For abilities in the original Mass Effect, see Talents.
For abilities in Mass Effect 3, see Powers (Mass Effect 3).

The skills or abilities used in combat in Mass Effect 2 are called powers. Powers can be utilized by the player, NPC squad members, and enemies.

Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Powers in Mass Effect 2 are divided into four categories: biotic, combat, tech, and newly introduced ammo powers that can modify weapon damage (for more on ammo powers, see the Weapons page). The category a power belongs to will determine which upgrades apply to it.

In Mass Effect 2, many powers now do large amounts of damage and can be used as an ammo-saving alternative to weapons for defeating enemies even on higher difficulties. Most damage powers are capable of doing bonus damage against various types of enemy protection (i.e. shields, barriers, armor, and health). Biotic powers will generally do extra damage when used against biotic barriers, while tech powers will generally do extra damage against shields. There are also many powers useful for other effects on enemies besides pure damage, but in most cases enemy defense layers must be neutralized before these effects can apply. For example, as in Mass Effect, many biotic powers are capable of levitating enemies or flinging them around the battlefield, but in Mass Effect 2 enemy protections such as shields must be destroyed before they are vulnerable to these effects.

Most powers in Mass Effect 2 now automatically lock on to enemies and either hit home instantly or fire seeking projectiles some of which are capable of arcing around cover. Enemies cannot evade powers unless they move into cover, something else blocks the power, or they have a higher than average movement speed. Powers used by squadmates almost never fire actual projectiles and instead impact targets instantly.

Each power, with the exception of Unity, has 4 ranks. When the player levels up, each character is awarded 'squad points' that can be used to unlock each rank. Each rank costs the same number of points as its rank. Unlocking all 4 ranks requires a total of 10 points. Many powers will gain additional effects at higher ranks. Upon unlocking rank 4 of a power, the player will need to choose between two powerful final evolutions of the power.

Commander Shepard[edit | edit source]

Commander Shepard can earn up to 51 squad points to assign to powers. 2 points are automatically assigned at the beginning of the game and 2 squad points are earned each time the player levels up until level 20 is reached, after which 1 point is earned per level for levels 21 to 30. An additional point is earned when acquiring a bonus power.

These points can be reassigned at any time after completing Horizon by using the Retrain Powers research project at the research terminal.

Base Powers[edit | edit source]

Each player class starts with Unity, a power that uses medi-gel to revive fallen squadmates, and 5 active powers, including one unique power unavailable to other classes or characters.

The following is a list of powers available to each class. Powers available from the very beginning are marked with a ✓, while powers that need to be unlocked by levelling up are marked with a •.

Power Adept Engineer Infiltrator Sentinel Soldier Vanguard
Combat
Adrenaline Rush ME2 Icon.png Adrenaline Rush
Concussive Shot ME2 Icon.png Concussive Shot
Ammo
Cryo Ammo ME2 Icon.png Cryo Ammo
Disruptor Ammo ME2 Icon.png Disruptor Ammo
Incendiary Ammo ME2 Icon.png Incendiary Ammo
Tech
Hacking ME2 Icon.png AI Hacking
Cryo ME2 Icon.png Cryo Blast
Drone ME2 Icon.png Combat Drone
Incinerate ME2 Icon.png Incinerate
Overload ME2 Icon.png Overload
Cloak ME2 Icon.png Tactical Cloak
Tech Armor ME2 Icon.png Tech Armor
Biotic
Charge ME2 Icon.png Charge
Pull ME2 Icon.png Pull
Singularity ME2 icon.png Singularity
Shockwave ME2 Icon.png Shockwave
Throw ME2 Icon.png Throw
Warp ME2 Icon.png Warp
Universal Power
Unity ME2 Icon.png Unity

Class Powers[edit | edit source]

In addition to their 5 active starting powers, each class has a passive class power that increases health and Paragon/Renegade points as well as granting other unique bonuses, depending on the class.

