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Mass Effect Wiki
Disambiguous This article is about the combat mechanics of Mass Effect: Andromeda. For other uses, see Combat (disambiguation).

Combat Basics[]


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

  • Shields and Health
  • 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 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.


  • Drawing a weapon: LMB (PC) / R2 (PS4) / RT (XB1)
  • Holstering a weapon: 'V' (PC) / Touchpad (PS4) / Back (XB1)
  • Reloading: 'R' (PC) / Square (PS4) / X (XB1)
  • Melee Attack: 'F' (PC) / Triangle (PS4) / Y (XB1)
  • Evade: MMB (PC) / Circle (PS4) / B (XB1) while moving in a direction to perform an evade/dodge.


Taking Cover

Pathfinder Ryder will automatically take cover against large, solid objects if a weapon is drawn and is close enough to the cover. While in cover, shields will regenerate much faster and the majority of attacks from the enemies will miss.

Shooting from Cover

Use the appropriate control (RMB - PC / L2 - PS4 / LT - XB1) to pop out of cover and aim at the enemy. Doing so will give a temporary accuracy bonus.

  • Pathfinder Ryder can also shoot blindly from cover using (LMB - PC / R2 - PS4 / RT - XB1).
  • Certain enemy weapons like grenades and the Nullifier's piercing blast can still damage while in cover.
  • Tip: The camera angle can be swapped while in cover to the opposite shoulder using (ALT - PC / pressing down the Right Stick - PS4 & XB1).
Andromeda mass effect gameplay

Pathfinder Ryder using a biotic skill.


Main article: Skills

To activate a Skill during combat, use the button assigned to it.

  • A cooldown period for the skill will now begin before the skill can be used again.
  • The heavier the weapons being carried, the longer that each skill recharge time will be. Carrying lighter weapons will reduce this penalty. (See Weight Capacity)

Certain skills such as Omni Grenade do not have a recharge time, but instead rely on the availability of power cell charges. Remaining power cell charges for the skill are displayed on the skill icon. Power cells can be gathered from Forward Stations and supply boxes.

Most skills can be used while airborne, either by using them in mid-air or at the moment Pathfinder Ryder hits the ground.


Main article: Combos (Mass Effect: Andromeda)

Combos are an advanced combat technique that allows Pathfinder Ryder and squadmates to set up enemies for devastating explosions.



Both Jump-Jets and Biotics allow Pathfinder Ryder to hover momentarily in the air.

  • One advantage of hovering is a higher chance of firing at enemies that are attempting to hide behind cover.
  • The disadvantage of hovering is that Pathfinder Ryder is completely exposed while doing so.

To Hover, use (RMB - PC / L2 - PS4 / LT - XB1) while jumping. This will slow the Pathfinder Ryder's descent.


Using a melee attack while jumping or falling will cause the omni-tool to blast out a small shockwave when Pathfinder Ryder hits the ground.

Aerial Evade

Evade can be also be used while airborne. Aerial evades can be used to extend jump distances.


Most Skills can be used while airborne.

Enemy Defenses[]

Each enemy will have a set of curved bars above the enemy during combat.

  • MEA-Enemy-H Red Bar (Health): Enemy has no special defenses.
  • MEA-Enemy-A Yellow Bar (Armor): Enemy has armor and is tougher to take down.
  • MEA-Enemy-HS or MEA-Enemy-AS Blue Bar (Shields): Enemy has shields. The shields have to be worn down before any other bar can be depleted. Enemy shields will regenerate after not taking damage for a short time, so avoid changing targets if possible.

Enemies can either have health or armor but not both.

Certain enemies also have shields on top health or armor. No enemy only has shields.

Certain enemies have higher amounts of health or armor. These curved bars will have a different shape. MEA-Enemy-H2 or MEA-Enemy-A2.

