Mass Effect Wiki
Mass Effect Wiki
Disambiguous This article is about the vehicle. For Mako tactics and XP rewards, see Mako Guide.
M35 Mako inside the Normandy bay.

The M35 Mako Infantry Fighting Vehicle was designed for the Systems Alliance's frigates. It is designed to fulfill the role of rapid deployment that its predecessor, the M29 Grizzly, fell short of accomplishing. Though the interior is cramped, an M35 is small enough to be carried in the cargo bay and easily deployed on virtually any world.


With its turreted 155mm mass accelerator cannon and coaxial-mounted machine gun, the Mako can provide a fireteam with weapon support as well as mobility. Since Alliance marines may be required to fight on any world in a variety of planetary environments, the Mako is environmentally sealed and powered by a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell.[1]

The vehicle's armor is tough enough to withstand high drops, extreme heat and cold and rough terrain. The Mako's suspension and propulsion system allow the vehicle to adapt to various terrain, as well as enabling the vehicle to change direction quickly via independently reversible wheels (similar to a tank).

The Mako during an air drop.

For deployment on low-gravity planetoids, it is equipped with micro-thrusters and a small element zero core, which can be used to increase mass and provide greater traction. While not large enough to nullify the vehicle's mass, the core can reduce it enough to be safely air-dropped (a maneuver normally requiring a minimum of 100m of open terrain). This allows frigates to deploy their shore parties while limiting the ship's exposure to defensive anti-aircraft artillery. When used in conjunction with thrusters, it also allows the Mako to extricate itself from difficult terrain.

The Mako's hull is covered with laser detection arrays, which forewarn the crew of enemy laser-guided ordnance. Ground-penetrating radar allows detection of anti-vehicle mines and other subsurface anomalies. These will be brought to the attention of the crew by the vehicle's micro-frame computer system.

Several combat support vehicles using the Mako's basic chassis are manufactured for Alliance surface garrisons. These include a recon drone controller, a mobile air defense platform, and the M38 military ambulance nicknamed "Moby" because it is painted white during peacekeeping operations. Shipboard Marines exclusively use the tactically flexible and heavily armed base model.

The Mako can transport 8 people: two in the front, and six in the passenger hold, possibly with room for two more.

Mass Effect[]

The SSV Normandy carries a Mako for groundside operations. Commander Shepard uses the vehicle to explore most of the planets the squad lands on.

Notably, Shepard's squad uses the Mako on Ilos to travel through the Conduit. The vehicle zips through thousands of lightyears directly to the Presidium on the Citadel, where it smashes over two geth troopers before finally coming to rest on its side. It is overturned and severely damaged in the landing, so Shepard's squad is forced to abandon it and fight on foot.

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost[]

Mako interior (Paragon Lost)

A merchant named Messner volunteers his used Mako for transporting James Vega, his Delta Squad, and archaeologist Treeya Nuwani to Prothean ruins on Fehl Prime. James assigns the vehicle's driver Mason to watch their backs with the Mako's gun while the rest disembark to locate the source of interference jamming the colony's comm systems.

Following the arrival of the Collectors, James and the group use the Mako to make haste toward the colony. While the rest plan on doing more recon on foot, the sniper Milque volunteers to stay and "guard" the Mako, prompting his teammate Kamille to disdain his seeming cowardice. However, subsequent events render the Mako irrelevant at best, or destroyed at worst, along with the entire colony.

Mass Effect 2[]

Sometime after the Battle of the Citadel, the SSV Normandy's Mako was repaired or replaced.

When a Collector Cruiser destroys the Normandy in a surprise attack, the wreckage crashes on the surface of Alchera. The Mako can be found at the crash site, partially encased in ice and rock but otherwise almost completely intact, demonstrating the vehicle's legendary resilience and prompting Shepard to have a flashback of the vehicle parked inside the Normandy's cargo bay.

Following the construction of the SSV Normandy's successor, the Normandy SR-2, the UT-47 Kodiak Drop Shuttle supplants the Mako as Shepard's primary transport to and from combat missions.

Mass Effect 3[]

Numerous Makos are deployed groundside during the final battle for Earth, where they form the bulk of the Alliance mobile armor under Hammer Team. At the push toward the London Conduit, several vehicles try to outrun Harbinger's attacks, only to fail utterly. One Mako directly sidelines Shepard's squadmates after tumbling on their path, forcing Shepard to proceed alone.


  • According to The Art of Mass Effect, the vehicle is named after the mako shark.
  • The Mako seems to draw design cues from multiple real-world sources.
    • One may be the 20th century Russian BTR-series of APCs, especially in the turret, body shape and side entry door areas (even though they aren't used in the game, they are visible.)
    • Another might be the 6x6 variants of the MOWAG Piranha.
    • Director/Producer Casey Hudson has remarked that the Big Trak toy inspired certain elements of the Mako's design.[2]
  • As a nod to the sometimes outrageous ability of the Mako to climb cliffs, there was a 'Mako Mountain Climbing Team' t-shirt available in BioWare's official store.
  • The RC Mako Xbox Live Avatar Prop
    An RC Mako Avatar prop can be purchased on Xbox Live for US $2.99.[3]
  • Entering a destroyed Mako leads to player death. If the Mako's destroyed while under direct player control, its turret rotates to follow the camera as it rotates while showing the "Mission Failed" screen.
  • During the vehicle chase in Mass Effect 2's Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, Liara will remark that the skycar the player is driving is still "better than the Mako".
  • A version of the Mako can be seen in the comic Mass Effect: Evolution, suggesting that it has been used by the Systems Alliance Navy since at least the First Contact War. Former BioWare writer Chris L'Etoile noted this as a continuity error.[4]
  • During the events of Citadel Archives: Escape, one of Shepard's teams dubs themselves "Team Mako", likely in honor of said vehicle. James Vega, an avowed fan of the vehicle, is always part of Team Mako if he isn't picked as a squadmate.
  • The Mako was intended for inclusion early in the development of Andromeda, per the game's focus on exploration.[5] As of July 2014, the vehicle was turretless, but able to be customized.[6] The game ultimately featured the ND1 Nomad instead.

See Also[]