Combat

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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.

Combat Basics[edit | edit source]

HUD[edit | edit source]

Heads-Up Display (HUD)
Barrier Reinforced Purple Shields

The Heads-Up Display (HUD) gives combat and exploration data at a quick glance.

Shields[edit | edit source]

Shields are represented by the curved blue bar at the bottom of the Heads Up Display (HUD).

Purchasing Rank 1 of Barrier will reinforce standard blue shields with biotics and change the shields to a purple color. There is no change in the function of the shields, only the color.

Shields will automatically regenerate once in cover.

The following Skills increase shields:

The follow Profiles increase shields:

Health[edit | edit source]

Health, represented by the curved red bar, will take damage once shields are depleted. When health runs out, death occurs.

The following Skills increase health:

Squadmates[edit | edit source]

Each squadmate has a small picture.

  • Squad - Cora Harper Icon.png - Cora Harper
  • Squad - Nakmor Drack Icon.png - Nakmor Drack
  • Squad - Jaal Ama Darav Icon.png - Jaal Ama Darav
  • Squad - Liam Kosta Icon.png - Liam Kosta
  • Squad - Pelessaria B'Sayle Icon.png - Pelessaria B'Sayle (Peebee)
  • Squad - Vetra Nyx Icon.png - Vetra Nyx

Each squadmate has a small vertical grey bar depicting the amount of remaining shields.

Squadmates in cover will have a small shield icon next to their picture Squad - Squadmate In Cover Icon.png.

Squadmates that are in transit from orders specified by Pathfinder Ryder will have an upward arrow next to their picture Squad - Squadmate In Transit Icon.png.

Ordering a squadmate to a location that can't be accessed will cause the sqaudmate picture to flash orange. Squad - Unable To Order Squadmate Icon.png

When a squadmate is knocked unconscious, the squadmate picture will be replaced with a skull icon Squad - Unconscious Squadmate Icon.png.

Skills[edit | edit source]

The current skills (up to three) are displayed and buttons assigned to use each skill.

  • A small white icon in the top left of a skill icon indicates the skill is a primer Combat - Skill With Primer Icon.png.
  • A small white icon in the top right of a skill icon indicates the skill is a detonator Combat - Skill With Detonator Icon.png.
  • A number in the lower right of a skill icon listing the remaining power cell charges for the skill (if the skill uses power cells) Combat - Skill With Power Cells Icon.png.
  • When attempting to use a skill that is out of power cells, the skill icon will flash red Combat - Red Skill Flash No Power Cells Icon.png and a flashing red display in the middle of the screen will alert to NO POWER CELLS.
  • Trying to use a skill that requires unobstructed space (such as Barricade) when the space isn't available, the skill icon will flash white Combat - White Skill Flash For Blocked Skill.png and a flashing red display in the middle of the screen alerting that the skill is BLOCKED.
  • When attempting to use a skill that has been upgraded to be powered by shields (such as Nova) and no shields are available, the skill icon will flash white Combat - White Skill Flash No Shields For Skill Use.png and a flashing red display in the middle of the screen will alert to NO SHIELDS.

Each skill is clear until used and a cooldown takes place.

  • When a cooldown takes place, the skill icon is filled with a light blue color and begins to change back to clear (starting at the top of the icon travelling downwards) Combat - Skill During Cooldown Icon.png. When the skill icon is clear again, the skill has cooled down and can be used again.
  • Skills that take place over time will flash green while in use and then will change to a cooldown once the skill is finished being used Combat - Green Skill Flash Over Time Icon.png.

At the center of the screen, a secondary cooldown display is shown. Each of the three currently equipped skills are represented by one third of a circle in the center of the screen . Each third of the circle changes into a light blue segment while the skill is cooling down and begins to turn back to clear Combat - Secondary Cooldown Display.png. When the segment is clear again, the skill has cooled down and can be used again.

Attempting to use a skill in cooldown will cause the skill icon to flash bright red Combat - Red Skill Flash Skill In Cooldown.png and the corresponding secondary cooldown display arc in the center of the screen will also flash red Combat - Skill In Cooldown Secondary Cooldown Display.png.

Weapon[edit | edit source]

The current equipped weapon will display:

  • An icon of equipped weapon.
  • Remaining ammunition in the current thermal clip.
  • The remaining total reserve of ammunition.

