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]

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

  • Shields and Health
    • Shields are represented by the blue bar at the bottom of the Heads Up Display (HUD).
    • Shields will automatically regenerate once in cover.
    • Health, represented by the red bar, will take damage once shields are depleted. When health runs out, death occurs.
    • The following Skills increase health and/or shields:
    • The follow Profiles increase health and/or shields:
  • Damage Received / Damage Resistance
    • Damage received is calculated as follows (ignoring additional difficulty multipliers): Incoming Damage * (1 / (1 + Sum Of Damage Resistance / 100)) As such, at 100 damage resistance, damage is halved, with increasingly diminishing returns the higher you go: At 200 damage resistance, damage is only reduced by a further 16%.
  • Squadmates
    • Each squadmate has a small picture.
    • Each squadmate has a small vertical grey bar depicting the amount of remaining shields.
  • Skills
    • The current three skills in a Favorite loadout are displayed and buttons assigned to use each skill.
    • Small white icons on each Skill icon display primer and/or detonator status for power combos.
    • Remaining power cell charges for the skill (if the skill uses power cells).
    • 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). When the Skill icon is clear again, the skill has cooled down and can be used again.
    • 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 turns into a light blue segment while the power is cooling down and begins to turn back to clear. When the segment is clear again, the Skill has cooled down and can be used again.
  • Weapon
    • Icon of currently equipped weapon.
    • Remaining ammunition in the current thermal clip.
    • The remaining total reserve of ammunition.
    • When the current thermal clip is low on ammunition, a flashing red display in the middle of the screen will alert to "Reload".
    • During reloading, a small red circle of arrows displays in the center of the screen until reloading is complete.
  • Aiming Reticle
    • Changes depending upon weapon type.
    • Changes depending upon being stationary or moving.
    • Changes depending upon being in cover.
  • Hazard Condition
    • 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
    • A blue shield icon will appear at the bottom of the HUD when Pathfinder Ryder is in cover.

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 (console specific 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 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.

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 a (console specific button) to draw a weapon. Hold (console specific button) to holster it.
  • Aiming & shooting - Hold (console specific button) to take careful aim with the weapon for increased accuracy or simply aim and press (console specific button) to shoot from the hip.
  • Reloading - Press (console specific 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 crafting of a firearm to give a weapon infinite, self-replenishing ammunition.
  • Certain Remnant technology weapons automatically utilize a heat sink as 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 (console specific button) to attack with the equipped melee weapon. Melee attacks are generally most effective against unarmored, unshielded foes.

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 boxes or forward stations.

Combos[edit | edit source]

Main article: Power combo


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]

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 [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 pod perks to unlock up to four consumable slots.
  • Holstering - Press [V] to holster the weapon and close the wheel.

Squad[edit | edit source]

Main article: Squad


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 boxes[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 boxes are found in many locations and are usually associated with Combat. Note: If Ryder sees these containers in an area during exploration, be prepared that combat at some point may take place.

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

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

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

  • As Ryder uses resources in a supply box, the remaining bars change from blue to clear (empty) Supply Box Depleted Icon.png.
  • The more depleted a resource Ryder wants to resupply, the more that the supply box will be depleted when Ryder restocks. 4 bars next to a supply resources doesn't mean 4 restocks for that specific resource.

Each symbol identifies a unique resource in the supply box:

  • Supply Box Ammo Symbol.png Ammo - Marked with a three orange bullets symbol. Resupplies thermal clips for weapons.
  • Supply Box Health Symbol.png Health - Marked with a red circle symbol. Restores depleted health.
  • Supply Box Power Cells Symbol.png Power Cells - Marked with a yellow lightning bolt symbol. 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 box 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" or "AMMO RESTORED", etc.

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

Supply boxes may contain multiple types of supplies.

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

Profiles[edit | edit source]

Main article: Profile


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]

Main article: Favorite


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.


External links[edit | edit source]

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