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Geth Primes are heavy geth platforms that serve as command units on the battlefield. Larger and more powerful than any other geth infantry platform, Primes are equipped with heavy armor and shields, specialized abilities and a variety of deadly weapons.

Mass Effect[]

Standing twelve feet high and boasting the deadliest arsenal of any geth infantry, a Geth Prime is a terrifying opponent. They are instantly recognizable by their white armor and huge stature. Primes carry a highly damaging pulse rifle that can also launch rockets, and they are also incredibly resilient, possessing six levels of shielding. They are even capable of boosting the combat prowess of other nearby geth. Primes have no major weaknesses and are resistant to most biotic and tech talents. They are the largest bipedal geth unit, towering over even Geth Juggernauts.

Legendary Edition[]

All larger geth infantry platforms in the Legendary Edition version of Mass Effect have been redesigned along the lines of the Geth Prime's original Mass Effect 3 appearance. Originally they are large, bulky, and have single cyclopean "eyes"; now their flashlight heads sport three smaller eyes, their left shoulder pad has been removed, and they have a slightly leaner build. Primes still retain their white coloration from the original Mass Effect, likely to differentiate them from the red-colored Geth Juggernauts.

Tactics[]

  • The Geth Prime is used as not only a morale booster for other geth in combat, but also as an elite soldier. They are put into action where the geth need extra armor and firepower. Sophisticated command and control units, they possess a Combat VI which boosts the rate of fire, accuracy, and damage of all nearby geth platforms. Consequently it is a good idea to take out or at least disable/distract Geth Primes first before focusing on smaller geth.
  • Geth Primes are immune to Hacking, though they can be distracted by geth who aren't.
  • Primes are one of the few opponents in Mass Effect to possess Damping, which can put the tech and biotic abilities of Shepard and the entire squad on cooldown. This even includes First Aid, so it's easy to get into trouble in fights with Primes and find yourself with no options. The Adrenaline Burst talent can help mitigate the effects of Damping if available.
  • If fighting a Prime on foot outside of the M35 Mako, try to disable it before it uses Damping on your party. The best options for this are with a Damping of your own, or any rank of Lift. Stasis is also an option, and Sabotage will disable all of its weapons for a decent duration. Singularity on the other hand will not work on Primes except at Master rank and even then it won't last long. Throw likewise does not disable a Prime for long but it can be a useful spoiling attack before following up with something stronger; however, it must be at least Advanced Throw to have sufficient force to knock down a Prime.
  • Their Distortion Rockets are extremely dangerous, able to one-shot players and squadmates without adequate protections (Immunity is usually required to survive a hit); however, as with most geth enemies that can fire them, Primes only use Distortion Rockets at longer ranges. Sabotage can prevent rockets from being fired for its duration.

Legendary Edition:

  • Geth Primes no longer use Distortion Rockets. They simply unleash their rapid-fire pulse rifles while plodding straight to their target's position.
  • As they have no melee attacks, Geth Primes maintain a nominal distance between them and their target, closing in or keeping away as needed. Thus, they can be forced to "retreat" by rushing at them on foot. This is practically suicide in the original version since they can still fire off their Distortion Rockets, though in Legendary Edition you may have a chance to deal close-range damage (or just force them to go where you want), provided you have the means to disable their weapons/abilities and have particularly tanky armor (just in case).
  • As there's no more experience penalty for killing enemies with the Mako, the most expedient course would be to simply use the vehicle if the option is available.

Mass Effect 2[]

In Mass Effect 2, Geth Primes are equipped with light machine guns and combat drones. They are one of the most dangerous synthetic foes in the game, next to the Geth Colossus and YMIR Mechs.

Legendary Edition: their head design differs slightly from their appearance in the original Mass Effect 2, with three smaller "eyes" clustered on the head along with the usual brighter "flashlight".

Capabilities[]

Offensive

Geth Primes do not seek cover and will generally attempt to engage at point-blank range. There is an exception on Tali's recruitment mission on Haestrom where a Geth Prime will prefer to stay under the cover of the Geth Recon Drones. They are armed with the M-76 Revenant light machine gun, which they fire in long bursts, and they can melee you with it if you get close. They also have the ability to jam your radar, fire siege pulses and deploy Combat Drones.