Any active ammo consumables will be displayed with a circular icon above the remaining ammunition.

When the current thermal clip is low on ammunition, a flashing red display in the middle of the screen will alert to RELOAD Combat - Reload Icon.png .

During reloading, a small rotating red circle of arrows displays in the center of the screen until reloading is complete.Combat - Reloading Circle Icon.png

When the reserve ammunition is low, a flashing orange display in the middle of the screen will alert LOW AMMO Combat - Low Ammo Icon.png .

When all ammunition is gone for a weapon that uses thermal clips, a flashing red and white display in the middle of the screen will alert NO AMMO Combat - No Ammo Icon.png .

When all ammunition is gone for a weapon that uses an infinite heat sink instead of thermal clips, a flashing red and white display in the middle of the screen will alert OVERHEATED Combat - No Ammo Icon.png .

Aiming Reticle[edit | edit source]

The aiming reticle is displayed when a weapon is drawn.

  • Changes depending upon weapon type.
  • Changes depending upon being stationary or moving.
  • Changes depending upon being in cover.

Hazard Condition[edit | edit source]

In the lower left of the screen, any hazard conditions and hazard level are displayed.

  • A small segmented arc displays the amount of Life Support remaining before damage will occur.
  • The higher the hazard level shown, the faster that Life Support will be depleted.

Cover[edit | edit source]

A blue shield icon will appear at the bottom of the HUD when Pathfinder Ryder is in cover.

HUD Compass[edit | edit source]

HUD Compass

This display is located at the top of the screen and provides:

  • Compass directions - N - North, S - South, E - East, W - West.
  • Overhead Map orientation - Turn in a 360 degree circle and N will always correspond to the top of the overhead map, E to the right, W to the left, and S to the bottom.
  • Indicates any nearby important locations or items with map symbols. Symbols change size based on distance away.
  • Non-hostile Remnant forces will appear as blue circles.
  • All hostile enemies will appear as red circles.
  • Distance for the compass to indicate items is limited.

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 weapon is drawn, Ryder will automatically take cover against any large, solid object once close enough to the object. 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 enemies won't cause damage.

Certain enemy weapons like grenades and the Nullifier's piercing blast can cause damage 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 the (button) to swap the camera to the other shoulder.

Squadmate cover[edit | edit source]

Squadmates during combat will go into cover in different places on their own but this is temporary. Squadmates can leave cover, change cover, and/or even close to melee distance on their own. Allowing squadmates to automatically change cover has benefits but at times squadmates may rush into certain death.

Squadmates can be ordered to defend a location and they will go into cover (as needed).

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 (button) 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 (button) to quickly evade danger, even while airborne. Aerial evades can also be used to extend jump distance.
  • Skills - Most skills can be used while airborne, either firing in mid-air or at the moment of hitting the ground.

Weapons[edit | edit source]

Multiple types of weapons can be used during combat. All weapons types are available to Ryder and there are no restrictions on weapons use. However, squadmate weapons are fixed and can't be changed or upgraded.

Firearms[edit | edit source]

Most firearms use thermal clips for ammunition that require reloading. A weapon is able to fire until waste heat reaches a maximum and then the thermal clip must be changed.

  • Drawing & holstering - Press (button) to draw a weapon. Hold (button) to holster it.
  • Aiming & shooting - Hold (button) to take careful aim with the weapon for increased accuracy or simply aim and press (button) to shoot from the hip.
  • Reloading - Press (button) to reload the weapon at any time.
  • Weapons can be modified with mods and augmentations to increase the number of shots a weapon can fire and spare ammunition available.
  • As the Tier of most weapons increase, the amount of spare shots a weapon can fire and the spare ammunition available also increases.
  • One special augmentation, the Vintage Heat Sink, can be installed during development of a firearm to give a weapon infinite, self-replenishing ammunition.
  • Certain Remnant technology weapons automatically utilize a heat sink as well for infinite, self-replenishing ammunition.

Melee Weapons[edit | edit source]

Different melee weapons can be chosen to tailor the type of up close quarters combat involved with. Only one melee weapon can be equipped at any given time.

Melee Combat[edit | edit source]

Melee combat allows up close and personal fighting with any enemies by unleashing deadly melee attacks.

  • Press (button) to attack with the equipped melee weapon. Melee attacks are generally most effective against unarmored, unshielded foes.

