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Mass Effect Wiki

Brutes are synthetic-organic creatures derived from krogan and turians and mutated by Reaper technology. True to their name, they fulfill the heavy melee offense role in ground assaults and can pummel smaller units into bloody paste.

Commander Shepard first encounters these amalgamated monstrosities on Menae while searching for General Victus. The rest of the galaxy's forces can fight them on numerous battlefields.


The brute is a hulking amalgamation of turian and krogan victims of the Reapers. Because tissue from dextro-protein species like the turians is incompatible with levo-protein species like the krogan, implants regulate the brute's body chemistry to combat organ rejection.

It is the fusion of turian military skill and krogan blood rage that makes the brute such a formidable enemy, capable of destroying armored vehicles to get to the soldiers inside. Troops are advised to keep their distance, and, whenever possible, not engage a brute alone.



A Brute's main attack is a running charge followed by a wide sweeping melee attack, both dealing enough damage to completely drop shields and then health, as well as stunning anything in its path. The claw swipe at the end of the charge can also penetrate intervening cover and terrain. A Brute also can jump and slam its claws into the ground, staggering almost anything in its path. They also periodically beat their chests with their claws and roar, which can also stagger nearby foes.

The Brute's large claw on its right arm can grab and smash its victim into the ground, resulting in instant death. It can do this either after the claw's horizontal swipe (unique from the lunging attack described above, further distinguished by a reddish glowing effect visible on the claw), or after beating its chest.

When they die, Brutes invariably attempt one last attack, swiping with their claw and trying to crush any nearby enemy under their falling bodies. Although this only seems to be a forwards attack, coming into contact with the Brute from any angle results in damage and stagger, and this damage can still occur even when the Brute's corpse is all but motionless.


Large parts of the Brute are protected by thick metallic plates that can be shot off. They possess high armor, but no barriers or shields. Their right claw is covered in armored plates that cannot be shot off. A Brute's head is unprotected and vulnerable to extra damage, but a Brute will often cover its face with its right arm while advancing.


