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This Squad Members Guide details information and strategies corresponding to each of the squad members Shepard can acquire during the course of Mass Effect 2, including recommendations for use against particular enemy types and a quick reference table. Especially on harder difficulty levels, the proper selection and use of squad members can significantly affect the difficulty of a given mission or assignment.
General Information Edit
For all combat missions (with the exceptions of Kasumi: Stealing Memory and Arrival), the player selects two squad members to accompany Shepard. If the mission in question is a character's loyalty mission, then that character must be in Shepard's shore party. Otherwise, the player is free to select any characters which have been acquired.
Squad members can be given orders (move to position or attack target). Properly positioning squad members is very important for optimal character usage, especially during a firefight where proper use of cover can make the difference between life or death. On the PC, Q and E can be used to give a move or attack order to either squad member, while C is used to command your squad members to form up.
When using squad member powers, the player can either choose to manually use squad member abilities, or to let squad members cast powers on their own. When using squad member powers against any enemy in the player's line-of-sight, it does not matter if the squad member itself can see the enemy or is even in the same room - the power is "proxied" through Shepard to the target.
During a mission, the game only ends if Shepard is killed. If Shepard's squad members are incapacitated, they can be revived through the use of the Unity ability (which consumes medi-gel). Another option is to wait until the current firefight is resolved, at which point the fallen character(s) will automatically revive.
Squad members have effectively unlimited ammunition reserves and do not need to pick up clips, but they suffer both a damage penalty when using weapons, as well as an increased cool-down on most powers when compared to Shepard. Squad members can each gain a maximum of 30 points to spend on abilities, with the exception of Miranda and Jacob (who each gain 31). One of these points is automatically allocated to the loyalty power when it is unlocked. Squad members skill points can only be reassigned if Lair of the Shadow Broker has been purchased and completed.
Character Building Edit
All characters can be made loyal through the completion of a special mission. Loyalty unlocks a fourth usable power (which can be taught to Shepard as well using the appropriate research option) and an alternate outfit. Loyalty also plays a major role in determining character survival during the Suicide Mission. See the appropriate pages for specific details.
Certain upgrades affect only Shepard, certain upgrades affect only a specific squad member, and some affect the whole squad. See the Upgrade Guide for more information. Your intended play strategy and preferred squad will affect which upgrades are most important to research and which ones can be skipped.
Squad Member Overview Edit
- Specialty: Combat, Tech
Garrus (referred to as Archangel in his dossier) is one of the earliest-obtainable squadmates (along with Mordin and the DLC-exclusive squadmates) capable of using sniper rifles and assault rifles, making him a very capable combatant. Although Garrus is not particularly durable, his proficiency with both weapons allows him to deal out significant damage during combat. His powers include Overload (which is extremely useful against synthetic and shielded enemies), and Concussive Shot (which is effective against barriers and can temporarily put an unprotected enemy out of commission). His class power, Turian Rebel, increases his power damage, weapon damage and health. After his loyalty mission he gains an ammo power, Armor Piercing Ammo, which inflicts significant additional damage against armored and unprotected enemies.
Garrus is best paired with a biotic teammate if Shepard is not an Adept. This pairing will give you the ability to control crowds while inflicting massive amounts of damage at the same time. Choose Jack, Samara, or Morinth as a teammate to create a balanced team. If you'd rather take shields down with weapons fire than Overload, you may want to consider Zaeed as a replacement for Garrus since they carry the same weapons and Zaeed boasts greater damage output along with Disruptor Ammo. Another great pairing is Garrus using Overload on a shielded enemy, then immediately following up with an Incinerate from Mordin Solus. This combo takes down enemies in a massive one-two punch.
- Specialty: Combat
- Unique Upgrades: M-300 Claymore Heavy Shotgun, Krogan Vitality (2 levels, each gives a +25% increase in Grunt's health)
As a krogan, Grunt's endurance in combat is unmatched. Defensively, he benefits from the innate krogan ability to continually regenerate health, which is unlocked when points are spent on his Krogan Berserker class ability. He is also the only squad member besides Shepard whose base health can be increased through researching upgrades; two levels of Krogan Vitality can give Grunt a +50% increase over his base health value. Along with his unlockable Fortification ability, this makes him very hard to kill.
Offensively, he wields shotguns and assault rifles, making him a versatile soldier capable of providing suppressing fire or dealing damage at extremely close range. Grunt is especially powerful at close range: his shotgun can be upgraded to the M-300 Claymore Heavy Shotgun, and his krogan charge melee attack can easily take apart weaker enemies. While the M-300 can be useful in some situations, you will do much better if you equip Grunt with the M-22 Eviscerator. Not only does it sustain similar damage per second, but it also fires faster and has a longer range.
Simply by virtue of his toughness, Grunt possesses considerable utility on most missions (especially at higher difficulty levels), but he is especially useful for missions featuring numerous Husks (such as the missions on Horizon and aboard the derelict Reaper, and the N7: Abandoned Mine assignment) due to his short-range and melee prowess. Pair Grunt with a squad mate who boasts biotic and/or tech skills. Tali is useful, as always. Mordin, Miranda, and Legion are good choices as well. Evolving Grunt's Incendiary Ammo simply adds to his combat prowess, and if paired with Zaeed's Disruptor Ammo, few enemies will stand the onslaught. Add Concussive Shot, and Grunt will make your squad a wrecking ball.
- Specialty: Biotics
- Unique Upgrades: Subject Zero Biotic Boost (+20% biotic damage)
Jack specializes in crowd control and close quarters combat. She carries a shotgun and a heavy pistol. Her skills are quite useful at lower difficulty levels as crowd control. Shockwave is quite useful against masses of enemies, dealing damage and knocking them off their feet. It is best used against Husks giving chase to your team. Pull can be used as crowd control as well. It can lift enemies above cover and expose them to weapons fire. Jack also has the unlockable Warp Ammo power. This can be useful as a team ammo upgrade in conjunction with a non-combat Shepard. Her biotics are less effective on higher difficulty levels, as most enemies gain additional protection (such as biotic barriers or armor). Her best power on Hardcore or Insanity is arguably Squad Warp Ammo, since Shockwave and Pull are almost useless until enemies are stripped of their additional protections.
