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Disambiguous.png This article is about the biotic Charge power in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. For the Turbocharge skill in Mass Effect: Andromeda, see Turbocharge. For the Charge skill in Mass Effect: Andromeda, see Charge (skill).

Charge, sometimes called Biotic Charge, is a biotic power in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3's single-player and multiplayer modes.

The character uses biotics to augment speed and strength, and charges across the battlefield towards a target.

  • This culminates in a powerful collision that sends most unprotected enemies flying backward, inflicting massive damage.
  • This power also compensates for impeding obstacles by allowing the player to 'phase' through solid objects en route to their target.
  • It can also be used on enemies who have been levitated by other biotic powers, and can multiply physics damage to send them off into the distance.
  • Unlike most abilities, Charge can only be successfully activated by the player against an enemy target that is "locked" in the HUD. It cannot, for example, be used to "teleport" to an area devoid of enemies, nor can it be used against targets that are cloaked, very far away, or obscured by smoke.

Mass Effect 2

Charge ME2 Icon.png Using a damaging shockwave, ram into an enemy with incredible force.

Power Ranks

  • Rank 1 - You envelop yourself in a mass effect field that launches you at an enemy, bodily hitting them to damage and knock them back.
    • Recharge Time: 6.00 seconds
    • Range: 40.00 meters
    • Impact Force: 350.00 newtons
  • Rank 2 - Your charge now hits with increased force, and the mass effect field is retained briefly to shield you from incoming fire.
    • Recharge Time: 6.00 seconds
    • Range: 40.00 meters
    • Impact Force: 550.00 newtons
    • Shield Strength: 50.00% of maximum shields
    • Shield Duration: 4.00 seconds
  • Rank 3 - Your charge now hits with increased force, and the mass effect field is retained briefly to shield you from incoming fire.
    • Recharge Time: 6.00 seconds
    • Range: 40.00 meters
    • Impact Force: 750.00 newtons
    • Shield Strength: 75.00% of maximum shields
    • Shield Duration: 4.00 seconds


Rank 4

Evolves Biotic Charge into one of the following options:

Heavy Charge

  • Your biotic focus is so intense that not only does the charge flatten enemies, your reaction speed is increased, slowing the world around you as you come out of the charge.
    • Recharge Time: 6.00 seconds
    • Range: 40.00 meters
    • Impact Force: 1000.00 newtons
    • Shield Strength: 100.00% of maximum shields
    • Shield Duration: 4.00 seconds

Area Charge

  • Your mass effect field now bursts on impact, sending out energy that can damage multiple opponents and knock them off their feet.
    • Recharge Time: 6.00 seconds
    • Range: 40.00 meters
    • Impact Force: 750.00 newtons
    • Shield Strength: 75.00% of maximum shields
    • Shield Duration: 4.00 seconds
    • Impact Radius: 3.00 meters

