Mass Effect Legendary Edition Classes – The Evolution of Mass Effect

The post Mass Effect Legendary Edition Classes – The Evolution of Mass Effect appeared first on Fextralife.

In this Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Feature, I’m going to give you an overview of the major changes from one Mass Effect game to the next. Specifically, I’ll dive into how Classes have changed over time. If you’re curious about how these vary in each Mass Effect game, then this Feature is for you.

Mass Effect Legendary Edition Classes – The Evolution of Mass Effect

In Mass Effect, you play as Commander Shepard, whose gender, origin story, Class and appearance you can choose, before diving into the game. The year is 2183 where mankind has mastered the art of immediate interstellar travel thanks to advanced technology in the form of Mass Relays. These have been left behind by a mysterious race, which is central to the trilogy’s overarching story. Your goal as the commander is to complete quests for the betterment of the entire galactic community that comprises a number of races such as Humans, Turians, Salarians and Asaris, to name a few.

ME2 Galaxy Map

In the trilogy, there are 6 Classes to choose from. You have the Soldier, Engineer, Adept, Infiltrator, Vanguard and Sentinel. These are differentiated based on the Skills they specialize in, such as Combat, Biotic or Tech. For example, the Soldier is a Combat Specialist, which is proficient with a majority of Weapons allowing them to deal greater firepower damage. Meanwhile, other Classes such as the Infiltrator and Vanguard are hybrids that focus on two Skills like Tech and Combat, and Biotic and Combat, respectively.

ME3 Classes

Combat Skills significantly increase the damage you inflict with Weapons while enhancing your character’s resilience by allowing you to equip more durable Armor. On the other hand, Tech Skills debuff and destabilize enemies by stripping them of their defenses and overheating their Weapons, rendering them unusable. Lastly, Biotic Skills let you manipulate energy fields to disable, and therefore immobilize enemies by knocking them down or lifting them up in the air. These Skills are represented as Talents and Abilities in Mass Effect 1 or Powers in Mass Effect 2 and 3.


In Mass Effect 1, the Soldier is the only Class that’s proficient with all Weapons including the Pistol, Shotgun, Assault Rifle, and Sniper Rifle. This makes them combat-ready from any distance possible, may it be at point-blank, mid or long-range distances. They are also the most durable Class since they can initially equip Medium Armor and then Heavy Armor at higher Talent Ranks. Additionally, Soldiers have the highest HP.

All of these qualities make them ideal frontliners in combat since they have the capability to deal powerful firepower damage with any Weapon while not having to worry about survivability given the strength of their Armor. The only caveat to playing as a Soldier is that they lack Tech and Biotic Skills. To compensate for this, they’ll have to depend on their Squadmates to debuff and to disable enemies.

ME1 Pistol Geth Recon Drone

In Mass Effect 2, Soldiers retain their high durability and HP as well as most of their Weapon Proficiency. I say most because they are not trained to use the Submachine Gun. However, they can use the Sniper Rifle to deal damage from a very far distance, the Heavy Pistols and Assault Rifles usually for mid-range combat, and the Shotgun to blast enemies at point-blank range. On top of this, they have access to all ammo types making it manageable to fight against multiple enemy types and defenses. They continue to rely on their Squadmates because they still lack Tech and Biotic Skills.

ME2 Soldier Weapon Proficiency

In Mass Effect 3, Soldiers are once again proficient with all Weapon and Ammo Types together with grenades. Moreover, their Weight Capacity is the highest among all of the Classes, giving them leeway to carry the best Weapons in order to optimize their loadouts. This coupled with their time dilation advantage and great durability, make them difficult to fight against.


In Mass Effect 1, Engineers are Tech Specialists who are masters of debuffing enemies by disabling their Weapons and preventing them from employing their Tech and Biotic Abilities. They can also stun and weaken Armor as well as hack enemies to fight one another while inflicting additional damage through tech proximity mines.

Engineers can easily interfere with the tactics of Synthetics and Organics or robotic and live enemies, respectively, because of how well they utilize their Tech Skills. However, they are at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing sufficient Weapon Damage and this is due to their one and only Pistol Proficiency. Moreover, they are limited to wearing Light Armor, making it risky to stay close to enemies due to their low durability. As such, they perform optimally at mid-range distance and should rely on Squadmates with Combat and Biotic Abilities.

