Mass Effect Wiki
Mass Effect Wiki
See also: Soldier Guide (Mass Effect 2), Soldier Guide (Mass Effect 3)

Soldiers are combat specialists ideal for the front lines of a firefight. Soldiers get improved health, can train in the use of all weapon types, start with the ability to use medium armor, and can specialize in heavy armor.


The Soldier has the most weapon proficiencies among all classes and the only one that starts with assault rifles, giving the Soldier well-rounded range and damage dealing capabilities. They are also more durable - the Soldier is also the only class that is initially equipped with Medium Armor, with the ability to equip Heavy Armor later on. Finally, they have some very strong abilities unique to combat classes - Immunity lets them absorb plenty of damage, while Adrenaline Burst instantly recharges all talents, including weapon special abilities.

This range versatility and durability leads to a wide possibility of styles for the soldier that would be too dangerous or compromising for other classes to carry out. It doesn't matter if the enemy's far away in cover, the class's weapons training make sure that Shepard's never at a disadvantage - you have training in sniper rifles for that. Melee enemies get a shotgun blast in the face for their trouble. Anything else is mown down with a hailstorm of assault rifle pellets. As such, the Soldier is the best class for front-line assault, while squad mates can use specialized talents to debuff, disable or distract enemies.


Class Talents[]


Main article: Pistols

Small, accurate, fast firing, and has a higher shots-before-overheat ratio than sniper rifles and shotguns, pistols are the staple weapon in other classes, but comes second to the assault rifle. Because of this, investing points here is not as important as other classes. However, the Pistols talent shouldn't be totally neglected because of the Marksman ability, which allows the pistol to hit at ranges beyond what it usually can.


Main article: Shotguns

Unlocked with 4 points in Pistols

Nothing ruins a charging enemy's day like a blast of shotgun. Shotguns have an extremely short range, often where the Soldier will be fighting. Putting a few points here gives the Carnage ability, which is devastating up close or at range. The shotgun is a good weapon if you need to get up close and personal with your enemies while dealing massive damage. Adding points in this talent increases the shotgun's accuracy and damage bonuses.

Assault Rifles[]

Main article: Assault Rifles

Assault Rifles are unique to the Soldier and it is the only playable class that starts with this talent. Assault rifles are the Soldier's primary weapon, thus it is highly recommended to allocate points for this talent. It also gives the Overkill ability, which reduces overheating and increases accuracy in assault rifles, allowing for longer period of firing and more hits per magazine. For every point invested in this talent, it increases the damage and accuracy of assault rifles.

Sniper Rifles[]

Main article: Sniper Rifle

Unlocked with 7 points in Assault Rifles

Accurate and powerful, the Sniper Rifles talent allows you to remove threats from a distance. Even though a Soldier is more at home on the front lines, the Assassination ability provided by this talent allows a Soldier to take enemies down at a distance and still be able to run up and kill the enemy if it fails. Throwing a few points into this talent will not go to waste as your accuracy and damage increases with every point.

Combat Armor[]

Main article: Combat Armor

The Combat Armor talent is one that is worth investing for the Soldier for two reasons. Firstly, the talent increases damage reduction and armor hardening. Secondly, it unlocks Heavy Armor and grants the Shield Boost ability. With these bonuses, the Soldier can survive longer in combat and still be able to pull out alive if the fight becomes too hot to handle.

First Aid[]

Main article: First Aid

Unlocked with 6 points in Combat Armor

If you can avoid this talent, then it is advisable that you do so. As other squad members have this talent, allocating their points for this talent would be a better idea. Otherwise, four points is more than enough for this talent.

Assault Training[]

Main article: Assault Training

Assault Training is a very worthwhile talent to invest in because it grants the Adrenaline Burst ability. Adrenaline Burst resets the cooldown of every ability, allowing quick succession of ability usage which is useful in tough fights. The talent also increases melee and weapon damage, effectively making the Soldier more potent on the offensive. Investing enough points will allow a Soldier to keep Immunity up almost indefinitely, use talents often, and support your squadmates more effectively.


Main article: Fitness

Unlocked with 5 points in Assault Training

Fitness is one of the most useful talents for a Soldier as it grants the Immunity ability. This ability allows a Soldier to absorb a huge amount of damage while still being able to sustain fights longer. Used in conjunction with the Shield Boost ability, a Soldier can survive just about any battle. The talent also increases the Soldier's health and reduces Immunity cooldown time.


Main article: Soldier

This class talent provides a boost to a Soldier's health and health regeneration, which increases survivability in extended fights. Its maximum rank is level 6 while the remaining levels will be made available upon completion of the UNC: Rogue VI assignment and choosing a class specialization.