Jack is most useful on missions which feature large numbers of melee and organic enemies, especially those who are unshielded and unarmored. This is due to her crowd control abilities and her Warp Ammo. She is not very useful against synthetics since she has no skills to combat them. She is best paired with a tech expert or combat expert. On higher difficulty levels, she works best with a teammate who can strip enemies of shields, armor, or barriers, making them vulnerable to Jack's biotic powers. Be sure to research her optional upgrade Subject Zero Biotic Boost, as this increases her biotic capabilities by 20%.
- Specialty: Biotics, Combat
Jacob can be compared to the Vanguard class. He carries a shotgun and heavy pistol, and uses both biotic and combat skills. Pull can be quite useful to expose entrenched enemies to weapons fire. It can also be used as crowd control but must be used carefully as will bring enemies closer and only suspends them for a limited period of time. Pull Field is the best evolution to use for crowd control. Incendiary Ammo is very useful versus organic enemies, especially those who regenerate health such as krogan and vorcha. Jacob's loyalty ability is Barrier. This makes Jacob a substitute for Grunt in situations where you need a tank.
Jacob is best paired with a tech specialist such as Tali, Miranda, or Garrus for their skills with removing defenses to facilitate his Pull. Pairing Jacob with a fellow biotic like Miranda or Thane allows them to detonate his Pulls with Warp for a powerful explosion. Jacob does particularly well with a Sentinel Shepard, since you can use Throw or Warp on any enemies Jacob has pulled, as well as strip an enemy of its defenses with Warp or Overload for Jacob to follow up with Pull.
Kasumi (DLC) Edit
- Specialty: Combat, Tech
Kasumi is the second DLC character for Mass Effect 2, a combat and tech specialist. Like Zaeed, she can be acquired at the beginning of the game, increasing her versatility. While she possesses the ability to use Heavy Pistols and Submachine Guns and can learn Overload, her two special abilities really set her apart and make her an extremely versatile addition to Shepard's team.
The Shadow Strike ability is exclusive to Kasumi. Superficially similar to the Infiltrator's Tactical Cloak, Shadow Strike causes Kasumi to cloak and appear behind the target before delivering a sneak attack. She then re-cloaks and returns to her original position. Shadow Strike distinguishes Kasumi; it is extremely powerful (inflicting 300 damage points even at level 1), dealing double damage to any form of protection and incapacitating the target for a short while if it is unprotected or if the damage carries through to the enemy's health. During the brief period after attacking the target when Kasumi is uncloaked, she also draws away enemy fire. Furthermore, Kasumi's shields often regenerate while cloaked, making this a viable escape technique. Provided Kasumi is positioned properly and is not overwhelmed by enemy fire, she can be carefully deployed in order to thin out an enemy squad while Shepard and the other teammate provide fire support or use their Powers. Although Shadow Strike shares many of the same limitations as the Vanguard's Charge (such as being unable to reach "inaccessible" parts of the map), it shines on higher difficulties when used against Heavies or Engineers, who often take cover behind their back-up and lob rockets or Incinerations at you.
Kasumi's loyalty power is Flashbang Grenade, which inflicts minor damage and stuns enemies for a brief period of time. This ability is unusual both for its extremely large blast radius and its ability to hinder enemies protected by shields, barriers, and armor by overheating their weapons. As this is a loyalty power, Flashbang Grenade can be taught to Shepard as well, enabling both party members to severely hamper enemy troopers. As Shepard benefits from faster Power recharge times, a Shepard with Improved Flashbang Grenade can, along with Kasumi, keep an enemy force almost continually incapacitated.
- Specialty: Combat, Tech
- Unique Upgrades: Widow Anti-Material Rifle, Geth Shield Strength (2 levels, each gives a +25% bonus to Legion's shield)
Legion is very similar to an Engineer in terms of powers, capable of summoning a Combat Drone or using AI Hacking against enemy synthetics. However, it is also proficient in assault rifles and sniper rifles, making it ideal for providing long-range support for Shepard's squad. Legion's Combat Drone is particularly useful as a distraction and an additional source of damage against enemy shields; the Combat Drone can be upgraded at the fourth skill level to either explode upon destruction, inflicting splash damage, or to inflict damage against biotic barriers, armor and health in addition to shields. Although Combat Drone has an extremely long cooldown when used by squadmates, note that Legion's class power, when fully evolved and in conjunction with the Tech Cooldown upgrade, almost halves this cooldown time. This makes Explosive Drone a more viable Combat Drone evolution, as Legion can more rapidly send out exploding drones. AI Hacking may be useful at lower difficulty levels, but it is relatively useless at higher difficulty levels (where most synthetic enemies are protected by durable shields and/or armor), and is at best a situationally useful skill.
Careful placement of Legion using the squad command options allows it to support the party to great effect with a long-range weapon; it is the only squad member besides Shepard capable of using the Widow Anti-Material Rifle. From a protected position it can pick off enemies, while its Combat Drone and AI Hacking abilities distract and harass the enemy. Legion's unlockable fourth power is Geth Shield Boost, similar to Grunt's Fortification power and Jacob's Barrier power, which allows Legion to absorb additional damage during a firefight. Unfortunately, Legion can only be acquired very late in the game, meaning the player's opportunity to utilize it for story missions is quite brief.
- Specialty: Biotics, Tech
Miranda is a very versatile and useful teammate, available from the very beginning of the game. Not only does she have two of the most useful skills at her disposal, Overload and Warp, but she also has the unique ability to increase the entire squad's health and weapon damage when points are spent within her class skill, Cerberus Officer. Overload is best when used against synthetic or shielded enemies while Warp is even more versatile. It can be used against armor, biotic barriers, as a way to stop health regeneration (similar to Incinerate), and also to detonate other biotic abilities for additional area effect damage. Miranda carries a submachine gun and a heavy pistol.