Boss enemies will have an additional set of small white diamond icons with a white skull on the curved bar to indicate the unique and more difficult nature of the enemy. MEA-Enemy-A-boss

Overload, Energy Drain, Disruptor Ammo, and any beam-type or plasma-based weapons are highly effective at wearing down shields.

Incinerate, Flamethrower, and Incendiary Ammo work very well at taking down armor.


Main article: Weapons (Mass Effect: Andromeda)

Multiple types of weapons can be used during combat. All weapons types are available to Pathfinder Ryder and there are no restrictions on weapons use. Note: Squadmate weapons are fixed and can't be changed or upgraded.

Gun-Type Weapons[]

Most gun-type weapons in Mass Effect: Andromeda use thermal clips like previous Mass Effect games. A weapon is able to fire until waste heat reaches a maximum and then the thermal clip must be changed.

Weapons can be modified with Mods and Augmentations to increase the number of shots a weapon can fire and spare ammunition available.

As the Rank 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 gun-type weapon to give a weapon infinite, self-replenishing ammunition.

Certain Remnant technology weapons automatically utilize a heat sink as for infinite, self-replenishing ammunition.

Note: Refer to each gun-type weapon page for details on ammunition capabilities.


Main article: Melee Weapons

Mass Effect: Andromeda allows up close combat with any enemies by unleashing deadly melee attacks whenever possible.

Although melee weapons had been introduced in Mass Effect 3, Mass Effect: Andromeda allows customization of melee weapons according to preference and playthrough style.

Weight Capacity[]

All guns have weight values. Weight capacity dictates the recharge time needed after using a skill. The Loadout screen indicates the combined weight of all carried weapons and how much it affects power recharge speed.

If the total weight of weapons equipped does not exceed or equals the weight capacity, recharge time is 100%. Each point that exceeds the weight capacity increases recharge time by 1%. Default weight capacity for all player characters is 30, and can be increased through certain skills. Higher-rank weapons tend to have lighter weights compared to lower-rank weapons, unless already maxed at Rank X and are one of the three variants available after reaching Rank X.

Certain classes and skill builds can opt to ignore weapon weights if the playstyle can afford to be independent of power recharge times. An example would be the Human Soldier in multiplayer configured to rely on power cells for skill use rather than endure cooldowns.


The Squad in Mass Effect: Andromeda consists of the Pathfinder Ryder and two squadmates. There are six squadmates and each one has a specific set of predetermined skills. Once pathfinder Ryder has more than two Squadmates available, the choice of which squadmates to bring into combat can be selected in Squad tab on any Loadout terminal.

Choosing a Squad[]

  • Using Squadmates during combat can become critical in harder fights. This tactic is even more so useful in higher difficulty playthroughs. Knowing how to control the squad's location and tactics are important for survival.
  • It is recommended to select the squadmates based on what enemies will be faced.
  • Ryder may also select squadmates based on narrative reasons and/or which ones are preferred/liked the most.
  • It is possible to retrofit specific squadmates with skill trees that can favor destruction against armor, shields, or light enemies (health); this means that selecting two squadmates for anti-armor, two-squadmates for anti-shields, and/or two-squadmates for light enemies and crowd control.

Supply Caches[]

Main article: Supply cache

Supply caches are found in various locations usually associated with combat. Supply boxes replenish depleted ammo, health, and power cells.

Combat Difficulty[]

Selecting a difficulty level is one of the choices when starting a new game. The difficulty level can be changed during gameplay. Changing difficulty during a game will apply the new difficulty level to the character's next save.

  • Narrative - Intended for players who are more interested in the story than combat. Combat scenarios still exist but are less intense.
  • Casual - Intended for players with less shooter experience.
  • Normal - Intended for players with experience playing shooters and RPG's.
  • Hardcore - Intended for players looking for a greater challenge.
  • Insanity - Intended for players seeking the ultimate challenge.

Warning: Changing difficulty level after starting a playthrough could potentially interfere with obtaining specific achievements.