Player Notes

Mechanics
  • Charge requires a target and a clear line of sight to function. Some enemies cannot be targeted by Charge, often because Shepard can't physically reach the areas where those enemies are located, for example.
  • Charge is intentionally unaffected by the Biotic Cooldown upgrade; it is affected by all other cooldown effects though.[1]
  • At rank 2 and above, Charge instantly restores or boosts the user's shields, allowing you to stay in action longer and to survive the most dire of situations.
    • Similar to Energy Drain, the shield boost provided by Charge has two effects: it not only restores a certain amount of missing shields, it temporarily increases the maximum shield value for 4 seconds. The shields restored by Charge persist (taking damage notwithstanding) but will be reduced down to the maximum shield amount prior to using Charge after 4 seconds if they were at a higher value.
    • The 4 second bonus to maximum shield provided by Charge works exactly like the bonus from Tech Armor: it is calculated from the base shield value of 250 (prior to any bonuses from powers, upgrades, or armor pieces) and then added on to the current shield maximum visible on the Squad screen (which does count bonuses from powers, upgrades, or armor pieces).
      • Example: a Shepard with a current shield maximum of 435 counting armor and upgrade bonuses that uses a rank 3 Charge on an enemy will receive new maximum shields increased by 75% of 250 (187.5) added to the old maximum, resulting in a new temporary maximum shield of 187.5 + 435 = 622 (rounded down in the Squad screen).
    • By contrast, the shield amount restored by Charge is calculated from the maximum shield value of Shepard prior to using Charge (counting armor, power, and upgrade bonuses). A percentage of this maximum shield value is then added to Shepard's current shield health level as a flat amount of shield hitpoints.
      • Example: If Shepard who has 435 maximum shields but has taken damage and is now at 100 shields uses a Rank 3 Charge, Charge will restore shields equal to 75% of 435 (326.25) bringing Shepard back up to 426.25 total shield strength. Maximum shields will also have been boosted to 622 (see previous example), leaving Shepard with 426 out of 622 possible shields. The maximum will revert back to 435 after 4 seconds.
      • Shields restored can't exceed the maximum, though it should be noted that the new maximum (post-Charge) is used to determine the ceiling. After 4 seconds the maximum shield value reverts to the pre-Charge maximum and any excess shields are lost.
    • As mentioned, the amount of shields restored by Charge is calculated from maximum shields including if the maximum value has been increased through the use of other shield boosting powers such as Energy Drain, Barrier, Fortification, and Geth Shield Boost. The increase to maximum shields granted by Charge is always calculated from the base shield, but the increase is nonetheless added on top of any buff to max shields from the afore-mentioned powers, potentially creating some very large, albeit temporary, shields.
  • On occasion, it will appear as if Shepard is doing the starting animation for Charge, but it will not continue. This forces you into a cooldown cycle without the shield boost that accompanies Charge. This will sometimes occur if Charge is activated at the exact moment your target is killed.
Strategies
  • Charge is a useful power in that it combines three simultaneous functions: (1) it provides mobility, (2) it can knock down and damage most unprotected targets, and (3) it restores your shields. However, with a 6-second cooldown, keep in mind that in emergency situations, using Unity followed by a Pull can achieve much the same results without causing you to leave your current position. Charge is therefore the definition of situational and should only be used if all three of its functions will be to your benefit, or at least not to your detriment.
  • If you use Charge in a combat situation with multiple enemies about, make sure you pre-plan where you will take cover from remaining foes after the charge.
  • Charge can also be useful for providing you with the "point-blank damage" bonus that most conventional weapons benefit from (except Sniper Rifles). However, this is a double-edged sword as enemies also gain this bonus damage, so be especially cautious about charging into the face of enemies wielding shotguns. The time dilation of Heavy Charge is useful for giving you the time to unleash the killing blow with your weapon before your target has a chance to respond, or before it gets knocked too far away from you.
    • Somewhat obviously, shotguns tend to be the best weapon to use for one-shotting enemies at these ranges, particularly the high damage-per-shot types such as the M-300 Claymore. The Geth Plasma Shotgun is especially powerful due to its bonus damage to targets with shields or barriers, multi-shot clip, and charged shot feature; a charged shot can be held before using Charge and unleashed along with a quick follow-up shot after impacting the target.
    • Note your target's protection type and status before charging them. If going for a one-shot kill, Disruptor Ammo is most effective versus shielded or synthetic targets, Armor-Piercing Ammo or Incendiary Ammo versus armored targets or organic health, and Warp Ammo versus targets with barriers. Cryo Ammo should be avoided as your primary ammo power as biotic powers often fail to properly apply their damage or force to targets in the process of freezing. Additionally, enemies can still attack you until they are fully frozen.
      • However, Squad Cryo Ammo can aid your damage with Charge if your squadmates freeze targets for you with their gunfire; a fully frozen target will take double damage from weapons and will also get knocked away by the charge, on top of being unable to fight back. The same is true of targets already ragdolled or suspended by biotics. Successfully charging an airborne target can send it flying great distances, sometimes resulting in environmental kills.
  • Area Charge can be useful for dispatching multiple unprotected Husks, but as stated above, Pull Field or Shockwave can also perform this function and without jumping you into melee range of Husks (or worse, nearby Abominations). Use this tactic if you need your shields restored and if you'll be in a better location than before you used Charge.
    • Charging an unprotected Abomination will usually knock it far enough away from you that you will be undamaged from its death explosion.
  • The force of Charge will stagger most enemies hit, buying you some time before they retaliate. Area Charge will do this to multiple clustered enemies. Follow-up melee attacks can also stagger most light infantry.
  • Kasumi's Flashbang Grenade can be an excellent supporting ability to a Charge-heavy playstyle as it can disable the weapons of multiple enemies in a large area, reducing the amount of damage you will take if you dash in aggressively. Miranda's Cerberus Officer passive can also boost your survivability.
  • As explained in the Mechanics section above, Energy Drain can be an excellent bonus power for the Vanguard, not only for removing enemy shields prior to an aggressive Charge forwards, but for its ability to increase your maximum shield strength on top of the bonus from Charge itself.

