun. It’s semi-atuo, but with low accuracy. Not my favorite shotgun, but it is a good one. Like most shotguns, its ammo capacity is fairly bad, this one being 5/10. All shotguns have a fairly bad capacity, but this one is the normal.
M-27 Scimitar 7/10. Dealing the lowest damage, 162.7, it’s a gun that’s a good backup to trade some damage for ammo capacity. I like it more than the stock due to this, but the damage is noticable. Its capacity is 8/16, so you’ll have slightly more ammo, which is great if a krogan walks around the corner a foot away from you. Nobody wants to have a shotgun with no clips at that point.
M-300 Claymore (Soldier or Vanguard only, also is the Krogans signature gun) 9.5/10. To start, this is a shotgun for all shotguns. It has the incredible damage of 400 per shot, but only has 25% armor, shield, and barrier damage. It’s going to only be a single shot gun, as its capacity is a shocking 1/10. Meaning, one shot, and you’re forced to reload. Make that shot count, as you’ll panic if you need to reload. This is a high risk, HUGE reward gun, perfect for a vanguard that can charge fast.
M-22 Eviscerator (Bonus free gun!) 7.5/10. At 294.4 damage, it does a good bit of damage, but its tradeoff is a odd 3/12 capacity. At semi-auto, it’s a good gun if you can master it, but it may take you a bit to get used to it. This is basically a combat shotgun full on, make sure you reload it often, and you may just find it your prefered shotty.
Geth Plasma Shotgun (Firepower DLC) ??/10. This appears to just be a slightly upgraded default shotgun, with 250 damage per shot, and the normal 5/10 capacity. Nothing about it is extrordinary, until its strange function comes in, which the shot can be charged and released for a long-distance shotgun blast. Though honestly, soldiers won’t find it useful, and to Vanguards it’s only a backup tool. For other classes that can unlock a shotgun (Very risky, as the Assault Rifle is a powerful tool.) I suppose its a neat utility. I just find it not worth it. So I geuss use it if you’re trying to make a Geth set though.
The Sniper Rifle
M-92 Mantis (Default) 3/10. Dealing 263 damage might seem very good, but the fact that its only good for armor/health hinders this gun. Add to that, it’s mere 1/9 ammo capacity, and you’ve got a gun you’ll only be able to shoot 10 times before forcing yourself out of a sniper position for ammo. All in all, I don’t recommend this gun to anyone that plans on using their sniper rifle a lot.
M-97 Viper (Assasin mission) 8/10. Dealing 82 damage seems very low for a sniper rifle, but this gun is semi-auto, and packs a 12/48 capacity, so you won’t have to worry too much about ammo. It’s a good gun to camp out in a area, or to snipe down your enemies. It also has 15% bonus against shields and barriers, in addition to a 35% against armor, making this a versital tool. Honestly, this is your go-to sniper rifle if you want a semi-auto rifle. It outclasses the standard, and makes sure you don’t need to worry about reloading often.
M-98 Widow (Soldier or Infiltrator only) 9/10. Only get this gun if you’re a infiltrator, as soldiers have better options, despite this being a great gun. Dealinga HUGE amount of damage per shot, 368.3 to be exact, it’s one weakness is the stocks weakness, but slightly less. At 1/12 capacity, you’re going to be reloading a lot. However, the damage is so big you’ll not need to stay in one spot very long, so the exchange is a fair one. It’s only great against armor, but I find it destroys most shielding and barriers on its own, though Infiltrators will want to pick them down with a submachine gun instead to save ammo. This gun may not be for everyone, but it is the best damager of its kind.
M-29 Incisor (Bonus Free Gun!) 7.5/10 If you like the idea of a all around burst sniper rifle, this is the gun for you. At a minor 53.6 damage per shot, it multiplies as it fires three shots per trigger. You need to keep that in mind with its ammo capacity, 15/30. It will run through that three times as fast, so you’ll instead be having 15 shots. A clever person can spread these, especially a adrenaline rushed soldier, or a just zooming in Infiltrator. All in all, it’s pretty well rounded though.
The Heavy Weapons
M-100 Grenade Launcher (Starting area) 4/10. Dealing 500 damage sounds good, but you’ll find it just doesn’t compare to the other choices you’ll see. Being Semi-Auto solves almost nothing, you’ll rarely want to waste precious heavy ammo, and this only has normally 10 max. It’ll almost never miss though, so that’s all that can save it, I generally skip over this one.
ML-77 Missile Launcher (Research) 6.5/10. All around, it’s a okay weapon. Dealing 350 damage per missile, it’s going to hurt, but it’s not a armor/shield/barrier destroyer. Use this if you want a grenade launcher with 15 max ammo, with the same accuracy. Normally, the difference in damage I find not to matter too much due to the capacity, plus on higher levels you may only use it for bosses or to wittle enemies defenses down.
M-622 Avalanche, or Cryo Gun (Research) 8/10. To start, this is not a damaging weapon. It’s a utility, and an amazing one at that. This gun does a minor 50 damage, and you may ask, why it gets such a high rating? It does a jaw-dropping 700% bonus damage to any armor, shields, and barriers it hits in the area. That means almost anything is going to fall before it. Having 20 capacity means you can use it effectively without much worry, just don’t try to use it to damage enemies, it’ll only really freeze them. (Though, that is very fun too!) It also has a high accuracy, so it likely won’t miss.
