The action in Mass Effect: Andromeda is built around fluid, fast-paced, third-person combat. Players will experience freedom of movement with the use of a jump-jet that allows them to jump, evade, and hover in the midst of battle. Players will also discover a dynamic new cover system that enables them to seamlessly use almost anything, including their own vehicle, for cover.
Basics[edit | edit source]
- Health & shields - Shields are represented by the blue bar at the bottom of the HUD. Health, represented by the red bar, will take damage once shields are depleted. Shields will automatically regenerate once in cover. When health runs out, the player dies. Skills such as Combat Fitness can permanently increase health and shields.
- Damage received is calculated as follows (ignoring additional difficulty multipliers): Incoming Damage * (1 / (1 + Sum Of Damage Resistance / 100)) As such, at 100 resistance, damage is halved, with increasingly diminishing returns the higher you go: At 200, damage is only reduced by a further 16%.
- Drawing & holstering - Press left-click to draw a weapon. Hold [V] to holster it.
- Aiming & shooting - Hold right-click to take careful aim with the weapon for increased accuracy or simply aim with [Mouse] and press left-click to shoot from the hip.
- Reloading - Pres [R] to reload the weapon at any time.
- Melee - Press [F] to attack with the equipped melee weapon. Melee attacks are generally most effective against unarmored, unshielded foes.
Cover[edit | edit source]
Cover is a critical component of combat and should be used liberally to stay alive.
Taking cover[edit | edit source]
While a player's gun is drawn, they will automatically take cover against any large, solid object once they move close enough. A shield icon will appear at the bottom of the HUD while in cover. While in cover, shields will regenerate much faster and most attacks from the other side can't hurt.
Certain enemy weapons like grenades and the Nullifier's piercing blast can threaten a player even while in cover.
Shooting from cover[edit | edit source]
Aim to pop out from cover, gaining a large accuracy bonus while being exposed to enemy fire. Unaimed shots will be made blindly from behind cover. Firing blind is ineffective at long range. To see around a corner while in cover, press [Alt] to swap the camera to the other shoulder.
Aerial[edit | edit source]
A variety of combat maneuvers are possible while airborne.
- Hover - Aim while jumping or falling to engage hover-jets. This will slow descent and give a short window to carefully aim while in mid-air. Using jump and hover can help spot a target in cover but exposes the player to enemy fire.
- Melee - Press [F] to perform a melee attack while jumping or falling. This will prepare the omni-tool to blast out a small shockwave when hitting the ground.
- Evade - Move in a direction and press the mouse scroll to quickly evade danger, even while airborne. Aerial evades can also be used to extend jump distance.
- Powers - Most powers can be used while airborne, either firing in mid-air or at the moment of hitting the ground.
Enemy defenses[edit | edit source]
Some enemies have defenses which protect them from certain attacks, or weak points that can be exploited.
- Health - Enemies with a red health bar have no special defenses. After losing armor or shields, all enemies are placed in the red.
- Armor - Enemies with a yellow health bar have armor, which reduces damage received by a flat amount. Single-shot, high damage weapons, flame-based attacks, and abilities targeting armor are particularly good for breaking the layer of armor down.
- Shields - Enemies with blue health bars are shielded. The shields must be eliminated before their health can be depleted. Shields will regenerate after not taking damage for a short time. Overload, Energy Drain, and beam or plasma-based weapons are effective at taking down shields.
- Lift & knockdown - Enemies with armor or shields can't be knocked down or lifted into the air with biotics.
- Special defenses - Powerful enemies may have physical or energy-based barriers that are impervious to attacks. Look for a way to strike around their protective barrier or disable it entirely.
- Headshots & weak points - Most enemies have spots on their body which are particularly vulnerable. On humanoids, this is often the head, while on remnants, exposed wiring and lights are usually the best target.
- Experiment by targetting different parts of foes to discover their weak points and effectively deal extra damage. Sniper rifles excel at targeting weak points.
Powers[edit | edit source]
Press the buttons indicated on the power icons at the bottom right of the HUD to use those powers. Powers such as biotic Lance require careful aim, but most will automatically seek the current target, i.e. the enemy with a health bar displayed. Powers can be assigned to different buttons on the Skills screen. The Skills screen also indicates which powers have special functionality if you hold the button or tap it.
Most powers require some recharge time after use. The remaining recharge time is marked on the power icons at the bottom right of the HUD and on the circular blue meters that surround the aiming reticle. Carrying heavier guns will result in longer power recharge times. For faster recharge times, use lighter weapons or invest in skills like Combat Fitness that allow for the carrying of more weight.