Miranda is best utilized on missions where you'll be facing many different kinds of enemies. Not only can she take down synthetics, but she can be equally effective against organic enemies and higher level defenses. She is best paired with a combat-oriented teammate who carries an assault rifle. This pairing can greatly increase your survivability on higher difficulty levels. Miranda's effects are especially effective in conjunction with Zaeed (due to his high damage output and shared ability to attack all kinds of defenses) as well as Grunt (whose higher base health enjoys a proportionally greater boost). Another option is to pair Miranda with a biotic-using teammate (whether it be Shepard or someone else), especially one who knows Pull. Miranda's Warp can detonate enemies being affected by biotic powers, resulting in additional damage. She can also setup a Warp detonation by using her bonus power, Slam.
- Specialty: Tech
- Unique Upgrades: Mordin Omni-Tool (+20% tech damage)
Mordin carries a submachine gun and a heavy pistol. This makes him effective at close range for the most part. However, you won't want to rely on him as a combat ally, but for his skills. Incinerate is the most useful at all difficulty levels. Cryo Blast can be useful at lower levels as crowd control but loses some effectiveness at higher difficulties due to all enemies having some sort of higher level defenses. However, due to the extremely quick cooldown, Mordin's 4th level Full Cryo Blast retains a great degree of usefulness on higher difficulties. Neural Shock can also be useful as crowd control as it will cause organic enemies to become immobilized for a period of time, but is somewhat redundant to the arguably more useful Cryo Blast. His unique passive skill, Salarian Scientist increases his health, shields and weapon damage making him slightly more durable than other characters who only have health increases from their passive skill.
Mordin is most effective on missions in which you'll fight organic enemies, especially those who can regenerate health. His Incinerate skill can take down armor very easily and will also stop enemies from regenerating health, in the same manner that Incendiary Ammo, and Warp will. At lower difficulty levels you can use Cryo Blast to help with crowd control, but Incinerate and Neural Shock will prove to be more useful. Pairing him with a combat teammate can form an effective team, most notably if he is paired with Grunt. Be sure to research his optional upgrade 'Mordin Omni Tool Upgrade', this will increase his tech damage by 20%. Any teammate using Overload can strip shields, then have Mordin blast the health bar with Incinerate, likely result in the death of all but the hardiest of enemies.
- Specialty: Biotics
Samara and Morinth are very similar characters, both extremely powerful biotics. The only functional difference is in their unlockable fourth power. Both characters have access to the Throw and Pull biotic abilities, and use submachine guns and assault rifles.
Like all biotics, Samara and Morinth are extremely powerful against unprotected enemies, but require assistance to deal with enemies protected by shields, biotic barriers, or armor (especially synthetic and heavily-shielded foes). Neither Throw nor Pull can be targeted against a protected enemy, and so either squad member should be paired with a tech specialist (such as Mordin) who can quickly lower enemy defenses and render them vulnerable to biotic crowd control abilities. Both Throw and Pull are also somewhat situational in that they can be used in certain environments (such as the platform levels aboard the derelict Collector ship and during the endgame) to instantly kill foes by flinging them into the distance.
Samara's unique power is Reave, unlocked after successfully completing her loyalty mission. Reave acts similarly to Warp in that it inflicts damage against unprotected enemies as well as barriers and armor, and stops enemies from regenerating health. Reave restores health and can temporarily cripple unprotected organic enemies, allowing Shepard to set up a shot. Unlike Warp, Reave cannot detonate other biotic powers. However, an enemy whose health is being drained will painfully stand from cover, making them easy prey for bullets.
Morinth's unique power is Dominate, which is an analogue of AI Hacking capable of mind-controlling organic enemies. Dominated enemies are protected by a biotic barrier instead of a shield. Because organic enemies are much more common throughout the game than mechs or geth (especially during the endgame), Dominate is generally a more useful power than AI Hacking. Dominated enemies cannot be detonated by Warp.
- Specialty: Tech
Tali and Legion are very similar in terms of focus and powers- both squadmates have the Combat Drone and AI Hacking abilities. Tali's use of the shotgun differentiates her; she is very effective at close range but cannot stand up to sustained enemy fire. Her Energy Drain unlockable power enables her to replenish her shields even while damaging enemy shields and synthetics, and is very similar in effect to Overload. Unlike Legion, Tali learns the Combat Drone ability before AI Hacking, which makes it possible to avoid the latter altogether. Tali's Combat Drone, like Legion's, has a very long cooldown.
Tali is most effective as a squadmate during missions which involve synthetics (such as mechs or geth) or shielded enemies (including most Blue Suns mercenary troopers). Her Combat Drone can draw enemy fire even while damaging enemy shields, allowing Shepard or the other squad mate to line up a shot, use a power, or move to a different position.
- Specialty: Combat, Biotics
Thane loosely corresponds to the Infiltrator class, but with biotic powers instead of tech powers. His skills are Throw, Warp, and Shredder Ammo. Throw can be useful in conjunction with Pull to fling enemies across long distances. It is useful as a crowd control skill, but loses its flair at high difficulty levels because you must remove shields, armor and/or barriers before Throw is effective. Warp is Thane's most versatile and useful skill. It can damage Barriers, Armor and Health and stops enemies from regenerating health. It also can detonate the biotic energy surrounding enemies affected by Pull and/or Singularity. Shredder Ammo is Thane's loyalty skill and can increase his damage against organic-type enemies. Coupled with his Ammo Power and a fully upgraded class ability, which can increase his weapon skill up to 50%, Thane can quickly kill off unprotected targets. This can be useful at lower difficulty levels since most lower level enemies have no higher level defenses. At higher difficulty levels, spending skill points in Warp instead tends to be more useful.
Thane carries a Sniper Rifle and a Submachine Gun. Therefore, he can be useful at all ranges. If available, equip Thane with the Viper or Incisor. Thane is best paired with someone who can whittle down enemy shields. Miranda, Garrus, Zaeed, and Tali are all good choices depending on Shepard's class.
Zaeed (DLC) Edit
- Specialty: Combat
Zaeed, like Grunt, is a pure combat character, with no tech or biotic aptitude. Like Legion and Garrus, he utilizes assault rifles and sniper rifles, making him a competent medium to long-range combatant who is useful in a wide variety of situations, if not particularly specialized for any. He possesses the Concussive Shot and Disruptor Ammo powers, which makes him effective against synthetic enemies and enemies protected by shields or barriers; his unlockable power, Inferno Grenade, burns through armor with ease. Zaeed can be acquired very early on in the game and requires no special mission to recruit, making him a viable choice as early-game fire support if Shepard's squad requires it (especially on harder difficulty levels, where recruiting either Grunt or Archangel may be difficult early on). His usefulness becomes more situational as characters such as Garrus and Grunt are acquired.
