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 (typically when its armor reaches 3/4, 1/2 or 1/4 strength). Note: 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.


General Tactics

  • 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. 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 keep 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, just set them both to attack the Praetorian and use Unity whenever they become incapacitated.
  • 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.

Class Specific Tactics

  • Conditions: Insanity, Soldier, M-98 Specialisation or M-76 Specialisation

As a Soldier, equip yourself with the M-920 Cain because on Insanity difficulty a hit will leave the Praetorian with 25% armor, but by the time you get your senses back, it will have restored its barrier. Use Concussive Shots to deal with the barrier. A Widow sniper rifle with Incendiary Ammo will deal very decent damage to its armour as well. Try to stay as far away from the Praetorian as possible and snipe or use Concussive Shot on it as quickly as possible. Once the barrier is down, use Adrenaline Rush to get as many shots in as possible. Incendiary Ammo is useful once the barrier is down. If you keep your distance and make sure to keep your squad out of the ground attack's range, the fight should be over pretty quickly. If you see the Praetorian getting too close, use an Adrenaline Rush to get away. Having Garrus, Grunt or Zaeed on board is also convenient, as their Concussive Shot helps take down the barrier much quicker. Warp-wielding squadmates are also effective against its barriers and armour. On Any difficulty  Warp Ammo is very useful, quickly taking down its barrier and dealing effective damage to its armour. On Insanity difficulty using Jack with Squad Warp Ammo is preferable to choosing Warp Ammo as a bonus power. An overcharged shot from a Geth Plasma Shotgun, armed with Warp Ammo, will rip its barrier apart. A Revenant with Warp Ammo is useful for both the barrier and armor and is even more effective against the Praetorian's armor due to its high armor multiplier.

As a Sentinel or Adept, both of the Praetorian fights offer areas of the map that will allow you to circle behind objects to keep you permanently safe from the Praetorian. On Horizon, there is a truck in the top-right corner (from your entrance) that you can circle while launching Warp, thus keeping you safe from the Praetorian while you and your team whittle down its barrier and armor. On the Collector Ship, there is a pillar off to the left side (from your entrance) that can be circled as well. While this tactic won't end the fight quickly (you might want to use the Cain first), they will keep you safe as the Praetorian attempts to maneuver around these obstacles while allowing you to launch attacks.

As an Infiltrator, you have the ability to use Tactical Cloak to keep out of the Praetorian's sight, which will cause it to ignore you for a few seconds to focus on your squad. If one or both of your squadmates are on the other side of the battlefield, by the time your cloak runs out, the Praetorian will have given you plenty of room to maneuver and a clear shot as it turns around (especially useful on the Collector Ship if you chose the M-98 Specialization). Use Submachine Gun fire (preferably with Warp Ammo) to take out the Praetorian's barrier before following up with Sniper Rifle or Heavy Weapons against its armor. Once the Praetorian is focused on you, your squadmates will have some time to recover before you reactivate Tactical Cloak and repeat the process. Essentially, you're playing ping-pong with your squadmates, using the Praetorian as the ball. This is best done with durable squadmates who have Concussive Shot, like Grunt or Zaeed, who can also deal with any other nearby enemies such as Husks or Collectors, but any squadmate will work if they have enough health and/or cover to survive a shot from the Praetorian's particle beams.

This will be the toughest fight against the Praetorian as in Insanity, you must not only deal with the fact you are lacking in health but also the fact that your Charge can only delay the Praetorian. The major advantage you have over the Infiltrator is the Incendiary Ammo which allows you to panic Husks and Collector Drones. Squad powers are even more important than the other classes and you should bring someone with Warp to weaken the barrier/armor down. Charge can be used to temporary delay the Praetorian from attacking you and allow your squadmates to finish their power cooldown while you defeat the Praetorian with the M-300 Claymore or Heavy Weapons.

Your Combat Drone will not confuse the Praetorian as much as you'd like it to: it will instantly pivot from the drone to fire at you whenever Shepard leaves cover. However the Praetorian may sometimes move toward the drone instead of you, so keeping it active may help delay the Praetorian's flanking efforts slightly. On the bright side your Incinerate will do excellent damage to the Praetorian's armor. You'll want to bring Miranda for her Warp ability so that you can take the barrier down quickly, since your own Overload will have merely moderate value for that, and you should consider either Grunt or Jacob if you've upgraded their Incendiary Ammo to the version that shares the power with you. Concentrate on keeping your fragile engineer body out of the Praetorian's line of fire while you systematically take down its barriers using your squadmates' powers as well as your own, then peek out to pound it with Incinerate and anything else when its armor is showing.

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. 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.


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; however 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.
  • 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. The beam sweep attack, while potent, is fairly easy to avoid. Be mindful, however, that it can hit you over some low cover and around soft cover.
  • The Praetorian's instant kill attack is very slow to execute, much like the Banshee's. If a teammate is picked up, overwhelming firepower (or a Cobra Missile Launcher) 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 will cause it to miss.
  • 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/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. Their pounce has excellent range and is very quick to execute.
  • 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.


  • 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.
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