M-920 Cain, or Nuclear Weapon (Research) 9/10. Before I get into details about this weapon, I’ll explain how it works. Like all heavy weapons, you can add max ammo to it, though this one runs on % based heavy weapons. It only fires at 100%+ capacity, otherwise it just smokes and makes a sound. If ready, it makes a sound as you hold your fire button down. Hold it until you hear the deadly *ping* it makes, then get in cover after. Now, this gun takes a while to expertly use, but if so, it’s one of the best in the game. This gun deals a ENORMOUS 10,000 damage, enough to kill almost anything (Some bosses on harder settings can survive 2+ of these). This IS your emergency button. It’s a last hope you may have, be it your team is dead and you have no medi-gel and are surrounded, or against a insane boss. If you can fire this gun, you are going to make your enemies ♥♥♥♥ their pants.
Collector Particle Beam (Horizon) 8/10. Dealing 20 damage per hit really doesn’t explain this gun, it’s a constant beam of damage, and pierces anything well. It fires until you stop firing it, and has a massive 500 capacity, so it’s a good tool to wittle things down, just don’t get caught out of cover spamming it, you can only hit one enemy with it.
M-451 Firestorm, or Flamethrower (Zaeed mission) 6/10. I wish I could rate this thing higher, but its need for you to get really close to your enemy, and its small 15 damage per charge may turn some off it. Having 500 capacity helps, but you really need to be close. The reason this thing is good shows on missions against armored opponents, and regenerating enemies. Krogan, in particular, ♥♥♥♥ themselfs upon seeing this gun. It stops their regen, and stuns them briefly, and the closer they get, the more it does. Just don’t try to use this thing ranged. I do not recommend this for anyone but a Vanguard or a Soldier.
M-490 Blackstorm, or Singularity Gun (DLC, not on steam) ??/10. Dealing 500 damage, this gun seems great, plus it has +200 bonus on all extra defenses. However, this is single shot, and only has a 5 ammo capacity. Honestly, the Cain is a lot more reliable to me, as many enemies on harder settings can survive 500 damage to them.
Arc Projector (DLC, Bonus free gun!) 8/10. You may think this thing deals huge damage to shields, but oddly it has no bonuses to anything. It does 400 damage, but it also spreads from enemy to enemy in a chain-lightning effect. It will only have 10 shots, but its spread makes it really worth it if you’re fighting tightly-grouped enemies.
As you read through this guide, you will begin to see which classes you prefer if you’re new – Or if you only played one, perhapes this will lean you into attempting another class.
- This section will cover tips for the class…
- Strengths and Weaknesses…
- Reccomended Bonus Power (From your loyal squad-mates)…
- And the recommended Heavy Weapon you may wish to use.
A true combat expert, you are no stranger to gunplay. You have access to every gun besides the submachine gun, and have 3 ammo powers to use at your disposal. I recommend using only two of them, and usually, I ignore Cyro ammo for the Soldier. Incendiary for organics, and Disruptor for synthetics (Geth, robots). Of course, Disruptor also eats shields too, so that is a solid tactic. The soldier has only two offensive powers, you’ll want to master those two, as one is a bullet-time effect, and the other is your only offensive ability that uses no ammunition. Of course, you’ll have so much ammo for all your weapons, you likely won’t run out of all of them.
The Soldier really shines on the battlefield, but the weaknesses of the Soldier are very clear. However, his strengths really make up for the weaknesses he has, if you use them right. This is the class for gun-happy people that prefer to let their squad do the supporting.
Try to maximize at least one ammo power. It’s your choice what to evolve it into, either squad ammo to share with your team, or the other, stronger effect for it.
You are a combat expert, but you lack the ability to destroy armor, shielding, and barriers easily. Consider taking a squad member that can damage those to really let your destructive guns work at full efficiency.
With only one ability that lets you not use ammo, you may suffer for it. If you like the idea of having multible powers over multible weapons, this is not the class for you.
Don’t forget that you can actually swap your ammo powers around on any gun at any point, with a very short recharge time. Use this to strategise over enemies defenses, swapping from Disruptor when fighting a mech to Incendiary to kill his fleshy allies.
Though you cannot use the submachine gun, you’ll never need to. Assault rifles are a great offensive tool that will see you through this game.
You can really become a big tank, and Adrenaline Rush on, you take less damage, causing this to make you feel like Rambo. Don’t go overboard though, you still need cover to heal yourself.
You’ll rarely need any other big fighters. Consider trying to put a biotic on your team that has pull, they can pull a enemy out of cover for your well-placed shots.
If you do put more combat-experts on your team, you might be able to tank your way through most of the levels, relying on pure brute force (Not recommended on Hardcore or Insanity)
You are versatile at any distance, so long as you have the ammo for it.
Assault rifle ammo fills up very quickly, a single clip found on the ground will keep you going for a short while, longer than other guns.
You have more starting health than any other class.
Your lack of offensive powers is your biggest weakness. Namely, the powers that destroy enemy shields, armor, and barriers. Concussive shot will do little to most barriers, so you’ll have to shoot through them or rely on companions. The only thing you’ll have to help you is your ammo powers, incendiary going through armor at a fair rate, and disruptor ammo piercing shields.
As you’ll be in the heat of battle very often, you won’t be able to command your squad to do things as quickly.
If you somehow run out of ammo on a gun, you’ll have to switch it over to something else, or risk wasting time trying to find clips.
Adrenaline Rush: In short, bullet time. You have seconds to aim your shorts much better while also doing more damage, or use it to run to different cover. During this you take slightly less damage, but don’t rely on this power too much.
