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Disambiguous This article is about the power. For the enemy created by Geth Primes or opposing engineers, see Combat Drone (enemy).

Combat Drone is a tech power in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3's single-player and multiplayer modes.

The power spawns a tech drone that draws enemy fire and can electronically stun targets while damaging their shields.

  • Only one drone per character can be active at a time.
  • In addition to attacking enemies, drones also act as a distraction for certain enemies, especially Husks.
  • Enemies can sometimes also spawn combat drones, but these are generally less powerful than those the player spawns.

Mass Effect 2 Edit

Drone ME2 Icon

Power Ranks Edit

  • Rank 1
    • Recharge Time: 3.00 seconds (Shepard); 30.00 seconds (others)
    • Duration: 12.00 seconds (Shepard); 18.00 seconds (others)
    • Drone Attack Recharge Time: 4.00 seconds
  • Rank 2
    • Recharge Time: 3.00 seconds (Shepard); 30.00 seconds (others)
    • Duration: 16.00 seconds (Shepard); 18.00 seconds (others)
    • Drone Attack Recharge Time: 3.70 seconds
    • Drone Health Bonus: 120.00%
  • Rank 3
    • Recharge Time: 3.00 seconds (Shepard); 30.00 seconds (others)
    • Duration: 20.00 seconds (Shepard); 18.00 seconds (others)
    • Drone Attack Recharge Time: 3.40 seconds
    • Drone Health Bonus: 140.00%

Rank 4

Choose to evolve the power into one of the following,

Attack Drone Edit

  • You have upgraded the combat drone so its electric shock damages health, armor, and biotic barriers.
    • Recharge Time: 3.00 seconds (Shepard); 30.00 seconds (others)
    • Duration: 24.00 seconds (Shepard); 18.00 seconds (others)
    • Drone Attack Recharge Time: 3.00 seconds
    • Drone Health Bonus: 160.00%
    • Drone Damage: 40.00 points

Explosive Drone Edit

  • Your combat drone is rigged to explode when destroyed, pulsing energy that inflicts high damage on all nearby enemies.
    • Recharge Time: 3.00 seconds (Shepard); 30.00 seconds (others)
    • Duration: 24.00 seconds (Shepard); 18.00 seconds (others)
    • Drone Attack Recharge Time: 3.00 seconds
    • Drone Health Bonus: 160.00%
    • Pulse Radius: 6.00 meters
    • Pulse Damage: 100.00 points

Player Notes Edit

  • Combat Drones are effective distractions as enemies will usually focus on them first, rather than firing at the squad. Rocket-launcher toting enemies may even damage or kill themselves by blasting the Drone at point-blank range.
  • An attack from enemy combat drones will dislodge the player from cover, so they should be given the utmost priority.
  • Enemy Combat Drones cannot be hacked.
  • Since Combat Drones are counted as "allies" (they are blue dots on Shepard's radar), they can disrupt enemy spawns—and even cancel some whole fights—by spawning them at enemies who are currently in areas which should be inaccessible, e.g. a doorway leaving the current "arena".
  • Combat Drones are very useful on higher difficulties. They can be used as a distraction, allowing the player to regenerate shields and health, or they can be used to whittle away an enemy's shields/health whilst allowing the player to finish them off.
  • Drone upgrades can greatly improve Drone survivability, much more than the health bonus suggests. A fully upgraded Drone attacks frequently enough that for some enemies all attacks are interrupted.

Availability Edit

Mass Effect 3 Edit

ME3 Combat Drone

Power Ranks Edit

Rank 1: Combat Drone Edit

Deploy this attack drone to stun targets and draw enemy fire.

  • Recharge Speed: 5 sec
  • Drone Damage: 40
  • Drone Shields: 500


Rank 2: Recharge Speed Edit

Increase recharge speed by 25%.

  • Recharge Speed: 4 sec
  • Drone Damage: 40
  • Drone Shields: 500


Rank 3: Shields & Damage Edit

Increase drone's damage by 30%.
Increase drone's shields by 30%.