Availability

Mass Effect 3

ME3 Biotic Charge.png

Power Ranks

Rank 1: Biotic Charge

Smash into a target while encased in this biotic barrier, leveling your opponents.

Invulnerable while this power is in effect.

  • Recharge Speed: 10 sec (14 krogan)
  • Damage: 250 (400 multiplayer non-krogan, 500 krogan)
  • Force: 500 N (650 N multiplayer non-krogan, 750 N krogan)
  • Barrier Restored: 50%


Rank 2: Recharge Speed

Increase recharge speed by 25%.

  • Recharge Speed: 8 sec (11.20 krogan)
  • Damage: 250 (400 multiplayer non-krogan, 500 krogan)
  • Force: 500 N (650 N multiplayer non-krogan, 750 N krogan)
  • Barrier Restored: 50%


Rank 3: Force & Damage

Increase damage and force by 20% (30% multiplayer).

  • Recharge Speed: 8 sec (11.20 krogan)
  • Damage: 300 (520 multiplayer non-krogan, 650 krogan)
  • Force: 600 N (845 N multiplayer non-krogan, 975 N krogan)
  • Barrier Restored: 50%


Rank 4: Force & Damage/Radius

Force & Damage

Increase damage and force by 30% (40% multiplayer).

  • Recharge Speed: 8 sec (11.20 krogan)
  • Damage: 375 (680 multiplayer non-krogan, 850 krogan)
  • Force: 750 N (1105 N multiplayer non-krogan, 1275 N krogan)
  • Barrier Restored: 50%

Radius

Hit up to 2 additional targets within 2 meters of the impact point.


Rank 5: Weapon Synergy/Power Synergy

Weapon Synergy

Increase weapon damage by 15% (25% multiplayer) for 3 seconds (5 sec multiplayer) after a successful Biotic Charge.

Power Synergy

Increase power damage and force by 25% (40% multiplayer) for 15 seconds (10 sec multiplayer) after a successful Biotic Charge.


Krogan Battlemaster Vanguard Rank 5: Weapon Synergy/Melee Synergy

Weapon Synergy

Increase weapon damage by 25% for 5 seconds after a successful Biotic Charge.

Melee Synergy

Increase melee damage by 40% for 5 seconds after a successful Biotic Charge.


Rank 6: Bonus Power/Barrier

Bonus Power

Give Biotic Charge a 25% (50% multiplayer) chance of not triggering a cooldown.

Barrier

Increase barriers by an additional 50% after a successful Biotic Charge.

  • Recharge Speed: 8 sec (11.20 krogan)
  • Damage: 375 (680 multiplayer non-krogan, 850 krogan) [Force & Damage], 300 (520 multiplayer non-krogan, 650 krogan) [Radius]
  • Force: 750 N (1105 N multiplayer non-krogan, 1275 N krogan) [Force & Damage], 600 N (845 N multiplayer non-krogan, 975 N krogan) [Radius]
  • Barrier Restored: 100%