Class Power
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Adept Biotic Mastery
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Engineer Tech Mastery
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Infiltrator Operative
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Sentinel Defender
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Soldier Combat Mastery
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Vanguard Assault Mastery

Bonus Powers[edit | edit source]

Each player class is able to learn one additional bonus power. After obtaining the achievement for earning a squadmate's loyalty, the player can use the Advanced Training research project at the research terminal to choose that character's unique power as their bonus power. The bonus power can be changed at any time by using Advanced Training again. Training a bonus power sets the new power to rank 1 by default. The only way to allocate this single default point to a non-bonus power is by researching Retrain Powers.

Available bonus powers are unlocked by obtaining achievements. Once a required achievement has been earned by the player, then any of their characters will be able to learn the associated power from that point on. If the player starts a new game after earning any of the achievements, they will be required to choose a bonus power as part of the character creation process; the character will be created with the chosen bonus power at rank 1. This is true even of characters being imported from an existing Mass Effect 2 save file (New Game+); if the Mass Effect 2 character being imported had more than 1 squad point allocated in the bonus power, those squad points will be reset to "unspent" and will be free to reallocate how the player chooses at game start. Any of the unlocked bonus powers can be chosen at the character creation stage with the exception of Stasis.

Power Squadmate Mission Achievement
Combat
Neuralshock.png Flashbang Grenade Kasumi Goto Kasumi: Stealing Memory Broke, Blind, and Bedlam1
Fortification.png Fortification Grunt Grunt: Rite of Passage Battlemaster
Infernogrenade.png Inferno Grenade Zaeed Massani Zaeed: The Price of Revenge Revenge!1
Ammo
Armorpiercingammo.png Armor-Piercing Ammo Garrus Vakarian Garrus: Eye for an Eye Fade Away
Shredderammo.png Shredder Ammo Thane Krios Thane: Sins of the Father Cat's in the Cradle
Warpammo.png Warp Ammo Jack Jack: Subject Zero Catharsis
Tech
Energydrain.png Energy Drain Tali'Zorah vas Neema Tali: Treason Treason
Gethshieldboost.png Geth Shield Boost Legion Legion: A House Divided A House Divided
Neuralshock.png Neural Shock Mordin Solus Mordin: Old Blood The Cure
Biotic
Me2barrier.png Barrier Jacob Taylor Jacob: The Gift of Greatness Ghost of the Father
Dominate.png Dominate Morinth Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi Doppelganger2
Reave.png Reave Samara Samara: The Ardat-Yakshi Doppelganger2
Slam.png Slam Miranda Lawson Miranda: The Prodigal The Prodigal
Me2barrier.png Stasis Liara T'Soni Lair of the Shadow Broker Catching Up1
  1. Requires Downloadable Content.
  2. Either Dominate or Reave will be unlocked depending on the player's choices in the associated mission.

Squadmates[edit | edit source]

For a comparison of different squadmate combinations and power synergies, see Squad Members Guide (Mass Effect 2).

Squadmates can earn up to 30 squad points each, with the exception of Miranda and Jacob, who can earn up to 31, and Liara, who joins the squad temporarily in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, who can only earn up to 29 points because she lacks a loyalty mission. One of these points is automatically assigned to the character's loyalty power when it is unlocked.

2 points are automatically assigned at the beginning of the game to Miranda and Jacob, while the rest of the squad gets 1 point. Your squadmates earn 2 squad points each time the player levels up until level 5 is reached, and starting from level 7, they will earn 2 squad points every two levels, which is reduced to 1 squad point starting from level 21, and making an exception to the rule at level 30, gaining 1 final squad point.

The Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC adds the ability to reassign a squadmate's squad points at any time by using the Advanced Training console in the Shadow Broker Base.

Powers[edit | edit source]

Each squadmate has 3 active powers, comprising a starting power, a second power unlockable and a loyalty power that becomes available if the character becomes loyal.

Unlike Shepard's bonus powers, it is necessary to earn the characters loyalty in each game to unlock the power, as they will not become unlocked by simply having the associated achievement.

