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Cannibals are synthetic-organic creatures derived from batarians and humans and mutated by Reaper technology. During the Reaper attack on Earth in 2186, Cannibals form a significant portion of the Reaper ground forces, along with Husks.


Cannibals are front-line Reaper units created from corrupted batarians. The nickname refers to their propensity to devour the bodies of fallen comrades. This triggers a biochemical process through which the cannibals spontaneously heal themselves and grow new chitinous armor. The transformation also appears to give cannibals a greater awareness of their surroundings, leading to more strategic behavior and careful use of battlefield cover.



Cannibals possess a large gun held in place by a human corpse that serves as an arm.[1] This gun is fairly powerful, and can kill the player easily if they're not careful, especially when multiple units are involved. From this same arm cannon, they can also launch Frag Grenades. They can also use melee attacks, trying to grab whatever gets close to them. In multiplayer, Cannibals are capable of executing downed players by regurgitating stomach acid and consuming them.


Cannibals are large, slow and do not dodge powers, so they are rather easy targets. They are very single-minded and are not panicked by the burning effects of Incinerate or incendiary ammunition.

Cannibals have the ability to regenerate health by consuming other fallen enemies on the battlefield. They often take cover to avoid fire, albeit not as effectively as Assault Troopers. When Cannibals consume fallen enemies, allies, or are buffed by Marauders, they gain plating on their body which protects them from most types of weapon damage in that area until they are shot off. This armor-plated state also allows them to continually regenerate health, unless stopped by appropriate powers or ammunition. This armor plating also typically protects their heads, shielding them from taking additional damage from headshots unless the plates are either shot off or penetrated. On certain missions, notably Priority: Earth, Cannibals are encountered with this armor plating by default.


  • Cannibals do not possess any form of combat roll or dodge move, leaving them highly vulnerable to powers of all types. The damage and force damage of powers and Power Combos is also not affected by any armor plating Cannibals may possess.
  • Cannibals have more raw health than comparable basic enemy infantry types such as Cerberus Assault Troopers, so anything that increases their vulnerability to damage such as Warp or freezing attacks helps counter this.
  • As with other enemy types that throw grenades, disable or kill Cannibals quickly to reduce the number of grenades coming your way.
  • Weapons that fire explosive projectiles such as the M-37 Falcon do not have their damage affected by any armor plating a Cannibal may have.
  • Cannibal armor plating can be penetrated by weapons that can be modded to penetrate cover or certain weapons that have a cover-penetration attribute baseline (e.g. M-98 Widow, Black Widow, Javelin). Even armored Cannibals can be easily dispatched with headshots using this tactic without needing to completely shoot the plating off first.
  • The use of Incendiary Ammo or Cryo Ammo is effective when engaging large numbers of Husks and Cannibals; the bodies of the dead will burn away or shatter, leaving no corpses behind for Cannibals to devour.
  • Certain weapons such as the Particle Rifle, Collector Sniper Rifle, Venom Shotgun, Krysae Sniper Rifle, and Reegar Carbine leave no bodies behind for Cannibals to consume.
  • Cannibals will often disregard cover to devour a corpse, leaving them open to attack. Killing them quickly will prevent them from growing armor plates. Interrupting a feasting Cannibal at the right time can prevent the Cannibal from growing armor, but the corpse will still disappear.
  • The Cannibals encountered during Prologue: Earth do not throw grenades.


  1. The Art of the Mass Effect Universe