Powers such as Omni Grenade have no recharge time, but rely on disposable power cells. The remaining cells for any given power can be seen on the icons at the bottom right side of the HUD. More power cells can be acquired from supply caches or forward stations.
Combos[edit | edit source]
Players can team up with their squadmates for devastating power combos. Power combos activate when the player or a squadmate primes an enemy or group of enemies, setting them up for the kill, and then another squadmate jumps in to finish the job. Players can upgrade their squadmates specifically toward making them good at priming or detonating power combos.
Many powers can be evolved to become a primer, a detonator, or even both. Look for primer and detonator icons when planning skill purchases.
Weapon wheel[edit | edit source]
- Accessing the wheel - Press [Tab] to open the weapon wheel.
- Changing weapons - Select a weapon from the top of the wheel and press [Space] to equip it and close the wheel.
- Using consumables - Select a consumable from the bottom of the wheel and press [Space] to use it. Consumables help in battle, from boosting shields to enhancing guns. Consumables have a cooldown time, so the wheel must be closed and wait several seconds before using another.
- Accessing favorites - Press [X] to access Favorites. Select a favorite and press [Space] to switch.
- Choosing a loadout - At a loadout station, decide which weapons and consumables to make accessible from the weapon wheel. On the Skills screen, Favorites can be created and placed in the wheel at any time.
- Expanding options - Initially, players will only have two weapon slots and two consumable slots. Both can be expanded. Invest in the Combat Fitness skill to unlock up to four weapon slots, or open certain cryo pods to unlock up to four consumable slots.
- Holstering - Press [V] to holster the weapon and close the wheel.
Squad[edit | edit source]
Squadmates form an important part of battlefield tactics. Using them effectively can make the difference between victory and defeat. Players can choose two squadmates to take on the squad tab of the loadout screen. This can be done from a forward station or while launching into a mission. A squadmate will be locked into certain missions when they are critical to the story.
Each squadmate is represented by an icon at the bottom of the HUD. The icon flashes red when they take damage. When the icon becomes a skull, they've been knocked unconscious. Other icons can indicate when the squadmate has received orders. When a squadmate is knocked unconscious, a red down arrow icon appears to show where they are. Move to them and hold [E] to revive them. Any downed squadmates will revive automatically once a battle ends.
Squadmates level up when the player does. Players can manually invest their skill points or press [X] to automatically level them up on the Skills screen. The choices made while leveling up the squad will open up different opportunities on the battlefield. Squadmates and/or Ryder can be set to auto-level on the Settings screen. The most powerful (Rank 6) skills for each squadmate isn't available until their loyalty is earned through the completion of a loyalty mission.
Squad commands[edit | edit source]
While squadmates can operate on their own, they decide which powers are best for a given situation, learning to command them effectively will grand a large tactical advantage. The following orders may be issued to a squad in the field:
- Attack - While aiming at a target, press [Z] to order the left-hand squadmate to attack that target, [C] for the other squadmate, or both with [X].
- Defend - While aiming at a location, press [Z] to order the left-hand squadmate to defend that position, [C] for the other squadmate, or both with [X]. They will use available cover near the targeted spot.
- Rally - Hold [Z] to tell the left-hand squadmate to stop what they're doing and return, [C] for the other squadmate, or both with [X].
Supply caches[edit | edit source]
Supply caches are materials found on various worlds that the omni-tool can identify and convert into useful resources to aid in combat. To replenish health, ammo, or power cells, approach an appropriate supply cache. The amount of resources remaining in the cache are displayed on a meter.
- Health - Supply caches that can be auto-converted into medi-gel to restore health are marked with a red circle symbol.
- Ammo - Supply caches that can be auto-converted into fresh thermal clips are marked with an orange ammo symbol.
- Power cells - Supply caches that can be auto-converted into fresh power cells, for powers such as Omni Grenade, are marked with a yellow lightning symbol.
Some supply caches can provide both thermal clips and power cells. Look for both symbols together.
Profiles[edit | edit source]
Profiles allow SAM to optimize Ryder's implant, mind, and body for a particular combat style that provides unique bonuses. Only one profile can be active at a time, but can be switched on the Profiles screen at any time. Profiles are unlocked by investing in combat, tech, and biotic skills when leveling up. Investing in a single skill group or a mix of skill groups will unlock more powerful profiles.
Favorites[edit | edit source]
Favorites are saved collections of one profile and up to three powers and can be switched in the middle of combat. Use favorites for easy switching between different play styles or to expand the selection of powers for a particular play style.