Squadmate Power 1 Power 2 Loyalty Power
Garrus Vakarian Concussive Shot ME2 Icon.png Concussive Shot Overload ME2 Icon.png Overload Armorpiercingammo.png Armor Piercing Ammo
Grunt Concussive Shot ME2 Icon.png Concussive Shot Incendiary Ammo ME2 Icon.png Incendiary Ammo Fortification.png Fortification
Jack Shockwave ME2 Icon.png Shockwave Pull ME2 Icon.png Pull Warpammo.png Warp Ammo
Jacob Taylor Pull ME2 Icon.png Pull Incendiary Ammo ME2 Icon.png Incendiary Ammo Me2barrier.png Barrier
Kasumi Goto Cloak ME2 Icon.png Shadow Strike Overload ME2 Icon.png Overload Neuralshock.png Flashbang Grenade
Legion Hacking ME2 Icon.png AI Hacking Drone ME2 Icon.png Combat Drone Gethshieldboost.png Geth Shield Boost
Liara T'Soni Singularity ME2 icon.png Singularity Warp ME2 Icon.png Warp Me2barrier.png Stasis
Miranda Lawson Overload ME2 Icon.png Overload Warp ME2 Icon.png Warp Slam.png Slam
Mordin Solus Incinerate ME2 Icon.png Incinerate Cryo ME2 Icon.png Cryo Blast Neuralshock.png Neural Shock
Morinth Throw ME2 Icon.png Throw Pull ME2 Icon.png Pull Dominate.png Dominate
Samara Throw ME2 Icon.png Throw Pull ME2 Icon.png Pull Reave.png Reave
Tali'Zorah vas Neema Drone ME2 Icon.png Combat Drone Hacking ME2 Icon.png AI Hacking Energydrain.png Energy Drain
Thane Krios Throw ME2 Icon.png Throw Warp ME2 Icon.png Warp Shredderammo.png Shredder Ammo
Zaeed Massani Concussive Shot ME2 Icon.png Concussive Shot Disruptor Ammo ME2 Icon.png Disruptor Ammo Infernogrenade.png Inferno Grenade

Class Powers[edit | edit source]

In addition, each squadmate also has their own unique passive class power. All of these powers grant varying bonuses to health and weapon damage, with many offering additional bonuses.

Name Power
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Garrus Vakarian Turian Rebel
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Grunt Krogan Berserker
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Jack Subject Zero
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Jacob Taylor Cerberus Operative
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Kasumi Goto Master Thief
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Liara T'Soni Asari Scientist
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Legion Geth Infiltrator
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Miranda Lawson Cerberus Officer
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Mordin Solus Salarian Scientist
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Morinth Ardat-Yakshi
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Samara Asari Justicar
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Tali'Zorah vas Neema Quarian Machinist
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Thane Krios Drell Assassin
Class Power ME2 Icon.png Zaeed Massani Mercenary Veteran

Upgrades[edit | edit source]

See also: Upgrade Guide, Research

Bio-Amp Upgrades[edit | edit source]

  • Biotic Cooldown (Smart Amplifier)
Provides +20% faster biotic cooldowns.
  • Biotic Damage 1 - 6 (Hyper-Amp)
Provides +10% biotic damage for all biotic powers.
  • Biotic Duration (Neural Mask)
Provides +20% biotic power duration for all biotic powers.

Omni-Tool Upgrades[edit | edit source]

  • Tech Cooldowns (Hydra Module)
Provides +20% faster cooldown on tech abilities.
  • Tech Damage 1 - 6 (Multicore Amplifier)
Provides +10% tech power damage for all tech powers.
  • Tech Duration (Custom Heuristics)
Provides +20% duration for all tech powers.

Squadmate Specific[edit | edit source]

  • Subject Zero Power Boost (Multicore Implants)
Provides Jack with a +20% biotic damage boost.
  • Mordin Tech Damage (Custom Tech Upgrade)
Provides Mordin with a +20% tech damage boost.
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