Defensive

Geth Primes have high shields, armor and health but do not seek cover. Like other enemies in Mass Effect 2, they're affected by headshots. Their weapon is also vulnerable to the overheating effects of Overload and Disruptor Ammo when unprotected. Flashbang Grenade appears to have no effect on Primes whatsoever other than the damage they deal.

Tactics[]

  • Disruptor Ammo and Armor Piercing Ammo, if available, are very effective against their shields and armor, respectively (both also inflict bonus health damage). Warp Ammo is effective against their armor and health, and the damage is doubled against enemies being affected by biotic powers. Switching squad weapons to those with the greatest penetration power for that particular defense can augment your ability to damage their defenses even further. These can all be important when fighting Primes, as they possess powerful shields and armor.
  • Seeking cover when fighting Primes is wise but be careful as like other taller geth enemies, Primes can easily fire over the top of short cover at close range.
  • The "seige pulse" fired by Primes looks a lot like the Warps fired by enemy biotics and affects you in much the same way, dealing some damage and staggering you. The stagger effect is especially dangerous, however, as the Prime can quickly follow up a pulse with massive damage from its rifle.
  • Geth Primes tend to close in on Shepard and other squad members, walking around any cover while attacking. They also move quite rapidly despite their size. It is prudent to fight Primes from locations where they can't pursue you.
  • Powers that are useful against their defenses include Overload, Warp, Energy Drain, and Incinerate. Once their defenses have been stripped Primes are vulnerable to being knocked down by physics-based powers or frozen just like most other enemies.
  • Tactical Cloak can be used if the player can seek separate cover from their squadmates to "ping-pong" the Prime back and forth.
  • Since Primes can't be hacked until their sizable armor and shield bars have been neutralized, a more effective way to utilize AI Hacking can be to use it on lesser geth troops, causing the Prime to get distracted allowing you to wear it down safely. A hacked Prime can also be very useful as it will quickly eradicate lesser geth units in the area while drawing their fire. The Prime will not use Combat Drone or Morale Boost while under the effects of AI Hacking.
  • Combat Drone works very well at distracting Primes, who are often continuously interrupted by the the drone attacks and unable to attack for an extended period of time. Explosive Drone has the additional advantage of dealing damage to the Prime when it finally does get destroyed.
  • As noted above, Geth Primes will jam your radar, and are one of the only enemies in Mass Effect 2 which do this. An observant player can take advantage of this by interpreting a jammed radar as an early warning that a Prime is nearby, before they've made visual contact.
  • The Geth Prime will always fire off a single shot before unleashing with a long burst from its weapon. Take cover.
  • Geth Primes can have their weapons overheated by Overload and Disruptor Ammo when unprotected; if this happens they tend to use their drone and pulse abilities as often as possible until the effect wears off and they can fire again.

Mass Effect 3[]

The Geth Prime is also an enemy in Mass Effect 3. Geth Primes are command-and-control units that pulverize their enemies with pulse cannons, missile drones, and gun turrets. The Primes have been redesigned from their original Mass Effect appearance to have three "eyes" instead of one, as well as a red color scheme.

Capabilities[]

Offensive

The Geth Prime is arguably more dangerous than before. It can deploy a Combat Drone and Geth Turret and wields a lethal semi-automatic Pulse Cannon that can drop shields in one or two hits. These cannons also briefly stun you (roughly 1 second), so if you get hit once, you will probably take a second hit. It can also swing the Pulse Cannon at close-by enemies.

Defensive

Primes have had an upgrade to their defenses and are extremely tough to take down without powerful high level weapons due to their damage resistance. Primes possess heavy armour and strong shielding, which will regenerate over time. They are immune to biotic attacks such as Pull and Throw. Their drones and turrets make it difficult to flank them.