Damage Resistance[edit | edit source]

Damage Resistance negates the amount of damage from all sources. This concept is explained with a single example of 100 Damage Resistance reducing damage by half but the detailed formula is not revealed in-game. However, the Damage Resistance formula[1] was revealed by Bioware to be the following:

FinalDmg = BaseDmg / (1 + DamageResist/100)

Using the Damage Resistance formula with 50 Damage Resistance and 100 incoming damage, the final damage can be computed as 100 / (1 + 50/100) = 66.7. One third of the incoming damage (33.3) will be negated by Damage Resistance.

The higher Damage Resistance is, the less the increase in benefit becomes. Increasing Damage Resistance from 100 to 200 only decreases incoming damage by an additional 16%.


Damage
Resistance
Incoming
Damage
Final
Damage
% Damage
Reduction
25 100 80 20%
50 100 66.7 33.3%
100 100 50 50%
150 100 40 60%
200 100 33.3 66.7%


All Damage Resistance is good, but higher amounts lead to diminishing returns. There may be better choices (armor, skills, etc.) that have more benefits than choosing to increase already high levels of Damage Resistance.

The following augmentations increase Damage Resistance:

The following armor increases Damage Resistance:

The following consumables increase Damage Resistance:

The following skills increase Damage Resistance:

The following profiles increase Damage Resistance:

The following weapons increase Damage Resistance:

Enemy defenses[edit | edit source]

Some enemies have defenses which protect them from certain attacks or have weak points that can be exploited.

  • Health - Enemies with a red health bar only have no special defenses. Health Bar - Normal.png
  • Armor - Enemies with a yellow health bar have armor, which reduces damage received by a flat amount. Armor Bar - Normal.png
    • Single-shot, high damage weapons, flame-based attacks, and abilities targeting armor are particularly good for breaking the layer of armor down.
    • Enemies can either have health or armor but not both.
  • Shields - Enemies with blue health bars are shielded. The shields must be eliminated before the red health bar or yellow armor bar can be depleted. Health & Shields Bar - Normal.png Armor & Shields Bar - Normal.png
    • 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.
    • Certain enemies also have shields on top health or armor. No enemy only has shields.
  • Enemies can have increased health or armor. The bar will be thicker than a normal bar. Health Bar - High.png Armor Bar - High.png
  • Boss-level enemies will have diamonds and/or a skull showing on the bar. These enemies may or may not have increased bars. Health Bar - Increased.png Health & Shields Bar - Boss Normal.png Armor Bar - Boss High.png Armor & Shields Bar - Boss Normal.png
  • 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.
    • Experiment by targeting different parts of foes to discover their weak points and effectively deal extra damage. Sniper rifles excel at targeting weak points.
  • 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.
  • Lift & knockdown - Enemies with armor or shields can't be knocked down or lifted into the air with biotics.

Skills[edit | edit source]

The Skills menu.

Skill types break down into three main color coded categories: Combat (Red), Tech (Orange), and Biotics (Violet). Each category type has its own set of active (Active Generic Skill Icon.png) and passive (Passive Generic Skill Icon.png) skills. Each is designed to facilitate a certain style of play.

Currently chosen skills are displayed at the bottom right of the HUD.

  • Aiming - Skills such as biotic Lance require careful aim, but most skills will automatically seek the current target, i.e. the enemy with a health bar displayed.
  • Assignment - Skills can be assigned to different buttons on the Skills screen.
  • Special Functionality - The functionality of some skills can be changed based upon how the skills is activated. Each skill has a detailed menu screen which displays special functionality such as holding the activation button vs. tapping the button.
  • Recharge Time - Active skills require some recharge time after use. Passive skills are always in place and require no activation.
    • Displays on the skill icons and in the center of the HUD will display remaining recharge time.
    • Carrying heavier guns will result in longer skill recharge times due to weapon weight. For faster recharge times, use lighter weapons and/or invest in skills or mods that allow for the carrying of more weight.
    • Skills such as Omni Grenade have no recharge time, but rely on disposable power cells. The remaining cells for any given skill can be seen on the icons at the bottom right side of the HUD.

Combos[edit | edit source]

Coordiantion of skills with squadmates allows for devastating power combos. Power combos can be set up when an enemy (or group of enemies) is primed, setting them up for the kill, and then a detonator activates the power combo. Squadmates can be specifically upgraded in the skill menu toward making them good at priming or detonating power combos.