Concussive Shot: Despite its name, it takes no ammo. You are firing basically a impacted, large round into a enemy to try to knock it off its feet. It also does a bit more damage to barriers, but sadly not enough.
Cryo Ammo: Sadly, not a great tool for Soldiers. As I said, I ignore this for Soldiers, but it really helps Infiltrators. If you want to use this to help your squad, by all means. I just find it’s not worth losing out on ripping through shielding with Disruptor ammo, or burning through armor (And flesh!), and on harder modes you put yourself at risk just to freeze enemies.
Disruptor Ammo: While it does a good bit of damage to shielding, it really shines versus synthetics. It overloads them for three seconds, and later on, will cause weapon overheating on your target. All in all, a very useful tool, keep one gun with this at all times. I, personally, enjoy it on a sniper rifle (Soldier only though!)
Incendiary Ammo: Good against armor, and helps stop enemies that can regenerate from doing so. Also, if a organic with no shielding is hit, they may panic, being unable to fight. All in all, a great tool for everyone.
Recommended Bonus Power: Any offensive attack. By the time you get a bonus power upgrade, you’ll need it. Incendiary Grenade works great for you, and if you wish to tank, Fortification is a power you’ll adore. Just don’t get any more ammo powers, that’d be silly.
Heavy Weapons: I’ve found all the heavy weapons guns work great for a Soldier, though it depends on your playstyle. Enjoying close-range combat? Try the Arc or Flamethrower to rid enemies of nasty defenses, or panic enemies for clear shots. Ranged? Try laying waste with the missile launcher, Collector Beam, or perhapes the Cryo gun (Maybe a tricky shot) Of course, the Cain (Nuke) works great for bosses. Highest recommendation: Arc Projector for snapping enemy defenses and gaining a clear shot.
A hybrid of combat and tech expertise, you are the long-ranged sniper of the group, and the crackshot. Idealy, you want to play this class smart – You lack defense, and have only a utility to escape if enemies near you, which does not always save you. This class is great for those that like to take their time and set up a good shot, but you are NOT a stealth class. Enemies will try to get close to you a good bit of the time. Thankfully, you have a cloak ability that lets you vanish (For a short period of time). Me2 is NOT a stealth-based game, enemies will know where you are after you un-cloak, and will gun you down if you’re not in cover.
Do not play this class as a stealthy character. You’ll NEVER want to sneak behind a target to melee them, or go too far into the enemies defense. You’ll likely die that way.
Take your time lining up shots. Very few areas of Me2 are timed, so you’ll be able to set up a shot with ample time if you don’t rush yourself.
Be smart. You lack defensive and many offensive abilities, so use your gunplay to your advantage.
AI hacking is a great tool to use for the Infiltrator if you want to use it. Having a extra damager, and potential meat (Or Synthetic?) – shield is a saving grace.
Try to always have some muscle in your crew, it will save you very often.
You may want to stray from your two comrades for a great sniping position, but you may want to keep a shotgun using companion close, incase a enemy flanks you or a Krogan zerg-rushes you. Tactical cloak can only do so much to save you.
*SUPER TIP* Headshot a Ymir Mech near enemies to death. I’ll not spoil why, but this WILL give you a SEVERE upper hand if done correctly.
You are the best crackshot class. When zooming in on your sniper rifle, time slows so you can set up a shot (Upgraded as you upgrade your Infiltrator perk).
Your Cloak allows you to flee if cornered, or stealth to another, better suited sniping position. However, you lose all regenerative abilities, and you cannot use any abilities while cloaked. Upon leaving it, cooldown THEN activates. Any attack will cause you to exit cloak early.
While not a strongarm, you can eventually use finesse to easily assassinate target after target with well-placed headshots.
You have two ammo powers, which leaves you to either abandon one, or use them both on different weapons.
Your only defense against close-combat is to run, or rely on companions. While you can cloak away, don’t rely on it. It only lasts so long, and you’ll not regenerate health or shields when using it.
Your glaring weakness against close combat creates another dilemma, when you have well-armored, shielded, or barriered enemies closing in, your only way to pierce them is to rely on Incinerate for armor, and Disruptor vs shields. That leaves barriers as something you’ll struggle against.
Leaving yourself away from squadmates can get them killed in numerous ways, and also leaves you as a easy target if enemies focus on you, the major damage dealer.
Cryo Ammo: While not great for other classes, this power shows its ultimate usage for the Infiltrator. I generally put this on my Sniper Rifle against organics, as it will create great targets for companions, AND give you another potentially easy headshot! With practice, you can really pull a lot of usage out of this normally useless ability.
Disruptor Ammo: Only use against synthetics (Geth, robots) or shielding. Ideally, you only want this on a submachine gun, but it works on a assault rifle or sniper rifle too. Just don’t use it against organics much, it does nothing but make them reload a bit more often, which against multible enemies is not going to be much use to you.
AI Hacking: Some people avoid this power, though I tend to use it a good bit. You take over a synthetic enemy for a short time, making them a extra squad mate for bullet-sponging or extra firepower. Works great if you can wittle a stronger mech down and use them as a deadly tool. Eventually you may want to hack groups, but usually it’s useless to do so, most synthetics don’t group up and they don’t show up all too often. Plus, on harder difficulties all enemies have armoring, so hacking cannot be done right away.
Incinerate: Most people avoid this power, and for some good reasoning. Its cooldown period annoys me (6 whole seconds for you, 12 for squad-mates) and it really only helps vs armor or those that regen. Generally it’s accepted to get two ranks of it though, and use it for emergencies, and so you can get AI hacking up if you wish. Eventually, this power can either bloom into something you hate, avoid, or love. It’s up to you to decide what to use it for, just don’t use it on synthetics!