In Mass Effect 2, Engineers have been buffed. They continue to debuff and to hack enemies, but they do it better since they can destroy almost all of their defenses like Armor and Shields. Engineers can even summon a drone to lock an enemy as they’re being attacked and to prevent them from attacking the Squad.

Moreover, they are now proficient with three Weapons instead of just one, namely the Heavy Pistol, Submachine Gun, and Heavy Weapon. Because they can wield the Submachine Gun, they have sufficient firepower to deal with enemies up close.

ME2 Heavy Weapon

When it comes to Armor, they can research Upgrades that can easily boost durability while increasing their max HP, making the Engineer more dependable than before. They will only have to rely on Squadmates for their Biotic and Combat Powers to efficiently break down Barriers and to shoot enemies from afar with a Sniper Rifle, respectively.

In Mass Effect 3, Engineers continue to be as reliable as ever especially when it comes to the Power Combos like Electric Combos, that they can pull off, thereby dealing much more damage than anticipated. Now, they can strip down all types of defenses with ease. In addition to summoning a drone, they can spawn a turret to shoot enemies while they move from cover to cover more safely. Engineers are a bit disadvantaged since they have one of the lowest Weight Capacities. As a result, this Class can only carry at most two light-weight Weapons before the cooldown time of their Powers are penalized.


In Mass Effect 1, Adepts are Biotic Specialists who excel at employing crowd control techniques by manipulating mass effect fields to harm their enemies. They can throw and lift them to render their Abilities useless, thereby preventing numerous incoming attacks directed at your Squad. Because of this, encounters become effortless since Adepts don’t have to break enemy Shields to effectively execute their Biotic Abilities. Like the Engineers, they are only proficient with the Pistol and because of this, it’s best for them to deal mid-range damage. Additionally, they can only wear Light Armor, which they can further enhance with one of their Biotic Abilities. Since they lack the mastery to shoot enemies up close and from afar, they’ll need at least one Squadmate who is a Combat Specialist.

In Mass Effect 2, Adepts are no longer as powerful, although they continue to disable and to immobilize enemies. Because of the different types of defenses, they have to make sure that all protective layers are stripped beforehand. This means that enemies who still have their Armor, Shields and Barriers cannot be controlled by Adepts. As such, they are very dependent on their Squadmates with Tech and Combat Powers who can assist them with this issue. However, once these defenses have been destroyed, they can once again dominate in combat. In addition to their Heavy Pistol proficiency, they can also equip a Submachine Gun, which is excellent for close-range encounters.

In Mass Effect 3, Adepts have become more capable since they can pull off Power Combos to cause Biotic Explosions in order to inflict heavy damage. However, similar to the Engineers, they have one of the lowest Weight Capacities, which means that they’ll have to bring at most two light-weight Weapons so as not to impact the recharge times of their Powers. As long as Adepts are well below the capacity threshold, they will instead receive a buff, allowing them to frequently use their Biotic Powers to pull off more explosions.

ME3 Singularity


In Mass Effect 1, Infiltrators are Combat and Tech Specialists who excel at dealing precise long-range damage thanks to their Sniper Rifle expertise while debuffing and disabling enemies with their Tech Abilities. Additionally, they can effectively inflict close and mid-range damage with their Pistol and they can equip Medium Armor later on. Because Infiltrators have an Ability that further enhances their Shield Strength, they’re much more resilient.

ME1 Infiltrator Talents

In Mass Effect 2, Infiltrators are deadlier since they can take advantage of their Unique Class Power, which allows them to become invisible for a period of time. This lets them stealthily move from cover to cover to line up the perfect shot in order to kill enemies with just a single bullet.

In terms of their Tech Powers, they continue to disable enemies. What makes them more menacing this time around is they can now hack targets into attacking their own kind, creating an excellent diversion to move easily wherever they please. Due to their Submachine Gun Proficiency in addition to Sniper Rifles and Heavy Pistols, they’re more versatile when it comes to dealing Weapon Damage from any distance. However, since they lack the Biotic Powers necessary to take down Barriers, they’ll need to have at least one Squadmate who excels in this area.