Many skills can be evolved to become a primer, a detonator, or even both. Look for one of the four primer icons Fire Primer Icon.png, Cryo Primer Icon.png, Tech Primer Icon.png, Biotic Primer Icon.png and detonator icons Detonator Icon.png when planning skill purchases.

Certain melee weapons, explosive canisters, as well as consumables that change ammo for firearms, can also prime enemies for power combos. However, only skills can be used for detonators.

Weapon wheel[edit | edit source]

The Weapon Wheel

The weapon wheel allows players to pause the game during combat to change weapons, use consumables, or switch between favorites. It is available whenever wearing combat armor.

  • Accessing the wheel - Press (button) to open the weapon wheel.
  • Changing weapons - Select a weapon from the top of the wheel and press (button) to equip it and close the wheel.
  • Using consumables - Select a consumable from the bottom of the wheel and press (button) 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 (button) to access Favorites. Select a favorite and press (button) 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 pod perks to unlock up to four consumable slots.
  • Holstering - Press (button) to holster the weapon and close the wheel.

Squad[edit | edit source]

The squad menu.

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 Tutorials - Revive Icon.png appears to show where they are. Move to them and hold (button) 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 (button) 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 skills 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 (button) to order the left-hand squadmate to attack that target, (button) for the other squadmate, or both with (button).
  • Defend - While aiming at a location, press (button) to order the left-hand squadmate to defend that position, (button) for the other squadmate, or both with (button). They will use available cover near the targeted spot.
  • Rally - Hold (button) to tell the left-hand squadmate to stop what they're doing and return, (button) for the other squadmate, or both with (button).

Supply caches[edit | edit source]

Supply boxes are the main method for Pathfinder Ryder to replenish ammo, health, and power cells depleted during exploration and combat.

Supply Box.png

Overview[edit | edit source]

Supply caches are found in many locations and are usually associated with Combat. Be aware, if Ryder sees these containers in an area during exploration, be prepared that combat at some point may take place.

Supply caches are containers of all different sizes and shapes but will always have conspicuous symbols above the container.

Squadmates gain no benefit from supply caches as they do not use thermal clips or power cells. They essentially have unlimited ammo and power cell based skills utilize recharge times instead.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

The amount of resources remaining in the supply cache are displayed on a meter Supply Cache Full Icon.png next to the supply symbol.

  • As Ryder uses resources in a supply cache, the remaining bars change from blue to clear (empty) Supply Cache Depleted Icon.png.
  • The more depleted a resource Ryder wants to resupply, the more that the supply cache will be depleted when Ryder restocks. Four bars next to a supply resources doesn't mean four restocks for that specific resource.
  • Power cells are different than the other resources as each blue bar is equivalent to one power cell.

Each symbol identifies a unique resource in the supply cache:

  • Supply Cache Ammo Symbol.png Ammo - Resupplies thermal clips for weapons.
  • Supply Cache Health Symbol.png Health - Restores depleted health.
  • Supply Cache Power Cells Symbol.png Power Cells - Resupplies power cells for any skills that use them (such as Omni Grenade).

To replenish Ryder's ammo, health, or power cells, approach an appropriate supply cache and Ryder will be restocked. A conspicuous message in the center of the screen will alert Ryder that the resource has been restocked such as HEALTH RESTORED Combat - Health Supply Cache Icon.png or AMMO COLLECTED Combat - Ammo Collected Icon.png .

Supply caches replenish over time and Ryder can return for additional supplies (if needed).

Supply caches may contain multiple types of supplies.

Forward stations also act as supply caches with larger amounts of resources available.

Profiles[edit | edit source]

The profiles menu.

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 menu 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]

The favorites menu.

Favorites are saved collections of one profile and up to three skills and can be switched in the middle of combat. Use favorites for easy switching between different play styles or to expand the selection of skills for a particular play style.

Changing favorites puts all skills into cooldown by default.

Favorites will be cleared out automatically by using the Skill Respec Station to reset Pathfinder Ryder's skills on the Tempest.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Detailed statistics about Pathfinder Ryder can be tracked on the General Stats tab in the statistics menu.

Combat statistics can be tracked on the Accomplishments tab in the statistics menu.

Achievements and trophies[edit | edit source]

The following achievements and trophies can be earned related to combat:

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]