Tactical Cloak: The Infiltrators personal tool, it allows them to become invisible to enemies for a short time. Enemies will stop fighting you while cloaked, but you lose all regeneration, and your cooldowns halt while in use. This power also gives you a slight boost to your next shot, which you’ll use (If you’re smart) for a sniped head-shot. While it’s a great tool to escape or sneak to other sniping positions, this power will get you killed if you use it stupidly. Be careful with this power, enemies will be gunning for you as soon as you exit your cloak.
Recommended Bonus Power: A good tool to have is Energy Drain, though this is useless in missions without synthetics or shielded enemies. If that is the case, it might be best to replace it with Neural shock for a easy snipe target, or such. Use a ammo power if you wish, though to me it’s always a waste of a extra space of power.
Heavy Weapons: While I knew one person that used a Flamethrower for backup support if a enemy was trying to corner him, I always recommend the Collector Beam for its great defense-shattering abilities, and it’s longer ranged. Missiles work great as well, and the Arc is good for groups of enemies you can’t get a clear headshot on. The Cain still holds its great utility for bosses, and you can get a clear shot as a Infiltrator with it as well. Highest recommendation: Collector Beam for shattering enemy defenses.
If you like shotguns, you’re going to LOVE this class. The Vanguard has multible abilities designed to either get the enemy close to them, or a vanguard close to the enemy. A solid combination of Biotics and Combat, the vanguard tends to be more combat oriented than Biotics, your biotics will be largely lacking for supporting, though you have two helpful abilities to toss things around. This class is famous for its “Speed-running” capabilities.
Shotgun when close, if you cannot, try to switch to other weapons if you cannot get close because of large amount of enemies, or you cannot simply go to where your enemy is. Shotguns are not long-range, so don’t waste your ammunition.
Having a team-mate with Warp really adds a great combo attack for the Vanguard, having him use Pull then have a squadmate use Warp on that target will detonate the pull, and cause them to drop like a rock.]
Consider trying out the Barrier or Fortification power, it really adds to your already great close-combat abilities, making you almost unstoppable when used (Especially combined with your Charges bonus armoring!)
Use Charge carefully. You cannot retreat back easily if used on a enemy, so commit once you use it. Ideally, you want to use it on a isolated enemy that is using heavy weapons.
You may think you’re a Krogan, but you still need cover under heavy fire. Feel free to charge at enemies, just don’t be foolish about your targets. Never charge a Krogan unless you know what you’re doing.
You are the king of Shotguns, all your powers (Except Shockwave) can be used to get a good shotgun attack off on your enemy.
You are a speedrunning God. Be smart, and you can clear enemies (Or skip them!) with minimal time.
Using Charge, then preparing a shotgun to the face for your enemy is a extremely lethal attack for almost any enemy.
You have decent crowd controling with Pull and Shockwave, don’t discount those powers.
Incendiary Ammo is a godscent for you, great for wrecking armor and excellent for your shotgun, as it can cause momentary panic to enemies, which gives you a clear shot with your shotgun, or a potential melee attack.
Vanguards are high risk, high reward. Be careful.
Your blatant weakness is your lack of powers versus shielding and barriers. You’ll have to rely on getting close with your shotgun, a huge risk for many reasons. You may need to bring tech or Biotic savy squadmates with you, causing lack of combat-power. However, a great Vanguard really needs no other combat support.
Again, the high risk, high reward can bite you badly. A charge can send you into a swarm of enemies, and you’ll have to try to wait for your Charge to work again. By that time you may likely be dead, or not have any potential enemies to charge that lead to safety.
Lack of ammo can kill a Vanguard. Shotguns have limited ammunition, so you’ll rely on your SMG often. Look for clips often to refill your Shotgun often, or you’ll be having serious ammunition issues.
A lesser known weakness can be your squadmates racing to catch up to you when you charge ahead of them. This leads them desperately trying to catch up, while making themselves wide open to attacks. Try to give them positions to bunker down at, or give covering fire to support a single ally trying to cover your flanks.
Cryo Ammunition: I never use this as a Vanguard, although it has some glamor for a pull or melee attack combo. Frankly, the strategy of freezing a enemy then pulling it to break them takes too long, and your melee attack combined with a close ranged shotgun versus a frozen target is just not worth it in my experience. If you like this idea, go ahead and use it. Many agree that it just is not worth it compared to Incendiary Ammo.
Incendiary Ammunition: My preference to the Vanguard, this adds a nice armor penetration to your shots, and causes more damage and a panic-attack for on-fire enemies. Close up combined with a shotgun, it has deadly efficiency. Add the panic of fire in with it, and if your enemy isn’t dead by one trigger pull, it may by the second.
Charge: The Vanguards speciality, a extremely high risk, high reward ability, just like the Vanguard himself. This attack launches you straight at a enemy in range, making you appear right before them, and knocking them back (Upgrades as you upgrade it.) while giving you extra barriers. This is a extremely risky attack, as you may charge into a hornets nest of bullets and who knows what else. You also could charge right into another wave of enemies, causing you to be surrounded at all sides. This power is great for the master Vanguard, but be careful if you’re getting used to this class. Always have a escape route planned.
Pull: A curving attack that lifts your enemy in the direction this attack hits them. A Vanguard will find this power useful in pulling enemies into their shotgun range, or out of cover for a themself and allies. Never disount this power, it can save you from many enemies, as long as they have no armoring on.
