- See Also: Codex: Combat Drones
Drones are small, lightly-armed combat robots equipped with very small mass effect fields that allow them to levitate. They are also equipped with basic VI programming allowing them to adapt to changing situations on the battlefield, and have a small amount of shielding.
Combat drones tend to be deployed in wings as 'cannon fodder', creating distractions for marines to operate safely. Soldiers refer to friendly drones as 'flocks' and enemy drones as 'swarms'. Drones are a key element of the Alliance's military initiative, but they are also used by the geth.
- Advanced Assault Drones. A standard Alliance drone equipped with shields and weaponry with about the same power as a high-grade pistol.
- Advanced Rocket Drones. Similar to the assault drone but with a rocket launcher. Once one rocket has been fired it takes a while for the launcher to recharge.
- Surveillance Drone. A spy unit. One of these was shot down by the geth; Shepard is sent to retrieve its data module.
- Message Drone. Not seen in-game, a message drone was used to alert the Alliance to the attack on Shanxi.
- Defense Drone. Emergency drones kept in storage on Asteroid X57, possibly intended to be basic defences for the engineers there. Some drones were reprogrammed to be unfriendly by the batarian extremists who hijacked the asteroid; others were activated by the engineers.
It isn't known if the drones the geth use are, like Geth Armatures, individually sentient or not. Either way the geth seem to view them as expendable resources.
- Geth Recon Drones. Recon drones have fairly weak shields and weaponry, but seem to be resistant to biotics. Richard L. Jenkins was shot and killed by recon drones on Eden Prime. In Mass Effect 2, these drones are seen on Haestrom supporting geth forces. They also have cloaking devices similar to ones used by Geth Hunters.
- Geth Assault Drones. These are deadly drones similar in appearance to the rocket drones. They have black armor and are armed with a pulse weapon. They are mostly seen on Feros and Virmire.
- Geth Rocket Drones. Like the Alliance rocket drones, these are equipped with a rocket launcher.
- Geth Repair Drones. Sometimes deployed alongside larger units like Geth Armatures or Geth Juggernauts, repair drones will fix any damage to the larger geth, making any attack a waste of time until the drone is destroyed.
- Geth Flyers. Geth Flyers are a term that is used during Shepard's mission on Virmire to destroy Saren's base. The name is used in place of Geth Assault Drones and Geth Recon Drones.
Mass Effect 2
Several types of drones are encountered during Shepard's mission to Stop the Collectors.
- Assault Drones: Standard drones that are used to defend areas on Freedom's Progress and Cerberus installations on Aite. Assault Drones are armed with a machine gun but have only shielding for defense. They are also employed by merc bands for their purposes as well.
- Rocket Drone: Drones that are armed with a rocket launcher rather than a machine gun. They are deployed on Freedom's Progress and, like Assault Drones, are utilized by merc bands.
Mass Effect 3
Several types of drones are encountered during Shepard's mission.