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The Praetorian is a slow-moving flying Collector construction that consists of thirty deformed Husks fused together. It is armed with powerful particle beams, and protected by a strong barrier and powerful armor.

Mass Effect 2

In 2185, Commander Shepard engages a Praetorian on two occasions: once at the end of the mission on Horizon, and once during the escape from the Collector Cruiser. Several Praetorians were also involved in the attack on the Normandy SR-2.



The Praetorian attacks in two different ways:

  • Particle Beams: When the Praetorian is hovering and has a clear shot, it will fire its particle beam towards its opponent for about 3 seconds, followed by 2.5 seconds of cool-down time. It only takes a couple of seconds of exposure to this weapon to kill Shepard or the squadmates.
  • Death Choir: A ground attack followed by an area of effect (AoE) attack: first, the ground strike knocks the Praetorian's opponent back for about a second. After that, there is only a short period of time left to run away from the AoE attack, which is likely to cause an instant death. The ground strike is triggered if an opponent is within range of the attack or if the Praetorian's barrier is depleted and its armor has taken a threshold amount of damage from weapons fire. The Praetorian is invulnerable during this attack. After the attack is complete, its barrier will be fully recharged.


The Praetorian has extremely strong armor. At first sight it has no barrier, but the Death Choir gives it a biotic barrier, which recharges after each Death Choir attack. Due to their large size, they're resistant to most biotic attacks and are completely immune to Stasis, Charge or Dominate.


  • Before the fight, be sure to equip all of your weapons with Armor Piercing Ammo, Warp Ammo, or Incendiary Ammo, if available. If you only use one weapon, then Warp Ammo would be the best option. Heavy Weapons are also extremely useful. The M-9 Tempest SMG is particularly effective at dealing with the Praetorian's barrier, as it can be used at medium to medium-long ranges on full-auto due to the Praetorian's large profile. Shotguns are discouraged as their shorter engagement range leaves you potentially exposed to the lethal Death Choir attack.
  • During the fight, Shepard is typically the only opponent the Praetorian follows and the only target of its particle beam. However, your squadmates can trigger the ground-strike attack if they get too close. The Praetorian will constantly move towards Shepard, apparently trying to find a chance to use its ground-strike attack. During this fight, it is ESSENTIAL to stay mobile. Take cover when you can, as it will protect you from the particle beam attack, but if the Praetorian gets near enough to use its ground-strike attack, you'll be in a very sticky situation due to its large stun radius.
  • Your team-mates' location isn't really important as long as they are far enough away not to get hit by the Death Choir attacks. Squadmates prioritize attacking Praetorians, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the situation.
  • The Praetorian will replenish its Barrier via Death Choir after every 1/4 of its armor bar is depleted. However, this happens only if the Praetorian is damaged by weapon fire. If powers are used to whittle down armor instead (such as Incinerate, Warp, Reave, Inferno Grenade, or even the much less effective Overload), the Praetorian will not utilise the Death Choir. Keeping this in mind, if playing as a biotic or tech-savvy class, or having an appropriate offensive bonus power, you can refrain from using Unity to revive your fallen squad members (since they will keep on shooting the Praetorian, provoking it to use the Death Choir attack) and instead fight the Praetorian solo using only armor-damaging powers. Although more tedious in some instances, this method can save you stripping down the Barrier every time it goes up again, and, in the end, make the fight against the Praetorian somewhat shorter.
  • A good tactic is to run backwards around an object whether it be a pillar, vehicle, etc. The Praetorian will not fly over the object and will continue firing into it, so this is the safest way to stay alive.
  • Getting too close to a Praetorian is to be avoided at all costs as this will trigger its Death Choir attack. Using Charge against one is a no-go.
  • Combat Drones summoned right on top of a Praetorian can distract them, at least for the short time it takes for the Praetorian to destroy them which is not long.
  • Tactical Cloak can fool the Praetorian; however, cloaking will cause the Praetorian to immediately target one of Shepard's allies, which is usually not ideal. Cloaking typically shouldn't be used except as a last resort to get out of the line of fire.