Shockwave: A strange attack for a Vanguard, and some don’t like this power. I personally love it, though it will knock enemies away from you, which will confuse most who just want to shotgun their way through the galaxy. This power causes exactly what it says it does, a shockwave of biotic power to knock over enemies in its path. A great tool for clearing out enemies that are bunkering up, and deals good damage. I personally upgrade this power a lot, it does reasonable damage to multible targets. If you dislike the idea of this attack, simply put only one point into it to have as a backup, but try this power out before you discredit it.
Recommended Bonus Power: I generally go with Barrier, as it helps your survivability and can be combined with Charge’s extra defense for a near-krogan vitality level (Not recommended for insanity!). Reave also works well though.
Heavy Weapons: The Flamethrower may be obvious, though you should ask yourself if its best to just shotgun when near, and you already have Incendiary ammunition, so it’s almost a waste of a slot. You lack the ability to attack through shielding easily, so the Arc works great for that. Highest Recommendation: The Arc for its shielding and stunning capabilities.
A class I used to avoid, it is now my absolute favorite. You are the ultimate supporter for any situation, and you back up your allies with ferocious abilities. You have great defensive abilities with both mastery of tech and Biotics, so those that love to support squad mates will enjoy this, or just like being in total control against all possible threats. You’ll find you have a ability to stack up against all manner of enemy defenses, and enough supporting power to control the battlefield. While lacking the sheer total control over tech or biotics that Engineers or Adepts have, this class has a complete balance over the two, if slightly leaning the tech-side with the addition of Tech Armor.
Consider combining your support abilities with a tank-like companion, and a heavy gunplay or biotic damage in addition. This will make your jack-of-all-trade squad normally into a superior, deadly tide-turning squad that will not be stopped easily.
Play smart. You have access to all the defense-shattering abilities you need. Overload wrecks shields and synthetics, Warp destroys armor and barriers, while exploding biotic attacks with massive damage. Add to that, you can support by using Throw and Cryo blast to let your squad do more damage. All of this will lead to your squads job being much easier through your control of the field.
Maximize your Defender and Tech armor early on, this will pull any shortcomings you have back a good bit in combat and staying alive. Tech armor keeps you alive later on, so deploy it as often as possible. Defender perk will give you more damage in powers and gunplay, so you can begin dealing more damage to enemies.
If supporting is the answer to what you need, then the Sentinel is the key to the locked door of the treasure vault. You are capable of controling the field no matter what enemy type or defense the enemy has. For example, a synthetic force would fall before your Overload, a Krogan would hate your Warp and Cryo Blast, and even bosses cower under your non-stop defense shattering abilities. Never discount this class, what it lacks in combat-centric abilities, it will destroy in what it is great against.
As stated in Tips, a combat-tanky squad (Two squad mates easily fit this, but for spoilers I will only mention one of them, the dlc character.) Zaeed is a great soldier-tank, and fits the bill perfectly. Couple him with a biotic attacking squad mate and you have your ultimate team. If you use a squad mate that has Pull, you can explode it with Warp, which is your main damage power as a sentinel.
You keep your squad alive very well, and their job is much easier if you destroy enemy defenses and give them clear shots.
With Tech Armor, you become very hard to kill. Using it refills your shields to max, and adds a extra layer of shielding to you. Beware of its cooldown period though.
Cooldown is your top nemesis. Your greatest enemy will be Tech Armor in this regard, which when used causes a twelve second cooldown period. While this may not seem like much, that is twelve seconds of you having no ability to control the field. Your only tools on cooldown is your gunplay, which is not very good. Add to that, many moments can have you lose your Tech Armor shielding during cooldown, which can cause Sentinels to panic. Try to stay cool under this stress, if you can do so. Panicing will only end in your death chances increasing.
While many argue that the Sentinel is a jack-of-all-trades with its weakness being it’s not great in tech or Biotics, it has the tools it needs to survive. While it may not have Pull for biotic strategies, it has Warp and push, which is good enough for its job. As for tech, it has the main important ability; Overload. You may find yourself rarely even using Cryo Blast, as it’s not that useful, but Overload is the greatest tech power possible, so use it wisely. All in all, this is not a weakness to a competent Sentinel once you learn to overcome any lack of other powers.
Your gunplay may stagnate, but adding a extra ammo power to your list of powers through the extra power upgrade will help.
Cryo Blast: The first power a sentinel has, it is sadly its weakest. While a okay power normally, it is still good to a Sentinel that uses it properly, but the ability to freeze enemies loses its usefulness later on. Enemies may group up, so they can cover them from being killed, and the “Freeze and Shatter” strategy of freezing a enemy, then using throw on them to deal large damage later on loses its luster. This is a good tool to use to stop charging enemies with no defense, but it takes time to use and loses its luster later on. I still recommend a Sentinel tries this power out however, if only to see if that strategy works for them.
Overload: Your main offensive tech power, it wrecks shielding and synthetics, and later on can cause a forced reload, and stun synthetics. If you advance it to its maximum, you can even cause mechs and geth to explode, which is not *very* useful against Geth, but against Mechs is creates a nice free explosion your team can easily take advantage over. (Note: This sadly does not create a “critical explosion”)
Tech Armor: The Sentinels specialty, this creates a extra layer of visible shielding that increases your shields, and upon losing your shields, causes a explosion to hit enemies around you, dealing damage and sending them backwards. While you want this power always on you, avoid using it in heavy combat, as the 12 second cooldown makes you useless in supporting your team until it is ready. Your best bet is to wait until the fight starts to die down, or before a fight and wait for your cooldown period to finish. Later on, you can upgrade this power into two things: 1, a “Power Armor” which increases your damage while in use, and makes it very durable. This is the prefered power of mine, and many players. 2, a armor that upon failing, causes a larger explosion for more damage, and gives you some 50% of its shielding back for a time. This version is a high risk, but with not that much reward. Use at your own risk.