Due to the fact that his class skill, Mercenary Veteran, increases his weapon damage up to 50%, Zaeed is very useful for a team which needs increased damage output. When teamed with Miranda, his weapon damage can come close to Shepard's. This is increased even more when fighting synthetics if Disruptor Ammo is used. Zaeed is best paired with a Tech and/or Biotic specialist depending on Shepard's class. Miranda can be a useful choice due to the variety of her skills and bonuses.
Since Zaeed is the only character outside of an Infiltrator/Soldier Shepard with Disruptor Ammo, he is invaluable to Adepts, Engineers, Sentinels and Vanguards who have to deal with multitudes of shielded or synthetic enemies.
Squad Pairing Edit
Garrus & Grunt Edit
Thanks to Garrus and Zaeed's similar skill set, these two complement each other much the same as Grunt and Zaeed, covering close-, mid-, and long-range combat with guns, and having offensive options against all enemy protection types. The biggest difference is Garrus' Overload power; it allows for quicker shield-stripping, which can make up for Zaeed's higher damage output. His armor-piercing ammo (if he's loyal) somewhat overlaps with Grunt's incendiary ammo, so you could devote one member's points to getting their ammo type up to the Squad version, leaving the other free to put points into another power (say, upgrading Incendiary ammo to Squad Incendiary, and having Garrus focus on Overload.) If you're playing as a Sentinel, Adept, or any other class with a focus on power usage rather than gunplay, these two are good to have along.
Garrus & Miranda Edit
This combination is good against synthetics. Especially if one of these squad members has the Area Overload to weaken a group of synthetics and the other has the Heavy Overload to damage an advancing synthetic or one of the powerful mechs. This combo becomes even more powerful if Shepard has the Squad Disruptor Ammo power.
This combination is also good when facing opponents utilizing a wide array of defensive techniques. Both can use Overload against shielding. Garrus' Concussive Shot and Miranda's warp are useful against barriers. Miranda's Warp is also effective against armor while Garrus can boost the entire squad's weapons with Squad Armor-Piercing Ammo (though this requires his loyalty mission to have been completed and the power to have been upgraded to level 4). Furthermore, Miranda's team weapon damage affects all.
Both characters also have crowd-control powers. Garrus' Concussive Shot can knock down enemies. At level 4, this power can further be upgraded to affect multiple enemies. Miranda's Slam can take an enemy out of the fight temporarily; this duration lasts even longer if upgraded all to Crippling Slam. Note, however, that both characters' powers require the enemy to be stripped of their defenses first.
However, this team performs poorly against enemies capable of regenerating health unless Shepard can compliment Miranda's Warp with a regeneration-stopping power of his or her own such as Incendiary Ammo or Reave. Also, no shotguns in this pairing means Shepard must hold the line or opponents should be stripped of their defensive layers before short-range combat begins. Basically, do not use this pairing where there are Blood Pack or a lot of krogan.
Garrus & Tali Edit
A good alternative to Tali and Legion against synthetics. Garrus is available much earlier than Legion and brings the same weapon types to the table. However, he trades Legion's AI Hacking and Combat Drone powers for Overload, Concussive Shot, and (if loyal) Armor-Piercing Ammo. Overload allows Garrus to strip the shields of most geth with one or two uses, leaving Tali free to use AI Hacking on the unprotected victim. This is particularly helpful during Tali's loyalty mission, since she won't have access to Energy Drain yet. AP Ammo may not be as directly effective against synthetics as Disruptor Ammo, but it does make dealing with unshielded geth (especially Geth Primes) or mechs much easier.
Garrus & Thane Edit
An excellent and versatile team ideal for taking apart enemies at long and medium range. Their sniper rifles allow them to engage and deal heavy damage to enemies at a significant distance, and rapid-fire assault rifles and submachine guns allow for medium-to-short-range combat. Overload and Warp allows for quick stripping of shields and biotic barriers, and Warp and Armor-Piercing Ammo allows for reasonably quick stripping of armor. Thane's Shredder Ammo or Throw can be used to finish off vulnerable enemies. Throw and Concussive Shot also allows for reasonable crowd control.
The weakness of this team is low durability, and vulnerability to being rushed by enemies such as Husks. However, against mercenary troops, particularly Blue Suns and Eclipse, and Collectors also, this team is extremely effective.
Garrus & Zaeed Edit
Another great team vs synthetics, available early in the game and particularly effective on Haestrom due to their twin sniper rifles. Both squadmates have anti-shield powers: Overload and Disruptor Ammo, allowing either one to deal serious damage to synthetic enemies, but evolving Disruptor Ammo to the squad version provides an all round benefit. Area Overload, too, is useful at taking down groups of mechs or geth. Both squadmates also have the Concussive Shot ability, allowing them to also take down biotic barriers or stun enemies. This power is also effective at blowing limbs off mechs to render them less of a threat. Their loyalty powers: Inferno Grenade and Armor Piercing Ammo also make these squad members more effective against organic enemies and Blood Pack members, though they are not the best at close combat.
However, despite their great effectiveness at dealing damage in all kinds of ways, neither squad member is particularly durable, though with careful tactical planning and positioning this should never be a problem. Also, neither character has biotic powers, though this should not be much of a problem on geth missions or if Shepard is a biotic.
In conclusion, this team may not be very durable, but they can deal out significant damage to all kinds of enemies and are useful on a variety of missions.
Grunt & Kasumi Edit
Against synthetic enemies and mini bosses this is probably one of the deadliest combinations, especially if Shepard can supply some biotic or tech support. With proper placement, Grunt can serve as a classic tank, drawing and suppressing enemy fire, while Kasumi will use her special ability to easily take out enemies one by one, especially if maxed out to minimum cooldown. Take care of her not being flanked though. If you do that you can as well drink a nice cup of Earl Grey while they take care of your business, positioning Kasumi every now and then (she loses position orders after a cloak attack).
