Disambiguous This article is about combat in Mass Effect 2. For combat in Mass Effect, see Combat. For combat in Mass Effect 3, see Combat (Mass Effect 3). For combat in Mass Effect: Andromeda, see Combat (Mass Effect: Andromeda).
ME2 Combat wide - smaller

Combat Controls Edit

Mass Effect 2 Controls Edit

Use the D-pad (X360, PS3) or the keyboard buttons Q, E, and C (PC) to issue the following squad orders in the battlefield:

  • Press UP on the D-pad (X360, PS3) or Q and E in quick succession (PC) to send the squad to the location your crosshairs are pointing. If you target an enemy and push this button, the squad members will attack the designated enemy.
  • Press DOWN on the D-pad (X360, PS3) or C (PC) to order the squad to regroup on Shepard.
  • Press RIGHT on the D-pad (X360, PS3) or E (PC) to order the squad member pictured on the bottom right to the location your crosshairs are pointing. If you target an enemy and push this button the squad member will use their pre-programmed power from the power wheel on the target. On the PC, this method lets the squad member use a power that fits the situation best.
  • Press LEFT on the D-pad (X360, PS3) or Q (PC) to order the squad member pictured on the bottom left to the location your crosshairs are pointing. If you target an enemy and push this button the squad member will use their pre-programmed power from the Power Wheel on the target. On the PC, this method lets the squad member use a power that fits the situation best.

Power Wheel Edit

ME2 Combat - Power Wheel PC half2 smaller

The Power Wheel allows you to focus specific powers on different enemies. Enemies are targeted by moving the camera around, in a manner similar to aiming a gun. When the Wheel is brought up, the images of your squadmates appear in the left and right sections. Powers may also be mapped to the LB and RB buttons on the X360 (L2 and R2 on the PS3) for quicker use during combat. In the PC version, the player's and squadmates' powers may be assigned to the various hotkeys (see the upper-left corner of the HUD) for the same purpose. Sometimes, a power's button might be colored red instead of orange. This means that the power would be ineffective against the target in question. It does not mean that the power cannot be used. Hurling an Incinerate at a shielded enemy will still do damage to the shields, just not as much as Overload would, or against armor. Only grayed out icons cannot be used.

HUD Screen Edit

ME2 Combat HUD smaller

The Heads Up Display, or HUD, shows all the vital information needed during combat. The HUD shows the targeting reticule, which gun you are using, how much ammunition you have left (in the clip and in reserve), and your quickslots. It also shows which teammates are in your present squad while indicating their status (by means of colors), and the status of Shepard's shields or health. Moreover, when Shepard uses a power, a small pair of faint-white semicircles will begin moving from the left and right toward the center of the screen (see the HUD screenshot). When these semicircles meet at the center, Shepard's powers have cooled down, indicating that the player can use a power again.

If an enemy is within a certain range and in Shepard's present field of vision, a special reticule will appear telling you the type of enemy and indicating the relative strength of this enemy's health, armor, and shields or barrier (if any of these apply).

Combat Powers Edit

See also: Powers

Melee combat Edit

Combat ME2 Melee Hitting LOKI Mech

Melee combat is a larger part of gameplay in Mass Effect 2 than it is in Mass Effect. In Mass Effect, Shepard automatically performs a melee attack on an enemy if they are close enough. However, in Mass Effect 2 there is a specific button for melee attacks and only pressing that button will cause a melee attack: defaults are the B button on the X360, circle on the PS3, and F on the PC.

Shepard's base melee attack does 125 points of damage, but you can add to that by researching upgrades, equipping armor components or using class abilities that boost damage (Adrenaline Rush, Tactical Cloak, etc). Melee attacks whilst Shepard is holding a submachine gun or heavy pistol have a notably quicker attack speed, allowing enemies to be more effectively stun-locked. It should be noted that melee attacks can be launched even while Shepard is performing another action, such as vaulting over cover, reloading or sprinting.

Potential Edit

Health, Armour, Shields and Barriers Edit

Combat - Shields Down

Shepard is protected by health and shields. Shepard's (and squad members') health and shields automatically regenerate after a short delay if Shepard takes no damage (unless Shepard's Tactical Cloak is active). The use of the Unity power revives fallen squad members. After being upgraded, Unity will also fully restore health and shields of all squad members whenever it is used. Dead squad members automatically revive at the end of a firefight.

All enemies are protected by health, shields, armor, barriers, or a combination thereof. Most status-effect powers, such as AI Hacking, Dominate, Pull, or Shockwave, are only effective against unprotected enemies (those whose shields, armor, and/or barriers have all been depleted). Certain 'boss'-type enemies (such as Gunships, Scions, Harbinger, and the Geth Colossus) do not have health, precluding the use of these powers against these enemies.

Shepard and all squad members start with a default health of 200 and default shields of 250. The only exceptions are: Grunt, who has default health and armour of 300; Legion, who has a default "Geth Shield" of 350; and a Soldier Shepard, who has default health of 250.

Note that an Adept or Vanguard Shepard will nominally (i.e., as labeled in the squad information menu) have a biotic barrier rather than shields, but there appears to be no difference in function. For example, the Adept's barrier will be quickly depleted by direct sunlight on Haestrom just like the shields of anyone else. Note that the measure of Shepard's barrier on the HUD is purple rather than blue.

Armor Edit

Armor is vulnerable to Incinerate, Warp, Reave and similar powers, and to weapons with a low rate of fire. Sniper rifles and heavy pistols are notable for their excellent penetration power against armor. Assault rifles and some shotguns are moderately effective against armor. It is generally not regenerated, except by vorcha on higher difficulty levels. Armor is typically found on Blood Pack mercs, krogan, and "boss" type characters, who typically have armor as their secondary protection layer. On Hardcore and Insanity difficulty, is it also possessed by LOKI and FENRIS mechs, and melee creatures like husks and varren. SMGs are not as effective against armor as they lack the penetration power of the other weapon classes, though the M-12 Locust is an exception and does possess a damage bonus against armor.