Player Notes

Mechanics
  • Charge deals 1.5x damage to barriers.[2]
  • Charge can be combined with any lasting duration Biotics such as Warp, Pull, etc. to perform a Biotic Explosion.
  • With the rank Force & Damage evolution in multiplayer, Charge can stagger all but the hardiest of enemies, staggering even Phantoms on Gold/Platinum.
  • Activating Charge provides a 50% damage reduction buff for 4 seconds.
  • Enemy smoke grenades such as those deployed by Cerberus Centurions can break the player's targetting reticule and obscure enemies, making it very difficult to launch successful Charges even against enemies at point-blank range.
Strategies
  • Charge and Nova are Vanguard "signature" moves; as they are both central to the class's playstyle, see the Mass Effect 3 Vanguard Guide for more in-depth tactics and information.
  • Reave is another excellent choice as a Vanguard setup power for a biotic explosion. It hits the target instantly, so it can be triggered immediately before Charge, and with the Radius evolution, a single Reave, then Charge and Nova can cause multiple biotic explosions. It is also an alternative to Pull for dealing with Guardian shields, and if you trigger the Charge quickly enough, their shield will still be down and your Charge will still hit them. Lastly, Reave provides a damage reduction bonus that will come in handy should your followup Nova not kill the target.
  • Players can perform a powerful combo by spamming both Biotic Charge and Nova consecutively. First use Biotic Charge to quickly reach a group of enemies, use a heavy melee attack on a single enemy, and then use Nova immediately - Nova uses the Vanguard's barrier and thus has no cool-down period - to do damage, and cause knock-back, to all enemies within close-range. Provided the player has upgraded Biotic Charge with the Rank 6 Barrier evolution and has a quick enough power recharge rate this combo can be spammed infinitely. This is a very good strategic approach, provided the player retreats out of melee-range immediately after using Nova when facing Brutes, Banshees or Kai Leng.
  • Biotic Charge also allows the queuing of shots if timed correctly. Because of the animation of the charge, it is impossible shoot during the charge. This results in your weapon firing just after the charge animation finishes. With a weapon that can be charged up, like the Graal Spike Thrower, Geth Plasma Shotgun, or Arc Pistol, the weapon charge can be started before the Biotic Charge, and if the trigger is released during the animation, your enemy will take the full force of the shot while also being damaged by the Biotic Charge. The same thing happens with non-charged weapons, except the trigger must be pressed and released during the animation. This is useful as it eliminates the need to aim shots as most enemies will topple and fly away as a result of the Charge.
  • Due to the prevalence of enemies capable of sync kill executions on higher difficulties in multiplayer, Charge (and Vanguards in general) is very risky against such foes.
    • Vanguards should memorize the sync kill patterns of enemies: Atlases, Phantoms, Scions, and Praetorians only use it after a normal melee attack, Brutes can only use it when their eyes are glowing red, and Banshees only use it while glowing.
    • Charge at higher ranks has enough force to stagger even heavy super elite level opponents, meaning it is possible to Charge them without being immediately sync killed. This can also be an effective way to save allies from sync kills.
  • Generally speaking, it is advisable to take the radius upgrade over the damage upgrade at Rank 4. This will allow you to clear your immediate area of enemies, giving you some breathing room after a Biotic Charge. However, for single-player Vanguards, as well as Human Vanguards in Multiplayer, damage may be a more useful evolution, as these characters already have Nova to clear the area after charging, and, since Nova doesn't operate on a cooldown, they can activate as soon as the Charge connects.
  • If you plan on using Biotic Charge as more of a defensive tool and focus more on using your guns, it may be better to go for the "Bonus Power" evolution at rank 6, as this will make it more likely that you can utilise Biotic Charge several times before triggering a cooldown. You can also theoretically do more damage with Biotic Charge this way, albeit inconsistently.
  • If you use Biotic Charge to fuel barrier-draining powers such as Phase Disruptor or Nova, then it would be best to stick to the rank 6 "Barrier" evolution because it'll help keep you alive or allow you to more effectively use said powers.
  • In multiplayer, the Geth Scanner gear can be extremely useful for any class with Charge, enabling the player to reliably lock on to enemies otherwise invisible due to smoke or stealth. In single-player, only certain modded weapon scopes or the Javelin can provide a similar benefit.

Availability

References

Trivia

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