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Mass Effect Wiki

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. The Geth Plasma Shotgun is also extremely good at taking down the barrier quickly and safely, as the shots can be charged in cover and released quickly, minimizing any exposure to the eye beams.
  • During the fight, Shepard is typically the only opponent the Praetorian follows and the only target of its particle beams. However, your squadmates can trigger the Death Choir ground-strike if they get too close. The Praetorian will constantly move towards you trying to find a chance to use this attack, and because Death Choir ignores terrain and has a large stun radius, it is essential to stay mobile and keep your distance.
  • The Praetorian's particle beams don't track moving targets that well; this can be exploited to the fullest by moving perpendicular to the angle of attack, which minimizes damage taken while in the open. This is most effective at longer ranges.
  • Your teammates' 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; manually order them to attack something else if needed. Try to avoid reviving squadmates if they are in close proximity to the Praetorian as they will simply die again to a Death Choir immediately.
  • 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 (e.g. Incinerate, Warp, Reave), the Praetorian will not utilise the Death Choir. If you have an appropriate offensive power, you can refrain from using Unity to revive your fallen squad members or keep them out of line of sight, and instead fight the Praetorian 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.
  • Projectile powers like Incinerate and Warp can be arced around cover to hit the Praetorian without exposing yourself to the eye beams.
  • A good tactic is to run around a large piece of cover. 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. A direct, full blast from Death Choir also totally ignores the usual immunity to health damage that you benefit from upon shields breaking, though it is possible to survive glancing blows.
  • The eye beams are powerful enough that your shield will break almost instantly on high difficulties if it is not reinforced in any way. The Sentinel has stronger shields with Tech Armor, but you still want to be careful about letting the shield break as you'll have to keep reactivating it if you want its benefits again. Barrier, Geth Shield Boost, or Fortification can be very useful for any class to increase the amount of time you can be exposed before taking critical damage from the Praetorian, as well as allowing for an emergency shield restoration.
  • 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.
  • Heavy weapons are not that ammo-efficient against the Praetorian in view of its very high toughness and regenerating barrier. The M-920 Cain is mostly effective at shortening the battle by taking a huge chunk out of the armor early; if you want to use it, be sure to do so when the barrier is down for maximum effectiveness (a good time is right when the Praetorian enters the field), and do not fire if you think it is about to use Death Choir. The Collector Particle Beam does good damage at range but requires constant line of sight.

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 instant kill. When hit by a power while hovering, they will put up a spherical barrier that physically obscures its headshot area and completely negates the ammo damage as well as all but a few sources of power damage a Praetorian may take, including any damage over time active prior to activation.[1] Melee damage is also blocked by this shield, but weapon impact damage is not. 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, silence and speed. They are also much more common than their Mass Effect 2 predecessor, and often come in groups of two.
  • Do not use powers against this enemy while it is afloat – the barrier it deploys will impede nearly all sources of damage for a significant time.
  • Powers that cause the Praetorian to take extra damage are very useful for eliminating them quickly: Warp, Cryo Blast, Tactical Scan, Proximity Mine, Recon Mine, and Sabotage (Tech Vulnerability) to name a few.
  • The headshot area of the Praetorian is the collection of human heads in its maw, initially obscured by a protective plate. The weapon damage caused by shooting this spot depends on the ammo type equipped on the weapon, the state of the plate and if this enemy has been stripped out of the outer protection (barriers):
  • The headshot modifier on this enemy is fixed to the unusual 2.0. Combined with the size and stability of the stomach, it becomes an excellent target for weapon fire.
  • Breaking the face plate causes a massive stagger that can throw a floating Praetorian back by a couple meters.
  • 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.
    • It is the most damaging enemy ranged attack in the game: taking the full duration of a beam can down or severely injure durable multiplayer classes such as the Krogan Warlord Sentinel even on Bronze. This makes it especially deadly to classes that have a difficult time moving out of the way or taking cover such as the Warlord or the Geth Juggernaut Soldier.
    • The direction a Praetorian is facing doesn't always indicate where the beams will fire: sometimes the beams can shoot out through the rear of the Praetorian (clipping through its entire body), 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.
    • At close ranges, a single standard sideways combat dodge move is often insufficient to clear the path of the beams and avoid damage. Turning perpendicular to the path of the beams and diving or sprinting forwards is more effective.
  • 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.
  • Be careful when engaging the Praetorian over a large swathe of open terrain. Its pounce has excellent range and is very quick to execute.
  • In multiplayer, only a limited number of Praetorians can appear during most waves; this is true for all Bronze waves, all Silver waves other than 11 and all Gold waves other than 5 and 11. Using a Cobra Missile Launcher to clear out pairs of them can make many Collector waves much easier. [3]
  • The Praetorian can cover a lot of ground while floating; however, it will come out of the glide and land if a player gets within close proximity to it. The more mobile classes can use this to stall the Praetorian and slow its forward progress by charging into close range, forcing the Praetorian to land, and then retreating quickly. This buys more time for your team to kill it before it gets too close.
  • When shooting a Praetorian from the side, target the front area, as a bugged blind spot in the middle can cause the shots to miss.
  • The two small moustache-like armor plates on the sides of the Praetorian's front block incoming weapon damage unless pierced or destroyed.
  • Even after it is killed, its body continues to be a solid object that blocks movement, weapons fire, powers, etc. until its death animation fully completes.


  • 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.