Throw: Your “Bunker Breaker” power as some call it, this power lets you toss enemies around, which is great for pushing enemies away from you or pushing them out of their hiding areas, either causing them to fall to their death, or into the barrel of your squadmates rifle. (Or shotgun!) A great tool for the tactical Sentinel, it still requires you destroy the enemies defenses, which is a non-issue for a good Sentinel.
Warp: Your armor and barrier shredder power, and your heavy damage power against organics. While you cannot combine it with pull yourself, you can have a squadmate maximize pull and you maximize Warp for a very deadly combo, which if timed perfectly, is a absolute death sentance for even insanitys enemies. This will likely be the power you use most often, as it wrecks two forms of shielding and deals immense damage with upgraded versions.
Recommended Bonus Power: Any of the Ammo powerups your squad has. Warp ammo is nice, as it deals extra weapon damage vs a lot of things, Shredder is good against organics (Though fails in other departments) Armor-piercing is nice against Krogan-heavy levels (Though your Warp power will cause them to cry for their genophage-infected mothers). Really, any power besides a extra armor power (Barrier, Sheild or Armor), as it doesn’t stack well with Tech Armor.
Heavy Weapons: You have defense shattering handled, so its a good idea for a Sentinel to carry a damaging gun. The Arc works usually, as does the Missile launcher, but a deadly combo is the flamethrower+Armor blasting strategy. This will leave a enemy that just destroyed your shields extremely vulnerable for your attacks, but is risky. The Cain is a great tool if you have a lot of ammo for it. Highest recommendation: If ready for it, Flamethrower. If having plenty of heavy weapons ammo, Cain. Otherwise, Missile launcher or Arc.
Adept (Work in Progress)
The polar opposite of the Soldier, a Adept has access to all normal biotic powers, and the strongest crowd controlling power in the game. A Adept is a master of controlling the battlefield around them, and delivering pain in forms of biotic assaults. However, the biotic has been “nerfed” since Me1. Those that played a Adept there are going to be saddend, the main reason being all his powers share a cooldown. This hurts the Adept because he must choose his abilities carefully, not spamming multible powers like in Me1. However, as a Adept, you have access to fairly good cooldown periods, but it is noticeable.
No matter what, unless you are planning a full biotic team, bring a solid combat expert with you, to be your protection at least.
Your team will do incredibly well with you controlling the battlefield, be it you pulling/pushing enemies into open fire, wittling barriers down, or using the amazing Singularity to give clear shots. It’s really your choice as to what to maximize in your skills, all your abilities are useful. I personally recommend putting only one point into Pull, as Singularity is basically that but stronger.
Singularity is great, but it has been sadly, like the adept, nerfed since Me1. There are now limits as to the maximum targets you can pull in, and it only lasts a short while. It still is a big threat, just not as much as in Me1.
If you’ve played a mage in other games, think like that as a Adept. You take a lot of damage quickly and can die fast, but you deal out strong biotic damage in your powers, and control the battlefield the best of all the classes. Always try to keep a squaddie near you to pull heat off of you.
Your biotics are the stuff of legend, no other class has as many biotic control abilities as you.
Singularity can bring a lot of enemies out of their hiding spots, very quickly.
Having Warp is key to you, it does a good bit of reliable damage, and destroys enemy barriers and armor.
If a enemy gets close to you, you can try to wittle his defenses down, then spam Throw to get him away from you. (Enemies with health vulnerable only)
Pulling and then pushing a enemy off a cliff is one of the funnest things to do in Mass Effect 2, especially if it’s frozen (Check the Infiltrators Cryo Ammo section)
You start out feeling like you’re barely enough to do your role, but when you level up and upgrade, you really begin to shine.
A high-level Adept is a truely powerful character.
Your lack of combat abilities is going to kill you if you’re not careful. Don’t expect to be of much usage in gunplay, you’re going to find you might as well shoot spitballs.
You have no abilities to stop synthetics easily, you’ll have to rely on others for that.
A enemy getting close to you with any form of shielding WILL kill you quickly. Your only hope is to destroy their defense and pray you can crowd control them out of your area.
Using powers means you leave yourself vulnerable to being hurt when you cast your biotics. Combine that with your lack of defense and you can die easy if not careful, let your health regenerate a lot. (Especially on harder difficulties!)
Enemies with resistance means you cannot crowd control. You are almost useless until you wither down their defenses.
Pull: While I recommended you not put much into Pull, never discount it. Many levels you can pull enemies off cliffs to their deaths. You can also pull snipers off their perches, or most other out of reach baddies. Also, remember that you can detonate your pull with Warp, or multiply the power of Push with it. This lasts for a couple of seconds, the length upgrading as you upgrade this ability.
Shockwave: A very fun power, and great for pushing enemies away when near you. This power can save your life if you use it properly, and though it is not as strong single targeted as Push, with multible enemies it shows its power. If you like bowling, use this power to play with a couple of pin-head enemies.