Main article: Charm

This talent is tied to Paragon, and will allow additional conversation options that will often lead to additional information, avoiding combat, bonus items, even possibly additional Paragon points. This talent will also reduce the cost of items purchased in stores.


Main article: Intimidate

Opens conversational options that are likely to increase Renegade points. Similar to Charm, above, though linked with Renegade and offering an increase in the credits gained when selling items.

Spectre Training[]

Main article: Spectre Training

After gaining Spectre status, this talent unlocks many bonuses. It increases weapons and talents damage and provides yet another boost to health. The talent also unlocks the Unity ability, which is used to revive squadmates. The benefits of this power to provide multiple bonuses to weapons, health, and unlocking the Unity ability, all of which helps out in a long, drawn out firefight, makes it one of the most recommended talents to invest in.

Notable Bonus Talents[]


Main article: Decryption

Despite having no access to an omni-tool upgrade, Decryption with the Sabotage ability can be a very effective bonus for a Soldier. The Sabotage ability will overload enemy weapons and prevent them from firing back for a period of time. Although the Soldier is effective at dealing and absorbing a lot of damage, it won't hurt to have this ability to give a little breathing room now and then. It also grants the ability to unlock items that only Garrus, Tali or Kaidan could have unlocked while on your team, so it gives some tactical flexibility in teammates, at the cost of losing the other tech abilities Tali, Garrus or Kaidan could provide.


Main article: Damping

Damping can affect an enemy's ability to cast talents in the respect that they won't be able to for some time. Damping is a tech talent and is hurt somewhat by the inaccessibility to an omni-tool. However, its ability to disable enemy talents makes up for it in that respect as it helps to kill the enemy faster and you won't take as much damage in return.


Main article: Electronics

Electronics will help the Soldier to unlock crates, salvage probes, and repair certain items, which means you don't have to rely on squad members. It also offers the ability to take down enemy shields and damage synthetic enemies like the geth, drones, and turrets. While Soldiers can take a lot of damage, it doesn't hurt to get the enemy down faster by taking out their shields. It also grants a considerable shield bonus, which drastically improves survivability, and a faster repair time on the Mako in addition to less omni-gel expenditure. Electronics is, to some extent, at a disadvantage due to the inability to equip a specialized omni-tool model, thus meaning even when maxed out, the ability still takes a while to recharge, but relevant cooldown upgrades can negate this to some extent. All in all, it is a decent talent choice for a class with no tech or biotic abilities.


Main article: Singularity

Although the Soldier is unable to equip bio-amps, Singularity is a talent worth considering. Due to the Soldier's lack of crowd-control talents, Singularity could help to fill that role with its ability to hold up multiple enemies, lift them into the air, and then send them flying or falling to the ground. A good choice for players who prefer to swoop multiple enemies in one go.


Main article: Throw

Throw can be a very useful talent to send a group of enemies flying backwards. However, Throw can also be used to clear the area around you, a squadmate, or an area in general. This is also very useful against waves of husks and charging krogan, because it will send them back for a few seconds, buying time to shoot them with full of holes. Though, this talent is somewhat hampered by the Soldier's lack of a bio-amp.

Weapons and Equipment[]


Main article: Pistols

Pistols may be overlooked when picking a weapon of choice for a Soldier. However, the effectiveness of pistols should not be disregarded. At low character levels and equipped with low-end equipment, pistols have less overheating and recoil compared to assault rifles, hence retain superior accuracy at longer ranges when fired rapidly. Pistols can serve as a good secondary weapon for the shotgun specialists, since points will have to be invested anyway, and pistols are superior to shotguns at long range. If the Pistols talent level is maximized and the Marksman ability is activated, pistols have the highest damage per second in the game.


Main article: Shotguns

Shotguns inflict enough force to knock down weaker enemies on a regular basis, effectively disabling them for a few seconds even if the blast is not enough to kill them outright. Recoil is, surprisingly, not a serious issue for shotguns since they fire slowly and have time to recover accuracy in between shots. Overheating might pose a problem when firing in quick succession unless suitable weapon mods are installed. Shotguns are crippled at long range, but can still give assault rifles a run for their money at medium range.

Assault Rifles[]

Main article: Assault Rifles

Assault rifles are the jack-of-all-trades weapons that only Soldiers can become proficient in. They are good general purpose weapons over most range. However, low-end assault rifles suffer badly from recoil and overheating problems, forcing aspiring assault rifle specialists to fire in short, controlled bursts at long range to retain accuracy. The Overkill ability helps to overcome heat issues, allowing effective sustained fire at shorter ranges. As skill levels and equipment improve, recoil and heat issues will gradually be better, and the assault rifle truly comes into its own with the ability to lay down long bursts of accurate gunfire over to long range. Assault rifles are good at mid to long-range, and can even function relatively well at close range.