  • Once you spot a Brute, concentrate most of your fire on it as it can kill you and your team very quickly. It is virtually impossible to attack a Brute with conventional melee attacks without suffering massive damage in return. Avoid close-quarters combat at all costs.
  • Maintain a safe distance from a Brute at all times. Better yet, keep some obstacles between you and the Brute, so it can't harm you even if it charges at you. An easy mistake when you're new to Brutes is forgetting to run away and open distance from time to time--doubly so if you're fighting ONLY a Brute, as the Brute has no ranged attack, so you can just stay on the move and remain untouched. If the Brute is accompanied by a few ranged allies, you can often use powers to suppress and distract them while you move away from the Brute.
  • Large parts of the Brute are protected by armor plating, making those areas immune to most weapon damage until shot off. Most notable is the claw arm, which it will sometimes use as a shield for its head.
    • The Brute's rear haunches is its largest unarmored area. It can be especially easy to target when the Brute has just charged past or is attacking another character.
    • Armor plates do not block power or Power Combo damage. Anti-armor powers such as Carnage, Incinerate, or Flamer (multiplayer only) are effective.
    • Weapons that penetrate objects by default such as the N7 Crusader or the M-98 Widow are very effective against Brutes, as they do not suffer any damage penalty for shooting through armor plates unless you equip them with a mod that enables object penetration, as all such mods impose a damage penalty. Armor-Piercing Ammo in single-player also suffers a penalty, but Drill/Armor-Piercing Rounds in multiplayer do not.
    • Weapons that fire explosive projectiles such as the Venom Shotgun can damage armor-plated enemies as long as the detonation of the projectiles hits an area not completely protected by plating.
  • Repeated use of Warp followed by Throw will create Biotic Explosions that will take down the Brute very quickly. This is true even when the Throw power appears "orange" on the power wheel, and is especially effective because of Throw's high recharge speed. Upgrading the biotic explosion damage and recharge rates on these powers makes this tactic even more effective.
  • In single-player, if a Brute manages to come into close range and performs a charging attack against the player, the game will slow down for a brief moment. A well timed combat roll during this window will allow the player to emerge unscathed.
  • Take advantage of ladders, which Brutes cannot climb.
  • Brutes are less aware of their surroundings than most other enemies, often attempting to charge in locations where obstacles prevent them from reaching their target. This can be exploited by goading the Brute into a charge while in a tight or confined area, standing just behind nearby cover. The Brute will harmlessly hit the obstacle and often spin around in one spot from its own momentum, leaving it wide open to attack. Be careful, however, as sometimes Brutes will simply vault over low obstacles.
    • The clumsiness of Brutes can be further exploited by good use of Combat Drones and Sentry Turrets as both can physically block enemy movement. In the current version of the game, melee opponents tend to ignore drones, so in narrow confined spaces drones can impede and sometimes completely block Brutes from reaching you, with the added bonus of tending to prevent them from lunging as often; however, when if they do lunge, a drone or turret in the path of the lunge can be damaged/destroyed even if the Brute was not targeting it.
    • Be cautious, however, as Brute lunges can often still damage you over or through smaller obstacles and pieces of terrain, even if the Brute itself can't get its entire body past them.
  • During later waves in multiplayer Brutes will be accompanied by Banshees. Since the Banshee is slower, prioritize your team's firepower towards the Brute, then the Banshee.
  • The Brute's stagger attack stuns Shepard and nearly every character in multiplayer, except for the Geth Juggernaut Soldier, Krogan Battlemaster Vanguard and N7 Destroyer Soldier with Devastator Mode turned on.
  • Although dangerous, it is possible for a Vanguard to use Charge against a Brute, especially after a squadmate has used Warp or Reave against it. This will inflict substantial damage and stagger the Brute, giving a little extra time to deal damage before needing to dodge its melee attacks.
    • Alternatively, if the Brute is very low on health after using Charge, the Vanguard is in an excellent position to finish it off with a shotgun. When executed with Nova and a few well timed dodging rolls, a Vanguard with 200% power availability can easily take down a Brute single-handededly.
    • Furthermore, if your shields are knocked out by the Brute's attacks, you can simply charge it to replenish your shields, bearing in mind your power cooldown afterwards.
    • A Vanguard can mitigate a Brute's Charge completely by biotically charging the Brute itself at the same time; the two of you may appear to switch positions and be staggered, but you will take no damage. This is useful for classes that lack dodge manoeuvres.
  • Do not stand near a Brute while it's beating its chest; the subsequent roar is enough to cause players to stagger, leaving the player vulnerable to the Brute and its allies. This can also result in being sync-killed immediately after.
  • Brutes do not use their instant kill as often as Atlases or Banshees, although they do still have one. When a Brute beats its chest, or does a horizontal claw swipe, it is ready for a sync kill. Vanguards should express caution and maintain distance when Brutes do these things, as a Biotic Charge could lead to instant death.
    • The melee swipe preceding the sync kill is not the same as their lunge attack; the claw is tinged with a glowing red effect.
    • A Brute sync kill can be negated by using an Ops Pack directly before the animation, a tactic which also works against Phantoms.
  • Brutes can be temporarily turned against their own infantry by using Dominate on them, which can be a lifesaving action if a Brute is too close to you.
  • If you find yourself directly in front of a charging Brute, remember that Brutes always follow up a charge with a right hook (on your left). Make sure to dodge to your right to get as far away as possible from the Brute's fist.
  • Classes with innate faster movement speed (such as drells and the N7 Shadow) can simply move to side when the Brute is charging, rather than using the dodge maneuver. This allows the player to fully take advantage of the Brute's exposed rear and increase the time of concentrated fire. Using Adrenaline Module greatly helps.
  • Even after it is killed, its body continues to be a solid object that blocks movement, weapons fire, powers, etc. until its death animation fully completes.