Paragon Lost

During the colonist abductions on Fehl Prime, the Collectors unleash a Praetorian to thwart the efforts of the locals disrupting their operations. This Praetorian was created in part from one of the Delta Squad marines, Kamille. As with the Praetorians encountered by Shepard, It can withstand constant firepower. However, its attacks are all of a green color compared to the standard blue, likewise with its barrier protection.

This Praetorian was destroyed by James Vega, in great part thanks to Essex disabling its barrier.

Mass Effect 3

Praetorians return in Mass Effect 3's multiplayer with the Retaliation Pack DLC. They also appear in the combat simulator in the Armax Arsenal Arena added with the Mass Effect 3: Citadel DLC.



Praetorians have several means of attack. At range, they will use their twin particle cannons by first firing them at the ground in front of themselves, then sweeping the beams forward, hitting all targets in a line. The beams deal splash damage that easily penetrates through small or thin cover, and they deal not just one instance of damage but high damage continuously to targets remaining in their effect.

They will also attempt to get into melee range using a deceptively quick and powerful pounce that has extremely long range; once there, they will either rapidly attack with their claws, dealing moderate damage that quickly adds up and is hard to escape from, or grab an enemy, lifting them off the ground to crush their head with their jaw-analogue for an instant kill.

Like other Collector opponents, the Praetorian can be possessed, gaining additional durability and offensive power.


Praetorians have a very high amount of armor and a sizeable barrier. Being an armored enemy, they cannot be grabbed for an insta-kill. When hit by a power while hovering, they will put up a spherical barrier that completely negates the power damage Praetorian takes, including any damage over time active prior to activation. Weapon damage seems to be far less affected by this power. They are surprisingly mobile enemies, hovering a few feet above the ground to move quickly across open terrain. A Praetorian has to land before attacking, but they do so very quickly.


  • While not quite at the boss-level difficulty of its Mass Effect 2 predecessor, the Praetorian is still a considerable threat, in large part due to its durability and speed. They are also much more common than their Mass Effect 2 predecessor, and often come in groups of two or three.
  • The weak point of the Praetorian is the collection of human heads in its maw. It can be targeted when it opens its mouth, or it can be permanently exposed by shooting off the plates that protect it, which causes it to flip over on its back for a short time.
  • Try to stay at range, as their claw attacks come very quickly, the damage adding up as the victim finds themselves staggered again and again, especially since you can get trapped between a Praetorian and a piece of terrain.
  • If you attempt to hunker down in one place, especially cramped spaces, the Praetorian can quickly crowd you with its large body and limit your room to maneuver.
  • The beam sweep attack is extremely potent as it covers a huge area, is deceptively difficult to avoid, and deals heavy and continuous damage, greatly reducing the protections afforded by shield and health gate temporary invulnerability especially on higher difficulties.
    • The direction a Praetorian is facing doesn't always indicate where the beams will fire: sometimes the beams can shoot out almost perpendicular to that direction, though the firing arc does seem to be limited to 180 degrees in front of the Praetorian, and while firing it does not move or sometimes even rotate its body.
    • The Praetorian usually fires its beams in volleys of three during which time it is immobile; if it isn't firing at you, this is an excellent opportunity to deal damage to it even at very close range as long as you attack from the rear. If the Praetorian is firing at you, circling around it at close range can cause it to cease firing and instead switch to trying to swipe at you with its claws.
  • The Praetorian's instant kill attack is very slow to execute, much like the Banshee's. If a teammate is picked up, sufficient force directed at the Praetorian may make it drop them. Alternatively, performing an evasive maneuver like a combat roll when the Praetorian is about to use the attack may cause it to miss.
    • This attack can grab you from any direction, even if you are directly behind the Praetorian.
    • In the Armax Arsenal Arena, teammates incapacitated by the Praetorian's instant-kill attack can only be revived via medi-gel and cannot be revived manually.
    • A Batarian Soldier or Sentinel with Bladed Armor can actually kill a Praetorian with low health when it uses the instant kill attack. If the reflected damage is high enough, the Batarian will stay alive after the attack.
  • Be careful when engaging the Praetorian over a large swathe of open terrain. Its pounce has excellent range and is very quick to execute.


  • The Praetorians are likely named after the Praetorian Guard, a force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors until the fourth century AD.
  • The concept art for "Praetorian Manufacturing Equipment" is shown in the Paragon Lost teaser.