Weaknesses are against organic enemies, especially krogan with multi-layered defences, since they may regenerate too quickly if Shepard does not deal enough additional damage. Also enemies on balconies, which Kasumi cannot reach, may be a problem. On the other hand, if proficient with a sniper rifle, Shepard can give support from a relatively safe location, or maybe instead use biotic powers to force the enemies out of position. Another key weakness is against too many minor enemies, where Kasumi may get overwhelmed, leaving it up to only Grunt and Shepard.
Grunt & Legion Edit
This team is as durable as you can get as well as covering tech and combat powers, this team will work the best if Shepard is an Adept, Vanguard, or Sentinel. Most notably, if Shepard is a Sentinel, you can activate your tech armor making you that much more durable, along with Grunt's extremely high amount of health, while Fortification can increase his durability even more, with Legion's very strong shield, which can be increased even higher if Geth Shield Boost is activated, will turn your entire squad basically into a tank. Both squad members also have weapons that can cover short, medium, and long ranges as well. Use this squad if you know you're going into a very tough and brutal fight where you'll be facing a lot of enemies, the suicide mission included. This team also covers everything from armor (Grunt's Incendiary Ammo), shields (Legion's Combat Drone), and biotic barriers (Grunt's Concussive Shot). A Sentinel will further bolster the effectiveness against these defenses, except a Sentinel or Adept Shepard will also have Warp, which can counter against regen as well so a Sentinel Shepard will make this team most effective, but Adepts and Vanguards will also work very well with this team.
On the downside, Legion can only be acquired very late if you do not want to sacrifice half your crew to the collectors, so the suicide mission is probably the only time you'll see this team useful. You could replace Legion with Jacob, since Jacob with a biotic barrier is basically the equivalent of Grunt, but then you'll need Shepard to cover the tech powers, but so long as Shepard is a Sentinel, that can be taken care of easily.
Grunt & Miranda Edit
An option well-suited for Insanity play, this combo provides the defense shattering powers and weapon damage bonuses from Miranda, plus Grunt's unparalleled durability. Once Grunt's bonus power is unlocked, you don't need to worry about explicitly commanding him to take cover as much; aside from Concussive Shot he has no other active powers, so there is little cost to renewing his Fortification. When actively managing positioning, placing Miranda in the rear and Grunt in front provides an ideal setup for most scenarios. Miranda is kept out of the line of fire, but can still have her powers deployed actively as needed. Grunt absorbs fire and recovers quickly while putting out a large amount of damage, and is the most effective close combat fighter for dealing with rushing foes.
Grunt & Zaeed Edit
For combat heavies, they complement each other quite well. Both can use assault rifles, and Zaeed gets sniper rifles while Grunt uses shotguns. Grunt regenerates health (and has a lot of it) and Zaeed gets substantial damage bonuses. Zaeed has Disruptor ammo, while Grunt uses the Incendiary ammo. They both have the concussive shot, meaning they have options against shields, barriers and armor, and they have short, medium, and long-range weapons which can do substantial damage. Concussive shot is also useful in Husk-heavy missions, such as the derelict Reaper. If Zaeed is loyal, his Incendiary Grenade power means he can strip all three kinds of protection by himself. A loyal Zaeed is also a good choice to bring along on Grunt's own loyalty mission, as the Incendiary grenade and sniper rifle can be quite useful against the Thresher Maw.
Their main weakness is their combat-oriented power set. While they're good at it, gunfire is the be-all and end-all of their combat approach. Therefore, these two go well with a Shepard who has something more in the way of biotic and/or tech powers to help flush enemies out of cover.
Jack & Samara Edit
This pair works wonders against Collectors on higher difficulties so long as Shepard is a capable combatant, or possesses abilities that cause major damage against unprotected enemies. Jack provides Squad Warp Ammo to help the entire team punch through a Collector's standard biotic barrier, and Samara's Area Reave will go a long way to disabling or damaging entire groups of Collectors. Additionally, the rate at which this combination burns through protection layers makes Jack's Shockwave much easier to use, and the upside is that one of the two almost always has a power ready for use while the other's power is cooling down. If Shepard is a Soldier, then this team can breeze through the Suicide Mission even on Insanity.
Jack & Thane Edit
A strong biotic pair with access to most weapon options and biotic powers, this team is well-suited to fighting Collectors and Husks. Jack brings to the table crowd control via Shockwave, biotic combos via Pull, Warp Ammo for gun support and a shotgun for close-range combat, while Thane packs long-range sniper fire, Warp for direct damage against armor and barriers, and Throw for additional crowd control. The only weak point with this team comes from shielded enemies and synthetics, but Shepard can cover that easily if you play as a class with Tech powers, like a Sentinel, Infiltrator, Engineer, or even Soldier with Squad Disrupt Ammo.
Kasumi & Legion Edit
This combination is also good against synthetics, as long as most of the enemies are unshielded. Although, both members have an ability which counter enemy shields, Legion's Combat Drone, and Kasumi's Overload. Kasumi's Loyalty power, the Flashbang Grenade, is a very useful ability on lower difficulties as it halts enemy gunfire, powers and/or movement and can force enemies out of cover, exposing them to further damage. A fully upgraded Shadow Strike is a great distraction against enemies with multiple defences, such as Harbinger, which can give you a chance at a well-aimed headshot. It also does double-damage against enemy defences. Most of the time while performing this action, Kasumi will recover her shields.
Legion's powers are mostly used as a distraction as both AI hacking and Combat Drone can get enemies out of cover and focuses their fire on them, rather than yourself.
This combination, however, is not as good against organics, especially regenerating enemies, as neither character has a counter against regeneration. Though, this can be easily rectified by Shepard's Incinerate, Incendiary Ammo, or Warp. Finally, it is advised that you avoid close-range combat as neither team member has a shotgun and their weapons are much more suited to mid to long-ranged combat.