In Mass Effect 3, Infiltrators continue to have excellent Combat and Tech Skills. Invisibility is now more potent since they can toggle this off to receive damage bonuses when they’re about to fire with a Sniper Rifle.

What makes this Weapon valuable is its time dilation property prior to shooting the enemy in order to target them better. Given how heavy Sniper Rifles are, the Infiltrators’ next Weapon of choice should be as light-weight as possible like the Submachine Gun. Alternatively, they can choose to increase their Weapon Capacity via their Power Upgrades. This enables Infiltrators to use the Shotgun instead, to deal better damage at point-blank range.


In Mass Effect 1, Vanguards are Combat and Biotic Specialists who are experts in close-range combat, making them the most aggressive and risky Class to play. With their Shotgun Proficiency, they can deal immense burst damage up close to one-shot their enemies. If this doesn’t work out, they can switch to a Pistol to eliminate them from a distance.

They can supplement these moves with their Biotic Abilities in order to easily disorient and immobilize enemies. Vanguards are also more resilient than the other Classes because they can equip Medium Armor after a few levels. What adds to this is their Ability to strengthen their Shields, making them durable when they need it the most especially when they’re about to rush towards targets.

The caveat to playing the Vanguard is that they lack Abilities to deal with targets from afar. As such, they’ll need at least one Squadmate who is equipped at using a Sniper Rifle and someone who can disable enemies from this distance.

In Mass Effect 2, Vanguards have become more deadly due to their ability to charge straight into enemies as long as they’re within the acceptable range to do so. Because of this, they tend to rush towards them to inflict great damage with their Shotgun, which complements their aggressive playstyle very well.

The drawback is Vanguards have to be extra careful because they easily gather the attention of enemies, thereby increasing the number of incoming attacks directed at them. When they’re charging, their Shields also recharge up to a certain percentage, allowing them to look for a suitable cover to hide behind. If Vanguards run out of Shotgun Ammo, they can switch to using the Submachine Gun to continue dealing rapid-fire damage up close. Additionally, they’ll have to research upgrades related to enhancing their Shields to improve their durability.

In Mass Effect 3, Vanguards continue to be as risky to play as before. Due to the Weight Capacity issue, they’ll have to balance the Weapons they’ll bring, with the Shotgun being a standard choice. This is so they can still use a variety of their Biotic Powers without interference to execute multiple explosions and to deal massive damage as a result. Since protected enemies are still a problem, they’ll need Squadmates who have Skills that can annihilate these defenses.

ME3 Vanguard Class


In Mass Effect 1, Sentinels are Tech and Biotic Specialists that make them the perfect Support Class. They can immobilize, disable and debuff enemies with ease while healing their Squad. However, since Sentinels are only proficient with the Pistol, they’ll have to hide behind cover more often than not and they’ll need to rely on their Squadmates to finish the job. Thanks to one of their Abilities, they can strengthen their Shields, which is highly valuable since they can only wear Light Armor.

ME1 Sentinel Talents

In Mass Effect 2, Sentinels have become stronger since they can break down any type of enemy defense with their Tech and Biotic Powers, making them versatile. Moreover, their Weapon Training has improved to not only include the Heavy Pistol, but also the Submachine Gun and Heavy Weapon. Since they’re not equipped at dealing long-range damage, they’ll need at least one Squadmate who can. In terms of Armor, they now have a dedicated Unique Class Power to maximize their resilience. To add to this, they can mix customized pieces together to further boost their durability.

In Mass Effect 3, Sentinels are a bit different than in the previous game since their Unique Class Power now affects the cooldown time of their other Powers. This means that they’ll have to balance its usage with that of the rest of their Skills in order to execute explosive Power Combos as well. With the tank build, Sentinels can opt to rely on their Squadmates to eliminate enemies while assisting them without needing to hide behind covers as often. With the hybrid build, they can toggle their Shields on and off while performing Power Combos like Biotic and Electric types to inflict high damage on their own. Due to their limited Weight Capacity, they can only select a few Weapons, which is not limited to dealing close or mid-range damage, that will fit their build.

Stay tuned for more Features and Guides for Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, and be sure to check out the Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Wiki if you have questions about the game!

The post Mass Effect Legendary Edition Classes – The Evolution of Mass Effect appeared first on Fextralife.

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