Singularity: The Adepts speciality, only the Adept has this power. Creating a mini-black hole, enemies are pulled to it. At first, this starts off small, only pulling a couple of enemies to it, but later on becomes larger, pulling more and more into it. This power also harms enemies while being trapped, and leaves your allies with a clear shot to them. While it never reaches its usefulness that Mass Effect 1’s Singularity had, it’s still a great ability.
Throw: The classic biotic attack, Throw causes a enemy to be pushed from the direction it hits them. Like Pull, this power curves as you use it, so you can push them out of cover easily. It is very fun to turn some enemy into a ragdoll, and you can spam this power often. However, unlike Pull, your target will be able to recover quickly, but will still have to scurry for cover. This however, will do damage, and a solid tactic is to spam this ability to finish off a non-regening enemy. This also is a great tool to get enemies trying to flank you, or charge you, out of your way.
Warp: Your last ability, but not the weakest. This power is a great tide-turner, stopping enemy regen, dealing sizable damage, breaking armor and barriers, AND detonating any biotics already on the enemy for more damage. This means if your enemy is being pulled and Warp hits them, they take heavy damage and fall from where they were when hit. This IS your only power to stop enemy defenses, so never underestimate this power.
Recommended Bonus Power: Ammo powerups go well with a Adept, making them able to do some damage with gunplay, though if you wish to avoid that, Slam is a good choice, but if you want a non-ammo power, the go-to is Dominate, which controls organics (Like AI hacking but with people!) Or Reave, which can heal you and regen your barrier, while crippling enemies.
Heavy Weapons: I find the Cryo gun works extremely well for a Adept, giving them the strategy of shattering enemies by themselfs, and wrecking defenses. Other guns can apply well, but this strategy has worked extremely well for me. Highest recommendation: Cryo Gun.
Engineer Part 1
The very last class I played – and a very odd one. One may think that being a pure tech class might lead you to being the weakest, but it’s very far from being true. While it is true you have many tech-savy companions, the Engineer takes all the normal tech powers and adds a great power to it, while being able to use all the tech powers to maximum effect. Cooldowns are noticeable for the Engineer, but he has somewhat better combat skills than the Adept, though not much. *Note, this section is a Work in Progress
While it may be tempting to get armor pieces that buff your tech-powers damage, or give more power to your guns, it is far more important to go for Shielding upgrades. Why? Your defenses are pretty weak early on. Go for armor pieces that buff your shields up, and research things that will make you last longer in combat. Once you are comfortable in your survivability, begin buffing your offensive.
Combine Tech Powers. Don’t just spam Incinerate or Cryo Blast or even Overload constantly, a bit of variation goes a long way, especially against many enemies.
Be careful about what you put your points into. Overload is very powerful (Especially against Synthetics) and can save your life, but you may find yourself in a situation where you really wish you could fight off armor better.
Always try to keep your Combat Drone out, it has a increadibly low cooldown period and will do more than just annoy your enemies.
Though you may not think it, you can control the field almost as good as a Adept. A smart Engineer can aim his Cryo Blast or Incineration to hit a target in cover, causing him to briefly leave cover.
You are the master of tech. Synthetics will fall before you in massive droves, and you can turn a battle by hacking a mech or critically overloading them, making them a walking bomb.
Shields and Armor hold no defense against you – Overload and Incineration, in that order, wreck those two defenses.
Combat Drone is a amazingly versatile tool, upgraded it will serve you in one of two powerful ways – As a powerful attack drone that destroys defenses, or as a walking explosive.
Engineers are great supporters – Be it eliminating shields or armor, or freezing a enemy for a squad mate to kill.
Cryo Blast works well with a biotic on the team, freezing then having them use Push works very effectively. Alternatively, using Pull can be effective too.
With a squad mate that has Warp, you can tackle all enemy defenses, and cover a big weakness of yours. This goes with some other weaknesses as well.
While you may think you are helpless in Combat, you are far from it. A upgraded SMG and Heavy Pistol are great companions to your powerful tech skills.
With a Biotic and Combat expert on your team, you can give plenty of opportunity for your Combat expert to sweep across the enemy, leaving nothing but corpses. A good strategy is to freeze/burn a enemy to line up a shot for them, then have your biotic give him another as you wait for your cooldown.
As said above, a Combat/Biotic combined squad is powerful, and the best are generally Garrus, Zaeed, or Grunt and Samara/Jack/Miranda. While Jacob may be a biotic, he’s a very weak squad mate and you should not rely on him at higher levels.
While you are strong against synthetics, the opposite, biotic enemies, are your biggest weakness. You have no way of eliminating Barriers except by relying on your team, or taking them down in gunplay. Always try to keep a squad mate around that has Warp, just in case.
While the Soldier has the highest health in the game, the Engineer has the lowest. You are a very easy target to kill early on, so try to upgrade your defenses as quickly as possible.
Without a Combat expert, you’ll not be able to take advantage of most of your powers. You can fire on a enemy as they burn or are frozen, but many Engineers will need a Combat heavy squadmate to assist.
AI Hacking: Probably the most obvious power to the Engineer is the ability to hack and control enemy mechs. With this power you gain, for a short while, a “Meatshield”, ironically, and a additional attacker. Depending on what Mech you control, its usefulness spreads. A typical mech is a good tool to use to soften targets up, and is usually more effective than just killing it off. A hacked mech will attempt to go to its new enemies, which gives some mechs a additional ability. Normal mechs will gain a area-of-effect shock-stun attack, which is useful for your squad.