Sniper Rifles[]

Main article: Sniper Rifles

Sniper rifles will allow you to devastate opponents at long and extreme ranges with relative impunity, but significant skill points must be invested to conquer the sight drift. A sniper rifle specialist can handle swarms of weaker enemies without putting the squad at risk. Even heavy vehicles and turrets that would pose a severe threat at closer ranges can be felled easily with repeated sniping. Sniper rifles can still be effective in medium range against unaware or stationary targets, since they only need one well-placed shot to take down weaker opponents and inflict severe damage on the tougher ones.

Combat Guide[]

The Soldier has access to all four types of weaponry, so be sure to use them. The Soldier is the master of the battlefield so using weapons is the Soldier's only real way to defend and attack. With the complete lack of any tech or biotic powers, weapons are all that holds the Soldier up. However the Soldier can hold the line better than any other class because Soldier have access to higher armor classes, starting from medium and the unlockable heavy ones, damage reducing powers, and more health than other classes. Stay in cover and when an enemy sticks its head out, blast it.

Because the Soldier has no biotic or tech talents, bring along squadmates that specialize in those abilities. However, that isn't to say the Soldier doesn't have useful talents. The Immunity ability is one of the greatest asset to the Soldier as it dramatically reduces damage taken, and given the right specialization and armor upgrades, it is possible to keep this ability up almost indefinitely. Also the Adrenaline Boost ability, which can recharge talents, is another great asset because it allows the Soldier to use abilities like Carnage and Assassination in quick succession. The talents of the Soldier are designed to help them last longer in combat and dominate the battlefield.

Squad Members[]

As a Soldier, you will easily do most of the fighting for your team. This comes at a price, however. You don't have the crowd control abilities of a biotic and you don't have Decryption, which means you will need to bring a character with the Decryption skill with you wherever you go so that you don't have to revisit an area later on to get missed loot. On the bright side, this means they will have Sabotage, which lays in more damage and prevents enemies from firing at you.

Pick a squad that makes up for the talents the Soldier lacks. You should always have one person with Electronics for opening doors, repairing the Mako, etc. Team-mates that can fill this role are Garrus, Kaidan, or Tali. This also gives you access to Overload, which removes shields and makes enemies more vulnerable. Of these, the best choice is Tali as she is the only squadmate with the Hacking ability, which will give the Soldier a valuable extra option when fighting synthetic enemies. While she is not as skilled in combat as Garrus, this is not a problem for the Soldier's squad as the Soldier will naturally be the team's powerhouse anyway.

Your second team member should be someone who balances out the lack of biotics or tech ability in your first team-mate: Liara for biotics, Garrus or Tali for a lot of tech abilities, or Kaidan for a mixture of both. Wrex can be trained as a tough bodyguard and the team's tanker, provided you've maximized both Barrier and Fitness, along with his Krogan Battlemaster class talent and a few points in assault weapons. Liara is an excellent choice for the role of a biotic specialist due to her having all the biotic talents available at her disposal, providing the crowd control that the Soldier lacks through Throw, Lift, Stasis and Singularity, in addition to being able to hold her own defensively through Barrier and her Electronics skill, while still being able to damage an opponent directly with Warp. She has a similar weakness to Tali or Kaidan in that she lacks advanced combat capabilities, but as a Soldier, the role of direct fighting is your duty.

Specialization Classes[]


Main article: Commando

The Commando specialization is suited for players who prefers to take enemies down faster as it gives increased weapon damage for each level. At the highest rank, Commandos gain faster recharge time for Immunity, Assassination and Marksman which improves the Commando's lethality in killing enemies from a distance before they become a threat while still remaining close to the thick of the action.

Shock Trooper[]

Main article: Shock Trooper

The bonuses to health, damage protection and certain talents gained from the Shock Trooper makes Shepard function like a tank. With a faster recharge time for Immunity and Adrenaline Burst, using both talents in tandem with each other, the Shock Trooper can keep Immunity active almost indefinitely with the right equipment. Add Shield Boost into the mix and you allow the Shock Trooper to take plenty of heavy fire and still live to fight another battle. This specialist class is well suited for players who like to gun down enemies in close range, especially players with an affinity for shotguns. For those worried about survivability, especially if taking along more fragile teammates, this specialization is an excellent idea.