Kasumi & Miranda Edit
This is yet another good team against synthetics, in addition to enemies with multiple defense layers. Both have Overload and have access to the same weapon types which cover mid-to-short ranges and is available very early in the game, but with the addition of Miranda's anti-armor power, Warp, and her finishing power, Slam. Kasumi's Shadow Strike can draw enemy fire away from you for a short time as well as double damage against armor, shields, and biotic barriers. If Shepard has Warp Ammo, you can further the effectiveness against biotic barriers and armor. This pair can also come in handy against YMIR mechs and Geth Primes, by having both unleash overload which will knock the shield in half at least while Shepard can finish the shield off, which in time you can then let Miranda use Warp and Kasumi use Shadow Strike to strip the armor layer before you finish off the target. This team can also be useful against organic enemies of higher difficulties considering on higher difficulties most organic enemies have an extra layer of shielding, armor, or a biotic barrier. If an enemy has a shield layer just have one or both squad members unleash their overload and then finish them off with gunfire.
The downside is neither squadmate has combat powers, except for Kasumi's Shadow Strike, but if Shepard is a Vanguard or Soldier you can take care of this problem. Neither squadmate is exactly durable or has a shotgun, forcing Shepard to have to hold the line, with Miranda able to increase the squad's health slightly can help counter this problem a bit.
Legion & Tali Edit
Tali with a shotgun covering close combat, Legion with its rifles for long range, and their combined AI Hacking abilities, are a good combat combination for any geth or mech missions in the late game. As their skills overlap heavily, strategies using Tali & Legion mostly involve distracting the enemy with combat drone/AI hacking and relying on Shepard's combat abilities to finish off enemies. A recommended general strategy useful in every scenario is to first deploy both combat drones, remove the defenses of any mech present, employ AI hacking on it, and replace the combat drones as needed. Legion equipped with a Widow sniper rifle will be extremely powerful and useful for long-range enemies (The upgrade path of Geth Assassin is highly recommended as his shield boost already improves his viability) while Tali's shotgun will be useful for close-range enemies. While the distraction strategy is useful in almost every scenario, some players may find the lack of viable alternative strategies boring.
Miranda & Mordin Edit
This pairing takes care of a range of protective powers that an enemy can have. Here you cover shield, barrier, armor, and regen. As most of the time your enemy usually has one of the above, biotic powers such as pull or throw can be effective. Cryo Blast/Full Cryo Blast from Mordin can be used as a last resort anti-personnel power, freezing tough enemies like krogan, flamethrower vorcha or waves of Abominations. Neural Shock later can be applied similarly to Cryo Blast, but Neural Shockwave can also obliterate any unarmored Husk in one hit.
Miranda & Samara Edit
These two are both particularly effective if you're up against Blood Pack mercs, or Collectors, but are actually fairly effective against anything. Both of their weapons cover short to medium ranges and both have powers that prevent regen (For Miranda: Warp, for Samara: Reave), making them really effective against Blood Pack Mercs. Both of them together have powers that can rip down any defense layer, Use Samara's Reave or Miranda's Warp for Barriers and Regen, use Miranda's Overload for Shields, and again use Reave and/or Warp for armor as well. If Shepard is a Soldier or an Infiltrator, you can cover long-range combat, since both classes can use sniper rifles, but if Shepard is a Soldier, you can additionally cover for the lack of combat powers with the addition of a shotgun which covers very short range. This squad is also very effective on missions with a lot of Husks, Slam is an instant death for Husks on lower difficulties at least, and Pull as well as Throw are pretty much instant death for Husks. For the somewhat limited effectiveness against Shields, Squad Disruptor Ammo can help out there, provided you are a Soldier or Infiltrator.
As mentioned before, this squad lacks combat powers, but again, a Shepard who is a Soldier or even a Vanguard can cover this main weakness. Both squad members aren't exactly durable and don't have shotguns to cover the very short gun combat, so Shepard will need to hold the line with these two.
Miranda & Thane Edit
If you are playing a class that lacks a counter for barriers (such as an engineer), this pairing becomes very useful for missions with Collectors. Both of them with the Unstable Warp evolution, when used at the same time, will knock a Collector's barrier out on Insanity. Husks are not as big an issue as might be preconceived as they have warp to remove their armor and Slam + Throw to one hit kill them. If they are kept out of sight, their powers trigger instantly and Slam can be used to set up Warp explosions. When coupled with an engineer their mediocre defenses can easily be countered with the Combat Drone power. (The Attack Drone evolution of the power is recommended.)
A weakness of this build is the mediocre survivability of Miranda and Thane when faced with up close attacks and Miranda's lack of class-based recharge time reduction.
Mordin & Samara Edit
This pairing is a good option to fight off Collectors, particularly for the final battle. Samara's Reave is extremely useful: it can wipe out a Collector's barrier in one shot, and additionally serves as a stun attack on un-protected organic enemies. This means even if you did not kill the enemy, Reave's stun leaves it standing up straight for a clean shot. Reave combined with Mordin's upgraded Heavy Incinerate attack would be almost an instant kill on any Collector on Insanity with full barrier and health. Additionally, Throw can be used to toss enemies off ledges. This instantly kills any enemy for a low cost in recharge time compared to many other biotic and tech attacks.
Since neither of them have combat skills, Shepard would have to hold the line. You can be easily overwhelmed with waves of Husks if you have not upgraded powers for some crowd control, such as Samara's Throw Field. Since Husks are not really organics, they will not flail around when on fire, nor would Reave be able to stun them.
The same problems occur when fighting synthetics such as geth or mechs, but with the additional problem of shielding.
Samara & ThaneEdit
While weaker on the synthetics, these two are good for Collectors, and against organic enemies if Shepard has some means to help disable shields such as squad disruptor ammo (and especially with Samara's Reave power). Thane's Warp is useful against barriers and armor. Where they really, truly shine is on missions with a large number of Husks. Their Throw and Pull powers are instant death to Husks. Samara is especially good because she has both Pull and Throw; if they are upgraded to the wide-area variations, they can be very handy in thinning the crowds. Since Thane can use SMGs and sniper rifles and Samara SMGs and assault rifles, they have the various combat ranges fairly well covered and the SMG advantage on shields somewhat compensates for the lack of tech powers. If he's loyal, Thane's Shredder ammo is also useful in organic-heavy missions, and his potentially 80% damage increase is good to have anywhere.
They're somewhat weaker on close-range, a gap that a Soldier or Vanguard Shepard can easily fill by shotgunning off any enemies that make it past all the biotic powers and gunfire.
