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Mass Effect Wiki
Disambiguous This article is about the power in Mass Effect 3. For the skill in Mass Effect: Andromeda, see Defense Drone (skill). For the enemy in Mass Effect, see Defense Drone.

ME3 Defense DroneDefense Drone is a tech power in Mass Effect 3's single player mode.

Power Ranks[]

Rank 1: Defense Drone[]

Deploy this holographic drone to electrocute enemies within its firing range.

  • Recharge Speed: 2.36 sec
  • Drone Damage: 25
  • Range: 5 m

Rank 2: Recharge Speed[]

Increase recharge speed by 25%.

  • Recharge Speed: 2.15 sec
  • Drone Damage: 25
  • Range: 5 m

Rank 3: Damage[]

Increase damage by 30%.

  • Recharge Speed: 2.15 sec
  • Damage: 32.50
  • Range: 5 m

Rank 4: Duration/Range[]


Increase duration by 100%.


Increase attack range by 40%.

  • Recharge Speed: 2.15 sec
  • Damage: 32.50
  • Range: 7 m

Rank 5: Attack Rate/Damage & Range[]

Attack Rate

Increase drone's attack rate by 50%.

Damage & Range

Increase damage by 100%.
Increase range by 60%.

  • Recharge Speed: 2.15 sec
  • Damage: 57.50
  • Range: 8 m (Duration), 10 m (Range)

Rank 6: Incapacitate/Chain Lightning[]


Gain a 30% chance to knock down an electrocuted enemy.

Chain Lightning

Damage up to 2 additional nearby targets.

Player Notes[]

  • Like the Combat Drone, the Defense Drone is a summoned holographic construct with a short-ranged electrical attack. As with the Combat Drone, the Defense Drone deals only light damage and at higher difficulty settings is more useful as a "crowd control" tool as its shock attacks are capable of briefly stunning most basic infantry enemy types such as Cannibals or Centurions. If an enemy is susceptible to the stun, it will be stunned even if protected by shields, barriers, or armor.
  • Unlike the Combat Drone, the Defense Drone has no hitpoints and is not targetable by enemies and instead follows the user around hovering a little above head height. Just like with the Combat Drone and the Sentry Turret, the Defense Drone disappears soon after the user is out of combat. This doesn't necessarily mean there are no active enemies around, only that the user has not come under attack for a respectable interval.
  • Unlike the Combat Drone which in Mass Effect 3 lasts in combat until it is destroyed or recast, the Defense Drone does have a set duration the length of which is not explicitly stated in the in-game description. The duration is 45 seconds baseline, doubled to 90 seconds with the rank 4 Duration evolution. This fairly long duration means that the Defense Drone can be thought of more as a "passive" defensive ability similar to Defense Matrix or Fortification.
  • Defense Drone can be active simultaneously with Combat Drone.
  • Shock Attack: The Defense Drone's shock attack will stun an infantry enemy in range about every 2.25 seconds baseline. The stun causes the affected enemy to stagger until it regains its balance and resumes attacking; the stun duration is about the same as the interval between the drone's attacks, meaning that the drone's target can be kept perpetually stunned and unable to act while in range.
    • If the Chain Lightning evolution is picked at rank 6, the number of targets that can be kept stunned increases to up to three, however, all targets must be close enough together to allow the shock to arc between them; the chain lightning is also not instantaneous, there is a very short delay between each individual "jump" of the electricity.
    • Most enemies that can be stunned by the drone can also be interrupted in the middle of any melee animations they are performing; an exception to this is the CAT6 Specialist. The stun also can't interrupt sync kills or Husk grabs.
    • Cerberus Phantoms are immune to the stun effect regardless of whether their barriers are active. Most armored opponents such as Ravagers are likewise immune, though some are visibly, if very slightly, "moved" by the shock. CAT6 Heavies are stunned, whether they have their shields or not.
    • The two final bosses of the Citadel DLC are immune to the stun.
    • The attack can't penetrate cover, though the drone is sometimes able to get an angle to hit an enemy around obstacles that the user can't.
    • The drone will continuously attack the same target unless the target moves out of range or is destroyed. This can be less than ideal if the primary target is not stunnable. An exception to this is if the rank 6 Incapacitate evolution has been picked (see below). The Chain Lightning evolution will also enable the drone to stun up to two other enemies in range, but the primary target of the attack remains the same.
    • Defense Drone will not target cloaked or invisible enemies on its own, but it is capable of hitting cloaked enemies the instant they decloak, which is useful against ambushers like Geth Hunters. Also, the rank 6 Chain Lightning evolution can enable the shock to chain to invisible targets, but there must have been a visible target in range for the drone to attack first.
  • Defense Drone moves fairly slowly and its "leash" distance is long, meaning the drone often lags far behind you, especially when sprinting or using Charge as a Vanguard; it can be left so far behind that recasting it will bring it to you much faster than waiting for it to catch up on its own.
  • The rank 5 Attack Rate evolution is bugged. Instead of increasing the attack rate of Defense Drone by 50%, it actually decreases it by 50%, making the power as a whole substantially less effective, as it is no longer able to keep targets in an uninterrupted stun state. Picking this evolution should be avoided.
  • Incapacitate: The rnk 6 Incapacitate evolution will completely knock down unprotected foot soldiers, dropping them to the ground much like the Neural Shock evolution of Overload. It has some other unique mechanics:
    • In contrast to how the drone normally fixates on the same target, picking Incapacitate will cause the drone to alternate between every target in range of it randomly. This reduces the chance of the drone wasting the knockdown effect on a target that was already just knocked down, though that can still happen. Note that increasing the range of the drone will increase the likelihood that the drone will acquire additional targets in range to alternate among, which may be a good or bad thing depending on the situation.
    • The knockdown stun disables susceptible enemies for about 4.5 seconds, about twice the duration of the normal stun length.
    • Against enemies with shields, barriers, or armor, it will only cause the regular shock stun (provided the target is susceptible to that). Guardians without their shield will be dropped otherwise they will only be stunned; CAT6 Heavies can never be dropped.
    • As stated above, Phantoms are totally immune to even the normal stun whether they have a barrier up or not; however, they are vulnerable to the Incapacitate knockdown but only when unprotected by their barriers. This knockdown can even interrupt their sync kill stab, but keep in mind there is only a 30% chance of the knockdown applying on any given drone attack.
  • Defense Drone has no ability whatsoever to set up or detonate Power Combos.
  • Despite low damage potential, Defense Drone has properties that make it useful even on higher difficulties:
    • It will target enemies in range even if they are obscured by smoke or low visibility.
    • It can attack and stun enemies even while the user is stunned or otherwise unable to act, potentially preventing a lot of incoming damage.
    • It's effective at deflecting ambushing or flanking attackers the user didn't expect or see coming.
    • It's useful for killing Swarmers without having to expend any abilities or ammunition.
    • The stuns can facilitate landing headshots, melee attacks, or powers.
    • It is able to attack while Tactical Cloak is active without breaking the invisibility.


  • The rank 5 Attack Rate evolution is bugged. Instead of increasing the attack rate of Defense Drone by 50%, it actually decreases it by 50%.