  • Recharge Speed: 4 sec
  • Drone Damage: 52
  • Drone Shields: 650


Rank 4: Shields & Damage/Detonate Edit

Shields & Damage

Increase drone's damage by 40%.
Increase drone's shields by 40%.

  • Recharge Speed: 4 sec
  • Drone Damage: 68
  • Drone Shields: 850

Detonate

Drone explodes when destroyed, dealing 156 points of damage (520 multiplayer) across a 5 meter radius.


Rank 5: Shock/Shields & Damage Edit

Shock

Upgrade drone's short-range attack to deal 130 points of damage across a 2.5 meter (5 m multiplayer) radius.
Drone stuns enemies for a short duration.

Shields & Damage

Increase drone's damage by 50%.
Increase drone's shields by 50%.

  • Recharge Speed: 4 sec
  • Drone Damage: 88 (Shields & Damage), 72 (Detonate)
  • Drone Shields: 1100 (Shields & Damage), 900 (Detonate)


Rank 6: Rockets/Chain Lightning Edit

Rockets

Upgrade drone with long-range rockets that deal 195 points of damage (390 multiplayer) across a 1.5 meter (2.5 m multiplayer) radius.

Chain Lightning

Upgrade drone's electrical pulse to jump and hit 3 additional targets.


Player Notes Edit

Mechanics
  • In addition to the in-game text, the Combat Drone's different attacks feature varying force values, which are used to determine whether an enemy is staggered when hit:[1]
    • The Combat Drone's basic attack has enough force to stagger basic enemies, with an attack cooldown of 3 seconds.
    • The detonate attack provided by the Rank 4 Detonate evolution has enough force to stagger moderately strong enemies (with greater likelihood in multiplayer).
    • The area-of-effect (AoE) shock attack provided by the Rank 5 Shock evolution has enough force to stagger moderately strong enemies with an attack cooldown of 5 seconds. In multiplayer, it has enough force to stagger all but the hardiest of enemies, even Phantoms, with an attack cooldown of 3 seconds.
    • The rockets provided by the Rank 6 Rockets evolution have enough force to stagger moderate enemies with an attack cooldown of 4 seconds (3 in multiplayer). The rocket attack also has a minimum range of 4m.
  • The Rank 4 Detonate evolution can detonate Tech Burst combos.
  • The Rank 5 Shock evolution attack is independent of the Rank 6 Chain Lightning evolution attack. The Chain Lightning directly affects the drone's default Rank 1 "zap" attack. The Rank 5 Shock evolution gives the drone an additional type of attack. Despite a common misconception, the Chain Lightning evolution will not let the Rank 5 Shock evolution attack chain to multiple enemies.
  • The chaining effect provided by the Rank 6 Chain Lightning evolution has a maximum range of 10m. It should be noted, despite the in-game wording, the Chain Lightning evolution lets the drone hit 3 total targets, not 3 additional targets.
  • The various Shield & Damage evolutions also increase the damage of the all types of the drone's attacks.
    • If the Rank 4 Shield & Damage evolution is taken, Rank 5 Shock damage increases to 170, and Rank 6 Rocket damage increases to 255 (510 multiplayer).
    • If Rank 5 Shield & Damage evolution is taken, Rank 4 Detonate damage increases to 216 (720 multiplayer), and Rank 6 Rocket damage increases to 270 (540 multiplayer).
    • If both Rank 4 and 5 Shield & Damage evolutions are taken, Rank 6 Rocket damage increases to 330 (660 multiplayer).
  • The Rank 6 Rockets evolution also changes the Combat Drone's AI to float away from enemies rather than float towards them (since its rockets have to meet the 4m minimum range).
  • When spawned, the drone's outer ring color is blue to the player who spawned it. The drone's remaining "health" can be gauged by the color of the outer ring. A blue outer ring indicates full health, a purple outer ring indicates intermediate health, and a red outer ring indicates that the drone is close to being destroyed.
    • The outer color ring is also visible through walls, allowing the player to keep track of its position.
  • The drone appears in different locations depending on enemy proximity and whether or not you have an enemy in your crosshairs:
    • If you have an enemy in your crosshairs, the drone will appear behind that enemy and generally start attacking that enemy.
    • If you have no one in your crosshairs but are aiming near where hostile forces are, the drone will appear at a distance where you are aiming and then generally start seeking out nearby enemies.
    • If you have no one in your crosshairs and are not near enemy forces, the drone will appear next to you.
Strategies
  • As its description suggests, the Combat Drone is effective at distracting enemies like the Atlas and Cerberus Guardians, as frequently enemies will stop attacking your allies to focus on a newly summoned drone.
  • In earlier versions of the game, Husks and Brutes react to drones by attempting to grab/instakill it, failing, and end up staring at it dumbfounded until sufficient incoming damage distracts them. Banshees will cycle their shockwave scream attack until the drone is destroyed. However, in more recent versions of the game (as of Patch 4),[2] melee enemies ignore the drone and "big" enemies like the Banshee have no problem attacking the drone.
  • Combat Drones no longer have a specific duration. Instead, they last until combat ceases, they are destroyed by enemy fire, or a new Combat Drone is spawned by the player.
  • The Rank 6 Rockets evolution suffers on several multiplayer maps, as the drone will sometimes attempt to unsuccessfully shoot enemies through walls instead of moving to clear the obstruction for a clear line of sight.
  • One way to play the Combat Drone is as a sort of "mobile mine." Taking the Rank 4 Detonate evolution, the Rank 5 Shock evolution, and Rank 6 Chain Lightning evolution will cause the drone to stay close and engage at point blank range. When it is killed, the explosion is usually powerful enough to finish off surrounding enemies damaged by the electrical pulses.
    • Even on Gold/Platinum difficulty for multiplayer—where immense enemy damage will make quick work of the drone regardless of any shield evolutions—this "mobile mine" strategy can prove effective. The drone will briefly distract even the most powerful of enemies. This distraction buys you enough time to safely prime the enemy with an ability like Incinerate, which will then be detonated in a Fire Explosion when the drone finally dies. However, without a light weapon loadout, a long cooldown from using Combat Drone may prevent you from being able to prime the target before the drone dies.
    • An alternative to using the Rank 5 Shock evolution is to take the Rank 5 Shields & Damage evolution as it increases the Detonate damage. However, the shock attack provided by the Rank 5 Shock evolution has a significant force value and can be very useful for crowd control as it staggers many more enemies than the basic "zap" attack is capable of, especially on higher multiplayer difficulties.[3]