Tactics[]

  • As of the October Multiplayer balance patch, headshots will now work on the Geth Prime for an additional 40% weapon damage.
  • Cover is a necessity. High-damage attacks such as Warp are effective, but they do not lift easily so a biotic combo explosion can be a challenge to set up.
  • The easiest biotic combo explosion to set up is Warp followed by Throw. This will also damage units near the Prime. Warp/Throw works even when the Warp and Throw abilities may appear "orange" on the power wheel, and is especially effective because the Throw ability has a fast recharge. Upgrading the biotic explosion and recharge rates on these abilities makes this tactic even more effective.
  • A Prime's pulse cannon blast will stun all but the sturdiest characters. If hit by the first of the three volleys, it is VERY likely that the next two will hit. On Silver and Gold, this will usually kill even the most defensive krogan characters outright. Only the Juggernaut and Krogan Warlord have enough defenses to survive a full barrage.
  • It is possible to use Sabotage on a Geth Prime, even at full shields and armor. This also converts any combat drone it has deployed, but not deployed turrets. This gains both a temporary, deadly ally while giving the player the opportunity to focus on other enemies or to wear down the Prime itself.
  • While powerful, the Pulse Cannon can't be fired more than three times in a row before needing a brief pause, which is a good time to return fire. Note, however, that summoning a drone or turret resets the counter.
  • Geth Primes are particularly deadly if you allow them to get close, so maintaining a medium to long engagement distance is recommended. Fortunately, Primes are much slower than they were in Mass Effect 2.
  • A Scorpion paired with Disruptor Ammo can work wonders against Geth Prime, both in dealing actual damage and shock, allowing you time to move to a more favorable fighting position.
  • The Prime will try to keep its drone out at all times. Deploying another turret takes slightly lower priority. As Combat Drones are very weak and not something to worry about unless they sneak up on you, constantly destroying them will often leave the Prime vulnerable.
  • On Silver and Gold difficulties, Primes can be hard to take down by yourself. Try teaming up: the Prime will go down more quickly, and any players who get downed can be revived to re-enter the fight.
  • Geth Primes are extremely large, and therefore, the game engine has issues keeping track of where they are when they go down in inclined parts of maps, including ramps and stairs. This can make lining up shots extremely difficult at times. It is advisable to coax them into level playing fields.
  • With Tactical Cloak and the Black Widow, one can easily down a prime in 6 shots, 2 clips, and 1 reload. First cloak, aim for the torso and fire. There is no need to compensate for recoil, as the shots will travel up the body of the Prime. All 3 shots should expire before the damage bonus does and with proper evolution, all 3 shots might even go off before the cloak runs out. Two cloak-damage-boosted shots should bring his shields to 2 bars. However, the armor is a bit harder to remove in a single clip; Geth Infiltrator's Hunter Mode damage bonuses and those gained from Networked AI are very beneficial.
  • All characters in-game are right-handed by default. Exploit tall cover that is on your left by standing close enough that you can shoot around it and the Prime cannot shoot you, avoiding chancing the oddball cover system which makes you easily shootable if you stick your head out of cover to fire (even when not scoping in). Combine this with a Tactical Cloak and a Black Widow and there are several spots on any map in which one can down a Prime, solo, in under 15 seconds.
  • The Reegar Carbine projects a short-ranged cone of lightning. A whole clip will greatly reduce a Prime's shields within a few seconds, if it doesn't strip them outright. This lends itself to hit-and-run tactics: one character removes the Prime's shields and draws its attention while the others focus fire on it.
  • Occasionally, if someone enters Tactical Cloak while in the line of sight of a Geth Prime, the Geth Prime will be able to easily track the person in cloak and attack them as normal. Whether this is a bug or a game mechanic is yet to be confirmed.
  • As of Patch 1.04, Combat Drones now fire Incinerate every few seconds. This will temporarily stagger almost any character and deal a small amount of damage.
  • At close range, Geth Primes will place their turrets on your flank or even behind you, regardless of cover. Fortunately, their turret-placing animation is very recognizable.

Trivia[]

  • Geth Prime units on the Pinnacle Station subterranean survival mode are equipped with a large, bluish-glowing version of the Pulse Rifle, which functions in the same manner as the normal Pulse Rifle.
  • The drone the Geth Prime spawns in Mass Effect 3 originally was supposed to both shoot rockets at protagonists as well as finding allies to replenish their shields. This shield restoration ability was completed[Dead link] but removed very close to the end of development.
  • Aside from Legion/Geth VI, Prime units are the only individual geth platforms ever shown verbally interacting with Shepard or other significant characters in the single-player story; for example, potentially at the conclusion of Priority: Rannoch and potentially at the London Forward Operating Base (FOB).
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