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Mass Effect 3 Combat Tips: Weapons, Powers, and Squadmate's Powers

Updated on March 10, 2012

Combat in Mass Effect 3 is similar to Mass Effect 2, but ME3 has improved on a few things. Commander Shepard can now roll in an attempt to avoid taking damage from enemies. This is also effective for making it to cover faster instead of turning slowly. Melee combat has also been improved. Holding down the melee button performs a powerful attack. This attack will vary based on what type of class you are in Mass Effect 3 (e.i. Soldier, Vanguard, Sentinel, Biotic, etc). There has been other minor improvements to Mass Effect 3 combat as well, such as the ability to run forward out of cover. Mass Effect combat is relatively similar to Gears of War. Cover is very important to avoid taking damage.

Mass Effect 3 Combat Squadmates Powers

Mass Effect 3 allows you to bring two squad mates with you (just like previous ME games). It is recommended that you bring squadmates that will make up for Commander Shepard's weaknesses. For example, if you are a soldier class, then you may want to bring a Biotic squadmate with you like Liara T'Soni. Mainly, because soldiers lack biotic powers.

Using squadmates powers to eliminate enemies

  • Combine your powers or skills with other squadmates to take down tough enemies. For instance, use EDI's overload power to take out an enemies shields then order Liara T'soni to use singularity. Then finish the enemy off with your weapons.
  • You can issue commands to your squadmates to use their default powers. Simply target an enemy and use the quick power use button (right and left D-PAD on Xbox 360). This is much faster than using the Mass Effect combat wheel, however, you can still issue commands from there too.
  • Use Liara's singularity or Javik's pull to take away Cerberus soldiers shields (very important!)

Do you think Mass Effect 3 Normal Difficulty is Challenging?

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Mass Effect 3 Combat Tips

Taking Cover in Mass Effect 3

Taking cover in Mass Effect 3 is absolutely essential. Now obviously on lower difficulties you may be able to stay out of cover longer before Shepard's shields go down, however, cover is still an essential part of survival in Mass Effect games.

  • Always take cover when facing large groups of enemies, when your shields go down, or when facing tougher enemies. Fire your weapons from cover as much as possible
  • You can issue commands to squadmates to tell them to take cover in particular areas. This is useful if enemies are coming from multiple directions
  • Always watch your flank behind and from the sides. The enemy AI in Mass Effect 3 is smart. Sometimes enemies will go around and attack you from a side position. This may leave you vulnerable to damage. Issuing commands to team mates to cover flanks can help to avoid this issue (or at least make you more aware that an enemy is attacking from behind or from the side).
  • When Commander Shepard's shields go down, he is very vulnerable to damage! Watch your health and if it starts to go down, find COVER, and USE MEDI-GEL as soon as possible!
  • Make use of Commander Shepard roll evasive move. This may allow you to make it to cover faster or avoid enemy fire!

Mass Effect 3 melee combat

Using heavy melee attacks is effective for saving ammo and finishing off enemies that have lost their shields. It can also be benefical when enemies get too close and the better option is to melee them instead of shooting them.

Avoid using melee attacks against larger enemies like Cerberus Atlas Mechs, Rachni, and Brutes. These are enemies that you should distance yourself from. Brutes are capable of picking you up off the ground and slamming you down (taking down shields).

How many weapons do you carry (usually) in Mass Effect 3?

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Mass Effect 3 Weapon Weight

All weapons in Mass Effect 3 weigh a certain amount. So carrying more weapons and/or heavier weapons will affect Commander Shepard's ability to recharge his powers. If you are a soldier, this is not as big of a deal because your specialty is using weapons. However, if you are an Adept in Mass Effect, it is highly recommended that you carry less weapons and carry lighter ones. For example, sniper rifles affect your recharge time a lot, but small pistols do not.

Make sure your recharge power is at least 130% if plan on using a lot of powers. Otherwise, you will have trouble in combat because you will have to wait longer before using powers.

Personally, I use a Sentinel class in Mass Effect 3 and only carry an assault rifle and a submachine gun. My recharge power is about 170%. This allows me to use the "throw" power every couple seconds because my power recharges fast. But I also have two weapons. My assault rifle is my primary weapon and my submachine gun is my secondary weapon.

Mass Effect 3 Weapon Mods
There are many modifications that you can attach to weapons in Mass Effect 3. You can attach two weapon modifications to each weapon. Some weapon mods increase damage, lower recoil, add a scope, and do other things as well.

The citadel in Mass Effect 3 has many stores that sell weapon mods. Weapons mods can give you an edge in combat. If you prefer a weapon, but despise it's recoil, buy a weapon mod that decreases the recoil.

What are your combat strategies such as power usage, weapon usage etc.???

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      Zabu 6 years ago

      hey there,

      On the pc version is there a way to show weapons stats at shops? in me2 there was a button to compare shop weapons with equipped ones... is it me just being stupid not to find it or they really just want us to buy them just reading the description?