Availability Edit

Trivia Edit

  • In Mass Effect 2, the color of the drone is different depending on who spawned it and whether it is combat/attack/explosive: Shepard's is blue/orange, Legion's is blue/orange, Tali's is purple/pink, enemy Engineers' are red and Geth Primes' are green/orange.
  • Attack drones take on a new color, while explosive drones have sparks but stay their original color.
  • Friendly Combat Drones can appear during cutscenes if deployed at the right time.
  • In Multiplayer, one of the new objectives, added via the Mass Effect 3: Earth DLC pack, is to escort a combat drone that randomly appears on waves 3, 6, and 10.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Corroborate information from https://web.archive.org/web/20151104153147/forum.bioware.com/topic/363939-game-mechanics-clarifications-and-information-updated-87/ and https://web.archive.org/web/20160318002211/forum.bioware.com/topic/403231-upcoming-mass-effect-3-patch-4-patch-notes/. Basic attack has force of 175N, detonate has 400N (800N multiplayer), shock has 450N (1000N multiplayer), and rockets have 300N.
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20160731151637/https://forum.bioware.com/topic/336796-chart-of-force-needed-to-stagger-various-mobs/
  3. Corroborate http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/343/index/11888821/1 with http://pastebin.com/wXKyLYQJ and https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgoNSTctMEekdE1KYl9nak5Nbm41OXEyQ0VRbnRrMHc&output=html&gid=2