Tali & Zaeed Edit
This pair can devastate shielded or synthetic enemies if Shepard isn't a Soldier or Infiltrator. Tali can provide crowd control with her Combat Drone, or use Energy Drain to cause heavy damage against the enemy. Zaeed provides Disruptor Ammo and assault and sniper rifle fire, and can cover for long or medium range. If Shepard can pitch in with close combat or offensive powers, then this team can easily hold its own against shielded or synthetic enemies.
Thane & Zaeed Edit
A pairing with really high weapon damage capability if both choose the 50% damage increase in their passives. Thane has Warp for barriers/armor while Zaeed has Disruptor Ammo for shields, Inferno Grenade against armor, and Concussive Shot for barriers. Both of them have pretty good weapon choices for short/mid range to long range combat (double Incisor sniper rifles in particular). Probably more useful if the player has biotic abilities to take advantage of Warp. Particularly effective against the Collectors. If maxed to Throw Field, Thane can easily subdue waves of Husks, and Throw can instantly kill enemies by knocking them off platforms. Zaeed's Concussive Shot and Thane's Warp can obliterate Collector barriers so Shredder Ammo can tear through the unprotected organics. Inferno Grenade and Warp are great against the armor on Harbinger, Scions, or a Praetorian, the toughest enemies you'll face. Both can use sniper rifles to scope Scions from afar (sometimes without even catching their attention) or firing upon the Praetorian from a safe distance while it pursues Shepard. The biggest downside in using them against the Collectors is that in the final mission it may leave your defending group weak if you haven't properly prepared.
Countering Enemies Edit
Geth are not very durable, but they will attempt to advance upon and flank the squad. When their shields are depleted they will often trigger Geth Shield Boost (indicated by a glowing blue "aura" surrounding their body) or when their squadmates are taken down. The Geth Hunter possesses the Tactical Cloak ability (although in practice, this does not make him invisible to Shepard) and can fire its shotgun over low-lying cover. Geth Destroyer types are as tall as Hunters but are red and carry flamethrowers, and often disregard cover to try and cook Shepard at close range. Mechs encountered during the game are the bipedal LOKI Mech, the varren-like FENRIS Mech, and the extremely dangerous YMIR Mech. The first two types are rather weak, but will advance relentlessly towards the squad's position. The YMIR will constantly attempt to flank the squad and will quickly kill any squad member not protected by cover.
Garrus, Miranda, Kasumi, Tali, and Legion are very effective against geth and mechs. Garrus, Kasumi, and Miranda know the Overload ability, which can quickly take down shields and also do damage to unprotected synthetic enemies, as well as detonating the flame tanks on Geth Destroyers. Tali's Energy Drain power has a similar effect, but also replenishes the user's shields. Both Legion and Tali know the AI Hacking and Combat Drone abilities. The Combat Drone serves very well as a distraction, and its lightning attack can quickly take down enemy shields. AI Hacking works only against unprotected enemies and is of situational usefuless; it's mainly good for turning a weak enemy (such as a LOKI Mech) against its allies, providing a distraction to the rest of the enemy group and possibly making them break cover. Biotic teammates are not quite as useful against synthetics, as biotic powers are weak against shielded enemies. Mordin is also a poor choice, as his Incinerate and Neural Shock abilities are effective only against organic enemies (although Incinerate could be used to remove enemy armor).
Geth can be found during the following missions and assignments:
- Main: Dossier: Tali
- Loyalty: Legion: A House Divided, Tali: Treason
- N7 Assignments: N7: Anomalous Weather Detected, N7: Imminent Ship Crash
Mechs can be found during the following missions and assignments:
- Main: Freedom's Progress, Dossier: Archangel, Dossier: The Convict, Dossier: The Assassin
- Loyalty: Garrus: Eye for an Eye, Jacob: The Gift of Greatness, Miranda: The Prodigal, Zaeed: The Price of Revenge, Kasumi: Stealing Memory
- N7 Assignments: N7: Eclipse Smuggling Depot, N7: Wrecked Merchant Freighter, N7: Hahne-Kedar Facility, N7: Blue Suns Base
Humanoid Enemies Edit
Humanoid organic enemies include Eclipse and Blue Suns mercenary groups and Shadow Broker's operatives, which use a mixture of human, batarian, asari, salarian, and turian troops. Other humanoid enemies include the functionally similar Hunters and brainwashed guards encountered during Jacob's loyalty mission. Humanoid enemies are shielded; higher-level troops may have armor as well. Eclipse employs asari Vanguards who may also be protected by a biotic barrier. Most humanoid enemies use pistols, shotguns, and assault rifles; some use heavy weapons such as flamethrowers or missile launchers.
Humanoid enemies are generally vulnerable to all squad members. Soldiers and tech specialists can take down enemy protection (including shields), at which point biotic teammates can use their crowd-control abilities to great effect. Enemies wielding flamethrowers can be detonated with a single Incinerate or Overload once their shields are gone. Note that fire-based attacks (such as Incinerate or Incendiary Ammo) will cause unprotected enemies to panic.
Humanoid enemies can be found during the following missions and assignments:
- Main: Dossier: The Professor, Dossier: Archangel, Dossier: The Convict, Dossier: The Warlord, Dossier: The Assassin, Dossier: The Justicar, Lair of the Shadow Broker
- Loyalty: Garrus: Eye for an Eye, Jacob: The Gift of Greatness ('Hunters' and 'Brainwashed Guards'), Miranda: The Prodigal, Zaeed: The Price of Revenge, Kasumi: Stealing Memory
- N7 Assignments: N7: Archeological Dig Site, N7: MSV Strontium Mule, N7: Blue Suns Base, N7: Javelin Missiles Launched (batarian extremists), N7: Captured Mining Facility, N7: Lost Operative
The Blood Pack is comprised of krogan and vorcha soldiers. Both krogan and vorcha are notable for their extremely rapid health regeneration, which makes killing them very difficult. Krogan will also violently advance against the squad and will charge Shepard or another squad member if within close proximity, inflicting severe melee damage. Vorcha regenerate health almost immediately upon taking damage, but they are not particularly durable, making them vulnerable to well-placed sniper shots. Both enemies are protected by armor, although certain krogan enemies may also be able to put up a biotic barrier.