Mechs will generally explode after being killed, provided you blew its head off. If your mech is about to run out of its effect and is on low health, fire at its head. Until you get so it can have good shielding when hacked, they are going to be weak, so take advantage of a walking bomb asset. Geth are harder to hack normally, because of the shielding they carry. Though worth it, against them you may want to choose your hacked target carefully. Heavier targets are a great idea, such as their Juggernauts. Lastly, always try to hack a Ymir Mech before it is destroyed. If it’s about to die in a shot or two, make sure you blast off its head (Make sure you’re far away from it though!) for a upper hand in combat.
Combat Drone: The unique power to the Engineer, it is a truely tactical power and may have some scratching their head at its useage. Before I go into detail about the power, note that this power will be very different than your squad mates version. First of all, a squad mate has a large 30 second cooldown on its use, making them a target as their drone lasts a mere 18 seconds. Your character however, has a 90% cooldown reduction on it, meaning it only (Though this can be noticable at high levels) has a 3 second cooldown, meaning you can send it out behind enemies and after 3 seconds, begin assaulting the enemy with powers. However, Shepard will start with it lasting only 12 seconds. Eventually, upgrading it will cause it to last up to 24 seconds. However, do not think of this as a “Miniature Moving Sentry”.
The Combat Drone deals damage only to shields, and briefly stuns targets with no defenses. Enemies will target it depending on your game difficulty, how much damage it has done, its area relative to the enmies, and who the enemy is targetting (As well as how far away they are from them). Note however, when fully upgraded this power evolves into either #1, a explosive drone, when destroyed it detonates and damages those nearby, or #2, a full on Sentry, that deals damage to all defenses and harms enemies health. It really is up to the player to decide what to evolve this power into, as both are useful. Each explosion by the Explosive Drone deals 100 damage in a pulse, but the Attack Drone deals 40 damage per attack. Both are very worth while, and one can try them both in different playthroughs, or by simply refunding your upgrading points at the cost of research metals.
Engineer Part 2
Cryo Blast: The engineer makes full usage of this power, freezing enemies that are not protected and can arch this power somewhat. Put simply, a good use to stun enemies and let your squad (Especially a assault rifle or sniper user) hammer on them. Also, one can use Biotics to push, pull enemies and have them ram/fall into most obstacles to deal heavy damage, but it gets dangerous after a time, as you’re using two cooldown periods to do so. Be careful and smart about this power, it can save you or doom you, as it has a 4.50 second cooldown, and can only last 3-5 seconds (7 if mastering Deep Cryo Blast). I do not recommend putting a lot of points into this power, usually, I only get it to 4 seconds so I don’t worry too much about cooldowns.
Incinerate: Again, the Engineer takes full usage of this power, making it deadly in the hands of a expert. Dealing 130 to 170 damage over 3 seconds (210 if using Heavy Incinerate) it will very much harm unshielded organics, and burn through armor. Its problem comes from its 6 second cooldown, so you cannot spam it too much. It will also hardly do anything against synthetics, shielded enemies, and barriers, so don’t waste it. The use of panicing enemies on fire varries, so don’t rely on it saving your life too much. All in all, a good power to damage organics and burn through armor, but watch out for its cooldown.
Overload: The true tech power, Overload is a skill a Engineer will love, and enemy Synthetics will fall before it in waves. Overload deals 120 to 160 (200 if using Heavy Overload) damage, at its second upgrade stuns Synthetics for 3 seconds, and at its third upgrade overheats weapons for 6 seconds. While it is not damaging to organics without shielding, it will destroy their shields and at stage 3 of its power, cause their weapons to overheat (Preventing them from using it) which is valuable to any team. Its range is odd, as it has a 1.20 meter (3 meters if using Area overload) range, so rarely you can hit multible synthetics. It shares a cooldown of 6 seconds with Incinerate, so watch your cooldowns with it. With this power however, a good engineer will never lose against enemy synthetics, and eventually the Engineer can with Heavy Overload, cause enemy synthetics to explode violently on death (If unshielded when hit). This can make for brilliant and violent strategies if using AI hacking.
Recommended Bonus Power: Without spoiling it, your best power comes very late. It is a shielding tech that adds a 25% to 75% (100% if Heavy) boost to shields. Optionally, instead of gaining 100% shields, you can gain 10% weapon damage, to boost your gunplay. It lasts 60 seconds always, and watch out for its massive 12 second cooldown. Alternatively, gaining Talis Energy Drain is a solid plan, as you regen your shields for each successful use.
Tech Mastery: You will gain health, lose power recharge time, add paragon/renegade points, and a great feature is to get discounts on research project costs! Eventually you will have to choose between Mechanic or Demolisher however.
Mechanic: Gaining 20% health instead of 15%, you’ll last somewhat longer than normal, and you gain a massive 100% boost to Paragon/Renegade points. Your Power duration also is increased by 15%. In short, you can survive a bit longer than normal and all your powers will last 15% longer. You won’t have to worry as much about cooldowns. Recommended for those strategic, and don’t like cooldowns.
Demolisher: You keep your 15% health boost, and your 70% Paragon/Renegade boost, and you only gain one thing the Mechanic does not, but it’s a good one. You gain a 15% power damage boost to all your abilities, meaning you will hit that much harder, but still might worry about cooldowns a little. Recommended for those that want that extra “Oomph” in their abilities.
Heavy Weapons: Using the Collector Beam is a smart tool, especially for destroying barriers or bosses. A missile launcher works also, and I hear the Singularity gun works well for a Engineer. Highest Recommendation: Missiles, Cain for bosses, Singularity gun, or the Collector Beam.
Original Link – Continuation of discussion