For the Mass Effect talent, see Decryption.

ME3 Sabotage.pngSabotage is a tech power in Mass Effect 3's single-player and multiplayer modes.

Power Ranks

Rank 1: Sabotage

Sabotage weapons and hack synthetics.

Compromised synthetics fight on your side.
Affected weapons overheat.

  • Recharge Speed: 8 sec (10 multiplayer)
  • Hack Duration: 12 sec (10 multiplayer)
  • Radius: 2.50 m
  • Backfire: 150 (250 multiplayer)

Rank 2: Recharge Speed

Increase recharge speed by 25%.

  • Recharge Speed: 6.40 sec (8 multiplayer)
  • Hack Duration: 12 sec (10 multiplayer)
  • Radius: 2.50 m
  • Backfire: 150 (250 multiplayer)

Rank 3: Radius

Increase impact radius by 30%.

  • Recharge Speed: 6.40 sec (8 multiplayer)
  • Hack Duration: 12 sec (10 multiplayer)
  • Radius: 3.25 m
  • Backfire: 150 (250 multiplayer)

Rank 4: Duration/Backfire


Increase power duration by 50%.

  • Recharge Speed: 6.40 sec (8 multiplayer)
  • Hack Duration: 18 sec (15 multiplayer)
  • Radius: 3.25 m
  • Backfire: 150 (250 multiplayer)


Increase damage taken by 30% (60% multiplayer) when enemy weapons overheat.

  • Recharge Speed: 6.40 sec (8 multiplayer)
  • Hack Duration: 12 sec (10 multiplayer)
  • Radius: 3.25 m
  • Backfire: 195 (400 multiplayer)

Rank 5: Explosive Hack/Recharge Speed

Explosive Hack

Synthetics explode when destroyed, dealing 350 points of damage across a 4 meter radius.

Recharge Speed

Increase recharge speed by 25% (35% multiplayer).

  • Recharge Speed: 5.33 sec (6.25 multiplayer)
  • Hack Duration: 18 sec (15 multiplayer) [Duration], 12 sec (10 multiplayer) [Backfire]
  • Radius: 3.25 m
  • Backfire: 150 (250 multiplayer) [Duration], 195 (400 multiplayer) [Backfire]

Rank 6: Berserk/Tech Vulnerability


Hacked synthetics fighting on your side move faster and do 100% (50% multiplayer) more damage.

Tech Vulnerability

Increase all tech power damage done to target by 100% (50% multiplayer) for 10 seconds.

Player Notes

  • Sabotage is an amalgam of the original Mass Effect's Hacking and Sabotage talents, temporarily turning synthetic enemies against their former allies, while overheating and disabling the weapons of other enemy types. As in Mass Effect, the effects of this power apply even against targets still with active protection layers such as shields.
  • As with Hacking in the original Mass Effect, sabotaged synthetic enemies are still capable of attacking the player or player allies if they can't find a closer enemy target to attack.
  • Sabotage can hack the Turrets deployed by Cerberus Combat Engineers, as well as the Combat Drones and Geth Turrets deployed by Geth Primes. It also works on Atlases, despite the fact they have organic pilots.
  • If used on a Cerberus shield generator or generator pylon, Sabotage will reverse the generator's effect and cause it to drain shields of enemies in range. While this effect lasts, the pylon will glow orange instead of its usual blue.
  • Sabotage's backfire deals 1.5x damage to organics' shields.[1]
  • Sabotage has a baseline area of effect that can be increased with additional ranks. However there are limits on the number of enemies that can be affected by certain effects:
    • The maximum number of synthetic enemies which can be simultaneously hacked is 2 (1 in multiplayer).
    • The maximum number of enemies which can be simultaneously affected by Sabotage's backfire damage is 2.
  • The backfire component of sabotage affects all organics, regardless of whether or not they actually have a weapon.
    • The backfire effect is not immediate; it occurs about 1.5 seconds after the initial hit.
    • This delay does mean that the backfire effect is affected by Sabotage's own Tech Vulnerability evolution at rank 6.
  • As with Stasis, enemies subjected to repeated use of Sabotage will gain an increasing resistance towards further attempts. Eventually, an enemy will become immune to the effects of Sabotage altogether.
  • The Rank 6 Tech Vulnerability effect works even when Sabotage itself is red in the power menu.
    • Because of the way backfire damage is implemented, this also effectively means that total backfire damage is also increased by 100% (50% multiplayer) when Tech Vulnerability is chosen as a rank.
      • Backfire (effectively, not listed as such in-game): 300 (375 multiplayer) [Duration], 390 (600 multiplayer) [Backfire]
    • Tech Vulnerability also increases damage done by Power Combos (Tech Bursts, Cryo Explosions, and Fire Explosions). It also increases damage done with some tech-based heavy melee attacks. Moreover, because it is a debuff on the enemy, it stacks multiplicatively with power evolutions that increase combo damage.[2]
    • Tech Vulnerability also affects damage done by Combat Drones, but only affects the damage from the Shock evolution of a Sentry Turret.[4]
    • In multiplayer, Tech Vulnerability from different players does not stack (as of Patch 4).[5]
  • While Sabotage can be used to prime tech burst combos, it requires the weapon backfire effect to occur (which happens around 1.5 seconds after the initial hit); immediately following up a Sabotage with a detonator power will not set off a tech burst. Because synthetics do not take backfire damage (they are instead hacked), sabotage cannot prime tech bursts on synthetics.
  • It should be noted that Sabotaged geth will not attack a cloaked Geth Hunter.
  • Sabotaged enemies will still prioritize "summoned" enemies (e.g. Combat Drone, Sentry Turret) as targets.
  • The Tech Vulnerability debuff is independent of the delayed priming effect of the backfire mechanism; this means that with the Tech Vulnerability evolution Sabotage can immediately and significantly increase most combo damage for an extended period of time, making most "boss"-type take downs very quick.
  • Sabotage is very useful during a Cerberus Atlas takedown. While under the effect of Sabotage, an Atlas will attempt to attack its allies. Similarly, Sabotage is also very useful against Cerberus Turrets.
  • Teammates should be aware of synthetic enemies under Sabotage. These enemies glow in orange and they can either serve as temporary allies or as immobile targets.
  • When using Sabotage against geth, particularly in multiplayer, care should be taken in selecting a target. A Sabotaged target does not draw aggression from enemy units until it starts attacking its allies. When Sabotaging a Geth Prime, the Prime will usually prioritize its own Geth Turrets as targets (unless another geth is closer). Thus, while Sabotage can be useful against Primes to distract them, it is not a reliable method of inflicting damage on nearby geth. Geth Pyros are very good targets for Sabotage, particularly when enemies are clustered together. Otherwise, Geth Rocket Troopers are the best bet: when Sabotaged they are capable of inflicting heavy damage over large distances. In multiplayer, Geth Bombers are also very effective when under the effects of Sabotage.
  • When used while in Tactical Cloak, depending on how long you stayed in the cloak (or your power recharge speed), Sabotage will use the recharge speed of the cloak instead of its own, meaning you can use it more frequently.
  • Sabotage is an excellent power to use with sniper rifles and other slow-firing, heavy-hitting weapons such as the Executioner Pistol and Saber. When humanoid enemies are hit by Sabotage, it has a stun-like effect, causing them to stop momentarily pause and stop shooting, leaving a small window to line up a head shot. Once backfire occurs, this causes a secondary stun however this one usually makes the enemy stumble or double over, making it harder to line up a head shot.



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