Shields Edit

Shields are vulnerable to powers like Overload, Energy Drain, and Combat Drones. Rapid-firing weapons like most submachine guns and assault rifles work well against shields, as do most shotguns. Shields are regenerated by most enemies after a period of time. Shields are the most common defensive layer and can be found on Blue Suns, most Eclipse mercs, geth, and YMIR mechs. Biotic attacks like Reave are generally not as effective against shields, and other powers like Pull are completely ineffective until shields are removed.

Note: When Shepard's shields get knocked completely down, there is a brief period of time when Shepard is effectively immune to damage before incoming damage starts to affect health. This is fairly easy to test in practice, and can be exploited for tactical value by an experienced player.

Barriers Edit

Biotic barriers are vulnerable to Concussive Shot, Warp, Warp Ammo, and Reave. For weapons, see Shields. Barriers are used by elite Eclipse mercs, some "boss" type characters and the Collectors.

Squad Edit

A squad is the group of team members which the player can select to accompany Commander Shepard on field missions, or while visiting one of the main civilized centers such as a station or planet. A squad is typically made of three members: Shepard and two squadmates. Although, for some specific missions, such as loyalty missions, a specific team member is required. In addition, the squad can, for some missions or assignments, be reduced to two members, or even to Shepard alone. When selecting a squad, Shepard can review, for selected team members, how squad points have been distributed among their different powers.

Combat Difficulty Edit

Options Gameplay

Casual Edit

  • Intended for players who have difficulty with or are disinterested in combat
  • Shepard and all teammates receive a boost in "power" (shield recharge delay is shorter, and weapon damage reduction penalties for squadmates are reduced)
  • Enemies usually have only one life bar
  • Enemies are the least aggressive and accurate

Normal Edit

  • Described as the "baseline" experience
  • Enemies usually only have one life bar
  • Enemies are not generally as aggressive or accurate

Veteran Edit

  • Enemies are more aggressive and more accurate
  • Enemies use their inherent powers more often
  • Common enemies still usually have only one life bar

Hardcore Edit

  • The Geth Pulse Rifle will be available for pickup
  • Almost all enemies have at least one protection layer, usually weak
  • Powers (tech, biotic and ammo) are used more often by the enemy
  • All enemies do more damage and have more health

Insanity Edit

  • The Geth Pulse Rifle will be available for pickup
  • Almost all enemies have at least one extra bar of protection that is stronger than on Hardcore
  • Enemies are deadly accurate and extremely aggressive, demonstrating teamwork and coordination
  • Enemies use tech, biotics and ammo powers very frequently

Game Options Edit

Auto Level-Up

  • Off: Points must be manually assigned using the Squad screen each time Shepard or any other squad member gains a level.
  • Squad Only: Points automatically assigned to appropriate talents each time a squad member gains a level. Points must be manually assigned using the Squad screen whenever Shepard gains a level.
  • Squad and Player: Points automatically assigned to appropriate talents each time Shepard or any squad member gains a level.

Squad Power Usage

  • Yes: Squad members will automatically use their most effective powers in combat.
  • No: Squad Members will only use defensive and ammo powers automatically. All offensive powers must be manually ordered.

Weapons Heat and Thermal Clips Edit

See also: Thermal clips
Thermal clip 2

Thermal clips serve as the ammunition for all light weapons (heavy pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns). A clip has a particular capacity; after the clip has reached this capacity it must be ejected before the weapon can fire again. A single clip may represent up to fifty shots for a submachine gun or assault rifle, but only a single shot for a shotgun or a sniper rifle.

Picking up a thermal clip will add ammunition to all weapons without full ammunition. Ammunition cannot be switched between weapons. A weapon with no remaining clips cannot be fired. Squad members have unlimited ammunition, although they must reload after depleting a clip.

Thermal clips are found lying on the ground, and are dropped by defeated enemies. Clips that are found lying around tend to give more ammo than clips dropped by enemies.

Note: When thermal clips are picked up, only the spare ammo will be refilled, never the "loaded" ammo. If all weapons have full spare ammo, but not fully loaded, you will not be able to pick up thermal clips. During a break in combat, it might be a good idea to "top off" all of the weapons so as to insure a maximum amount of ammo is picked up before picking up thermal clips. Weapons that are entirely emptied should be gradually "topped off" as clips are picked up to make sure that all weapons have maximum ammo.

The M-29 Incisor is a good example of a weapon that should be "topped off" as it's highly inefficient in terms of ammo pick ups. It only picks up 2-4 shots per clip and fires 3 shots with each pull of the trigger. Fully loaded and with full spare ammo, the weapon has 15 pulls of the trigger. If the weapon was drained beforehand, and not topped off, it will only have 10 pulls of the trigger when it's full.

Instead of thermal clips, heavy weapons use Power Cells, which are often found before intense combat sequences occur. If you pick up a box of Power Cells with full heavy weapons ammo, you will instead receive 100 credits, and full ammo for all your other weapons.

Combat-Related Bugs Edit

  • If you are using cover to fire your weapon, and if an enemy is under the effects of Pull and heading towards you, do not collide with the enemy or you may become immobile.
  • On some computers (most notably those running NVIDIA graphics cards), the game can crash to desktop if you fire your weapon immediately after releasing the pause button.
  • If you enter into a cutscene with a shotgun equipped, you may start getting the shotgun recoil for all other weapons after the cutscene is done, making accurate fire difficult. This can be fixed by saving and reloading your game. (PS3)

See Also Edit

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