Mordin is an excellent choice against krogan and vorcha enemies primarily due to Incinerate, which burns very quickly through armor and permanently stops health regeneration. His Neural Shock, once unlocked, can also be used to stop charging krogan and otherwise cripple either type of enemy. Miranda and Thane have access to the Warp ability, which has similar effects. Samara can learn Reave, which stops regeneration like Warp and can also drain health from unprotected organic enemies, making it an attractive choice as well. Once krogan and vorcha have been stripped of their armor, biotic crowd-control abilities can be used to great effect- to draw vorcha out of cover, and to interrupt charging krogan.
Squad members with Incendiary ammo are also extremely helpful against krogan and vorcha, particularly if either Jacob or Grunt have upgraded their power to Squad Incendiary Ammo. In addition, a loyal Zaeed can be helpful against krogan and vorcha due to his Inferno Grenade power, to burn through their armor; and his Concussive Shot power, to stun advancing krogan. Kasumi is also surprisingly effective against krogan, her Shadow Strike dealing heavy damage to their defences and potentially stunning them, as well as providing a brief distraction. Her Flashbang Grenade power can hinder krogan shotguns even if they are protected and if unprotected it will disable them for several seconds, leaving them open to further damage.
Krogan and/or vorcha can be found during the following missions:
- Main: Dossier: The Professor, Dossier: The Warlord (krogan only), Dossier: Archangel
- Loyalty: Grunt: Rite of Passage (krogan only), Jack: Subject Zero, Mordin: Old Blood
- N7 Assignments: N7: Blood Pack Base, N7: Blood Pack Communications Relay
Collectors are organic enemies protected by biotic barriers, wielding Collector Assault Rifles and Collector Particle Beams. During most firefights, Harbinger can take control of any Collector, turning it into a powerful unit protected exclusively by armor and biotic barriers, which possesses a biotic attack that can force Shepard from cover.
Biotic teammates tend to do well against the Collectors. The final part of the Suicide Mission and the Collector Ship mission in particular feature many floating platforms, which makes it very easy to send enemies flying into the void using Pull or Throw. Samara's Reave power, Warp (which Thane and Miranda know), and Jack's Warp Ammo powers can help in taking down biotic barriers. Alternatively, soldier-type characters such as Garrus, Grunt, or Zaeed can use Concussive Shot to quickly down biotic barriers and knock unprotected Collectors to the ground. Collectors are organic enemies, meaning that Reave or Mordin's Incinerate and Neural Shock powers are also effective against those Collectors whose biotic barriers have been eliminated.
Collectors can be found during the following missions:
Husks come in four primary varieties. Standard Husks and Abominations are melee attackers and will run up towards the squad; Abominations will explode when in close proximity or if killed. Husks tend to attack in large groups which can quickly surround and overwhelm a squadmate. Scions are larger, slower enemies which shoot a biotic Shockwave-like attack which can penetrate cover and inflicts severe damage. Praetorians are large, floating tanks armed with energy beams which will steadily advance towards Shepard. Praetorians will slam the ground and put up a biotic barrier when they are heavily injured.
Husks and Abominations are protected by weak armor on higher difficulty levels. Scions are protected exclusively by armor. Praetorians are protected exclusively by armor, and can also erect a biotic barrier multiple times.
Grunt is an especially good choice for facing Husks and Abominations due to his inherent vitality. His shotgun and krogan charge attack are optimized for short-range combat and can rip through large numbers of Husks, although he can be overwhelmed. A squad member with level four Area Pull or Area Throw, such as Jack, Samara, Morinth, Jacob, or Thane, can instantly kill unprotected Husks and Abominations by using either ability on them. On harder difficulty levels, using Mordin with Area Incinerate can strip a group of Husks of their protective armor, setting them up for a biotic kill with one of the aforementioned team members. His Full Cryo Blast will instantly kill unprotected Husks and benefits from a shorter cooldown. Kasumi can use her Flashbang Grenade to take out whole groups of unprotected Husks with relatively quick cooldown. Squad members armed with shotguns or assault rifles are generally a good choice, although Tali, Jack, Zaeed, Garrus and Samara are rather fragile and cannot stand up to prolonged assault. Using Squad Cryo Ammo, if possible, is very effective at improving the squad's defensive strength, especially when equipping rapid-fire Scimitar Shotguns.
Scions are best faced at long distance, as their biotic attack can quickly kill Shepard at close range. Any squadmate with a long-range weapon is a good choice, as long as they are directed to stay far away from the scion. Praetorians will always attempt to attack Shepard, and squadmates tend to be ineffectual against them.
Husks, Abominations, and Scions can be found during the following missions and assignments:
- Main: Horizon (No Abominations), Collector Ship, Reaper IFF, Suicide Mission
- N7 Assignments: N7: Abandoned Mine (only Husks and Abominations)
Varren and klixen are found during certain missions and assignments. Varren are dog-like melee attackers which function like Husks: they will run up and surround a squad member, inflicting melee damage. At higher difficulty levels they are protected by weak armor. Klixen are large insectoid aliens which attack using a short-range fire-based attack; they are more durable than varren but are also slower. The fire-based attack is similar to the flamethrowers used by Geth Destroyers and Blue Suns Pyros, and can quickly kill a squad member.
Varren and klixen can be found during the following missions and assignments:
- Loyalty: Grunt: Rite of Passage, Mordin: Old Blood, Jack: Subject Zero (varren only)
- N7 Assignments: N7: Blood Pack Communications Relay (klixen only), N7: Quarian Crash Site (varren only)
Quick Reference Table Edit
|Bonus Power||Fortification||Flashbang Grenade||Inferno Grenade|
|Bonus Power||Armor Piercing Ammo||Warp Ammo||Shredder Ammo|
|Bonus Power||Geth Shield Boost||Neural Shock||Energy Drain|
Squad Member Outfits Edit
|Mass Effect 2 Guides|
|Completion||Walkthrough • Morality • Upgrades • Planet Scanning|
|Classes||Adept • Engineer • Infiltrator • Sentinel • Soldier • Vanguard|
|Other|| Squad Members • PC Tweaks • No One Left Behind • Data Hound • Merchants |
Research Guide • Interrupts